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Mount Kenya Facts - Africa’s Second Highest Mountain

Elevation: 17,057 feet (5,199 meters)

Prominence: 12,549 feet (3,825 meters)

Location: Kenya, Africa.

Coordinates: 0.1512°S / 37.30710°E

First Ascent: Sir Halford John Mackinder, Josef Brocherel, and Cesar Ollier on September 13, 1899.

Mount Kenya: 2nd Highest in Africa

Mount Kenya is the second highest mountain in Africa and the highest mountain in Kenya. Mount Kenya, with an elevation rise of 12,549 feet (3,825 meters, is the 32nd most prominent mountain in the world.

It is also on the Second Seven Summits lists, the second highest mountains on each of the seven continents.

Mount Kenya has several summits, including its three highest peaks—17,057-foot (5,199-meter) Batian, 17,021-foot (5,188-meter) Nelion, and 16,355-foot (4,985-meter) Point Lenana.

Mount Kenya lies 90 miles (150 kilometers) northeast of Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. The mountain is south of the equator.

Mount Kenya is a stratovolcano that arose over 3 million years ago. Its last eruption was between 2.6 and 3 million years ago. The volcano rose as high as 19,700 feet (6,000 meters) before being eroded to its present height. Most of the mountain’s volcanic activity was from its central plug, although satellite craters and plugs indicate active volcanism in nearby areas.

Two extended glacial periods sculpted Mount Kenya.

Moraines indicate that the lowest elevation the glaciers reached was 10,800 feet (3,300 meters). The entire summit was also covered by a thick ice cap. There are currently 11 small but shrinking glaciers on Mount Kenya. Little snow now falls on the mountain so no new ice forms on the glaciers. Climatologists predict that the glaciers will disappear by 2050 unless current temperature and precipitation changes occur.

The Lewis Glacier is the largest on Mount Kenya.

Since Mount Kenya is an equatorial mountain, the day and night are each 12 hours long. Sunrise is usually about 5:30 in the morning and sunset is about 5:30 in the evening. There is only a one minute difference between the shortest day and the longest day.