Standing at an altitude of 1100 feet and covering a surface area of 715 square kilometers, the Mount Kenya national park is one of the best national parks in Kenya. Locals believe that the mountain is home to their Supreme Being, their creator and provider. Furthermore, it was in this national park that Queen Elizabeth of England first learned of her ascension to the throne while on a vacation in Kenya.
Established way back in December 1949, Mount Kenya is host to some of the world’s most magnificent vegetation that changes with its altitude, creating a ring of magnificence around the equatorial mountain. Initially the reserve was created to protect the great forest vegetation from human infringement. The park was then established within the reserves boundaries and stands there to date. In 1997, the area in and around the park was made a UNESCO world heritage site. This mountain is an extinct volcano with three very beautiful peaks, with the most famous one being the Lenana peak.
Tourists can expect to see one very huge and imposing extinct mountain with snow and icy glaciers at the peaks. The beauty of the mountain is in the fact that it is snow capped yet it lies on the equator. The varying vegetations are a spectacle by themselves. The sparkling streams of water that seep through the rocks and form clear rivers and pools of freezing water are adorable. They flow down the slopes and form beautiful waterfalls where the rock is hard and the fall is steep. This water is as a result of melting glaciers and tarns and the rivers that flow out of this park are a treasure to the farming communities that live down below.
The animals in this park are also quite different from their savannah counterparts. For the carnivores here, they have to adapt to preying on animals from rocks and very rough terrain. The vegetarians on the other hand are better placed for survival in this evergreen national park. The vegetation comprises of up to 11 different species of endemic plants and the pristine wilderness above which is bare rock.
As with most of Kenya’s national parks, accessibility is not an issue. The Mount Kenya national park is accessible through the Nanyuki airstrip from Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu. By road, the park is approximately 175 kilometers from Nairobi, the capital city. The two main routes are through Nanyuki-Isiolo road or via Nyeri -Nanyuki road through Naru-Moru town. However there is another route through the Embu- Meru road some 150 kilometers from Nairobi.
Being one of the oldest national parks in the country, there are established hotels, resorts and camping areas within the park and in the surrounding towns that give affordable accommodation throughout the year.
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