At 17,000 feet high, Mount Kenya is Africa’s second tallest mountain next to Kilimanjaro. According to Kikuyu tradition, it is the home of the Supreme Being. The Kikuyu name for Mount Kenya is Kere Nyaga, meaning “the mountain of brightness.”
Mount Kenya is a favorite destination of mountain climbers. A variety of scenic routes offer both easier and more challenging options for summiting the peak.
But Mount Kenya has much to enchant other safari-goers, as well. It boasts a huge variety of wildlife, including several species unique to Mount Kenya. The Kenyan government protects a large area of the mountain as part of Mount Kenya National Park, an internationally recognized World Heritage Site.
Favorite ways to explore the foothills of Mount Kenya include game drives and horseback safaris.
A black-and-white colobus monkey perches on a tree on Mount Kenya. Photo by Francesco Ungaro.
Wildlife on Mount Kenya
Flora and fauna shift as the altitude changes. Dry upland forest covers the lower slopes. Next comes montane forest, filled with cedar and yellowwood. You might see olive baboons, waterbucks, black rhinos, black-fronted duikers, leopards, genets, bush pigs, or hyenas. Other animals on Mount Kenya include black-and-white colobus monkeys, Sykes monkeys, bushbucks, and the Big 5.
Further up, a belt of bamboo encircles the mountain. As you ascend, it slowly fades into heath shrubs, then moorland, and finally rocky outcrops. Even as plants become more sparse, you may see an occasional high-altitude zebras or large eland antelopes.
Mount Kenya is only one of many amazing natural areas in Kenya. Explore more Kenya attractions.