Chyulu Hills National Park
Chyulu hills national park safari is located in the south-eastern park of Kenya in Makueni county, Chyulu National Park is one of Kenya’s most visited national parks in Kenya with amazing Kenya Wildlife Safaris, it boasts of its spectacular landscape comprising of endless rolling hills covered in green vegetation and wonderous blue skies usually referred to as “Green Hills of Africa” chyulu hills national park is a perfect destination for green nature lovers. The park is characterized by thick, savannah grasslands and montane forest as its eco-system. The chyulu hills kenya park has no rivers though blessed with wondrous porous rocks that drain rain water to form springs and rivers.
Chyulu National park covers an area of 741 sq km (286 sq mi)as shown on chyulu hills national park map. the park has one of the youngest mountain ranges in the world formed over 500 years ago. Chyulu National Park derives its name from the Chyulu Hills the word Chyulu is a Maasai word meaning “spotted Hills”, these hills form 100 km long volcanic field in elongated North West to South East direction thus its highest peak measuring 2188 m high. The park is also positioned 150 km east of the Kenyan Rift Valley and comprises of the eastern Flank of hills. Chyulu Hills National Park is part of the Tsavo conservation area together with Tsavo East, Tsavo West National Parks and the Kibwezi Forest managed by the Kenya Wildlife Service together with the Eastern flank of hills though the Western flank of hills covered by the Western Chyulu Game Conservation is owned and managed by the Maasai group ranches.
The Chyulu hills stood in for the Ngong Hills in the film of “Out of Africa” this movie sold the park to the world making it famous. The Chyulu Hills Still show signs of Its Volcanic Origins and it also offers great views of the Kilimanjaro Mountain of Tanzania. Chyulu Hills National Park was gazetted as a national park in 1983 under management of Kenya Wild life services.
Attractions in chyulu hills national park
Chyulu Hills National Park is not a habitant to very many wildlife species namely the large mammals like buffaloes, bushbucks, elands, elephants, leopards, giant forest hogs, bush pigs, reedbucks and giraffes to mention but a few and various
Reptiles like puff adder, black mamba, monitor lizards, rock python and many others.
BIRD LIFE IN THE PARK
Chyulu National Park is regarded as a birder’s haven, it home to over hundreds of birds best viewed in the hills which very rewarding, species include white-headed saw wing and Black saw wing, Barn Swallow, Singing Cisticola, Bar-throated Apalis, Croaking Cisticola, white bellied Tit, White necked Raven, long tailed Fiscal, Red tailed shrike, Abyssinian Thrush, Spotted Flycatcher, Variable sunbird, spectacled weaver, Chestnut weaver, Red-billed Quelea to mention but a few.
Insects in the park include Tsetse fly, Butterflies, Dung Beetles etc.
Chyulu hills national park safari activities
Chyulu hills national park boasts of being one of the best Kenya Wildlife Safari destinations, the park’s thick vegetation. Savannah plains and hills are home to various wildlife species like buffaloes, bushbucks, elands, elephants, leopards, giant forest hogs, bush pigs, reedbucks and giraffes to mention but a few and various. The park offers morning and afternoon game drives, the early morning drive is the best option as the wildlife look for wat to eat before going back to their hiding form scotching sunlight. Your guaranteed amazing sights of the wildlife in the park.
The park hoist a number of bird species in its hills and thick vegetations, bird watching activity can be done together with the other activities like game drive, nature walk, Hiking among others, Birds are best viewed in the dry season, the park is home to various bird species which include white-headed saw wing and Black saw wing, Barn Swallow, Singing Cisticola, Bar-throated Apalis, Croaking Cisticola, white bellied Tit, White necked Raven, long tailed Fiscal, Red tailed shrike, Abyssinian Thrush, Spotted Flycatcher, Variable sunbird, spectacled weaver, Chestnut weaver, Red-billed Quelea to mention but a few. the best spots for bird viewing in the park include Chyulu hills and lake jipe in the southern sector of the park.
Chyulu hill national park’s land, thick vegetation makes the park one on of the best destinations in Kenya to have a hiking safari, on your hike you will adventure the hidden treasures of the park on foot like spectacular scenery, nature and magical wilderness, green vegetation with tree species like orchids, acacia trees, Primates like baboons, Skye’s forest, bird species like black crake, crowned lapwing, gray heron, great egret, African harrier hawk, white backed vulture, brown snakes eagle etc. Hiking in Chyulu hills is done using different trails passing through forests leading to the hills. For one to engage in this activity they are required to be reasonably fit.
The world’s longest cave and deepest lava tubes with 11km long is found in the park called “Leviathan Cave” locally known as Kisula caves, a tour at the caves is done with guidance from ranger guides who are experienced and know all the trails of the park, you will watch cone-shaped stalagmites hanging on the walls of the cave and all tour the upper and lower sections of the caves.
Bicycles are available at the park for hire, you will guided buy rangers who know the trails best for biking. Get a close encounter at the wildlife, birds, tree species. This activity is very fun to take engage in hence you shouldn’t miss it out.
Chyulu is one of the few parks in Kenya that carry out horse back riding, it also gives you an opportunity to adventure one of the best wildernesses of Kenya at a close range.
Guided Nature walks
Adventure the wilderness on foot, this is a very rewarding activity, walk through the thick vegetation of the park where you will come across various wildlife species, butterflies, insects, reptiles of the park as well as the cool breeze of the forest mountains, great views of mountain Kilimanjaro of Tanzania, this will be a very fun activity though tiresome.
Visit the locals leaving around the park, you will be led by those that know them best, enjoy the African culture, learn how they prepare their local meals, how they survive, day to day activities among other unveiling the true African culture.
This is the park’s most famous tourist attraction the Chyulu hills volcanic mountains which offer splendid mix of volcanic ash cones and barren lava flow. The lava flow is covered with green vegetation but the upper slopes are home to over 37 species of Orchids. The hills also have black rocks that raise testaments of what happened 200 years back of the volcanic origin of the mountains. Deep beneath of the hills is the catacomb of unexplored caves.
Chyulu hills national park accommodation
chyulu hills national park accommodation comprises of infrastructure lodges and hotels yet, but it has camp sites which are the Maasai concessions on the slopes of Chyulu hills and OI Donyo lodge and campiya Kanzi. Travellers should come with their own camping gears like tents.
HOW TO GET TO THE PARK (where is chyulu hills located)
From Nairobi use the Mombasa route via Emali town linking to Loikokitok road covering 250 km to your destination.
You can also access the park from Tsavo West via Tsavo East taking 232 km to your destination
Chyulu hills national park has got two airstrips that are only accessed by domestic chattered flights from Mombasa.
BEST TIME TO VIST THE PARK
Chyulu hills national park is Open 24 –7 all year-round welcoming visitors though the best time to visit the park is in the dry season between the months of June to October and January to February, During the short rains in the month of November. In the months of April and May the rains be very heavy hence can be challenging, roads are in poor conditions but facilities are cheap and all things are at a cheap cost if at all a tourist can handle the hardships of the dry season. The main reason why facilities are cheap is to attract tourists.