Karura Forest Birding
Karura Forest has an area of 1 063.0 hectares, making it the largest of the three main gazetted forest in Nairobi
The others are Ngong Forest and Oloolua Forest
The centrally located Nairobi Arboretum is much smaller
The forest has well marked and maintained nature trails
Five tributaries of Nairobi River pass through Karura Forest:
Ruaka River which separates Karura River and the Runda Residential area;
Karura River with traverses through the forest
Getathuru River which borders the Forest along its Southern edge with Muthaiga Residential area;
Thigiri River (a tributary of Getathuru River) which traversed through the western section of Karura Forest; and Mathare River which is part of the Southern boundary of the Sigiria block.
Mammals in Karura Forest
Wildlife in Karura forest include Monkey species (including recently re-introduced black and white Colobus Monkeys), bush baby, bushbuck, bush pig, porcupine, duikers, genet, Suni
Recently in one of the many camera traps installed in Karura forest,a little interesting carnivore was captured- the African Palm Civet a long ,low slung arboreal carnivore with a muscular,ringed tail longer than body, strictly active at night
Birds Karura Forest
More than 200 bird species have been recorded in Karura forest, it's quiet ,the tranquility, permitting encounters of amazing forest birds in rapid sequence
In a walk of two hour in the forest you can manage to record and see colourful and interesting birds numbering close to a hundred
Bird species in Karura forest includes;
African Crowned Eagle
Brown chested Alethe
Long Crested Eagle
White backed Duck
White headed Barbet
Slender billed Greenbul
African Black Duck
African Emerald Cuckoo
Yellow -rumped Tinkerbird
Grey crowned Cranes (a breeding pair)
Spot- flank Barbet
Recently a Red –chested Flufftail a secretive bird in bogs, swamps and marshes, has been heard at the swamp next to KFEET.
The sightings of birds that used to be seen 10 years ago has been attributed to the planting of indigenous trees in patches that had exotic species,
Attractions in Karura forest:
a 15-metre waterfall,
50 km of nature trails for walking, running and biking
archaeological sites (recently excavated, artifacts being analyzed),
an old chimney incinerator – used by the Central Bank for the burning of decommissioned currency up until the mid-1990′s,
an abandoned stone quarry pond, now called Lily Lake, which host some interesting water bird species,the best place to see the rare White-backed Duck
caves which are considered to be sacred by many and steeped in Kenyan history (they were formerly used by the Mau-Mau freedom fighters as hideouts during the struggle for Independence),
patches of bamboo,
marshlands that attract bird life including winter migrants from Europe and Asia,
serene groves of secondary and primary indigenous trees.
Karura forest is also where Professor Wangari Maathai(late leader of the Green Belt Movement and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate) carried out a much publicized campaign for saving the forest from developers who had tried to grab large portions of the north of the central section of the forest.
The forest became a symbol of the fight against land grabbing in Kenya.
Recently a huge Southern Rock Python has been seen in one of the Nature trails
Other Activities in Karura Forest
Dog walking on a leash
Sport and fitness
Tennis at the KFEET
Please take a look at our website to find more itineraries that you may be interested in.
We have a range of tours which change to suit the seasons, and each offers the best available birdwatching wildlife watching in East Africa.