A collection of views, news, opinions, lessons and observations about Kenyan Forests. You will find the latest on world forestry and its impacts on Kenya here. You are welcome to be part of the discussions. Please drop your comments and suggestions.
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Nairobi’s newest urban forest opens to visitors
25th February 2011
Karura Forest officially opens tomorrow (26 February), allowing access to nature trails and picnic sites in the suburbs of Kenya’s capital, Will Gray reports
Attractions in Karura include waterfalls, bamboo forest and caves once used as Mau Mau hideouts during Kenya’s struggle for Independence.
At 1063ha, Karura will be the largest of Nairobi’s three suburban forests (the others being Ngong and Ololua). The forest is home to Syke’s monkey and other secretive forest species such as bushbuck, dik dik, duiker, bush pig, genet and civet.
A partnership between the Kenya Forest Service and Kenya Tourist Board, Karura will be a leafy addition to Nairobi’s well-established wildlife tourism circuit, which includes Nairobi National Park, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and Langata Giraffe Centre.
With 2011 declared International Year of Forests, Karura’s opening couldn’t be better timed. According to Kenya Wildlife Service director Julius Kipng’etich: “The prospects for Kenya’s forests are promising. The newly passed constitution and the economic development blueprint, Vision 2030, have clear provisions on the restoration of degraded forests and the protection of existing ones.”
The future of Karura was not always guaranteed however. Threatened by housing development and Kenya’s notorious ‘land grabbings’ in the 1990s, the forest was saved during a high-profile campaign led by Wangari Maathai who, in 2004, became the first African womanto receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
Karura Forest is located in the northern suburbs of Nairobi, bordering Runda, Gigiri and Muthaiga. For further information, visit www.magicalkenya.com