Mount KenyaChogoria Route
Mount Kenya Chogoria Route
Climb Mount Kenya by the spectacular Chogoria Route and enjoy the bamboo and hardwood forests on the lower slopes, and the huge rock formations of the Gorges Valley and the Temple as well as Lake Ellis, Lake Michaelson and the Hall Tarns on the higher slopes. The Chogoria route is a fantastically mixed and photogenic trek which mixes wilderness camping with your first night on Mount Kenya at Meru Banda's, where a variety of wildlife comes out to graze at dusk and dawn and before summiting, a night sleeping high at the Austrian Hut, alongside the Lewis Glacier.
The itinerary is based on starting and finishing the journey in Embu but all our Mount Kenya climbs have lots of optional extras if needed, including private transport from Nairobi, accommodation arranged in Nairobi or Embu, extra nights on the mountain, tailor made safari's or visits to our Moving Mountains projects on the lower slopes of Mount Kenya or even the opportunity to sponsor a Moving Mountains Kenya beneficiary to join you on the climb.
Traditionally teams on Mount Kenya are small and the advertised price is based on a minimum of 2 pax. Where we have individuals looking to join a climb we'll do our best to team you up with like-minded people but the ideal option is to join as a pair or more, this ensures that we can run the climb at the advertised prices on either the advertised dates or a custom date that suits.
Mount Kenya is a huge extinct volcano in the Kenyan highlands, formed by the tectonic disturbance of the Great Rift Valley fault. Over millions of years the volcano was eroded and denuded by glaciers, ice caps and weather. It now has a very broad dome, cut through by valleys and ridges and capped by spectacular rock spires at its summit. At over 5000m, the peaks still house 11 permanent glaciers and an environment and eco-system of strange and unique giant flora for which it is famous, read more about the type of terrain you'll encounter on a Mount Kenya trek and the level of fitness required in the 'More Information' section under 'Mount Kenya terrain and fitness'.
Mount Kenya also has very important cultural importance to the local tribes who traditionally viewed it as the meeting place and throne of their gods. For the country at large, it is actually the mountain that gave the nation of Kenya its name and it holds a significant place in Kenyan identity. To successfully summit Mount Kenya you'll need kit which keeps you warm, dry, protected from the sun/rain and comfortable in the various environments that you'll find yourself in on the way to the summit. There is a detailed list via the 'More Information' menu under 'Mount Kenya trek kit list'.
Mount Kenya Chogoria route itinerary
The following is our preferred itinerary to give a good overview of the Chogoria route in general and also to promote good acclimitisation to give you an excellent chance of summiting safely. This itinerary is what the quoted price is based on and is our shortest itinerary to successfully summit Point Lenana on Mount Kenya using the Chogoria route for the ascent and descent, there are lots of other options to tweak the itinerary and offer more days on Mount Kenya and we're more than happy to use different routes for the descent to enhance the full experience and tailor your time on the mountain to suit your own requirements.
You are welcome to adjust the itinerary and add nights in Nairobi or in Embu (or Naro Moru if you descend the Naro Moru, Sirimon or Burguret routes), please do talk to us directly to discuss options. Ol Pejeta Conservancy is very close to Naro Moru (or a reasonably short drive from Embu) and is a great location for an optional add-on safari, both for day trips and over-nights. It is probably the only place in Kenya (aside from Masai Mara) where you have a chance of seeing the 'Big 5' in one day. It is also the only place in East Africa where you can see chimpanzee and the only place to see the remaining 'northern white rhino', there are only 3 left on the planet... all in Ol Pejeta. We can of course arrange tailor made safari's across East Africa and we're more than happy to build an itinerary to suit your budget and preferences.
