Author Archives: ngongforest


For the second year running Ngong Road Forest will be hosting the chase foundation walk 2014. The walk that is dubbed “Stand up for African mothers” is expected to bring over 2,500 participants whose aim is to raise funds for reducing maternal deaths in rural areas through the training of midwives.

Tomorrow we will be hosting the Chase Bank staff and their families in a charity event aimed at raising funds for reducing maternal death rates in rural areas through training the midwives. The main objective is to raise funds to help reduce maternal mortality by improving the access to health reproductive services. The walk aims to raise  money through individual participation and corporate sponsorship.

Preparation to make sure that the event is successful


preparation 2




Over the years, population increase in Nairobi County, has led to overcrowding in the few leisure spots available, e.g. Nairobi National Park, the Arboretum, Uhuru Park e.t.c.  The Sanctuary is therefore timely in offering yet another alternative. Due to its uniqueness of being an indigenous forest within a city, and given that its only 6km from the city center

Various organizations have found the sanctuary a perfect destination for their corporate day events due to the many attractive sites it offers. Recently we hosted a cycling/ running event which was aimed at raising money to provide schools fees for needy children in Kibera.

The event started at 8.00 am the project; coordinator Mr. Simon Ng’ang’a welcomed the participants and gave them a brief history of the sanctuary. They were then flagged off and the race began there was ample security  some got tired along the way and decided to walk some kept the pace and others almost fell.

participants assemble at the starrting point

Participants assembled at the starting point

keeping the pace


Some of the participants

almost falling off

taking a breather

He almost fell down then he decided to rest for a while

finish point

running towards the finishing point

running towards the finishing point

At the finishing point they were all smiles for having run for a worth course.

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Ngong Road Forest Community Members receive a briquette Machine

The Sanctuary recognizes the importance of ensuring that the projects are relevant to adjacent communities. It therefore has included the neighbours in all stage of decision making and day to day management. The Trust seeks to play a role in poverty alleviation by establishing projects that are beneficial to adjacent communities but at the same time environmental friendly.

The Sanctuary is working closely with people in awareness campaigns to inculcate the culture of sustainable use of natural resources. Recently the community members received a briquette machine purchased by  Ngong Road Forest Association (NRFA) . The machine was presented to the community members by  the Ngong Road Forest Association Chairman  Mr. Simon Woods   with some of the officials. The machine will go a long way in providing income for the community members.

mr woods presents the machine

Mr Simon Woods the chairman of Ngong Road Forest Association presents the briquette machine

Phillip Gitahi treasurer of the Cfa demonstrates how to use the machine

Mr. Phillip Gitahi  treasurer at Ngong Road Forest Association demonstrates on how the machine is used

mr simon

Mr Simon the project coordinator poses with some of the community members

communtity members check out the briquette machine

The briquettes machine uses waste materials such as sawdust, polythene paper bags, soil and other waste materials. It will be used by the community members to make the briquettes and sell them and in turn get an income.


Recently one of the rangers was blessed with a baby girl by the name of Stacy. On turning three months the staff members decided to pay the family a visit and welcome her. Hence on Friday evening we all visited baby Stacy.

baby stacy

Baby Stacy

Upon arrival we were welcomed by the family and we were welcomed with a delicious meal. After the meal we got to hold the baby and presented something small in appreciation of the new born.

baby stacy and the dad

stacy recieves a present from the staff members


On Monday we received students from Banda School who wanted to hold their ecology lesson at the Sanctuary. They arrived at around 9:30 am and were ushered into the sanctuary’s Education Center by the Senior Ranger.

briefing at the education center

Briefing at the education Center

After a brief introduction and History about the sanctuary they headed to the orientation Banda where they were split into four groups and each group was given equipment they were to use in the various areas of study. Some of the equipment included thermometers and test tubes among others.

split into groups at the orientation banda

Students split into four groups at the orientation Banda

We headed to the forest and the first area of study was at the plantation, here they were to measure the temperature and PH of the soil, light intensity, wind deflection, biodiversity and the human impact to the habitat.

at the eucalyptus plantation

At the eucalyptus plantation

Our second area of study was at the indigenous forest, here we looked at the a biotic factors and how they affect the environment they include, the soil acidity, light radiation, temperature, water and the human impact.


