Mount Kenya is one of the few places near the equator on Africa with permanent glaciers. The name of the country (Kenya) has been known to have been derived from Mt.Kenya which was formerly known as Mount Kirinyaga or the 'mountain of the gods' presumably where the Kikuyu god, Ngai had his abode. The Kikuyu people (most populous tribe in Kenya) are traditionally and mythically believed to have originated from this mount Kenya.
Located 180km north of Nairobi, Mount Kenya is within easy reach and can be seen from high rise buildings in Nairobi and Thika especially in the mornings. The mountain is located in Mount Kenya National Park. Mount Kenya is the highest mountain in Kenya and the second-highest in Africa, after Kilimanjaro. The highest peaks of the mountain are Batian (5,199 metres (17,057 ft)), Nelion (5,188 metres (17,021 ft)) and Point Lenana (4,985 metres (16,355 ft)). Because of the glacier tops, mount Kenya has a rugged look of worn out slopes and valleys seen from the center of the mountain whilst the forested slopes are an important source of water and catchment for Kenya's largest rivers, Tana and the Ewaso to the North.
Flora & Fauna
The scenic vegetation layers of Mount Kenya and its endemic species including the thick surrounding forest make mount Kenya hiking, trekking and mountain climbing are really unique experience from other mountains. Receiving over 18,000 visitors annually,
The majority of animals live lower down on the slopes of Mount Kenya. Here there is more vegetation and the climate is less extreme. Various species of monkeys, several antelopes, tree hyrax, porcupines and some larger animals such as elephant and buffalo all live in the forest. Predators found here include hyena and leopard, and occasionally lion. The bamboo zone found as one climbs to higher altitudes prevents animals from going further up the mountain. Indeed, the bamboo vegetation cannot naturally support them except for some tender shoots from time to time.
Mount Kenya's crystal clear waters abound with trout.
Nearby Lodges & Resorts
At the base and around this mountain are famous hotels such as the Mount Kenya Safari Club, Outspans, Naro Moru River Lodge, Treetops, Mountain Lodge, Bantu Lodge and several others. Visitors to Kenya who do not wish to climb often visit the hotels for the view, luxury accommodation, fresh air and the tranquil atmosphere.
It is important to avoid arranging for a trek during the rainy season from March to June and the shorter rains periods of October to December. Best climbing seasons are December to Mid March & Mid June to Early October, and which correspond to UK summer holidays / vacations July-August, Australia's summer holidays from December to February and also in the USA's general vacation, May - August. and in many other countries of the northern frontier of the globe.
Day 1: Transfer from Nairobi to Nanyuki
Depart 0800 hrs and drive to Nanyuki, about 4 hours. Brief stopover at the equator. Arrive in time for lunch at your preferred lodge / hotel in Nanyuki. Complimentary walk to the equator or Mau Mau Caves late afternoon. Dinner and overnight at your hotel / lodge.
Day 2: Transfer to Sirimon Park Gate - Old Moses Hut
Begin your hike at 2600m to Old Moses Hut (3300m). The 9kms takes about 3 hours. Journey takes you through rain forest and scattered bamboo forest. A picnic lunch is served en route. Dinner and overnight stay at Old Moses.
Day 3: Old Moses to Shipton's (4200m)
Hike from Old Moses to Shipton's takes about 6 to 7 hours. All meals provided. Dinner and overnight at Shipton's.
Day 4: Summit Attempt
Pre-dawn summit attempt (Point Lenana). Preferably arise at 2.30 am. Enjoy hot tea and biscuits and make way up the steep ridge of scree passing the Harris Tarn by the side to Point Lenana (4985m) arriving at 6.30 a.m. to watch the sunrise. This challenging ascent attains a gradient of about 750m within 3 hours. At this elevation, its possible to see Mount Kilimanjaro a far way off.
Descend down to Shiptons for a full Breakfast. Start at 10.00 a.m. then hike down to Old Moses for Dinner and Overnight. Lunch enroute. Dinner and overnight at Old Moses.
Day 5: Descent and Drive to Nairobi
After breakfast, walk down for 2 hours to Sirimon Park Gate. You vehicle will be waiting for you to drive by your hotel for clearance where applicable or collection of left luggage. Drive back to nairobi. End of tour.
Price Guide: $600
Important: A shorter itinerary can be done to exclude an extra night stay in Nanyuki. That is drive directly from Nairobi to Sirimon Park Gate and begin hike after briefing. Kindly indicate your preference for a shorter itinerary on comments section of booking form
All in all, mountain trekking / walking is most popular to the more technical climbing. The most popular trekking route is Naro Moru Route, easy and straightforward, more suitable for inexperienced trekkers, well accessible and preferred by most tour operators. It can be done in just 3 days. Starting from Naro Moru town, several bunkhouses at strategic points provide accommodation and therefore tents for camping are really not necessary.
However the Burguret route offers a more challenging, diverse scenery, plenty of wildlife and trek through a wider country. Of course this means a more fulfilling and interesting option as desired. It is important to note that this route has restricted access and permission has be duly granted by the Kenya Wildlife Service. It is critical to have services of an armed ranger to traverse certain sections.
The Chogoria-Sirimon traverse offers to trek up Chogoria-out-Sirimon and vice versa. Both the Naro Moru and Chogoria Sirimon have staffed gates as way of support most trekkers' choice. The Chogoria route leads from Chogoria town up to the peaks longer circuit path through diverse terrain and vegetation. Sirimon route approaches Mount Kenya from the north-west on the drier side of the mountain. It features the most gradual ascent and best acclimatisation options. The route passes through impressive moorland forest in the lower reaches where there is no bamboo zone. Expect to find abundant wildlife and beautiful alpine scenery higher up to the Peak Circuit Path.
The other routes occassionally used are the Timau, Kamweti, Meru and the hill-walking Ithanguni route. Some like Timau and Kamweti are restricted by KWS.