Mount Kenya National Park, at a glance
Located in central Kenya, the landscape of Mount Kenya National Park is dominated by Mount Kenya (5,199m), the second-tallest mountain in Africa after Mount Kilimanjaro. Mount Kenya National Park supports a unique afro-alpine ecosystem, and it serves as a crucial drainage basin which supplies Kenya’s water.
In 1978, the Kenyan Government established a national park around Mount Kenya to boost tourism in the area and conserve the nation’s biodiversity. The park is surrounded by a forest reserve and both areas became UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1997.
Mount Kenya National Park encompasses several landscapes, including alpine rivers, forests, and mountain slopes across its surface area of 715 km².
Where does Mount Kenya National Park fit into your Kenyan adventure?
Mount Kenya National Park is situated 175km northeast of Nairobi, and most itineraries start in Kenya’s capital.
The park offers some of Kenya’s most spectacular scenery, and a Mount Kenya trek is a 4–5-day standalone adventure for trekking enthusiasts.
Alternatively, you can visit Mount Kenya’s slopes for a single day as part of a wider Kenyan adventure. Some travellers choose to pair the park with Lake Nakuru National Park, and the Maasai Mara as part of a 1–2-week itinerary.
Wildlife at Mount Kenya National Park
Mount Kenya National Park’s alpine forests are home to an abundance of wildlife. The forests sustain larger mammals like elephants, Cape buffaloes, and leopards, and smaller mammals such as several species of antelope. Black-and-white colobus monkeys also inhabit the forests.
Several animals have evolved to thrive at high altitudes on Mount Kenya, including the Mount Kenya hyrax, a small, herbivorous mammal, and the common duiker, a small antelope.
The park is home to over 130 bird species, including sunbirds, starlings, and bearded vultures.
Getting to Mount Kenya National Park
By road, Mount Kenya National Park is 175km from Nairobi along one of the 3 major routes to the mountain.
Alternatively, you can take an Airkenya Express flight from Wilson Airport in Nairobi to Nanyuki Airfield which is just outside of Mount Kenya National Park.
The flight takes 35-minutes, and it drastically reduces the journey time, but most travellers choose to hire a driver. If you book with us, we will take care of your transport.
Trekking at Mount Kenya National Park
Mount Kenya has 3 peaks of varying levels of difficulty, but most adventurers scale the smallest peak, Point Lenana (4,985m), since it can be ascended without climbing. Only experienced climbers with advanced climbing equipment can climb Batian (5,199m) and Nelion (5,188m).
The main trekking route to Point Lenana is the Naro Moru route, and the ascent takes 3 days. The route begins at Naro Moru town on the western side of Mount Kenya, and it continues to Mackinder’s Camp before merging with the Peak Circuit Path, a steep 10km ascent around Batian and Nelion.
The Kenya Wildlife Service recommends that your ascent should take at least 3 nights to allow you to acclimatise. The best time to climb Mount Kenya is during the dry seasons, from June to October and January to March.
The trails can get slippery during the wet seasons, so you should plan to avoid these months.
Accommodation at Mount Kenya National Park
Nestled in the alpine forest of Mount Kenya, Serena Mountain Lodge is situated at 2,194m. This timbered lodge is designed to offer sweeping views across the canopy, the lodge’s own water hole, and a saltlick which attracts herds of elephants and buffaloes.
You can choose between 41 timber cabin style rooms, and each room has a private balcony which offers stunning views of the waterhole.
The dining room is situated in the canopy, and its buffet features a mixture of local and international dishes.
Located in Nanyuki, Fairmont is an exclusive resort which offers 110 luxurious rooms in the foothills of Mount Kenya.
The resort was founded by the 1950s Hollywood actor, William Holden, and the main building has a 1950s colonial design.
Fairmont offers great facilities, including a 9-hole golf course and the Riuki Spa and Wellness Centre which has 3 treatment rooms, a spa, a steam room, and a sauna. The resort also organises nature walks, fishing, and horse riding.
Popular Trips to Kenya
The tours below showcase just some of what is possible. Use these itineraries as starting points, or to draw inspiration. Then get in touch, and let our expert team help craft the perfect itinerary for you.
A Kenyan Expedition
Explore Nairobi National Park, Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Samburu National Reserve, and the Maasai Mara over 9 days. Beautiful tented camps will keep you comfortable, and short flights connect the dots between destinations.…
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A Kenyan Odyssey
A 9-day voyage across the best wildlife destinations in Kenya. As always, Kenya's beautiful tented camps will keep you comfortable, no matter how many miles from civilisation you find yourself.…
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Kenya and Tanzania Combined
The ultimate East African adventure. Starting in the Maasai Mara in Kenya, work your way south through the Serengeti towards Ruaha National Park in Tanzania. Close out your trip with a couple of days on the island paradise of Zanzibar.…
- 13 Days
The Very Best of Kenya
A highlight reel of the very best that Kenya has to offer. A compact itinerary showcasing some of the best wildlife destinations, most beautiful landscapes, and most impressive lodges in the country.…
- 7 Days