Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park

LifeStyleTravelOl Donyo Sabuk National Park
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Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park. The name of this park established in 1967, Ol Donyo Sabuk, means large mountain in Maasai. It is situated 65 km (40 mi) north of Nairobi and has an excellent and clear view of Nairobi and other lowland areas. Wildlife species that can be spotted here include buffalo, colobus monkeysbaboonsbushbuckimpaladuiker, and abundant birdlife.

Dominated by a small mountain covered in montane forest, the Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park is home to 45 species of birds including the white-browed sparrow weaver, grey- headed sparrow weaver, African pied wagtail, mourning dove, augur buzzard, African hawk eagle and purple-breasted sunbird. Buffalo are the dominant animals in the ecosystem and other wildlife include bushbucks, leopards, olive baboons, aardvarks, porcupines, mongoose, pythons and monitor lizard. The mountain’s summit also offers visitors scenic views of Mount Kenya.

Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park is a common one-day trip out of Nairobi, only 65 km (40 mi) away. The mountain is the highest peak in the park, covering 20.7 km2 (8.0 sq mi). It is particularly attractive for hikers or families wanting some freedom and exercise, outside their vehicles. One approach to the park is via the Fourteen Falls on the Athi River. The park’s attraction is its beauty and views of both Mount Kenya and Mount Kilimanjaro. It teems with game including baboon, colobus, bushbuck, impala, duiker and many birds. While the name “Ol Donyo Sabuk” is Maasai for ‘large mountain’, the word Sabuk was mistakenly thought by many writers to mean “buffalo” whereas in fact Maasai call buffalo Olosowan. Today, some 250 buffalos roam the slopes. Kikuyu traditionalists also call the mountain by Kea-Njahe, known as the ‘Mountain of the Big Rain’, one of Ngai‘s lesser homes.

The solitary mountain rises to 2,145 m (7,037 ft) from an otherwise flat area. The steep ascent requires a 4WD (4×4) vehicle. Near the summit lie the graves of Sir William Northrup McMillan (1872–1925) and his wife Lady Lucie.

Key features

Wildlife

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  • Includes; buffalo, leopard, mongoose, bushbuck, olive baboon, colobus monkey, vervet monkey, Sykes’ monkey, Kirk’s dik-dik, bush pig, common duiker, reedbuck, rock hyrax, bushbaby, tree and ground squirrel, aardvark, porcupine, python and monitor lizard.
  • More than 45 species of birds have been recorded.

How to get there

  • By Road: 85 km north-east of Nairobi. From Thika town proceed 22 km along the main Garissa road to Makutano junction. At Makutano follow the KWS sign and turn right, proceeding 3 km on an all-weather murram road to Donyo town. At Donyo turn right and proceed a further 2 km to the main gate.

Attractions

  • Montane landscape
  • An unusual burial site, McMillan grave
  • Wildlife Watching
  • Abundant forest birds
  • Fourteen Falls
  • Scenic views of Mt.Kenya  from the summit

Campsites

Turacco Public Campsite

Rock Hyrax

Summit Campsite

Park Entry Fee

Ol Donyo Sabuk National ParkCitizenResidentNon – Resident
AdultsKSHChildKSHAdultsKSHChildKSHAdultsUSDChildUSD
3001253001252213

* Kindly refer to the KWS Conservation Fees document below for other services and charges  

Phone: +254-200 2062503

KWS Reservations:

Tel: +254-20-2379407/15

E-mail: reservations@kws.go.ke or oldonyo@kws.go.ke

Postal Address:

The warden,

Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park,

P.O. Box 1514 0100,

Thika.

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