Chyulu Hills National Park : Chyulu Hills is a mountain range in Makueni county, South Eastern Kenya. It forms a 100 kilometre long volcanic field in elongated North West- South East direction, its highest peak is 2188 metres high. The Chyulu Hills stood in the Ngong Hills for the filming of out of Africa, Chyulu Hills national park is also one to be visited if you like exploring the caves. In Chyulu Hills national park there is Levithian cave which is the longest and deepest known lava tube in Africa, the Leviathan is 11km long, it’s located in the edge of the Nyiri Desert, which is found northwest of Tsavo West national park, In the 1980’s the Leviathan cave was the third longest lava tube in the world. The Leviathan is best visited during the sunny periods January to March and also as from June to September.
The Chyulu Hills national park was formed in 1983, it covers an area of 741km2 (286 sq. mi), it forms a 100 kilometre volcanic field filled with dramatic Willie views and birds, and it’s located 200 kilometres south east of Nairobi and the nearest towns are Voi and Tsavo.
Chyulu hills still show signs of volcanic eruption and the last occurrence is said to be about 200 years ago, volcanic cones and cylinder provide striking views with larva flow spilling, the park has got no river but wondrous porous rocks that drain rain water and later flow into springs and rivers, the ecosystem is characterized by the thicket, savannah grasslands and montane forests.
Attractions in Chyulu Hill national park.
Leviathan cave also known as Grotte de Leviathan is a lava tube cave lying in Chyulu hills in Chyulu national park on the edges of Nyiri Desert, the cave is the 11th longest known lava tube in the world and still the longest in Africa, the cave consists of the two sections namely the; Upper leviathan of 9,152 meters long and a depth of 408 meters and Lower leviathan of 2,071 meter long a depth of 70 meters.
Chyulu hills are the greatest attractions of the Chyulu Hill national park, these lies on the east of the Kenya rift diving Tsavo and Amboseli plains. Chyulu hill consists of hundreds small flows, cones and the leviathan cave.
Chyulu hill national park consists of magnificent scenery which is created by a mixture of volcanic ash cones, barren lava flows, big black rocks and caves. The volcanic hills are covered with green vegetation consisting of 37 species of orchids that is why the park is called the green hills of Africa, generally Chyulu hill national park is covered by series of vegetation cover in various region.
The lower parts of the hills are dominated by grasslands and thicket forests with species like juniperus procera.
The top of the hills at the altitude range of 1800 meters is dominated by Neoboutonia macrocalyx, Tabernaemontana stapfiana, Prunus Afrixana, Strombosia scheffleri, Cassipourea malonsana, Olea Capensis and Ilex mitis forest species.
The isolated areas of the park are dominated by Erythrina Abyssinia tree species, the most prominent features creating the magnificent scenery include chyulu hills and leviathan cave.
Chyulu national park is a great habitant destination for many wildlife including mammals such as eastern black rhinos, cape buffaloes, bushbucks, elands, elephants, bush pigs, maasai giraffe, leopards, lions, mountain reedbucks, wildebeest, cheetah and among others as well as their snakes inhabit the hills such as black mamba, puff adder, rock python and many more.
Chyulu Hill national park is a great habitat for numerous bird species, the park is generally dominated by forest and savannah vegetation which attract both savannah and forest bird species including endemic species, bird species includes Francolinus shelleyi, Pogonocichla stellate, Zoothera gurneyi, African grey Flycatcher, White –starred Robin, Olive Sunbird and among many more.
Activities done in Chyulu Hills national park.
Chyulu Hills national park is blessed with numerous wildlife like the antelopes, cheetahs, black rhino, zebra, eland, wildebeest, bush bucks, elephants and many more, the park is also having reptiles like the puff adder, black mamba, monitor lizards, rock python and among more. These gives the best viewing during your visit in the park.
Chyulu hills national park is a home of over 300 species of birds both the migratory and the residential birds from Europe and North Africa, and the best spotting area for the birds is the Lake Jipe found at the south Western of the park.
Chyulu hills national park also provides the horse riding which is the best way to explore the nature wilderness of the park, the animals get even more closer as they assume a horse is amongst them.
Visit Kisula larva caves.
Chyulu hulls national park has the deepest lava tubes which are the best in the world, with the Leviathan caves to be 11.5 kilometres long, this can be hiked for almost 3-4 hours one way from the oarks entrance.
Nature guided walks.
The guests can go for the nature walks and come along the wildlife, reptiles, butterflies and the insects and enjoy the cool breeze of the mountain forest.
Mountain biking is also done at the Chyulu hills national park to explore the green hills on the mountain bike.
Tourists interested in waking up to the whispers of the wilderness can go on and do the camping Kenya safari to the park by pitching their tents on one of the camping sites with the facilities of shower rooms, toilets, dining rooms, kitchen.
Hiking is the main activity at the Chyulu Hill national park, there are various animals trekking trails that lead you to explore the mountain ranges and view various wildlife, its highest peak is not hard to climb and not very tiresome the peak is 150 kilometres long and the hike also gives you views of Kilimanjaro mountain.
Here the guests visit the people living around the Chyulu national park and learn their various ways of lives.
Best time to visit Chyulu national park.
The best time to visit the park is during the dry season when the water holes are crowded with the animals drinking water during to water scarcity. However, the park can be visited all year for various activities that is the wet season is good for bird watching.
Where to stay in Chyulu Hills national park.
There are various accommodations varying from Budget, Mid- range, and Luxury accommodations; the park as well has got three campsites, the accommodations include the Ol donyo lodge, Ambokili lodge, Simba Maasai camp, The Oasis Hotel and among more.
How to get to Chyulu Hill national park.
Chyulu hills national park can be accessed by both the air and the road transport.
By Road Transport. The park is located 20 kilometres from Mombasa airport 230 kilometres from Nairobi and 10 kilometres off Nairobi – Mombasa highway, leading to Kibwezi and then to the park.
By Air Transport. There are two airstrips at the park that can be accessed by the domestic flights from Mombasa or Nairobi that is Jomo Kenyatta international airport and Wilson airport landing to Ol Donyo lodge airstrip and Campi ya Kazi airstrip.