Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park
Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park is an untouched Kenya safari destination that sounds with ultimate panoramic experience of a beautiful small mountain covered in montane forest. The park also offers a good ecosystem which are habitant to wide range of wildlife species mostly large herds of buffalos and others animals like bushbucks, leopards ,olive baboons ,porcupines ,aardvarks ,mongoose ,pythons and monitor lizard and a home to abundant birdlife of over 45 bird species to be spotted here ,some of the species include white –browed sparrow weaver ,grey-headed sparrow weaver ,African pied wagtail ,augur buzzard ,mourning dove ,African hawk eagle and purple-breasted sunbird among others .The mountain’s top also offers visitors with scenic views of Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro which is a privilege experience to be African safaris.
The national park is positioned in the Kyanzavi division in Machakos County in Kenya province, it was established in 1967 on an area covering 20 square kilometers dominated with beautiful landscape composed of mountain OI Donyo Sabuk raising height of 2,145meters that provides great views at the summit with spectacular amazing view for Eastern and Central Kenya province, Ol donyo sabuk hills. The park was named out of this mountain OI Donyo Sabuk which means ‘’Maasai large mountain’’ marking the park a lovely adventurous nature.
Due to its amazing nature, there is rugged outcrop of ancient rock jutting high above the Athi plains and so being close to Kenya’s capital city ‘’Nairobi’’. OI Donyo Sabuk is a densely forested mountain known by the local Kikuyu as ‘’Mountain of Buffalos’’ and to Masaai as ‘’Big Mountain’’. To reach to the summit ,there is one route trekkers use to hike that passes through the 14 falls of River Athi down the slopes where you can view large population of buffaloes roaming around and since river Athi acts as a source of water for wildlife in the park ,game viewing along river banks can be rewarding .However the summit offers great rewardable 360 panoramas over the Athi River ,the pineapple fields of Thika which rewards with its greenery cover as well as the snow- capped peaks of both magnificent mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya .Note ,OI Donyo Sabuk is an ideal place for one day trip which is a worthy out of the Nairobi city walk.
In general, Ol Donyo Sabuk national park was first settled by the American Explore Lord William Northrop McMillan. He later settled here with his wife before their death and they were both buried with their dog in here, as you hike to the summit you can be able to see their grave which act as a great attraction at the park.
Attractions in Ol Donyo Sabuk national park
OI Donyo Sabuk national park offers a wide range of attractions that visits can get attracted too while at their safari to the park. Below are the major tourist’s attractions to get amazed too on your visit;
Montane landscape: The park is dominated by magnificent Mount Ol Donyo Sabuk that sits at the center of the park. It attracts travelers who visits the park, the mountain rises height of 2,145 meters, but the terrain of the scape requires one to use a 4×4 wheel car in order to access the starting point of hiking. As you can be hiking the summit, you will come across the graves of the family of Lord Williams who were buried here. Hiking can last for one day before embarking for other activities in the park.
Fourteen falls experience: This is totally a magnificent fall which is positioned inside the park in River Athi, it’s among the most attractions that offers romantic scenic beauty of the park’s landscape. It’s an important area for both traditional and religious site that contributed a lot on both Asian immigrants and residents of the area. To Asians use it as recreational and spiritual site. Geographically fourteen falls raises an altitude of 1400 meters above seas level. And sounds as one of Kenya’s most panoramic land marks.
Scenic view of Mt Kilimanjaro and Kenya: The park is not too close to both of these mountains but due to a high raised level that makes travelers have a clear gainful view of Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro on clear day.
Wildlife/Animals: Ol Donyo Sabuk national park hosts range of wildlife. And it’s known to be a home of dominate animals with more than 250 buffaloes. Other animals include Mongoose, bush backs, leopard, baboons, porcupines, Kirk’s dik-dik, reedbuck, bush baby, ground squirrel, python, Sykes monkeys, monitor lizards mentioned few.
Bird species: Though the park is small in size but it doesn’t affect bird species to appear in the park. It is habitat of over 45 bird species that include both open savannah grassland, forest bird species and waterbirds species. Common birds to see here are African Hawk-eagle, sunbirds, different types of weavers, mourning dove, pied wagtail, Buzzard among other species.
The Burial Site of Lord William McMillan: Lord William was the first white man to settle here and lived there with his wife Lucie and their dog. But unfortunately they are no more, all the three family members were buried in the same place. Marking it one of the park’s attractions that visitors visit during their safari to Ol Donya national park.
Activities done in Ol Dongo Sabuk national park
Mountain climbing: This is one of the major activities done at Ol Donyo national park. The trek is not challenging but it needs more fitness in the body. Hiking is about 3 hours to reach the peak where you can enjoy a cool fresh air, have scenic views of the surroundings.
Game viewing: Game viewing is best enjoyed by safari vehicle or guided walking safaris. Along tourist’s game drive here, most of animals to be viewed are the large herds of buffalos which moves in groups and they are usually seen roaming the park’s slopes. If you’re lucky, you can come across the leopards. Other animals to be spotted include bushbuck, porcupine, Mongoose, baboons and many others.
Visit the waterfalls: This is a remarkable historical site with scenic views of the waterfalls. Fourteen falls which is considered to be among the Kenya’s most landmark tourist attraction.
Where to stay
On your visit to the park you can do camping because nice camping sites are available such as Turaco Public campsite, Rock Hyrax and Summit Campsite.Comfartable lodges tourists can sleep in on their visit to the park include; Chania Tourist lodge, Trade Winds lodges, Cool Tavern House, Blue post Guesthouse.
By Road: It is 65 kilometers north east of Nairobi. Then from Thika town continue 22kilomters along the main Garissa road to Makutano junction going south along Kenya wildlife Service marking, you will still cover more 3driving kilometers away from fourteen falls that sounds to be one of Kenya’s most spectacular landmarks, from here you will drive across the Athi River with a junction connecting you to access the game park’s main gate.
Ol Donyo Sabuk national park is a worth visit out of Kenya’s City ‘’Nairobi’’ with quite remarkable and scenic views of snowcapped Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro, waterfalls, and small mountains. Book now to experience Kenya’s adventurous safaris.