At 5,199 m, Mount Kenya is the second highest peak in Africa. It is an ancient extinct volcano, which during its period of activity (3.1-2.6 million years ago) is thought to have risen to 6,500 m. There are 12 remnant glaciers on the mountain, all receding rapidly, and four secondary peaks that sit at the head of the U-shaped glacial valleys. With its rugged glacier-clad summits and forested middle slopes, Mount Kenya is one of the most impressive landscapes in East Africa. The evolution and ecology of its afro-alpine flora provide an outstanding example of ecological and biological processes. Through the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and Ngare Ndare Forest Reserve, the property also incorporates lower lying scenic foothills and arid habitats of high biodiversity, situated in the ecological transition zone between the mountain ecosystem and the semi-arid savanna grasslands. The area also lies within the traditional migrating route of the African elephant population.
Major Attractions: The Mount Kenya National Park includes Mount Kenya and is basically a forest reserve in which a number of animal species reside. These include elephants, tree hyrax, white-tailed mongoose, black fronted duikers, mole rats, bushbucks, waterbucks, elands, leopards, black rhinos, and buffaloes.
Karunguru Coffee Estate
This estate has been cultivating coffee since 1928, and its five-hour tours (which must be pre-booked) are outstanding, taking in an explanation of the state’s history, a tour of the various stages of coffee production, a buffet lunch in a stunning ballroom, coffee tasting and a visit to the estate’s shop.
Wildlife: There are at least 160 bird species existing in Mount Kenya National Park, with 53 of Kenya’s 67 African Highland biome species, including the rare and threatened Abbott’s starling. It is home to 6 of the 8 bird species that are endemic to the Kenyan Mountains. The park is also home to several species of eagles that sometimes soar high above.
Getting there: the Mt. Kenya roads project supported by the EU and the Kenyan government at a cost of Ksh400 million has seen major improvement of access roads along Kalalau Farm to Sirimon Gate and Old Moses Camp, and Naromoru Gate to Met Station Road; a stretch of 27km. The project was completed in 2018. Two other components of the project cover Tsavo East National Park and the Aberdares. In total, the project has cost about Sh2.3 billion, which includes an EU contribution of Sh1.5 billion. Works in Tsavo East were completed in 2015 while those in the Aberdares will be completed in 2019.
Where To Stay: or a glamorous holiday at the suburbs of Mount Kenya, we recommend Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club at the Tier 1 level for those who want to stay outside the park borders in premier open grounds and Serena Mountain Lodge at Tier 2 level for deluxe-seeking guests who want to stay inside the park amidst the forest wilderness. As an up-market accommodation, Mount Kenya Safari Club is a superb base for all of your activities.