Mau Mau Cave Nairobi

Karura Caves

Useful Information

Location: Karura Forest,m Nairobi.
(-1.236271, 36.829156)
Open: All year daily 6-18.
Fee: Foreigners: Adults KSH 600, Children KSH 300.
Residents: Adults KSH 200, Children KSH 100.
Citizens: Adults KSH 100, Children KSH 50.
Classification: SpeleologyErosional Cave
Light: bring torch
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Friends of Karura, Community Forest Association, PO Box 63402-00619, Karura Forest House, Gate-A, Karura Forest Reserve, Limuru Road, Nairobi, Tel: +254-728-501333. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.



Kenya has more Mau Mau Caves than it has caves. Any hole, may it be a cave, a cellar, a gorge or a collapsed barn is called Mau Mau Cave. It's worse than Bat Cave. Obviously it's impossible to keep them apart if there are so many of them, and they all have the same name. But this cave actually has a real name, like the forest it is named Karura Caves after Karura river.

Mau Mau Cave Nairobi is just a trick to keep it apart from other such caves. It's the Mau Mau Cave which is located in the middle of Nairobi, the capital, in Karura Forest, only 1.5 km from the European Union Residence Nairobi. And as a result it is the one which is most easily visited, it is reached in a pleasant 1.5 km walk from the parking lot of the forest. And as a result it is well developed for visitors, both locals and foreigners. And it is crowded, at least on weekends.

The cave is actually just a shelter. A huge portal, rather wide but not very high, sufficient to stand upright The single chamber is quite spacious and has enough space for men, weapons, and provisions.

The rocks of the Karura Forest are Late Tertiary volcanic rocks. The volcanic tuffs are intercalated flows of basaltic sponge cake, in other words an alternation of hard resistant and soft, easily erodible rocks. The Karura river has cut a valley into the hills, eroding deep into the soft layers and less into the hard layers. The hard layers form ledges, protrude, which result in wide and shallow caves below. In other words, the cave is where the soft tufa was, which was eroded by the river. The number of caves is small, as the valleys are mostly shallow. Five perennial tributaries of the Nairobi River pass through the forest. The Karura river formed the deepest valley, with a large waterfall and the Mau-Mau caves.

The Friends of Karura Forest CFA offers specialised guided Eco-Tours in the Forest. They are of high quality and a good value, the tours by commercial operators are more expensive. They explain flora and fauna, geology and hydrology, the climate and the history.