Chyulu Hills National Park

If you are looking for a safari destination that will reward you with the most breathtaking experiences while on your vacation in Africa, look not further than Chyulu Hills National Park. This protected area is situated between Tsavo West National Park and Amboseli National Park about 230 kilometers in the southeast from Nairobi. It was founded in 1983 and it covers an area of about 741 square kilometers. This park is one of recently established protected areas whose hills also feature among the youngest Vulcan Mountain range in Africa. It features most of the mountains that are as old as 500 years and they are largely occupied by grass.

If you have ever thought about natural wonders on earth, then Chyulu Hills National Park should be a must to include in your travel plan. The park is credited for its diverse and magical landscapes which are worth exploring and discovering for nature enthusiasts on safari in Africa. It features among the very few sites which offer rugged wilderness in Africa and yet also still holds signs of volcanic origins with its current eruptions that took place around 240 years back. This protected area is exceptionally credited for its ancient volcanic cones, craters and the world’s longest Lava tube. These Lava tube caves are locally called Kisula Caves and they criss cross the depths of Chyulu Hills. The upper leviathan cave has so far been discovered and its length stretches up to 11.5 kilometers. Accessing these caves takes visitors about 15 kilometers while walking via the rugged wilderness and it lasts for 3 to 4 hours. Given its most outstanding volcano hills, Chyulu Hills National Park rewards travelers with the most breathtaking views of Mount Kilimanjaro and its surrounding areas.

Besides its outstanding landscapes and views, this remarkable conservation area also refuges a number of incredible biodiversity that are all worth exploring and discovering by travelers while on safari in Africa. If you are patient enough, you will have clear sights at the antelope families, elephants, bush pigs, giraffes, variety of reptile species, insects, leopards, forest hogs, buffalos, zebra, wildebeest as well as numerous bird species that make up about 300, most of which are best sighted around Lake Jipe in the southwestern side of this national reserve.

Also described as the green hills of Africa, the Chyulu Hills stand at attitude of about 2188 meters and they cover about 150 kilometers long and nearly 230 kilometers southeast of Nairobi. They have no permanent surface water although rainfall drains via the porous rocks that feed most permanent fresh water sources in the surrounding plains especially the Mzima springs and the Tsavo and Galana Rivers. It also serves as a valuable ecosystem in the coastal towns like Mombasa and Malinidi. Its most stunning hills still remain untouched and they offer refuge to distinct vegetation types and wild animals. There is a rough grassland and thicket that offer way to the patches of montane forest together with the pine of the hills which are largely above the 1800 meter contour. The biggest portion of the forest lies in the highest peaks in the Central southern part and the commonly sighted species of wildlife around this area include the warthogs, Oryx, buffaloes, giraffes, bushbuck, leopards, zebra, wildebeests, snakes like black mambas and puff adders; eland and many more.

For remarkable safari experiences at Chyulu Hills National Park, the key tourist activities for you to engage while on safari in Kenya include horse back riding, game drives, mountain climbing, cave exploration, scenic views Mount Kilimanjaro, birding, camping and many more.

For travelers who are planning their safaris to Kenya, Chyulu Hills National Park is an all year round safari destination. However, intending visitors should take note of the weather patterns which at times impact a lot on the park’s landscape and wildlife behaviors. The park experiences its dry spell from July to October and it is characterized by least precipitation. There is a bit of dust around June and around late October, short rains are experienced. During the hot, dry spell, much of the rains which fall evaporate faster especially at equatorial Kenya and hence little is left for wildlife species to drink. This means that most of wildlife behavior at Chyulu Hills National Park is largely determined by availability of water or scarcity. A rare behavior among these species is experienced during the dry season where there is scarcity in water supply. The water sources become more congested and sighting these dramatic wild species also becomes simpler though most of them are more territorial and less tolerant of one another and this can result into confrontations between them. The short rains come around November and December with a warm, humid, moderately dry season around January and February. The park experiences the long rains around late March and early June and it is during this time that the routes also become muddy making visitor navigation in the destination a bit challenging. To be on safer side, we advise our visitors to use a 4 by 4 wheel safari vehicle. The wet season also comes with its advantages especially when most of the impalas are spotted giving birth and the vegetation is extremely green. For visitors on safari to Chyulu Hills National Park, game drives are best done during the cool, long dry season and for those of you who are interested in migratory species, they begin arriving at the park from October to April. For travelers who will be on safari to this park during the wet season, never miss to pack the warm sweater, fleece, poncho or lightweight jacket and many more.

For a complete safari experience in Kenya’s Chyulu Hills National Park, booking for the best accommodation facility for night stays is ideally part of travel plan. And if this is your dream destination, you will need that lodging facility that offers the best quality, comfort and above wilderness experiences while you are enjoying your vacation. The park offers a wide range of lodging facilities for you to realize your dreams and most of them include the Camp Ya Kanzi. This is one of the most excellent accommodation facilities around Chyulu Hills National Park. It is located off the wilderness, Maasai owned private national reserve. Its tented cottages and suites provide the best views of Mount Kilimanjaro, the Tsavo Hills and the Chyulu Hills. It is built from canvas, stone and wood, every tent comes with rare and authentic feeling as its verandas are open and allows visitors to catch a glimpse at variety of roaming wildlife species. Camping around this area allows you to participate in wildlife viewing especially in the open Land Rover, escorted nature walks, dine in the wild whether breakfast, lunch or diner, cave dining, exploring the lion population at the private ranch, botanical tours with Maasai tracker, visit the Maasai village, sundowners as well as visiting the Mzima spring which refuges numerous crocodiles and hippos and many more activities.

The Spirit of Ol Donyo Lodge

This is located around the cool shadow of the Chyulu Hills in Amboseli. This lodge is credited for its luxurious guest suites each of which are distinct on their own way. They come with private exclusive plunge pool and rooftop terrace where an elegant star bed can be set up for one to retire while catching a glimpse at the glittering night skies. Given its strategic location at the Tsavo National Parks, you can also choose to spend a night at Tsavo West Finch Hatton’s Camp, Tsavo West Kilaguni Lodge, Serena Lodge, Tsavo West Ngulia Safari Lodge, Taita Hills Lodge, Tsavo West Salt Lick Lodge and many more.

In conclusion, Chyulu Hills National Park is undeniably a hidden treasure in the magical Kenya. Visit this park and enjoy the wide range of attractions that will reward you with dramatic views and experiences of lifetime.