Chyulu Hills National Park, often referred to as the “Green Hills of Africa,” beckons to nature enthusiasts with its enchanting landscape—a sprawling expanse of rolling green hills, expansive cerulean skies, and breathtaking vistas. Here, in this hidden corner of paradise, you’ll encounter a thriving ecosystem boasting an array of large mammals, including buffalo, bushbucks, elands, elephants, leopards, giant forest hogs, bush pigs, reedbucks, and giraffes. The park is also home to a diverse population of reptiles and insects. Whether you’re drawn to horseback riding, camping, mountain climbing, or bird watching, Chyulu Hills offers a wealth of experiences for all who visit.
Chyulu Hills National Park derives its name from the mountain range it encompasses. These volcanic hills stretch for an impressive 100 miles across southeastern Kenya, offering a compelling alternative to the renowned Masai Mara Safari. The terrain here is characterized by steep slopes, dusty paths, and challenging hiking routes. Acacia trees dominate the landscape, with wetter species thriving deeper within the hills where rainfall is more abundant. To the south, you’ll be treated to incredible panoramic views of the plains, while Kilimanjaro, standing tall some 70 kilometers away, commands the horizon. In the southern part of this range, you’ll find Leviathan Cave—an awe-inspiring natural wonder and one of the world’s longest lava tubes.
Chyulu Hills National Park is conveniently accessible via a short 1-hour flight from Nairobi. Alternatively, you can embark on a scenic 6-hour drive from Nairobi, covering approximately 200 kilometers. Given the challenging road conditions and limited park infrastructure, a four-wheel-drive vehicle is an absolute necessity. Considering the difficult access, flying to this region is often a more practical choice than driving. Numerous tours are available in the area, and lodges like Ol Donyo offer luxurious but pricey accommodations.
While exploring Chyulu Hills National Park, it’s advisable to travel in groups rather than venturing solo. The area is known for the presence of poachers, and its tranquil nature, even during peak seasons, adds an element of risk to solo travel. Traveling with a group of fellow adventurers and vehicles enhances your safety.
Chyulu Hills National Park teems with wildlife, and while all of the classic “big five” animals—lions, leopards, elephants, buffalo, and rhinos—can be found here, the park’s dense foliage and rugged terrain can make them challenging to spot. Leopards and elephants are among the favored inhabitants of this park, while buffalo sightings are relatively rare. The captivating world of Chyulu Hills National Park awaits those who seek to uncover its hidden treasures and natural wonders.