Attractions in Mount Kenya National Park, what to See in Mount Kenya Park
Attractions in Mount Kenya National Park, what to See in Mount Kenya Park, Wildlife Safaris in Kenya, Scenery of Mount Kenya, Birdlife, Mountain Kenya climbing Safari Trip, Animal Viewing Safari, Bird Watching in Mount Kenya Park. Mount Kenya National Park is found in Kenya which is located in the eastern region of the African continent along geographical co-ordinates 0o 07’26”S 37O20’12”E. Mount Kenya National Park is bordered by Njukini forest in the south, Ndare Ngare forest, Borana wildlife conservancy and Lewa wildlife conservancy in the north. Mount Kenya national park is enclosed by the A2 and B6 roads.
Mount Kenya National Park was created in 1949 as a forest reserve but it was later elevated to a national park status. The creation of this national park by the government of the Kenyan republic was based on four sounding reasons which were to promote tourism for both the local and national economies, preservation of the scenic beauty around this area, conservation of the rich bio diversity within the park and lastly preservation of a water catchment area for the surrounding local population to use as well as wildlife. Mount Kenya national park is part of the bigger forest reserve around the lower slopes of Mount Kenya but the national park only covers 715sqkm or 276sqmiles which is basically above 3000m or 9800ft above sea level, the forest reserve on the lower slopes also protects about 705sqkm or 272sqmiles making this entire conservation are to cover about 1420sqkm of land. This entire area was declared a UNESCO World heritage site in 1997.
Mount Kenya National Park experiences a myriad of climate patterns given its varying altitude. But generally, the park experiences 2 wet seasons and 2 dry seasons. The wet seasons come in from march- late May or June with what is commonly referred to as the longer rain seasons and also October to December with what is known as the shorter rain season. Mount Kenya on the lower slopes have a minimum temperature of about 12oc or 54of
Just like its name states, this park is home to mount Kenya which is the second tallest mount on the African continent with an elevation of 5199m or 17057ft above se level which is at the Batian peak summit, Nelion is the second highest peak on this mount with an elevation of 5188m or 17021ft above sea level followed by other lower peak summits like Lenana at 4985m or 16355ft above sa level. Mount Kenya is a strato volcano mountain just like many other mountains in the east African region like Rwenzori and Kilimanjaro and this mountain was formed about 3 million years ago when this region was being shaped by various forces of nature like faulting, volcanicity. Given its impressive height and location almost in the middle of Kenya, Mount Kenya is a very crucial water catchment area for Kenya as it has many streams of fresh water running down its slopes to water the lower communities that have settled on the slopes of this great mountain.
Mount Kenya National Park is a habitant for a wide range of wildlife biodiversity and these include giant forest hogs, white tailed mongoose, elephant, black rhinoceros, suni, black font duiker, and leopards. Alphine mammal species here include the Mount Kenya mouse shrew, hyrax and the mole rat. Birds here include ayres hawk eagle, Abyssinian long eared owl, scaly francolin, ruppell’s robin chat, numerous sunbirds, the locally threatened scarce swift, alpine swift and the green ibis.
Attractions in Mount Kenya National Park
Mount Kenya – Attractions in Mount Kenya National Park
Mount Kenya is the 2nd highest mountain on the African plains with an elevation of 5199m or 17057ft above sea level which is at the Batian peak summit, Nelion is the second highest peak on this mount with an elevation of 5188m or 17021ft above sea level followed by other lower peak summits like Lenana at 4985m or 16355ft above sa level.
Mount Kenya is a strato volcano mountain just like many other mountains in the east African region like Rwenzori and Kilimanjaro and this mountain was formed about 3 million years ago when this region was being shaped by various forces of nature like faulting, volcanicity. Given its impressive height and location almost in the middle of Kenya, Mount Kenya is a very crucial water catchment area for Kenya as it has many streams of fresh water running down its slopes to water the lower communities that have settled on the slopes of this great mountain.
The slopes of Mount Kenya are inhabitated by four tribes of Kenya and these include kikuyu Ameru, Embu and Maasai. Some of these people like the kikuyu and Embu hold the mountain as a sacred place as they believe that their god called Ngai or Mwene Nyaga lived on this mountain, the kikuyu people also used to build their houses with the entrances facing the mountain. Mount Kenya is a catchment area for 2 of Kenya’s biggest river ie river Tana which is the largest river in Kenya and Ewaso Nyiro North and these provide water directly to over 2 million Kenyans.
