+254 735 204 519 info@conquestadventures.co.ke
+254 735 204 519 info@conquestadventures.co.ke

Chyulu Hills

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Chyulu Hills form the northernmost part of Tsavo West, an ecosystem characterized by savannah woodlands, solidified lava flows, and volcanic hills straddling Makueni and Taita Taveta Counties. The narrow arching, 100 km long Chyulu- a chain of small hills and cones, are the world’s newest mountain ranges, the most recent volcanic peak having been formed 500 years ago

Chyulu Hills Birdwatching

The Chyulu Hills are a range of volcanic hills rising to a height of 2188 meters, which disconnect the Kibwezi plains in the northeast from the  Amboseli ecosystem. The bordering foothills are grass-covered stepped lava flows, gently sloping from 1200-1500 meters. A magical land of black frozen lava studded with blazing red-hot poker trees, the Chyulu Hills Park comprises about half of the forest area. Chyulu hills are relatively undisturbed and still shelter indigenous vegetation and wildlife. The narrow twisting, 100-kilometer-long Chyulu- a chain of small hills and cones, is the world’s newest mountain range, the most recent volcanic peak having been formed 500 years ago. The Chyulu Hills is one of the youngest volcanoes; still considered active, the last eruption was in the year 1856. There are lava tubes — circular passages hollowed out by hot molten lava — inside the hills, locally known as the Kisula Caves. The Kisula Caves reflect a natural art gallery, with walls of different colored rocks, gushing layers of sediment, cone-shaped stalactites hanging above, and sections of the rock wall where the lava has cooled off into rope-like shapes. The Hills rise to 2,188 meters and the upper sections are covered by a thick forest where morning dew and moisture-laden clouds water the lush foliage. From a vantage point, you can get fascinating views of the Yatta plateau stretched on the far horizon and the plains of Tsavo East National Park. Elephants use Chyulu Hills as a corridor to munch their way to either Amboseli or Tsavo West National Parks. Rainwater in the Chyulu Hills percolates into underground reservoirs and undergoes natural filtration for years before permeating through subterranean channels. The water merges with networks from Mount Kilimanjaro and feeds into watercourses such as Mzima Springs, some 50km away. Mzima Springs is a flourishing green oasis in the middle of the Tsavo West bushland. The crystal clear water gushes out of lava rocks and into large pools fringed by reeds and raffia palms. The Chyulu hills are the source of water for several springs and rivers that include Mzima, Umani, Kiboko KwaKyai, Masimba Mang’ellete, Kibwezi, and Makindu springs, and Tsavo, Galana, Kibwezi Kiboko, Makindu, Thange, Ngai Ndeithia, Mtito Andei, and Kambu rivers all situated east of the Chyulu Hills.

        Reptiles of Chyulu Hills

A new species of Chameleon- Chyulu Chyulu Hills Blade-horned Chameleon was recently seen after nearly 40 years 

Chyulu Hills Birdwatching

Notable Birds in Chyulu Hills

Chyulu Hills is a remarkable destination for birding tours in Kenya, birding trips in Chyulu can be any time of the year. The  Hills are an important feeding point (when forest trees are in fruit) for Abbott’s Starling an endemic species in East Africa, as they move between forests on Mount Kilimanjaro and the central Kenyan highlands Chyulu Hills hold endemic races of Shelley’s Francolin. The Hills boast of a newfound chameleon called the Chyulu Hills Blade-horned Chameleon(considered extinct). Amazing and beautiful butterflies are encountered too while on the Chyulu Hills birding tour

Birds species in Chyulu Hills; Crested Guineafowl, Moorland Francolin, Shelly’s Francolin, Lemon Dove, African Green Pigeon, Purple-crested Turaco, Eurasian Hobby, African Emerald Cuckoo, Alpine Swift, White-backed Vulture, Brown Snake Eagle, African Crowned Eagle, Ayres’s Hawk-Eagle, Martial  Eagle, Black Eagle, Southern Ground Hornbill, Mustached Tinkerbird, Pallid Honeyguide, Eastern Black-headed Batis, Flappet Lark, Mustached Grass Warbler,  White-eared Barbet, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Stripe-cheeked Greenbul, Mbulu White-eye,  Siffling Cisticola, Long-billed Pipit, Common Buttonquail, Orange Ground Thrush, Abbott’s Starling, White-necked Raven, Peter’s Twinspot, Evergreen Forest Warbler.

eBird Hotspot link