African Forest

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Kenya - Elementaita

Institution Code:

BGCI Member: Yes


About the African Forest

African Forest is a holistic agro-forestry social enterprise, founded in 2006, and based on the edge of Soysambu Conservancy, a 22,000 ha ranch surrounding Lake Elmenteita, in the Rift Valley. African Forest has a 51 ha plot on the edge of the ranch, where they have an indigenous organic tree nursery, with over 80 different species and tree seed centre and trial plantations of Planet Positive Forestry. They also produce and promote, in conjunction with the local communities, sustainable NTFP’s (non-timber forest products) including herbal medicines. Services include plantation establishment and management, reforestation and sustainable development planning and implementation, as well as assistance in raising green finance. In 2015 they will commence planting a medicine woman arboretum, which will cover an area of around 20 hectares.

Main Address:
African Forest
Soysambu Estate
PO Box 21209
00505 Nairobi Kenya

Telephone: + 254 (0) 722 514765 / + 254 (0) 714 048900
Primary Email:

Staff Details

  • Director's Name: Helen Thornton-Mutiso
    Curator's Name: Kenya Mutiso
    Plant Records Officer's Name: Sally Rop
  • Total Staff:
    Horticultural Staff Number: 8
    Educational Staff Number: 1
    Research Staff Number: 1
    Administration Staff Number: 1

About the Garden

  • Institution Type: Other
  • Status
  • Status: Private: Yes
    Status: State: No
    Status: Educational: Yes
    Status: Municipal: No
    Status: Satellite: No
    Status: Trust: Yes
  • Date founded: 2006
  • Physical Data
  • Natural Vegetation Area: Yes
    Natural vegetation area: Size: 48 Hectares
  • Landscaped Area: Yes
    Landscaped Area: Size: 3 Hectares
  • Total Area: 51 Hectares
    Latitude: -0.379644
    Longitude: 36.243570
    Annual Rainfall: 800 mm
    Altitude: 1915.00 Metres
    Total area of glasshouses: 32 Metres
    Total area of shadehouses: 2000 Metres
  • Locality: Information
  • Locality: Garden Name: African Forest
  • Local Address: Soysambu Ranch, Gilgil District, Nakuru County
  • Locality: City: Nakuru
  • Locality: State: Nakuru

Features and Facilities

  • Herbarium: No
    Arboretum: Yes
    Arboretum Size: 3
  • Micropropagation/ Tissue Culture Facilities: No
    Seed Bank: Yes
    Published Plant Catalogue: Yes
    Computer Plant Record System: No
  • Open to public: Yes
    Friends society: No
    Retail Outlet: Shop: No
    Retail Outlet: Plant Sales: Yes
  • Number of Visitors: 200

Plant Collections

  • Accession Number: 120
    Cultivation Taxa Num: 120
  • Special Collections:African Forest focuses on indigenous Kenyan tree species, with some shrubs and some exotic trees.
  • Invasive Species Monitoring: No
    Invasive Species Policy: No
    ABS Policy: No
    Plant Collection Policy: No

Conservation Programmes

  • Conservation Programme: Yes
    Medicinal Plant Programme: Yes
    Ex Situ Conservation Programme: No

Research Programmes

  • Biotechnology: No
    Plant Breeding: Yes
    Conservation - Biology: Yes
    Conservation - Genetics: No
    Data Management Systems and Information Technology: Yes
    Ecology: No
    Ecosystem Conservation: Yes
    Education: Yes
    Ethnobotany: Yes
    Exploration: No
    Floristics: No
    Horticulture: No
    Invasive Species Biology and Control: No
    Molecular Genetics: No
    Pollination Biology: No
    Restoration Ecology: Yes
    Seed/Spore Biology: No
    Systematics and Taxonomy: No
    Sustainability: Yes
    Pharmacology: No
    Agriculture: Yes
    Land Restoration: Yes
    Urban Environments: No

Education Programmes

  • Visitor/Education Centre: No
    Education Signs in Garden: No
    Public Lectures/Talks: Yes
    Education Booklets/Leaflets: Yes
    Guided Tours: Yes
    Permanent Public Displays: No
    Special Exhibitions: No
    Courses for School Children: No
    Courses for University/College Students: No
    Courses for General Public: No
    Education Programme: No