Kenya – Mount Kenya (Point Lenana)
Mount Kenya is the highest mountain in Kenya and the second-highest in Africa, after Mount Kilimanjaro. To protect and preserve the mountain, an area of 276 sqm around Mount Kenya was designated a National Park and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.
Far from being a just single peak Mount Kenya is in fact a massif consisting of a multitude of imposing spires, cliffs, complex ridges and peaks. These are the weathered remnants of a large extinct volcano that was active several million years ago. The highest peaks of the mountain are Batian (5199m), Nelion (5188m) and Point Lenana (4985m).
Located in central Kenya, Mount Kenya straddles the equator (about 16.5 km south of the equator) but is sufficiently high to occasionally receive significant snowfall to offer a wealth of excellent and diverse climbing possibilities on rock, snow and ice. The mountain is made up of three main zones: the rocky peak region, the afro-alpine moorland with its scattering of giant vegetation, and the extensive lower slopes covered in mountain forest and bamboo. The three astonishingly ecological diversity zones with the abundance of wildlife , particularly in the forest zone, of buffaloes, elephants, sykes monkeys, bushbucks, sunbirds and soaring eagles make the climb to the peaks one of the most scenic in the East African mountains.
About The Climb
Batian and Nelion are technical climbing peaks via a variety of rock or ice routes. The third highest peak, Point Lenana, is the most popular and a trekking peak.
Our itinerary is for climbing Point Lenana. There are three main trekking routes - Naro Moru from the west, Chogoria from the east and Sirimon from the north. The rest of the routes like Timau, Meru and Burguret are less established and harder routes, hence not frequently used.
Of the three main routes, we combined Sirimon and Chogoria for a traverse itinerary. The Sirimon route offers the most gradual ascent profile with the best acclimatization option. The Chogoria route is said to be the most scenic and interesting.
Our trek starts from Sirimon Gate (2600m) with a crossing of the equator on the drive to the Gate and during the trek to Mosses Hut (3340m). The first day is a slow and short 10km walk of around 2.5-4 hours. Rest of two days trek to Liki North campsite (3993m) and Shipton's Camp (4200m) are longer but manageable walk of between 6-7 hours where the route passes through impressive Yellowwood forests on a gradual ascending undulating mountain terrain with abundant wildlife and beautiful alpine scenery.
The pre-dawn summit attempt is about 10 to 12 hours traverse trip. The ascent to Point Lenana from Shipton's Camp (4200m) is a short 3.5-5 hours starting on a gentle scree slope that eventually merge with syenite rock similar to granite - rough, hard and well endowed with features. The last part of the summit trek is a little scramble on rocks with a ladder up the summit. After the summit, descent to Hall Tarns (4300m) for breakfast. The enchanting Hall Tarns has magnificent scenes of a sheer 300m cliff overlooking the Gorges Valley and the beautiful Lake Michaelson. After breakfast, continue farther down the mountain, going gently down a broad ridge enjoying magnificent views back up the valley to the snowy peaks, passing magnificent waterfalls, tarns and lava flows in the Gorges Valley. The descent is a longer affair of around 8-10 hours via the beautiful Chogoria route.
The last day is an easy 2-3hours trek to the pick up point before the drive to the base lodge where hot shower and a sumptuous lunch awaits !
While Mount Kenya can be climbed year-round, the best months are January to March and June to October.
The rainy seasons typically occur in April, May and November with the highest rainfall between late March and the middle of May. October and mid December see slightly less rain.
Rain and, higher up, snow can however be encountered at any time of year - even in the driest periods (January and February). Normally the drier seasons are associated with clear, dry weather which can last for many days on end. The best weather is generally in the mornings, and convectional rainfall, if any, tends to come in the mid-afternoon.
Good to have some high altitude trekking experiences to 3000m. Mt Kenya's terrain, in particular the summit trek, while a shorter climb, is more challenging than Mt Kilimanjaro. You will be trekking at above 3000m in undulating mountain terrain with a personal backpack load of 5-6kg for most days and require to scramble some rock faces on summit day. Snow while a rare encounter these days, can be expected on the higher terrain and summit.
