MOUNT KENYA NATIONAL PARK

Altitude 5,199m
Area 715sq. kms.
Distance from Nairobi 175 kms.
Naro Moro airstrip
Opened December 1949
Excellent game viewing
Mountain Climbing
Fantastic scenery: Lakes,
Tarns, Glaciers & Peaks
Rare Birds & Animals
Natural Minerals Springs
Mountain Forest with High altitude plains game

The snow-covered peak of Mount Kenya dominates the Central Highlands. At 5199m it is Africa’s second highest mountain. It was formed between two-and-three-million-years-ago by a series of volcanic eruptions. It probably once had a crater not unlike Mt Kilimanjaro’s, but erosion has sheared this down to a series of peaks.

When the first 19th century European missionaries reported seeing the snowy peak on the equator no one really believed it, perhaps some thought the missionaries had had a touch too much sun. The mountain above the forest line is a national park and it supports rainforests and thickets of bamboo, while higher up magical moorland of giant lobelia and heather. The forests are home to elephant, buffalo, monkeys, antelope and giant forest hog. The Central Highlands, which comprise Mt Kenya and the Aberdares, is the homeland of the Kikuyu people, who hold the mountain sacred. But its fertile soil and good climate were also a draw for European settlers, who snatched the land out from under the Kikuyu, resulting in the seething resentment which erupted as the Mau Mau Rebellion.

Since independence the land occupied by the remaining whites has been much reduced and redistributed to the Kikuyu, and the land is now intensely cultivated by them and closely related Meru and Embu people. The mountain was first climbed in 1899 by Sir Halford McKinder and today is a popular peak to conquer. There are three peaks, Point Lenana can be reached by most relatively fit people, but the other two are only accessible to mountaineers with technical skills. Mt Kenya is circled by a tar road which is in good condition and on this you will find the area’s main towns; Naro Moru, Nanyuki, Meru and Embu

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