Established in 1949, Mount Kenya national park is the most popular national park in the mighty Republic of Kenya due to the fact that it possesses the name of the country. Located in the central region of Kenya north of the equator, the national park protects the second highest African mountain after Mount Kilimanjaro of Tanzania. The national park attracts various people due to its amazing geographical features like the U-shaped valleys, forested slopes, and glaciers.
With an area of approximately 1,420 square kilometers with the includes of the forest reserve area and that of the mountain, Mount Kenya national park not only protect the second highest snowcapped African mountain – Mount Kenya but also other attractions like wildlife species, variety of bird species, unique and beautiful vegetation and many others. For your entrance to the park, there are six different entry gates including Mawingu gate, Sirimon gate, Naru Moru gate, Kihari gate, Kamweti gate and Chogoria gate.
Best time to visit Mount Kenya national park
Mount Kenya national park is open and accessible all year round but the sunniest months of December to March are the best periods to visit. During the rainy months of March to May, there might be some restrictions of clear views of different features like nearby mountains and others.
Attractions in Mount Kenya national park
Fancy your eyes with a bucket list of attractions at Mount Kenya national park that will definitely make your African safari amazing and memorable. Among these attractions include;
Standing at an altitude of 5199 meters, Mount Kenya is the second highest African mountain and also the main attraction in Mount Kenya national park. Visiting Mount Kenya involves hiking different beautiful peaks and points with different elevations including Batian (5199m) which is the highest peak of the mountain, Nelion (5188m), and point Lenana (4986m). During the hike to the summit, spot several attractions like vegetation, bird species, few wildlife species and many others.
A number of bird species can be spotted in Mount Kenya national park thus making it one of the best birders haven in Kenya. Among the birds in the park include; scaly francolin, Ayres hawk-eagle, red headed parrot, bronzes napped pigeon and others.
Mount Kenya national park is a home to a diversity of wildlife including suni antelope, black and white colobus monkeys, buffalo, black rhino, black-fronted duikers, albino zebras and others. View most of this wildlife by taking part in different park activities like nature walks and game drives.
Safari activities in Mount Kenya national park
There are several activities that can be done in Mount Kenya national park for the best safari experience. Among these activities include;
Hiking and mountain climbing
This is the major activity done in Mount Kenya national park that attracts a number of tourists especially the nature and adventure lovers who want to sight the amazing views. Mountain hiking and climbing is such an adventurous experience though requires some bit of fitness and professionalism especially those who need to reach the highest summit. During the hiking, some equipment is used for safety purposes like hiking boots and also warm clothing due to the change in altitude.
Mount Kenya National park is endowed with a number of beautiful and colorful bird species which can be spotted during some activities in the park like nature walking and hiking and also at the right birding spots. Among the birds include; bronze napped pigeon, scaly francolin, red headed parrot, and others.
Mount Kenya national park encompasses several caves including Mau Mau caves, Shipton’s caves and others which are explored by travelers. Mau Mau cave was used by the Mau Mau fighters as a hiding place from the colonialists thus making it more historical. Cave explorations in Mount Kenya national parks involve learning the ancient history and also know the secrets behind the caves and those of the country at large.
Accommodations in Mount Kenya national park
A variety of accommodations are available in Mount Kenya national park that is affordable and comfortable to every client. These accommodations range from luxury, midrange and budget accommodations. Among them include;
Budget accommodation; Starbucks Katarina, Batian guest house and Mountain lodge
Midrange accommodation; Penguin house, le Rustique, and Soames hotel & jacks bar
Luxury accommodation; Whispers luxury guest rooms, Serena Mountain lodge, Hotel Fairmont Kenya safari club and Castle forest lodge