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 16 Important Activities to Experience in Karura Forest Reserve

16 Important Activities to Experience in Karura Forest Reserve.

Encompassing 1,063 hectares in the northern part of Nairobi city, Karura Forest Reserve boasts the most extensive natural preserve in Kenya’s capital.

Nairobi has a beautiful landscape that combines lots of activities for people of diverse interests. You can enjoy mountain climbing, cycling, and much more.

Every day in the Karura Forest Reserve offers something fresh for visitors to see and try. Here are just a few of the many incredible things you can experience;

1. 2 – 4 Hours Walking Safaris

With over 50km of easy-to-complete trekking trails, walking safaris at Karura Forest Reserve make great sense while spotting more than 605 wildlife species.

The main objective of trekking on the Karura hiking trails is to stay within the chosen track.

The 2 to 4 hours walk on Muram graveled footpaths start at Limuru road gate, while the adventurers cover their desired distance and then send the trek at Limuru road gate.

How to go on trekking in the Karura forest

First, trekkers begin at the gate on Limuru road and follow the marked path.

Avoid wandering by memorizing the map and milestone locations.

Trekking Destinations 

The Karura forest in Kenya has popular destinations where trekkers can rest: waterfalls, caves, and beehives.

Items to take along on walking safari

Since the trails in Karura forest are a bit hillier, walking with comfortable shoes and water is advisable.

2. Cycling or Biking Trails

Karura Forest Reserve offers a 12-kilometer bike trail in the northern section of the forest.

The cycling trails heal the soul and provide an eco-friendly, unique environment with an unforgettable experience.

Natural trees and the diversity of uphill and downhill trails in the forest make athletes indulge in bike riding at the park.  

Bike hire at Karura forest 

Tourists can find Bike hire information in Karura Forest at KFEET on ICRAF Road and Sharks on Kiambu Road.

The KFEET is reachable through Limuru Road (Gate A) or Gate D (off ICRAF road), while Sharks is a rental point in Gate C off Kiambu road.

Charges for cycling in Karura forest 

The riding charge in Karura forest is KSh500 per two hours, and cyclists must use the designated path for bike riding.  

Standard biking etiquette in Karura

Since it’s difficult for cyclists to hear the ding of a bike bell, bikers often say track right/left or come through for an alert.

They often use the shouting of bikers to indicate if they are coming up on a jogger or if they want to overtake that person on the right or left.

3. Bird Watching  

Karura Forest Reserve offers a prime view of the crowds of colorful and breathtaking forest birds during the two-hour walking tour.  

Bird watching is one of the best experiences on Karura Forest Reserve, where nature is abundant.

Notably, birders should visit the forest with binoculars during the morning bird-watching session at 7 am and the afternoon at 2:00 pm.

Bird Species in Karura Forest Reserve

Though they are over 200 bird species in the forest, the species on sight include the grey cuckoo, singing cisticola, augur buzzard, African goshawk, Narina trogon, etc.

4. Dog Walking Tour

Dog walking is another appealing activity in the Karura forest with vaccinated and registered dogs.

The dogs entering the forest are issued a dog tag card, leashed steadily, and must stay off areas marked “dogs off-leash.”

Nowadays, forests are a resource that benefits the community economically. A popular location for walking is Karura forest, using the meander paths.

Dog Guidelines at Karura Forest 

Every dog in Karura Forest Reserve wears a bandana color code that indicates how visitors should treat them.

You’d need to know the color codes to avoid entering areas with prohibited entry at Karura forest reserve. Different colors signify the following:

  • Red color: Indicates that the dog is reactive; therefore, visitors should keep a reasonable distance.
  • Green: Tells visitors that it’s a friendly dog.
  • Blue: Signifies a friendly dog, but the owner wants no greetings.
  • Purple: Shows that the is fearful or timid, so visitors should keep a distance. 

Things to know before entering the forest with a dog 

  • All dogs must have current vaccinations
  • All dogs must be on-leash in the car parks.
  • All dogs must be on straps except in areas marked off-leash. 
  • Dogs must be under control when owners meet visitors.
  • When meeting visitors uncomfortable with dogs, try and leash the dog.
  • Always keep the dogs on the designative tracks.
  • Always use a twig to remove the poo of your dog.

5. Fitness Courses

Are you interested in playing football or soccer? Or you want to take your kids for a walk. You’ll have plenty of options with the Kura Forest sports grounds that have just been available.

With your ball anywhere on the Fitness Course, you can use it for whatever sports you want.

The forest reserve guarantees a fully populated match within a few minutes of bringing out the ball.

Cost of the sports ground

With its convenient facilities, the sports ground costs adults 200 Ksh and children below 14 years 100 Ksh per hour.

6. Guided Training 

The guided tours are another activity in the park that helps people experience better interpretations of the resources like history, land formations, etc.

Based on visitors’ popular demand, the guided tour gives an in-depth analysis of the Karuma forest features in a pleasing pattern.

Aspects the guided tour can engage visitors on

Forest-trained guides can help you get a deep walk through the park and explore its biodiversity. They are great for bird watching, history, flora study, culture, etc. They’ll engage and make the tour of your choice more fun.

7. Jogging

Jogging in Karura forest is one of the activities in the reserve offer with its ample space and sports pavilion site.

Jogging through the forest for some hours removes the city buzz with the reserve’s walkways and fresh air.

Things joggers are bound to experience when jogging.

Karura forest is a place for an idyllic morning jog. A place where runners can run through the treetops, streams, waterfalls, and fields of local flora.

8. Tree-Planting

Tree planting in the Karura forest is another activity in the forest reserve that indirectly contributes to the environment over time.

There are many benefits to adding trees to garden space, but one of the most important is that it will connect you with nature.

