Gatamaiyu Forest Birding


Gatamaiyu Forest BirdingGatamaiyu 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 bird species in Gatamaiyu  Forest;

  • Jackson Francolin
  • Hunter’s Cisticola 

as well as a significant number of regionally-threatened species including

  • African Green Ibis
  • Ayres Hawk Eagle
  • Rufous Breasted  Sparrowhawk
  • African Crowned Eagle
  • 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 .

 Mammals found in Gatamaiyu Forest includes; 

  • Black & White Colobus Monkey
  • Sykes’s Monkeys
  • Giant forest Hogs
  • Common Duikers
  • Bush-babies
  • Porcupines   
  • Mongoose
  • 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

Gatamaiyu Forest birding 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

  • Getting there

Gatamaiyu forest is 55 kilometres from Nairobi.

Take the upper Nairobi- Naivasha road, 

Turn left before Kimende town, at the new Total Filling Station– the forest is 8 km from there.

Birding  starts at the fishing lodge where you can camp.

They  charge an entry fee  to access the forest