Contact & Comment

Contacts: Friends of Karura Forest Community Forest Association

We would encourage you to become more than just a visitor to Karura. Please help to protect the forest by becoming a ‘Friend’.

Membership & Administrative Enquiries

Enid Nyambundi: +254 739 262092 or +254 722 853472

Admin Matters:

Events & General Enquiries

Enid Nyambundi:  +254 739 262092 or +254 722 853472

John Chege, Chief Scout: +254 (0) 724 215 423

Peter Njui, Security & Infrastructure: +254 722 846264

FKF e-mails

General Enquiries:    

Comments & suggestions:

More Useful Numbers

Kenya Forest Service
Inspector Ezra ………….……… 0724 145314
Sgt. Kimani …….…..…….……. 0721 409662
John Orwa, Chief Forester …… 0727 818963  

Friends of Karura Forest
John Chege, Chief Scout ………………… 0724 215423
Peter Njui, G4S ……………………………. 0722 846264
Karanja Njoroge, Chair ………………..…. 0729 030301
Cristina Boelcke-Croze, Vice-Chair …… 0702 633613

Please make a note of these numbers and carry your mobile with you. Keep to the marked trails and exercise caution particularly when they are wet and slippery. Note that mobile reception is virtually non-existent along the Karura River between the Mau-Mau Caves and  the Waterfall.  Buy a map to know where you are in the forest. 


The New Revised Karura Forest Map is now out, showing all tracks, junctions and main forest features. Only 500/=, at main gates, K.F.E.E.T. Centre or administrative office at Triad House, 83 Muthaiga Road, Old Muthaiga.

An illustrated list of main bird species is available F.O.C.

Opening hours: 06:00 AM to 18:00 PM


Friends of Karura Forest
Community Forest Association
PO Box 63402-00619
83 Triad House
Limuru Road
Muthaiga, Nairobi
General Enquiries: +254 (0) 722 891 654


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  1. Lesley Stern

    I joined as a friends of the Karura Forest last August and at the same time purchased an annual pass. I recieved 1 email when I first joined and recieved nothing since. As my membership and pass are up for renewal soon, I must say I would consider only purchasing the annual pass and not bothering to renew my membership as there is nothing to be gained from being a member. I have not even has anything to encourage me to rejoin. I am sure I can not be the only person to whom this has happened.
    Your comments would be appreciated.

    1. Admin

      We’re very sorry that you haven’t had our monthly newsletter since you joined, We’ve just checked with our (volunteer) admin, and it seems that your email was transliterated incorrectly off your application form (your ‘@’ came out as ‘e’ — clearly an error!) Anyway, we have corrected your contact, so with the newsletter and updates on the website, we hope you will have access to all the info you need. FKF is comprised of a minuscule staff of young Kenyan professionals plus a number of professional volunteers, and we are trying our best to keep up to speed. As your membership fees go in their entirety to support the forest, we do hope you’ll continue to participate and enjoy the forest with friends and family. Thanks for your support!

      1. Steve

        How can you get away with charging residents double the price that Kenyans would be charged and better still holiday makers (non residents are charged 6 times more)? This is blatant discrimination and not the way to encourage visitors… In the UK all parks and museums are
        free to all and even if there was a charge it would be the same price for adults regardless of where they hail from.

        1. Admin

          Good question. Unfortunately, the current efforts to secure and organise Karura receive no financial support from the government, apart, of course, from the day-to-day presence of the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) ranger corps, the Chief Forester and his deputy. All of the improvements you enjoy today — the security fence, the FKF Scouts, parking space at the gates, infrastructure at the caves and falls, signage, etc. etc. — are there because of the efforts of the FKF Community Forest Association and Corporate Social Responsibility donations from local businesses and individuals. Free access, at least for the foreseeable future, is not an option: the recurrent costs of keeping Karura safe and secure have to be met somehow. As to the disparity in entrance fees: arising from joint management discussions with KFS, we are obliged to follow a fee scaling similar to the other natural resource parastatal, the Kenya Wildlife Service.

