Area: 715 km²
How to get there: Roads: 175 Kms from Nairobi, the park can be reached on Nanyuki-Isiolo road via Sirimon Track or Nyeri-Nanyuki road near Naro.
What to do there: It is called Africa’s second highest peak, but Mount Kenya is a thoroughly first-rate destination for a trek. These sleeping volcanos are quite dramatic, having ever-changing scenery and a rich supporting cast of animals and birdlife, all without the crowds that flock towards Kilimanjaro.
Mount Kenya National Park was a forest reserve, before being a national park. Currently, the national park is surrounded by the forest reserve. In April 1978, the area was designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Combined, the national park and forest reserve became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.
The Government of Kenya shows four reasons for creating a national park on and around Mount Kenya. These were for the importance of tourism for the local and national economy, to preserve an area of great scenic beauty, to conserve the biodiversity within the park, and to preserve the water-catchment for the surrounding area. 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.
It is original wasteland with lakes, lagoons, glaciers, dense forest, mineral springs and a selection of rare and with endangered species of animals, high altitude adapted plains game drive and unique montane and alpine vegetation. Here visitors must enjoy mountain climbing, camping and caving within the mountain’s rugged glacier-clad peaks providing the perfect backdrop.
Longing for your favourite climbing’s, the stately mountain has 7 routes to the summit. Of Mt. Kenya has 3 peaks – Batian (5199m/17,057 ft), Nelion (5188m/17,021 ft) and Point Leanna (4985m/16,354 ft) – only this last can be ascended by regular visitors in the park. The other taller peaks remain in the realm of advanced technical mountaineers. Climbing at these elevations are quite challenging and it is recommended that climbers can spend a minimum of 3 nights to acclimatise to prevent altitude sickness.
Beginning your climb at the mountain’s tropical base and you’ll be welcomed by the park’s creativity. As you trek up through the forests and moors, you can see for sunbirds, eagles and other avian life in this soaring park.