Mount Kenya National Park
Mount Kenya © Chris Murphy
This national park encompasses Africa's second highest mountain, Mt Kenya, an extinct volcano with a series of jagged snow-covered peaks. The local Kikuyu people revere the mountain they call Kirinvaga or 'Place of Light' as the home of their Supreme Being, Ngai, and traditionally Kikuyu homes are built to face the sacred summit. Part of the attraction is the incredible variation in flora and fauna found on the mountain due to the changes in altitude and its position on the equator. The slopes are covered in thick forest, home to a variety of animals including the black leopard. Bamboo, moorland and alpine vegetation give way to rock, ice and one of the world's rarest sights - equatorial snow. The summit is a technical climb, but Point Lenana is a popular trekkers' objective; it is the third highest peak and can be reached by a number of different scenic routes, lasting from three to five days. The Mount Kenya National Park is a paradise for climbers who come to summit the various peaks and test themselves against the mountain. For those not wishing to climb the park offers a pristine wilderness, lakes and glaciers, and is good for game viewing and hiking.
Telephone: 061 556 45
Transport: Two-hour drive from Nairobi
Admission: National Park entry: USD 55 (adults), USD 25 (children). There are concessions for residents and citizens of Kenya. Mountaineering fee: USD 70 (adults), USD 50 (children).