The name says it all! Welcome to the home of the second highest mountain in Africa, Mount Kenya ( 5,199 meters).Located on the eastern side of the Great Rift Valley, about 175 kilometers northeast of Nairobi, Mount Kenya National Park came into being in 1949 with the explicit intent and purpose of protecting Mount Kenya, its wildlife and their habitat, its biodiversity and protect it as a water catchment area. A designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere, the park covers an area of 715 square kilometers (276 sq mi). Born out of volcanic eruptions eons ago, Mt. Kenya today is an extinct volcano with the crater rim eroded enough to form several peaks, of which three dominate the park's landscape- Batian (5,199 m), Nelion (5,188 m) and Point Lenana (4,985 m). Lenana is the only peak that can be assailed by enthusiastic amateurs sans training and special equipment. The topography of the park is a delightful scenic mix of the dense rainforests, bamboo clumps, lakes, tarns, glaciers, dense forest, mineral springs and nearly mirrors the various ecosystems that of the mountain that you will witness as you gradually ascend to the summit. Starting off from the lower slopes you will make your way through rainforests, going on to bamboo forests, then the moorlands to the alpine regions before venturing into the ice and snow-clad peaks of the mountain. The park supports a variety of animals like elephants and buffaloes White Colobus monkey, Sykes monkey, Olive Baboon, rare and elusive bongo, a rare type of forest antelope in the lower rainforests, besides 11 species of endemic plants and 130 species of birds including sunbirds, Lammergeiers, Augur Buzzards alpine chats, starlings, olive pigeons, giant kingfishers, red-fronted parrots etc.
Mount Kenya NP is a round the year destination with proximity to equator keeping the weather pleasant but cooler throughout the year compared to other regions of Kenya, courtesy the high altitude and snow-capped peaks of the mountain. December to March are the sunniest months and along with July- September is the best time to visit as they are the dry seasons on the mountain. The wet seasons of March to May and October to early December make the hiking difficult on the mountain and affects the visibility on the mountain.
The park is prolific with its vistas of magnificent lakes, mountain vegetation, glaciers, and peaks. Game drives on the park enable sightings of a variety of animals like elephants and buffaloes White Colobus monkey, Sykes monkey, Olive Baboon, rare and elusive bongo, a type of forest antelope, black rhino, black-fronted duiker, leopard, giant forest hog, genet cat, bush pig, mole rats, tree hyrax, porcupine etc. A birding destination the park offers views of 130 species of birds including sunbirds, Lammergeiers, Augur Buzzards alpine chats, starlings, olive pigeons, giant kingfishers, red-fronted parrots etc. Mountain trekking opportunities also open up unique views of the park.
You can get to Mount Kenya National Park by road and by air.
Mount Kenya National Park is 175km from Nairobi, accessible through Nanyuki-Isiolo road via Sirimon Track or Nyeri-Nanyuki road near Naro Moru. There is also another entrance 150km north of Nairobi through Embu-Meru road.
The closest airstrip to the park is at Nanyuki.