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Chyulu Hills National Park

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Posted by  Admin Thursday, 30 March 2006 09:57

Chyulu Hills National Park

Background Information
The Chyulu Hills are situated 190 km South-East of Nairobi and 30 km South-West of Kibwezi. They are of relatively recent volcanic origin and the range is composed of ash cones and craters.

The hills hold no permanent surface water but rainfall percolating through the porus rock feeds many permanent fresh water sources in the surrounding plains, notably Mzima springs and the Tsavo and Galana rivers.

The hills are relatively undisturbed and shelter indegenous vegetation and wildlife. The park comprises the eastern flank of the hills including about half of the forest area. The park boundary runs down the center of the hills along the line of the peaks. The western half is part of the West Chyulu Game Conservation area, owned by several Masai group ranches.

Climate:
The climate is hot and dry.

HOW TO GET THERE

Roads:
Along Nairobi Mombasa highway, the park sign post is 1km past the Kibwezi turn off. Park gate is 10km off the highway.There is limited road network within the park and a 4 X 4 vehicle with high clearance is highly recommended


MAJOR ATTRACTIONS

Breathtaking views from the chuylu hills,cave exploration,one camp site next to park headquaters

WILDLIFE

Reptiles:
Black Mamba, Puff Adder, Rock Python, Geko, Tortoise, Lizard.

Insects/arthropods:
Dung Beetles, Butterflies, Tsetsefly.

Common Animals:
Buffalo; Bushbuck; Eland; Elephant, African; Leopard; Pig, Forest Bush; reedbuck, mountain; Steinbok.

COMMON VEGETATION

Rough grassland and thicket give way to patches of montane forest along the spine of the hills, mainly above the 1800m contour; the largest tract of forest is around the highest peaks in the central southern portion. Characteristic trees include ficus spp, Neoboutonia macrocalyx, Tabernaemontana stapfinaa, Prunus africana, Strombosia scheffleri, Cassipourea malonsana, Olea capensis and Ilex mitis with islands guarded by Erythrina abyssinica. Lower down there are areas of Juniperus procera forest and, particularly on lava flows, forest dominated by the blue-stemmed Commiphora baluensis. The hills have 37 species of orchids, mostly epiphytes supported by the heavy mists and the rare saprophyte Epipogium roseum. Notable trees are Chionanthus mildbraedii and the most northerly population of Podocarpus usambarensis.

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