150 km east of the Kenyan Rift, dividing the Tsavo and Amboseli plains, stretch the Chyulu hills, formed by several volcanic flows of solidified lava. One of the main sources of inspiration for Hemingway, Chyulu hills are still considered a chain of active volcanoes, since their last eruption ocurred in the end of 19th century. Leviathan cave, the longest lava tube in the world, is located here, in Chyulu hills, and it is indeed one of the most impressive and bizarre geological formations on the planet.
Maasai and Kamba people still live among the Chyulu hills, following the same lifestyle as their ancestors hundreds of years ago: it seems like time froze here for a moment, among the coiled black volcanic slopes and yellow patches of forests.
Lower parts of the hills are predominantly grasslands, and the hilltops are covered with thick forest, inhabited by various species of mammals, reptiles and birds. While hiking in the lowlands you will most likely see rhinos, buffaloes, bushbucks, elephants, zebras, giraffes, lions and bushpigs, whereas a bit further up the hills your wildlife encounters will be with nighttiming leopards, mountain reedbucks and several hundred species of birds, both migratory and endemic. Watch out for black mamba, puff adder and rock python among other reptiles that inhabit the Chyulu forests.
One important plant growing here is khat. This natural stimulant is highly popular among long-distance truck drivers and dedicated students because of its energizing properties. Its cultivation does not require special farming skills and it mostly grows in the wild while local people pick it up in the bundles and sell around the country.