When we think of the rich biodiversity of Africa- the savannah lands, pink flamingos, zebras and lions, Kenya is the one place that comes in our mind. It is a country in East Africa and characterized by the vast forest, rift valley counties, semi-arid regions as well as fertile agricultural places. The diverse landscape of Kenya is the ideal vacation location for the adventurous and wildlife lovers. The hill stations in Kenya are comparatively off-beat places but are also among the most fascinating locations.
Unlike the conventional hill stations where we think of snow, cold and misty clouds- hills in Kenya are rocky, arid or semi-arid and often volcanoes. They have a unique rugged beauty that sets them apart. Read on to find out all the best hills and mountains to visit in Kenya.
1. Lake Victoria
The Lake Victoria is the largest lake in the continent. It passes through Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. It has a tranquil and peaceful environment and a must visit place in Kenya. The lake is bordered by small hills and is a treasure trove of aquatic life. You can witness unique species like the African helmeted turtles, mud turtles, and over 500 species of fishes including non-native fishes like African tetras, air-breathing catfishes, bagrid catfishes and more. Though it is not exactly one of the hill stations in Kenya, the place is a spectacular location. The lake attracts hundreds of tourists every year.
2. Mount Kilimanjaro
Mount Kilimanjaro is a dormant volcano between Tanzania and Kenya. Though the mountain is in Tanzania, you get perfect view of the mountain from Kenya. It is the highest peak in Africa and the highest single mountain peak in the world. There are three peaks in Kilimanjaro- Kibo, Mawensi and Shira. Among these, Kibo is the highest peak 5895 meters and has a permanent ice cap.
The view of the mountain is spectacular. It is surrounded by thick forest and was a game reserve in the early 20th century. The area has also been designated among the UNESO World Heritage cite in 1987. Though it not exactly in Kenya, it is still considered among the best hill stations in Kenya. The scenic natural beauty, wildlife and flora and fauna altogether make it a perfect destination. Some of the wildlife here includes species like black and white colobus monkey, blue monkeys, and duikers etc.
3. Kenya National Park
The Mt. Kenya National Park is located surrounding Mt. Kenya and is the second highest peak in this country. It is 5199 meters above the sea level and an ancient extinct volcano. The summit has a rugged look and clad in glaciers. Located in East Kenya, it is one of the most impressive terrains of the country.
If you and your better half look forward to adventures and scenic beauty during your trip, the Mt. Kenya is one of the top hilly places in Kenya for couples. Amidst the wilderness and wildlife of the national park, you get to witness the true beauty of Africa. The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and the Ngare Ndare Forest Reserve are located here at the lower foothills and arid habitats. If you are lucky, you can also witness the African elephants as there migrating routes are within this area.
4. The Great Rift Valley
The great rift valley or the Afro-Arabian rift valley is one of the most extensive rifts on Earth. It is extended over 4000 miles and it is 48-64km wide. The Great rift valley is partly located within Kenya. A spectacular scenic region with a rustic appeal, this region is perfect Kenya hill station to plan a vacation. This rift has been forming for 30 million years due to extensive volcanism. This is also a reason behind the formation of massifs like Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya. The great rift is one of the most significant geographical terrains on earth. It is an interesting landscape that draws numerous tourists from round the world.
5. Mt. Elgon
The Mt. Elgon is an extinct shield volcano in Kenya that is massive solitary geographical marvel drawing thousands of tourists every year. It has a diameter of 80km and rises at 3070 meters above the sea level. It has a cool temperature and one of the rare places in Kenya where the temperature is this low. It is one of the much-visited hill stations in Kenya. Mt. Elgon also has a rich geographical background. Though it is unknown when this volcano erupted last, geologists estimate the mountain is 24 million old and the oldest extinct volcano in East Africa.
6. Fourteen Falls
The Fourteen falls is located 65km from Nairobi. There are 14 consecutive falls which plunge about 30 meters cascading with each other. The water is brown-red, taking the colour of the soil. The fourteen falls is an extensive fall which is open from 8AM to 5PM. The place is a haven for photographers and tourists for the spectacular view. The altitude of the place also makes it a moderately cool place and hence ensure you get a comfortable vacation when you visit here.
7. Hell’s Gate National Park
The Hell’s gate national park is located near the Lake Naivasha in Kenya. Known for the wide variety of wildlife and scenic beauty, the place is also famous for adventurous experiences like rock climbing. It is also the home to five geothermal power stations at Oikaria. There are also three campsites and includes a Masaai Cultural Center. You get a rich cultural experience and learn about the heritage while you visit this national park.
8. Samburu Buffalo Springs
You can experience the culture of Africa and wildlife safari at Samburu Buffalo Springs. Located at the foot of rocky hills, the buffalo spring and the surrounding wilderness provide every experience you can expect at Africa.
Kenya is filled with wonders, wildlife, flora and fauna that are the perfect vacation for the adventurous minds. Now that you have a list of the best places in Kenya. Its time to plan a trip and include some of these places in your checklist.