Oloolua Nature Trail safaris,this trip has been a long time coming, originally I had planned to go out of town but that will have to wait.

I’m off to the Nairobi suburb of Karen where I get to visit a hidden gem– the Oloolua nature trail. The nature trail is part of the indigenous Oloolua forest that is also home to the Institute of Primate Research (IPR). The institute is run by the National Museums of Kenya which established the Oloolua Nature Trail in part of the forest, providing a refreshing environment away from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Oloolua Nature Trail_Entrance

Once you get to the entrance it is not too much of a walk before you get to the nature trail.

Our first stop was the water falls. There is a proper path with steps that lead to the falls but we took the difficult way down which was rather steep because we heard the falls before we got to the path and assumed that it is the only way down.

Oloolua Nature Trail_Waterfall sign


sitting on top of the waterfall one of the key attractions in the Oloolua Nature Trail


Oloolua Nature Trail_Waterfall6


Oloolua Nature Trail_Waterfall5I stayed at the top while my friend went down the side of the falls to take pictures. This was definitely my favorite part of the nature trail.


Oloolua Nature Trail_Waterfall1


Oloolua Nature Trail_Waterfall2


Oloolua Nature Trail_Waterfall4The a 20 foot waterfall is one of the major attractions of the nature trail


We had taken a picture of the map at the entrance but it was not very useful.

Map showing areas of the Oloolua Nature Trail


For the most part we just walked along the river and the next stop was the bamboo. This time we found the right path down.

Oloolua Nature Trail_trail on slope


Oloolua Nature Trail_trail on slope2


Oloolua Nature Trail_Walkaway


Oloolua Nature Trail_Walkaway2The path and rickety stairs that lead to the river


Oloolua Nature Trail_Bamboo1


Oloolua Nature Trail_River3


Oloolua Nature Trail_River1The Mbagathi River meanders through thick forest vines and undergrowth beside giant riverside bamboo and bushes.


We then walked a bit and got to the cave. I was wishing I had carried a flashlight. We did go into the cave but I stayed close to the entrance. I kept imagining that a Smaug-like creature would come to chase us out of its lair.

Oloolua Nature Trail_Sign to cave


Oloolua Nature Trail_Cave


Oloolua Nature Trail_Cave1The caves are reputed to have once been a hiding place for the Mau Mau freedom fighters during the colonial period of Kenya’s History. There was also an acrid smell in the air (probably as a result of an existing bat colony) and that didn’t encourage us to stay either.


Oloolua Nature Trail_forest floor


Oloolua Nature Trail_stroll


Oloolua Nature Trail_Flowers


Oloolua Nature Trail_PathThe forest has a relatively good road network that has been reinforced with building blocks.


We consulted the map again and it gave us a vague idea of where we were. We had wondered away from the river and I was hoping that somehow we would end up at the quarry but instead we found ourselves at the picnic site.

Oloolua Nature Trail_Picnic site1


Oloolua Nature Trail_Picnic siteThe picnic site was complete with benches, toilets and trash bins offering a nice setting for trekkers or campers to enjoy a rest within the nature trail.


Oloolua Nature Trail_to camping site


Oloolua Nature Trail_benchesThere are several camping sites, all with tapped water and long drop toilets. You bring your food, tents and cooking facilities.


By this time it was about half past 5 in the afternoon and the trail closes at 6 so we decided to take the path most likely to lead us back to the entrance.