Fairend Safaris

Mount Kenya National Park

Mount Kenya National Park is located in central Kenya north of the equator. It is where the second-highest peak in Africa is found. The mountain has different geographical features which include glaciers, U-shaped valleys, alpine rivers, and forested slopes. Mount Kenya serves as a crucial drainage basin as it supplies water to the people living on its slopes.

The park was a forest reserve and later became a national park in 1978 and a UNESCO World Heritage in 1997. It has 6 entry points namely Naru Moru gate, Kihari gate, Mawingu gate, Sirimon gate, Kamweti gate, and Chogoria gate.

How to get to Mount Kenya National Park

The Park can be accessed by both air and road, it is located 175km away from Nairobi. It takes about 4 hours to arrive using the Nanyuki-Isiolo road, or Nyeri-Nanyuki road near Naro Moru. The other route that tourists can use is Chogoria on Embu-Meru road which is 150km north of Nairobi.

When using air, there are domestic flights from Wilson Airport in Nairobi to Nanyuki Airfield by Air Kenya Express that take about 35 minutes to get to the park.

Top attractions

Mount Kenya

This is the second-highest mountain in Africa offering hikers and mountain climbers a challenge to hike to its highest peak. The highest peak on this mountain is the Batian peak at 5199 meters followed by Nelion at 5188 meters and point Lenana at 4985 meters.

Wildlife species

Wildlife species can be spotted in this  Park including white-tailed buffalo, black rhino, black-fronted duikers, leopards, giant forest hog, bongo antelope, suni antelope, rock hyrax,  and albino zebra among others.

Bird species

Bird species found in Mount Kenya National Park include a red-headed parrot, bronze-napped pigeon, scaly francolin, Ayres hawk-eagle, and many more. Many birds can be spotted with the right equipment and at the right birding spots.

Plant species

 The plant life  is another attraction that tourists look out for while in the park. The  has unique montane and alpine vegetation like giant groundsels and lobelias, including species of endemic plants.

Activities to do in Mount Kenya National Park

Hiking

Hiking is the major activity that attracts tourists, where travelers take part in hiking the second-highest peak in Africa. Some of the hiking trails are for professional and experienced hikers especially to reach the top of the summit. Whereas other hiking trails are easier to climb and do not require one to have any experience to hike.

As hikers climb they pass through various vegetation covers dominating the slopes. They get to view many animals such as elephants, buffaloes, and different bird species. When tourists get to the summit they encounter different geographical features like lakes, tarns, and glaciers.

Game viewing

Mount Kenya National Park is home to different wildlife species that travelers can see when they visit. It offers an amazing game viewing experience where travelers get to view many animals such as elephants, tree hyrax, white-tailed mongoose, black-fronted duikers, mole rats, bushbucks, waterbucks, elands, leopards, black rhinos, buffaloes and many more.

Camping

Travelers who love camping can have a unique experience when they visit since it is one of the options for accommodation. When hiking to the summit, hikers cannot climb to the top in one day and therefore need to rest. However, huts are also used for accommodation during hiking because they are environmentally friendly. Bookings for huts are made at the park’s entrances.

Cave exploration

There are many caves to explore to search for ancient artifacts, and learn some history about them. The caves on the slopes of Mount Kenya such as Mau Mau caves, Shipton’s caves, and many others are visited. Mau Mau cave was used by the Mau Mau warriors as a place to store their supplies and also a hideout. The trail to the caves offers great adventure opportunities and beautiful scenic views of waterfalls and rivers.

Where to stay

There a several accommodation facilities to choose from for a stay when visiting Mount Kenya National Park, some closer to the foothills of Mount Kenya and others found in the nearby towns. These facilities range from Luxury to mid-range and budget accommodation, it all depends on how much you are willing to spend on your trip and these are;

Luxury accommodation facilities in Mount Kenya National Park include Hotel Fairmont, Mount Kenya safari club, Whispers luxury guest rooms, Serena Mountain Lodge, Castle Forest Lodge.

Midrange accommodation facilities in Mount Kenya National Park include Soames Hotel & Jacks bar, Penguin House, Le Rustique.  

Budget accommodation facilities in Mount Kenya National Park include the Batian guest house, Starbucks Katarina, and Bantu Mountain Lodge.

What to pack

Travelers need to carry kits that will enable them to have a successful hike, the kit should include items to keep you warm, dry, protected from the sun or rain and comfortable.

The following should not be missed on your packing list, hiking boots, the bag to carry your essentials, drinking water, a sleeping bag, gloves, a head torch or lamp, a jacket, sunglasses, a hat, and snacks. Travelers should also carry personal care items, a first aid kit, and trekking poles or sticks.