Hiking Mount Kenya
Are you seeking the ultimate challenge? Well begin the journey hiking Mount Kenya; the second highest mountain in Africa. The stunning views and wildlife encounter on the Sirimon / Chogoria route will make your adventure truly epic as you attempt to summit Lenana peak. The team is ready and adventure awaits; you can join a group or undertake the hike solo in the company of our climbing crew.
Mount Kenya is the highest mountain in Kenya. It straddles the equator and the entire mountain contour forms the Mt. Kenya National Park.
Our hiking adventure is crafted for those who are not content to simply enjoy the view of the mountain from the foothills; it’s rather meant for thrill seekers willing to take the challenge of climbing the mountain to the top while enjoying various breathtaking vistas.
Scaling the mountain’s heights is a feat that takes plenty of perseverance and it’s important to undergo acclimatization before climbing the mountain to reduce the risk of altitude sickness.
The team at Kenya epic safaris is involved in every step of the planning, preparation and packing of our expedition. Behind the scenes we take care of all the nighty grities to ensure a smooth ripple effect for the purpose of a successful mount Kenya hiking experience.
Mountain guides & porters
Our mountain guides & porters are highly skilled on mountaineering and more importantly they possess years of experience on hiking mount Kenya. They are highly trained, certified, very knowledgeable and play a key role to a successful climb to the summit. Furthermore you will also enjoy the company of our professional guides & porters as you hike Mount Kenya.
Accommodation on the mountain varies on the route a climber chooses. There are permanently built mountain huts, bandas and designated camping sites managed by the Kenya wildlife service. Our guides have selected various hotels for overnight stays close to the base of the mountain to ensure acclimatization and above all avoid mountain sickness.
Meals & Drinks
As part of our team; we have a dedicated professional cook who prepares excellent, delicious and healthy meals. Our cook will ensure a diverse menu accommodating different tastes and appetites. The menu consists of high protein foods, carbs, vegetables and fruits. Equally important we cater for special dietary requirements with advance notice at no extra charge. You are advised to bring your favorite snacks / energy bars.
You only require bottled water on the first and last day however on the mountain we will boil water or add purifying tablets then filter using MSR water filtering pump before refilling in your water bottles every morning.
Our expeditions normally begin in Nairobi. Travel from the city to the base of the mountain takes three to five hours depending on the hiking route. In addition the number of people, their budget and preference dictates the mode of transport. You can opt for shared shuttles, mini vans or jeeps.
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Six Days Mount Kenya Hiking Sirimon / Chogoria Route. [Itinerary]
Day One: Nairobi – Nanyuki
A representative from Kenya epic safaris will meet you at your hotel or pick you up from the airport and after formalities he or she will hand you over to your assigned mountain guide to facilitate your adventure climbing mount Kenya.
The guide will brief you on what to expect and check if you have the right gear. Shortly afterwards depart Nairobi and travel to Nanyuki town through the country side to the slopes of Mt. Kenya arriving in time for lunch.
An afternoon walk around the town and the equator is worthwhile and helps with acclimatization. Dinner and overnight at a budget hotel.
Day Two: Nanyuki – Old Moses Camp
After an early breakfast depart in the company of the climbing crew. You will be driven to Sirimon Park Gate [2650m] where your guide will assist in park formalities and registration; after this start hiking through the forest which paves way to heather and after climbing for about three hours you will arrive at Old Moses Camp [3300m] for dinner and overnight stay.
[Time: 3 to 4 hours] Covering nine kilometers.
Day Three: Old Moses Camp – Shipton Camp
After a delicious breakfast begin the day’s climb to shimpton camp with packed lunch. Follow the track up hill to a junction and turn left; climb for an hour and at this point you will cross the Ontulili river. Further onwards turn right contouring the moor lands to liki north and proceed uphill to Mackinders valley where there are panoramic views of Tereri and Sendeo peaks, Nanyuki town and the beautiful terrain.
Proceed hiking to Shimpton camp [4200m] for dinner and over night. Shimpton camp also has an excellent setting with the north faces of Nelion peak and Batian peak visible from the camp. Dinner and overnight stay at shipton camp
[Time: 6 to 7 hours] Covering seventeen kilometres.
