Standing at around 17,000 feet, this majestic volcano situated North of the Equator in the Kenyan Central highlands is a snow-capped mountain that attracts thousands of visitors.
Mount Kenya has existed for millions of years since time in history. It is one of east Africa’s prides, home to different birds, animals and plants species which all co-exist in their complex ecosystem.
Mount Kenya holds many interesting facts about it. Here are some.
1.Second largest mountain
Mount Kenya is the second largest mountain in the African continent after Mount Kilimanjaro. It towers at a height of five thousand one hundred and ninety-nine meters above sea level.
2.It is a dormant volcano
The mountain was formed about three million years ago as a result of volcanic eruption. This eruption emitted materials such as ash particles that have hardened over time to form the mountain. This was the last time this volcano erupted which qualifies it to be named dormant. According to geologists Mount Kenya will probably never erupt again.
3.Mount Kenya used to be taller
It has been recorded that its original height was around seven thousand meters high before glaciation. When glaciation occurs, the original land shape becomes distorted as rocks, soil and other materials which shift from their original position. This process happened over thousands and years and reshaped the structure of Mount Kenya.
4.It is symbolic
After Kenya gained independence from the British colonizers in 1963, Kenya was declared a free state. In the spirit in nationalism, Kenya’s flag was mounted at the peak of Mount Kenya by the brave Munyao Kisoi. He battled the cold weather as he volunteered to hoist the flag at the top. The mountain is a symbol of national unity and independence and is very significant to the Kenyan people.The mountain is also a sacred symbol for the Gikuyu community who has resided at the mountain base for years. The mountain is considered holy and is therefore not to be disrespected.
5.It is difficult to climb
As much as Mount Kenya is smaller than Mount Kilimanjaro, it is considered more difficult climb. The mountain has complex terrain that requires some mountain climbing and rock-climbing skills to get to the highest peak. Two of its peaks, Batian and Nelion are the most difficult while its third peak, Lenana, is more accessible to climbers.
6.Has a vast ecosystem
Mount Kenya is considered by UNESCO to be one of the world’s heritage sites because of its vast ecosystem. The mountain and its surroundings are a habitat for many exotic animals, plants and birds. It has more than 300 species of birds which are breathtaking. It is also a habitat for rare animals such as the albino zebras that are exclusive to the region. This makes it a very popular tourist attraction site where many come for bird watching and sightseeing as they enjoy photographing many different animal species.The mountain also has rich volcanic soils that support agriculture. Olives, raspberries and exotic herbs are cultivated here.
Over the years, there are growing concerns about the effects of global warming. These climatic conditions have resulted in the melting of the mountain’s ice caps. There are also growing concerns that there is barely new ice being formed in the past few years. Mount Kenya’s ice could be all gone in a couple of years. Another concern is deforestation that could limit the amount of water fall. Since Mount Kenya is a major source of water for the region, swift initiatives need to be taken before it’s too late.
8.Interesting geographical position
The mountain is located in central Kenya, close to the equator. Due to the forces that affect equatorial regions, the sun rises and sets at the same time almost every day. If the sun rises at 6.30 it is bound to set at the same time as well!