Our itinerary is for the climb only, optional extras include airport transfers and accommodation in Nairobi, transfers from Nairobi, extra days accommodation before and after the climb in Embu or Naro Moru, where you can visit some of our Moving Mountains projects and enjoy some of the sights that both locations offer, tailor-made safari's or even the opportunity to sponsor a former street child of beneficiary of Moving Mountains to join you on the climb.
|1||Transfer from Embu to Chogoria & into Forest Reserve. Trek to Meru Bandas|
|2||Trek from Meru Bandas to Nithi Falls and on towards Lake Ellis, with afternoon trek to top of Mugi Hill|
|3||Trek from Lake Ellis to Hall Tarns / Minto's Hut and Lake Michaelson|
|4||Trek from Hall Tarns / Minto's Hut to Austrian Hut or Simba Tarn|
|5||Trek from Austrian Hut or Simba Tarn to Point Lenana for sunrise and descend to Nithi Falls|
|6||Trek from Nithi Falls via Meru Banda's and transfer to Chogoria town and back to Embu|
|125km 2.5-3hrs||If you are flying in to Kenya then we can help with airport transfers to Embu, evening arrivals will mean at least one night in Nairobi before transferring up to Embu on the South East of Mt Kenya to meet the guides and porters who'll arrive in Embu from Naro Moru early on day 1 of the itinerary. There is plenty to see and do in Nairobi and Embu where we can also help to arrange extra nights accommodation, city tours in Nairobi or day trips and Moving Mountains project visits in Embu, we're more than happy to discuss all options to ensure your time in Kenya is everything and more than you expected.|
|1||1400-1700-3000m||70+10km ~2+3hrs||Transfer around to the small town of Chogoria to sign in to the National Park. We will then drive up through the forest in 4x4's. It is usually possible to drive all the way to today's camp, but we will decide where to be dropped off so that we get the acclimitising benefits of a walk and also the opportunity to soak up the sights and sounds of the forest and to get 'in-tune' with our surroundings. We will probably walk around 5-10km before we arrive at the Meru Bandas where we spend the night. This is a good spot to see wildlife at dusk and dawn in particular, including monkeys, buffalo and even elephant.|
|2||3000-3400m||7km 3-4hrs||Leaving the Meru Bandas, we head up through the forest and alpine heath with giant lobelia and groundsel amongst the giant heather and tussock grass. The path will lead us up to Chogoria Roadhead and Nithi Falls where we continue on towards Lake Ellis to set up camp. From Lake Ellis we can trek to the top of the nearby Mugi Hill to enjoy views of the higher peaks.|
|3||3400-4300m||8km 3-4hrs||After breakfast at Lake Ellis we drop down to cross the Nithi North River and climb the broad hillside over thinning moorland until we come alongside the canyon of the Gorges Valley. We follow its rock edge around to a collection of small lakes perched on a rocky plateau above the spectacular vertical and overhanging cliffs of The Temple; this is where we camp for the night. If we have time and energy, we can make a fantastic trip around and down through a notch in the upper cliffs over the scree and down to Lake Michaelson at the foot of the Temple cliffs, remembering that it is a stiff ascent back up to the camp!|
|4||4300-4790m||3km 3hrs||Leaving our spectacular campsite, we head on up towards the peaks that beckon above. The gradient is initially fairly gradual before it steepens to climb up to where the summit circuit path crosses our way. Before we ascend this slope we will evaluate how we are all feeling and either head to the left and traverse around to Austrian Hut beside the Lewis Glacier at 4790m or head to the right to camp at Simba Tarn at 4600m.|
|5||4790-4985-3300m||1km(1-2hrs) +12km(6-7hrs)||If we slept at Austrian Hut we will be up at around 4:30am to follow the rocky south ridge up to Point Lenana for sunrise. If we camped at Simba Tarn we will be up around 3:30am to climb up to Harris Tarn and follow the north route to Point Lenana. Both routes generally only require careful walking but each have small sections where we will use our hands to scramble as well. After watching the sunrise out over the African plains and soaking up its warmth, we will descend back to the Hall Tarns and via a different route to camp near to the Nithi Falls. This is a long day but one full of amazing sights and experiences.|
|6||3300-1800m||6km(2-3hrs) +70km(1.5hrs)||This morning we will have a fairly relaxed start before walking along to the beautiful Nithi Falls, just above our camp. We will then walk back along the vehicle track to the Meru Bandas and sign out of the National Park. We will then load up our 4x4 for the drive back down through the forest to Chogoria and around to the town of Embu. It is possible to get back to Nairobi on this date, however if you have time then a couple of days in Embu is well worth it. Aside from our own Moving Mountains projects, Embu offers a safe and lively nightlife, a number of outdoor swimming pools and some great walks and other activities in the surrounding hills .|
|Other options include tailor made safari's, climbs on Kilimanjaro, visits to other Moving Mountains projects and Game Reserves around Mount Kenya or transfers back to Nairobi for city tours.|
Mount Kenya Chogoria route cost - £1395.00
The advertised price is the per person cost based on a minimum group of 2 pax, contact us for the single person supplement cost, or for extra nights, safari options, etc. Using the Chogoria route for the ascent and descent is more expensive than other routes on Mount Kenya, this is mainly because of the extra day needed on the mountain and the 4x4 transport to get us to the start and from the finish point of the trek.
