Mount Kenya Region,Lewa Wilderness and Laikipia Wildlife Conservancy
The Aberdare National Park is part of the Aberdare Mountain Range, a fascinating region of Kenya. With an area of 767 Km2 covers the higher areas of the Aberdare Mountain Ranges of Central Kenya, from an altitude of 1829M to 4001M above sea level. The topography is quite diverse with deep ravines that cut through the forested eastern and western slopes.
Animals easily seen in the park includes: African Elephant, black rhino, leopard, spotted hyena, olive baboon, black and white colobus monkey, sykes monkey, cape buffalo, warthog, common zebra (North Aberdare), bushbuck, reedbuck. Rarer sightings include: lions, the golden cat, Giant Forest hog, the bongo- an elusive forest antelope that lives in the bamboo forest, golden cat, serval cat, African wild cat, blue duiker, and eland This is the park that the current Queen of England visited as a Princess and next day, woke up as a Queen upon her father’s death.
- By Road: 2½-3 hours from Nairobi
- By Air: Nearest Airstrip with scheduled flights is Nanyuki Daily flights Nairobi/Nanyuki/Nairobi
Mount Kenya & Mount Kenya National Park
At 5199m high, Mount Kenya is Africa’s second highest mountain and third in the world. It offers easy or challenging ascents with superb scenic beauty. To the Kikuyu people, it was believed that this was the home of their Supreme Being – Ngai. Part of the mountain’s fascination is the variation in flora and fauna as the altitude changes. The lower slopes are covered with dry upland forest, the true montane (mountain) forest begins at 2000m is mainly cedar and podo. At 2500m, begins a belt of bamboo forest which merges into the upper forest of smaller trees, interspersed with glades. The high altitude heath at the top (3000-3500m) is generally open, dotted with shrubs, African sage, protea and helicrysum. In the lower forest and bamboo zone mammals include giant forest hog, tree hyrax, white-tailed mongoose, elephant, black rhinoceros, suni, black-fronted duiker and leopard. Moorland mammals include the localized Mount Kenya mouse shrew, hyrax and common duiker. The endemic mole-rat is common throughout the northern slopes and the Hinder Valley at elevations up to 4,000 m. Also there have been occasional sightings of the albino zebra, Sunni buck, Mount Kenya mole, shrew, skinks (lizard) and variety of owls
If you thought climbing Mt. Kenya, is easy, get prepared. Unlike Mt. Everest and Mt. Kilimanjaro, that are relatively easy climb. Mount Kenya is by no means an easy feat, with the summit standing at 4,985 m. One of the things that make this hike so rewarding is the stunning scenery, as there are 12 remnant glaciers on the mountain, as well as four secondary peaks that are lower than Point Lenana, which is the highest. During the early stages of the trek, you’ll be walking through areas of alpine vegetation where there are some striking plants like the giant lobelia. You’ll walk through bamboo forests as you ascend, before reaching the moorland as you get higher.
The wildlife you can see during this trek includes the tree hyrax, black rhinoceros, white-tailed mongoose, green ibis and Mackinder’s eagle owl. The whole area is protected by a national park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Area: 720 square kilometres
- By Road: 3 hours from Nairobi
- By Air: Nearest Airstrip with scheduled flights is Nanyuki Daily flights. Safari link and Air Kenya.(Charter Flights on request)
Best Time to Trek Mount Kenya
Although, Mount Kenya can be climbed all year round, the highest rainfall occurs between late March and the middle of May, and slightly less between late October and mid December. Maximum rainfall occurs in the forest belt and on the south-east side of the mountain where it reaches 2500mm. per year at 3000m. Rain and, higher up, snow can however be encountered at any time of year – even in the driest periods (January and February). Normally the drier seasons are associated with clear, dry weather which can last for many days. Temperatures vary considerably with height and with time of day. At 3000m. frosts can be encountered at night while day temperatures range from 5 to 15°C. Night time temperatures on the summit are well below freezing. Point.
It’s safest to climb Mt. Kenya during the dry seasons: January – February and August to September off the most reliably fine weather. It’s best to avoid the two rainy seasons from mid March until June and from late October to the end of December.
Ol Pejeta Conservancy
Ol Pejeta private conservancy works to conserve the highly endangered black rhino and is now the Largest Black Rhino Sanctuary in East Africa. Moreover, the Conservancy is home to southern white rhinos and the critically endangered northern white rhinos.
