Mount Kenya National Park

Mount Kenya National Park

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Ascending up to 5,199 meters and the second highest mountain that soars towards the sky in Africa after Tanzania`s Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya National Park-Kenya was established in December 1949 on the eastern side of the great rift valley to protect this precious Mount Kenya, wildlife and the surrounding environment. Mount Kenya National Park is covering, 3000 meters above the contour line, and is 175 km north east of Nairobi.

The magnificent scenery surrounding Mount Kenya national Park is one in the million, it’s an original wilderness with lakes, tarns, mountain rivers stunning glaciers, dense forest, mineral springs, moorland rock and ice and crowned by the glittering twin peaks of Batian and Nelion for the Kikuyu people. Not forgetting the wide range of threatened species of animals and birds.  It is Kenya`s national icon and nations namesake.

History of Mount Kenya National Park-Kenya

Mount Kenya National Park started as a forest reserve, in April 1978, Mount Kenya was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and in 1997, Mount Kenya National park was combined with the forest reserve which is 705Km2 to become UNESCO World Heritage Site. The government of Kenya highlighted four clear reasons for the creation of a national park on and beneath mountain Kenya. They included; the importance of tourism for the local and national economies, 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.

The Traditional Natives Surrounding Mount Kenya National Park-Kenya

The Sacred home of the God Ngai!

The kikuyu people of Kenya are one of the communities surrounding the park and are closely attached to Mount Kenya National Park, believing that it is a sacred home for their God whom they refer to as the Ngai. Other communities surrounding mountain Kenya include the Kambas who game the name to the mountain that was finally referred to as the countries name and finally the Embu and Maasai also gave different names to the Mountain, like the mountain peaks Batian, Nelion ant Point Lenana which are named after the Maasai brave men and medicine men; among many other legendary stories attached to mountain Kenya.

Wildlife in Mount Kenya National Park-Kenya;

 Mt Kenya National Park in Mt Kenya has a wide variety of wild animals which can be seen in and around the park including the white-tailed buffalo, African Elephant, Black rhino, black fronted duikers, leopards, genet cat, giant forest hog, waterbuck, antelopes, olive baboon, Bush Pig, black and white Colobus and Sykes monkeys, bongo antelope, suni antelope, rock hyrax, albino zebra and the spotted hyena and many more. A number of other rare or endangered species can be found here such as the Sunni Buck, Mount Kenya Mole Shrew, skinks (lizard), and a variety of owls.

Birdlife in Mount Kenya National Park-Kenya;

Mount Kenya has a rich montane avifauna. More than 130 species of birds have been recorded including six of the eight Kenya Mountains Endemic Bird Area and 54 of the 70 Afrotropical Highlands biome species that occur in Kenya. Mountain Kenya area has records of globally and regionally threatened species including  the Abbott’s Starling, Lesser Kestrel (a passage migrant on the moorland), Jackson’s widowbird (at up to 3,000 m), Sharpe’s Longclaw, Olive Ibis, Lammergeier, Ayres’s hawk-eagle, African Crowned Eagle, African Grass Owl, Cape Eagle-Owl, Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike, Long-tailed widowbird, Abyssinian Owl (very rare and poorly researched), Scarlet-tufted Sunbird, and Kenrick’s Starling which is confined to this area in Kenya.

 Scenery of Mount Kenya in Mount Kenya National Park-Kenya;

It’s not every day that you get to see breathtaking scenery Right? But the Kikuyu tribesmen are blessed to see it every day of their lives!! However, to them, Mount Kenya is the home of Ngai, the Supreme Being. But to the ordinary traveler, the mountain fortress is a sight to behold. Explore Africa`s secret here!

Mountain climbing-Mount Kenya national Park, Kenya

One of the main daring goings-on that tourists to Mt Kenya can involve in is mountain climbing that takes a minimum of five days to climb to highest humans can go on Mount Kenya. The trekking roads in Mt Kenya include the Summit circuit in Mt Kenya, Nelion normal route in Mt Kenya, the Burget route in Mt Kenya and the Timau route in Mt Kenya. The mountain offers easy or challenging ascents with superb scenic beauty. Its highest peaks are Batian (5,199 m), Nelion (5,188 m) and Point Lenana (4,985 m). Mind you, Mountain Kenya is 5,199metres high, it is Africa’s second highest mountain after Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895) in Tanzania.

For the less skilled, there are eight climbing routes up to the main peaks. Perhaps trekking might be a more appropriate word for this activity. The most common routes are the Chogoria, Naro Moru, and Sirimon routes. There is also a Summit Circuit path that circumnavigates the whole mountain in a day or two walking.

Animal Viewing Safari in Mount Kenya National Park-Kenya;

The Mount Kenya National Park includes Mount Kenya and is basically a forest reserve. Forest belts play host to a great variety of animals. These include elephants, tree hyrax, white tailed mongoose, black fronted duikers, mole rats, bushbucks, waterbucks, elands, leopards, black rhinos, and buffaloes.

Bird Watching in Mount Kenya National Park-Kenya;

Birding activity in Mount Kenya National park especially at the forest trails is one of the spectacular activities that can enhance your satisfaction. The different habitats, that is, the montane forest, the montane grassland, the bamboo and the moorland, look out for globally threaten species such as lesser Kestrel, Sharpe’s Long claw, Abbott’s Starling, Jackson’s Widowbird. Other birds to see include Hartlaub’s Turaco, Brown-Hooded Kingfisher, Giant Kingfisher, Grey-olive Greenbul, Zanzibar Sombre Greenbul, Brown-backed Scrub-Robin, Black-Throated Wattle-eye, Singing, Red faced, Winding, Rattling, Croaking Cisiticolas, Mountain Yellow Warbler, African-moustached Warbler, Broad-tailed Warbler, African Golden Weaver, Yellow-crowned Bishop, African Fire finch, Yellow-bellied Waxbill, and Abyssinian Crimson wing.

Birds of Northern Kenya Green Ibis, Long-crested Eagle, Mountain and Augur Buzzards, Rofous-breasted Sparrow hawk, Red-fronted Parrot, Red-throated Wryneck, Common Stone-chat, Kenrick’s and Waller’s Starlings, Oriole Finch, Montane White-eye, African Hill Babbler, Montane Greenbul, White-headed Hoopoe,  Grey , Black-throated, Black-headed, Chestnut-throated Apalises, Green, Olive, and Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeons,  Lemon, and Tambourine Doves, Moustached Green Tinker bird, White-headed and White-eared Barbets, Scarce and Alpine Swifts,  Eastern and Northern Double-collared sunbirds, Green Headed, Golden- winged and Tacazze  sunbirds among more common species. More than 130 species of birds can be sighted here.  If you’re a passionate birder, you have reached.

How to Access Nairobi National Park in Kenya

By Road

Apart from the main entrance, which lies 7km from Nairobi city center, there are other gates on Magadi Rd and the Athi River gate; the latter is handy if you’re continuing on to Mombasa, Amboseli or the Tanzanian border. The roads in the park are passable with 2WDs, but travelling in a 4WD is never a bad idea, especially if the rains have been heavy.

There are Matatus that pass by the main park entrance 30 to 45 minutes from the train station.

You can also go by private vehicle; Prime safaris is at your service for this trip!!

By Air

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and Wilson Airports are not far from the Park, from there you can take a drive to Nairobi National Park. Just about 8kms

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