The price includes the following but we can help with airport transfers, accommodation in Nairobi, transfers to and from Embu, etc. Full details of the current prices and the extra's that we can provide can be found in the More Information section under 'Mount Kenya optional extra costs'.
- Return private transport from Embu to Chogoria town
- Return 4x4 transport from Chogoria to the trek start/from the trek end
- Park fees, camping fees and park rescue fees
- Accommodation at Meru Banda's on day 1 of the itinerary
- Accommodation at Austrian Hut (if required) on day 4 of the itinerary
- Park certified guides (ratio of 1:4)
- Porters and cooks, plus equipment for them (porters carry your main bag)
- All group camping equipment including tents
- All meals on the mountain - fresh food, 3 meals per day with hot drinks
- Bottled water when not on the mountain (we use mountain water during the trek)
- Guide and porter transport from Naro Moru to Embu (includes transport back to Naro Moru if descent is on Chogoria route)
- International airfare
- Kenyan Visa
- Vaccinations and malaria tablets required
- Personal expenses and travel insurance
- Airport transfers and / or transfers to and from Embu and any accommodation needed in Nairobi or Embu
- Mountain Staff Tips paid in local currency to main guide for distribution in Chogoria after the climb
- All our staff in East Africa and the UK have been climbing Mt Kenya for more than 20 years so we know the mountain and its communities extremely well, we're happy to discuss options on the phone and offer honest advice on what to expect, both on Mount Kenya and in Kenya in general.
- We do not contract out our trips in Kenya, we employ trusted full time staff who are very experienced and knowledgeable. This arrangement offers job security and good benefits to the staff and gives them very strong loyalty to the company. Our team of Guides and Porters have all worked with us on numerous ascents using all the routes and our Head Guide, Cyrus Maina, has built up a solid team for the mountain and is a trusted upstanding member of his local community, where he sits on the Board at Tigithi Primary School, a rural school on the lower slopes of Mount Kenya that has been developed and renovated by our charity, Moving Mountains.
- On both the western and eastern sides of Mount Kenya our charity has developed numerous sustainable projects which anyone climbing the mountain is more than welcome to visit, including Primary and Secondary Schools on the lower slopes of Mt Kenya near Naro Moru, the Solio Community Development for internally displaced people on the open plains of the western side of Mt Kenya, the rural Gatwe Primary on the lower slopes of the eastern side, County Primary and Urban Primary School in Embu town, which provide quality education for most of the children in Embu's slum communities, the Embu Rescue Centre for Street Children and our very own 'Black Cats' football club for the street kids of Embu town. Full details on the work of Moving Mountains in Kenya can be found here.
- We are a company founded and run by people who are passionate about trekking, climbing and exploring in the world's most beautiful wildernesses. We are equally passionate about having the opportunity to share these experiences with others, all our Mount Kenya climbs are carefully designed with our local staff to provide a safe ascent on all of the routes that we use.
- We offer small scale, authentic adventures on Mount Kenya using the Chogoria route, which you can tailor to your personal needs.
- We have our own license to operate tours in Kenya and are a fully bonded, insured and registered tour operator and a member of the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO).
- Our prices are competitive and good value, and we offer quality, service, security and an ethical stance on tourism in a developing country. We don't want to be so expensive to run fewer trips and have our staff idle, but on the other hand we believe that running cheap trips that promote the practise of skimming budgets would result in the porters getting next to nothing, which is something we cannot consider. Additionally we will only run a minimum of 5 day climbs, since any less is dangerous for a peak just short of 5000 metres. Reducing the number of days may make the price cheaper but the chances of summiting reduce to around 50% and it is potentially dangerous.
Choose a date from the drop down box below or choose custom dates.
- Duration 6 days
- Numbers 2-10
- Altitude 4985m
- Distance 50km
- Challenge Moderate
- Comfort Camping & Lodges