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Oldonyo Sabuk Park trip is a fascinating day trip out of Nairobi, only 65 kms away. The mountain rises to 8,000 ft, covering 20sq. kms. Particularly attractive for hikers or families wanting some freedom and exercise out of their vehicle while on Kenya safaris.
Safari adventurers are recommended to approach via the spectacular Fourteen Falls on the Chania River. The Park’s attraction is its beauty and views of Mounts Kenya and Kilimanjaro. There is game including baboon, colobus, bushbuck, impala, duiker and abundant birdlife for ornithologists.
The name is Maasai, meaning ‘Mountain of Buffalo’. Today some 250 buffaloes roam the slopes. Kikuyu traditionalists call it Kea-Njahe, known as the ‘Mountain of the Big Rain’,one of Ngai’s lesser homes.
The solitary mountain rears up to 2,145m from an otherwise flat area. The steep ascent requires a 4WD vehicle. Near the summit lies the grave of Sir William Northrup McMillan (1872-1925) and his wife Lady Lucie. He was a huge Scot, raised in St Louis, Missouri, USA.
He arrived in Kenya in 1901 for the big game shooting, playing host to Roosevelt during his famous 1911 safari at their ranch Juja Farm (now a popular location for film crews).
He and his wife were great philanthropists, creating the MacMillan Library in central Nairobi.
Mwea National Reserve also in the same area is (altitude 3,000-5,000 sq. ft – opened January 1976, covering an area of 68 sq. kms), 180 kms from Nairobi. Its main feature is the meeting of the Tana and Thiba Rivers within the Reserve and the Kaburu and Masinga hydro-electric dams.
Elephants are plentiful in the Reserve. Other prevalent games are buffalos, impalas, hippos, baboons, vervet and Sykes monkeys, warthogs, bushbuck, waterbuck, hartebeests, lesser kudu and jackals. Crocodiles are also found in the dams and two rivers.
No accommodations in these parks but Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park has one campsite. Mwea National Reserve has two picnic sites: Gichuki Island and Hippo Point.