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Hiking Mt Kenya through photography

Photograph on display at the National Museums of Kenya that was taken at Mt Kenya during virtual tour and photography exhibition. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

If you have a passion for landscapes, and love pictures, you have a chance to see and purchase some of the most epic images of the second largest icon mountain on the continent – Mount Kenya.

Through August, the Ministry of Tourism in partnership with Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS), and other partners, the Kenya National Museum, is hosting a display of amazing pictures of Mt Kenya. 

The expo dubbed 'Mt Kenya Photography Exhibition' is a display of the best images captured by local and international photographers. Its objective is to raise awareness of Mt Kenya as a prime adventure tourism destination. 

Opening the exhibition on August 3, Safaricom PLC CEO Peter Ndegwa, who was the chief guest, said Kenya has some of the best hospitality infrastructures to make mountain destinations a “five-star experience”. 

“I have gone around the world through various destinations for holidays, and there is a lot more we can do to be able to add value to the assets, to attract more tourists. There is so much to see in this country, we just have to add value,” said Ndegwa. 

Apart from raising Mt Kenya as the perfect destination for various activities, and experiences such as scaling the mountain, hiking, camping, sightseeing, and rewinding expeditions, the exhibition also aims at creating awareness to draw the attention of individuals, and organisations to the need to participate in the conservation of the Mt Kenya ecosystem. 

In his speech read on his behalf by KWS Director for Partnership and Enterprise, Edwin Wanyonyi, Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife Najib Balala said there is a big potential for more visitors to tour iconic Mt Kenya. 

“The Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife through KWS, the Kenya Tourism Board, and other partners have put together this exhibition so that we can arouse the interest of Kenyans and other travellers to visit this iconic landmark. Through this exhibition, we shall also be raising funds geared towards improving the visitor experience for adventure lovers at the Mountain,” he said. 

The display of pictures is of beautiful sceneries, and captures all aspects of Mt Kenya, bringing it to life for the exhibition visitors.

“Indeed, Covid-19 has taught us to learn how to do things differently. I commend KWS for coming up with an initiative such as this, and I promise you, I will be going for the Mt Kenya experience after the elections,” said Samuel Kasaine, a visitor at the exhibition. 

Both the CS and KWS Director General, Brigadier (Rtd), John Waweru, went up Mt Kenya in May this year. This “best experience” is what birthed the idea of a photo exhibition to win support for its conservation.

Mt Kenya is the second highest peak in Africa, standing at 5,199 metres, and is one of the key adventure tourism destinations on the continent.

Some of the known attractions at the mountain include the three peaks, namely Lenana, Nelion, and Batian; lakes Alice, Michaelson, and Ellis and diverse vegetation and wildlife. 

There are three main climbing routes to access the peak of Mt Kenya, all of which require KWS surveillance. These include monitoring litter management along the routes, responding to emergencies like searches, rescues, and monitoring, and facilitating visitors’ accommodation. 

In addition to Mt Kenya, many other hiking trails form excellent practice for those who plan to summit. These include Elephant Hill, Rurumeria, Ole Satima, Mt Longonot, Table Mountain, and seven ponds.