Mount Kenya National Park
Safari suitability: 5/10Write a review
The park does not have all of the big five and is small in size. Its proximity to Nairobi make it ideal for short safaris.
What YAS members think
- Home to the second-highest mountain in Africa.
- Cave exploring opportunities exist.
- The option to climb Point Lenana, the easiest of Mount Kenya’s three peaks.
About Mount Kenya National Park
Eponymously named for the mountain it houses, Mount Kenya National Park is located in central Kenya. Mt Kenya is the second-highest mountain in Africa, after Mt Kilimanjaro. Its elevation is 5,200 meters, or 17,060 feet. Despite its smaller size, Mt. Kenya is far less popular than Mt. Kilimanjaro for climbers. This is partly due to the fact that it is far more technical of a climb, which does not allow for the 'average' visitor to summit it. As a result, many companies have stopped offering treks and have focused more on safaris, with most combining a trip to Mt. Kenya National Park with trips to other parks such as Amboseli and Masa Mara. Located northeast of Nairobi, Mount Kenya National Park is easily accessible for those seeking a quick one- or two-day safari.
Wildlife of Mount Kenya National Park
Most of the park is located above 3,000 meters, or 9,800 feet, making it malaria-free, but also making it cooler than surrounding areas. Those seeking the big five won’t find them all here, but they will be almost guaranteed to see an elephant—one of the big five. Sightings of leopards and rhinos are extremely rare and Mount Kenya is not advised as a safari destination for those whose must-sees include these animals. In addition to the elephant, other animals that are often spotted include: white tailed mongoose, suni, black fronted duiker, mole rat, bushbucks, water buck and elands.
When is the best time to visit Mount Kenya National Park?
Temperatures at Mount Kenya National Park are cooler than throughout most of the country. The climate is subtropical or temperate. The rainy season runs from March to May and from October to December, when it is drizzly and cloudy. Rainfall is moderate on the lower slopes and heavier higher up. The sunniest months are from December through March.
One of the MUST-do things on your bucket list should include climbing Mt Kenya. Why? No marked trail, serene natural trail with breathtaking views both during the cold and hot seasons. The challenge, should you choose to accept it, will leave you a better person than you were. Try get to point Lenana ..you will understand why I am saying this
Mount Kenya has major attractions which include: lakes, tarns, glaciers and mountain peakss. Its plains are at a high altitude. Here you can see 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 and rhino, and over 130 species of birds.
Mt. Kenya is the highest mountain in Kenya which is unique as it has snow-capped peak despite being in the equator. Mount National Park offers a range of flora which differs as along the mountain. I was happy to see the rare eland and bongo. Mount Kenya National Park offers its visitors a range of activities that will keep you entertained and occupied. I got to go cave explorating and mountain camping as well as game viewing. As a source of many rivers in Kenya, Mt. Kenya has fresh water springs that are refreshing and lovely fresh air. If you love mountain hikes, then you should make a trip to Mount Kenya National Park, where you can enjoy the view of the two mountain peaks.
When one views the popular Mount Kenya National Park there is no doubt that the person is checking out the second highest peak in Africa. It is an ancient extinct volcano. There are 12 glaciers on the mountain all receding rapidly and 4 secondary peaks that balance well at the U-shaped valleys. With its rugged glacier-clad summits and forested middle slopes, Mount Kenya is one of the most outstanding landscapes in East Africa. Vegetation varies with altitude and rainfall and the property supports a rich alpine flora. I was happy to note about this Park that I told my friends and family members about it. There is an air of serenity in this Mount Kenya that can make one forget about one's stress. The greenery in the Park is worth it and it is good if you can snap some photos of the Park. I heard that there is a big problem with crop damage caused by elephants and other large mammals moving into fields along the Mount Kenya National Park.
