Mount Kenya is an extinct volcano which originally rose an estimated 3 million years ago and last erupted an estimated 2.6 million years ago. Mount Kenya National Park was formed in 1949 and in 1978 the site became a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve before finally being named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. It is the highest mountain in Kenya and the second-highest in Africa, after Kilimanjaro, and the three highest peaks, Batian Nelion and Lenana are named after Masai Chiefs.
So, where is it? How high is it? How do you get there? Here is a few Mount Kenya facts for you;
Where is Mount Kenya?
Mount Kenya and the surrounding National Park lies on the equator in the central region of Kenya.
When was Mount Kenya first climbed?
The summit of Batian on Mount Kenya was first summited on the 13th September 1899 by Sir Halford John Mackinder with Cesar Ollier and Josef Brocherel after three failed attempts in the same year. Before the successful expedition the team had experienced numerous problems, including deserting porters, lack of food, theft and even murder.
How high is Mount Kenya?
The highest peak on Mount Kenya is Batian at 5199m, the second highest peak is Nelion which is just 11 metres smaller (5188 m) and both these peaks are technical climbing peaks. Point Lenana is the third highest peak (4985m) and is the second highest trekking peak in Africa.
Can you trek to the summit of Mount Kenya?
At 4,985 metres Point Lenana is an achievable trekking peak for most people and if ascended on the Naro Moru route its currently the world's highest via ferrata, which adds to the challenge and enjoyment. The panoramic views of the volcanic peaks, wide valleys, gorges and surrounding savannah makes a climb on this mountain the perfect African trekking experience.
There are many ways to climb Mount Kenya (including technical climbs on the two higher peaks, Nelion and Batian). Our most popular option is a Naro Moru ascent and Chogoria descent on the Mount Kenya traverse as this gives the best chance to see wildlife and the summit ridge up to Point Lenana from the Austrian Hut is just stunning and a great introduction to mountaineering. The views on the descent are also a highlight looking down towards the gorge, lakes, smaller peaks and immense forest.
The cheapest way to summit is a Mount Kenya trek ascending and descending on the Western side of the mountain, trekking up the Naro Moru route and ascending the Sirimon route. If you're looking for the easier way to the summit then better to go with the Sirimon ascent as that the final camp at Shiptons is much closer to the summit and much easier terrain to the Naro Moru route.