Mount Kenya national park is a scenic national park protecting Mount Kenya the second tallest mountain in Africa, Mountain Kenya stands at an altitude of 5,199 meters creating breathtaking scenery surrounding which is designated as a World Heritage Site. The scenery surrounding is composed of pristine wilderness with lakes, tarns, glaciers, dense forests, mineral springs and a selection of rare and endangered species of animals, high altitude adapted game and unique montane and alpine vegetation.
Mount Kenya national park was established as a protected area in 1949 with the intention of conserving the authenticity of mountain Kenya, wildlife and the surrounding environment.
Mount Kenya national park is located in the East of the Great Rift Valley about 175 kilometers northeast of Nairobi, the park covers an area of 2800 square kilometers and lies at 3000 meters.
HISTORY OF MOUNT KENYA NATIONAL PARK
Mount Kenya national park initially began as a forest reserve and in 1978 it was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, later in 1997 the forest was joined with the reserve to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The formation Mount Kenya national park by the government of Kenya was to benefit the local and national economy of Kenya through tourism, conserve an area of remarkable scenery, to conserve the park’s ecosystem and to prevent a water catchment area to the surrounding.
The area of Mount Kenya national park was originally the sacred home of the god “Ngai” who is the god of the kikuyu people who are greatly attached to Mount Kenya, up to day the area is still regarded as a sacred home for their god “Ngai”. Mount Kenya got its name from the Kamba people.
WHAT TO SEE IN MOUNT KENYA NATIONAL PARK
WIDLIFE IN MOUNT KENYA NATIONAL PARK
Mount Kenya national park is a home to diverse species of wild animals including endangered calling the park home, these wild animals include black rhinos, African elephant, genet cat, black fronted duikers, giant forest hog, antelopes, bongo antelope, waterbucks, bush pig, skyes monkeys, rock hyrax, suni antelope, albino zebras, spotted hyenas, black fronted duikers among others. Endangered species in Mount Kenya national park include the Sunni Buck, Mount Kenya Mole Shrew, Skinks (lizard) and owls.
BIRDLIFE IN MOUNT KENYA NATIONAL PARK
Mount Kenya national park is a birder’s haven inhabiting over 130 species of birds including 6 of the 8 Kenya mountains Endemic Bird Area and 54 of the 70 Afrotropical Highlands biome species existing in Kenya. There are also rare bird species which are only found in Kenya, these birds include Kenrick’s Starling, Scarlet-tufted sunbird, Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike, Long-tailed windowbird, African Crowned Eagle, Cape Eagle Owl, Abyssinian Owl, Lammergeier, Olive Ibis, Sharpe’s Longclaw, Jackson’s windowbird, Abbott’s starling, lesser kestrel and Ayres’s hawk-eagle which are only found in Kenya.
KENYA SAFARI ACTIVITIES TO DO IN MOUNT KENYA NATIONAL PARK
Mount Kenya being the second tallest mountain on the African continent is one of the best destinations for mountaineering experience in Kenya and Africa as well, climbing Mount Kenya takes a minimum of 5 days to reach to highest point of the human where humans can go.
Mount Kenya’s highest peaks include Nelion at the altitude of 5,188 meters, Batian at 5,199 meters and Point Lenana at 4,985 meters. Climbing Mount Kenya done using several hiking tracks including Summit Circuit, Nelion normal route, Burget route and Timau track.
For junior hiker on a climbing experience, there are 8 routes to reach the main peaks including Chogoria, Moru, Naro and Sirimon routes. The Summit Circuit path can also be used, this circuit path circles the Mount Kenya and takes one day or two days of trekking.
Mount Kenya national park is a home to several wildlife species, the park is made up of mainly Mount Kenya and a forest reserve. The forest reserve is a home to elephants, leopards, white tailed mongoose, tree hyrax, mole rats, bushbucks, black fronted duikers, elands, waterbucks, black rhinos and cape buffaloes which are easily sighted during game viewing Kenya safari.
Mount Kenya national park offers rewarding bird watching, the park is a habitat for over 130 bird species with 6 six of the 8 Kenya Mountains Endemic Bird Area and 54 of the 70 Afro-tropical Highlands biome species that occur in Kenya. Birds that can be spotted in the park include Abbott’s Starling, Lesser Kestrel, Jackson’s widowbird, Sharpe’s Longclaw, Olive Ibis, Lammergeier, Ayres’s hawk-eagle, African Crowned Eagle, African Grass Owl, Cape Eagle-Owl, Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike, Long-tailed Widowbird, Abyssinian Owl, Scarlet-tufted Sunbird.
WHERE TO STAY IN MOUNT KENYA NATIONAL PARK
In Mount Kenya national park there are a limited accommodation facilities, however the available offer the best facilities and guest rooms to guests visiting the park on a Kenya safari. These accommodation establishments include Serena Mountain Lodge, Fairmount Mount Kenya Safari Club, Castle Forest Lodge among others.
HOW TO GET TO MOUNT KENYA NATIONAL PARK
Mount Kenya national park can be accessed by road and air transport.
By road – from Nairobi, Mount Kenya national park is about 4 hours’ drive. The road leading to the park is tarmacked expect the route approaching the park gates where the road is rough ad hard to pass most especially in rainy season.
By air – domestic flights to Mount Kenya national park are offered from Wilson Airport in Nairobi to an airstrip in Naro-Moru town which is the closet to Mount Kenya.
WHEN TO VISIT MOUNT KENYA NATIONAL PARK
Mount Kenya National park experiences strong rains from Mid-March to mid-June and short rains from September to October, it is possible to visit the park all year round. However, in the long rains, the tracks tend to become muddy and challenging to pass. In the dry season, the park experiences scorching sun all day.