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About Mount Kenya
Mount Kenya is Africa’s second highest mountain. It offers easy or challenging ascents with superb scenic beauty. Mount Kenya is the country’s highest mountain. Sitting astride the equator its icy summit reaches to 5199m (17,058 ft). The entire mountain above the 3200m contour forms a national park. In fact the mountain consists of three principal zones; the rocky peak area, actually an eroded volcanic plug, with its mantle of glaciers and snowfields.
Part of the mountain’s fascination is the variation in flora and fauna as the altitude changes. The lower slopes are covered with dry upland forest, the true montane forest begins at 2,000 m. and is mainly cedar and podo. At 2,500 m. begins a dense belt of of bamboo forest which merges into the upper forest of smaller trees, interspersed with glades. In this area the trees are festooned with high altitude moss.
These forest belts are host to many different animals and plants with at least 11 unique species. Game to view includes: Black and White Colobus and Sykes monkeys, bushbuck, buffalo, elephant and, lower down, Olive Baboon, waterbuck, black rhino, black fronted duiker, leopard, giant forest hog, genet cat, bush pig and hyena. More elusive is the bongo, a rare type of forest antelope.
A number of other rare or endangered species can be found here: Sunni Buck, Mt Kenya Mole Shrew, skinks (lizard), and a variety of owls. Occasional sightings have been recorded of albino zebra.
The high altitude heath at the top (3,000 - 3,500 m.) is generally open, dotted with shrubs: African Sage, protea and helicrysum. The peak (above 3,500 m.) is moorland, with little game other than high altitude zebra and eland common in the northern moorland.
It is no wonder that this remote majestic wonderland was considered as God’s domain by awed farmers at its foothills. Many rivers flow from the perpetual snows, among them the mighty Tana, Kenya’s largest and longest river and source of much of Kenya’s electricity supply. Most visitors are content to marvel at the mountain’s beauty but some will want to attempt to reach the peaks; a feat requiring considerable rock climbing skill. But the mountain’s lesser peaks and glaciers can be scaled and walked by the fit and the adventurous. Point Lenana, 4985m, can be easily reached. In fact the majority of visitors go to the mountain to enjoy the walking and especially the high level hut-to-hut hike round the mountain with its humbling vistas.
Wildlife within the forests below the park boundary includes elephant, buffalo, lion, several species of antelope including the rare bongo and occasionally the melanistic forms of both the leopard and the serval. Much of this wildlife can be seen from the safety of Mountain Lodge which lies just inside the forest on the south side of the mountain. The best months are January and February and late August through September.
NB: Due to the unpredictability of weather around the Summit, we sometimes allow for an extra Summit day thus extending the climb.
What you need to know:
You carry only a small bag with your personal effects while your back pack, sleeping bags, clothes, food and kitchen gear are carried by porters. The group is guided by an experienced Mt. Kenya guide. Nights are spent in huts on the mountain and in small tents with foam mattresses in the foothills. Besides your normal effects, you are advised to bring a medium sized back pack, sleeping bag, warm clothes, good hiking shoes, nylon rain suit, a pair of sunglasses and sun block.
What is included:
Transport from Nairobi to your hotel and park gate, hotel on your first and last night, all food starting with evening meal on the first day and ending with breakfast on the last day, services of a mountain guide and porters, all hut fees, camping equipment, acclimatization tour to the equator.