Green spaces: Karura Forest, Nairobi

Comprised of three parts, separated by two main roads, the 1,041 hectares contains indigenous trees, plants and shrubs as well as various plantations of commercial trees; the cypress and the water guzzling eucalyptus among them.

In the northern part of Nairobi, nestled between foreign missions and embassies, ambassadorial residences, schools, shops and petrol stations, its right to exist firmly established by a daughter of the land, stands Karura Forest. Comprised of three parts, separated by two main roads, the 1,041 hectares contains indigenous trees, plants and shrubs as well as various plantations of commercial trees; the cypress and the water guzzling eucalyptus among them.

This urban forest also plays host to a variety of small mammals such as otters and civets, bush pigs and bushbuck, some reptiles such as pythons and monitor lizards, birds like the crowned eagle, butterflies and an assortment of other insects. If you’re keen, you can observe the agile Syke’s monkeys swinging through the tall, thick canopies.

The generation that destroys the environment is not the generation that pays the price. That is the problem.

Wangari Maathai

Karura Forest has footpaths and cycling tracks and picnic grounds and a restaurant. It’s a great place to go to spend a day exploring and just getting away from the rush, if you’re looking for an urban escape. Some of the more popular spots within the forest tend to get a little crowded and loud, but there’s enough space in there for you to find some solace in silence, should you need some. Kenya Forest Service and Friends of Karura Forest have worked hard to transform the environment into a safe and secure one, allowing you quiet reflective time alone.

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