Chyulu Hills National Park


Chyulu Hills National Park was gazetted in 1983. The park is part of the Tsavo conservation area. The area covers Tsavo West National park, Tsavo East National park and the Kibwezi forest. The Park comprises the eastern flank of the hills and is operated by the Kenya Wildlife Service. The hills in this park hold no permanent surface water but rainfall that percolates through the porous rocks providing water to many permanent water sources in the surrounding plains. These hills are of volcanic nature. They range from ash cones, craters as a result of volcanic eruptions which occurred over 240 years ago. Chyulu hills are also a water catchment area for Mzima springs, Tsavo river, and Galana river.


The Temperatures in Chyulu Hills national park ranges from 20-30 c and rainfall from 200mm – 700 mm. This area experiences two rain seasons, long rains in the months of March and April and short rains in the months of  November and December.



The park shelters indigenous vegetation which vary ranging from the forested area in the eastern part of the hills to the ungazetted western part of the Chyulu game conservation area which is owned by several Maasai groups. Different forms of vegetation can be seen dotted along the slopes of the Chyulu hills such as rough grassland and thicket, patches of montane forest as well as large tracts of forest. The dense thickets in Chyulu hills national park are also a water catchment area for wildlife, livestock and the neighboring communities as well as shelter for the different wildlife species in the national park. 



Caves – Chyulu Hills National park is a good place to visit if you like exploring caves. The levithian tube (also known as Kisula caves) is about 11 km long. One of the longest caves in Kenya and also Africa. Best time to visit is during the sunny periods January to March and also as from June to September.

Wildlife – It is like a dark kingdom of stealth and twist where the animals are quite elusive and challenging to encounter but on a good day, amazing sights should grab your attention. 



Wildlife encounters in Chyulu Hills national park include Eastern Black Rhinos, Cape Buffaloes, Bushbucks, Elands,   Elephants, Bushpig, Masai Giraffe, Leopards, Lions, Mountain Reedbucks, Steinbok, Wildebeests and Grant’s Zebras. Various snakes inhabit the hills, like black mamba, puff adder and rock python. There are various bird species on the hills with some endemic races. Bird species include: Francolinus shelleyi, Pogonocichla stellata, Zoothera gurneyi, Bradypterus cinnamomeus, Hieraaetus ayresii, Stephanoaetus coronatus, Polemaetus bellicosus and Cinnyricinclus femoralis.



Activities for tourists to engage in during a visit to Chyulu Hills national parks include the following;

  • Birding watching – It involves sighting different bird species. Bird species range from the endemic species to native species. You can also see forest birds including the Abyssinian crimson wing and terrestrial pigeon. Excellent birding spots include Lake Jipe located at the southwest corner of the park.
  • Game viewing –  Game watching here is best done in the morning. You can see Cheetahs at the plains of the Chyulu hills. During the dry seasons, the wildlife concentrate around swamps and other water sources as they compete for pasture and water with the livestock owned by the local communities. The wet season disperses the wildlife to find water in the outlying plains. 
  • Hiking – Hiking in this park rewards the tourists with volcanic scenery and the beauty of the wild which are one of the youngest ranges in the world. Chyulu hills provides the view of the Mt. Kilimanjaro ranges in the backdrop which is an exciting experience for the hikers.
  • Horse riding – Travelling through the diverse landscape of Chyulu Hills national park on horse back is a unique game viewing experience with a close encounter with wildlife species.
  • Cultural experience –  The communities around Chyulu Hills are mainly farmers and pastoralists. Interacting with the local community which consists of the Maasai will help you understand that they depend upon the land and defends it. The Kamba people are also residents in this area.
  • Bushwalks –  Engage in the walks with different sights for tourists to experience such as green acacia woodlands below. Different plant species can also be sighted among the heavy mists of the Chyulu hills.



Discover the lush beauty of Chyulu Hills N.P, home to two incredible lodges—Kiboko and Kathisayo. For those looking for a more luxurious experience, Campi ya Kazi and Ol Donyo are your perfect choices for true African elegance. Let your eyes be dazzled by the emerald greenery of this wondrous landscape as you explore one of Kenya’s most remarkable backdrops like never before!