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Chyulu Hills are located in Chyulu Hills National Park, Makueni County in South-West Kenya, and lies between the Tsavo and Amboseli ecosystems. Chyulu Hills is about 30 km southwest of Kibwezi and approximately 190 km southeast of Nairobi.
Chyulu Hills National Park is a 4-hour drive from Nairobi and was featured in the famous movie “Out of Africa” as a substitute for the Ngong Hills. The Chyulu Hills are home to a wide variety of wildlife, which normally wanders in from neighboring Amboseli.
All of the classic “big five” animals can be found here: lions, leopards, elephants, buffalo, and rhinos. Viewing herds of Eland is a common event. As are sightings of giraffe, zebra, baboons, Skye’s forest, and wildebeest.
It also boasts an abundance of different birdlife such as African green pigeon, purple crested coucal, Klaas Cuckoo, Eurasian nightjar, alpine swift, black crake, crowned lapwing, gray heron, great egret, African harrier hawk, white-backed vulture, brown snake eagle and many more.
Chyulu Hills Hiking & Kisula Caves 1 Day Tour begins and ends in Nairobi. The start point of the hike is at the Chyulu Hills National Park Satellite campsite located just below the satellite dishes atop one of the hills and offers a stunning view of the hills around as well as the plains below the hills. The hiking trip also ends at the Satellite.
During the trip, we will explore the amazing Kisula caves, and the rolling Chyulu hills, enjoy a mild hike, and watch wildlife & birds hoping to get the splendid vista of Mount Kilimanjaro.
We drive up 35 km into the Chyulu Hills National Park to “Satellite” point, once a training base for the British Army. In this dry campsite location at an altitude of 1900m, remnants of structures built by the British army, including telecommunication masts on the adjacent hill and storage tanks, are still evident on the site.
Rising to an altitude of 2188 meters at its highest, Chyulu Hills Mountain Range range spans over 100km from one end to the other, we are spoilt for a choice of directions to go wandering, hills to climb, and views to behold.
The hills are steep, dusty, and quite challenging to hike. Acacia trees are predominant with wetter species deeper into the hills, where there tends to be more rain. To the south, you get incredible views of the plains, and 70 km away mount Kilimanjaro looms over the whole area. In the south of the range is the Leviathan Cave, one of the world’s longest lava tubes.
The walking duration is variable and also described as an easy to moderate climb.
Chyulu Hills Hiking & Kisula Caves 1 Day Tour Itinerary at a Glance
0400 Hours: Depart Nairobi for Chyulu Hills heading down Mombasa Road to turn off at Kibwezi into Chyulu. Tucked away between Tsavo West National Park and Amboseli National Park, Chyulu Hills National Park boasts striking and diverse landscapes. Chyulu Hills is located 232 km/ 144 miles from Nairobi.
0800 Hours: Arrive at Chyulu National Park gate. After then proceed by road driving for about 30 minutes to Kisula Caves located 16 km away. Numerous lava tube caves, collectively known by the local community as Kisula Caves, criss-cross the depths of the Chyulu Hills.
0900 Hours: We explores only the first section which is 2 km long, the Upper Leviathan Cave, by the Cave Exploration Group of East Africa established it as one of the world’s longest caves with a maximum length of 11.15 km, divided into two segments of 9.15 km and 2.0 km.
These caves have put Chyulu Hills on the world map, attracting visitors from all over the world coming to explore them and hike through the stunning landscape with views of the majestic Mt Kilimanjaro in the distance. Staircases have been constructed at some of the openings into the caves making them easily accessible.
1000 Hours: After exploring the caves for about an hour we then drive for about an hour to “Satellite”, once a training base for the British Army and ideal basecamps for hiking on Chyulu Hills. This dry campsite location is at an altitude of 1900m.
1100 Hours: You will begin the hike. While there are no set hiking trails on Chyulu Hills, you’ll find numerous animal trails crisscrossing the open undulating landscape, providing convenient routes to take as you explore this wide-open wilderness.
With the whole of the Chyulu Hills Mountain Range spanning over 100km from one end to the other, you’ll be spoilt for a choice of directions to go wandering, hills to climb, and views to behold. Instead of dramatic cliff drops and deep valleys, you’ll find gently rolling hills, groves of trees at the intersections between hills, and fantastic views all around.
You’ll find curious natural phenomena like hills divided into two halves, one covered with grass and the other a forest, presumably as a result of winds not blowing bush fires to every corner of the hill. Spectacular views of Kilimanjaro and the Amboseli plains await us.
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’ monkeys.
Other big wildlife that sometimes passes through from Tsavo West includes elephants, buffalo, lions, and leopards. You might see some of their tracks, but you’re unlikely to spot their owner.
An interesting feature of the Chyulu Hills is that it has no surface rivers, yet it’s the water catchment area for the surrounding plains. Its porous surface acts like a sponge, with all rainwater percolating into underground reservoirs, only to emerge about 50km due south at Mzima Springs in Tsavo West.
It is estimated that the water takes 25 years to flow underground from the Chyulu Hills to Mzima Springs. Another oasis at the foot of the Chyulu Hills also benefitting from this catchment is Umani Springs, the lifespring of the lush 18,000-acre Kibwezi Forest to the North East of the mountains.
1400 Hours: Enjoy a picnic lunch then continue with site seeing, and watching wildlife and birds as you hike back to the Satellite camp and drive to the Chyulu Hills Park Headquarters.
1630 Hours: Depart Chyulu Hills Park Headquarters by road for Nairobi.
2100 Hours: Arrive back in Nairobi and drop you off at your residence.
Chyulu Hills Hiking & Kisula Caves 1 Day Tour Prices
Chyulu Hills Hiking & Kisula Caves 1 Day Tour Prices
Transport From Nairobi and back In a spacious tour vehicle/ Landcruiser + Lunch box + Bottled Water + All Park Entry Fees + Armed Kenya Wildlife Service Game Ranger + Professional tour driver-guide
|Dates To||Adult Rate Per Person||
1st Jan 2022
|31st Dec 2022||US Dollars||
What To Carry:
* Walking Stick
* Warm Jacket or Fleece
* Rain Gear -in case it rains
* Drinks and Refreshments
* Sunhat/ sunscreen/Sunglasses
* Tips for the Ranger and driver-guide
* Camera, Identification card/ Passport
* Day Pack /Small Bag to carry your personal items
* Hiking Pants and Long sleeved top/ light jacket recommended
* Comfortable hiking boots with good grip/ Trail Running Shoes
Chyulu Hills Hiking & Kisula Caves 1 Day Tour Package Exclude:
* En route Lunch
* Travel and Medical Insurance Expenses