Karura Forest

Karura Forest is located in Nairobi, north of Nairobi City. It is an urban forest under the management of Kenya Forest Service together with the Friends of Karura Community Forest Association.

The forest covers an area of 1,041 hectares, one of the largest gazetted forests in the world and the three of the three main gazetted forests in Nairobi. The other two are Ngong Forest and Oloolua Forest. It is divided into three parts by Limuru and Kiambu Roads. The division to the east of Kiambu Road is allocated to important national priorities.

The forest has a wide variety of wildlife and over 200 species of birds.

It features a waterfall, rivers, Lily Lake, archaeological sites, serene groves of indigenous trees, picnic sites, walking trails, wetlands, Mau Mau Caves, marshland, and bamboo forest.

Karura Forest has been threatened by development projects and land grabbing overtime. This has led to a group of environmental conservationist such as the late Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Wangari Maathai to lead publicized campaigns for saving the forest.

It is a major tourist attraction site now, attracting both local and international visitors with more than 16,000 entries a month. This has led to the creation of 50 km of nature trails for biking, walking, and running and has been well ranked (at one point, position 4) by Trip Advisor as one of the ‘101 Things do in Nairobi’.

Karura Forest Animals/Wildlife

Wildlife in this forest include; Duiker, Genet cat, Bush pig, Bushbuck, Civet, Bushbaby, Syke’s monkey, Porcupine, Ground squirrel, Hare, Bat, and many others.

Reptiles include; the Green snake, Monitor lizard and Python.

Over 100 species of birds are on record here which include; the Eagle, Hornbill, Turaco, Weaver, Dove, Sparrow, Owl, Crane, Trogon and Vultures.

Several species of butterflies are also available in this habitat.

Karura Forest Vegetation/Flora

The vast lands of Karura Forest are covered by plantations of exotic plants species, indigenous trees, and shrubs.

Things to do in Karura Forest

You can indulge in a number of activities here which include:

  • Forest drives
  • Forest walks
  • Cycling
  • Bird watching
  • Butterfly watching
  • Picnics
  • Running

Tourist Attraction Sites near Karura Forest

Karura Forest Weather & Climate

The annual average rainfall is 930 mm. Short rains begin October to December with the peak in November. The long rains begin from March to May with the Peak in April and May.

July and August are usually cloudy and cool. Other months (January, February, June, and September) are usually sunny and dry. The annual average temperature is about 19°C.

When to Visit Karura Forest

You can visit the forest all year round avoiding the months when rainfall is at the peak to ensure trails are dependable.

What to Carry and Wear

In your bag(s), you should have drinking water, camera, binoculars, and guide books. Wear proper walking shoes or trainers.

How to get to Karura Forest

Karura Forest is 6 km from Nairobi CBD. You can use a private car, a taxi or public transport by matatus (buses) routes 11B, 106, 107, 108, 114 or 116 from Nairobi City Centre will get you to the main entrance on Limuru Road. To get in through the KFS main gate on Kiambu Road, use matatus routes 100 and 120.

Visiting hours are between 6:00 am and 5:00 pm.

Karura Forest Entrance Fee/Charges

The charges per day to access the forest are as follows

Kenya & EAC Citizens (KES): Adult 200, Child 50, and Student 20
Kenya Residents (KES): Adult 400, Child 100, and Student 50
Non-resident (KES): Adult 600, Child 150, and Student 150

Karura Forest Contacts

For any inquiries or questions, please contact the Forester-in-charge through

Mobile: +254 (0) 727 818 960
Email: zmnne@kenyaforestservice.org /ecotourism@kenyaforestservice.org /info@kenyaforestservice.org

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