Mountain Kenya National Park
Mountain Kenya national park includes Mountain Kenya. This is Kenya’s tallest mountain and Africa’s second tallest mountain after Kilimanjaro. The mountain ranges 5199m in height, it is located in Kenya and the park was established in 1949 to protect Mount Kenya, the animal species and the surrounding sources and was designated in 1997/8 as a world heritage center by UNESCO, 137km away from the Nairobi Capital.
Because of its snow caped nature, the people of Meru call the mountain “kirikara” which translates to the white stuff in reference to the white peaks that cover mountain Kenya due to high elevation. The park covers an area of 715km (276 sq. mi). Mountain Kenya has got three (3) peaks/summits which attract a number of visitors in to the park. These include; summit Lonana, summit Nelion and summit Batian.
Depending on which one you choose to climb with the Batian being the highest peak of all with a height of 5,199metres.
It takes a minimum of 4days through the easiest route to point lonana and back via virimon route. An estimated number of 15000 visitors climb this park each year, 200 people are estimated to visit summit Nelion, 50 summit Batian and the rest on the lonana peak. Much as it can be climbed year-round, the best times for climbing Mountain Kenya are January to March and June to October. However, visitors should be aware of the rainy seasons that occur in the months of April, May and November as December is often drier, warmer and with clear skies but due to climate change, it has made it difficult to predict these seasons.
Costs to climb the Mountain Kenya.
Currently, the entrance costs are $150 per adult for a three-day package, $220 per adult for four days and $300 per adult for 5days. This covers the entrance fee plus the camping fees.
Gates at Mountain Kenya national park.
These gates include; sirimon gate, kihari gate, Naro Moru gate, kamweti gate, chogoria gate and the mawingu gate. It’s also important to note that each guest pays the park entry fee in cash.
There are so many activities to engage in while at the park these include; Game drives, Camping, mountain climbing, filming and photography, trekking, hiking, mountaineering name it.
Animal species in Mountain Kenya National Park.
There are several species of animals and birds in Mount Kenya national park. These include, the elephants, troe hyrax, white tailored mongoose, black fronted duikers, mole rats, bushbucks, waterbucks, elands, leopards, black rhinos, buffaloes and including the “Big Five”. The park has over 130 species of birds recorded like the Abbots starling, Lesser Kestrel, Jacksons wide bird, sharpes long claw, olive ibis bearded vulture, the crowned Eagle and the Ayres hawk eagle.
List of Items to carry.
As you plan to visit the park, remember to carry items like a bottle of drinking water, walking boots, binoculars, a pair of stockings, training shoes, sun glasses, a hat and guide books.
How to get there.
The park can be accessed by two main ways, road and air transport.
By road; the park is 137km from Nairobi capital, 175km from Nairobi using the Nanyuki-isiolo road through the sirimon route. Or using the Nyeri-Nanyuki road found close to Naro moru. It can also be easily reached through the chogoria road via the Embu- Meru road 150km north of Nairobi.
By air; the nearest airstrip to get to the park offering domestic flights is found at Nanyuki.
In conclusion, Mount Kenya is one of Kenya’s highly ranked and visited destinations around Kenya and its worth a visit.