Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park

The Park was gazetted in 1967 and its name ‘’Ol Donyo Sabuk’’ means large mountain. The Park is a common one-day trip out of Kenya’s capital city (Nairobi) since it is situated only 65 kilometers away from Nairobi.

The Park has an excellent and clear view of Nairobi and other lowland areas. The mountain (Mt. Ol Donyo) is the highest peak in the park covering 20.7 square kilometers.

It is particularly attractive for hikers or families in need of some freedom and exercise. One approach to the park is via the Fourteen Falls on the Athi River.

The major park’s attraction is its beauty and views of both of Africa’s highest mountains; Mountain Kilimanjaro and Mountain Kenya, first and second respectively.

The word ‘’Sabuk’’ was mistakenly thought by many writers to mean “buffalo” whereas in fact the Maasai people locally call a buffalo as Olosowan.

Today the Park resides almost 250 buffalos and other residents include; Impalas, duikers, baboons, Colobus monkeys, bushbucks, and many bird species.

The solitary mountain rises to 2,145 meters (7,037 ft) from an otherwise flat area and the steep ascent requires a 4Wheel-Drive (4×4) vehicle which can be provided to you by your tour agency such as ECO TOURS KENYA.

Near the summit of the mountain, there lie the graves of Sir William Northrup McMillan and his wife Lady Lucie. The rest of the Park is also partially owned by the Kenyatta family. Kenyatta was Kenya’s first president and he led Kenya to her independence.

The Fourteen Falls area is also resided and equipped with a picnic site having historical and religious importance both to the residents and Asian immigrants.

The Asians use the site for recreation and spiritual rites, disposing of cremated ash in the river in the belief that it will go all the way to India through the Indian Ocean, hence acting as a shrine.

Others come for recreation retaining the Happy Valley theme that was first introduced by Lord McMillan. Like Lord McMillan, the adjacent community some of whom are descendants of the people the adventurer brought here, still farm the land.

Ol Donyo Sabuk Mountain which is resided in the Park its peak has a height of 2,145 meters (7,037 ft) and it was named by Maasai pastoralists meaning big mountain.

The Mountain has another Kikamba name (Kiima kya mboo) which means Buffalo Hill or Mountain. Buffalo is called Nyati or “Mboo” in Swahili. Lord William Northrup McMillan was the first white man to settle here.

The town to which the mountain is found (Donyo Sabuk town) is quite dusty due to deforestation and a loose ground cover compounded by occasional rainfall.

Besides its being dusty and with a loose ground cover, the area is adorned with lots of untamed beauty which amazes the Park’s annual visitors.

However, the Park/mountain is located about 18.5 km southeast of Thika town along the Thika-Garissa road and on your way driving to the Park on Garissa Road from Thika town, there are pineapple plantations on both sides, accentuated by little pockets of blooming eucalyptus.

About 18 kilometers east of Thika, there is a junction going south with Kenya Wildlife Service markings of which it will be a 3-kilometer drive from here to the famous Fourteen Falls which are described as one of Kenya’s most spectacular landmarks.

Donyo Sabuk town is a kilometer (half-mile) away from Fourteen Falls, just across the Athi River, with a junction leading to the game park and the other to the great house of Donyo Sabuk.

Every tourist will most enjoy his or her safari well he or she sleeps comfortably of which the Park consists of various good and comfortable accommodations such as; Fourteen Falls lodge, Eton hotel, Blue Post hotel, Manyika house, Job-camp house, Scenic view hotel and resort, and many others.