Mount Kenya National Park
Mount Kenya National Park is one of the top tourist destinations in Kenya that a number of tourists include in their travel plans. Mt Kenya National Park was declared a national park in 1949 for the reasons that include tourism revenue collection, conservation of the park’s biodiversity, and to preserve the water catchment for the surrounding areas. Mt Kenya National Park became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.
Mt Kenya National Park is located east of the rift valley and is only about 170km from Nairobi, and covers an area of 715 square kilometers with a climb that goes up to 5199 metres. Mt Kenya is the second tallest mountain in the African continent, with breath-taking scenery and pristine wilderness with lakes, glaciers, forest, tarns, mineral springs and a number of rare animal species.
The key features of Mt Kenya National Park are also the attractions that tourists see and experience while on a Kenya safari and visiting this park in particular. The key attractions or features include;
Wildlife: there are a variety of wildlife species in Mount Kenya National Park that tourists visiting the place can spot. The various wildlife that can be seen include elephants, buffaloes, white tailed mongoose, black fronted duiker, mole rat, bushbucks, and elands among others. Some of the rare wildlife sighted include leopards, lions, bongo, and the giant forest hogs.
Birds: Mt Kenya National Park boosts of over 130 species of birds that have been recorded to inhabit the protected area. Some of the bird species that can be spotted in Mount Kenya National Park include Olive Pigeon, Violet-backed Starling, Mountain Buzzard, African green pigeon, black-and-white manikin, red-fronted parrot, Jackson’s francolin, and hunter’s cisticola, among so many others.
Plantlife: The plant life of Mt Kenya National Park is another attraction or feature that tourists look out for while in the park. Mount Kenya National Park has unique montane and alpine vegetation like giant groundsels and lobelias, including 11 species of endemic plants.
Mount Kenya: Mount Kenya itself is an attraction that tourists visit the park to see and also climb. Mount Kenya is the second-highest mountain in Africa, making it worth to climb for those adventurous tourists.
With the scenic beauty and attractions that Mt Kenya National Park has, tourists have a number of activities that they can take part in and they include;
Mountain climbing is the most done activity in Mount Kenya National Park. There are about seven routes to Mount Kenya with the easiest being the Naro Moru route which takes 4 days. All around mount climbing of Mount Kenya can take up to 10 days. Point Lenana which is the third peak of Mount Kenya is easily accessible by all climbers. Climbing Mount Kenya is very rewarding for those tourists who make it to the top, with great and scenic views of glaciers, lakes and birds and other plant and animal life.
Game viewing in Mt Kenya National Park has tourists enjoying a morning or evening drive through the park during which time they can spot a variety of game including elephants, buffaloes, elands, antelopes, among so many others.
Mount Kenya National Park has about 130 species of birds roaming the park that tourists can see while on a birding adventure. The most ideal places to see birds in Mount Kenya National Park is around the lakes and slopes of Mount Kenya.
Cave exploration and Camping
Cave exploration and camping are other activities that tourists can do while in Mount Kenya National Park. Camping can be done in some of the most scenic areas in the park.
Best time to visit Mount Kenya National Park
The best time to visit Mt Kenya National Park is during the dry season when the climb is more bearable and less slippery, as well as the roads leading to the park and paths inside the park. It should be noted though that rains fall at any time of the year given that the park is forested and mountainous. This makes it valid to therefore say that Mount Kenya National Park can be visited all year through.
What to take with you for a Mount Kenya National Park safari
Some of the items that tourists ought to carry or pack when embarking on a Mt Kenya National Park safari include walking boots with a good grip, warm clothing given the area is of high altitude and mountainous, socks, gaiters, binoculars for those interested in birding, sunscreen, camera, hat, and insect repellent creams among others.
How to get to Mt Kenya National Park
Tourists can get to Mt Kenya National Park by both road and air. Tourists getting to Mt Kenya National Park by road get to drive about 175kms from Nairobi to the park, via Nanyuki-Isiolo road, or Nyeri-Nanyuki road near Naro Moru. The other route that tourists can use is Chogoria on Embu-Meru road which is 150km north of Nairobi. Tourists can also get to Mt Kenya National Park by air, with the nearest commercial airstrip to the park being at Nanyuki, with the rest of the journey being travelled by road. Getting to Mount Kenya National Park by road is by far the most advised for as long as one has enough time at hand.
Accommodation for tourists visiting Mt Kenya National Park can be found in and around the park. Some of the accommodation facilities that tourists can stay in include Sirimon Cottage, Shipton Campsite, Liki North Hut 7 Campsite, and Serena Mountain Lodge among so many others.
Mt Kenya National Park is a great place to visit while on a Kenya safari, with a number of activities to enjoy. Take time to reach out to your trusted tour operator to help you plan a memorable safari to Mt Kenya National Park.