  2. Nina

    I visited my family in Nairobi over Christmas and had the most wonderful afternoon in Karura Forest. I want to compliment you on your efforts to restore and maintain the forest and I think you are doing a wonderful job, as it is so important to preserve these wonderful natural habitats. I have one question — as we were walking around there were many seed heads like white cotton wool that were falling on the ground from a shrub or tree, and my daughter-in-law told me that this ‘cotton wool’ is everywhere in great abundance. I think it came from a shrub, and I picked some up off the ground and have brought it back with me to England and would like to grow it, but I cannot find its name (Latin or common). I have looked up all of the shrubs and trees that you list on your website, but none of them produce seed heads like this. Can you give me its name?

    1. Admin

      Thanks for your comments and pleased you enjoyed your visit to Karura. We’re pretty sure that you were seeing the ‘packing’ from the seed pods of Bombax ceiba, the ‘kapok’ or ‘silk cotton tree’. It’s an exotic member of the Malvaceae family that originates in various forms from India to Indonesia. Other members of the genus are found in South America, called ‘palo boracho’ (drunken branch). Many gardens surrounding the Karura have Bombaxes, and the season just past when the cottony fluff from the pods floats around the neighbourhoods, sometimes so thick that it can clog swimming pool pumps. The trunk and branches are protected with formidable thick thorns; the wood is soft and quite useless. It has large pink and white flowers, which accounts for its popularity as an ornamental. We think it would have a rough time growing in the UK outside of a tropical house.

      1. Nina

        Thanks you so much for the information, and I’ve had loads of fun looking this plant up. I might try and grow it as a greenhouse specimen — and even try to Bonsai it, as I know that I don’t have room for it to get very big. It will be a little bit of Kenya growing in England (although well protected from the frosts) if I’m successful. I look forward to my next visit to Kenya and visiting Karura Forest again in future and thanks again for such a quick and informative reply.

        1. Admin

          Hi, Nina, just to be clear… Bombax is not indigenous to the Karura: it’s an exotic ornamental. So you’ll really be having a little bit of the Indian subcontinent growing in the UK. Maybe on your next visit you can slip a few Croton or Vepris fruits into you pocket. Best.

          1. Nina

            Thanks for the extra information! Interesting about the Croton as we grow that as a houseplant in the UK (it obviously wouldn’t survive outdoors here). I help to run a website devoted to a wide variety of plants and their suitability as food for tortoises (many people keep tortoises in the UK, but of course they are not native to this country), and we have an entry for Croton:
   , but not one for Vepris — yet. I can see that my pockets will hold some little treasures by the end of my next visit!

  3. Nina

    Hi again! I was just wondering if it would be possible for you to identify a caterpillar that I saw in the forest over Christmas? I took a photo of it and have been trying to look it up but without success. Is there a way I can send you the photo of it? It is quite amazing looking with a small black head and very long thick white hairs, like a Lion’s mane.
    Thanks you,

    1. Admin

      Hi, Nina. By all means send me the image. I’m collecting odds and ends, including a few images of butterfly and moth larvae, to take to the National Museums of Kenya for id’ing. Meanwhile, you might try scanning Google Images to see if you can find any beast similar to yours. Or perhaps submit your image to Good luck and let us know how you get on. Harvey.

      1. Nina

        Hi Harvey and many thanks! I’ll send you the image, but I’ll also contact the butterflies and moths site and will let you know what they say. It was quite a splendid looking caterpillar and it would be nice to know which butterfly or moth that it will eventually become.

        Best wishes,

  4. Lorna Solopian

    I just saw the pictures of the visit you made to my former school, Karura Forest PrImary School and wanted to say, THANK YOU for the good work and God bless you!

    1. Admin

      Hi, Loma, thanks for the note and the good wishes. Come back for a visit one day, or visit us on Facebook.

    2. Carl Khaoya

      hi lorna..remember some1 by the name carl from starehe?

  5. adit

    Hello! we had our annual school cross country in Karura forest and we enjoyed.I’m proud that Dr. Maathai had done so much for eco-conservation and inspired people like us young generation. I’m doing project on environment conservation in which i’m making wood free,plastic free,eco-friendly pencil out of newspaper wastage and had dedicated my project to great visionary Professor Maaathai.

  6. Cynara Vetch

    Hi All,

    I run in Karura in the mornings and I have seen rubbish spilling out from a collection of buildings to the right of the path along the river. I have been told this is the rangers camp. There are piles of rubbish already filling up the compound and now it is breaking through the hedge into the forest. I have told the rangers at the gate innumerable times about this but nothing has changed.

