Serene Karura Forest In Nairobi, Kenya (Part 1)

Karura Forest is an urban park in the Gigiri area of Nairobi. It is near the United Nations compound. Luckily, it is within walking distance of where I’ve been living for the past two months. One of my favorite activities here has been exploring the park. It’s a great spot to relax, read a book, get some exercise, or meditate. Having it so close during such a stressful time has been a gift. When I go, I always pack my camera, because I always see something new.


The park itself is over 2500 acres. It is home to hundreds of species of birds and small animals like bushbuck, dik-dik, and Syke’s monkeys. It was once a dangerous place, with several muggings and murders taking place on its grounds. The security situation has since improved, and it’s now one of the safest places to wander around in peace. As a tourist, it will cost you 600 shillings to enter (about $6). It’s well worth the cost considering how secure and well-managed it is.

1: This is the appropriately named Lily lake within the forest. It absolutely full of lilies. Depending on when you visit, you may see several species of birds.

2-3: The lilies of Lily Lake. I was lucky enough to see them in bloom, and there were plenty of busy bees around doing their thing.

4: When you visit Lilly Lake, you never know what kind of birds you will see. When I visit the forest, I normally drop by the lake two to three times to see if I can catch anything exciting. In this particular case I found a sacred ibis. They have a distinct look and are recognizable due to being closely linked to Egyptian mythology. The Egyptian god Thoth had the head of an ibis.

5: Also considered sacred to the ancient Egyptians are these Egyptian geese. There are also populations of these birds in North America and Europe[src].

6: A pair of ducks dart back and forth across the lake.

7: Karura Forest is also home to a great variety of butterflies.

8: I thought this mint green butterfly was especially beautiful.

9: It can be difficult to catch a good shot of a butterfly. Much of the time they rest with their wings folded up. You have to be patient and follow them around a bit to get a decent shot of their wings.

10. I’m not sure what this litter critter is called, but he let me get surprisingly close to him to shoot this photo.

I hope that you enjoyed my travel photos and commentary, and will return for more travel content in the future.

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