Oloolua Nature Trail, Home to the Institute of Primate Research, an important wildlife refuge and biodiversity hotspot, a lung for Nairobi, authentic nature trail.
Within the leafy suburb is the natural undisturbed Oloolua forest home to the Institute of Primate Research, and on it, Oloolua Nature Trail. The forest sits on 250 hectares boasting of an indigenous tropical dry forest. It has the Bagathi river with a 7m waterfall, 33m long cave and a papyrus swamp. Clean tropical air contrasts sharply with the polluted air of the city.
Oloolua Forest is only 24km from Nairobi city centre within the affluent Karen suburbs. In the neighbourhoods are Karen Blixen Museum, Giraffe centre(AFEW), Nairobi national park, Nairobi Animal Orphanage, David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage(DSWT), Kazuri beads industry, Mamba village, The Tamambo, Ngong Hills
It is run by and managed by the National Museums of Kenya. It also runs this bio-medical research facility, the Institute of Primate Research (IPR). The research was established by the renowned Leaky family. Louis Seymour Bazett, famously known as Dr LSB and Dr Cynthia Booth, relocated to Kenya from Ghana after her husband died suddenly. He was a primate researcher.
The forest is indigenous tropical with a good canopy that shed old leaves to the ground. The rotting vegetation supports insects and rejuvenates the soil. The birds sing their choruses, monkeys jump from one tree to another, while the Bagathi river hums with a waterfall roaring 7m drop. Occasional sightings of primates, hyenas, bushbuck, warthog, wild cats, bats and a variety of birds.
Main Attractions in Oloolua Nature Trail in Nairobi
A Natural Cave
This awesome cave is 37 meters long and deep into the forest surface. It was once used by the Mau Mau fighters during the colonial days. Today it is a home for bats and other small mammals that inhabit the area.
A Beautiful Waterfall
This is a breathtaking sight with the fall draining into the Mbagathi River. You will want to spend some time on this site captivated as you stare and listen to the cascading waters. The trickling water and cheeping birds in Oloolua Nature Trail in Nairobi are the only sounds you hear as you take in the surrounding which automatically sets you into a serene peaceful mood.
Bamboo Rest Point
This magnificent monocot grass species has created an atmosphere that invites you to take a rest and to reflect and embrace nature in a silent world.
The papyrus plant is beautiful and evokes reflections on religion and ancient worlds. The Egyptians first made paper from this plant. It is mainly only found in swampy wetlands and requires special conservation efforts.
1. Mammals: Spot the Sykes monkeys in the forest, bats in the Cave and other small mammals.
2. Ornithology: The rare crowned eagle made a home here and its life history is well captured. There are many other bird species that draw bird watchers to this forest.
3. Botany: Study the indigenous plants for species identification, biology, medicinal or economic value.
4. Entomology: search and find all manner of insects, some probably still waiting to be discovered.
5. Aquatic —Survey and inventory of aquatic invertebrates of Mbagathi river
6. Herpetology: Would the reptiles please stand up! Survey and inventory of reptiles in the Oloolua forest
7. Geology — Touch and smell the soil and humus and look for other aspects of geology
Health Walk – For a healthy lifestyle running may be the ultimate individual pursuit, offering a time for peace, solitude and communion with one’s body and the environment. The nature trail offers you an opportunity for distance running, leisurely walks alone, with a group or with your pets.
Pick up from your hotel at 8:00 am and drive towards Karen. We check in at the gate, Oloolua Forest. We embark on a nature trail circuit with our snacks and water. The trail meanders through the canopy of the tall trees, shedding some patches of sun rays to the ground. The fresh aura is so soothing and rewarding. The trail will take us to the miniature waterfall, bamboo clusters along the river, the cave and the papyrus marsh. There are benches at designated resting points. Some have facilities for piped water, pit latrine and trash bins. We shall complete our circuit to the gate and drive to Tamambo Karen Blixen Coffee Garden for a well-deserved late lunch. We drive back to your hotel.
Options are of course many and varied and in many cases, we can be flexible about the itinerary for accommodation facilities and the extension of the safari destinations.