Karura Forest Reserve Kenya is an urban upland forest on the outskirts of the Northern part of Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. This remarkable geographical location and natural resource is one of the largest gazette forests in the world fully within a city limits, the Karura forest reserve covers an area of about 1,000 hectares (2,500 ac) and today is a shining example of how country-based corporate social responsibility and individual philanthropy can serve to secure and protect a country’s natural resources.
Karura Forest Reserve offers eco-friendly opportunities for the Kenyans and visitors during a safari to enjoy a leafy green respite from the hustle and bustle of the city to walk, to jog, or simply to sit quietly and experience the serenity of nature in all its diversity. In 2009, the Kenya Forest Service (KFS is a parastatal body within Kenya’s Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife) in partnership with the Friends of Karura Community Forest Association-embarked on an aggressive programme to secure Nairobi’s key natural resource to thrill while on Kenya wildlife Safaris .
Karura Forest is bordered by the suburbs of Muthaiga, Gigiri, Runda, Ridgeways, Mathare North, Peponi and New Muthaiga. The western part of the forest is also known as Sigiria forest.
The unique Karura’s vast and vibrant beauty only a few kilometers from the heart of the city, it remains for Kenya’s and visitors to lend their support by visiting the forest. Karura forest is one of the most extensive forests in urban areas and contains a variety of the indigenous tree species and harbor about 200 different birds that includes Olea europeae, subsp.auspidata, Vepris nobilis, Craebean brownie, Ficus thonningii, Newtonia buchananii, Juniperus procera (cedar),Markhamia lutea and many more. For the bird lovers Karura forest is the best place to be in during your safari to Kenya.
Karura Forest reserve hosts a number of animal species including the reptiles, birds, mammals and the butterflies, all the visitors during their safari are advised not feed any animal during their adventure as it helps preserve the life of animals. The mammals found in the forest includes the Harvey’s Duiker, Grimm’s Duiker, bush pigs, Genet cats, Civets, Bush babies, Porcupines, Syke’s Monkeys, Ground Squirrel, Hares and many more. Reptiles found at Karura forest includes the pythons, green snakes, Monitor lizards, Reared fish while the butterflies to be found in the forest includes the Desmond’s Green Banded Swallowtail, African Queen.
Karura Forest has got a waterfall that provides the scenic view of the falling water to the visitors, the beautiful, falling and splashing sounds of the water adds to the excitement of the areas, the falls have improved the forest economy since filings and video recordings have been done mostly for the musicians, reporter’s writers and many others.
Karura forest walking trails, the forest has tree walking trails identified on the maps identified by the colours on the map that is the 5km yellow, 15km green, 10km blue, the tourists who visit the forest are advised to carry comfortable walking shoes/ trainers for easy streaking since the topography is not all plain, there is so much on the way to be recorded or documented so the guests are advised to carry cameras, binoculars, writing materials if possible.
The tourists during their Kenya safari in Karura forest are always provided with ready meals from the Kenyan market with the world-class recipes served at affordable prices, and some of the provided meals includes the deserts, snacks, starters, soups, local and international dishes, the Karura Forest restaurant is always there to provide the various meals to the tourists and the River café Karura Forest.
Karura forest reserve is so amazing, attractive, the forest provides various activities to the tourists who come to visit the forest that includes trail biking, viewing the scenic land presentation, dog guidelines, tennis guidelines, zip lining, team building, sporting and trainings, photo shooting, jogging, tree planting, filming, bird watching, horse riding, joining the fitness course, forest drives and among others.
Entrance fee to Karura Forest.
For Kenya/East African Citizens the entry fee is 100 for the adults and 40/-for children, Residents pay 200 Bob for the adults and 100 for the children. Nonresidents pay 600 Bob for adults and 300 for children. If you have car you will pay for its parking which is 100 Ksh, and then if you need a guide you pay 3000 ksh per 2 hours.
Karura Forest is one of the last remaining local indigenous forests to provide a vital carbon sink for Nairobi’s industrial activity, it also serves as an important water catchment area and has a great relaxation and creation value for Nairobi city dwellers, the forest reserves more tourists to the forest for example the in 2014 the forest received 200,000 visitors. Karura forest is visited by 16,000 people per month.