Kenya Attractions

Kenya's Mountains

Kenya is a land of contrasts, and nowhere is this more apparent than in its range of altitudes. The hills and mountains of Kenya are a world apart from the lowland valleys and plains. High altitude Kenya offers something for everyone. There are refreshing hill walks through bird rich areas or more active hikes into montane forests. Above all there is mighty Mt Kenya, whose slopes are the perfect trekking destination. The mountain’s alpine peak is a challenging technical summit for the experienced mountaineer...

Mt Kenya
Mt Kenya, Africa’s second highest peak is regarded as the realm of Ngai, god of the local Kikuyu people. Traditionally, all Kikuyu home were built to face this sacred peak. They call it Kirinyaga, or place of light. The mountain is an awe-inspiring sight. Its ragged series of peaks are crowned with snow, and its slopes are thick with forest. The mountain is best seen at dawn, when the days early light silhouettes its impressive summit high over the surrounding plains.

While the 5199 metre summit is a difficult technical climb, the lesser peak of Point Lenana (4985m) can be easily reached by any fit trekker. This trek takes between 3 and 5 days, through a fascinating world of forests, wildlife, unique montane vegetation including podocarpus and grounsel, and finally one of the worlds rarest sights, equatorial snow. For those who don’t want to climb the Mountain the cool highlands that surround its base are well worth a visit. The forests are ideal for game viewing, and there are crystal clear mountain streams that abound with Trout.

Mt Longonot
Standing over the shores of Lake Naivasha, at 2886 metres this massive dormant volcano dominates the landscape for miles around. The brooding hulk of the Mountain is lined with spectacular fissures and laval canyons. As you climb these slopes, you pass through herds of grazing game as spectacular views of the Rift Valley and Naivasha unfold below. Its vast crater is an awesome sight, the jagged edge surrounding a broad expanse of vegetation. Geothermal steam trickles upwards from the walls, while buffalo and other game make their way across the crater floor. A climb up Mount Longonot is an ideal day trip from either Nairobi or Naivasha.

Mt Elgon
Rising from the jungles that border Uganda, Mt Elgon is an impressively craggy extinct Volcano. This remote region makes for interesting trekking through deep forest and across broad moorlands. There is plenty of wildlife and plenty to discover. The peaks are ideal for climbing, and shelter a series of warm geothermal springs. The mountain has many caves for the visitor explore. In these caves, known collectively as Elkony, ancient cave paintings decorate the walls, and bats and rock hyrax are found among the winding passageways.

The most famous cave of all is Kitum, where each night Elephant herds gather and begin a slow procession deep into the mountain. The elephants make their way through the caves, following well worn paths made by generations before them. Deep in the cave, they use their tusks to excavate the walls, seeking the natural salt which they lick from the scarred rock. Witnessing this incredible sight is just one of the many wonders of Elgon.

Loroghi Hills
Rising high above the arid plains of Northern Kenya, the Loroghi Hills are perfect for a trek with a difference. These spectacular hills rise up through a series of escarpments to a peak of 2580 metres. The views from the edge of the Lesiolo escarpment are astonishing, the Rift Valley floor stretches out before you and merges with a distant horizon.

Exploring the hills takes the trekker through deep forested valleys and across high open plains, rich with bird and animal life. But what makes treks through these hills so special is the resident Samburu tribes. Walking with a Samburu guide, you can pass through many small villages, meet the locals, walk the plains with cattle herders and lone warriors or be invited to spend a night in a Samburu home. This gives you the chance to experience a very different way of life. In these hills, there is more to discover than you could ever expect.

Western Highlands
This truly spectacular region is one of Kenya’s best kept secrets. The highlands and escarpement of the North Rift Valley provide some of the country's most awe-inspiring views, across the broad and beautiful Kerio Valley. The scenic vistas around the Elgeyo escarpement are truly stunning, especially from the 'World's End' viewpoint at Nyaru. Waterfalls flow down the face of these escarpements, and at Chebloch, on the valley floor water runs through a deep and narrow gorge with sheer rock walls.

The highlands are an excellent place to explore, and there is plenty to discover among the many hills and ranges. From the high Tugen Hills, there are excellent views across arid rift valley floor to Lake Baringo. The lush green hills around Kericho are home to Kenya's tea industry, and the nearby Kisii Community is world renowned for their beautiful soapstone carving. Unlike most of Kenya’s mountains and ranges, the rolling Cherangani Hills are not volcanic in origin. The hills are centred upon a forested escarpment and surrounded on three sides by sheer cliff faces. They are criss-crossed by walking paths, and ease of direction and undemanding slopes make this excellent country for relaxing hill walking.

