Mt. Kenya National Park was establishes in 1949 to protect Mt. Kenya and the diverse ecosystem surrounding the second highest mountain in Africa (5,199). Covering an area of some 700 square kilometres, over half of the park is over 10,500 feet (3,000 metres). It was made a World Heritage site in 1997. The park was created not only to help preserve the flora and fauna of the area, but also to protect the area because of its importance as a water catchment area for the surrounding population and agriculture.
The lower altitudes are covered in dry upland forest and are home to Colobus monkeys, Cape buffalo and elephants. (These elephants go as high as 15,000 feet in search of grazing). Montane forests start at 2,000 metres with cedar and podo trees. At 2,500 metres you move into a bamboo belt and then smaller shrub forest. Above this lies altitude moor land of heather and moss. Wherever you go there is wildlife, from baboon, forest hogs and leopard, each existing in its own environment in this unique park.
Although there is only one lodge in the park itself, there are several famous lodges on its lower slopes, built there because of the cool climate in the hot season heat. Treetops, Naro Moro Lodge and Serena Mountain Lodge are all famous names in the history of Kenya and a great place to start a visit to the country.
Most of our guests stay at Serena Mountain Lodge - the lodge is easily accessible by road from Nairobi (drive takes around 4 hours) and is a good first night stop over as much of the wildlife can be enjoyed from the lodge balconies. The lodge itself resembles a ski chalet and is a little dated perhaps, but you do see fantastic wildlife from your room as they all overlook the waterhole which makes for an exciting way to recover from your international flight and settle into Africa before moving on the next day to Laikipia or Mount Meru.