Approximately 130 km north of Nairobi, the horizon is dotted with lush farmlands of coffee and horticulture produce. We are headed towards Mt. Kenya National Park that is located in the region surrounding Kenyas highest mountain, Mt. Kenya. From Nairobi to Mt. Kenya National Park, we go through the Kenyan central highlands. We enter the national park through the Narumoru Gate, located on the Nairobi - Nanyuki road. The air around the national park is champagne crisp enhanced by the mountain forest environment. We pass through a number of watering holes and salt licks where we are informed that at dusk, animals visit these sites. Visiting these sites at dusk will offer opportunities of viewing herds of elephants and cape buffalo. After being informed of this opportunity, we make a decision that we will look for opportunities at dusk. We are informed that one of the best lodges that are surrounded by the water holes and salt licks is the Serena Mountain Lodge. We are informed that the park abundant wild life is located on the low altitude areas of the national park. We get to see herds of cape buffalo and elephants. There are also families of Columbus monkeys. As we embark on the higher altitudes, we start encountering fewer animals. However, the landscape offers a spectacular view. The national park is characterized by diverse forests that are hallmarks of extraordinary ecological processes. There are also afro-alpine moorlands that offer visitors spectacular views. There are also rugged glacier clad summits. In the national park, we are offered a magnificent view of the ridges of Mt. Kenya, which is the highest volcanic mountain in Africa. There is also a magnificent view of the mountains peaks. As we head back, we are informed that the Serena Mountain Lodge offers residents and domestic tourists low priced packages. We are offered a deck overlooking a water hole. True to the words of our Kenya Wildlife Services guide, at around six in the evening, animals start arriving at the water hole. This gives us the opportunity of photographing herds of elephants, cape buffalo. There are the occasional predators such as a lion and leopard. The lodge has a bar with a central fireplace and a viewing deck. We spend our time here until late at night. Predators throng the waterhole at night, although they usually come along. We are informed that the water hole offers the predators hunting opportunities because animals flock the watering hole. The following day we embark on our journey back. The last view is of the magnificent and graceful Mt. Kenya.
When my friends from the U.S came around, they wanted a mixed experience of game watching, camping and mountain climbing all in one package. Mt. Kenya National Park just presented the perfect match to our need. Our budget was somehow tight too as we were all students. We had a hired van from Nairobi, 175 KM away. We accessed the park via Nanyuki route and at the gate, I realized entry is by cash only; they don't accept cards. The two day stay here was one filled with wonder and fun. The first day we had game drives after pitching our tents at Solo and Major campsite. The park is a haven of most of the big wildlife like the white tailed buffalo, elephants, olive baboon, leopards, bongos and rhinos. We also learnt from our tour guide that it houses some of the world's endangered species of animals like the albino zebra. We were back in the camp in the evening and it was getting pretty cold! The campfire did all the magic. The following day was a mountain climbing day. I was not sure whether I would manage as I had never climbed anything beyond a hill! Now the climbing of the 2nd largest mountain in Africa stared me in the face. The whole expedition began by 6 a.m., where we drove to the foot of the mountain. Gears on and we begun the climb. The scenery was beautiful with occasional lakes, tarns, natural springs and glaciers visible from all directions. A few downland wildlife has adapted itself to this biting cold! Later in the afternoon, we had not reached the peak yet but we decided to get back after we all had climbed the mountain. Getting back to the van was such a relief. My feet muscles felt sore and I would only sympathize with Njoroge, our designated driver, whom we were with up the mountain. It was a perfect weekend getaway and I wouldn't resist getting back there!
As a Kenyan, I believe in the promotion of domestic tourism. I make it a habit of visiting a park every year to enjoy nature and have fun. Having visited more than 10 parks in the country, I believe that my mount Kenya national park was the best. I first visited the park when I was 10 years old. I have for years gone back and forth to the park. The serenity of the park coupled with the beautiful scene provides one with an awesome experience. In the park, one is able to come across a number of animals such as elephants, cheetahs and leopards among others. The park's management has employed qualified tour guides who have vast experience in the field. They are also very friendly and resourceful. In all my visits to the park, I always want to have a brand new experience. True to this, I have found the park very diverse, offering a new experience every time. During my last visit in December, I decided to embark on an hiking expedition which was very successful. As it was during the holidays, I met different people who came from around the world. Some of them have turned out to be very instrumental in my personal and business life. The park offers very affordable packages. We were told that the payment goes back to maintain the park and protect the beautiful Flora and Fauna. Surrounded by the beautiful Mount Kenya, the park offers high quality lodges which are suitable for camping. The lodges are peaceful and offer high quality packages to every client. On the negative side, the roads leading to the park are not well serviced. Therefore, it is advisable for you to use a good vehicle that is able to adapt to tough weather conditions.
With the climate, flora and fauna varying in altitude, I enjoyed some of the major attractions in Mount Kenya National Park including the beautiful glaciers, beautiful peaks, lakes, and the pristine wilderness among many other features. The park is among the places that I got to enjoy during my park visits as it was made clear to me by our tour guide that I could visit the park at any time of the year and still get that feeling of excitement and thrill while doing it. I particularly had fun and enjoyed the cave explorations, mountain climbing, wildlife viewing, and camping. However, since there are no lodges in the park, my friends and I had to go to the other lodges just within the region to get somewhere that we could spend our first night before we could decide to camp for another few days during our visit. In the park, which is just around the mountain, I noticed quite a number of animals which included elephants, sunis, mole rats, black rhinos, huge forest hogs and numerous other species of birds. I felt honored and amazed to see some of the rare species of owls and the albino zebra, which are indeed very rare. Surely, the park is a very beautiful place to explore and get to know more on the different species of birds as there are numerous kinds of birds living within the park. From the park, I could also see the amazing and beautiful Mt Kenya that I learnt has two main peaks, Batian and Nelion. It was quite an experience and I enjoyed every minute I spent there.
