At 5,199m the mountain is the second highest peak in Africa. Mt. Kenya is an important water tower in the country. It provides water for about 50% of the country’s population and produces 70% of Kenya’s hydroelectric power.
Initially it was a forest reserve before being announced as a national park. Currently the national park is within the forest reserve which encircles it. In April 1978 the area was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The national park and the forest reserve, combined, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. The national park has an area of 715 square kilometers, most of which is above the 3,000 meters (9,800 ft) contour line. The forest reserve has an area of 705 square kilometers. Combined this makes the area of the UNESCO World Heritage Site 1,420 square kilometers (548 sq mi).
The Migration starts in May with the wildebeests in the South of The Serengeti having spent close to six months there, feeding and breeding. Their migration takes them North to the south of Grumeti River by June where they gather in numbers as they wait to cross the river. The crocodiles here will have their own fair share of an annual feast before the migration continues further north. July and August will see them charging across the Serengeti finally ending up South of the Mara River. They don’t stay too long in Kenya, by October great herds snake back south to the Serengeti where they stay for six months from November to May when the cycle starts all over again.
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.
Include Elephants, tree hyrax, white tailed mongoose, suni, black fronted duiker, mole rat, bushbucks, water buck and Elands. Animas rarely seen include leopard, bongo, giant forest hog and rhino. Birds commonly seen are: Owl, Mackinder’s Eagle; Owl, Cape Grass; Owl, African Wood; Owl, African Marsh; Owl, Abyssinian Long-eared; Oriole, Black-winged; Nightjar, Abyssinian; Martin, African Sand; Martin, African Rock; Lanner; Lammergeyer; Kite, European Black; Kite, African Black; Kingfisher, Grey-headed; Kingfisher, Giant; Kestrel, Lesser; Kestrel, European; Ibis, Green; Hornbill, Silvery-cheeked and many more.. Wildlife within the forests below the Mt Kenya National Park boundary includes elephant, buffalo, lion, several species of antelope including the rare bongo and the occasional leopard. The birdlife around the mountain is also prolific, ranging from huge eagles to multicolored sunbirds.
The mountain was first climbed in 1899 by Sir Halford McKinder and today is a popular peak to conquer. For the adventurous and outdoor types there are a variety of hiking and mountain climbing trails to choose from. Sweetwaters Private Game Reserve enjoys magnificent views across the plains to the snow-capped peaks of Mount Kenya, and has an abundance of wildlife and tropical vegetation. Sweetwaters Game Reserve and Chimpanzee Sanctuary is home to the “Big five” game – Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Elephant and Buffalo.