Karura Forest Birding


Karura Forest is an urban forest in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.
The forest was gazetted in 1932 and is managed by the Kenya Forest Service in conjunction with the Friends of Karura Forest.
Karura Forest is located north of central Nairobi and is bordered by the suburbs of Muthaiga, Gigiri, Runda, Ridgeway’s, Peponi and New Muthaiga.
The western part of the forest is also known as Sigiria Forest

Karura Forest has an area of 1 063.0 hectares, making it the largest of the three main gazetted forest in Nairobi

Karura Forest

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

Karura Forest

Bird species in Karura forest  includes;

Singing Cisticola

African Goshawk 

African Crowned Eagle 

Augur Buzzard

Grey Cuckoo 

Brown chested Alethe

Narina Trogon

Long Crested Eagle

White backed Duck

Malachite Kingfisher

Hartlaub’s Turaco

White headed Barbet

Slender billed Greenbul

African Black Duck

African Emerald Cuckoo

Yellow -rumped Tinkerbird

Paradise Flycatcher

Grey crowned Cranes (a breeding pair)Karura Forest

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

Karura Forest birding(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



Tree planting

Dog walking on a leash



Team building

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.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ring us on +254 735 204 519/0726 171 043 – or email; info@conquestadventures.co.ke/ conquestadventuresltd@gmail.com   we will be thrilled to help you