Chyulu hills national park
Chyulu hills national park also referred to as the green hill of Africa is found in the south east region close to Tsavo west national park, the park stretching over an area of 741 square kilometers protects a range of volcanic mountains which run parallel to Mombasa highway between kibwezi and Tsavo. Chyulu hills national park also referred to as the land of black frozen lave studded with blazing red-hot poker trees consists of distinctive rounded hills and volcanic vents that contain solidified black lava flows which run down at irregular intervals.
What to see in chyulu national park
Chyulu national park is a great habitant for many wildlife species including mammals and birds, mammals habiting in Chyulu national park include eastern black rhinos, Cape buffaloes, bushbucks, elands, elephants, bush pigs, Masai giraffe, leopards, lions, mountain reedbucks, steinbok, wildebeest, Grant’s zebras, Cheetahs and many more. In the Chyulu national park cheetahs are sighted at the plains of Chyulu hills and also there is snakes inhabit the hills such as black mamba, puff adder, rock python and many more.
Chyulu hills national park is a great habitant for numerous bird species, the park is generally dominated by forest and savannah vegetation which attract both savannah and forest bird species including endemic species. Birds in Chyulu national park include Francolinus shelleyi, Pogonocichla stellata, Zoothera gurneyi, Bradypterus cinnamomeus, Hieraaetus ayresii, Stephanoaetus coronatus, Polemaetus bellicosus and Cinnyricinclus femoralis, African Gray Flycatcher, bradornis microrhynchus, white-eyed Slaty-Flycatcher, Ruppell’s Robin-Chat, white-starred Robin, thrush Nightingale, Collared Sunbird , Olive Sunbird, Amethyst Sunbird, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Bronze Sunbird and many more.
Chyulu national park consists of magnificent scenery which is created by a mixture of volcanic ash cones, barren lava flows, big black rocks and caves. The volcanic hills are covered with green vegetation consisting of 37 species of orchids that is why the park is called the green hills of Africa, generally chyulu national park is covered by a series of vegetation cover in various region.
- The lower parts of the hills are dominated by grassland and thicket forests with species like juniperus procera
- The top of the hills at the altitude range of 1800 meters is dominated by Neoboutonia macrocalyx, Tabernaemontana stapfiana, Prunus Africana, Strombosia scheffleri, Cassipourea malonsana, Olea capensis and Ilex mitis forest species.
- The isolated areas of the park is dominated by Erythrina abyssinica tree species
The most prominent features creating the magnificent scenery include chyulu hills and leviathan cave.
Chyulu hills are the great attractions of Chyulu hills national park, these hills lie of the east of the Kenya rift dividing Tsavo and Amboseli plains. Chyulu hills consists of hundred small flows, cones and a leviathan cave.
Leviathan cave also known as Grotte de Leviathan is a lava tube cave lieing in chyulu hills in chyulu national park on the edge of Nyiri Desert, the cave is the 11th longest known lava tube in the world and still the longest tube in Africa. The cave consists of two sections that is
- Upper leviathan of 9,152 meters long and a depth of 408 meters.
- Lower leviathan of 2,071 meter long and a depth of 70 meters.
What to do in chyulu national park
Chyulu hills national park is dominated by a chuck pf flat plains on the foot hills where game drives take place, game drive takes you through the park in search for animals habiting in the park such as eastern black rhino, wildebeest, steinbok, reedbuck, Cape buffaloes, bushbucks, elands, elephants, bush pigs, Masai giraffe, leopards, lions, mountain reedbucks, steinbok, wildebeest, Grant’s zebras, Cheetahs and many more which are seen through the widows of your vehicle. Game drives in the park are done in the morning, afternoon and evening but the best time is in the morning as it offers views of a variety of animals.
Chyulu hills national park is an important birding site in Kenya and a bird paradise to bird enthusiastic, the park is a habitant to many bird species which are searched for while on bird watching safari. As you go through the park you encounter many animals such as Francolinus shelleyi, Pogonocichla stellata, Zoothera gurneyi, Bradypterus cinnamomeus, Hieraaetus ayresii, Stephanoaetus coronatus, Polemaetus bellicosus and Cinnyricinclus femoralis, African Gray Flycatcher, bradornis microrhynchus, white-eyed Slaty-Flycatcher, Ruppell’s Robin-Chat, white-starred Robin, thrush Nightingale, Collared Sunbird, Olive Sunbird, Amethyst Sunbird, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Bronze Sunbird and any more.
Chyulu hills national park is dotted with volcanic features such as Chyulu hills which facilitate hiking expedition, hiking the hills is very rewarding as you are rewarded with beautiful sceneries of the park and the ranges of mount Kilimanjaro. There is many trails traversing through the forested slopes of the hills to the top of the hills as you hike you encounter many forest creatures such as birds of numerous kind.
Chyulu hills national park offers one of the unique and amazing experiences of touring through a horse’s back, horseback riding is one of the eco-friendly way touring and enjoying the beautiful scenery of the park. Horseback riding gives you a chance to get close to the animals as the animals do not get scared to run.
Chyulu hills national park is great at camping safaris thus being a paradise for adventurous tourists and nature lovers, the park has camping grounds that is Kiboko and Kathisayo campsite which accessible to all campers. Camping is one of the ways you can connect with nature and wildlife, there is nothing more amazing than sleeping in the wilderness under the stars on the sky
Chyulu hills national park hosts Leviathan cave situated on the foothills of Chyulu hills where cave exploration safaris are done, leviathan cave is a very magnificent lava tube feature ranked as the 11th longest known lava tube in the world. On this safari you visit the two sections of the cave that is the Upper leviathan of 9,152 meters long with a depth of 408 meters and the lower leviathan of 2,071 meter long with a depth of 70 meters which is a very fascinating and memorable experience
Best time to visit Chyulu hills national park
It is always a good time to visit Chyulu hills national park but for a great memorable experience the best time to visit the park is in the dry season months of June, July, September, October and January to February. This period is best for wildlife viewing, since it is practically dry with few amounts of rainfall received the game viewing trails are dry and the savannah grassland is short thus easy views of the animals hosted in the park. Also in the dry season you the sky is clear thus a great opportunity for photography.
Where to stay in chyulu hills national park
Chyulu hill national park is dotted with many accommodation facilities including lodges and camps which are dedicated to offering comfortable accommodation and other necessary services to tourist on safari experience, these include Ambokili lodges, savannah paradise hotel, Ol Donyo lodge, campi ya kanzi, Shushan palace, kanzi house, Amboseli sopa lodge, kamboyo guest house, finch Hattons camp, Tawi lodge, Amboseli gateway hotel and many more.
How to get to chyulu hills national park
Chyulu hills national park is situated in a distance of 250 kilometers from Nairobi and 250 kilometers from Mombasa and the park is usually visited while on your safari to Tsavo west national park. Chyulu hills national park can be accessed using both air transport and road means. By air transport domestic flights are offered from Nairobi’s jomo Kenyatta international airport and Wilson airport landing to Ol Donyo lodge airstrip and Campi ya Kazi airstrip. By road there is many routes from both Mombasa and Nairobi leading to Kibwezi and then to the park.