At 5,199m high, Mount Kenya is Africa's second highest mountain. Located 175 km from Nairobi and covering an area of 715sq.km, it offers easy or challenging ascents with superb scenic beauty. It is the only spot in the world where snow is found on the equator. Part of the mountain's fascination is the variation in flora and fauna as the altitude changes.
The lower slopes are covered with upland forest, the true montane (mountain) forest begins at 2,000m is mainly cedar and podo.
At 2,500m begins a dense belt of bamboo forest which merges into the upper forest of smaller trees, interspersed with glades. In this area the trees are festooned with high altitude moss. These forest belts are host to many different animals and plants with at least 11 unique species. Game to view includes: black and white colobus and sykes monkeys, bushbucks, buffalo, elephant and lower down olive baboon, waterbuck, black rhino, black fronted duikers, leopard, giant forest hog, genet cat, bush pig and hyena. More elusive is the bongo, a rare type of forest antelope. A number of other rare or endangered species can be found here: Sunni Buck, Mount Kenya Mole Shrew, skinks (lizard), and a variety of owls. Occasional sightings have been recorded of albino zebra.
At the top: 3,000-3,500m (the high altitude heath) is generally open, dotted with shrubs: African Sage, protea and helicrysum. The peak (above 3,500m) is moorland, with little game other than high altitude zebra and eland, common in the northern moorland.