Mount Kenya Climbs

Mount Kenya ClimbClick to enlarge

Mount Kenya - Africa's second highest mountain - offers a choice of exciting treks and climbs through its varied scenery of volcanic ridges, deep valleys and rugged landscape. To climb Mount Kenya is an experience of a lifetime, highly recommended to the adventurous traveller willing to forego some of life's luxuries for a few days.

Point Lenana (4985m) can be achieved by any physically fit person and no climbing experience is necessary.

 

Mount Kenya Treks & Climbing Routes

There are three main approaches to the summit of Mount Kenya and ideally you walk up one route and come down another to experience the very different views. The best choice of routes depends on a number of factors from the time of year to the nature of the terrain. 

Access to the eastern side of the mountain and the Chogoria route is only possible from December to March and August to mid October, although this may change as the road is currently being improved.

The Naro Moru route, on the west of the mountain, is a popular choice. However, there is a section known as the Vertical Bog which consists of clumps of tussock grass interspersed with deep and muddy gullies.  If taken slowly, this section of the route is challenging but manageable on the way up, but it is trickier to negotiate walking down and we do not recommend it as a descent route.

  • The Sirimon route is the most gradual ascent and there are excellent views of the peaks from this combination of routes.   
  • The Sirimon route, approaching from the north west, is easily accessible from Nanyuki and Naro Moru and will always be included in a high altitude trek, either up or down.
  • The Summit Circuit is a ten kilometre trail around the base of the peaks up and down over several passes with spectacular views of the peaks up close.
  • For an off the beaten track wilderness experience you can camp on the Chogoria side at Lake Ellis and Lake Michaelson where – apart from your mountain team - you may not see other people until you reach Shipton's Camp at 4,200 metres.

 

Our example itineraries / prices show the Sirimon-Naro Moru route and Sirimon-Chogoria route but we can help you sift through the options to tailor a climb to your exact requirements accounting for your levels of fitness and budget.

 

How long does it take to climb Mount Kenya?

There are many tour routes, each with different scenery and varying degrees of exertion required. However, it is the duration of a climb that is as important as the ease of the route.

On climbs to the summit it is advisable to join a trek of at least 6 days in order to acclimatise your body to the increasing altitude as you pass through different climatic zones. Gamewatchers treks have been carefully devised at around this duration to give you the best chance of success. Longer durations can be arranged for those that would prefer a slower pace.

At the start we recommend staying overnight near the mountain to acclimatise. A mid-range hotel used by many trekkers is the Kongoni Camp, where you can relax after travelling from Nairobi before starting your trek on the following day.

After your mountain trek, you could spend some time on safari at the exclusive camps and lodges in nearby Laikipia, Meru or Shaba. A perfect addition is Porini Rhino Camp.

 

 Sirimon & Naro Moru Route

5 NIGHT SIRIMON – NARO MORU ROUTE

DAY 1

Fly from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport to Nanyuki. On arrival you’ll be met and transferred to Kongoni Camp for 1 night including Lunch and Dinner. (Optional upgrade to Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club).

DAY 2 

Breakfast at camp / lodge. You will be collected at approx 09.30 for the 45 minute transfer to the Sirimon Gate where your Guide will register with KWS, the Kenya Wildlife Service, and pay the park fees.  The Cook and porters will organise the distribution of the packs and provisions and then set off for the first camp.

This is a four hour trek up a fairly steep vehicle track through the forest where you will see evidence of elephant and buffalo and possible sightings of bushbuck and baboons.  If you are setting off around 11, you will have a picnic lunch on the way, weather permitting.  If your departure is delayed, you may have an early picnic lunch at the gate.  This walk takes you up to 3,300 metres to Old Moses camp.

DAY 3 

Your climb continues up to Shipton’s Camp (4,236 m).  This walk is 14 km and takes about 6-7 hours.  You cross three rivers and two valleys before reaching one of the main U-shaped glacial valleys.  You then walk along Mackinder’s valley to Shipton’s Camp, where you will be staying for two nights.

You are now deep in the Afro alpine zone with large stands of giant groundsel and lobelia, and in camp you will see rock hyrax sunning themselves.

DAY 4 

A rest day in Shipton’s Camp and an opportunity to do an acclimatisation walk up to the Hausberg Col at nearly 4,600 m, with spectacular views of the main peaks up close. Supper and bedtime are early, so that you are well prepared for your dawn ascent the following morning.

DAY 5 

You leave Shipton’s Camp between 2.30-3.00 a.m. for your very early morning ascent of Point Lenana (4,985 m).  This 4 km walk takes 3-4 hours, as you are now at very high altitude.  The aim is to reach the summit by sunrise.

You walk down to Mackinder’s Camp for breakfast, via Austrian Hut, a 2.5 hour walk covering 4.5 km.  Then you continue down to Met Station which takes another 4 hours, covering 12 km.  You reach Met Station (3,048 m) by mid-afternoon, where you will be staying overnight.

DAY 6 

After breakfast, you walk down to the Naro Moru Gate, a 2 hour walk covering 9 km, where you will be met and transferred to Nanyuki Airstrip, a drive of 40 minutes. Fly back to Nairobi Wilson.

Alternatively, add a few nights on safari at Porini Rhino Camp before returning to Nairobi. Ask us for details and prices.

