Kenya National Park
/ Mt. Kenya National Reserve/ Mt Kenya Forest-World Heritage Site
Mt. Kenya is the second-highest mountain in Africa after Tanzania's
Mount Kilimanjaro. The
Kikuyu used to call it Kirinyaga,
mountain or Mountain of
The mountain itself is an awe-inspiring sight with its ragged, snow
Kenya was revered among the surrounding communities as the dwelling
ground of their God. The Kikuyu, the Kamba, Embu and Meru
communities believed that their God,"Ngai" dwelt on the mountain.
Note that these communities were never idol worshippers but just
like Israelites who believed that God dwelt in Mt Sinai. Being one of the most impressive landscapes in East Africa Unesco
has classified it as one of World Heritage Sites.
Kenya has three main peaks
- Batian (5199m), Nelion (5,189m) and Lenana
(4,985m), all named after famed Maasai Laibons.
any hiker or excursionist can reach Lenana, Batian and Nelion can
only be reached by technical climbers. The peaks and the
moorlands are within Mt Kenya National Park.
Kenya National Park is Kenya’s premier
water catchment area.
is the source of Kenya's main rivers like the Tana and Ewaso Ngiro.
The Eastern and southern slopes are
intensively cultivated by
Embu, Meru and Kikuyu
The main cash crops in the region include coffee, tea and pyrethrum.
Laikipia Plateau- Private Ranches, Nature conservancies, Community
The western and northern
slopes are dominated by the Laikipia Plateau,
the meeting points of the farming and
the Samburu, cousins of the Maasai. Laikipia is famous for its
cattle ranches, wheat and horticulture plantation and private
conservancies. The concept of cattle and communities ranches
doubling into conservation has revolutionized tourism as we know it.
Cattle ranches in Laikipia have been converted into new models of
conservation. Lewa conservancy is particularly famous as a
breeding ground of Black Rhinos. Other private conservancies
in the region include, Borana, Tassia, Loisaba, Ol pejeta,
Sweet waters, Mugie and Mukutan. The local communities
like the Samburu have started their own community group ranches like
Il Ngwesi, Il Munyiek etc. Private ranches offer luxury in the
midst of wild animals. View R&N Xplorer Africa Safaris
to see the location of these places.
Kenya National Park, Mt Kenya and Mt Kenya Game/Forest, though used
as synonymous do not mean exactly the same. Mt Kenya will
refers to the rugged peaks which are visible from many parts of the
Mt. Kenya National Park:
Mount (Mt) Kenya National Park refers to that portion of the
mountain above 3000 M (10,500 ft) contour line. Mt Kenya
National Park was established in 1949 for aesthetic, tourism and
cultural purposes, to preserve water catchments and conserve
biodiversity . The Park occupy an area of 715 Km
Square. The Mt Kenya Forest/ Game reserve, refer to that
portion below 3000 M contour with a forest. The reserve
surrounding the forest occupies an area of 2095 Km square.
Tourism Attractions in Mt Kenya Park Region:
Besides Mt Kenya
National Park, the region has a large number of attractions worth
your visit. Among these are:
Culture- Mt Kenya region
is the home to Kenya's Bantu communities-the Kikuyu, the Embu and
the Meru. Though the Western civilization has greatly
influenced the lifestyle of these people, they have deep routed
cultural practices that can be only be understood by staying with
them. Besides the Bantus, the nilotes of Northern Kenya-the
Samburu and the Boran occupy some portions of Laikipia and the whole
of Isiolo plains.
Private Game Ranches /
Conservancies- these include, Lewa, Sweet Waters, Il Gwesi, Boran
and Ol Pejeta. Lewa and Sweet Waters have
distinguished themselves as breeding grounds of rare black Rhinos and Grevy's Zebra. Sweet Waters has the only
Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Kenya.
National Parks and
Reserves-Samburu, Buffalo springs, Shaba national reserves,;Meru and
Mt Kenya, Marsabit Park, Bisinadi and Kora National
The Nkunga forest
and the elephant Maternity; Have you heard that elephants
have a specific breading grounds? The area around lake Nkunga
forest, a walking distance from Meru town has proofed to be truly
the elephant maternity. Elephants breed within this small
forest between December and April. Nursery Herds of up to 20
accompanied by a few days old calves can be observed on the Meru
Isiolo road during this time. Visitors are however not allowed to
observe actual births.
