Mount Kenya National Park - extreme sports and breathtaking landscapes
If you are seeking active outdoor pursuits in magnificent surroundings then Mt Kenya National Park is certainly the place for you. The three peaks of East Africa's second-highest mountain are a challenge to experienced climbers and the area's abundant rivers offer unrivalled whitewater rafting.
Sits a stride from the equator and Mt Kenya. The Mountain is a challenge to climbers. It’s summit reaches 5199m above the sea level comprises of afro- alpine moorlands. It's three peaks well covered with glacier. The peaks are Lenana (4986 m), Nelion (5188m) and Batian (5199m). Point Lenana can be reached during the dry seasons
Dec-Mar and Jul-Sep, weather holding and precautions taken to avoid mountain sickness. Experienced climbers could attempt the rest of the peaks.
Rich rewards for the less active too
Below all this the moorland supports plenty of wildlife including the elephant, buffalo, rhino, bongo, duiker, suni, giant forest hog and warthog. The mountain is also the source to numerous rivers making it a great fishing and a white water rafting area.
World Heritage site
Mount Kenya is the highest mountain in Kenya, and the second-highest in Africa (after Mount Kilimanjaro). The highest peaks of the mountain are Batian (5 199 m), Nelion (5 188 m) and Lenana (4 985 m).
The mountain is an extinct volcano standing alone, which last erupted between 2.6 and 3.1 million years ago. Its slopes include several different biomes; the lowest parts are dry upland forest, changing to montane forest of juniper and podocarpus at about 2 000 m, with a belt of bamboo at 2 500 m that changes to an upper forest of smaller trees covered with moss and "goat's beard" lichen. Twelve small (and rapidly shrinking) glaciers may be found scattered among the complex of seven summits.
The area around the mountain is protected in the Mount Kenya National Park.
The Kĩkũyũ people believe that their
supreme being, Ngai, lives on Mount Kenya.
In traditional prayers and sacrifices, Ngai is addressed by the Kĩkũyũ
as Mwene Nyaga, Possessor of Brightness. The name comes from Kere Nyaga
(Kirinyaga) the Kĩkũyũ name for Mt. Kenya, which means Mountain of Brightness.
Part of the mountain's fascination is the variation in flora (including giant groundsel and lobelia) and fauna as the altitude changes. The lower slopes are covered with dry upland forest, the true montane (mountain) forest begins at 2,000m is mainly cedar and podo. At 2,500m begins a dense belt of bamboo forest which merges into the upper forest of smaller trees, interspersed with glades. In this area the trees are festooned with high-altitude lichen.
These forest belts are host to many different animals and plants with at least 11 unique species. Game to view includes: Black and White Colobus and Sykes's Monkeys, bushbuck, rock Hyrax, greater galago, white tailed, buffalo, elephant. Lower down you can see olive baboon, waterbuck, black rhino, black fronted duikers, leopard, giant forest hog, genet cat, bush pig and hyena. More elusive is the bongo, a rare type of forest antelope.
A number of other rarer species can be found here: Suni Antelope, Mt. Kenya Mole Rat, skinks (lizard), Montane Viper and a variety of owls. Occasional sightings have been recorded of albino zebra.
Birds are not abundant in the forest, but you can find crowned hawk eagle and the Jackson's francolin. Rarely you can find the Abyssinian long-eared owl. Birds seen form the lodge include; green ibis, African black duck, Ayres' hawk eagle, rufous-breasted and great sparrow hawks, scaly francolin, silvery-cheeked hornbill, Hartlaub's turaco, red headed parrot, bronze-naped pigeon, Mackinder's eagle owl, Rupell's robin chat.
There are two species of giant lobelias; the narrow, featherly-leafed lobelia telekii and the broad-leafed lobelia keniensis which are a favourite of sunbirds for their half hidden blossoms or the thin shelled snails that make their home there. Plants also include crocus-like flower; Romuela keniensis, two terrestrial orchids - a Disa and a Habenaria, and an orange flowered gladiolus,Gladiolus Watsonioides.
The high altitude heath at the top (3,000 – 3,5000m) is generally open, dotted with shrubs: African sage, protea and helichrysum. The peak (above 3,500m) is moorland, with little game other than high altitude zebra and eland, common in the northern moorland.