Ol Donyo Sabuk Guide

Known to the local Kikuyu as ‘The Mountain of the Buffalo’, and to the Maasai as ‘The Big Mountain’, Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park is dominated by a densely forested mountain. Even the road to Ol Donyo Sabuk is charming and offers 360 panoramic views over the Athi River, the pineapple fields of Thika, and the peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya. 

 

The lush vegetation and cool air of the national park make it ideal for trips and camping weekends.

History 

 

Ol Donyo Sabuk was named by the Maasai pastoralists, meaning a big mountain. The park was established in 1967, with an excellent clear view of  Nairobi and other lowlands areas. The first one to settle ever on the national park was Lord William. 

 

There are five towns inside the former Juja Ranch, the area is a Multiethnic community in farms that are owned by people who were former squatters and farm laborers, 

The mountain peak is situated inside a game park, but the rest is partially owned by a family named Kenyatta family.

 

Visitors can spot buffalo, colobus monkeys, baboons, bushbuck, impala duiker, and abundant birdlife in the park.

Location 

 

Ol Donyo Sabuk is a mountain adjacent to a small town near Thika Kenya. The height of the mountain is 2,145 meters. The town is situated in Kyanzavi Division, Machakos County, 18.5 kilometers east-southeast of Thika, near the peak is the grave of Lord Macmillan, his wife, and their dog where there is also the grave of Louise, who started working for Lord Macmillan when she was 13 years old. In this area parting goes on well during the nights.

Best Time to Visit

 

The weather in the park is hot and dry. It is only a few months when there is rain. From January to March marks the driest season. April to June is wet and hot whereas from July to October, it’s warm and dry. November to December is warm and wet. 

 

Activities like game watching, hiking, nature walks, and mountain climbing are easier in the dry season. However, during the wet season comes the sunshine and birds stay in the park.

Wildlife in Ol Donyo Sabuk

 

Animals

 

One of the highlights of the park is that you can get to see the animals closely during game drives, in safari or during a hike. That is why it is preferable and safer to walk with a guide. You will definitely enjoy wild viewing of olive baboon, duiker, mongoose, white colobus monkey, sykes monkey, leopards, bush back, bush babies, porcupine, water bucks, Kirk’s dik dik, bush pigs, Aardvark, rock hyrax, tree and ground squirrel, buffaloes, and impala, among others.

Birds

 

The park has 45 bird species to be enjoyed during the day.  In the wet season, there are more birds that join the group especially, so you will have a lot to see. Witness bronze sunbird, ring necked dove, helmeted guinea fowl, white browed sparrow weaver, augur buzzard, mourning dove, purple breasted sunbird, grey headed sparrow weaver, African hawk eagle, speckled mouse bird, yellow vented bulbul, African pied wagtail, great sparrow hawk, grey tit, starling, Mackinnon grey shrike, and bateleur, among others. 

Things to do in Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park

 

There are so many activities to enjoy and to have a wonderful time. The most interesting are as below.

 

Hiking

 

It is one of the most enjoyed in the park. It is 10km to reach the peak but achievable in 2 or 3 hours, according to one’s fitness.

Game Drives

 

Hop on a game drive and search for wildlife in the area. Spot animals in the short grass, along water sources, and in their comfortable grounds. Buffalos are the commonest to see.

Bird Watching

 

This activity is breathtaking for there are only a few times where one sees many birds and of different kinds. Birds in Kenya and surrounding areas will be at your disposal, as you will get to see the rarest kinds of birds and yet so clearly especially with binoculars.

Nature Safaris

 

Enjoy nature to the fullest and feel the place. Sometimes you will reach where a car can’t and enjoy what lies there. You will enjoy the rivers, tour the forest, and walk along the foothills of the mountain.

Camping

 

There’s a spacious ground for camping, so all you will need is your camping equipment and you will have an amazing time with your family or friends. You will enjoy the sun set and rise and never forget the sights and sounds of wildlife in the place.

Picnicking

 

The park is a wonderful ground for having a picnic. Even the places close to it that you will get an opportunity to visit like The Fourteen falls are wonderful too.

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