“Come touch the sky”
It’s the second highest mountain in Africa. It borders the equator, yet it supports 12 glaciers, plus pristine lakes, tarns and dense alpine forest. This is Mt. Kenya National Park – a land and a world away from all the other national parks. The climbing is excellent, as is the camping. And when the mists burn off, the vistas are magnificent.
Here, in this UNESCO World Heritage Site you can begin your trek in tropical forest, spotting buffalo and elephant. You’ll then ascend to bamboo forest perhaps spotting Colubus and other monkeys. You can also find antelope and giant forest hogs in this dense wooded terrain. Your trek continues into alpine moorlands which will present bizarre flora like the towering giant lobelia.
As you advance up the mountain, you’ll move into glacier country – a barren moonscape of rock, ice and snow. Finally, you’ll arrive at the pinnacle of this extinct volcano overseeing sweeping views of the Kenyan highlands. This, of course, is the main draw of Mt. Kenya Park – the chance to climb a lofty summit rising above the heat and savannahs of Africa and partake in the deep wilderness panorama.
Because Mt. Kenya is more or less a vertical park, the climate changes as you ascend the mountain. Expect big temperature changes between the day and night, with lows at 4oC/39oF. Owing to its elevation, the mountain tends to be wet.
Camping & Caving – Shipton’s Camp is located just beneath the summit and is set amongst the snow-capped peaks. There is an alpine hut here where climbers can rent bunks and rest the night before summiting the mountain. Nearby are Shipton’s Caves, an adventurous spot for exploring.
Climbing/Trekking – Challenge yourself to this invigorating climb while enjoying some of the most beautiful (and changing) scenery as you hike past Mt. Kenya’s stunning lakes, tarns, glaciers and peaks.
Highland Castle – On the Burguret Route heading up the mountain, at 3700m (12,139 ft.) you can scramble up this castle-like formation and take in beautiful views of the Batian and Nelion peaks.