Day Four: Shipton Camp [Acclimatization Day]
The day is spent acclimatizing and preparing for the summit attempt. We will hike upto Hausburg col [4600m] and later return to the camp for lunch. All meals and overnight stay at Shipton camp [4200m].
Day Five: Shipton Camp – Point Lenana – Chogoria Bandas
Today you will face the most demanding stretch of the trek. Wake up very early at 2:30am and have a light breakfast; coffee or tea with some biscuits, depart camp and start ascending towards Point Lenana [4985m] through a steep stony quarry that cuts through a cliff clearing visible part towards lower Hall Tarns arriving point lenana by sun rise.
Mt. Kilimanjaro Kibo and Mawenzi peaks are visible as the day gets clear from this point. The ascend takes about three hours; after enjoying the view and taking some photos / selfies of your victory of summiting Mount Kenya begin descending to Mintos hut [4300m] where your full breakfast will be served.
Not long after descend further down to the bandas. we follow the backbone of a ridge, overlooking the spectacular Gorges Valley. Loosing elevation fast you leave the high moorlands and enter into the forest belt that surrounds Mount Kenya arriving Chogoria bandas [3000m] for dinner and overnight stay.
[Time: 12 hours] Covering twenty four kilometres.
Day Six: Chogoria Bandas – Nairobi
The home stretch is here, after a scrumtious breakfast descend down through thick bamboo and rainforest untill the forest clears. Transfer to chogoria town using a 4×4 jeep for lunch and later travel back to Nairobi arriving late afternoon. Drop off at a hotel in Nairobi or the airport where your adventure hiking mount Kenya ends.
[Time: 2 to 3 hours] Covering ten kilometres.
End of services.
- Transport to and from the base of the mountain.
- Park entrance fees.
- Accommodation in mountain huts / bandas / Camps.
- Meals as described in the itinerary.
- Services of a mountain guide, porters & a cook.
- Rescue fee.
- H.F Radio communication for backup in case of an emergency.
- All government taxes.
- International airfares.
- Climbing equipments.
- All expenditure of personal nature such as telephone calls, hard drinks, soft drinks and laundry.
- Travel Insurance.
Mt. Kenya Accommodation
Judmaier Camp which is also known as Old Moses Camp is built at an altitude of 3300 meters on Mount Kenya. At the Old Moses you have the option of sleeping in dormitory like bunkers or camping in the spacious grounds surrounding it.
The hut has a kitchen and dining area plus a clean and well maintained bathroom. Old Moses Mountain Hut is where most hikers spend their first night of the trek.
The Shiptons Camp is located at an altitude of 4200m just below the main peaks of Mount Kenya.
Here you can sleep in bunkers within the mountain hut and it is used by most hikers on their final day before summiting Pt. Lenana. The hut has a kitchen and dining area plus a clean and well maintained bathroom.
Chogoria bandas are located on Mount Kenya at an elevation of 3000m. The accommodation is basic with dormitory-style huts. Each hut (banda) provides beds with clean sheets, blankets and towels.
Most climbers spend the first night at chogoria bandas while hiking on the Chogoria route.
Mount Kenya Hiking Routes
The Sirimon route approaches Mount Kenya from the north-west. The path splits on the moorlands, with the more frequently used fork following the Mackinder Valley and the quieter route traversing into the Liki North Valley.
The paths rejoin at Shipton’s Cave just below Shipton’s Camp on the Peak Circuit Path.
The Chogoria route starts from Chogoria town up to the peak circuit path. It heads through the forest to the south-east of the mountain to the moorland, with views over areas such as Ithanguni and the Giant’s Billiards Table before following the Gorges Valley past the Temple and up to Simba Col below Point Lenana.
The Mountain Club of Kenya claims that Ithanguni and the Giant’s Billards Table offer some of the best mountain trekking in Kenya.
Mount Kenya National Park
Mount Kenya is the second highest mountain in Africa after Mount Kilimanjaro. The mountain is located 175 km north east of Nairobi in central and eastern province of Kenya. The mountain is surrounded by a forest reserve and together they make up the Mount Kenya National Park which was gazetted in the year 1949 and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Mount Kenya is the source of the name of the Republic of Kenya.
