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Mt. Kenya National Park was established in 1949 to protect Mount Kenya, the wildlife and surrounding environment which forms the wild animal's habitat as well as act as a water catchment area for several rivers that flow into the Indian Ocean. The national park and the forest reserve, combined, became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997. The national park has an area of 276 sq miles, most of which is 3000-metre above sea-level. The forest reserve has an area of 272 sq miles.
Park portions with heavy animal populations have electrified fences to keep the elephants out of the surrounding farmlands. The park is composed of volcanic soils and the huge volume of fresh waters coming down the slopes make the area particularly favorable for agriculture. At lower altitudes black-and-white colobus and other monkeys and Buffalo are easy to spot.
Mt. Kenya Forest Reserve bestrides the equator in the central highland zones of Kenya which include forest areas surrounding the mountain itself and adjacent forest blocks of Lower Imenti, Upper Imenti, Thunguru hill, Njuki-ini East, Njukiini West and Kierera.
Wildlife in Mt. Kenya include elephants, tree hyrax, white tailed mongoose, suni, black fronted duiker, mole rat, bushbucks, water buck and Elands. Animals rarely seen include leopard, bongo, giant forest hog. You can spot over 130 bird species recorded here. The forest has recorded 880 plant species. Mt. Kenya has earned global conservation recognition of being designated a UNESCO World Heritage site and an Important Bird Area (IBA).
Visitors to the park can find different types of accommodation according to their budget ranging from lodges, tented camps and open-air camping sites. Accommodation include:
• Batian Guest House.
• Naru Moru lodge - Has luxury ensuite rooms situated in two storey dedicated buildings.
• Mt. Kenya Safari Club - It is a luxury hotel by fairmont hotel.
• Serena Mountain Lodge - It is a luxury hotel by Serena hotels.
• 2 KWS self-catering banda sites.
• 13 campsites.
• Assorted picnic sites .
Both Naru Moru and Mt Kenya Safari club provide excellent accommodation as base hotels for your mountain climbing holiday. Visitors can spot various animals, such as elephants, buffaloes and rhinos which get attracted to the waterholes and saltlicks. The park includes an airstrip at Mt. Kenya Safari club. Other good locations for budget travellers include:
1. Castle Forest Lodge. 2. Hombe Forest Guesthouse (A KFS-managed facility). 3. Mountain Rock Hotel (Bantu Lodge). 4. Rutundu Log Cabins. 5. Serena Mountain Lodge. 6. Thego Fishing Camp. 7. Themwe Campsite. 8. Thiba Fishing Camp. 9. Timau River Lodge.
• Batian guest house
• Sirimon cottage.
• Kinondoni Campsite • Road Head • Mintos Hut and Campsite • Narumoru Gate Campsite • Met Station Campsite • Mackinders Campsite • Austrian Hut Campsite • Sirimon Gate Campsite • Judmaier Campsite • Shipton Campsite • Liki North Hut 7 Campsite • Solo Campsite • Major Campsite.
Park entry: The park is open daily from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm.
Entry on foot is prohibited and visitors are turned away after 6:15 pm.
Entry to the park is by smart card only, obtained and loaded at the main gate.
Climbing to 5,199 meters above sea level is a sight to behold. Mount Kenya is the second tallest mountain in Africa after Kilimanjaro and therefore it is a mountain climbing haven. The scenery surrounding this designated world heritage site is breath-taking. It is pristine wilderness with lakes, tarns, glaciers, dense forest, mineral springs and a selection of rare and endangered species of animals, high altitude adapted plains game and unique mountain and alpine vegetation. Visitors can enjoy mountain climbing, camping and caving with the mountain’s rugged glacier-clad peaks providing the perfect backdrop.
• Easy climb – It is usually a one day climb to the Met Station Lodge. It is best for beginners.
• Moderate climb – It is a three to four days climb to Met Station Lodge for the first nightcap then proceed to Mackinder’s camp for the second nightcap. On day three you will proceed to point Lenana which is 16,355 feet above sea level and the third highest. You will then embark on your descend through the same route.
• Technical climb – If you want to feel the adrenaline of conquering Mt. Kenya then the technical climb will be a five to six days climb that will take you to point Nelion at 17,021 feet and the second highest or Batian standing at 17,057 feet and the highest point of Mt. Kenya. This is for the hardcore mountaineers and rock climbers with vast mountaineering exerience.
Extra costs if not part of a Safari - • Hire of all mountain climbing equipment. • Camping and cooking equipment of all meals – if camping. • Hiring porters, drivers, guides, park fees and climbing permits. • Hire of experienced guides and camp staff. (Contact us to enquire)
• One day Ol’Odonyo El’Satima trekking.
• Four overnights Mt. Kenya circumnavigation safari.
• Four overnights Sirimon /Chogoria trekking.
• Six overnights Chogoria transversing safari.
• Six overnights Timau Trek.
• Six overnights Land of Contrasts safari.
Bird watching - Kenya holds the world record of 'bird watch' with 342 species recorded in 24 hours. Mt Kenya is one of the top ornithological sites for bird watching.
Walking Safaris- Nature trails along the rivers will make you discover the abundant plants, animals and insects life.
Trout fishing - both brown and rainbow trout are found in many cool mountain streams up in the slopes of Mount Kenya.
• By Road: The park can be reached on Nanyuki-Isiolo road via Sirimon Track 175 Kms from Nairobi or Nyeri-Nanyuki road near Naro Moru. The park is also reachable via Chogoria on the Embu - Meru road, about 150km north of Nairobi.
Mountain climbing routes without an official gate include: o Kamweti o Marania o Burguret o Themwe.
• By Air: The closest commercial airstrip to the park is at Nanyuki.
(Make sure to contact us if you wish to visit this park for your next mountain climbing holiday activity.)
Park charges are based on " " Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) tariffs which are reviewed from time to time. The rates we have quoted here are for information purposes and are indicative of the likely park charges you can incur. They are approximate. However please note that if you have booked a complete wildlife safari package with us, park charges are included in the total cost of your safari at the time of booking. Therefore you need not worry about park entry fee!
• Never get out of the vehicle except at designated spots if you are on a safari.
• Do not harass the animals in any way.
• Keep to the tracks and no off-road driving is allowed.
• Animals always have the right of way.
• Mt. Kenya region is cold so be sure to carry warm clothing.
• The park accepts Safari Cards.
• Park Entry Fee are based on KWS Tarrifs.
• There is a commercial airstrip in Nanyuki.
• Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
Scheduled local flight services to Nanyuki are available from Nairobi's Wilson Airport.