Just under a kilometre from Kikuyu town, in central Kenya, you meet this amazing wetland called Ondiri. Ondiri is a majestic swamp that is often famed for being the most structural quaking bog in Kenya. The swamp is believed to be connected to Lake Naivasha in the Kenya’s Rift Valley and the locals tell of a big water body that occupied the entire area around the swamp. As you walk across the grassy portions of the swamp, you feel the shaking ground and this is believed to “swallow” anyone who dares to venture too deep. The swamp is also famed for being the second deepest wetland in Africa, after Doula in Cameroon.
This swamp forms the catchment supply for the famous Nairobi River. The river runs across the major Kiambu and Nairobi Counties to join the Athi River basin down south on its way to the Indian Ocean, as Sabaki.
On any visit, you are guaranteed to enjoy the amazing biodiversity of the area. The swamp hosts a wide variety of plants and animals. Among the easily spotted plants include tall cat-tails and beautiful water lilies that cover many parts of the swamp. The bird life here is amazing with over 100 species occupying the area. Highlight bird species in the area include: Stout Cisticola, Jackson’s Widowbird, Little Bittern, Lesser Swamp Warbler, Garden Warbler, Augur Buzzard, Malachite Sunbird, and many more aquatic and terrestrial birds (representing babblers, ibises, storks, weavers, white-eyes, ducks, crows, cranes, kingfishers, plovers etc). Many invertebrates, amphibians and reptiles species also thrive in the swamp. The swamp is also known to host carnivores like mongoose, that take advantage of the abundant prey.