Visible from vast areas of Kenya’s central heartland, Mount Kenya is the seat of Ngai, God himself. The jagged, glaciated peak, an old volcano, is Africa’s second highest mountain at 17,057 feet—and its hardest to climb. It rises in a crescendo almost a mile above the already lofty lands at its feet, first slowly and elegantly, then in a splendid rocky thrust. Often clear in the mornings, it secludes itself in the afternoons, drawing warm air up from the plains to create huge, expressive clouds that Hemingway said “looked like you could have scooped them up with a spoon.”
This “majestic and tender” mountain, in Hemingway’s words, becomes a talismanic presence for Micato guests on many of our safaris; gazing at it we’re often reminded of Africa’s ability to—as the great Elspeth Huxley wrote—fully sense “a whole world revolv[ing] in balance with itself, more perfect than the finest symphony.”
Kenya is the only country in the world named for a mountain. But the 17,000-foot peak is far more than a symbol, it’s an intimate, familial partner in the lives of the people who live in its regal aura.