BCHMT001: Kenya and Tanzania Mountain Safaris
Mount Kenya is Kenya’s highest mountain and consists of three principal zones; the rocky peak area, with its mantle of glaciers and snowfields; the alpine zone with its distinctive giant vegetation; and the vast gentle lower slopes drenched in mountain forest and bamboo jungle. This remote majestic wonderland was once considered as God’s domain by awed farmers at its foothills.
Many rivers flow from the perpetual snows, among them the mighty river Tana, Kenya’s largest and longest river and 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 peaks; a feat requiring considerable rock climbing skill.
But the mountain’s lesser peaks and glaciers can be scaled and walked by the fit and the adventurous. Point Lenana, 4985m, can be easily reached. In fact the majority of visitors go to the mountain to enjoy the walking and especially the high level hut-to-hut hike round the mountain with its humbling vistas.
Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.is the tallest free-standing mountain rise in the world, rising 4600 meters from the base. It is also the highest peak in Africa at 5,895 meters, providing the dramatic view from the surrounding plains. Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in the world that you can simply walk up! None of the routes require mountaineering skills, specialized equipment, or even previous climbing experience.
Still, hiking to the Roof of Africa is physically and mentally demanding and should not be underestimated. Altitude sickness can set in above 3,000 metres and there’s no prior indication as to who might suffer from it. It’s important to work closely with your guide and to listen to his advice.
Porters carry gear and supplies up and down the mountain and cook all meals. Kilimanjaro can be climbed at any time of the year, but the rainy seasons (April-June; November-December) make the forest more slippery and the summit might be blocked by snow. Be prepared for climatic extremes, from rain in the forest, intense sun in the alpine desert and freezing temperatures at the summit.
It’s essential to have warm clothes and a good sleeping bag. At the summit, exhaustion fades away; as the sun rises above Kilimanjaro crater rim you know you have finally met this exhilarating African challenge.
Mt. Elgon is Kenya’s second highest mountain and is bisected by the Kenya-Uganda border.
Mount Elgon offers excellent climbing and walking opportunities. No special equipment for hiking is required and the Park management provides guides.
The highest peak on the Kenya side is Koitobos (4,200 m.). It is reached across beautiful moorlands and the hot springs can be visited on the way. Another major attraction at Mount Elgon is a series of four caves: Kitum, Makingeni, Chepnyalil and Ngwarisha, all of which are explorable.
The caves are favorite gathering places for elephants. Every night, long convoys venture deep into the caves to feed off the salt rich deposits. This nightly phenomenon has earned them the title “underground elephants”.
The Mount Elgon National Park is one of Kenya’s most beautiful parks. it is still wild and intact, with vast areas of untouched forest. Game viewing is excellent; the Park is home to an estimated 400 elephants, buffalo, leopard, the protected colobus and blue monkeys, giant forest hog, watwerbuck and various other types of antelope.
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