It’s not everyday that you get to see breathtaking scenery. But the Kikuyu tribesmen are blessed to see it every day of their lives. To them, Mount Kenya is the home of Ngai, the Supreme Being. But to the ordinary traveler, the mountain fortress is a sight to behold.
Mt. Kenya National Park was established around the area in 1949. It started out as a forest reserve and later became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since then, tourists from all over the world have all embarked on a journey to the national park which engulfs Kenya’s second highest mountain.
The Kenyan government had reasons why they created a national park around the mountain. First, they wanted to preserve the biodiversity within the park. Endangered species like Sunni Buck, albino zebra and the Mole Shrew are usually seen within the forest expanse. Second, they want the water catchment for the nearby areas. This fresh water comes from the mountain slopes and nurtures the soil, making it suitable for agriculture. Third, they want to protect the natural scenery within Mount Kenya. Fourth, and perhaps the most important reason, they want to promote tourism. In recent years, tourism played a major role in the economy of Kenya.
With a peak of 5,199 meters above sea level, it’s no surprise that the mountain is home to unique animals like Colobus, Sykes Monkeys, Cape Buffalos and a rare type of forest antelope called bongos. Hikers can opt for the challenging ascent or the easy route to reach the mountain top. And once they have settled in, they can choose one of seven climber huts or three self help banda site within the national park. Some may opt for the lodges just outside the area.
From the ground, the mountain seemed mystical, thanks partly to the high altitude moss that covers the trees from 2,500 meters up. It’s no wonder the people living here consider this mountain as holy.