Mount Kenya stands at 5199 meters [17,057 ft] and the park covers an area of 750km2. Mount Kenya was once a volcano created 3 million years ago. It is estimated to have been 23,000 ft tall but has since eroded to 17,000 ft. Glaciation has coursed erosion of the slopes creating glaciers [small lakes]. The lower slopes of the mountain have been glaciated and are now cultivated or forested, they are distinguished by V shaped valleys.
Mount Kenya Zones
The higher part of the mountain which is now moorland is distinguished by U shaped valleys. There are about 11 small glacier on the mountain. Mount Kenya has three major peaks namely Batian at 5199 meters, Nelion at 5188 meters and Lenana at 4,985 meters. Batian and Nelion are only 250 meters apart separated by the “Gates of Mist”.
Mount Kenya is one of the five most significant water towers in Kenya that the country depends on for her water supply. It provides water for about 50% of the country’s population and produces 70% of Kenya’s hydroelectric power. There are two major rivers that originate from this water catchment namely Tana River and Ewaso Ng’iro River. Mount Kenya has different zones depending on the altitude.
Mount Kenya Vegatation
The base of the mountain is characterized by fertile farmland, followed by montane forest. Above the forest is a belt of bamboo. This zone is almost continuous, but is restricted to small isolated bunches in the north because of low rainfall. Above the bamboo is the timberline forest. The trees here are often smaller than the trees in the forests lower down the mountain. At around 3000m the vegetation turns to heath land and chaparral which paves way for Afro-alpine zone which begins at 3500m, the air here is drier and thinner.
Many of the species here are endemic, with adaptations to the cold and fluctuating temperatures. Typical plants here include giant groundsels [senecios] and giant lobelias. At 4500m we have the nival zone which is characterized by an area that has minimal or no vegetation whatsoever and has been glaciated.
There are eight walking routes up to the main peaks. Starting clockwise from the north these are the: Meru, Chogoria, Kamweti, Naro Moru, Burguret, Sirimon and Timau Routes. Chogoria, Naro Moru and Sirimon are the most frequently used.
Climbing / Hiking Gear & Equipments
- Walking trousers synthetic material is recommended.
- Long Underwear Tops – Light synthetic.
- Women’s sports bras Synthetic material.
- Light fleece with a warm layer.
- Long sleeve polypropylene shirt.
- Medium weight polypropylene/thermal leggings.
- Wind – waterproof – breathable jacket.
- Gloves- light weight.
- Warm Hat or Balaclava Sun hat – wool or synthetic.
- Face mask or neck gaiter.
- Medium or large duffel bag to pack your town clothes with a lock, this can be left at the hotel or we can store them for you.
- Medium duffel bag to pack your hiking stuff with a lock. [ The porter will carry this bag. ]
- A day pack to store your essentials with a capacity of about 25 to 35 liters is recommended.
- Walking/hiking shoes – comfortable and waterproof.
- Socks – Fitting socks one thick and one thin pair.
- Head lamp with extra batteries & bulbs.
- Adjustable trekking poles.
- Sleeping bag – Rated 3 – season.
- Gaiters – make sure they will fit over boots.
- Purification tablets or filters – water for drinking is fetched from mountain streams.
- Water bottle preferably one litre.
- Female or male hygiene supplies.
- Hand wipes and camp towel.
- Personal toiletry kit.
- Lip balm.
- Sun glasses.
- Camera & extra battries.
- Passport, flight ticket, travel insurance, visa, cash & credit card.
- Basecamp entertainment i.e books, board games, playing cards or ipod.
- Favorite Snacks, candy bars or protein bars.
- Do not Litter the park.
- Do not feed the animals, i.e. monkeys or baboons.
- Do give the animals the right of way and do not disturb wildlife.
- Do not take any plant or animals remains, dead or alive.
- Do not start fires or throw cigarettes in the parks/reserve.
- Do stay in your vehicle except at designated viewing points.
- Do not shout, laugh loudly, honk or play loud music as this will keep away the animals.
- Do not provoke any animals; it’s dangerous.
Kindly don’t forget your patience, have an open mind, positive and relaxed attitude as things in this part of the world may be very different to what you are accustomed to but in the end the experience is price less and will always be memorable.