715 sq km (276 sq miles) Mount Kenya is the county’s highest mountain. Sitting astride the equator its icy summit reaches to 5199m (17058 ft). All of the mountain above the 3200m (10500 ft) contour forms a national park. In fact the mountain consists of three principal zones; the rocky peak area, actually an eroded volcanic plug, with its cloak of glaciers and snow fields; the alpine zone with its distinctive giant vegetation; and the vast gentle slopes drenched in mountain forest and bamboo jungle. It is no wonder that this remote majestic wonderland was considered as God’s domain by awed farmers at its foothills. Many rivers flow from the perpetual snows, among them the mighty Tana, source of much of Kenya’s electricity supply.
Most visitors are content to marvel at the mountain’s beauty but some will want to attempt to reach the summits; a feat requiring considerable rock-climbing skill. But the mountain’s lesser peaks and glaciers can all be scaled and walked by the fit and the adventurous. Point Lenana, 4985 m (16355 ft) can be easily reached.
Wildlife within the forests below the park boundary includes elephant, buffalo, lion, several species of antelope including the rare bongo and occasionally both melanistic leopard and serval. Much of this game can be seen from the comfort of Mountain Lodge which lies just inside the forest on the south side of the mountain.