A Visit to Karura Forest

Today, being a free day, the Brothers went to Karura Forest to the place where Wangar1 Maathai fought to preserve the integrity of the urban green space

Karura Forest is an urban space in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. The forest was gazetted in 1932 and is managed by the Kenyan Forest Service in conjunction with the Friends of Karura Forest Community Forest Association.

Karura Forest is 1,041 ha (2,570 acre) consisting of three parts separated by Limuru and Kiambu roads. The large middle portion is ca. 710 ha (1,750 acres). The portion to the east of Kiambu road has been allocated to special national priorities. As of mid-2016, 36% of the forest contains indigenous upland forest tree species. The forest is home to some 200 species of bird as well as suni, Harveys Duiker, bushbucks, bush pigs, genets, civets, honey badgers, bush babies, porcupines, Syke’s monkeys, bush squirrels, hares, fruit bats, and various reptiles and butterflies. Karura now has over 50 km of trails for visitors to walk, run or bike.

Due to its proximity to a growing city, there had been plans to reduce the forest in favour of housing and other development. However, these plans were controversial with conservationists. In the late 90s there were housing projects that would have excised portions of the forest. Conservationists, led by Wangari Maathai, the leader of the Green Belt Movement,who later became a Nobel Peace Prize  Laureate, carried out a much publicised campaign for saving the forest. Karura Forest became also a symbol of controversial land grabbing in Kenya.

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