The park lies in the Eastern part of the Great Rift Valley, 175km Northeast of Nairobi City. The park lies within the forest reserve. The park was once a forest reserve but later was turned into a national park in 1949 to protect Mount Kenya, wildlife, birds and a water catchment for the sounding areas. The forest reserve covers 705sqkm and the park 715sqkm. The total area is protected for the good of nature and for the country’s economic benefit. Both the park and forest reserve were named among UNESCO world Heritage sites in 1997. Part of the landscape in the park is volcanic, but there is a continuous flow of water that has supported a lot to agriculture in the surrounding areas.
How to Access the Park
The park can be accessed by both road and air transport.
Air Transport, you can board from Jomo Kenyatta International airport to Nyanyuki Airstrip which is the closet commercial airport to the park.
Road transport, there various options, from taxi, bus or self-drive and two roads that you could use. One is Nanyuki Isiolo road, near Naro Moru, second is via Chogoria on the Embu- Meru Road. Its 150km North of Nairobi City.
There are 6 gates that can be used to enter the park. Such as; Mwingu gate, Chogoria gate, Sirimoni gate, Naro Moru gate, Kamweti gate and Kihari gate. To access the park a tourist will be expected to pay an entrance fee in cash.
What to go with
Tourists should pack, footwear especially hiking boots, long and short sleeves wear, sunglasses, sun screens, warm clothing, sandals, hat, a camera, binoculars, camping equipment, a light raincoat, drinking water, snacks, among others items that you could need.
Things to do
There quite a number of activities that can be enjoyed by tourists to have a great feel of the place. It should be noted that some activities need a lot of effort and expertise but are open to all visitors.
This is one of the activities that is commonly enjoyed by the experienced. Even first timers join in the activity to a certain level. The experienced can even climb up to point Lenana. However much whichever level you reach there better views of the place but point Lenana has the best views. You will enjoy every moment of climbing this mountain though more stamina will be needed.
There trails along this this mountain available for those who can climb it. Along the foothills of the mountain. This is so amazing and rewarding too. You will enjoy what you see along the low lands. In the low lands there normally fewer rains than the higher lands. You will enjoy the vegetation, birdlife and wild animals.
Join guided walks and tour the whole park and sites close to it. The park has so many beautiful things to see. From the breathtaking waterfalls, montane forests, lakes, caves, and plantations close by, will be seen. On these walks which sometimes can be tiring you will enjoy sights and sounds of wildlife and birds. After a few hours of walking, you will relax at your chosen place of accommodation for with a wonderful meal.
On these drives, you will have an opportunity of touring the park in search of wild animals. These are normally found chilling in the park or having a drink in along water bodies. Clear views of these animals will be enjoyed in the comfortable sit. Pictures can be taken with the best backgrounds. Drives are arranged during day and in the dry seasons for animals are easily seen.
These wonderful places close to the park that can be viewed. A tour to Mau Mau caves will also be worth.
The park is also paradise for birds. Guides will lead you in his activity which is mostly enjoyed in the wet season when migratory birds visit the place. The activity gives sights of the rarest of bird’s species that have a home in the park.
When to go
The park can be visited throughout the year although its best enjoyed during the dry season. The dry season runs from June-September and December to March. The wet season runs from October- November and March-May.
The best season runs from December –March for it’s the sunniest. From March to May there rains that can disorganize most of the activities. From October to Early December there short drizzle periods.
The dry season is good for most of the activities in the park like game viewing, mountain climbing, and walk safaris, among others.
During the wet season mountain hiking can be tricky and therefore risky.
Still in the same season the cloudy weather in the first period of the wet season might not give clear views of the Mount Kenya.
It should be noted that the climate at the park depends on altitude. In the park temperatures are cooler that the rest of the country. So tourists should be ready.
There so many wonderful things to be seen in and outside the park that await to be seen. We have selected most attractive things of the place that we think you shouldn’t miss.
Africa’s second highest mountain at 5199m, next to Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro at 5895m. This is a must see volcano. The amazing feature will be at your disposal and to make matters more exciting, you should take a hike up to a certain level, and enjoy the beautiful scenery in front of you. You can also enjoy a safari around this huge mountain.
The park has a variety of animal species that can be seen up-close by tourists. These will be seen on your game drives, on your guided walk safari, and when you take a hike on the mountain. The most commonly seen are animals: black rhinos, bushbucks, waterbucks, elephants, black fronted duiker, hyena, bush pig, porcupine, genet cat, albino zebra, Mount Kenya Mole Shrew, Sunni buck, leopard, tree hyrax, giant forest hog, buffalo, eland and bongo, among others. These animals are clearly seen around water bodies, and around the park while they graze.
The park is a home to these unique creatures. The likes of olive baboons, black and white colobus monkeys, white tailed mongoose, and skyes monkey all these will be at your disposal once you visit the park. These animals are rare to find. You will have a wonderful time tracking them and taking pictures of them.
Forests lie on a large piece of land and can be accessed by tourists. There several tree spices that have exited for years and rare to find, plant species, butterflies, and others. The uniqueness of this forest is the reason for it being a UNESCO world heritage. Some of the trees are food for these animals. As you enjoy its beauty, you will come across wildlife too.
The park is a home for over 130 species of birds. These in the wet season are joined by migratory birds from other continents during the wet season. Tourists will be able to see a number of bird species that can be clearly viewed with the help of binoculars. If a tourist doesn’t have a pair, they can hire one from the places of residence at an affordable fee, and be able to enjoy the flying beauties. The likes of angur buzzards, giant kingfishers, lammergeiers, olive pigeons, starlings, alpine chats, sunbirds, verreaux’s eagles, and red fronted parrots, among others, will be seen.
The park lies at a landscape that is diverse. There forests, lakes, alpine vegetation, mountainous land, minerals springs, water falls, birds, and wildlife species, among others. These can be well seen while hiking on Mount Kenya.
At the foothills of the mountain lies caves that can be explored by tourists. These are big enough for a human to go through them. These caves are physical features that have been in existence since the formation of this mountain. An exploration of Mau Mau caves will be so rewarding.
There’s affordable and wide range of accommodation in the park for tourists to choose from. The most common are Campsites, guest houses, hotels, lodges and rented vacation houses. These places of accommodation provide different services for a particular category although all have tourist activities for the visitors they host. These places of accommodation are close to the park.
Luxurious include: Sweet waters tented camp, The Ark Lodge, The Outspan Golf and Country Club, Fairmount Mount Kenya Safari club, and Anga Afrika Luxury Boutique Camp, among others.
Midrange Include, Serena Mount Lodge, Treetops Hotel, Ol Pejeta House, and Elsa Kopje among others.
Budget includes: Kichachu Camp, Lets go Mount Kenya
In conclusion, a safari to Kenya and specifically to this park will be one of the memorable trips you will ever have for the outstanding attractions it possesses. To enjoy your trip more, try to be involved to every activity at the park.