Equipment and Gear
You can wear a t-shirt and trekking pants during the approach trek. Thermal base layers, a fleece jacket and an outer shell jacket are required. When at the mountain huts and after sundown, a down jacket will help keep you warm. A down sleeping bag is also needed and provided.
A packing list will be provided to all our participants. Please refer to our Resource Centre page to learn about the layering system and choose the right gear/equipment for your climb/trek.
- Group size 6-12 people
- You can also form a private group for this trek. For enquiry, send an email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
|DAY||ITINERARY||MEALS||ALTITUDE AT REST POINT|
|Day 1||Arrive Nairobi. Tranfser to Nyeri, base lodge on the western slopes of Mt Kenya (3.5-4 hours drive)||-/-/D||1750m|
|Day 2||Acclimatization & preparation day at the base lodge with bush walk and trek briefing.||B/L/D||1750m|
|Day 3-5||Drive to Sirimon Gate (2600m) to start trek and for the next 3 days, trek to Old Moses Hut, Likii North Hut and Shipton's Camp with the option to climb Terere Peak as part of acclimatization||B/L/D||Moses Hut - 3340m
Likii North Hut - 3993m
Shipton's Camp - 4200m
|Day 6||Summit Point Lenana at 4895m and descend to Meru Bandas.||B/L/D||3000m|
|Day 7||Trek to pick up point (2600m). Transfer back to base lodge for hot shower and lunch before the journey back to Nairobi.||B/L/D||1795m|
|Day 8||Depart Nairobi.||B/-/-|
- Return airport transfer
- All land transfer as indicated in itinerary
- Meals as indicated in itinerary
- Twin/triple sharing accommodation in Nairobi. Twin/triple /quad sharing accommodation in Nyeri. Mixed dormitory in mountain huts.
- Camping equipment : sleeping tents (Twin sharing), dinning tent, dining tables and chairs and sleeping mats (for Liki North). Sleeping bag
- Trek support: climbing guides, cook and porters
- Boiled water during trek
- Permits & fees: Conservation, National Park fees, trek permit
- AMREF flying ambulance insurance
- International air tickets, airline taxes and fuel surcharge
- Visa Fee (if any)
- Single Supplement
- Meals not indicated in itinerary
- All tipping
- Personal porters
- Personal travel insurance (mandatory to cover travel agent insolvency and trekking up to 5000m)
- Personal expenses like shopping, laundry etc
- Personal travel & trekking gear – warm clothing, shoes, backpacks etc
- Compensation for damaged or lost of personal items (eg: climbing/trekking gear and equipment, cameras and any valuable items etc)
- Emergency evacuation and medical expenses
- Any expenses including accommodation, meals & transfer outside the stipulated trek/climb itinerary – i.e. any person leaving the group for personal travel, illness/injury or any form of extension of stay
Support from Ace Adventure Expeditions
We provide pre-trip support to prepare you for the climb:
1. Trip briefing and information kit
2. Gear list and gear discount from selected Singapore outdoor outfitters
3. Training guideline kit
4. Rope skill workshop (For climbs that require rope up and/or fixed rope skill)
Our Local Trek Operator
We carefully select and establish strong working relationship with our local trek operator to ensure safe participation by everyone. Our local partner, built, owned and managed some of the mountain lodges on Mt Kenya.
Our local climbing guides have extensive experience in guiding treks in Mt Kenya, possess intimate knowledge of the local surroundings, conditions and culture. To become a certified mountain guide on Mt Kenya, they went through a few years of being a porter and a 3-year mountain guide course.
Training: Regardless of your level of fitness and physical conditions, it is advisable to train prior to embarking on a trekking or mountain climbing trip.
Pure cardiovascular fitness is NOT enough.
Focus your training effort in the following areas, assuming that you are in good health and injury-free:
- Climbing conditioning – stairs and load training.
- Cardio training - Jogging/running and interval training like CrossFit or HIIT.
- Strength training for the lower body, shoulder, back and core
- Flexibility training - eg: Yoga and stretching exercises
A good four to five months of training would be a good preparation for this trek.
A recommended training guide specific to the trek or climb will be given to you upon signing up.
Refer to our Grading chart for an overview on the technical difficulty and fitness required for this trek.
Refer to our Training Guide for tips on trekking and mountain climbing training.