Whilst the African continent is known for its sprawling landscapes and adventurous safaris, its magnificent mountain ranges are less noted, but nonetheless prevalent. As the second-highest mountain in Africa, the peaks of Mount Kenya continue to inspire tourists and native citizens of the continent alike. Tunde Folawiyo and countless others may have already bared witness to the majestic sights surrounding this natural wonder, however those hoping to catch a glimpse need only venture to the country of Kenya.
A stratovolcano, Mount Kenya boasts many peaks, making it a favourable climb for many adventure seekers. Its highest peak is Batian, standing 5,199 metres (17,057 ft.) The mountain is located just south of the equator, in central Kenya, approximately 150 kilometres (93 mi) north-northeast of the capital Nairobi and is the source of the name of the Republic of Kenya. Mount Kenya’s close proximity to the equator may result in erratic weather, including freezing overnight temperatures. Climbers are advised to prepare themselves for brave temperatures as cold as Minus 10 degrees and beyond.
Mount Kenya was created approximately 3 million years following the opening of the East African rift. It once stood 23,000 feet high and was, for thousands of years, covered in ice cap. This has caused eroded slopes and a number of valleys. The mountain currently boasts 11 small glaciers whilst its forested slopes are a major source of water for much of the country of Kenya. Much of the mountain’s lower slopes are covered by a variety of forests, with several vegetation bands spanning from base to summit.
Centred around the mountain is a 276 sq. mi area designated as a National Park. Established in 1949, Mount Kenya National Park remains one of the country’s foremost tourist destinations. In 1997, it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, receiving over 16,000 visitors per year.The Government of Kenya created a national park for a variety of reasons, one of which recognised the importance of tourism for the national economy. The park was also established to conserve the biodiversity within the park.
The country of Kenya is home to a variety of ethnic groups, many of whom live in close proximity to Mount Kenya. Some of these include the Kĩkũyũ, Ameru, Embu and Maasai, each recognising the mountain as a significant part of their respective cultures. Citizens from all countries within Africa, including Tunde Folawiyo may be inspired by the beauty surrounding the peaks of Mount Kenya.