The second highest mountain in Africa after Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Kenya‘s highest peak, the Bation, rises to a height of 17,057 ft. The mountain, which is an extinct volcano, is located in central Kenya, 150 km northeast of the country’s capital , Nairobi. The snow-capped mountain is also surprisingly close to the equator and is 16.5 km south of the equator. Lying in the shadow of the mountain. Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya is 320 km south of this mountain. For its impressive landscape and bewildering biodiversity, Mt. Kenya and its surrounding habitat has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997. Besides the Bation, Nelion (17,021 ft) and Point Lenana (6,355 ft) are the other notable peaks on the mountain. Kenya. Tyndall and Lewis, meanwhile, are the largest among the 12 small, retreating glaciers that feed the streams and marshes of the mountain and the areas below.
History of the mountain
The last volcanic eruption of the mountain. Kenya is said to have taken place 2.6 to 3 million years ago. The stratovolcano likely rose to an altitude of approximately 19,700 feet before being eroded to its current height of 17,057 feet. Before the arrival of Europeans in the area, the region around the mountain was inhabited by African indigenous tribes such as the Embu. In 1849 a German missionary named Johann Ludwig Krapf was the first European to report the presence of the mountain and named it Mt. Kenya. Reports from Krapf soon spread like wildfire, and several attempts were made to climb the mountain afterward. After numerous unsuccessful attempts, the British geographer Halford John Mackinder and his team succeeded in 1899 as the first to finish the summit of the mountain. Kenya.
The fertile soils and the availability of water on the lower slopes of the mountain. Kenya supports agricultural practices that produce a wide variety of crops. This mainly includes tea, coffee, wheat, barley, rice, bananas and citrus fruits, all of which are grown here. Over 200,000 people live in this region, who mainly practice agriculture, livestock and forestry. The mountain’s forests have been heavily exploited by the wood, charcoal and construction industries for their wood resources. The temptation to climb the snow-capped, high mountain, coupled with the opportunity to observe its amazing biodiversity and natural splendor, also draws many tourists to this place every year and increases the income of the region’s locals from the thriving tourism industry. The high ecological importance of the mountain. Kenya, with its amazing diversity of flora and fauna, prompted the Kenyan national government of the country to grant this ecological region a protected status by officially declaring the formation of the mountain. Kenya National Park in 1949.
Flora and fauna
The flora and fauna of the mountain. Kenya varies with its different altitude levels. The dry and warm climate at the foot of the mountain encourages the growth of grassland and shrubbery. The rich volcanic soil of the lower slopes of the mountain supports the growth of high-yielding agricultural crops as it ascends. Large areas of these previously wooded slopes have now been cleared for the cultivation of food and useful plants. Human settlements such as those of the Kikuyu, Embu and Meru peoples are also scattered in this region of the mountain.
At higher altitudes, Mt. Kenya promotes the growth of dense mountain forests consisting of trees (East African juniper, podo, African olives), herbs (clover, balsam, nettles) and bushes (raspberry, elder). These forests also have a natural bamboo zone in their center. The drier and cooler climate of the mountain above the mountain forest belt allows for the growth of bogs with their short, shrubby vegetation that includes populations of plants such as African sage, erica and sugarbrush species. Further up there is an afro-alpine vegetation, which gradually gives way to the alpine desert vegetation, with only mosses and lichens covering the rocky surfaces. Towards the summit, which is bare and lifeless, ice- and snow-covered rocks and glaciers form the mountain’s landscape. Kenya.
A large number of species inhabit the mountain’s mountain forests. Kenya, including elephants, leopards, hyenas, rhinos, the rare albino zebra and sunni buck and a large number of bird species. The latter include hornbills, parrots, and turacos, while swallows can also be spotted on this mountain. The Afro-Alpine Zone is also home to its own species, including mammals (African dormouse, deep-toothed rat, elands, zebras), birds (Alpine babble, Mackinder eagle owl, red tufted sunbird), butterflies and wildflowers. The animals in the moors, on the other hand, are representative of a mixture of the species of the mountain forests and the Afro-Alpine zones
Threats to the ecosystem
It is estimated that almost 7 million people depend on the mountain. Kenya’s water resources for a living and lifestyle. However, the shrinking of mountain glaciers due to a combination of global warming, illegal irrigation practices, extensive cattle grazing on the mountain slopes, and the clearing of large parts of the mountain forests has reduced the mountain’s water holding capacity. This threatens the well-being of the local residents of the regions adjacent to this mountain. Illegal logging, the expansion of human settlements, the clearing of land for agriculture (including growing marijuana), the poaching of wild species, and the increase in forest fires have all destabilized the mountain. Kenya ecosystem. Such destabilization has brought many of the region’s critical species to the brink of extinction.