Author Archives: ngongforest

THE FOREST WITHIN A CITY

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.

bird watching

Bird watching

H&A SPORTS

Hicking

H

cycling

cycling

team building

team building 2

Team building
If you wish to visit us kindly contact us through:
[email protected]

Sanctuary hosts researchers from France

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

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.

logging
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.

hyena droppings

Hyena droppings

Caracus

Carcasses of a cow and a dog

Finally,  we visited the seasonal river before heading back to the office.

at the seasonal river

at the seasonal river

 

[email protected]

www.ngongforest.org

 

Visit to section one of Ngong Road Forest

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

at the entrance

 

nursery

the nursery
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.

one of the nature trails

at one of the nature trails

at one of the dams

the upper dam

dam

the other dam

the lower dam

[email protected]

 

SANCTUARY RECEIVES UNEXPECTED VISITORS

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.

woodlands

The Apiary

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

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Dam
They went back to the orientation Banda where they had lunch and left at their own pleasure, promising to visit again.
If you wish to visit kindly contact us through:

[email protected]

 

STAREHE GIRLS CHARITY WALK A BIG SUCCESS AT THE SANCTUARY

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).

warm up 2

Warm up
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.

warm up 2

Warm up

the walk begins

the walk

Walking in the forest

at one of the check points

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

the band entertains

winners awarded

Winners of the walk awarded

winner

Winners awarded

oldest participant 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.

If you would like to visit kindly contact us through
[email protected]

ENVIRONMENTAL NATURE WALK AT THE SANCTUARY

Recently the Sanctuary hosted Pupils from Cathsam School for a nature walk. They arrived at 10.40 am very cheerful and eager to learn more on conservation and the forests physical features. Upon their arrival they were welcomed and ushered into the education center by ranger Nicholas Akach who handled them over to Miss Ann Mbula who gave them a brief background about the sanctuary and what they were expected to see.

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introduction

Miss Anne Mbula gives a brief background of the Sanctuary

After the introduction at the hall about the Ngong Road sanctuary they headed to the orientation Banda where they were divided into 2 groups.

 

at the orienattion Banda

pupils are divided into two groups
They visited the crown eagle’s nest where they learn more about the African Crowned Eagle , the apiary hee they learnt more on beekeeping and how honey is made and finally they visited the Narina outdoor centre. The children were very exhausted by the time the walk was over but they all managed to walk to the end.

narina outdoor centre

at the Narina outdoor centre

in the forest ???????????????????????????????

grasshopper

in one of thr nature trails
After the walk the pupils from Cathsam School took their lunch  as they also enjoyed playing a few games before heading back to school. At around 2.00 pm their teachers organized them and they returned to their school. What a cheerful day they had in a nature environment away from what they are used to. They went home happy and thankful to Mother Nature for the awesome experience they had.


Story By Anne Mbula
Intern from Technical University of Kenya

if you would like to visit kindly contact us though

[email protected]

 

SANCTUARY TO HOST SECOND STAREHE GIRLS CENTRE ANNUAL CHARITY WALK

For the second time now, Riara Group of Schools will be holding a Charity Walk in aid of Starehe Girls Centre at the Sanctuary on Saturday 7th June.
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).
For the many participants that will turn up for the walk, it will be a great chance to interact with nature and they walk for a worthy course, talk of double benefits.

starehe girls and boys band

gathered at the venue

jubilated to have finished the race

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.

Out door centre.JPG 1

students head into the forest

out of  the caves
 Previous Kid’s event
For those who would wish to hold an event in the sanctuary in future, please contact us on [email protected]  for arrangements.

Educational visit at the Sanctuary

Due to population increase in Nairobi County it has led to overcrowding in the few leisure spots available. The Sanctuary is therefore timely in offering another alternative. Due to its uniqueness of being an indigenous forest within a city and given that its only 6km from the city center.

