Oi Donyo Sabuk National Park
Oi Donyo Sabuk National Park is situated 65km (40 mi) North of Nairobi city which is also the capital city of Kenya.18.5km east-southeast of Thika in the Kyanzavi Division of Machakos county. The park is home to mount Kilimambogo which has a number of names from different people known to the Kikuyu as “mountain of the Buffalo” mbogo, by the Maasai is known as “the big mountain” kilima, the Kamba named it Kyanzavi meaning the mountain of nzavi, the mountain is the highest point of the park. The park gives a clear view of Nairobi and other surrounding lowlands and boosts for its amazing views of Mount Kenya, Aberdare Ranges and Mountain Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. The park gets its name from a Masai word meaning “Great Mountain”. The park was established in 1967 under management of the Kenya Wildlife services.
Oi Donyo Sabuk national park covers 20.7 sq km (8.0 sq mi), the park’s ecosystem is dominated by dense forests. The park is also famous to have been the home of a lovely couple of European explorers’ lord William Northrop McMillan and his wife Lady Lucia, the settle here before their death and their graves plus their Dog’s graves are still in the park which makes it a big attraction in the park.
The park home to a number of wildlife species with Buffaloes being the dominant wildlife species in the park and other species include bushbucks, leopards, olive baboons, Aardvarks, porcupines, mangoose pythons, monitor lizards to mention but a few. Over 45 different Bird species call the park home namely white-browed sparrow weaver, African pied wagtail. Mourning Gove, grey headed sparrow weaver, augur buzzard, African hawk eagle, purple-breasted sunbirds etc.
Oi Donyo Sabuk National Park Wildlife
Wildlife in the park is one of the things that the park boosts about, the variety of wildlife in the park can be spotted on a game drive, walking safari, hike to mention but a few, wildlife that will be viewed include olive baboons, duiker, Sykes monkeys, leopards, bushbucks, bush babies, porcupines, water bucks, kirk’s dik dik, bush pigs, Aardvarks, rock hyraxes, tree and ground squirrels, buffaloes, impala to mention but a few.
The park is home to over 45 recorded bird species, they can be spotted in the park during day an during the wet season a number of migratory birds come to the park, bird species include bronze sunbird, ring-necked dove, helmeted guinea fowl, white-breasted sparrow weaver, augur buzzard, morning dove, purple-breasted sunbird, grey-headed sparrow weaver, African hawk eagle, speckled mouse bird, yellow-vented bulbul, African pied wagtail, great sparrow hawk, grey tit, starling etc.
Attractions in Oi Donyo Sabuk National Park
Most of the park’s land is occupied by the mountain Kilimambogo situated exactly in the heart of the park. this mountain has an altitude of 2145 meters. Hiking this mountain takes a full day of adventure and exploring nature on foot, to reach the starting point of mountain climbing your required to use 4x4WD Vehicle because od the park’s terrain. Hiking to the mountain top requires on to be an experienced hiker or reasonably fit in order to engage in the climbing.
The Burial site of Lord William McMillan
Lord William Northrup McMillan lived in the park with his wife and Dog, he was the first European to settle in the area, he constructed a five-bedroom juja house on the property and lived there with his family, when they died all the three family members were buried at the park and became a tourist attraction over the years.
Scenic Views of MT Kenya and Kilimanjaro
The park’s highest point is at the mountain kilimambogo, which gives you opportunities to spot Mt Kenya and Mt Kilimanjaro, these mountains are not by any chance close to the park but because of its high raised level makes it easier to view these points and also Nairobi city plus the low lands that surround the area.
The romantic scenic beauty of land with its Fourteen falls within River Athi, the falls raise for an altitude of about 1400 meters above sea level. these falls are both traditional and religious site with an attachment on the ancient Asian immigrants and also residents of the area. The people pour the ashes of their loved ones into the waters of the falls with belief that they go up to India.
Oi Donyo Sabuk National Park activities
Mountain Climbing is the most tourist attraction in Oi Donyo Sabuk National park because of its mountain kilimambogo that proved views of Nairobi and the surrounding area, views of Mt Kenya and Mt Kilimanjaro. Climbing the mountain is not so much challenging but unveiling beautiful adventures and scenic views is guaranteed, Birders will enjoy viewing on the different bird species along the way, wildlife, stop overs for historical sites. Hiking the mountain can take the whole day.
For better and adventurous wildlife viewing game drives are done in 4x4WD Vehicle, wildlife to spot include the common spotted one Large herds of Buffaloes, leopards, baboons, bushbucks, porcupine, mongoose, leopards. Safari walks in the park are limited due to the presence of Leopards.
Bird viewing can be done together with other activities like game drives, mountain climbing spotting a number of bird species as listed above. permanent residents and migratory birds are in the park.
Visit at the water falls
A visit at this traditional and culture site is breathtaking, first of all its beauty is. these falls connect to the Indian ocean making the people believe the waters drive the ash up to their home country India, they also come to the falls for recreation purposes.
Oi Donyo Sabuk National Park accommodations
The park has no accommodation facilities yet, the only built accommodation accommodates 10 persons and it is for self-catering facilities with all the house furniture installed in. Visitors can also camp at the public camping sites, campers are required to carry their own camping equipment, the park only provides camping site, clean running water and rest rooms.
Best time to visit Oi Donyo Sabuk National Park
The park welcomes visitors all year round though the best time to visit the park is in the driest months of January to March, activities in the park like hiking, mountain climbing mature walks are favored by the dry season because messes with the trails making them slippery and impassable. The wet season is in the months of April to June and also hot, the months of July to October are warm and dry while the months of November to December are warm and wet.
How to get to Oi Donyo Sabuk National Park
Oi Donyo Sabuk National Park can be accessed by road, it is only 85 km from Nairobi the capital city of Kenya. It can also be accessed form Thika Town for just 22 km from the city to the park via the main Garissa road to Mukutano junction, on reaching Mukutano follow the Kenya wildlife service sign post and head to your right, you will drive for 3 kms on an all-weather marram road to Donyo town. Then at Donyo proceed for a 2 km drive reaching the park’s main entrance.