Nairobi Arboretum occupies 30.4 hectares and is situated 3 km from the city centre. It was established in 1907 by Mr. Battiscombe, Deputy Conservator of forests mainly as a site for exotic tree species trials. This was because foresters in Kenya had become concerned that indigenous trees that the railway relied on were getting depleted faster than they could regenerate. To add to the tree species, Mr. H.M. Gardner (Chief Conservators of Forests) also collect indigenous shrubs and trees that were introduced there each year in spite of drought and diseases. Arboretum Forest Station was gazetted as protected Forest Reserves in 1932 and is managed by Kenya Forest Service (KFS). Nairobi Arboretum now hosts over 300 species of exotic and indigenous tree species. The arboretum also has over 100 species of migrant and resident bird species in addition to Sykes and Vervet monkeys.
Wildlife in Nairobi Arboretum
Mammals:Monkeys – Vervet Monkeys or Black-faced guenon, Sykes or Blue Monkey, Kenya Mole rat, four-toed hedgehog, greater galago, fruit bats, mongooses, and squirrels .Reptiles: Jackson’s three-horned chameleon, High-casqued chameleon, striped skink .Birds: African paradise flycatcher, White-eyed slaty flycatcher, Common bulbul, Malachite kingfisher, African pied wagtail, Common fiscal, Black kite, Pied crow, Hadada ibis, Bronze mannikin, Bronze Sunbird, Baglafecht weaver, Speckled mousebird, Silvery- cheeked hornbill.Butterflies: Green- banded swallowtail, Mother-of-pearl, African emigrant, Green-veined, White-barred, Black-bordered and Blue spotted charaxes, Diadem .
Plants in Nairobi Arboretum
Indigenous trees: Croton megalocarpus, Brachylaena huillensis, Podocarpus falcatus, Markhamia lutea, Vepris simplicifolia, African Olive, Schebera alata, Craibia brownie, Erythrina abyssinica, Trichilia emetic, Gardenia ternifolia, Millettia dura, Adansonia digitata, Encephalartos hildebrandtii, Tamarindus indica, Monodora myristica, Spathodea campanulata, Canthium keniense, Premna maxima, Croton alienus, Catha edulis, Zanthoxylum gillettii, Brachylaena huillensis, Prunus Africana, East African yellow-wood, Newtonia buchananii, Vitex keniensis, Khaya anthotheca, Sweitenia mahogoni
Exotic trees: Araucaria columnaris, Araucaria cunninghamii, Araucaria bidwillii, Lagunaria pattersonii, Brachychiton acerifolium, Senna brewsteri, Castanospermum austral, Melaleuca styphelioides, Eucalyptus callitris, Grevillea , Casaurina, Eucalyptus paniculata, Eucalyptus maculate, Jacaranda mimosfolia, Tipuana tipu Schizolobium parahybum, Phytolacca dioica,Tabebuia chrysantha (yellow poui), Erythrina corallodendron, Erythrina velutina, Eucalyptus deglupta(Mindanao gum), Eriobotrya japonica, Ficus elastic, Ligustrum ovalifolium, Ficus benjamina, Ficus religiosa, Cupressus cashmeriana, Acrocarpus franxinifolius, Bauhinia purpurea, Bauhinia petersiana, Schotia brachypetala, Erythrina lysistemon, Peltophorum africanum, Bolusanthus speciosus( African tree wisteria), Strelitzia Nicolai, Strelitzia regina(Birds of paradise), Ravenala madagascariensis (Traveller’s palm), Pinus patula (Mexican weeping pine), Phoenix reclinata (Wild date palm), Phoenix canariensis (Canary palms)