Mount Kenya trek
Mount Kenya trek
The beautiful, snow capped peak of Mount Kenya is the second highest point in Africa at 5199m. It is a challenging and popular destination for trekkers and climbers alike. The main summit is called Batian and the second summit Nelion (5188m), both of which are technical climbs; but a third peak, Point Lenana, at 4985m is more accessible and a very feasible goal for anyone looking to summit Mount Kenya. This particular trek uses the Sirimon route for the ascent and the Naro Moru route for the descent but there are lots of different options on Mount Kenya.
The itinerary is based on starting and finishing the journey in Naro Moru but all our Mount Kenya climbs have lots of optional extras if needed, including private transport from Nairobi, accommodation arranged in Nairobi, Naro Moru or Embu (for anyone using the Chogoria route for their ascent or descent), upgrades to hut accommodation 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. The following are links to our other advertised options for trekking on Mount Kenya;
- Sirimon route (ascent and descent)
- Naro Moru route (ascent and descent)
- Chogoria route (ascent and descent)
- Mount Kenya traverse (Naro Moru ascent and Chogoria descent)
- Mount Kenya traverse (Sirimon ascent and Chogoria descent)
- Mount Kenya summit circuit
Mt Kenya is its own National Park which is a simply stunning landscape with interesting and often endemic flora and flora as well as its soaring jagged summit peaks and glaciers. It offers a more gentle approach to trekking/climbing than Kilimanjaro and differs in that there is a great deal more wildlife to be spotted! From a distance, the jagged volcanic peaks stand at the centre of an eroded volcanic dome cut by radial valleys and ridges, standing proudly over the plains and savannah below. Elephant, Cape Buffalo, Colobus Monkey, Bushbuck and Giant Forest Hog can be seen in the foothills of the 228 sq. mile national park. From the lower forests of bamboo, the landscape develops to unusual high-altitude equatorial vegetation on the shoulder of the mountain with giant heather, lobelia and groundsels giving the slopes an alpine desert appearance and a striking feel, almost as if it is from another world, 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'.
The best months to climb Mount Kenya are traditionally January to March and June to October but it can be climbed all year round. The rainy seasons tend to be in April, May and November but nowadays climate change has made it more difficult to predict, December is now often warmer and drier with clear skies. 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'.
Further details on books and maps available, as well as a couple of basic maps which show the routes on Mount Kenya can be found in the Mount Kenya Maps and Books more information page.
Mount Kenya trek (Sirimon / Naro Moru route) itinerary
The following is our preferred itinerary to give a good overview of the Sirimon and Naro Moru routes and also to promote good acclimatisation 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 Sirimon route for the ascent and the Naro Moru route for the descent, there are lots of other options to tweak the itinerary and offer more days on Mount Kenya (a popular option is to upgrade to hut accommodation).
You are welcome to adjust the itinerary and add nights in Nairobi or Naro Moru, please do talk to us directly to discuss options. Ol Pejeta Conservancy is very close to Naro Moru 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 Naro Moru, where you can visit some of our Moving Mountains projects and enjoy some of the sights on 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 Naro Moru to the Mount Kenya National Park gate Gate. Trek to Old Moses Camp|
|2||Trek from Old Moses Camp to Shipton's Camp|
|3||Acclimatisation Day: Trek from Shipton's to Hausberg Col and return to Shipton's|
|4||Trek from Shiptons to Point Lenana and descend to Met Station Camp via Mackinder's Camp|
|5||Trek from Met Station to the Naro Moru gate and transfer to Naro Moru|
|175km 3-4hrs||If you are flying in to Kenya then we can help with airport transfers to Naro Moru, evening arrivals will mean at least one night in Nairobi before transferring up to Naro Moru on the West of Mt Kenya to meet the guides and porters who all live in the area and can meet you whatever day you arrive. There is plenty to see and do in Nairobi and Naro Moru where we can also help to arrange extra nights accommodation, city tours in Nairobi or day trips and Moving Mountains project visits in Naro Moru, we're more than happy to discuss all options to ensure your time in Kenya is everything and more than you expected.|
|1||2000-3300m||9km 3-4hrs||Today all the guides and porters will meet us in Naro Moru and we will load up the vehicle(s) for the 50km drive around the west of the mountain and up to the Sirimon gate of Mt Kenya National Park. After checking into the park we head off along the vehicle track through the forests hardwood forest. After 15 minutes or so we will cross the equator, with a big signpost to let you know you are there! We will stop for a picnic lunch at a convenient spot before continuing on up to our first camp at Old Moses (also known as Judmier Camp), where you have good views of the peaks ahead.|
