Mount Kenya is the highest mountain in Kenya and the second-highest in Africa, after Kilimanjaro. The highest peaks of the mountain are Batian, Nelion and Point Lenana. Mount Kenya is located in the former Eastern and Central provinces of Kenya, now Meru, Embu, Laikipia, Kirinyaga, Nyeri and Tharaka Nithi counties, about 90 kilometres north of the equator, around 150 km north-northeast of the capital Nairobi. Mount Kenya is the source of the name of the Republic of Kenya.
Mount Kenya is a volcano created approximately 3 million years after the opening of the East African Rift. Before glaciation, it was 7,000 m high. It was covered by an ice cap for thousands of years. This has resulted in very eroded slopes and numerous valleys radiating from the peak. There are currently 11 small glaciers, which are shrinking rapidly, and may be gone forever by 2050. The forested slopes are an important source of water for much of Kenya.
There are several vegetation bands from the base to the peak. The lower slopes are covered by different types of forest. Many alpine species are endemic to Mount Kenya, such as the giant lobelias and senecios and a local subspecies of rock hyrax.