When I got to know that the Karua Forest was going to the opened to the public as a recreation facility, my first thought was to ensure that I would take a Nairobi day tour to the facility. We were however hesitant and thought the forest would not at all be safe, or at least that he organizers of the event had a dream far fetched. How is it possible for Karura Forest to be safe I asked?
Karura Forest -Nairobi Day Tour
In my skepticism, I waited for the day and followed any news that featured the grand opening of this great forest, located in Nairobi.
Finally, at the end January 2011 was here the month that the opening was scheduled to take place. Unfortunately the opening did not take place. Little did I know that the management of the Kenya forestry service had decided to give a surprise Valentine gift to Nairobi residents! And so one week to Valentine ’s Day, the press was full of adverts asking the public to visit the forest for a day tour.
The Nairobi Day Tour
I ganged up a few friends and organized a picnic. What was initially supposed to be a team of three people turned out to be a group of ten. We all would not imagine how the Karura Forest would look. The advert on the media didn’t seem real. After all, none of us had visited the forest before. The forest was home to crime for as long as majority of us were born. It was therefore the reason for disbelieve. Finally we fueled our vehicles, shopped for refreshments and food ready for the grand picnic. We snaked our way through the traffic jam within the city center and within twenty to thirty minutes of driving, we were ushered in to the Karura Forest slightly past the Muthaiga round about and the famous Muthaiga Golf Club.
The warden on duty took us through the various regulations while within the forest. One is expected to pay a fee of Kshs. 100/- per person. Check out time from the forest is 6pm. Those driving can park their vehicles at the Shell and BP club for a small fee of Kshs. 100/-We make our payments and drive toward the shell BP club. The paths are well manicured a sign that some work has been taking place here oblivious of the outside world. There are directions. We all had different ideas of what we wanted to see, as for me I was interested in the seeing the water fall, I wanted to confirm that it really did exist. As for my friend Joan she wanted to confirm if the Mau Mau caves existed. Richard on the other hand was interested in the nature; he wanted to confirm if the Mau Mau really lived here during the struggle for Kenya’s independence. In our quest to learn more about Karura Forest, we got lost, and took the wrong turn to BP Shell Club. We were in the middle of trees with no idea which direction to turn. Luckily, a patrol warden appeared and we happily asked for directions. Once on the right direction there was no turning back.
The Sightseeing Tour -Nariobi Day Tour
Having parked and confirmed that our vehicles were safe, we started our discovery trip into the forest, before long we come across a group of ladies who equally wanted to proof that the Karura Forest was finally a safe haven. We exchange pleasantries and enqired if the various locations highlighted on the media advert were real. Having confirmed and asked for directions, we start our discovery.
The water fall is real! It is a 50 meters long fall surrounded by a canopy of trees that provide a rejuvenating breath of fresh air. If you’re one that loves nature then the Water fall is spectacular, the water look so clean you would drink from it without much care. The bridge leading you to the water fall are well constructed of wood, the paths lead you toward the fall and on to the Mau Mau Caves.
Here we felt closer to our fore fathers who were freedom fighters during the struggle for independence. The caves are of different sizes, some are underneath a tree. We walk past the caves into the paths and find a couple taking their evening jog. The grass hasn’t grown much since the rainy season had not arrived but the grass was still green due to the great weather within this forest.
We finally set up our picnic and have lunch as we click our camera, photographing nature. The feeling is one we shall live with for a long time to come. We finally conclude our visit to the Karura Forest having confirmed, it is a safe Karura Forest. Another Nairobi day tour to the safe Karura Forest is guaranteed.