After taking the barge down the Nile, we move on into Kenya. We will be spending quite a while here, as this country is rich in ecological, cultural, and historical wonders. Today, we visit Mount Kenya National Park. The park covers 715 square kilometres surrounding the park’s namesake, Mount Kenya. On our first night in the park, we go on a safari. Most animals live on the lower areas of the Mount Kenya highlands. The first animal we see sits upon a rock. The hyrax can be found throughout the park, as it can adapt to a wide range of temperatures and terrains. As we continue our trek we see a pack of hyenas from far away. These amazing hunters have incredible jaw strength and are certainly dangerous, but at this distance, our guide is certain that we are safe. On our way back, we see many birds including sunbirds, alpine chats, and a flock of bearded vultures circling overhead. Perhaps the hyenas made a kill in the twilight.
The next day, we make a move to the base of Mt. Kenya. We rest for the rest of the day in preparation of our summit push on the highest point in Kenya. We will be following the Mackinder route to the summer. The Mackinder expedition was the first to gain the summit of this fantastic peak. During the next two days, we establish a camp at about 3,500 meters up the mountain. The group moves well, despite the alititude. Over the next few days, we slowly acclimate to lower oxygen levels. Then, after about a week on the mountain itself, we push on toward the summit. We traverse the Lewis snowfield as well as the Darwin and Diamond glaciers. Finally, after a long day, we reach the summit around one o’clock. We spend about half an hour gazing across the plains below. Lands of the circle of life laid out below us.