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Climbing Mount Kenya

Climbing Mount Kenya

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on 07/05/2013

Mount Kenya is the highest mountain in Kenya and the second-highest in Africa, after Kilimanjaro. The highest peaks are Batian (5,199 metres), Nelion (5,188 metres) and Point Lenana (4,985 metres). Mount Kenya is located in central Kenya, about 16.5 kilometres (10.3 mi) south of the equator, around 150 kilometres north-northeast of the capital Nairobi. Mount Kenya is the source of the name of the Republic of Kenya.

Since being discovered by the early explorers, trekking in Mount Kenya has attracted many adventure travelers. The most hilarious attempt was that made in 1943 by Felice Benuzzi, an Italian prisoner of the 2nd world war held at Nanyuki Prison at the base of the mountain, with two companions, they escaped and attempted to scale the summit with just a map inscribed on a tin and few handmade climbing tools. Unfortunately they didn’t make to the top due to hunger. Today the mountain attracts over 30,000 enthusiasts a year. Point Lenana (4,985 m), the so-called trekkers peak, can be reached by any reasonably fit and suitably prepared person. The summit has the twin peaks of Batian (5,199 m) and Nelion (5,188 m), and is accessible to only those with technical mountaineering and rock climbing experience. This mountain is not an easy one to conquer and each year not more than 100 climbers make it to the twin summit peaks. Mount Kenya is infact more technically challenging than the higher Kilimanjaro (5,894 m). But those who make it to the top experience some of Africa's finest rock and ice climbing challenges.

The mountain is made up of three main zones: the rocky peak region, the afro-alpine moorland with its scattering of giant vegetation, and the extensive lower slopes covered in mountain forest and bamboo. The astonishing ecological diversity is one of the attractions of this giant. The ecological processes that have brought about the afro-alpine flora in particular intrigue scientists. There are 81 species of plants here that are found nowhere else in the world.

In the lower forest zone, there is plenty of wildlife including buffalo, elephant, sykes monkey and bushbuck. The animals are however generally difficult to see. Further up, the animals are even scarcer though hyena, leopard, buffalo and civet cats have been sighted. The only animal you are likely to see in the upper alpine zones is the rock hyrax. Though it is the size of a domestic cat, it has some powerful relatives in the animal kingdom as it counts the elephant as it's biological kin.

Last modified on Friday, 17 February 2017 11:24
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