Gatamaiyu Forest is part of the larger Kikuyu Escarpment Forest which covers an area of 37,620 hectares ( 376.2 square kilometers). Other forest blocks that form Kikuyu Escarpment Forest includes; Kereita, Uplands, Kinale, Kamae, Kieni, Raggia, and Kijabe. Gatamaiyu Forest covers an area of 4,720 hectares(47.2 square kilometers) of which 75 percent is indigenous forest, 8 percent is exotic forest, and the rest is bamboo, scrublands, and some herbaceous croplands.
Birdwatching starts as you exit the highway, be on the lookout for the African Stonechat, perching in bushes next to the road, Augur Buzzard soaring high up in the clear blue sky, and feisty duets of Hunter’s Cisticola on the tea plantations along the newly tarmacked road to the forest
Golden-winged Sunbird may be seen on Lion’s flowers, Black Sawwing/Roughwing flying low catching insect and White-eye Slaty Flycatcher perching on the fencing poles
Eleven species of sunbirds may be seen in Gatamaiyu Forest which include; Tacazze, Malachite, Eastern and Northern Double-collared, Variable, Golden-winged, Olive, Collared, Bronze, Scarlet-chested, and Green-headed Sunbirds
Gatamaiyu Forest is one of the Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) in Kenya, with about 138 species of birds recorded in and around the forest, of which 31 are forest specialists and 20 are considered rare.
At least 39 of Kenya’s 67 Afro tropical highlands biome bird species occur in the Gatamaiyu forest.
Birdwatching inside the forest is done on foot along the nature trail
This makes Gatamaiyu forest a prime birdwatching destination in Kenya
Gatamaiyu Forest restricted-range bird species
As well as a significant number of regionally-threatened bird species including;
Gatamaiyu Forest Mammals
African elephants are occasionally encountered at Gatamaiyu Forest where they normally come for mineral salt lick, wandering from the main Aberdares National Park.
Gatamaiyu forest plays an important role as a catchment area for the many rivers and springs. Most of the rivers and streams such as Gatamaiyu, Bathi, Kiruiru, and Nyanduma start from the forests, typically flowing south-easterly before joining up to form part of the Athi River.
Fishing in Gatamaiyu Forest
Nature trails in the forest are well maintained and suitable for walking to any age group. Gatamaiyu forest also offers a fantastic location for fishing enthusiasts or fly fishers.
Gatamaiyu River is well stashed with the fine-looking rainbow trout fish, a popular game fish for fly fishers. The river has good pools, rapids, and fantastic waterfalls that provide a tranquil to fish in peace and quiet.
There are 8 kilometers stretch of the river well stocked with rainbow trout. Enough for everyone to make a catch. The rainbow trout love an unperturbed atmosphere…let your mind waft as you bustle out that engaging tune, the trout will approach you. You must have a license to be allowed to do fishing from the Kenya Fishery department
Charges for fishing in Gatamaiyu Forest
Kenya shillings; 1500/- Monthly and 4500/- payable to Kenya Fisheries