Mount Kenya National Park

Coordinates: 0°07′26″S 37°20′12″E / 0.12389°S 37.33667°E / -0.12389; 37.33667
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Mount Kenya National Park
Mackinder Valley, Mount Kenya
Map showing the location of Mount Kenya National Park
Map showing the location of Mount Kenya National Park
Coordinates0°07′26″S 37°20′12″E / 0.12389°S 37.33667°E / -0.12389; 37.33667
Area715 km2 (276 sq mi)
Official nameMount Kenya National Park/Natural Forest
Criteriavii, ix
Designated1997 (21st session)
Reference no.800

Mount Kenya National Park was established in 1949 to protect Mount Kenya, the wildlife, and the surrounding environment, which forms a habitat for wild animals, as well as acting as an area for the catchment of water, to supply Kenya's water.[1][2]


Initially, it was a forest reserve, before being announced as a national park. Currently, the national park is encircled by the forest reserve.[3] In April 1978, the area was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.[4] Combined, the national park and forest reserve became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.[5]

The Government of Kenya had four reasons for creating a national park on and around Mount Kenya. These were the importance of tourism for the local and national economies, to preserve an area of great scenic beauty, to conserve the biodiversity within the park, and to preserve the water-catchment for the surrounding area.[6]


The national park has an area of 715 square kilometres (276 sq mi), most of which is above the 3,000-metre (9,800 ft) contour line.[4][6] The forest reserve has an area of 705 square kilometres (272 sq mi). Combined, this makes the area of the UNESCO World Heritage Site 1,420 square kilometres (548 sq mi).[4]

Volcanic sediment in the surrounding region's soil and the huge volume of fresh water coming down the slopes makes the area particularly favorable for agriculture.[7]


A small portion of this park's borders near heavy populations has electrified fences to keep the elephants out of the surrounding farmland.[8] At lower elevations, black-and-white colobus and other monkeys, and Cape buffaloes are prevalent. In 1993, a huge male lion weighing 272 kg (600 pounds) was shot near the mountain.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Visit Africa: Mount Kenya National Park". Retrieved 2020-05-24.
  2. ^ "Mount Kenya National Park & Reserve". 2018-04-16. Retrieved 2020-05-24.
  3. ^ Kenya Wildlife Service. "Mount Kenya National Park". Archived from the original on 2010-01-25. Retrieved 2011-02-23.
  4. ^ a b c United Nations Environment Programme (1998). "Protected Areas and World Heritage". Archived from the original on 2008-03-11. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
  5. ^ United Nations (2008). "Mount Kenya National Park/Natural Forest". Archived from the original on 2006-12-30. Retrieved 2008-02-23.
  6. ^ a b Gichuki, Francis Ndegwa (August 1999). "Threats and Opportunities for Mountain Area Development in Kenya". Ambio. 28 (5). Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences: 430–435. Archived from the original (subscription required) on 2008-05-16.
  7. ^ Speck, Heinrich (1982). "Soils of the Mount Kenya Area: Their formation, ecology, and agricultural significance". Mountain Research and Development. 2 (2). International Mountain Society: 201–221. doi:10.2307/3672965. JSTOR 3672965.
  8. ^ Ojany, Francis (August 1993). "Mount Kenya and its Environs: A review of the interaction between mountain and people in an equatorial setting". Mountain Research and Development. 13 (3). International Mountain Society: 305–309. doi:10.2307/3673659. JSTOR 3673659.
  9. ^ Nowell, K.; Jackson, P. (1996). "Lion, Panthera leo". Wild Cats: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan (PDF). Gland, Switzerland: IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group. pp. 17–27. ISBN 2-8317-0045-0.

External links[edit]