    I believe this is because it may be difficult to get collection services to pick up from in the forest. I would recommend setting up a recycling scheme for the rangers in the compound that they could benefit from financially is this something that Karura trust would be interested in?

    Best Wishes,
    Cynara Vetch

    1. Admin

      Hi, Cynara, Thanks for your comment. Yes, we are aware of the rubbish there (outside the Kenya Forest Service Inspectors’ dwellings, as it happens) and elsewhere along the FKS HQ perimeter. We have taken up the issue with KFS and have been assured it will be addressed. KFS in fact has an incinerator within the HQ compound that doesn’t seem to be much used. Re-cycling would, of course, be the ideal solution, but frankly FKF has too much on its plate at the moment to try to sort out KFS HQ compound management issues as well as everything else it is doing. In the forest proper, FKF, as we are sure you have seen, has organised rubbish bins which the FKF Scouts empty regularly (along with other carelessly dropped taka-taka they find along the trails). The rubbish is then stacked in bags at the main gate from whence every week Bins Ltd, as a CSR contribution to Karura, collects and carts away to the authorised city dumping sites. We now have an offer from Nakumat Ltd for support of infrastructure and servicing to piggy-back on its recycling programme. We’re getting there…

  7. Seamus

    TakaKenya ltd. do recycle and pass Karura regularly, they have proper garbage trucks. They may be interested in help for some marketing.

    1. Admin

      Good idea. We shall talk to them. Thanks.

  8. Jen

    Hi, just wondering if there are any dog walking groups? Would be a nice way to meet new friends:-)

    1. Admin

      Hi, Jen. No formal ones at the moment. Amy Rapp (+254 733 255 406) has organised a couple of very useful and quite fun dog behaviour training sessions for owners and dogs in the past. You might wish to contact her to see if she has some ideas. Let us know.

  9. Dr Juzar Hooker

    There is serious noise pollution that emanates from Westhouse Hotel, sister hotel to Tribe, adjacent to one end of Karura Forest – noisy parties with loud music. We are immediate neighbours to Westhouse . Yesterday night was bad (Westhouse music stopped 11.45 pm, noise continued to 12.30 am, clearing noise till at least 2 am), with loud music and speeches, while trying to settle a sick child, and get some sleep ourselves. I am sure you will agree this is a common problem affecting many Kenyans and city residents, causing untold angst. Yesterday, we were told the Westhouse function had a NEMA license! The music was thundering, causing vibrations in our homes. This is unacceptable, unfair, environmentally unfriendly, ecologically unsound, illegal, immoral, inhuman, and a contravention of common courtesy and common sense, as well as being far from good neighbourliness. Noisy functions here simply should not be allowed – the residences are simply too close, the acoustics too poor, the noise too much. Kindly let us all take urgent and visible action to prevent this happening again.

    1. Admin

      All of us are deeply concerned about noise and other pollution in and around the forest. Unfortunately, the disturbance you report is outside of the forest’s jurisdiction. It sounds like a worthwhile campaign for your residents’ association.

  10. cynthia muthama

    Karura forest is a peaceful serenity that i can always rest my mind and soul after a long saturdays are never complete without the natural beauty in it

    1. Admin

      Cynthia, so glad you are finding Karura restorative for body and soul. May you continue to come and visit in peace.

  11. Paul T. Kelly, AAK RIBA

    Harvey Croze: Your map looks great. They never have them for sale at the gate. Why not sell them on line? Also, why not include contours? Paul

    1. Admin

      Thanks, Paul, pleased you like our map. We shall try to ensure that there are always maps on hand at the gates. There have been a couple of comments lately. Selling online would be possible, of course, but we have already had to degrade the quality of the ones you can see on the website: folks were downloading and then copying and distributing to avoid buying them. But, let’s see if we can find a plug-in that would allow secure downloads and payments for a future version of the website. Contours, we felt, might clutter an already busy map, which is why we opted for a subtle hillshade. Perhaps it’s too subtle to be of use. Again, we shall think about it for the next map version. BTW, we hope to have better, more up-to-date large maps on display at the gate within a few days.

  12. Mungai Alex

    hello there? I WOULD LIKE TO VISIT KARURA tomorrow 20..09.2014. what are the charges for two people and do I need a guide to take us round? if so what are the charges?