Hence Last weekend we hosted Gem Cambridge international school for a walk in the forest. They arrived at around 9:30 and were ushered into the hall by the rangers and officially welcomed to the Sanctuary by the project Coordinator Mr. Simon Ng’ang’a who gave then a short history of the sanctuary.

 

arrival

Arrival at the Sanctuary

They then proceeded to the orientation Banda where they were briefed by the senior ranger of the places they would visit before they proceeded to the forest. They first visited the sparrow hawk nest. Here they learnt that sparrow hawks require woodland, or at least a small clump of tress for nesting. Next they went through the broken bridge to the caves then to the dam before heading to the apiary.

at the orientation banda

briefing at the orientation Banda

grasslands

at the grasslands

ranger akach

at the caves

at the caves

If you would like to visit kindly contact us through:

[email protected]

www.ngongforest.org

NGONG ROAD FOREST ASSOCIATION CHAIRMAN TAKES A WALK IN THE FOREST

On Saturday we were lucky to host Mr. Simon Woods the Chairman of Ngong Road Forest Sanctuary Association. When he arrived he was ushered into the office where he was welcomed by the Project Coordinator Mr. Simon Ng’ang’a. They had a meeting that lasted for almost half an hour before proceeding to the forest for a walk.

We walked through the Eucalyptus plantation which had a methanol smell before heading to the acacia plantation. The trees seemed well arranged that you would have thought   they had been planted by human beings.  The most captivating section was the glade in the forest. “This is unbelievable!” Mrs. Woods exclaimed. She said recalling another glade that was in section one of the forest but was destroyed thanks to the construction of the southern bypass.

COMMUNITY PROJECT  COMMUNITY PROJECT 2

Mr Simon shows some of the projects the community is involved with at Ngong Forest Sanctuary

IN THE ACACIA SECTION

Ranger akach with the guests

AT THE GLADE

at the forest glade

mr woods plays with his puppy at the glade

Mr Woods plays with his puppy

MR SIMON WOODS AND simon Nganga

As we were walking back we missed the African crowned eagle because as soon as its saw us it flew away from the nest. Arriving at the parking lot we realized that one important visitor was missing a young puppy that had accompanied the Woods. We called and looked around but in vain. We then decided to check the office and sure enough it was in the office. Perhaps signing out that he had enjoyed the walk in the forest. It was surely a fantastic experience.

If you would like to visit the forest kindly contact us through;

[email protected]

www.ngongforest.org

DUMPING ALONG THE CEMETERY ROAD INCREASES

In the recent past we have witnessed an increase in cases of illegal dumping of waste along the Cemetery Road, the road leads to the Sanctuary’s main gate and also serves as the exit from the Jamuhuri show ground. For a long time now, heaps of garbage has been randomly dumped at night at various points in the forest sections along the stretch with the worst cases occurring near the Cemetery road/Ngong road junction.

cemetery road

the cemetery road

 Previously the CFA (Community Forest Association) wrote to NEMA (National Environment Management Authority) and the City Council on this issue and no action has been taken so far. The situation is now getting serious as the area is gradually degenerating into a ‘regular’ dump site, hence the need for immediate, collective and firm action from all concerned parties.

some of the dupmed waste

some of the recently dumped waste

Previously, the Trust has organized a cleanup event and welcomed the participation of all stakeholders in the CFA to the exercise to which was a great success. The City Council’s environment department accepted to assist with the disposal of the collection of garbage. We also requested the City Council to install “No Dumping’ signage along the road to deter further dumping which is yet to be installed.

Local commnity assist in clean up

The clean up that was done previously

On Saturday we luckily managed to arrest one culprit as he was busy dumping and took him to Jamuhuri police station and was booked in the court hearing will be this week.  We are encouraging all residents and neighbours of the forest to take individual responsibility to stop and/or report any cases of dumping in their neighborhoods. Let us all and individually choose to make a difference in our own little ways.

the culprit

the cart with the waste

The culprit and the cart with the waste materials

[email protected]

www.ngongforest.org