This conservancy is an integral part of the Laikipia/Samburu ecosystem, Ol Pejeta is also home to the “Big Five” and carries one of the highest wildlife densities in Kenya. In an attempt to ensure some connectivity with the greater Liakipia landscape, there are corridors along the Conservancy’s northern boundary ensuring free movement of all animals, especially the large herbivores such as elephants. Predators are also closely monitored as they play a crucial role in the ecosystem of controlling prey densities.
Ol Pejeta is situated at 4,500 to 6,500 feet (1,400-2,000 meters) above sea level. The days are usually hot and dry and the nights quite cool. Clothing should be light for the day and warm for the evening. A windcheater or fleece is essential, as are good walking shoes.
Laikipia Wildlife Conservancies
The Laikipia plateau in Central Kenya is the last stronghold of romantic East Africa with vast open ranches, shadowed by snow-capped Mount Kenya and home to many communities including the Laikipia Maasai and the Samburu.The plains are fed by the Ewaso Ny’iro and the Ewaso Narok rivers and one can often see the “Big 5″ (rhino, elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo). The district is also a home to endangered animals such as the black rhino, Jackson’s Hartebeest and more. It also boasts the biggest herds of elephant outside the National Parks. Wild dog, leopard, lion, cheetah and other predators hunt the plains game such as impala, gazelle, reticulated giraffe, Grevy zebra, Somali ostrich, Beisa oryx (endemic to the North of Kenya) and gerenuk.
This is Kenya’s newest safari destination and lies north of Nairobi on the rim of the Great Rift Valley. It is an area thriving with private reserves, luxurious family-friendly accommodation and it is a must-to visit for those who want exclusivity and a safari experience away from the crowds.
The most famous region of Laikipia is undoubtedly the Lewa Conservancy, or ‘Lewa’ as it is known. Like much of Laikipia, Lewa was originally a cattle ranch but one that was later established by the Craig/Douglas family as a black rhino sanctuary. Today, Lewa is Kenya’s greatest conservation success story with the conservancy officially running as a Non-Profit Organisation and a game density second only to the Masai Mara. As with many of the Northern reserves, Lewa hosts a variety of rare species ranging from the Grevy’s zebra, Sitatunga, Oryx as well a great diversity of big game found in East Africa especially the rhino and cheetah. There are also a number of ranches outside Lewa itself, from Borana in the south to Loisaba, Sabuk and Ol Malo in the north – all of these offer a wide range of exclusive safari experiences with camels, horse riding, helicopters and normal safaris in 4×4 wheel drive vehicles
The accommodation quality here is superb and perfectly suitable. Set in the hills that surround the Lewa conservancy, Borana looks down to a waterhole and the other good properties in the area are set on the Lewa plain with Lewa House, Lewa wilderness and Sarara offering superb accommodation All these properties extend a real emphasis on working with the local community.
Lewa, actually situated inside the conservancy itself is probably the pick choice of the lodges if you are looking for a game rich experience. Loisaba and the famous Loisaba starbeds are perched on top of the escarpment, with the areas most impressive views and an emphasis on relaxation rather than intense game driving and activities.
- Area: 800,000 hectares
- By Road: 7-8 hours from Nairobi
- By Air: Accessible by private charters
Cultural & Historical Visits:
Mukurwe wa Nyagathanga, Kikuyu Tribes / Cultures
Mukurwe wa Nyagathanga, is a Kikuyu cultural heritage site. This is a mythical place of origin for the Kikuyu community and therefore, this is an honored and maintained sacred site. A detailed history of this cultural heritage site begins with a very interesting story. Elders takes care of the site and enjoy a guided short walk from the site to Gathambara, the waterhole of the first Agikuyu family
Here, you will be entertained with several traditional Kikuyu songs and learn more about the origin of the Kikuyu community.
Mau Mau Caves
The caves are a historic site and you will enjoy a walk through the forest towards the caves. As you head to the caves, there is plenty of wildlife, flora and fauna to observe. Birds are also in big numbers and especially the Hartlaubs Turacco, which is very common. The caves were used as a hide out by freedom fighters at the time of colonial struggle in Kenya. The caves are located 18 km south of the equator inside the thick Mt. Kenya Forest Reserve. The caves pose themselves from hanging rock outcrop. The cool and calm environment provides favourable conditions
|Languages spoken||English, Swahili|
|Currency used||Kenya Shilling|