If you’ve been home for a while, you’re probably tired of staring at the same four walls. A change of scenery will do you good once in a while. What’s better than planning a day visit to Karura forest?
Covering a distance of 1,041 hectares and divided into three parts, Karura forest is one of Kenya’s largest urban forests in Nairobi. The forest is blessed with caves, a waterfall and massive grounds to walk, jog, cycle and chill with family and friends. The forest has a great history thanks to the late Prof. Wangari Mathai who inspired and initiated most of the work to plant the trees you’ll find at Karura forest. In addition, Karura Forest was gazetted in the year 1932 under the management of Kenya Forest Service in conjunction with the Friends of Karura Forest who are both protecting the green space for future generations.
What to know about Karura forest before going there
The main Karura forest gate is Gate A and is on Limuru Road. You can also access it through Gate C on Kiambu Road and Gate F on Thigiri Lane.
As part of respecting the curfew set in Nairobi, Karura forest now opens at 7:00 am and closes at 4:30 pm, with the last ticket sold at 3:00 pm. In addition, visitors have been encouraged to observe the 1.5 meters social distancing rule at all times.
Entrance for Kenyan Citizens is 100/= per adult and 50/= per child.
Entrance fee for residents (non-citizen persons living in Kenya only-prove is required) 200/= per adult and 100/= per child.
Non-residents 600/= per adult and 300/= per child.
All payments must be made via M-PESA and cash will not be accepted.
The bike hiring depots at Karura forest have been temporarily closed, so carry your own if you want to do some riding.
Be sure to open your car doors and boot yourself at security checkpoints to allow forest staff to inspect your vehicles.
Parking fee is paid at the gate, it ranges between 100/= to 500/=.
What to carry when going to Karura forest
If going biking, make sure you carry your own bike
A face towel if you’re going to jog
Courtesy: Friends of Karura
Activities you can do now
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the only activities that have been authorized at Karura forest for now are:
Personal bike riding
Attraction sites at the Karura forest
Scenic waterfalls and rivers
Mau Mau Caves
Marked walking trail
Small wetlands that are habitats for birds
The incinerator formerly used by Central Bank of Kenya to burn old currency notes
The area around which the late Professor Wangari Maathai carried out a campaign against illegal acquisition of forest land.