Initially, it was a forest reserve, before being announced as a national park. Currently, the national park is encircled by the forest reserve. In April 1978, the area was designated a UNESCOBiosphere Reserve. Combined, the national park and forest reserve became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.
The Government of Kenya had four reasons for creating a national park on and around Mount Kenya. These were the importance of tourism for the local and national economies, to preserve an area of great scenic beauty, to conserve the biodiversity within the park, and to preserve the water-catchment for the surrounding area.
Area of Mount Kenya National Park
The national park has an area of 715 square kilometres (276 sq mi), most of which is above the 3,000-metre (9,800 ft) contour line. The forest reserve has an area of 705 square kilometres (272 sq mi). Combined, this makes the area of the UNESCO World Heritage Site 1,420 square kilometres (548 sq mi).
Volcanicsediment in the surrounding region’s soil and the huge volume of fresh water coming down the slopes makes the area particularly favorable for agriculture.
How to get there
Roads: 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 Nairobi.
Mountain climbing routes without an official gate include:
Airstrips: The closest commercial airstrip to the park is at Nanyuki
Include Elephants, tree hyrax, white tailed mongoose, suni, black fronted duiker, mole rat, bushbucks, water buck and Elands. Animals rarely seen include leopard, bongo, giant forest hog .
Over 130 bird species have been recorded.
Important Information for Visitors
All visitors should enter the park with a qualified and certified guide. Guides and potters have identification cards issued by the park management.
Disposable plastic water bottles are not allowed in the park.
Guides and potters are not allowed to carry luggage that exceed 25KG. Weighing of luggage will be done at the gate on entry.
All visitors are required to check in and out of the park, this is done by recording personal information in the entry and exit books.
Attractions at the Mount Kenya National Park
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 plants.
What to take with you
Picnic items and camping equipment if you intend to stay overnight
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^ Speck, Heinrich (1982). “Soils of the Mount Kenya Area: Their formation, ecology, and agricultural significance”. Mountain Research and Development. International Mountain Society. 2 (2): 201–221. doi:10.2307/3672965. JSTOR3672965.
^ Ojany, Francis (August 1993). “Mount Kenya and its Environs: A review of the interaction between mountain and people in an equatorial setting”. Mountain Research and Development. International Mountain Society. 13 (3): 305–309. doi:10.2307/3673659. JSTOR3673659.