Mount Kenya was first spotted Dr Johann Ludwig Kraft on 03rd December 1849who was a missionary in Kitui, but the existence of this mountain became certain in 1883 when joseph Thomson came close to the mountain from the west side. Count Samuel Teleki is recorded as the first European to reach the high elevations of mt Kenya in 1887 when he reahed 4350m or 14270ft on th south western slopes. Other Europeans like Dr john w Gregory a geologist, sir Halford john Mackinder tried to summit up to the peak but these didn’t succeed. On 5th September 1899, Mackinder managed to ascent to the summit Batian peak on 13th September at noon.
Wildlife in Mount Kenya National Park Kenya – Attractions in Mount Kenya National Park
Mt Kenya National Park in Mt Kenya has a wide variety of wild animals which can be seen in and around the park including the white-tailed buffalo, African Elephant, Black rhino, black fronted duikers, leopards, genet cat, giant forest hog, waterbuck, antelopes, olive baboon, Bush Pig, black and white Colobus and Sykes monkeys, bongo antelope, suni antelope, rock hyrax, albino zebra and the spotted hyena and many more. A number of other rare or endangered species can be found here such as the Sunni Buck, Mount Kenya Mole Shrew, skinks (lizard), and a variety of owls.
African bush elephants – Attractions in Mount Kenya National Park
African elephants are the largest land mammals in the world with a male elephant weighing in at 4,700-6,048kg or 10,362-13,334Ib and a shoulder height of 3.2-4.0m or 10.5-13.1ft while their female counterparts weigh in at 2,160-3,232kg or 4,762-7,125Ib and a shoulder height of 2.2-2.6m or 7.2-8.5ft. these land giants have 24 teeth in their mouths and usually lose their teeth 4-6 times in their life time which lies between 60-70 years. What sets these land giants apart from the rest of crowd is their elongated tusks which are in fact their second set of incisors. This means that the tusks are very strong as they are used to up root trees and also as weapons they use while fighting. The tusks weigh between 23-45 kg or 55-99Ib with a length of 1.5-2.4m or 5-8 ft. elephants usually live in groups called families which comprise of 10 or more closely related females with their calves and each of these families is led by an older female called a matriarch.
Elephants have the ability to distinguish and communicate with each other using low frequency infrasonic calls. With a body mass that is compared to nothing else on land, African elephants have to feed on an average of 450 kg or 992Ib of foliage to sustain their huge bodies and also drink to over 50 liters of water per day. In fact, these elephants have the ability to smell water to up to 20 km or 12miles away. Elephants have an exposed skin so in order to control over heating of their body, they flap their big ears so as to carry away the heat or bathe in water ponds. It is believed that when an elephant flaps its ears, it can lose about 10oF of heat hence always staying cool even in the hottest temperatures. They also employ their elongated trunk to carry water and pour it over their ears to try and cool themselves. These land giants have very thin hairs around body parts such as eyes and noses and these are mainly for ensuring that germs and other bacteria don’t find it easy to enter the elephant’s body through these parts.
The elephant trunk is a master piece of creation as it is equipped with 40000 muscles which is way more than an entire human body has at only 639 muscles. This makes the trunks a very strong and agile part of the elephant that can do many things. The elephant trunk is also used for breathing, snorkeling and also as an extended arm for holding, lifting or pushing anything they want to carry. A female elephant reaches sexual maturity at the age of 10-12 years and can reproduce after every 3-6 years throughout its lifetime. All elephants have a very poor metabolism and that’s why they eat a lot of food but ¾ of it will come out of the elephants undigested as dung. Due to the poor metabolic system, elephant calves have been recorded doing something bizarre and that is eating dung that has been passed out by their mothers but this is all because elephant calves can’t process raw grass hence, they have to resort to eating pre-processed food that has been passed out as dung.
They have a gestation period of up to 22 months being the longest in all land mammals. Just like humans and apes, elephants are also highly intelligent species with a brain that weighs about 5kg or 11Ib which about 4 times heavier than that of human making it the heaviest brain of any land mammal. With such a brain, these land giants are believed to exhibit character traits like grief, learning, sense of humor, compassion, self-awareness, a very strong and vivid memory, play and use of tools and possibly a language.
