Mount Kenya National Park (715 Sq. Km)
Mt. Kenya or Kirinyaga (Black and White stripped Mountain), the sacred mountain of the Gikuyu people where their God "Ngai" legendary lived, is a giant extinct volcano whose rims have been worn down leaving only the central peaks sticking out on top of the mountain mass. It is the second highest mountain in Africa and the only spot in the world where snow is found on the Equator. The snow-capped mountain was first brought to the world’s knowledge by the German Missionary, Ludwig Kraft who was the first white man to see and record it in December 1849. His report of the snow-capped mountain on the equator was derided by his contemporary geographers including Dr. Livingstone, until Joseph Thompson confirmed it in 1883.
Though the Austrian Count Samuel Teleki von Szeki accompanied by his companion Ludwig Von Hohnel climbed the mountain to the snow line, within 915 meters (3,000 ft) of the summit in 1887, it was not until 1899 that the Englishman Sir Halford Mackinder finally conquered the mountain’s peak, Batian 5,199 meters (17,058 ft.) and sat on its top. After a period of 30 years (1929) Eric Shipton made the second ascent and conquered the second highest peak, Nelion 5,188 meters (17,022 ft.). Kisoi Munyao was the first known African to reach the top of Mt. Kenya in 1959 and again in 1963 when he carried and raised the newly independent Kenya’s National flag on the summit.
In December 1949, the Mountain was made a National Park whose boundaries cover nearly all the area above the 11,000 ft. contour line plus two lower salients at Sirimon and Naro Moru. The park thus protects and preserves large sections of the mountain forests and bamboo thickets with their varied wildlife, the alpine moorlands, glaciers, tarns and glacial moraines.