|2||3300-4200m||13.5km 7-8hrs||This morning we will have a hot breakfast and a reasonably early start to make the most of the usually clearer conditions in the morning. We set off across the alpine heath and moorland and traverse around and over a couple of streams and ridges before dropping into the MacKinder Valley. We usually have lunch under a cave-like outcrop before continuing up the valley towards the main peaks. There is a short steeper section as we pass Shipton's Cave and then another as we arrive into Shipton's Camp. Here we again set up camp next to the huts and prepare dinner.|
|3||4200-4590-4200m||2-4km 2-4hrs||Today is a day-hike from Shipton's to aid our acclimitisation. There are a few options for this but a good one is to climb up the side of the valley to the West and onto the Hausberg Col. The col sits just next to the main peaks and high above the camp and the valley we walked up the day before. It also allows us to see across to Point Lenana and most of our route for the following day. We can also see down to two tarns on the opposite side of the col and if anyone is keen they can make the 300m descent and re-ascent to go and visit them, though the scree can be hard work on the way back up! We then return to Shiptons for lunch, rest and final preparations for our early morning ascent to Point Lenana.|
|4||4200-4985-3050m||18km 11-13hrs||This morning we will be up just after midnight to prepare for our night-time ascent to Point Lenana, it is an exhilarating feeling stepping out into the cold under the starlight and crunching up the frozen scree. We skirt the rocky outcrop above the camp then cross a flat area before joining the scree. We then zig zag our way up and then follow a broad ridge and a steeper slope up over the skyline. Passing the bowl of Harris Tarn we skirt above it and then cross an area of bare rock and a small scramble. If we are ahead of schedule there is a small niche/cave where we can huddle up for a rest. It is then less than half an hour up to the bare summit for sunrise. The sun will rise around 6am and we will drink in its warmth as well as the spectacular view before dropping the ridge of Lenana on the Naro Moru route to Austrian Hut. The ridge is initially quite narrow in sections but it does get broader as you get closer to Austrian Hut and we will take our time over the short sections that need hands as well as feet, there are steel cables on the upper two thirds of the ridge and though they are not really necessary, they can be reassuring. From Austrian Hut we continue down to Mackinder's Camp for brunch and R&R before continuing our descent down the Teleki Valley and the infamous 'Vertical Bog' to reach Met Station and our camp mid-afternoon.|
|5||3050-2500-2000m||10km 2-3hrs||Leaving Met station we follow the track back down through the forest and bamboo to the Naro Moru gate. There are a couple of short sections where the track goes up-hill and this may try your patience a bit but soon enough we will be at the gate. We will sign out of the park and take the short drive back down to Naro Moru. It is possible to get back to Nairobi on this date, however if you have time then a couple of days in Naro Moru is well worth it. Aside from our own Moving Mountains projects, Naro Moru offers safe and comfortable accommodation at the Blueline Hotel, some great walks and other activities in the surrounding area, including the Mau Mau caves, a number of excellent restaurants and day visits to the curio shops at the Equator.|
|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 trek cost - £895.00
The advertised price is the per person cost based on a minimum group of 2 pax ascending the Sirimon route and descending the Naro Moru route, contact us for the single person supplement cost, or for extra nights, safari options, etc.
The price includes the following but we can help with airport transfers, accommodation in Nairobi, transfers to and from Naro Moru, 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 transport from Naro Moru to the trek start/from the trek end (Mt Kenya National Park gates)
- Park fees, camping fees and park rescue fees
- 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)
- International airfare
- Kenyan Visa
- Vaccinations and malaria tablets required
- Personal expenses and travel insurance
- Airport transfers and / or transfers to and from Naro Moru and any accommodation needed in Nairobi or Naro Moru
- Mountain Staff Tips paid in local currency to main guide for distribution in Naro Moru 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 Sirimon route for the ascent and Naro Moru route for the descent, 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 scheduled date or ask about private dates and itineraries.
The minimum deposit is £100 with the balance in instalments and final payment six weeks before travel.
- Duration 5 days
- Numbers 2 - 16
- Altitude 4985m
- Distance 55 kms
- Challenge Moderate
- Comfort Camping