The activity of tree planting is an important service that benefits the environment. It’s a great way to help our planet, especially if you’re doing it for social or personal reasons.

How to plant trees in the Karura forest 

Use locally sourced seeds of different native species.

Prepare the land by removing invasive species.

Plant seedlings in the rainy season

Pull out developing invasive weeds.

Trim and water seedlings

9. Viewing the Lovely Land Presentation

Just sitting quietly and experiencing the serenity of nature in all forms is another activity in Karura forest that grabs visitors’ attention.

Individuals can sit in the forest reserve’s calm, quiet, serene, and peaceful environment and have perfect meditation sessions.

Visitors sitting and capturing the forest’s serenity will feel like sitting there all day. 

10. Horse-Riding

Horse riding is one of the activities visitors behold in the Karura forest reserve available at nearby stables.

The Karura forest is a place for recreational horse owners to bring their horses and enjoy nature without competing with one another.

Cost of horse riding in Karura forest 

The price for non-exclusive horseback riding in Karura forest is 800 Ksh for adults and 400 Ksh for children.

11. Photo Shooting

Another great activity to enjoy at Karura Forest Reserve is photo shooting, with the spot providing stunning views.

Photos captured in the forest reserve are usually creative, unique, communicate, and serve as a piece for future reference.

Visitors to Karura Forest are often surprised by the beauty of the forest and how the sounds and smells entice them. It provides an experience that’s easy for both photographers and viewers.

Reason people photo-shoot in the forest

The forest has eye-catching backgrounds.

It offers a variety of locations.

It has unlimited space.

Photo shooting in the forest reserve is safe.

12. Tennis Game

Another activity in the peaceful urban forest is a tennis game from 7 am to 5:00 pm every day.

In Karura Forest Reserve, visitors are allowed to use the tennis court. The KFEET Center has a tennis court that’s open to the public so people can enjoy it and use it.

Tennis Guidelines

 If you would love to play tennis at Karura Forest Reserve, note the following;

  • Only single games are allowed.
  • Bookings should be made on the penultimate day to avoid inconveniences.
  • Visitors should wear proper tennis shoes on courts two and three.
  • Charges for the use of the court are per hour.
  • Apart from the one-hour game, extra time on the court attracts additional fees.

Cost of the tennis game

The tennis court charges adults 200 KES per hour, while children below 14 pay 100 KES per hour.  

13. Forest Drives

Forest drives in the Karura forest are activities visitors can engage in while enjoying the unspoiled nature.

Karura is the forest reserve for diverse local birds and animals and includes breathtaking scenery, caves, wild rivers, and waterfalls. This park lets visitors get off their busy schedules and enjoy the fresh air and view.

14. Obstacle Course

Another activity visitors experience in the Karura forest reserve is an obstacle course near the KFEET Center.

The obstacle course with a brilliant atmosphere includes tree climbing, army crawl facilities, and monkey bars.  

Importance of obstacle course to visitors

By getting yourself battle-ready, physically or mentally, with the obstacle course, also called the rope course, you can conquer any obstacle and tackle your next objective.

15. Filming

Movie/film shooting is one of the visitors’ numerous activities at Karura Forest Reserve.

Though the Karura forest reserve is an excellent spot for filming sessions, the filming right is Kshs 40,000 per day.

16. Team Building 

Team building is one, if not the main activity that takes many visitors and vacationers to the Karura Forest Reserve.

A fraction of the forest reserve is an appropriate place to hold a charity fundraiser or promotional event.

Events in the Karura forest

· Educational tours 

· Concerts 

· Weddings

· Exhibitions

· Sport & fitness

Access Points to Karura Forest Reserve

  • Gate A – The central access point, situated off Limuru Road, is adjacent to the Belgian Embassy.
  • Gate B is a service gate limited to the forest’s official use.
  • Gate C is also known as the Shark’s Gate. One can also utilize it for the public to access Kiambu Road.
  • Gate D: A pedestrian entrance at the end of the ICRAF access lane.
  • Gate E is also off Limuru road and is a pedestrian entrance.
  • Gate F is the key entrance to the Sigiria picnic site. It is at the end of Thigiri Lane off Thigiri Ridge Road.

Tourist spots 

Several tourist spots in the Karura Forest Reserve draw adventurers from far and wide all year round. Among them includes;

  • 15-meter Waterfall
  • Sacred Caves
  • Bamboo Plantations
  • Archaeological sites whose artifacts are currently under study
  • A Stone quarry pond deserted ages ago is now termed Lily Lake.
  • An old chimney incinerator formerly owned by Kenya Central Bank
  • Marshlands that attract birds migrating from Asia and Europe
  • Originally existing and planted indigenous trees.

Precautions 

If you now have plan to visit Karura Forest Reserve, located in northern Nairobi city, Kenya, pay good attention to the precautions below;

• Wait for the wildlife to move off the tracks before passing.

• Don’t feed wild animals.

• Don’t start fires in the Karura forest

• Do not take away animals or animal products

• Don’t mark or deface stones, tree stems, and other features.

• Avoid noise that causes a nuisance to other visitors and wildlife.

• Take away with you all the litter that you brought.

• Observe designated paths and tracks when walking.

Essential Things to Take along While Visiting Karura Forest Reserve

The visitor to Karura Forest Reserve should take the following while going to this forest reserve to explore any of the activities listed above;

  • Drinking water
  • A pair of binoculars
  • A camera
  • Guidebooks, and 
  • Proper walking shoes.

Conclusion

Sur­round­ed by large spruce trees, Karura Forest Reserve is a picturesque nature reserve stretching 3.2 miles north of Nairobi, offering adventurers a perfect destination for various activities.

Karura Forest Reserve trails help to reduce the risk of loss. We have provided this list of activities to explore and, of course, some guidelines.

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