The equatorial snows of Mt Kenya are spectacle enough when viewed from a savannah-bound safari, but climbing to the summit and trekking over crunchy snow just off the equator is surreal and scenic adventure travel at its best. Africa’s second highest mountain is graced with glimmering glaciers and wind-sculpted ice chunks and caves that’ll have you agog at their otherworldly brilliance. However, getting there and up to the dome crater rim will also take you past other unique environments; Mt Kenya is perfect for climbers still craving great wildlife-viewing opportunities. Elephant, buffalo, monkeys and birds grace the lower slopes in glorious profusion and, as you rise in elevation and your breathing becomes laboured, each acclimatisation stop presents a new array of unique flora and fauna adaptations. The world heritage-listed biosphere reserve is an enthralling place to trek and climb, and to reach the summit and view the epic African panorama is a reward that far surpasses the task’s hardships.
It’s more than the scenery that gets your camera trigger-finger exercising on Mount Kenya. The fertile volcanic soils of Mount Kenya support a great range of animals, and offer fantastic opportunities to see wildlife in environments so utterly different to the vast Kenyan savannah of the imagination. Trekking through dense forests is given an extra thrill when you know that elephants and buffalo are regularly sighted in these parts. Leopards and lions have been known to patrol the slopes as well, but residents you’re more likely to see –and hear - are the mountain’s monkeys and giant forest hogs. Higher up, birds take centre stage. Alpine swifts, sunbirds and chats all make their home in the high moorlands, while eagles can be spotted overhead, surveying the land for food – most likely the hyrax, a hardy mammal resembling a giant mouse.