Nature Walk Through Loita Forest
A nature walk through Loita Forest evokes images of the biblical Garden of Eden. The ecosystem in Loita Forest hasn’t been disrupted by introduction of exotic plants, making it one of few remaining truly indigenous forests in Kenya. The profusion of wildflowers, wild mushrooms, butterflies, birds and all kinds of life forms in the forest is astounding.
Situated on the Loita Hills, most of the Loita Forest is at an altitude of over 2100m above sea level, with cool weather all year round.
The local Maasai community has had to fight off encroachment on the forest by the Government and Conservationists for decades. While other “government protected” forests in Kenya struggle to remain ecologically viable, this traditionally managed indigenous forest shines a light on the misleading notion that native communities cannot co-exist responsibly with nature.
The images below are a small sample of wildflowers you’ll find in Loita Forest the next time you go hiking in this last frontier.
As if the above array of colourful wildflowers is not enough, you’ll also find an impressive range of wild mushrooms on the trails in Loita Forest. The images below a just a small sample.
When driving from Nairobi, take the lower escarpment Naivasha Road until Mai Mahiu, then turn left and go all the way to Narok town. A short distance further on, take a left turn onto the dirt road to Naro Osura and beyond to Morijo. You’ll need a 4WD vehicle to get there. The total distance is about 245km.
The Loita Hills Forest is managed by the local Maasai community. To access it, you need to get in touch with one of the guides from the local community. Typical fees you’ll be expected to pay include:
Camping Fee: Ksh 1,000 per person per day (Community fee)
Guide Fee: Ksh 2,500 per day
Donkeys and their Maasai handlers (optional): Ksh 700 and Ksh 1,000 per day respectively
You will also need to provide an allowance for the Maasais’ food for the duration.
An excellent guide for Loita Hills hiking is Robert Rerende on 0720657558.