Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park is dominated by a mountain that is heavily forested, known to the indigenous Kikuyu as “The Mountain of the Buffalo” and to the Maasai as “The Big Mountain.” Even the drive to Ol Donyo Sabuk is picturesque, providing 360-degree vistas of the Athi River, Thika’s pineapple farms, and Mount Kenya and Mount Kilimanjaro’s peaks. The national park is the perfect place for vacations and camping weekends due to its rich greenery and mild climate.

History of Ol Donyo Sabuk national park

The Maasai pastoralists gave Ol Donyo Sabuk its name, which means “Great Mountain.” The park, which has a beautiful, unobstructed view of Nairobi and other lowland places, was built in 1967. Lord William was the first person to decide on the national park.

The area is a multiethnic community of farms owned by people who were once squatters or agricultural laborers. The mountain’s summit is located inside a game park, but the remaining land is partially held by a family by the name of Kenyatta. In the park, visitors may see buffalo, colobus monkeys, baboons, bushbuck, impala duiker, and a variety of birds.

Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park
Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park

Location of Ol Donyo Sabuk national park

Ol Donyo Sabuk is a mountain next to a tiny settlement close to Thika, Kenya. The peak rises 2,145 meters above sea level. The settlement is located 18.5 kilometers east-southeast of Thika in the Kyanzavi Division of Machakos County. Near the summit lies the tomb of Lord Macmillan, his wife, and their dog, as well as the grave of Louise, who began working for Lord Macmillan when she was just 13 years old. In this region, nighttime parties are common.

The Best Time to visit Ol Donyo Sabuk national park

The park has a hot and dry climate. Rain only occurs for a short period of time. The driest period lasts from January through March. While it’s hot and humid from April to June, it’s mild and dry from July to October. It’s warm and rainy throughout November and December. The dry season is more convenient for activities like hiking, nature hikes, and mountain climbing. However, the sun shines and the birds stay in the park during the rainy season.

Wildlife in Ol Donyo Sabuk national park


One of the attractions of the park is the opportunity to get up close and personal with the animals, whether on game drives, walking safaris, or hikes. It is therefore more advantageous and secure to stroll with a guide. You will undoubtedly appreciate seeing wildlife in the wild, including olive baboons, duiker, mongooses, Sykes monkeys, leopards, bushbucks, bush babies, porcupines, waterbucks, Kirk’s dik dik, bush pigs, Aardvarks, rock hyraxes, tree and ground squirrels, buffaloes, and impala, among other animals.


45 different bird species can be seen in the park during the day. You will have a lot to view because additional birds join the group during the wet season. Observe, among other things, the bronze sunbird, ring-necked dove, helmeted guinea fowl, white-breasted sparrow weaver, augur buzzard, mourning dove, purple-breasted sunbird, grey-headed sparrow weaver, African hawk eagle, speckled mouse bird, yellow-vented bulbul, African pied wagtail, great sparrow hawk, grey tit, starling etc.

Tourist Attractions: things to see at Ol Donyo Sabuk national park

Tourist attractions at Ol Donyo Sabuk national park includes the following:

  • Montage landscape
  • An unusual burial site, McMillan’s grave.
  • Wildlife Watching
  • There are numerous forest birds.
  • Fourteen Falls.
  • Scenic views of Mt. Kenya from the summit.

 Tourist activities: Things to do in Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park

There are so many things to do in your safari tour to Ol Donyo Sabuk national park.  The following are the most intriguing.


Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park
Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park

It is one of the park’s most popular safari activity and attractions. The distance to the summit is 10 kilometers, although depending on one’s fitness level, it can be reached in 2 or 3 hours.

A game drive

Take a game drive to look for local wildlife. Look for wildlife in the short grass, near water, and on their preferred grounds. The most frequent sightings are of buffalo.

Bird watching

This activity is magnificent because it rarely happens that one may occasionally view a large number of birds of various species. You will have access to birds in Kenya and the neighboring areas since you will be able to observe the rarest species so clearly, especially with binoculars.

 Walking Safaris

Embrace the environment and wildlife to the utmost. You can occasionally get to places that a safari vehicle can’t go to and take in the sights. You may enjoy the rivers, explore the forest, and stroll along the foothills of the mountains.

Camping safaris

There is a large area for camping, so all you will need is your gear and your family or friends will have a great time. You will delight in seeing the sun rise and set and never forget the sights and sounds of the local fauna.


The park is a great location for a picnic. Even the nearby locations that you will have the chance to explore, such as the Fourteen Falls, are fantastic.

Getting there

85 kilometers northeast of Nairobi by road. Continue 22 kilometers (km) along the main Garissa route from Thika town to the Makutano intersection. Follow the KWS sign at Makutano and turn right to travel 3 kilometers on an all-weather murram road to Donyo town. Turn right at Donyo and continue for another 2 kilometers to the main gate.

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