If you need a break from the hectic, chaotic & crowded Nairobi life, then Karura forest is the place to go. Located within close proximity from the CBD, it can be accessed from either Kiambu road or Limuru road. (Check maps) One gets totally lost in nature; I couldn’t believe that such tranquility & splendour could exist within Nairobi.
My first time visiting Karura Forest was with the Trek members. I’ve always wanted to visit this green space in the city, but I had been postponing because I’m that lazy. Trek is in harmony with my goal this year: exploring Mother Nature and keeping fit. We met at around 8:00 am; did some stretching, and started our trek into the deeper parts of the forest. It was a sunny day, – JANUARY 20th, 2018 to be precise, and the forest was packed with other nature lovers with their furry friends; so it was a beautiful scene altogether. We first headed for the waterfall, that was my highlight for that day, lovely sight to behold. Or I guess I have a thing for waterfalls. (That might explain why I spend more time in the shower). We then proceeded to the caves. All along, we were taking hundreds of pictures (However, taking pictures there can be a bit tricky especially when there are lots of people) – you know, no crazy poses. We were also performing mini exercises like jogging uphill and short sprints. There were interesting trails and thickets that we toured, and they were not disappointing. I remember we were trying to trace the butterfly lake. It was a dry season, so the wetlands had dried up. We spent a whole hour looking for the lake, but none of us was sure about the directions. This made the trek even more fun and by the time we discovered we were getting lost more, it was already midday. We had lunch and from our morning experience we decided to come back to relax and play some footy; then we called it a day.
What to carry
A few things I would suggest you carry would be comfortable walking shoes or trainers. It can get muddy during the rainy season. Also have drinking water and binoculars if you are interested in bird or butterfly watching. Lastly, a camera. The view there is to die for so a camera is an essential item. You can also carry your bicycle or hire one at the entrance if you are interested in cycling.
So if you are looking for a quiet getaway, or to have a picnic or bonding session with your family/friends; or space for outdoor running, cycling or walking, then Karura forest is the perfect place.
Quick things to highlight in Karura
- Mau Mau caves
- Scenic waterfalls & rivers
- Marked walking trails
- Picnic sites
- Small wetlands
One can thus engage in:
- Forest walks or drives
- Bird watching
- Butterfly watching