  13. Tracey Coffey

    Dear Admin
    I wold love to ride my bike in the forest at weekends but I have no car to transport my bike there. I live in Kileleshwa. Do you have any idea how I can get to the forest with my bike? It is too far and dangerous to ride there. I have recently arrived in Nairobi to teach so I don’t have much local knowledge
    Many Thanks

  14. Danson Moseti

    Hey, we visited Karura on last Saturday the 18th of October as University of Nairobi students under our club called, The University Students Initiative to Society. I must say we enjoyed ourselves fully and the service was lovely and we planted trees.
    perhaps you could at least review the cost of purchasing and maintenance of the trees for future students because it is a little high. Otherwise, good good work and place you have maintained.

    1. Admin

      Glad you enjoyed your visit to Karura. As much as the Friends of Karura Forest would like to have a ‘student rate’ for planting, unfortunately there are fixed costs to clearing the Lantana, obtaining the seedings and caring for them afterwards. The Board is discussing the issue. Thanks for your interest and support.

  15. Gav

    Very happy to see a pair of porcupines wandering across my path today mid-morning. Made my day!

    1. Admin

      Excellent sighting! Can you tell us where it was, and what time of day?

      1. Gav

        On the Family Trail about one third of the way from 13 to 8a, ambling across the path from south to north, about 10 a.m. A wonderful sight.


    Hi admin, I am looking for attachment. can I apply in Karura Forest? I’m from Egerton University, Njoro.

    1. Admin

      Hi, Cecilia. There are no vacancies at the moment, but volunteers are always welcome. Contact our Education Officer, Lucy Njoka (

  17. Mr. Lone

    God bless you all and your untiring positive efforts. Let this forest always grow in size and strength for generations to come.

  18. Kanyiva

    Hi admin can i get a vacancy for internship from next year january i am graduating this December where can i send my application

    1. Admin

      Hallo, Kanyiva. Send a letter or email attachment to the Chairman, Friends of Karura Forest, using the addresses found in the Contacts page of this website. Thanks for your interest.

  19. Theresa

    you charge people to plant trees and remove invasive species? please explain to me how this works

    1. Admin

      Please contact Lucy Njoka (number available on our Contacts page) for information. Thanks for your interest.

  20. Edwin Mwaura

    Hello? My name is pr. Edwin of AIPCK Church in umoja. Just wanted to inquire about your charges. I have a youth group that would like to visit karura forest for a picknic. Kindly let me know. Thank you.

    1. Admin

      Pr. Edwin, since you found your way to our Comments page, you are very close to all the info you need. Just find the Fees & Guides tab you see if you hover your mouse over The Karura Forest Reserve tab. Or simply click here: Have a good visit!

  21. Bengt G. Karlsson

    Dear Admin,

    I have moved to Spring Valley some months ago and has become a regular visitor to Karura forest. It is a wonderful place and I really appreciate all the work you put in to maintain the forest. As a scholar I have also become a bit curious about the history of the forest area and wonder if you have access to any of the documents relating the establishment of Karura as a forest reserve in 1932? Was it bought from the previous, traditional, owners or? Do you have any documents relating this transaction? It is alos mentioned on your webpage that the traditional owners kept the forest as sacred – where can I find more information about this? Finally, do you have access to the first working plans developed during the colonial period?

    I would really appreciate help in tracking some documents regarding Karura during British rule.



    1. Admin

      Thanks for your interest in Karura history, Beppe. You have asked a number of interesting questions, too many to try to answer in this short reply. We shall send you an email with more history leads. We occasionally put up snippets of Karura history on our Facebook pages, such as this: And, you may wish to browse our Newsletter archives at See, in particular, the issues for Jan-Feb 2014 and Jul-Aug 2013. Finally, as a history buff, you will enjoy a visit to the KFS Library in its headquarters compound in Karura and browse through the old Foresters’ reports dating back to 1911. They make fascinating reading. Do keep us appraised of any interesting items you find. We are still trying to trace the history of the old Forester’s compound on the site that is now the Amani Gardens memorial to the Westgate victims.

  22. Bengt G. Karlsson

    Dear Admin,

    Many thanks for the fast reply. Yes, I will try the KFS Library and report back if I find anything of interest.