The final area of study was to fill a questionnaire with  the assistance of the rangers some of the questions included  what they thought might happen to the forest if the Sanctuary did not exist,   and to give examples of resources people remove from the forest illegally . Once they had filled the questionnaires they headed back to the Banda for a snack before they headed back to their school.

filling in the questionnaires

Filling in the questionnaires

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The crowned eagle hatches

My colleague Steve and I were on our normal patrols we were headed towards Kibera when I got a call from Mike Davidson one of our trustees he informed me that he was headed to the sanctuary’s main gate for he wanted to visit the crowned eagle nest to check if it had hatched and also take a walk in the mini nature trail.

We hurriedly rushed back and we found that he had just arrived. We exchanged pleasantries   and immediately headed to the mini nature trail.  We were almost at the crowned eagle nest when we saw a red duiker feeding on the recently planted tree seedlings on seeing us it rushed into the nearby thicket.

When we arrived at the crowned eagle we found the mother feeding the juvenile. The crown eagle uses the same nest for many years until a new pair inherits it. The nest is mainly made of sticks and lined with fresh green branches. The eagle adds new material to the nest each year, and overtime, the nest can grow up to 8 feet. When the mother noticed us it flew away but not before raising alarm and the chick sunk deep into the nest. We had to wait patiently for it to resurface and it did and the mother returned to the nest but did not take her eyes off us.

at the nest

at the crowned eagle nest

crowned eagle pic

After taking a few pictures of the crowned eagle we headed back to the main gate.

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Silver Oak also known as the silky oak is an evergreen tree, usually 18-15m with steeply ascending branch forming a narrow crown, foliage has a grey-brown bark peeling vertically termite resistant. It is a very valuable tree and much liked by wood carvers.

  For the entire period that I have been engaged in Ngong Forest Sanctuary as a ranger, I have witnessed the number  of the silver oak tree dwindling  year after year and in most of the forest section  what can be seen its stamp to signify its one day presence. The blame cannot be put on rangers as most of the poachers have always been arrested and the vehicles that they use to furry the logs to the market confiscated , which after sometime the culprits are out of jail and back to business again.

cut  felled trees

silver oak

Freshly cut trees

tree stump

silver oak freshly cut

With development  taking place such as the construction of the southern by pass, which has contributed   to great loss of the silver oak  as the road passes in between the forest. The construction of bypass intersection which was mainly inhabited by the silver oak made its numbers drop drastically only a  few were lucky ones  survived .The poachers and not willing to spare them as we have witnessed  freshly cuts trees on our forest patrols. The poachers work has been done easier by the by pass road as they can easily transport the logs.

Stiff measures need to be taken soon or within no time we won’t have any sliver oak trees

Story by Nicholas Akach

Senior Ranger

Helping Communities realize benefits from Forest Conservation.

Regardless of geographical and cultural setting, Social status and social e-economic needs, we all have our very good reasons why we should be allowed access to public resources, and in this case, forests. While most people in the City would view Ngong Road Forest as a potential site for private development and self enrichment, Community members living adjacent to the forest have established lifelong relationships with the forest and would not allow anybody to touch or play with what they have come to  value  as their only source of livelihood.In liaison with and for the benefit of the community, the Trust has established projects that play  a major role in poverty alleviation and are also environmental friendly.


 a)      Education Centre Facility.

