In Karura Forest

It is me again, the self-proclaimed lone traveller. Last Saturday I was in the Nairobi National Park — allegedly the only National Park within a City in the whole world — and this Saturday, August 25th, found myself in Karura Forest. Start with home and then one day, God willing, cross the border. That’s how all travellers start, right?

Karura Forest is an urban forest within the Nairobi city metropolitan. It’s managed by Kenya Forest Services in collaboration with Friends of Karura, an NGO that was led by conservationist and Nobel Laureate, the late Prof. Wangari Maathai. She was the founder of the Greenbelt movement.

I was just by myself, choosing to follow lonely paths with the hope that I will spot a rare bird, or animal maybe. Sometimes I found myself in the company of fellow travellers — maybe adventurers — out to enjoy nature and for some, especially those on bikes, just to flex their muscles.

Being a Saturday, like it’s expected, kids were there in numbers and they looked so excited. Not just them though, there were people of all kinds and almost of all races. Some were just walking with their dogs — those tiny pets I keep saying can’t even stand up to an angry cock back home.

Found myself in the caravan of hikers and it was all noisy and you stick with them for a while and then it gets so quiet, guys getting tired.

And then my legs got me to a picnic sight deep in the forest with lots of people; some just playing games, some just having snacks, some just lying down and then there was this group in red and blue uniforms holding some sort of meeting — I think it’s a dance group. They had formed a circle and some dude was dancing at the middle in this funny way, I would say. The site surrounded a small swamp covered with papyrus reeds.

Also, deep in the forest, there was a secluded place for prayer and meditation.

At some point, after leaving the picnic site I got lost. Couldn’t recall from which way I came from and had to ask this man seated along the path reading from his diary.

And I wasn’t the only one lost, so it seemed, because after asking for the direction to the specific exit route (Sharks Gate C), I bumped into this beautiful white lady who apparently was looking for the the way out too.

All said and done, it was a great day and I had a fantastic time. I enjoyed nature, and made some new friends. Now all I have to do is figure out where to visit next.

19 thoughts on “In Karura Forest

  1. Madekesi, this is an absolutely fantastic post! The photographs are stunning and complement your narrative in a way that truly brings life to this piece! I particularly like the photograph of the steps. Each of the photographs tells a story in itself. It’s like you just wrote a bestseller!!! You have a beautiful forest with beautiful people!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. That is an incredibly beautiful forest preserve. There are many who would like the whole of Africa to be so serene-no large wild beasts. That will truly be the end of an era-but I think moderation is far better. Let some large mammals survive, for diversity’s sake.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you brother! Sure, serenity is always appreciated and especially in a city forest, who need large wild beasts! Karura, this particular forest was specifically started to protect flora. We have vegetation species from all over the world, Amazon and the rest. We have Nairobi National Park within the city and sometimes Lions have sneaked out and terrorized people.


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