The Best Time To Visit Mount Kenya National Park

The Best Time To Visit Mount Kenya National Park : The second-highest peak in Africa, Mount Kenya National Park, has a peak elevation of about 5,199 metres above sea level. If you’re wondering when is the best time to visit? In addition, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the home of the legendary Ngai, a Kikuyu god. Kirinyaga is the name given to this sacred peak by the ancient Kikuyu people, who built their traditional residences facing it because they thought it was a centre of light.

The majority of the country experiences warmer temperatures than those found in Mount Kenya National Park. It has a temperate or subtropical climate. March through May and October through December, when it’s gloomy and drizzly, is considered the rainy season. On the lower slopes, the amount of rainfall is mild, but increases higher. December through March are the hottest months of the year.

The sunniest months, from December to March, are probably the finest times to go. Clear views may be hampered by occasional cloud cover, rain from March to May, and drizzle from October to early December. The Mount Kenya National Park, however, is open year-round.

Because Mount Kenya has a mountainous topography, the weather and climate change with elevation. It is windy, cloudy, and bitterly chilly at high altitudes. The predominant vegetation types are moorland, tundra, bamboo woods, and alpine and subalpine flora. As you climb, the vegetation noticeably changes due to temperature variations.

Technically speaking, climbing Mount Kenya is more easier than trekking Mount Kilimanjaro, although mountaineering experience is advised if you want to reach the top safely. While only highly skilled mountaineers may climb the highest peaks of Batian (5199m) and Nelion (5188m), trekkers can reach Point Lenana (4985m), the third-highest peak and the traditional Kenya safari destination for most mortals. The sights are breathtaking when the clouds part.

Routes  on Mount Kenya

On Mount Kenya, there are eight walking routes that go to the major summits. These are the routes that lead to Meru, Chogoria, Kamweti, Naro Moru, Burguret, Sirimon, and Timau, going clockwise from the north. The two Chogoria that are used the most, Naro Moru and Sirimon, have manned gates. The Kenya Wildlife Service must grant specific clearance in order to use the other routes.

Meru routes

This path follows the Kathita Munyi river from Katheri, south of Meru, to Lake Rotundu. It leads up onto the alpine moorland on the mountain’s slopes rather than to the peaks.

Chogoria Route

One of the highlights of the Chogoria Route is the Gorges Valley.

This route ascends to the peaks circuit from the town of Chogoria. Although it is possible to walk the 32 kilometres (20 mi) between the forest entrance and the park gate, most people choose to travel by car. The forest is home to a variety of species, including monkeys living in the trees, safari ant columns that straddle the track, and the possibility of witnessing leopard, elephant, and buffalo. Because of its poor condition, the road calls for caution when driving and walking. The bamboo zone begins close to the park entrance, where grasses can reach heights of 12 metres (39 feet).

After entering the park, the route goes through woods of rosewood, where lichens are hanging from the branches. The trail separates at a certain point, with the smaller track going over to Lake Ellis and up the neighbouring Mugi Hill.

Large overhanging buttress at Hall Tarns, with a view of Lake Michaelson. The Nithi creek is crossed by a tiny bridge close to the track head. (The Gates Waterfall can be reached by following the stream a few hundred metres downstream.) With views of the summits, Lake Michaelson, The Temple, and Delamere and Macmillan summits across the valley, the trail climbs a ridge above the Gorges Valley. Directly above Lake Michaelson, on the walkway, sits a 200-meter (660-foot) cliff known as Hall Tarns.

The path continues, crossing the Nithi River’s flat head before the hill gets steeper. The route divides, going southwest to Square Tarn and west to Simba Col. Both of these are located along the Peak Circuit Route. This path follows the Nyamindi West River and is the longest to reach the peaks. Even though it is restricted, people occasionally utilise it.

A large number of hikers who attempt to reach Point Lenana use this path. It only takes three days to climb, and since each camp includes bunkhouses, a tent is not required.

Kamweti Route

The terrain is mostly nice, though there is a stretch known as the Vertical Bog.

Naro Moru Route

The track begins in the town of Naro Moru and travels up the hill between the Northern and Southern Naro Moru Rivers, passing the Park Headquarters. During the dry season, one can drive to the Meteorological Station, which is located at the head of the road. Along the Peak Circuit Path, the route descends into the Northern Naro Moru Valley to Mackinder’s Camp.

Gathiuru Route

The Best Time To Visit Mount Kenya National Park
Mount Kenya

It begins in Gathiuru and mostly follows the North Burguret River before travelling up the Peak Circuit Path to Hut Tarn. It is the most direct path to reach Peak Lenana. The Gathiuru Community Forest Association is in charge of its management. The people who live there have long experienced conflict between humans and wildlife. They had to come to terms with the fact that God had given them a large mountain and wildlife, which they could use to support themselves. Together, they established the Gathiuru Community Forest Association with the goal of protecting these two invaluable natural resources while they earn a living. Tourists must go through the Mt. Kenya Royal Cottages for payment and assistance in order to access the route. This lodge, which is located across from the Nanyuki airfield, has partnered with the organisation to help promote the route to the residents in order to assist the community. The Gathiuru Route is known for its amazing beauty, wildlife, and flora.

Sirimon Route

Starting from Nanyuki, this route heads eastward around the Mount Kenya Ring Road about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi). Ten kilometres (6.2 miles) further on the track, which is accessible by foot or four-wheel drive, is the gate. The path winds through the woodland as it climbs. Because there is no bamboo zone on the mountain’s northern face, the forest gradually gives way to moorland blanketed in enormous heather. At Old Moses Camp, the track ends and turns into a trail. This goes up the hill and then divides into two paths. The least travelled route circles the Barrow to the left and leads to Likii North Hut. There are sporadic huge lobelia and groundsels among the increasingly scant vegetation. The trail ascends a ridge and then re-joins the main path that leads up the Mackinder Valley. Just before arriving at Shipton’s Camp, Shipton’s Cave is located in the rock wall to the left of the steep approach.

One can go from Shipton’s Camp up the hill right in front of the camp to the now-defunct site of Kami Hut, or one can follow the river up to Lower Simba Tarn, which leads to Simba Col. Both of these lie along the Peak Circuit Path.

Timau Route

This path is prohibited. It begins at Timau Village, very close to the Sirimon Route, and travels a good distance around the periphery of the forest. It used to lead to the highest driveable point on the mountain, but it hasn’t been utilised in a long time. It takes a few hours to get to Halls Tarns from the track head, and from there you can take the Chogoria Route to the Peak Circuit Path.

Peak Circuit Path

This is a route that round the main peaks, covering roughly 10 km (6 mi) and over 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) of elevation gain and loss. Although it may be walked in a single day, it usually takes two or three. It can also be utilised to connect several pathways for ascent and descent. Technical climbing is not required on this route.

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