A Guide To Mt. Kenya National Park
The 2800km square Mt. Kenya National Park is to the east of the Great Rift Valley, about 175km north-east of Nairobi. The ecosystem lies in Central and Eastern provinces. At 5,199m, the mountain is the second highest peak in Africa. Mt Kenya is an important water tower in the country and provides water for about 50 per cent of population and produces 70% hydroelectric power.
Mt. Kenya National Park – A UNESCO World Heritage Site
UNESCO has identified Mt. Kenya National Park as a World Heritage Site. It is described as one of the most impressive landscapes in eastern with rugged glacier-clad summits, afro-alpine moorlands and diverse forests that illustrate outstanding ecological processes.
Facts About Mt.Kenya National Park
Altitude: the mountain ranges between 1,600-5,199 m above sea level.
Area: National Park 715 sq km, National Reserve 2,124 sq km.
Location: Nyeri District, Central Province.
Distance from Nairobi: the nation’s largest mountain, straddles the equator, 175 km north-east of Nairobi.
Gazetted: the National Park was gazetted in December 1949 and the National Reserve in July 2000.
Activities: mountains climbing, game watching, birding, hiking, nature walking.
Climate: as a result of its mountain geography, Mount Kenya’s weather is notoriously unpredictable and varies with altitude.
At points over 4,000 m mountain altitude, Mount Kenya is usually freezing cold, misty and windy. During sunshine, daytime temperatures may rise to over 15˚C (over 4,000 m) and during periods of cloud cover they may drop to nearly 0˚C.
Vegetation: Kenya’s mountain alps feature alpine and sub-alpine flora with montane and bamboo forest, moorland and tundra amongst the highest peaks.
Montain wildlife: includes; giant forest hog, tree hyrax, white-tailed mongoose, elephant, black rhino, suni, black-fronted duiker, bongo, leopard, Mount Kenya mouse shrew, hyrax, duiker and the endemic mole-rat.
Birds: 130 recorded species.
What to see At Mt. Kenya National Park
Visitors are drawn to Mt. Kenya National Park by pristine wilderness, lakes, tarns, glaciers and peaks of great beauty, geological variety, forest, mineral springs rare and endangered species of animals, game, unique mountain and alpine vegetation with 11 species of endemic plants.
They include the elephant, tree hyrax, white tailed mongoose, suni, black-fronted duiker, mole rat, bushbucks, waterbuck and elands. Rarely seen include leopard, giant forest hog and rhino. 130 bird species have been recorded.
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Mt. Kenya National Park offers easy and challenging ascents with superb scenic beauty. To the Agikuyu who live near it, the mountain is the home of the Supreme Being Ngai, a name also used in some variation by the Maasai and Kamba people.
Pristine wilderness, lakes, tarns, glaciers and peaks of great beauty, geological variety, forest, mineral springs, rare and endangered species of animals, High altitude adapted plains game, Unique montane and alpine vegetation with 11 species of endemic plants.
Accommodation and hotels in Mt. Kenya National Park
KWS Self Catering
Campsites in Mt. Kenya National Park
- Kinondoni Campsite
- Road Head
- Mintos Hut & Campsite
- Narumoru Gate Campsite
- Met Station Campsite
- Mackinders Campsite
- Sirimon Gate Campsite
- Austrian Hut Campsite
- Judmaier Campsite
- Shipton Campsite
- Liki North Hut 7 Campsite
- Solo Campsite
- Major Campsite
How to get to Mt. Kenya National Park
Mt. Kenya National Park can be reached through the Nanyuki-Isiolo road via Sirimon Track or Nyeri-Nanyuki road near Naro-Moru. Another route is via Chogoria on the Embu–Meru road, about 150km north of Nairobi. The closest commercial airstrip to the park is at Nanyuki.
The KWS offers self-catering accommodation at Batian Guesthouse and Sirimon Bandas. Camping facilities are available at Kinondoni, Road Head, Mintos Hut, Naro-moru Gate, Met Station, Mackinder’s, Austrian Hut, Judmaier, Shipton, Liki North Hut 7 and Solo.
- Roads: 175 Kms from Nairobi, the park can be reached on Nanyuki-Isiolo road via Sirimon Track or Nyeri-Nanyuki road near Naro Moru. The park is also reachable via Chogoria on the Embu – Meru road, about 150km north of Nairobi.
- Mountain climbing routes without an official gate include:
- Airstrips: The closest commercial airstrip to the park is at Nanyuki
Mt. Kenya National Park fees
Adults KSH: 2350
Child KSH: 700
Adults KSH: 4100
Child KSH: 1800
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Non – Resident
Adults USD: 225
Child USD: 150
Mt Kenya Peaks
The highest Peaks are;
- Batian (5,199 metres (17,057 ft)
- Nelion (5,188 m (17,021 ft)
- Lenana (4,985 m (16,355 ft)
- Batian and Nelion are within 250 m (270 yd) of each other, separated by the Gate of the Mists gap (5,144 metres (16,877 ft)
- Coryndon Peak (4,960 m (16,273 ft)) is the next highest, but unlike the previous peaks it does not form a part of the central plug.
Other peaks around the central plug include;
- Pt Piggot (4,957 m (16,263 ft)), Pt Dutton (4,885 m (16,027 ft))
- Pt John (4,883 m (16,020 ft))
- Pt John Minor (4,875 m (15,994 ft))
- Krapf Rognon (4,800 m (15,748 ft))
- Pt Peter (4,757 m (15,607 ft))
- Pt Slade (4,750 m (15,584 ft))
- Midget Peak (4,700 m (15,420 ft)).
Significant craggy outlying peaks include;
- Terere (4,714 m (15,466 ft))
- Sendeyo (4,704 m (15,433 ft))
Other notable peaks include;
- The Hat (4,639 m (15,220 ft))
- Delamere Peak
- Macmillan Peak
Mt Kenya Location
Located in Central Kenya region Mount Kenya sits on the Equator.
Mt Kenya National Park
The park was created to encourage tourism, to preserve the area’s natural, outstanding beauty, and to conserve the animal habitat and protect it as a water catchment area. Mount Kenya National Park is located between Kenya’s other safari parks – Aberdare, Samburu and Meru National Park.Mount Kenya National Park consists mainly of the three peaks of Mount Kenya. This gives it a different landscape than the other national parks, but the African animals are still evident, including African elephants, monkeys and a host of birds.
Mt Kenya Pictures
Mt Kenya Height
At 5,199 m, Mount Kenya is the second-highest peak in Africa. It is an ancient extinct volcano, which during its period of activity (3.1-2.6 million years ago) is thought to have risen to 6,500 m. The entire mountain is deeply dissected by valleys radiating from the peaks, which are largely attributed to glacial erosion. There are about 20 glacial tarns (small lakes) of varying sizes and numerous glacial moraine features between 3,950 m and 4,800 m asl. The highest peaks are Batian (5,199 m) and Nelion (5,188 m). There are 12 remnant glaciers on the mountain, all receding rapidly, and four secondary peaks that sit at the head of the U-shaped glacial valleys.
Mt. Kenya National Park Contacts
Attraction Type: Wildlife, Scenery & Landscapes, Adventure
Category: National Park, Mountain, Mountain Climbing
Region: Mt. Kenya
City / Town: Nanyuki
Road / Street: Nanyuki – Isiolo Road
Telephone: 254 20 356 8763
Entrance Fee: Yes