The Trust has constructed an Education Centre Facility complete with a 100 seater Lecture Theatre, a PA system, an Overhead Projector and an ample and secure Car Park Facility. Community members enjoy free access to facility for their meetings, workshops and trainings

 the imre loefler education center

 The Imre Loefler Education Centre


b)      Bee keeping

A group of women from Kibera and Dagoretti slums were trained on the basics of apiary management, which included technical and management aspects of bee farming , colonies, biology of bees, assembly and siting  of beehives, maintenance of bee equipment, use and inspection of catcher boxes, harvesting, record keeping and business management skills. They are able to make at least Ksh 1000 per hive form honey sales per season. This project was designed to meet the Trust’s goal of preserving the Sanctuary’s natural forest through self supporting multipurpose activities for the benefit of the local communities and other stakeholders


bee keeping   inspection



a)      Capacity Building and Training


Once in a while, Community Members benefit from training on various life improvement skills at the Education Centre. Some of these include;

i)                    Alternative Energy

ii)                   Recycling plastics to make shopping baskets and door mats

iii)                 Making simple Soap and antiseptics for home use

iv)                 Entrepreneurship

v)                  Record keeping

vi)                 Saving

vii)               Health and nutrition

learning enterpenuer skills

Learning entrepreneurship skills

  shamopp making

Shampoo making

b)      Adult literacy

Members of the community who for reasons beyond their control were not able to get a chance to go school in their earlier years will benefit from free adult education classes at the Education Centre

a)      Recreation

The Trust is promoting the Sanctuary as a venue for outdoor recreational activities for all Nairobi residents, particularly the Local Communities and their children who due to economic hardships are not able to access such facilities elsewhere in the city.  



a)      Butterfly farming

b)      Silkmoth farming

c)       Herbal medicine gardens

d)      Mushroom farming


           Firewood collection.

Through the Kenya Forest Service, registered community members  are issued with permits to collect dry fallen wood from designated sections of the forest. While some members use the firewood for domestic cooking, most sell it for some income.

a)    b)  Religion

Some local community members use the forest for cultural and religious activities. Comon sites include Special locations in the forest, under giant fig trees, caves and river beds.

b)   c   ) Casual Employment

Whenever opportunities arise for casual tasks in any of  the Trust’s projects, priority for employment is given to the local community.





Ngong Road Forest has several institutions within it. One of them is the Wildlife Clubs of Kenya, located in section 5 of the forest.

Last Friday,  Asha, Eliza, Esther and Carol, all of us students on attachment at the Sanctuary visited the Wildlife Club Of Kenya. At the wildlife club of Kenya we were able to visit the famous MOKOYET trail meaning hidden treasure in kalenjine, accompanied  by two student from the Wildlife Club of Kenya who had knowledge about the the Mokoyet trail and both trees and birds  . The wild life club of Kenya has developed trails which visitors  get to visit and get to learn about indigenous trees  and also get a chance to see a few animals within the trail..  

Some of the indigenous tree are Olea Capensis  africana (wild olive) and acokanthera oppostifolia(arrow poison). The trail olso has few animal like Sykes monkeys, warthog, snake, suni .we got to see birds like  woodpeckers, cinnamon chested bee eater ,African wagtail .We were able to watch some of the birds from  the bird watching tower.


The arrow poison tree


The wild olive tree


At the watch tower


the Sykes monkey

Story by Carol, Asha, Eliza, Esther


The Sanctuary has introduced many projects as it seeks to play a role in poverty alleviation among the adjacent local communities. These projects are beneficial to the communities and at the same time environmental friendly. One successful project already in place is a ladies Honey Harvesting Enterprise.


Recently we the interns Asha, Esther, Carol and Eliza together with the senior ranger Nicholas Akach visited the National Institute of Beekeeping, located at the edge of the forest, to learn more on bee farming so that we can in turn teach the community more on the same.

We learnt that there are various types of bee keeping, Traditional log hive, the modern ways of bee keeping which includes, Kenya top bar hive, langstroth hive, and sting less bee hives.


The traditional log hive

 We learnt the behaviors and characteristics of bees and the management of the beehives. We visited the quality assurance lab where we learnt more on analyzing the quality of honey, pesticides and antibiotics. Some of the other departments we visited include technology development this includes protective clothing and how to inspect the hives, bee management we learnt more on pest control we also learnt on how to package the honey after it has been processed.


Skin care products made from honey


One of the candles made from the wax bees produce


Packaged honey ready for sale

Story by Asha, Esther, Carol, Eliza- on internship