Mount Kenya is an imposing extinct volcano dominating the landscape of the Kenyan Highlands. The mountain has two main peaks – Batian 5,200metres) and Nelion (5,188 metres)
The mountains slopes are cloaked in forest,bamboo, scrub and moorland giving way on the high central peaks to rock, ice and snow. Mount Kenya is an important water catchment area, supplying the Tana and Northern Ewaso Ngiro systems.
The park includes a variety of habitats ranging from higher forest, bamboo, alpine moorlands, glaciers, tarns and glacial morains.
The Park, which was inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1997 and is also a Biosphere Reserve, covers 715 square km, and includes the peaks consisting of all the ground above 3,200 metres with two small salients extending lower down to 2,450 metres along the Sirimon and Naro Moru tracks. Surrounding the park is Mount Kenya National Reserve with an area of approximately 2,095 square km.
Nairobi National Park
Nairobi National Park is unique by being the only protected area in the world with a variety of animals and birds close to a capital city. The park is a principal attraction for visitors to Nairobi.The park also serves many residents and citizens living in the city. It has a diversity of environments with characteristic fauna and flora. Open grass plains with scattered acacia bush are predominant. The western side has a highland dry forest and a permanent river with a riverine forest in the south.In addition, there are stretches of broken bush country and deep, rocky valleys and gorges with scrub and long grass. Man-made dams also attract water dependent herbivores during the dry season. The park has a rich/diverse birdlife with 400 species recorded. However all species are not always present and some are seasonal. Northern migrants pass through the park primarily during late March through April. Nairobi National Park is one of the most successful of Kenya’s rhino sanctuaries that is already generating a stock for reintroduction in the species former range and other upcoming sanctuaries. Due to this success, it is one of the few parks where a visitor can be certain of seeing a black rhino in its natural habitat. To the south of the park is the Athi-Kapiti Plains and Kitengela Migration and dispersal area. These are vital areas for herbivores dispersal during the rains and concentrate in the park in the dry season.
Lake Nakuru is a shallow strongly alkaline lake set in a picturesque landscape of surrounding woodland and grassland. The landscape includes areas of marsh and grasslands alternating with rocky cliffs and outcrops, stretches of acacia woodland and rocky hillsides covered with a Euphorbia forest.The lake’s catchment is bounded by Menengai crater to the north, the Bahati hills to the north east, the lion hill ranges to the east, eburu crater to the south and the mau escarpment to the west. Three rivers, the Njoro, Makalia and Enderit drain into the lake. Lake Nakuru was first gazetted as a bird sanctuary in 1960 and upgraded to National Park status in 1968.A northern extension was added to the park in 1974 and the lake was designated as a Ramsar site in 1990. The foundation of the park’s food chains is the cyanophyte spirulina platensis which can support huge numbers of lesser flamingo. During peak season over one million flamingos congregate on the lake plus half a million pelicans. The Park also contains Kenya’s largest population of rhinos.The surface of the lake occupies about a third of the park. The lake supports a dense bloom of the blue-green Cyanophyte Spirulina platensis from which it derives its colour. It is a food source for flamingos. The lake is fringed by alkaline swamps with areas of sedge, cyprus laevigatus and typha marsh along the river inflows and springs. The surrounding areas support a dry transitional savanna with lake margin grasslands.
The Maasai Mara Game Reserve is widely considered to be Africa’s greatest wildlife reserve. The Mara comprises200 sq miles of open plains, woodlands and riverine forest. Contiguous with the plains of the Serengeti, the Mara is home to a breath taking array of life.The vast grassland plains are scattered with herds of Zebra, Giraffe, Gazelle, and Topi. The Acacia forests abound with Bird life and Monkeys. Elephants and Buffalo wallow in the wide Musiara Swamp. The Mara and Talek rivers are brimming with Hippos and Crocodiles.Each year the Mara plays host to the world’s greatest natural spectacle, the Great Wildebeest Migration from the Serengeti. From July to October, the promise of rain and fresh life giving grass in the north brings more than 1.3 million Wildebeest together into a single massive herd. They pour across the border into the Mara, making a spectacular entrance in a surging column of life that stretches from horizon to horizon.
The twin National Parks of Tsavo East and West together form one of Africa’s largest wilderness reserves. This single National Park is larger than the island of Jamaica. Tsavo as a whole consists of 10 million acres of pure wilderness, incorporating savannah, ranges and hills, acacia and montane forest, and an extensive river system.
The vast plains of Tsavo are crossed by the main Nairobi-Mombasa railroad. This historic railway was, in 1899, the scene of one of Africa’s greatest Adventure stories.
Two large lions actively preyed on the railway workers as they built a bridge over the Tsavo river, claiming over 120 victims. They evaded hunters for well over a year, and the legend of the Maneaters of Tsavo was born. The sheer scale of Tsavo gives the visitor a chance to really get away from it all, and to explore the wild in total solitude. On safari here you will see large herds of Elephant, their hides often a luminous red with dust, as well as Lion, Buffalo, Eland, Giraffe Impala, Kudu and possibly Rhinoceros.
Tsavo is a birdwatcher’s paradise with numerous species of weavers, hornbills, sunbirds, rollers, and raptors commonly seen. One of Tsavo’s most interesting geographical features is the Lugard Falls, where white water rages through a series of spectacular rock formations.
Amboseli is a land of giants. This is a place of wide dry plains, where the horizons stretch into the furthest distance and become one with the sky.
Amboseli is renowned for its elephant populations and large herds, including some impressively tusked bulls are drawn to a series of large, lush swamplands. But the most impressive giant of all is Mt Kilimanjaro.
Africa’s largest mountain lies just over the border in Tanzania, but the most impressive views of its snow-capped peak are to be found in Amboseli. The early light of dawn turns the mountain a dark hue of purple, and its snows into an ethereal pink.
The sight of Kilimanjaro high above herds of elephant crossing the plains of Amboseli is a timeless African image.
The coastline North of Mombasa is a world of enthralling history and natural beauty. The coast is lined with pristine palm fringed beaches,and the calm inviting waters of the Indian Ocean.
The beaches are broken by the wide mouth of Kilifi Creek, whose azurewaters are a popular port of call on the international yachting circuit.
The beaches of Nyali, Vipingo, Kikambala and Shanzu are home to a widerange of World Class resorts with fine cuisine and services.
The peaceful beach havens of Malindi, Watamu, Mtwapa and Takaungu offer an ideal escape from the outside world, with endless deserted beaches.
The offshore reefs are alive with coral, myriad fish, sea turtles and dolphins. Both outer and inner reef walls offer world class diving with spectacular coral gardens and drop offs, and Kenya’s best wreck diving on the MV Dania.
The coastline south of Mombasa is a tropical paradise of palm fringed white sand beaches, where the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean meet beautiful coral reefs. The protective reefs have created ideal beaches with calm, inviting waters.
Days are filled with sunshine and nights are balmy and warm with gentle sea breezes. The offshore reefs are alive with coral, myriad fish, sea turtles and dolphins.
Both outer and inner reef walls offer world class diving with spectacular coral gardens and drop offs. At Kisite-Mpunguti, a Marine Reserve has been established around beautiful Wasini Island, an ideal day trip for divers and snorkellers.
The beaches are bordered by lush green coastal rainforests with prolific birdlife and variety of wildlife including baboons, rare colobus monkeys and even leopard.
A wide range of World Class resorts, centred around Diani Beach allow visitors to relax and enjoy this natural paradise with the best standards of accommodation, service and cuisine.