Visiting Karura Forest: All You Need to Know
Updated on 14th December 2023
Living in an urban jungle can take its toll on a person. The noise, fumes, and hustle and bustle of any city can tire you. Recharging becomes necessary because our minds and bodies can only take so much. We are human. For me, the best way to recharge is to reconnect with nature. Scenic views, fresh air, and quiet soothe me. Just a few minutes away from the Nairobi CBD, is 1 063.0 ha of gazetted forest land. Karura Forest is an urban forest and the largest in Nairobi. It is the best place to re-energize.
Here is everything you need to know about visiting Karura Forest.
You can walk, jog, walk your dog, ride bikes, plant trees, and play tennis. The forest is also a hub for bird watching. Karura Forest is perfect when you need to take some time out for a walk or exercise or go on a picnic date.
There are caves in the forest but sadly they are not open to the public. The forest houses a man-made lake and a gorgeous waterfall, which was the highlight of my walk.
Getting to Karura
Karura Forest can be accessed from several gates, the most popular being Limuru Road Gate D or the Kiambu Road Gate C(opposite Sharks Palace). If using public transport, take Matatus going to Limuru road- either Numbers 11B, 106, 107, or 116 and alight at the Belgian embassy or take Matatus to Kiambu- either number 100, 120, 121, or 116. If going to the River Cafe, use the Limuru Road entrance.
Opening hours are from 6 am to 7 pm.
You can get maps from the main gates at Kshs 200 or have a guide accompanying you at Kshs 300 for two hours. I did neither and did not get lost as the trails are well marked.
The best time to visit is on weekdays because, on holidays and weekends, Karura is packed. I went on a Saturday and there were quite several people. I had to wait for quite some time to take pictures at the waterfall.
It is pretty affordable too.
Karura Forest Charges:
Car (5 door) – Kshs 200, Minivan (14 seaters)- Kshs 400, Minibus(15-31 seater) – Kshs 600, Bus (>32 seaters) – Kshs 1000
Adults- Kshs 150 and Children under 12- Kshs 100
Kshs 500 for two hours
I enjoyed my walk. In such serene environs, time just slows down and the fresh air instantly calms you.
Reconnect. Reenergize. Rejuvenate.
2021 Update: Visiting Karura Forest during the COVID-19 Update
Karura Forest is still open for visits. Operating hours are between 6:00 am and gates are closed at 17:00 pm. Charges remain the same.
Have you been to Karura forest before? Are you planning to go? Where is your favourite escape spot? Let me know in the comment section below! Here is a short video of the place.
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and as always,