What’s your Favourite Nairobi Urban Forest?

Overhead view of trees at City Park. Photo by cngarachu.

Nairobi is blessed with a wealth of large green urban spaces. Have you explored these spaces? Exploring different ecological zones and habitats involves different physical activities; walking, sightseeing, picnics, hiking, jogging, or biking.  

Map showing the different urban forests within Nairobi.

Nairobi Arboretum (Entrance FEE)

Close to Nairobi CBD area is 30.4 hectares of the wooded landscape. On Google Maps the trails have been clearly outlined.. One particular trail is identifiable by lemon scent that fills the air, this is brought about by the rows of eucalyptus citriodora (Lemon-scented spotted gum) planted on either side of the Battiscombe’s Walk.

City Park (Entrance FREE)

To the northeast of Nairobi Arboretum is City Park, 60+ hectares of indigenous forest. City Park trails are a mystery if one goes with the information on Google Maps. However, regular visitors to the Park know their way around. Each corner of the Park has a feature that is sure to attract most. One corner leads to Mtego wa Panya maze, another to commonwealth cemeteries while at the center of City Park is the Murumbi Memorial; a beautiful place to picnic and learn some history.

Karura Forest Reserve (Entrance FEE)

North of City Park is a total surface area of 1,041 hectares of forest land. Regular visitors have stated that you cannot completely explore Karura Forest, each visit reveals something new. It is noted by the managers of the forest Kenya Forest Service, KFS, that Karura forest contains nearly all the 605 species of wildlife found in Nairobi including three types of antelope (have you spotted them?). Karura has a host of different activities and unique features such as bike riding and waterfalls. The security offered by the managers of the Park makes it a favourite amongst most.

Ngong Road Forest (Entrance FEE)

Finally, to the southwest of Karura forest lies 1,224 hectares of forest area known as Ngong Road Forest. The forest area is quite different from the other urban forest areas. It has shorter shrubs, more hills, and more wild animals. Ngong forest is loved by those who want to explore their physical limits. The area is mostly sunny and filled with large rocks, a favourite for people who love to hike and get a good sun tan.

During this time of lockdown, take the time out to explore the urban forests within Nairobi. As individuals work from home the urban forests provide a space for them to get out and get in touch with nature and consequently reap the health benefits gained from; taking a hike, biking, jogging, or simply walking in the different green spaces within Nairobi. 

Please share your pics of visits to any of these great forests on our social media platforms.

By Karimi Kimathi

4 Responses to “What’s your Favourite Nairobi Urban Forest?”

  1. Meghie Brar21/05/2021 at 8:35 pm #

    Like them all though haven’t been in a long time 😒

    • Friends24/06/2021 at 9:05 pm #

      Hey Meghie, your welcome to book a tour of City Park with the Friends of City Park when time allows.

  2. Dr Baldip Khan21/05/2021 at 5:04 pm #

    Thanks for this Karimi! Good to know we have choices. City Park is most special to me because of lovely childhood memories. A Hoorah for being the only one to be FREE!

    • Friends24/06/2021 at 9:26 pm #

      Indeed Nairobi offers us several options to connect with Nature and City Park remains the largest free green space in Nairobi. I appreciate the work Friends of City Park and other stakeholders have done in the guardianship of this space. Let’s #KeepItGoing!

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