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About Mount Kenya

Submitted by gathee on 2007-08-26

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by stanley gichohi

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Africa's second highest mountain is high on many traveller's list. Its gleaming snow-capped peaks are a big attraction, an enticement in itself. It is a continuation of the Aberdares and forms part of the central highlands of Kenya, which are rich agricultural lands.

Trekking Mount Kenya

The original name of Mt Kenya is Mt Kirinyaga but the British colonialists could not say it properly and their 'kirinyaga' ended up sounding ' keenya'. That is what ended up in the books, and the ultimate spread of the new name. The Kirinyaga neighborhood remained up to date. It is really interesting to note that the Kikuyu community built their house facing the mountain, 'home of the god', Ngai.

Located on the central highlands of Kenya, Mt Kenya is one of the most famous and well known adventure points in Africa and world at large. With magnificent snow-caped peaks which protrude to the foggy airs above, it is one of the most visited nature reserves in Kenya.

Mt Kenya, also known for its almost regular afternoon showers is easily accessible from Nairobi, the central city of Kenya. It is every adventurer's paradise with fine routes to test each climber.

You do not need to be a professional climber to enjoy the scenes of Mount Kenya, but You need to be physically fit, and the climb is well worth it. Batian and Nelion can only be reached by professional climbers with technical skill. It is point Lenana, third highest point that is the target for most climbers as no technical skill needed.

The trekkers need to be accompanied by a trekking guide or someone who have been there before and with proper knowledge of the tracks. This is not compulsory, but it is not unknown for ill prepared trekkers to get lost on the mountain. Sometimes the results are fatal. Though lone trekkers venture into the mountain, itís a risk not worth taking.

In addition to the lovely sceneries of Mt Kenya, adventurers will find themselves face to face with the shy Sykes monkeys, lots of different plant species or occasional buffalo crossing the track a couple of meters ahead of you.

You will not miss the chirping of birds in early morning while the bronze colored sunbirds hopper between lobelia and groundsels in search of nectar just in front of you undisturbed by your presence.

There are several bandas (huts) located in the different heights which are the recommended locations for spending the night. They provide shade from the evening rains and the cold night winds.

When the evening sets in, the cook prepares hot vegetable soups or steaming tea to warm you up while you relax or walk around the camp waiting for the darkness to turn pitch-black.

As you leave camp in the morning and proceed with the climb, the various peaks of Mt Kenya start showing themselves in front of you. You leave the bamboo forest behind you and the alpine plants of Mt Kenya appear gradually. Various species of the lobelia plants will eventually take over the higher you climb.

While the urge to proceed fast to get to the peaks takes over, you must refrain from giving in as this will be tantamount to signing your warrant. This is the time to take a deep breath, look around and enjoy the beauty of this mountain of the gods, as the famous Kikuyu tribe calls it.


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