Scenery of Mount Kenya in Mount Kenya National Park Kenya
It’s not every day that you get to see breathtaking scenery Right? But the Kikuyu tribesmen are blessed to see it every day of their lives!! However, to them, Mount Kenya is the home of Ngai, the Supreme Being. But to the ordinary traveler, the mountain fortress is a sight to behold. Explore Africa`s secret here!
Birdlife in Mount Kenya National Park Kenya
Mount Kenya has a rich montane avifauna. More than 130 species of birds have been recorded including six of the eight Kenya Mountains Endemic Bird Area and 54 of the 70 Afrotropical Highlands biome species that occur in Kenya. Mountain Kenya area has records of globally and regionally threatened species including the Abbott’s Starling, Lesser Kestrel (a passage migrant on the moorland), Jackson’s widowbird (at up to 3,000 m), Sharpe’s Longclaw, Olive Ibis, Lammergeier, Ayres’s hawk-eagle, African Crowned Eagle, African Grass Owl, Cape Eagle-Owl, Purple-throated Cuckoo-shrike, Long-tailed widowbird, Abyssinian Owl (very rare and poorly researched), Scarlet-tufted Sunbird, and Kenrick’s Starling which is confined to this area in Kenya.
Tourist Safari Activities in Mount Kenya National Park Kenya
Mountain climbing Mount Kenya National Park Kenya
One of the main daring goings-on that tourists to Mt Kenya can involve in is mountain climbing that takes a minimum of five days to climb to highest humans can go on Mount Kenya. The trekking roads in Mt Kenya include the Summit circuit in Mt Kenya, Nelion normal route in Mt Kenya, the Burget route in Mt Kenya and the Timau route in Mt Kenya. The mountain offers easy or challenging ascents with superb scenic beauty. Its highest peaks are Batian (5,199 m), Nelion (5,188 m) and Point Lenana (4,985 m). Mind you, Mountain Kenya is 5,199metres high, it is Africa’s second highest mountain after Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895) in Tanzania.
For the less skilled, there are eight climbing routes up to the main peaks. Perhaps trekking might be a more appropriate word for this activity. The most common routes are the Chogoria, Naro Moru, and Sirimon routes. There is also a Summit Circuit path that circumnavigates the whole mountain in a day or two walking.
Animal Viewing Safari in Mount Kenya National Park Kenya
The Mount Kenya National Park includes Mount Kenya and is basically a forest reserve. Forest belts play host to a great variety of animals. These include elephants, tree hyrax, white tailed mongoose, black fronted duikers, mole rats, bushbucks, waterbucks, elands, leopards, black rhinos, and buffaloes.
Bird Watching in Mount Kenya National Park Kenya
Birding activity in Mount Kenya National park especially at the forest trails is one of the spectacular activities that can enhance your satisfaction. The different habitats, that is, the montane forest, the montane grassland, the bamboo and the moorland, look out for globally threaten species such as lesser Kestrel, Sharpe’s Long claw, Abbott’s Starling, Jackson’s Widowbird. Other birds to see include Hartlaub’s Turaco, Brown-Hooded Kingfisher, Giant Kingfisher, Grey-olive Greenbul, Zanzibar Sombre Greenbul, Brown-backed Scrub-Robin, Black-Throated Wattle-eye, Singing, Red faced, Winding, Rattling, Croaking Cisiticolas, Mountain Yellow Warbler, African-moustached Warbler, Broad-tailed Warbler, African Golden Weaver, Yellow-crowned Bishop, African Fire finch, Yellow-bellied Waxbill, and Abyssinian Crimson wing.
Game drives in Mount Kenya National Park are a rewarding encounter as you get to meet inhabitants of like giant forest hogs, white tailed mongoose, elephant, black rhinoceros, suni, black font duiker, and leopards.
Nature walks are one way of the best ways to explore this national park given its gentle land scape making it easy for you to traverse this park on foot. You will definitely appreciate the diversity of nature here while on a nature walk as you will be in a prime position to see most of the natural ingredients that make up this eco system in action from point blank range as they go about their business.
Accessing Mount Kenya national park
Mount Kenya National Park is accessible by both road and air transport means
Road transpor: Mount Kenya National Park is 175km away from Nairobi city Kenya’s capital. The drive to this park is fairly a comfortable as the roads are tarmacked.
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