Mount Kulal Biosphere Reserve is a protected area located in northern Kenya, covering an area of about 622 square kilometers. It was designated as a biosphere reserve by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2018, in recognition of its unique natural and cultural values.

The reserve is characterized by its rugged and mountainous terrain, with the highest peak, Mount Kulal, standing at an elevation of 2,285 meters above sea level. The mountain is home to a number of endemic plant and animal species, including the Kulal Bush baby, which is found only in this region.

The reserve is also home to several communities, including the Samburu and Rendille people, who have lived in the area for centuries and have a rich cultural heritage. They rely on the natural resources of the reserve for their livelihoods, and their traditional knowledge and practices have contributed to the conservation of the area.

The Mount Kulal Biosphere Reserve is an important conservation area, providing habitat for a range of wildlife, including elephants, giraffes, lions, and various bird species. It is also a source of water for nearby communities, and plays a critical role in regulating local climate patterns.

The designation of Mount Kulal as a biosphere reserve recognizes its ecological, economic, and cultural value, and highlights the importance of sustainable development and conservation efforts in the region.

Here are some of the main attractions of Mount Kulal:

Spectacular Views

Mount Kulal offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape, including the surrounding hills and valleys, as well as the distant mountains. The reserve is named after the impressive Mount Kulal, which stands at over 2,000 meters high. From the top, you can take in breath taking panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, which includes desert plains, hills, and valleys.

The reserve is home to several waterfalls, including the Gurrara Falls and the Ngare Ndare Falls. These cascading waterfalls are set against a backdrop of lush greenery, and the sound of the water is incredibly soothing.

The Mount Kulal Biosphere Reserve is home to a variety of wildlife, including elephants, zebras, giraffes, and antelopes. You can observe these animals in their natural habitats as they roam freely through the reserve.


Mount Kulal is home to a range of wildlife, including elephants, leopards, hyenas, baboons, and a variety of bird species. The reserve is home to a wide variety of wildlife species, including some that are rare or endangered.

One of the most prominent wildlife species found in Mount Kulal Biosphere Reserve is the Grevy’s zebra. This large, distinctive zebra is native to the Horn of Africa and is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The reserve is one of the few places where this species can be found in the wild.

Other notable wildlife species found in Mount Kulal Biosphere Reserve include the gerenuk, a long-necked antelope that is endemic to East Africa; the African wild dog, which is also known as the painted dog and is a highly social and endangered carnivore; and the lesser kudu, a forest antelope that is also listed as vulnerable by the IUCN.

The reserve is also home to a variety of bird species, including several species of eagles, vultures, and owls. In addition, the reserve’s rivers and streams support a diverse range of fish and other aquatic species.

It is important to note that the wildlife in Mount Kulal Biosphere Reserve, like many other protected areas, faces threats from human activities such as poaching, habitat destruction, and climate change. Conservation efforts are crucial to ensuring the survival of these species and their habitats.


The mountain has several waterfalls, which are a popular attraction for visitors. Some of the waterfalls require a bit of hiking to reach, but the effort is worth it for the spectacular views and the chance to swim in the cool, refreshing waters. Although the reserve is mostly arid and characterized by vast plains and rocky terrain, there are several waterfalls that can be found within its borders. Here are some of the waterfalls that can be found in Mount Kulal Biosphere Reserve:

Kulal Waterfall – This waterfall is located in the Kulal Mountain Range, which is part of the biosphere reserve. The waterfall is about 15 meters high and flows into a small stream that feeds into the Ewaso Nyiro River.

Ewaso Narok Waterfall – This waterfall is located near the Ewaso Narok Swamp, which is an important wetland in the Mount Kulal Biosphere Reserve. The waterfall is about 5 meters high and flows into a small pool that is surrounded by lush vegetation.

These waterfalls are not only a stunning natural feature of Mount Kulal Biosphere Reserve, but also provide important habitat for a variety of plant and animal species. Visitors to the reserve can enjoy hiking and swimming in the natural pools formed by the waterfalls, while also appreciating the unique ecology of the area.

Rock Art in Mount Kulal Biosphere Reserve

The area around Mount Kulal is rich in rock art, with many examples of ancient art and engravings found in the surrounding hills.

Mount Kulal, located in northern Kenya, is known for its rich rock art heritage. The rock art in Mount Kulal dates back thousands of years and provides a glimpse into the lives and cultures of the people who lived in the area during prehistoric times.

The rock art in Mount Kulal includes a variety of images, including depictions of people, animals, and geometric patterns. The images were created using a variety of techniques, including painting, engraving, and pecking.