  23. doreen

    hey admin.I would like to visit the Karura for the first time this coming weekend with a friend of mine.can i carry snacks to that place and is it a must we have tour guides?thankyou

    1. Admin

      Trail snacks, like a granola bar and bottle of water, are of course no issue (as long as you leave no litter!). But if you want to stop, sit and eat a sandwich, as in have a picnic, then you must register for and use the Picnic Site near KFEET. Please seen the Fee & Guides and Contacts & Comments. Thanks for your interest and Karibuni!

  24. miriam

    hi admin imust say am realy impressed for your response to all the comments above good work.I could love to visit karura for awalk as i discover the beauty and naturality inside with afriend is it amust we do picnic ?

    1. Admin

      Hi, thanks for the kind words. No, not at all necessary to have a picnic: you can just sit, walk, run or bike around, looking at the trees and animals, breathing the air. What we try to avoid is folks having ‘prolonged snacks’ (a.k.a. ‘picnics’) anywhere but the designated Picnic Site at Amani Gardens and events area at the KFEET grounds.

  25. Grace T

    hi, i was wondering how much does it cost to use my own bike instead of hiring one from KFEET.

    1. Admin

      Hi, Grace, there is no charge — apart from the normal Entry Fee — if you wish to use your own bike. But, please, if you enter the forest from Limuru Road, try to start your bike ride from the KFEET parking lot rather than from Limuru Gate: you will be closer to the start of a couple of Karura’s bike trails. Alternatively, on weekends, you can start from Gate C (‘Sharks Gate’) off the Kiambu Road: the bike trails along Tara Path and Muhugu Trail are also great fun. Enjoy!

  26. Veronica

    Do you have any education activities and events for students, such as lectures, tree planting, animal counts, field studies etc..? If so, I do not see these listed on the website and this would be very helpful so that we could participate, particularly during the school holidays.

    It would also be very beneficial to have educational materials on the website, including plant, bird, animal identification lists etc..All this would promote more awareness and interest in the nature that Karura forest has to offer and create more a more knowledgeable and interactive public.

    1. Admin

      Hi, Veronica, many thanks for your comments and good suggestions. Lectures, guided walks and tree-planting can be arranged through KFEET, the Karura Forest Environment Education Trust (contact Education Officer, Lucy Njoka, +254 725 939093 or +254 739 262092). We do mention some of these possibilities here: More intense activities, such as counts and studies, require person-power that we simply do not yet have. However, third parties, such as other NGOs, universities and schools have in the past organised field exercises that have taken place during school holidays. We welcome such initiatives. We fully agree that species guides would be great. With Nature Kenya we are working on updating the bird list, and there is a free pictorial list of some of the most common birds available at the gates. We have a preliminary list of indigenous tree species (working with the National Museums of Kenya), and you may have seen some of the species name labels on some trees. Good idea to put the lists also on the website. It all takes time and (mainly volunteer) person hours, but with suggestions such as yours, we’ll get there in time.

  27. Veronica

    Following on from my previous comment, please see the link to one of many nature sites that can be used as an example for Karura forest to promote the love and awareness of nature.

    1. Admin

      Thanks again, Veronica. What an excellent resource link! We shall trawl through it with interest and see what ideas we can emulate for Karura.

  28. Clara

    The place is AMAZING, beautiful trails and a serene environment suitable for both friends and family. HOWEVER, some of the personnel are extremely rude and are not interested in the customers’ happiness. I could not believe how our excitement dropped by like 50% right at the entrance! The lady selling the tickets was the most unwelcoming making us just want to turn back and go to Paradise Lost, maybe?, (they were definitely nicer there)! Or even go back home! Fortunately, we held our heads high and decided she would not ruin our beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon. We were a bit disappointed to miss bikes at the Bike Rental place, but we still did not give up. After a not too long wait, we got bikes and went ahead to explore the beautiful forest and there was absolutely no disappointment there! Beautiful beautiful place!
    If only the lady at the entrance was a little bit nicer, we would’ve had a perfect Sunday afternoon and I would visit Karura Forest every single weekend for the serenity.

    1. Admin

      Thanks for your kind praise of Karura. We are very sorry that you had an unpleasant experience at the gate. We shall work hard to make certain that it doesn’t happen again. Please don’t let the episode dampen your enthusiasm, and please come again.

  29. Nyokabi

    I have to commend the good work of Scout Chege.He has been very helpful every time i have an enquiry.He has great customer service.

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