Gatamaiyu Forest Birding
Gatamaiyu Forest is part of the larger Kikuyu Escarpment Forest which covers an area of 37,620 hectares, other forest blocks that forms Kikuyu Forest includes ; Kereita, Uplands, Kinale, Kamae, Kieni, Raggia and Kijabe.
Gatamaiyu Forest covers an area of 4,720 ha, of which 75 % is indigenous forest, 8 % is exotic forest,the rest being bamboo, scrublands and some herbaceous croplands.Gatamaiyu Forest is one of the Important Bird Area(IBA) in Kenya,with about 138 species of birds recorded in and around the forest, of which 31 are forest specialists and 20 are considered rare. At least 39 of Kenya’s 67 Afro tropical highlands biome species occurs here.
Gatamaiyu forest is home to the globally threatened Abbott’s Starling, the smallest of the starlings with a shrinking home in a few evergreen forests in Kenya and Tanzania.
Other restricted range species like Jackson francolin and Hunter’s Cisticola also occur, as well as a significant number of regionally-threatened species including African green Ibis, Ayres hawk eagle, Rufous breasted Sparrowhawk, African Crowned Eagle, and Red-chested Owlet.
African elephants are occasionally encountered at Gatamaiyu Forest where they normally come for mineral salt lick ,wandering from the main Aberdares National Park .
Other mammals found here includes Black and White Colobus Monkey, Sykes’s Monkeys, Giant forest Hogs, small antelopes like duikers, bush-babies, porcupines, and carnivores like mongoose and civets.
Gatamaiyu forest plays an important role as catchment area for the many rivers and springs. Most of the rivers and streams such as: Gatamaiyu, Bathi, Kiruiru and Nyanduma start from the forests, typically flowing south-easterly before joining up to form part of Athi
River left bank tributaries (Nairobi River).
Its well-preserved beauty and close proximity to Nairobi; more or less than one hour drive, makes it a true paradise an ideal destination for urban birding and day hike, the nature trails are well maintained and suitable for walking to any age group
Gatamaiyu forest also offers a fantastic location for fishing enthuasists or fly fishers. Gatamaiyu River is well stashed with the fine-looking rainbow trout, a popular game fish for fly fishers. The river has good pools, rapids and fantastic waterfalls that provide a tranquil to fish in peace and quiet.
There is 8 kilometres stretch of river well stocked with the rainbow trout. Enough for everyone to make a catch.
The rainbow trout love unperturbed atmosphere…let your mind waft as you bustle out that engaging tune, the trout will approach you. You must have a license to be allowed to do fishing from the Fishery deparment