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Dog Guidelines

Dog-walking, especially in an urban environment is an excellent exercise and pastime for both dogs and owners. For a pleasant experience for dogs, owners and other forest visitors, please adhere to some simple guidelines. Having dogs in a national Forest Reserve is a privilege not a right.

  • For your own dog’s safety, all dogs must be leashed in the car parks.
  • Dogs must be leashed at all times except in areas clearly marked “Dogs off Leash.” See maps of designated areas in Sigiria and the main forest below. The start and end of all designated areas are clearly signposted along the paths. Even in Off-Leash areas dogs must be under voice command control at all times.
  • If you meet visitors with dogs, use common sense and bring your dogs under control, leashing them if necessary.
  • If you meet other visitors without dogs, and they are obviously uncomfortable about dogs, ask them if you should leash your dogs until they have passed.
  • In Off-Leash areas please don’t let your dog run into the forest chasing wildlife. Stay on the designative tracks.
  • If your dog poos on the trail, please be considerate to other walkers and joggers and use a twig to move it off the path, if possible kick a bit of dirt over it.
  • All dogs must have current vaccinations, including yearly rabies. The forest belongs to the wildlife. All mammals can carry rabies, so please protect your dog by vaccinating!
  • Please help FKF maintain the privilege of allowing dogs in Karura by reporting dog-rule offenders (with time and place, descriptions, names and photos, if possible) to the FKF Scouts at the gates, by phone to the Operations Manager (0721-111086), the Chief Scout (0724-215423), or by email to rafiki@karurafriends.org.


Click here  to download a PDF version of the above dog rules.

Dog owners who do not comply will be warned. Those who chose to ignore the guidelines will be barred from bringing their dogs into the forest in the future.

Here is an optional canine bandana code. It’s a good idea to colour-code your dog, so when dogs meet on the trail, the owners will know how to behave:

  • RED: Dog is reactive. Keep a reasonable distance.
  • BLUE: Dog is friendly but owner chooses not to allow greetings of any kind.
  • GREEN: Dog is friendly and owner welcomes on greetings.
  • PURPLE: Dog is timid or fearful. Keep reasonable distance.

When you enter the forest with a dog, the G4S Guard or Karura Forest Scout will ask you to read the new rules and agree to abide by them.

Thank you for helping to make the Karura Forest an enjoyable place for dogs and people alike!

Dogs on Leash








Click here to see larger map of Off-Leash areas and marked bike and running trails.

Dogs Off-Leash