Mount Kenya is the highest mountain in Kenya and 2nd highest in Africa; Mount Kenya National Park is located on the eastern side of the beautiful Great Rift Valley. The park was established in 1949 to protect the unique and magnificent ecosystem found on the slopes of Mount Kenya. It covers an area of about 700 square kilometers securing the mountain between the altitudes of 11,000 – 17058 ft.
HOW TO GET TO MT.KENYA NATIONAL PARK
The park is accessible by road and by air. From Nairobi by road, the park is approximately 175 kilometers through Nanyuki- Isiolo Road and about 150 kilometers through Embu- Meru road.
By air, you will depart to the closest airstrip known as Nanyuki Airstrip and drive to the park or alight to the small runways owned by private lodges found within the park.
There are six gates that you use while getting in the park. These gates are: Naro Moru Gate, Sirimon Gate, Chogoria Gate, Mawingu Gate, Kamweti Gate, and Kihari Gate.
CLIMATE IN MT.KENYA NATIONAL PARK
The climate in this area is subtropical or temperate that varies drastically as you ascend the mountain. The altitudes and temperatures here are cooler throughout than most parts of the country.
Because of the mountain, it is generally wet, hence, its a watershed that provides water to most places in Kenya. The rainy season is from March to May and from October to December when it is drizzly and cloudy.
Rainfall is moderate on the lower slopes and heavier higher up. The sunniest months are from December through March perhaps being the best time to visit.
ATTRACTIONS FOUND WITHIN THE PARK
1) Mount Kenya
Because of the highest mountain in Kenya and the second highest peak in Africa, found within the area, the park tends to attract most hike lovers. The mountain offers easy or challenging ascents with superb scenic beauty. The mountain has three peaks; Batian (5,199 m), Nelion (5,188 m) and Point Lenana (4,985 m).
Mostly when you come to Kenya you have the anticipation of spotting different animals and this park is no exception. Animals likely to be spotted include Elephants, Black and White Columbus monkeys, Buffalos, Bushbucks, Olive Baboons, Waterbucks, Elands, Black rhinos, leopards, Giant forest hog, Genet Cats, Hyenas and many more. More elusive is the bongo which is a rare type of forest antelope.
A number of other rare or endangered species are also found here such as the Sunni Buck, Mount Kenya Mole Shrew, skinks (lizard), and a variety of owls. Albino zebras have also been recorded here and can be occasionally be spotted.
Over 130 species of birds have been recorded in the park. The species includes Sunbirds, Alpine Chats, Starlings, Olive Pigeons, Giant Kingfishers, Red-fronted Parrots, Lammergeyers, Augur Buzzards and Verreaux’s Eagles.
This park is ideal for those people who love trees and vegetation. Unique montane, alpine vegetation with 11 species of endemic plants have been recorded here. A small portion of this park’s borders has electrified fences to keep the elephants out of the surrounding farmland.
Activities to be done here include: Mount climbing and hiking, morning and afternoon game drives, bird watching, camping and game viewing at the comfort of your lodge