The paths cross open farmland, pass through sheltered valleys and wind their way up to forested peaks. This is a birding mecca, and whether you are a serious ornithologist or a hobby birder, you should not miss the Cheranganis. There are excellent bird guides available locally. Wildlife enthusiasts can also visit the nearby Saiwa Swamp National Park. This is one of the few parks that permits walking, and is an ideal place for a days hike. This wild country is home to many and varied species, the best known being the very rare Sitatunga. This semi-amphibious antelope lives in the depths of these swamps. Rimoi National Reserve, in the Kerio Valley, is an important area for elephant migration.

The Western Highlands have become a major draw for sporting tourists. This is the home of many of Kenya's world famous runners. This is probably the finest place on earth for high altitide athletic training, and many international athletes visit training camps around Iten and Kaptagat. But the real beauty of these Highlands lies in the solitude, peace, and isolation to be found in the hills

Shimba Hills
The Shimba Hills National Reserve is located just 48 kms from the coast, but at 500 metres they make a cool change from the tropical coastal climate. The reserve is made up of both open grassland and dense rainforest, all with stunning views across the Indian Ocean. The Reserve has a variety of species including Elephant, Giraffe and Buffalo as well as the rare Roan and Sable antelope.

The forests are home to a number of unusual species including the Black and White Colobus, Serval cats, Red Duiker and Suni Antelope. An abundance of birdlife lives is found among the hills, including Honey guides, Turacos, woodpeckers and Sunbirds. The Shimba Hills are a natural and peaceful haven, easily accessed from the beaches of the Kenyan coast.

Taita and Chyulu Hills
Framing the vast plains of Tsavo, and lying within view of majestic Mt Kilimanjaro, are the Taita and Chyulu Hills. The Chyulu hills are considered to be some of the youngest volcanic mountains in the world, born out of the earth only 500 years ago. The beautiful hills are bordered by an expanse of black lava flow known as Sheitani, the source of many local legends. This is a paradise of elephant herds, plains game, cheetah, remote Maasai villages and wonderful views of Mt Kilimanjaro.

Close to Tsavo East, the nearby Taita Hills are home to a private game sanctuary, with a wide variety of game including Lion, cheetah, elephant and plains game. Prolific bird life includes the extremely rare Taita Falcon, a bird recorded in early Egyptian hieroglyphics.The Taita are in fact three groups of hills, the Dabida, Sagalla and Kasigau. In nearby Taveta, there are two beautiful lakes Jipe and Chala, fed by streams from the snows of Kilimanjaro. Chala is particularly stunning, and its deep blue waters lie beneath a perfect view of Kilimanjaro. This region is more remote than the more visited parks and reserves of southern Kenya, the perfect destination looking for anyone looking for an opportunity to get away from it all and relax in the wild.

Kenya's Lakes

Kenya straddles the centre of the Great Rift Valley, the vast prehistoric fissure that stretches from Jordan to Mozambique. From the North to the South of Kenya, the valley is lined with a series of freshwater and soda based volcanic lakes. Travelling from lake to lake is a journey through a world of contrasts: From papyrus fringed Naivasha with its abundance of birdlife, through Nakuru with its famous flamingo population, the steam geysers of Bogoria, the crocodiles and hippo of Baringo and North to the mighty Jade Sea of Turkana.

Naivasha
The wide fresh waters of Lake Naivasha attract a great range of wildlife from the surrounding hills. A boat trip on the lake will let you encounter local fisherman, countless hippos and over 400 species of birds ...

Elmenteita
Walk along the flamingo fringed shores of this beautiful lake and discover a fascinating local history ...

Nakuru
A living carpet of pink flamingos covers the waters of Nakuru, whose shores are a sanctuary for Rhino, lion and Leopard ...

Bogoria
This volcanic soda Lake is surrounded by boiling geothermal pools and steam jets, while its freshwater springs draw flamingos and plains game in great numbers …

Baringo
Freshwater Lake Baringo, the traditional fishing ground of the Njemps tribe, is alive with hippos, crocodiles and a wealth of birdlife …

Turkana
A vast inland sea, whose Jade waters are home to the worlds largest population of crocodiles, and whose remote shores have revealed an invaluable wealth of prehistoric fossils …

Magadi
The sun baked salt flats and volcanic springs of Magadi create a unique otherworldly atmosphere

Victoria
The source of the Nile is also the source of an abundance of Nile Perch, a greatly prized freshwater game fish …