KENYA NATIONAL PARK & RESERVE
Mt. Kenya is an imposing extinct volcano
dominating the landscape of the Kenyan
Highlands, East of the Rift. Mt. Kenya
lies about 140 km North,North-East of
Nairobi with its Northern flanks across
the Equator. The
mountain has two main peaks - Batian
(5200m) and Nelion (5188m). The mountains
slopes are cloaked in forest, bamboo,
scrub and moorland giving way on the
high central peaks to rock, ice and
snow. Mt. Kenya is an
important water catchment area, supplying
the Tana and Northern Ewaso Ngiro systems.
The park includes a variety of habitats
ranging from higher forest, bamboo,alpine
moorlands, glaciers, tarns and glacial
The park, which was inscribed by UNESCO
as a World Heritage Site in 1997ans
is also a Biosphere Reserve, covers
715 km2, and includes the Peaks consisting
of all the ground above 3200m with two
extending lower down to 2450m along
the Sirimon and Naro Moru tracks. Surrounding
the park is Mount Kenya National Reserve
with an area of approximately 2095 km2.
Mount Kenya is a spectacular mountain
with a series of peaks, valleys, ridges
and tarns. In this complete West to
East traverse we see the mountain from
many angles and take in the routes best
known for their abundance of wildlife
and epic mountain scenery.
Climate, flora and fauna on Mt. Kenya
varies with altitude.
HOW TO GET THERE
175 kms from Nairobi, the park can be
reached on Nanyuki-Isiolo road via Sirimon
Track or Nyeri-Nanyuki road near Naro
Moru. The park is also reachable via
Chogoria on the Embu - Meru road, about
150km north of
The closest commercial airstrip to the
park is at Nanyuki.
Pristine wilderness, lakes, tarns, glaciers
and peaks of great beauty,geological
variety, forest, mineral springs, rare
and endangered species of animals, High
altitude adapted plains game, Unique
montane and alpine
vegetation with 11 species of endemic
Liki North Hut; Minto's Hut; Austrian
Hut; Mackinders Hut (managed by NaroMoru
Lodge); Judmare Hut; Shiptons Hut (managed
by Mountain Rock Hotel).
Sirimon Bandas, Warden's Cottage.
Mountain Lodge (Serena Hotels); Rutundu
Fishes Lodge (book through Lets
Mountain climbing, game viewing.
Alpine Meadow Lizard; lizards and skinks;
Baboon, Olive; Bat, Banana; Bongo; Buffalo
African; Bushbuck; Cat, AfricanWild;
Civet, African; Colobus, Black and White;
Dog, Hunting; Dormouse,African; Duiker,
Black-fronted; Duiker, Bush; Duiker,
African; Genet, Large-spotted; Hare,
African; Hog, Giant Forest; Hyaena,Spotted;
Hyrax, Rock; Hyrax, Tree; Jackal, Black-backed;
Jackal,Side-striped; Klipspringer; Leopard;
Lion; Mongoose, Slender; Monkey,
Sykes; Otter, Clawless; Pig, Forest
Bush; Porcupine, Crested; Rat, Crested;Rat,
Mt Kenya Mole; Reedbuck, Chanler's;
Rhinoceros, Black; Serval; Shrew,Mole;
Suni; Zebra, Common.
Owl, Mackinder's Eagle; Owl, Cape Grass;
Owl, African Wood; Owl, AfricanMarsh;
Owl, Abyssinian Long-eared; Oriole,
Black-winged; Nightjar,Abyssinian; Martin,
African Sand; Martin, African Rock;
Lammergeyer; Kite, European Black; Kite,
African Black; Kingfisher,Grey-headed;
Kingfisher, Giant; Kestrel, Lesser;
Kestrel, European; Ibis,Green; Hornbill,
MT. KENYA NATIONAL PARK & RESERVE
This varies with altitude and rainfall,
and there is a rich alpine and sub-alpine
flora.Between 1200m and 1850m,
the vegetation is mainly dry upland
forest comprising of Croton associations.
Juniperus procera and Podocarpus
spp.are predominant in the drier parts
of the lower zone (below 2,500m), with
rainfall between 875 and 1400mm (Naro
Moru and Sirimon tracks on the western
slopes). In wetter areas (over 2200mm/year)
in the south-west
and north-east, Cassipourea malosana
Higher altitudes (2,500-3,000m
with rainfall over 2000mm/year) are
dominated by a dense belt of bamboo
Arundinaria alpina on south-eastern
slopes, and a mosaic of bamboo and Podocarpus
milanjianus with bamboo at intermediate
elevations (2,600-2,800m), and Podocarpus
at higher and lower elevations (2,800-3,000m)
and (2,500-2,600m).Towards the west
and north of the mountain, bamboo becomes
progressively smaller and less dominant.
There are also areas in zones of maximum
rainfall 2,000-3,500m with up to 2,400mm/year,
where Hagenia abyssinica with Hagenia
Above 3,000m, cold (low temperatures)
become a more important factor,
treestature declines, and Podocarpus
is replaced by Hypericum spp. A more
open canopy here results in a more developed
understorey. Many of the trees are festooned
with mosses. Grassy glades are common
especially on ridges.
Highaltitude heath between 3,000m
and 3,500m is characterised by shrubs
withsmall leaves like African sage,
Protea and Helicrysum.
The lower alpine or moorland zone
(3,400-3,800m) is characterized
by high rainfall, a thick humus layer,
low topographic diversity, and low speciesrichness.
Tussock grasses Festuca pilgeri, and
sedges Carex spp.predominate. Between
the tussocks there are Alchemilla cyclophylla,Alchemilla
johnstonii, and Geranium vagans.
Above the 3500m contour is theAfro-alpine
zone, a moorland characterised by tussock
grasses, senecios and lobelias.
The upper alpinezone (3,800-4,500m)
is more topographically diverse,
and contains a more varied flora. Many
of the species here are bizarre, especially
the giant rosette plants Lobelia telekii
and Lobelia keniensis,Senecio keniodendron
and Carduus spp.. Senecio brassica is
found in both the lower and upper alpine
There are a variety of grasses on well-drained
ground and along the streams and river
banks such as megaphytic Senecio battescombei
and Helichrysum kilimanjari.
Continuous vegetation stops at about
4,500m although isolated vascular
plants have been found at over 5,000m.
There are 13 species endemic to Mount
Kenya listed in Hedberg,(1951).
Find and book Mt Kenya climbing routes
at Mount Kenya National Park Kenya