Tanyai forest was once a rich natural forest covering an area of 850 Ha (2,200 acres). It is a block of the larger South Laikipia forest and is located at Nairutia, Tanyai & Karameno areas of Mugunda Ward. The forest is surrounded by more than 3,872 households who directly and indirectly depended on its resources as a means of their livelihood, providing rich pasture for cattle grazing, firewood, timber, medicinal trees and herbs.
Before her depletion, Tanyai Forest was home to wild animals including Elephants, Buffalos, Zebras, Hyenas, Monkeys, Antelope & Gazelle Families that would come to lick the salty forest soils.
In the late 1980s, early & late 1990s, there was massive deforestation of gigantic natural red cedar trees for commercial exploitation. It took very few years to render the thick forest a mere shrub land. The decimation of the natural vegetation greatly impacted negatively on the micro-climate and the once rich biodiverse forest area.