The Central Highlands are the spiritual heartland of Kenya’s largest tribe, the Kikuyu. This is the land the Mau Mau fought for, that the colonists coveted and whose natural, cyclical patterns define the lives of the country’s largest rural population. These highlands form one of the most evocative sections of Africa's Great Rift Valley. It is here that Mt Kenya, Africa's second-highest mountain, rises into the clouds – climbing it is one of the great rites of passage of African travel.
In its shadow lie two of Kenya's most intriguing national parks: rhino- and lion-rich Meru National Park, and Aberdare National Park, home to some of the oldest mountains on the continent. Finally there's Laikipia, fount of so much that's good about modern conservation. It's also the scene for some of the best wildlife watching anywhere in Kenya.