Mt. Kenya National Park is located to the east of the Great Rift Valley, about 175km North-East of Nairobi. The ecosystem lies in Central and Eastern provinces of Kenya. At 5,199m the mountain is the second highest peak in Africa. Mt. Kenya is an important water tower in the country. It provides water for about 50% of the country’s population and produces 70% of Kenya’s hydroelectric power.
UNESCO inscribed Mount Kenya as a World Heritage Site. Its described as one of the most impressive landscapes in Eastern Africa with its rugged glacier-clad summits, Afro-alpine moorlands and diverse forests that illustrate outstanding ecological processes.
Initially, Mount Kenya National Park was a forest reserve, before being announced as a national park. Currently, the national park is encircled by the forest reserve. In April 1978, the area was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Combined, the national park and forest reserve became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.
The Government of Kenya had four reasons for creating a national park on and around Mount Kenya. These were the importance of tourism for the local and national economies, to preserve an area of great scenic beauty, to conserve the biodiversity within the park, and to preserve the water catchment for the surrounding area
The national park has an area of 715 square kilometres (276 sq mi), most of which is above the 3,000-metre (9,800 ft) contour line. The forest reserve has an area of 705 square kilometres (272 sq mi). Combined, this makes the area of the UNESCO World Heritage Site 1,420 square kilometres (548 sq mi).
Wildlife at Mount Kenya National Park Include Elephants, tree hyrax, white-tailed mongoose, suni, black-fronted duiker, mole rat, bushbucks, waterbuck, and Elands. Animas rarely seen include leopard, bongo, giant forest hog, and rhino.
Mount Kenya National Park has over 130 bird species.
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Mount Kenya National Park’s major attractions include Pristine wilderness, lakes, tarns, glaciers and peaks of great beauty, geological variety, forest, mineral springs, rare and endangered species of animals, High altitude adapted plains game, Unique montane and alpine vegetation with 11 species of endemic plants.