The Mount Kenya national park was our fourth safari so far. Located in the beautiful country Kenya the park is named after one of Africas second highest mountain. After our last safari, also in Kenya, we had been staying in the capital city, Nairobi, and a fascinating day trip out of the city to the Mount Kenya park was perfect. A long 65kms and a couple hours drive we were already in the park. The atmosphere around the park is very relaxing and quiet since the park is located in a very mountainous rainforest area so the weather during the day is cool and damp something we needed away from the city. Parted with 80$ entrance fee for the one day adventure and a tour guide to show us around the best and interesting parts of the spectacular park. Our destinations the Ol Donyo Sabuk park and Mwea National Reserve all located in the park. In the first park the mountain covers about 20sq of it, the tour guide adviced to approach the park via the spectacular Fourteen falls on the Chania river and the superb scenic view was quite rewarding. We also had some game viewing animals like baboons,impala, and the park is also home for abundant birdlife, what really cought our eyes were the buffaloes roaming the slopes. A few pictures later we were off to our next stop the Mwea reserve. The fascinating scenery of lakes, dams and rivers was simply amazing. The main feature is the meeting of the Tana and Thiba rivers within the reserve more excellent game viewing like elephants were plentiful in the reserves, buffalos crocodiles are also found in the dams. Our safari however was only for one day and as much as a hike in the breathe taking mountain was tempting we had to call it a day but we will be back.
A visit to Mount Kenya provides the opportunity to combine a variety of outdoor activities. You can choose to go for game viewing, cave exploration, mountain climbing or just a mountain walk. Approaching the game park from the Naromoru road on the Laikipia plateau, one cannot help but notice the sharp change in temperature. From the sometimes-excessive heat of the plateau, Mt Kenya is rather temperate and the air gets cooler as you go up. I am a lover of adventure and cave hunting was great fun. The guides were knowledgeable and marveled us with the history of how the caves were used by the local community as shrines for worship and later housed the Mau Mau fighters at the end of British rule in Kenya. On the mountain walk, there was a variety of some rare wildlife species such as the bongo, the black-fronted duiker, the suni, bush buck elands and some water buck. The flora is amazing with the park boasting of a large variety of indigenous trees that home to an amazing variety of bird life The self-catering accommodation provided by the Kenya Wildlife service was superb!
Mount Kenya National Park can be extremely challenging but well worth it if you have the time and want to have the opportunity to walk (loads!) rather than ride in a safari vehicle for your entire time in Kenya. Although the mountain looks rather sedate at ground level, you should not be fooled in thinking this to be a walk in the park as many people succumb to altitude sickness on the mountain as they ascend too quickly. I would go with a reputable guide as this can make all the difference between a great experience and a nightmare you wish was over. (If you're looking for someone amazing, I would go to Marina's restaurant in Nanyuki and ask for "Jimmy". It sounds a little ominous, but he is the perfect contact to have while you're in the area!!). Also, make sure that you have all the gear you need, which you can easily find in Nanyuki (lots of warm layers as it gets very cold on the mountain!) If you don't fancy climbing the moutain, there are also really great fishing trips there which you can ask about and set up a day visit. Either way, it is a great experience and some terrific views.
Driving to Mount Kenya from Nairobi International Airport
The drive to Mount Kenya National Park from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is around three hours.
Domestic flights from Nairobi to Mount Kenya National Park
Air Kenya offers daily flights from Nairobi Wilson Airport to Nanyuki--a town to the northwest of Mount Kenya NP. The flight is around 35 minutes and is normally direct.
The following airlines travel to Mount Kenya National Park
Premier safari airline and charter. Safarilink is Kenya's premier safari airline with a network of connecting domestic scheduled services to all the best safari destinations within Kenya and across the border into northern Tanzania. From it's base at Wilson Airport, Nairobi SafariLink provides daily scheduled flights to Masai Mara, Amboseli, Tsavo West, Naivasha, Nanyuki, Lewa Downs, Samburu, Lamu, Kilimanjaro, Loisaba, Migori and Diani Beach. Additionally it can also provide private charter flights if a client's particular requirement as regards destination or timing cannot be met by the scheduled services. Visit website
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