One of the most notable features of the rock art in Mount Kulal is the presence of pastoral scenes. These scenes depict people tending to their livestock, hunting, and engaging in other activities related to their pastoral lifestyle. The images also include depictions of wild animals, such as elephants, giraffes, and lions, which would have been a common sight in the region during the time the art was created.

Mount Kulal Biosphere Reserve
Mount Kulal Biosphere Reserve

The rock art in Mount Kulal is believed to have been created by a variety of groups, including the Samburu, Rendille, and Borana peoples. The art is an important cultural and historical resource, providing insight into the lives and beliefs of these communities.

In recent years, efforts have been made to preserve the rock art in Mount Kulal. The art is vulnerable to damage from weathering, erosion, and human activity, and conservation measures are necessary to ensure its survival for future generations to enjoy and learn from.

Hiking and Trekking

Mount Kulal offers a range of hiking and trekking opportunities, from gentle walks to more challenging hikes that take you to the top of the mountain. Here are some hiking and trekking options in the reserve:

Mount Kulal Summit: Mount Kulal is the highest peak in the reserve, and reaching its summit is a challenging but rewarding experience. The trail to the summit is steep and rocky, but the views from the top are spectacular, with panoramic vistas of the surrounding landscape.

Waterfall Trail: This trail takes hikers through a scenic valley with several waterfalls along the way. The trail is relatively easy, and the waterfalls offer a refreshing break from the heat of the day.

Desert Trek: The Mount Kulal Biosphere Reserve is located in a semi-arid region, and a desert trek is a great way to experience the unique landscapes of the area. The trek takes hikers through sand dunes, rocky outcroppings, and dry riverbeds, providing a glimpse into the harsh but beautiful environment of northern Kenya.

Camel Trek: For a truly unique hiking experience, visitors can explore the reserve on camelback. Camels are well-suited to the rugged terrain and can carry supplies and equipment, allowing visitors to cover greater distances than on foot. A camel trek also provides a glimpse into the traditional way of life in northern Kenya, where camels have been an important part of daily life for centuries.

Night Hike: The reserve is home to a wide range of nocturnal animals, including leopards, hyenas, and jackals. A guided night hike provides a unique opportunity to experience the reserve after dark, with the chance to spot some of the area’s elusive wildlife.

Mount Kulal Biosphere Reserve offers a range of hiking and trekking options for visitors of all experience levels, with the chance to explore some of Kenya’s most beautiful and unique wilderness areas.

Cultural Experiences

 Visitors to Mount Kulal can also experience the local culture and customs of the Samburu people who live in the area. They can enjoy traditional music, dance, and food, as well as learn about the traditional way of life in the region. The Mount Kulal Biosphere Reserve is a unique and important conservation area located in northern Kenya. This region is home to a diverse range of indigenous cultures, each with their own unique traditions, customs, and practices. Here are some cultural experiences that visitors to the Mount Kulal Biosphere Reserve can enjoy:

Visit the Samburu people: The Samburu are a semi-nomadic ethnic group that inhabit the area around the Mount Kulal Biosphere Reserve. They have a rich culture, including unique clothing, dance, and music. Visitors can learn about Samburu life by visiting their villages, watching traditional dances and music performances, and sampling their traditional cuisine.

Explore the traditional architecture: The indigenous people of the Mount Kulal Biosphere Reserve have developed unique architecture that reflects their culture and environment. Visitors can explore the traditional huts, known as manyattas, and learn about the building materials, construction techniques, and cultural significance of these structures.

Participate in a camel safari: Camels are an integral part of life in northern Kenya, and visitors can experience the region’s unique landscape by participating in a camel safari. Camel safaris can be customized to suit different interests and timeframes, from short rides to multi-day treks.

Learn about traditional medicine: Many of the indigenous cultures in the Mount Kulal Biosphere Reserve have a rich tradition of herbal medicine. Visitors can learn about the different medicinal plants, their uses, and how they are prepared and administered.

Attend a cultural festival: Throughout the year, there are a number of cultural festivals and events that take place in the Mount Kulal Biosphere Reserve. These provide visitors with an opportunity to experience the unique music, dance, and cuisine of the region, as well as to interact with local people and learn more about their culture.

Mount Kulal Biosphere Reserve offers a range of cultural experiences that visitors can enjoy, providing a unique opportunity to learn about the region’s diverse indigenous cultures and traditions. It is also a  great destination for those who love nature, adventure, and cultural experiences.

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