Overview – Chyulu Hills NP
The little visited Chyulu Hills NP is an extension of the more popular Tsavo West NP. The green Chyulus are one of the youngest mountain ranges in the world, having been formed only about 500 years ago. The volcanic scenery is fascinating, but human encroachment with cattle and poaching are major problems. There isn’t much wildlife around. A worthwhile activity is a visit to the Upper Leviathan Cave, which at 11.5km long, is one of the longest caves in the world.
There is no accommodation inside the park, but there are two very exlusive lodges offering a full range of activities in Masai concessions on the foothills of the Chyulu Hills.
Pros & Cons
- Un-touristy, off-the-beaten track destination
- Caving and trekking trips can be organized
- Beautiful volcanic scenery
- Excellent bird watching
- There is very little wildlife
- No lodges within the park, only a campsite
- Roads are in bad condition
Wildlife densities are low, and animals tend to be skittish because of heavy poaching. Some of the animals you might see are: eland, klipspringer, giraffe, zebra, baboon and Sykes' monkey. Other big game that sometimes passes through from Tsavo West includes elephant, buffalo, lion and leopard. You might see some of their tracks, but you’re unlikely to spot their owner.
The volcanic mountains offer a fascinating mix of volcanic ash cones and barren lava flows. Big black rocks also pay testament to the volcanic origin of the mountains. The lava flows are sparsely vegetated, but the upper slopes are home to 37 species of orchids. Deep beneath the hills is a catacomb of mostly unexplored caves.
Weather & Climate
The weather and climate of Chyulu Hills is comparable to that of Kenya in general. More info:
Best Time to Visit
Chyulu Hills can be visited year-round, but wildlife viewing is usually best in the dry months from June to October and January to February. Visits during the peak of the short rains (November), and especially during the long rains (April and May), might be challenging. The condition of the roads isn’t great, even in the Dry season, although it gets much worse after rain. A sturdy 4x4 is required throughout the year.
Chyulu Hills is usually visited as a side trip from Tsavo West. It is located 232km/144mi from Nairobi and 250km/155mi from Mombasa.
Health & Safety
Please read our vaccinations and malaria page for Kenya, and our general wildlife viewing safety precautions page for more info:
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Chyulu Hills NP Safari Reviews
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Most Helpful Expert Review
Brian is an award winning travel writer, author of safari books and regular contributor to magazines such as BBC Wildlife and Travel Africa.
The volcanic Chyulus are Hemingway’s Green Hills of Africa. With their rolling summits capped by cloud forest they lie in the heart of Masailand midway between Amboseli and Tsavo, with unrivalled views of Mt Kilimanjaro. You could fit the...
Latest User Review
its a like a lord of the rings of kenya