Karura Forest is enchanting even during the dry season when its lake is a shallow green swamp and its butterfly pond looks like a large whole dug in the middle of a forest. As one of the largest forests in Nairobi, this forest is like the last cookie in the jar. Everyone wants a piece, or crumbs, of the over 1000 ha conservation area. Luckily, the late Wangari Maathai dealt with the lot of land grabbers who eyed this scenic forest.
Therefore, now, only cyclists, trekkers, joggers and conservationists have the legal right to explore the exotic forest, Karura caves & waterfalls. Event planners are welcome too, for both formal and informal events and celebrations in a lush secluded venue within the forest.
As you leave the Limuru Road Gate behind, chirps, the wind and the tranquility of the forest swallows the sound of vehicles zipping past the diplomatic neighbourhood. The only sign that you are still within Kenya’s capital city is the electric poles that punctuate the forest as they cross the dirt road, into the K.F.E.E.T Centre.
Things to do in Karura Forest
- Explore Karura caves & waterfalls
The waterfall and caves are along Karura River. During the dry season, the waterfall dwindles to a dribble down the rocks.
The biking trail is on the northern side of the forest. Use Gate A, D or C to reach the biking trail.
- Nature Walk
Karura’s nature trails traverse the exotic forest down to a waterfall and bat-nesting caves. You could do a 5, 10 or 15 km walk. In addition to the breathtaking serenity of the forest, watch out for little animals like monkeys, duikers and mongooses. You could walk your dog too, though you have to keep a leash on in some sections of the forest.
Karura is the perfect, affordable venue for an outdoor workout just a few minutes from the city centre. The 5 – 15 km nature trails have the obstacles you need. The trail runs down a waterfall and up a steep set of stairs.
- A picnic on a sunny day
You don’t need much for a fun picnic in Karura. Carry snacks, a picnic blanket and a book perhaps if you are having a picnic alone. However, with family and friends, all you need is food and drinks for a merry afternoon in the forest. You could use the picnic tables in designated areas.
- Playing tennis
The tennis courts are situated at the K.F.E.E.T Centre within the forest.
How to Get There
This scenic forest has several access gates. Pedestrians use:
Gate A (Limuru Road) – matatus number 11B, 106, 107, 114…
Gate C (Sharks Gate on Kiambu Road) – matatu number 100…
Karura Forest Entrance Fee
Tennis – KSh 200 per hour adults, KSh 100 child
Bike hire – KSh 500 for two hours
Entrance fee – Citizens: KSh 100 adult, KSh 40 child
Residents: KSh 200 adult, KSh 100 child
Non-residents: KSh 600 adult, KSh 300 child
So, when will you explore this city forest?