Mount Kenya National Park

Mount Kenya National Park is a 715 sq kilometer (276 sq mi) conservation ring declared in 1949 to protect Mount Kenya with a peak of 5,199 meters (17,057 ft), wildlife and the surrounding environment, which is a habitat for wild animals and water catchments to supply to the Central Province of Kenya.

Mount Kenya National Park is surrounded by a forest reserve where in April 1978 designated the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. This mountain is the stratovolcano as the second highest mountain in Africa after Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895 meters, 19,341 ft) in Tanzania.

Xvlor Mount Kenya National Park is reserve to protect 5199 meters stratovolcano

Xvlor.com Mount Kenya National Park is reserve to protect 5199 meters stratovolcano

The Kenyan government has four reasons to create a national park around Mount Kenya is tourism for local and national economies, preserving the magnificent scenic beauty, preserving the biodiversity within the park, and preserving the water for the surrounding area.

Most of the park is above the contour line of 3,000 meters (9,800 feet) and the forest reserve has an area of 705 sq kilometers (272 sq mi). Volcanic sediments in the surrounding area and freshwater volumes that descend from the slopes make the area fertile and highly profitable for agriculture.

Geology

Mount Kenya is active on Plio-Pleistocene where the original crater may have a height of more than 6,000 meters (19,700 feet) and the entire peak is covered with an ice cap that ultimately erodes the peak to what it is today. The steep V-shaped valley with many tributaries has been transformed into a U-shape and shallower with a flatter pan.

Rocks are mainly basalt, rhomb porphyrites, phonolites, kenytes and trachytes. In 1893 the expedition reached Lewis Glacier at 5,000 meters (16,400 feet) and confirmed the volcano was extinct. The first thorough survey by the Europeans was not done until 1966.

The peaks of Mount Kenya are almost all located near the center of the mountain. The peak has only moss and small alpine plants that grow in the crevices of the rock. The highest peaks are Batian (5,199 m, 17,057 ft), Nelion (5,188 m, 17,021 ft) and Lenana (4,985 m, 16,355 ft). Batian and Nelion are 250 meters (270 yd) separated by Gate of the Mists (5.144 m, 16,877 ftt).

Other peaks are Coryndon (4,960 m, 16,273 ft), Piggot (4,957 m, 16,263 ft), Dutton (4,885 m, 16,027 ft), John (4,883 m, 16,020 ft), John Minor (4,875 m, 15,994 ft) , Krapf Rognon (4,800, 15,748 ft), Peter (4,757, 15,784 ft)) and Midget Peak (4,700 m, 15,420 ft), Terere (4,714, 15,466 ft), Sendeyo (4,704 m , 15,433 ft) and The Hat (4,639 m, 15,220 ft).

Glaciers on Mount Kenya retreat quickly and every year less snow accumulates in winter that melts in summer, even in Lewis Glacier in the winter with no new ice formations. It is estimated that less than 30 years of ice will disappear entirely on Mount Kenya.

Although Mount Kenya on the equator of night temperature produces periglacial and permafrost land a few centimeters below the surface. The patterned ground is present at 3,400 meters (11,155 feet) to the west of Mugi Hill. This mound grows due to the freezing and liquefying of repeated soil with more water. Daily expansion and contraction prevent vegetation formation.

Biodiversity

Plants found in Mount Kenya vary with altitude, aspect and light. Plants specialize along with rising heights, strong ultraviolet, lower average temperatures and freezing night temperatures. Many plant species in the Afro-alpine zone on Mount Kenya are the giant versions of lowland relatives.

The majority of animals on the slopes include various species of monkeys, antelope, hyrax, porcupine, elephant and buffalo. Predators include hyenas, leopards, and occasional lions. Some small mammals are like mice. Some bird species live in the Afro-alpine zone, including sunbirds, alpine chats, starlings, raptors, augur buzzard, lammergeier and Verreaux's eagle.

Climbing and trekking routes

Most of the peaks on Mount Kenya involve rock climbing as the easiest route. The highest peak without climb is Lenana (4,985 m, 16,355 ft) where the majority of the 15,000 visitors to the park annually climb this peak. In contrast, about 200 climbers to Nelion (5,188 m, 17,021 ft) and 50 climbers to Batian (5,199 m, 17,057 ft).

www.xvlor.com Mount Kenya National Park is reserve to protect 5199 meters stratovolcano

Xvlor Mount Kenya National Park is reserve to protect 5199 meters stratovolcano

Batian usually via North Face Standard Route, UIAA grade IV + (or 5.6+ YDS) in two days. Batian and Nelion are connected through the Gates of Mist, but often spend the night at Howell's lodge in Nelion. Mount Kenya is home to some nice ice routes, including the Diamond Couloir route and the Ice Window route.

The level of snow and ice on the mountain has retreated at an increasingly rapid rate in recent years that makes climbing more difficult and dangerous. The Diamond Couloir is a steep ice cap by the Diamond Glacier, but is now closed even in winter.

Mount Kenya has eight trekking routes clockwise from the north are Meru, Chogoria, Kamweti, Naro Moru, Burguret, Sirimon and Timau. The Chogoria route leads from the town of Chogoria to the top circuit track and heads into the woods in the south-east of the mountain to moorland with stunning views including Ithanguni and Giant's Billiards Table before following the Gorges Valley past the Temple and to Simba Col under Lenana.

Xvlor.com Mount Kenya National Park is reserve to protect 5199 meters stratovolcano

Location: Central Province, Kenya.

Routes and public transport: Flights to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi City, then usually drive to Sirimon route in Nanyuki, Chogoria route on Chogoria and Naromoru route in Naromoru. Nairorbi and Mount Kenya are 200 kilometers or 4 hours away.

Advice: The highest rainfall in March to June and the driest period is December to February. Dew frozen at night at an altitude of 3,000 meters, while daytime temperatures range from 5C to 15C.

Accommodation in Mount Kenya ranges from very basic to luxurious. Hotels on lower slopes often provide wood fireplaces, hot water and more amenities. The hotels and lodges offer guided walks and other activities such as fishing and bird watching.

The higher accomodations on the mountain have more basic amenities. Camping is permitted anywhere in the National Park, but it is highly recommended around the huts to limit the environmental impact. Campers also use the communal spaces inside the hut at no additional cost.

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