4 days (not including air travel)
At an elevation of 5,199 meters above sea level, the majestic and imposing Mount Kenya sits proudly just south of the Equator and is Africa’s second highest peak. Take the opportunity to sample one of the most popular adventure trails for hikers and mountaineers. This experience packs a relatively easy trek and a beautiful scenic escape in the lush, vivid outdoors of East Africa. This hike to the summit of Mount Kenya will take you to all the must-see points along the way. Begin on straightforward paths through rainforests to Mackinder Valley, named after the European expedition that resulted in one of the first ascents of the mountain. Trek up to Point Lenana, the hikers’ summit at 4985 meters and cross through Lewis Glacier, the largest of the glaciers on Mount Kenya, although rapidly receding due to climate change. It’s an invigorating experience!
Day 1: Nairobi-Nanyuki-Old Moses Camp
We start from Nairobi and transfer to the Mount Kenya Sirimon park gate, at an elevation of 2600 meters. You will meet with our support team consisting of a tour guide, chef and porters for your luggage and other equipment. After completion of park entry formalities, our mountain guide who will lead us on a three to four-hour hike through a 9-kilometer open dirt path in the rainforest. This forest is home to hundreds of buffalo, elephants, bushbucks (antelope) and a plethora of bird species, and this first trek provides the perfect introduction to the area’s wildlife and photo opportunities for the camera-ready. Enjoy the beauty of our natural surroundings as we ascend 700 meters through the bamboo plants, rosewood trees and the heather vegetation to Old Moses Camp.
Accommodation: Old Moses Camp is a wooden mountain cabin with dormitory-style decked beds with comfortable foam mattresses, a bed for each traveler. Each traveler is advised to carry his or her own sleeping bag.
Meals: Lunch and dinner
Day 2: Shipton’s Camp
We will take a long day trek up narrow trails leading to the base of the area’s high peaks. Today, we trek largely through the moorland vegetation consisting of tussock grass, lobelia and groundsels among others. We cross a few streams before descending into the green Mackinder Valley, which offers amazing views of the main peaks on a clear day. We will take a break by a nearby stream to enjoy a picnic lunch. Keep an eye out for the pleasant company of mountain cats, mountain hyrax (resembling guinea pigs, but closely related to elephants) and amazing birds such as red-winged starlings and tacazze sunbirds, all common to this area. On this second day, we can expect to cover about 14 kilometers of trail in approximately seven hours, gaining 900 meters in elevation.
Accommodation: Shipton’s Camp, is similar to Old Moses in terms of facilities and is set at the base of the main peaks.
Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner
Day 3: Met Station
Our pre-dawn attempt to the summit starts at 3:00am and we will hike for about three hours up steep slopes and across rugged rocks up to Point Lenana, the hikers’ summit at 4985 meters. We descend through Lewis Glacier (the largest of the glaciers at Mount Kenya, although rapidly receding due to climate changes) and then hike up to the Austrian hut to join the Naromoru track before descending for two hours to Mackinder’s Camp for breakfast. We will then hike for four hours, taking an 11-kilometer long gradual descent across the moors and the lower vertical bog up to the Met Station Camp (3,000 meters) for dinner and overnight stay.
Accommodation: Met Station Camp has multiple log cabins equipped with beds and mattresses.
Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner
Day 4: Nairobi
After breakfast, we leave for a gentle two-hour (9 kilometers) hike down on the wide path leading to the Naromoru Park gate (2600 meters), where we meet tour transfer vehicle. Transfer back to Nairobi.