 Sirimon & Chogoria Route

6 NIGHT SIRIMON – CHOGORIA ROUTE

DAY 1

Fly from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport to Nanyuki. On arrival you’ll be met and transferred to Kongoni Camp for 1 night including Lunch and Dinner. (Optional upgrade to Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club).

DAY 2

Breakfast at camp / lodge. You will be collected at approx 09.30 for the 45 minute transfer to the Sirimon Gate where your Guide will register with KWS, the Kenya Wildlife Service, and pay the park fees.  The Cook and porters will organise the distribution of the packs and provisions and then set off for the first camp.

This is a four hour trek up a fairly steep vehicle track through the forest where you will see evidence of elephant and buffalo and possible sightings of bushbuck and baboons.  If you are setting off around 11, you will have a picnic lunch on the way, weather permitting.  If your departure is delayed, you may have an early picnic lunch at the gate.  This walk takes you up to 3,300 metres to Old Moses camp.

DAY 3

After breakfast, you leave at around 7.30.  An early start is advisable for the best views, as the weather can close in during the afternoon.  The walk crosses two ridges and several streams and in 3-4 hours, you reach the beautiful valley of Liki North dominated by the peaks of Sendeyo and Terere.  This walk takes you from the moorland to the Afro alpine zone with its giant groundsel and lobelia, evoking the Jurassic age. There is a small mountain hut for cooking, and you camp overnight.

DAY 4

After an early breakfast, you climb out of the Liki North Valley, crest a ridge and descend into Mackinder's valley, dropping down to pick up the trail on the valley floor.  You then climb up the other side of the valley to reach Shipton's Camp at 4,236 metres.  This 6km walk can take about 5 hours.  Shipton's Camp has a large bunkhouse and campsite.  It is one of the main bases for summit attempts, mainly by trekkers but also by mountaineers.

DAY 5

This is a rest and acclimatisation day at Shipton's Camp to prepare for the ascent of Point Lenana.  It is well worth walking up to the Hausberg Col from where you get spectacular views of the peaks including Point Peter and Point Dutton.  This is a good dry run as you reach 4,591 metres, only 394 metres lower than Point Lenana.  Then an early supper and bed to get some sleep before the next day's very early start.

DAY 6

You leave Shipton’s Camp between 2.30 and 3am for your early morning ascent of Point Lenana (4,985 m).  This 4 km walk takes 3-4 hours due to poor light and high altitude.  The aim is to reach the summit by sunrise.  

Then it's a steep descent down a scree slope towards the spectacular Gorges Valley. Dotted with giant groundsel, this is the most extraordinary landscape.  Breakfast is near Hall Tarns, a distance of about 4.5 kms, then continue to the Meru Mount Kenya Lodge, a simple mountain lodge near the Chogoria Gate.

This is a long day as the walk covers 14 km and takes about 6 to 7 hours, but the rewards are a hot shower and supper in front of a log fire.

DAY 7

After a leisurely breakfast, you walk about 10 kms down through the forest to meet a Landrover to take you down the rest of the track and on to Chogoria town. From here you take an onward road transfer (approx 4 hours) to Nairobi.

Alternatively, transfer to Nanyuki area (approx 3 hours) and extend your trip with a few days on safari at Porini Rhino Camp before heading back to Nairobi.

 

 Gallery

View Slideshow

 Prices

Click here to view our price tables:

View Prices Request a Quote

MOUNT KENYA CLIMBS: PRICES ARE PER PERSON (minimum 2 people)

Prices include: Flight from Nairobi Wilson airport to Nanyuki, transfer to Kongoni Camp for 1 night (Full Board), transfer to park gate, 4 nights camping on the mountain in two-man tents, 1 night at the Meru Mount Kenya Lodge - Chogoria Bandas (for 6 night itinerary only), all meals and drinks (except beer and sodas which can be bought at lower altitude camps). Last day transfer from Naro Moru park gate to Nanyuki airstrip and fly to Nairobi Wilson airport (if ending at Naro Moru) OR last day transfer from Chogoria park gate to Chogoria town (change vehicle) and road transfer to Nairobi. Mount Kenya Park fees. Services of Guide, Assistant Guide, Cook and porters (incl porters’ tips). All government accommodation taxes.

Please select your currency:
SIRIMON-NARO MORU ROUTE: PER PERSON SHARING, BASED ON GROUP SIZE:
DATES FROMDATES TO234
01-Jan-1431-Dec-142250 USD1750 USD1655 USD
01-Jan-1531-Dec-152285 USD1785 USD1690 USD
SIRIMON-CHOGORIA ROUTE: PER PERSON SHARING, BASED ON GROUP SIZE:
DATES FROMDATES TO234
01-Jan-1431-Dec-143035 USD2280 USD2040 USD
01-Jan-1531-Dec-153070 USD2315 USD2075 USD

Prices are subject to currency fluctuations and may change.

 Booking Enquiries

Request a Quote Now »

If you wish to discuss your requirements with one of our expert safari consultants please call on:

KenyaKenyan flagTel: +254-774-136523 UKBritish flagTel: 07901-396513 USAUS flagTel: 1-877-710-3014

Concerned about the security of your booking and your own safety while on safari?
We fully appreciate your concerns when it comes to booking a safari in Africa and you can rest assured that your financial security when booking and your own personal safety when on safari is our highest priority. Gamewatchers Safaris is a member of the Kenya Association of Tour Operators bonding scheme, backed by a leading insurance company, to ensure your payments are fully protected if a bonded KATO member ceases trading.
Sunset background image