Every morning is a working day for us as forest rangers. Most of our patrols are mainly focused in areas adjacent to Kibera as it is prone to logging as it is a source of fuel to the dwellers there. As we headed for our normal patrols we decided to start with a route we don’t normally start with and this is the area adjacent to Racecourse. Just after crossing the seasonal river we decided to check on the holes where the hyenas live as we always find the remains of animals that had been scavenged on.
Once we got there we saw something that looked like a hyena. “Is it a hyena?” My colleague Steve asked. “Let’s go!” I said as I did not want to risk being attacked by the animal. My colleague probed and got closer to our shock it was a dead leopard! It had a tag on its neck and appeared like it had been killed somewhere else and dragged by the hyenas.
We immediately informed the office who in turn informed the Kenya wildlife service personnel with whom they hurriedly came to the scene. After a little dialogue the Kenya Service personnel decided they would take the leopard for further investigation to determine what could have possibly killed the leopard.
Story by Ranger Nicholas Akach
Recently Honey care Africa visited the Sanctuary to inspect the hives that are in the forest.
using beekeeping smokers
On Saturday 23rd August 2014 Ngong Road Forest Sanctuary in partnership with H&A held a cycling and running event at the sanctuary. The event whose main aim was to: Create cycling trails within the forest for the public, Maintain the existing fence and increase security for all along the trails and Help in the daily running of the Sanctuaries activities was a great success.
Warming up before the cycling starts
Briefing and flagged off
Cycling in the forest
At the finishing point
Glad to have made it to the end
Participants awarded certificates for participation
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H & A have partnered with the Ngong Forest Sanctuary and we have agreed on a quarterly cycling and running event in the Ngong Forest.The Ngong Forest is located in Nairobi City and is among the few remaining Forests within the city of Nairobi. The forest is managed by the Ngong Forest Sanctuary trust and is Open to the public.
Our goals together with the Ngong Sanctuary Trust are to;
• Create cycling trails within the forest for the public
• Maintain the existing fence and increase security for all along the trails
• Help in the daily running of the Sanctuaries activities.
The H & A Ngong Cycling challenge is hosted within the forest. The trails are well marked out and boast great variance and beautiful sights.
The Ngong Forest mtb Challenge is happening on 23rd August 2014 at Ngong Forest Sanctuary.
Kindly register at : www.hnasports.co.ke
The sanctuary was much glad to welcome the Uvubuzi members for hiking in the sanctuary recently. The team comprised of families and friends who were eager to have a hike in the only forest within a city. The uniqueness of this forest is that despite of the challenges that forests undergo more so from human activities it has emerged to be recognized as the only natural forest in the city.
The members arrived and were ushered in well by our rangers and first we got the chance to introduce ourselves and orientation was done.
at the entrance
At 12 the hike began with all members ready for the event all dressed in appropriate attires to ease with the hike in the forest. We walked and I actually could tell that the forest could have much to offer when they could see much of the co existence between the flora and fauna and their dependency and adaptations that make each one of them able to survive in the wilderness and how mother nature is so true and quite beyond the human understanding on how actually life is in the forest. As we proceeded with the hike we bonded learned a lot from each other and also saw different animals, birds, trees and shrubs that we came across. The growth and the characteristic of the “mugumo tree” in Kikuyu, English name known as the strangler fig tree botanical name the “Fiscus Thonningiii” wowed and the same time was an amusement in how it grows to be a such huge tree.
amused at how the “mugumo tree” grows
The security was much available and they felt safe to walk having four security personnel walking in front at the back and in the midst of them. We went from the wide trails to the thickets in the forest and down and up the seasonal river which at now is dried up and we walked along the river into the thicket forest and we came to an open place where we had a rest and agreed let us call it a day and went back after a rest at the Racecourse Dam tracing different birdlife of different species around that particular site.
walking in the forest
taking a rest at the dam
At 2.30 I could tell that majority of the Uvubuzi team were tired and we had to cut it short for another day. Having achieved and gained much knowledge on the forest, have hiked, bonded and also the exercise part and stretching of the body muscles are among the accomplishments that they had managed to accomplish.
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Ngong forest complex have attracted great national, regional and international interest for its immense scientific, economic and social value. The forest is rich in biodiversity more specifically the bird species. In addition, these unique ecosystem provides a wide array of goods and services for local communities including; fuel, food, medicine, and favorable environment. Ngong forest essence can be felt either within the vicinity or far from it.
However, Ngong forest has featured prominently in security discussion within Nairobi, in addition to illegal forest resource extraction . It is due to this need for fencing Ngong forest arose. Currently the crime level is almost to zero due to erection of electric fence and intense surveillance by the l forest guards with the help of the Kenya Forest Service.
