Mt. Kenya National Park Travel
Mount Kenya is Kenya’s highest mountain and Africa’s second highest. This ancient extinct volcano has been said to be more spectacular than the #1 - Mount Kilimanjaro. It contains a number of rare and endemic species. The indigenous Kikuyu who live around the mountain believe that it is the dwelling place of God. They named it Kiri-Nyaga (Mountain of Brightness) in reference to the snow it the top of the mountain. It has numerous waterfalls, several lakes, twelve glaciers and four jagged peaks. It is a UN World Heritage Area and a MAB Biosphere Reserve.
Mt Kenya National Park covers 715 sq km (276 sq. mi) around the mountain, with some areas fenced to reduce human-wildlife conflict – elephants had ravaged some farms and the residents had started killing them.
At an altitude of about 2000-2,500 meters, the vegetation is mainly montane forest in which some resident and visiting animals thrive. These include; various monkey species, antelopes, tree hyrax, elephant and buffalo. Zebras are only found on the dryer northern slopes. The larger predators present include hyena and leopard, and the occasional lion. The birdlife at this altitude includes; turacos and hornbills, parrots, swallows and mountain buzzards are common.
The next zone is the bamboo zone which does not support much wildlife. After this comes the Timberline forest 3,000 – 3,500 metres, whose most common vegetation is African rosewood, Giant St. John's Wort, red-hot poker, violets, and giant forest lobelias. The next is heathland 3,200 – 3,800 metres with a mixture of forest and alpine animals. Eland and lion (rare) can be found here. Abover 3,500 metres is the Afro-alpine zone where Eland, zebra live in the dry northern side, while common duiker are found all around this zone. Buffalo, elephant and hyena, leopard are also present, the latter being the most common. Above that is the nival zone where little lives.
Most wildlife viewing is confined to the lower levels of the mountain. Mountain climbing is the most popular activity here with more than 15,000 climbers attempting different peaks yearly.
How to get to Mt. Kenya National Park
Mt. Kenya National Park is 175 kms from Nairobi, and can be accessed on Nanyuki-Isiolo Road via or Nyeri-Nanyuki road near Naro Moru. You can also reach the park via Chogoria on the Embu - Meru road.
The airstrip closest to the park is Nanyuki town.
Mt. Kenya National Park Highlights
- rare wildlife viewing
- fishing tours
- walking & hiking
- trekking Mt Kenya