Ol Donyo Sabuk means “the big mountain” and refers to a large extinct volcano – 2147 metres asl – in Kenya, not far from Nairobi and from another important town, also called Donyo Sabuk. The National Park that includes the mountain in its territory was established in 1967. This area became important in the early 20th century as a rich American man, William McMillan, bought large part of the land starting agricultural farms and the building of a new town.
Also thanks to McMillan and his wide Lucie, who protected this region long before the government did, now you can visit such a lovely National Park. The McMillans are both buried in a simple grave, very close to the highest peak of Mount Ol Donyo Sabuk. This is almost a “sacred” area all guides will show you with pride and affection. Besides that, there are many beautiful scenes to see in this park.
Ol Donyo Sabuk, land of monkeys
Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park rises just 85 km away from Nairobi. It surrounds completely the mountain of the same name and consist in a part of lowlands and the body of the volcano itself. Safaris at this Park will introduce you to the magic world of many funny monkeys and baboons. There are few ferocious animals (lions, leopards, cheetahs…) and mostly buffalos, impalas and birds. Over 40 species of birds have their habitat in this beautiful region, in fact.
What to see at Ol Donyo Sabuk
Monkeys and birds are the animals to admire, here. There are many safaris that allow tourists to get close to the monkeys environment or let people practice birdwatching. Panoramic views are the other stunning attraction of the Park. If you climb to the top of Mount Ol Donyo Sabuk you will have half Kenya at your feet, including the view over Mount Kenya and Mount Kilimanjaro. The ascent is very hard and requires “good shoes” but also a 4×4 jeep car!
Something you cannot miss, while traveling across the National Park, is the Fourteen Falls. They are also called “the Niagara of Kenya” because of the shape and size of this incredible group of waterfalls. Also worth the visit: the grave of the Mc Millans, the McMillans Castle – a colonial house made of stone.
Information about the Park
If you want to visit this Park you can stay both at Nairobi or at one of the many hotels in Donyo Sabuk town. This town is very famous in Kenya because it has a lively night life and is the capital of music. Many rock and pop bands started their career over there. You could meet some of the local “stars”, maybe sleeping in the hotel room next to yours!
It would take less than one hour to reach Ol Donyo Sabuk Park from Nairobi, if the streets were in good conditions. Actually it takes almost two hours, so you have to plan a one-day trip for this visit. In order to get there, from Nairobi, drive along the Garissa-Makutano Road for 22 km, then follow the signs to Donyo Sabuk town. There you will get the indication to the National Park. The reference airports are those of Nairobi.