Ngong forest sanctuary receives visitors with different interest. For this reason come enjoy all benefits of a forest in the city, be it in bird watching, forest walks, education, cycling, game watching, running, hiking amongst other activities.
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The day started as usual and we expected two professors who were interested in pointing out the complications and consequences of decoupling dynamic of people and nature. In their research they pointed out Nairobi as their first priority. The key reasons were; diverse habitat, carnivore population, increasing human population, city development and drastic climate changes in the world and more specifically in parks and forests that are adjacent to the cities.
In their sample, they selected Ngong forest and Nairobi national park as their potential area.
They were ushered into the Sanctuary’s office where Mr. Simon Nganga the project coordinator gave a brief history of the Sanctuary and the animals found in the forest. They then headed to the forest to check what animals they would find.
in the forest
On our way we encountered several unique things that were out of the target i.e 6 species of birds and among them was a very cryptic bird known as black and white wattle eye, different tree species including the endangered silver oak.
To our advantage we found two carcasses of a dog and a cow that were very close to a den of hyenas. In addition, we found hyena droppings which were characterized by their whitish coloration due to immense presence of calcium.
Carcasses of a cow and a dog
Finally, we visited the seasonal river before heading back to the office.
at the seasonal river
On Friday at around 1.00 pm we visited the recently opened section one of Ngong Road Forest that is located along the southern by pass for a nature walk. At the gate we were ushered in by one of the rangers who gave a brief background of that section of the forest.
We first visited the tree nursery which had so many diverse species of birds. The tree nursery also had many different tree species and was well maintained. We walked deeper into the forest and we could identify different types of trees, shrubs, we also found out there were a lot of medicinal shrubs.
at the entrance
The nature trails were interesting to walk along as they had very many corners that made one eager to walk even more as we were curious of what we would find along the way. There are two dams and the interesting part is that they are different therefore being a different habitat for different species of plants, birds, insects and other animals found around marshy habitats. The two dams are a quite a good site to view and even a suitable site for recreational activities such as picnics and even photo shoots.
at one of the nature trails
the upper dam
the lower dam
Over the years, population increase in Nairobi City has led to overcrowding in the few leisure spots available. The Sanctuary is therefore timely into offering yet another alternative. Due to its uniqueness of being an indigenous forest within a city and given that’s its only 6km from the city Centre. Various institutions have found the Sanctuary as a perfect destination to hold their events due to the many attractive sites it offers.
Recently we received students from Moi University, town campus it was an impromptu visit as we were not aware that they would visit. They were ushered in by Ranger Nicholas Akach who welcomed them and directed them to the sanctuary’s hall for briefing. After the briefing, the students were on their way in the forest very excited to have a nature walk in the forest. Some were heard saying, ‘I am anticipating by the end of the day to lose some weight, have fun and adventure at the same time.” Led by the ranger the students first visited the apiary here they learnt more on bee keeping they took pictures as enjoyed the ambiance there.
at the apiary
They then visited the glade where they rested had fun as they had some snacks, the next place they visited that was the seasonal river. Did you know there is a seasonal river inside in the forest? Well there is!! We then headed to the caves. It was really dark and we couldn’t go inside.
at the glade
By the time we were headed to the dam most of the students were tired and this we could tell by the questions they kept asking “How far are we from the dam?” At the dam they took photos and wished they got an opportunity to swim.
They went back to the orientation Banda where they had lunch and left at their own pleasure, promising to visit again.
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For the second time now, Riara Group of Schools held a Charity Walk in aid of Starehe Girls Centre at the Sanctuary on Saturday. This is the Starehe Girls’ Centre 10th Academic Year and a major milestone given the support they have continued to receive in sustaining a Centre of Excellence in education for brilliant and needy girls. The school has continued to grow with forty (40) additional girls joining every year to make a total of 480 Students this year (2014).
Hence on Saturday the Sanctuary hosted the 2nd annual charity walk .The walk attracted over 3000 participants from all walks of life with the biggest number being students from various schools in Nairobi. By 9am most of the participants had arrived and were being entertained by the Starehe Girls and Boys band. Shortly after majority of the participants had arrived warm up began and were officially flagged off. There were three checkpoints all providing bottled water and glucose to the participants. There were two routes one was 5km and the other was 10km surprisingly majority chose the 10km route and even the young kids walked the 10km.
Walking in the forest
at one of the check points
Once they were done they headed to the finishing point where they were entertained by the Band and as they awarded the winners of the walk.
the band entertains
Winners of the walk awarded
oldest participant of the walk awarded
Many organizers of such events have come to realize this and are now turning to natural environments as they are more serene, less polluted and in fact guarantee the participants a refreshing feeling at the end of the event.
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