See photo of Nkunga elephants with youngs>>
Kenya National Park -Safaris /
Climbing Mt Kenya
/ Mt Kenya
hiking, trekking and tracking :
Before embarking on climbing
or hiking Mt. Kenya,
acclimatization is very important.
days at the base can be enough for that.
Climbing and hiking
takes 3-5 days and 2 days
and is led by a team of experienced mountaineers and naturalists.
In Mt Kenya
accommodation is in the form of ready-pitched camps or
If you have to bring your camping material, a high altitude tent is
Climbing, Trekking, hiking and tracking trails on Mt Kenya
Naro Moru, the Burguret,
and the Chogoria trail.
Ngunia trail is available from Serena Mountain
Lodge. The Kamweti, Timau and Burguret have not been
used for long..
Climbing/ Hiking/ Trekking Mt Kenya Accommodation on the trails
-In this route has several campsites. There are several budget
facilities at the base of this route. The first 3-4
Hrs hike brings you to Lake Ellis Campsite(3500M). The
second day 3-4 Hours hike takes to Lake Michaelson Camp (4000M).
From here one can decide to ascend Point Lenana(4985M) or
proceed to Mintos Hut for further acclimatization to
ascent point Batian(5199M). Lake Michaelson is one of the
sacred lakes of the Meru people. Whenever there were
calamities, the elders would trek up the mountain to beseech God
on the shores of the lake.
Naro Noro Route:
From the base hotels, drive to Met Station Bandas(3050M).
Climbing up the vertical bog with spectacular views
across Taleki Valley to Mackinder's Camp(4200M) will take
you 6-7Hrs. From Mackinder's Camp an early rise will take
you to the Austrian Hut (4790) and further to Point
Lenana ( 4985M).
From the base hotels of Nanyuki drive to Sirimon Bandas at the
park gate. From Sirimon 3-4 hours hike brings you to
Old Moses (Judmaier) Camp(3350m). From Old Moses
hike 5-6 hours to Shipton's Camp (4150m). You have
superb views of the peaks from here. From Shipton's you
have options of trekking further to Kami Hut (4425) or
Hausberg Col(4591m). From Shipton's an early morning hike
(4-5Hrs) takes you to point Lenana (4985M)
We have two hiking
trekking safaris to Mt Kenya which allow climbers to ascend through
Chogoria and descend via Naro Moru/ climb through Sirimon and
descend via naro Moru etc. Below are some examples. Please
note that the Suggested safaris can be modified to suite your needs
, other activities that people can undertake within
Mt Kenya National Park and the surrounding are:
Mt. Kenya Forest.
Kenya National Park
is surrounded by a belt of
tropical mountain forest Reserve.
Unique montane vegetation including podocarpus and groundsel, and
finally one of the worlds rarest sights, equatorial snow.
Mt Kenya National Park
include, Black and White Colobus, Sykes Monkeys, bushbuck, rock
Hyrax, Greater galago, buffalo, elephant, Olive Baboon, waterbuck,
Black Rhino, black fronted duiker, leopard, giant forest hog, genet
cat, bush pig and hyena, the rare bongo.
animals you will encounter in Mt Kenya National Park are
Suni Antelope, Mt. Kenya Mole Rat, skinks (lizard), Montane Viper
and a variety of owls.
Albino Zebras have also been encountered.
include, Crowned hawk eagle, Jackson's francolin,
Abyssinian long-eared owl, Green ibis, African black duck,
Ayres' hawk eagle, Rufous-breasted, great sparrow hawks, Scaly
francolin, Silvery-cheeked hornbill, Hartlaub's turaco, red headed
parrot, bronze-napped pigeon, Mackinder's eagle owl, Rupell's robin
Accommodation at the base towns.
Part of the
attraction is the fascinating vegetation.
As you go up the mountain vegetation changes
- dry upland forest.
2,000m – 2,500m
forest of mainly cedar and podocarpus.
2,500m –3,000m -
dense belt of bamboo forest which merges into the upper
forest of smaller
trees, interspersed with glades. In this area the trees are
festooned with high altitude lichen.
3,000 - 3,5000m
open, dotted with shrubs: African Sage, protea and helichrysum.
moor land, with little game other than high altitude zebra and
eland, common in the northern moor land.
Giant Lobelias found in
Mt Kenya include Lobelia telekii
and Lobelia keniensis,
with the former having narrow leaves
and the later broad-leaved.
Otherunique plants are Romuela
Habenaria, and the orange flowered
gladiolus, Gladiolus Watsonioides