Mount Kenya National Park

Arising to 5,199 meters, Mount Kenya is the second tallest mountain in Africa. The scenery surrounding this designated World Heritage Site is breath-taking. It is pristine wilderness with lakes, tarns, glaciers, dense forest, mineral springs and a selection of rare and endangered species of animals, high altitude adapted plains game and unique montane and alpine vegetation.

Visitors can enjoy mountain climbing, camping and caving with the mountain’s rugged glacier-clad peaks providing the perfect backdrop.

Background Information

Mount Kenya consists of 12 remnant glaciers, and its icy summits and forest covered slopes provide rich habitat for abundant flora and boasting some of Africa’s most stunning scenery.

At lower altitudes, black-and-white colobus monkeys, lion, bongo and Cape buffalo are among the special mammals seen in Mount Kenya National Park, while its birdlife includes olive ibis, scaly francolin and Alpine swift.

One of the most rewarding features of a visit to Mount Kenya National Park is the chance to pass through several different ecosystems as you ascend or descend the mountain – tropical and bamboo forest home to buffalo and elephant, upland heath which is home to plants such as rosette and giant lobelia, followed by a barren landscape of ice and rock.

There were several important reasons for establishing this park in 1949. Mt. Kenya itself, the surrounding wildlife and its environment were all in need of the protections a park designation would bring. Plus, the area is a major catchment of water supplying several large river systems in Kenya.

Long a favorite of climbers, the stately mountain has 7 routes to the summit. Of Mt. Kenya’s 3 peaks – Batian (5199m/17,057 ft), Nelion (5188m/17,021 ft) and Point Lenana (4985m/16,354 ft) – only this last can be ascended by regular visitors. The other taller peaks remain in the realm of advanced technical mountaineers.

Climbing at these elevations can be challenging and it is recommended that climbers spend a minimum of 3 nights to acclimatise to prevent altitude sickness.

Beginning your climb at the mountain’s tropical base, you’ll be welcomed by the park’s prolific birdlife. As you trek up through the forests and moors, watch for sunbirds, eagles and other avian life in this towering park.