Mt Kenya Ascent

6 days
from
$3,735 NZD
View Trips
Loading...
Traveller ratings
4.3 / 5 from 24 reviews >
Trip code: 
TYA
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Walking & Hiking
Min age:
18
Group size:
3–12

Climb Africa's second highest mountain

The majestic triple peaks of Mt Kenya are a sight to behold. Following less used routes, we use the Burguret Route and Sirimon Trail to ascend and descend, passing spectacular alpine moorland, forests, glaciers and tarns. Our goal is Point Lenana, at 4985m, the second highest trekking peak in Africa. Snow-capped for much of the year, it is arguably a more beautiful mountain than neighbouring Kilimanjaro. We add an acclimatisation day to the trek as we pass the technical peaks of Batian (5199m) and Nelion (5188m).

Highlights

  • Watch the sun rise over the Kenyan plains from Point Lenana
  • Trek a  remote path that is seldom used
  • Descend via the scenic Sirimon route
  • Extra day for acclimatisation
  • Amazing variety of flora and fauna in the national park

Key information

  • 1 night basic lodge, en suite and 4 nights full service camping
  • 5 days point-to-point walking
  • Group normally 4 to 12, plus leader. Min age 18 yr
  • Altitude maximum 4985m, average 3500m
  • Full porterage throughout

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 5 dinners
  • All accommodation 
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas and vaccinations
  • Single accommodation (available on request-includes single tent)
Call for general departures:
0800 643 997
Call for tailormade trips:
+61 3 9998 9052
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

5

Days of Walking & Trekking
Pace:

Approximately 12.8km/7.9miles walking per day

Terrain:

High altitude; including steep, rocky terrain

Day by day breakdown
Day 210.0km/6.0miles
Day 312.0km/7.0miles
Day 410.0km/6.0miles
Day 523.0km/14.0miles
Day 69.0km/5.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Nairobi; transfer to Mountain Rock Lodge (1950m); acclimatisation walk to Mau Mau Caves.

    Those not flying with the group from London will either need to meet the tour leader at the airport at 06.30h or will be picked up en-route to the airport at 06.00h from the pre tour hotel we use and will join the rest of the group at the airport. (Times are subject to change depending on group flight times - see final joining instructions).

    From the airport we drive to Mountain Rock Lodge, around a 4-hour drive in time for lunch. This afternoon we walk to Mau Mau caves in Mount Kenya Forest Reserve. These caves used to be the hideout by local freedom fighters that fought for independence in the colonial period. This is a pleasant walk through the tall towering trees. The forest reserve is home to a wealth of birdlife, game and plants, with at least 11 unique species on the lower slopes of Mount Kenya. You may see Colobus monkeys up in the trees and elephants and buffalo through the clearings.(1950m)
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Lunch Dinner
  • Day 2

    Begin trek to Giant Bamboo Camp (2600m).

    We are initially transferred to Gathiuru Forest Station 15kms away (approx 1 hour), before entering the dense forest with its towering bamboo. We trek through forest and bamboo, gaining around 400m in altitude. This hiking is essential for acclimatisation. On the lower slopes of Mount Kenya there is a wide range of vegetation and fauna. Look out for tracks from various game as we walk through a variety of vegetation including huge podocarpus and pencil cedar trees. In the forest brightly coloured birds such as Scarlet winged turacos can be seen and heard, as well as different types of monkeys. (2600m) Approx 4-5 hours walking.
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Ascend to Highland Castle Camp (3700m).

    We get up early this morning to trek to Highland Castle Camp. We hike over steep ground where the bamboo gives way to the to hagenia rose wood zone (2850-3100m), and we then climb higher through the Giant Heather zone (3100m-3300m). Our camp is located close to the sheer lava cliffs. We cross high altitude moorland, dotted with the unique Giant Lobelia and Senecio plants. We gain a further 1100m in altitude in the course of the day. There is little game as we reach this point, but look out for the elusive high altitude zebras and eland, and the more commonly spotted rock hyrax and sunbirds. Burguret Valley offers spectacular views of the two highest and technical peaks of Baitan and Nelion, a thoroughly rewarding day. (3700m) Approx 5-6 hours walking.
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Scenic summit circuit to Shipton's Camp (4236m).

    Today we ascend up to Hausberg Col. We pass spectacular moorland landscapes and it is not unusual to spot eagles and buzzards circling overhead as we ascend to Hausberg Col at 4600m, after connecting the summit circuit trail to descend to Shipton’s Camp (one of the few permanent camps on the mountain). The camp is the first time where we are likely to come across other trekkers on the mountain and has panoramic views of all the main peaks including Terere and Sendeyo, two old parasitic vents of the main peaks. Climbing high and sleeping low is excellent for acclimitisation and the benefits of today's ascent and descent is great preparation.(4236m) Approx  7 - 8 hours walking.
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Final ascent to Point Lenana (4985m); descend back to Shipton's Camp (4236m).

    We rise very early this morning before dawn with the aim of arriving at Point Lenana for sunrise. We zig-zag up a large scree slope before we make the final short ascent, which involves some scrambling to Point Lenana at 4985m. If the moon is bright you will hardly need a torch. The climb takes between 3 - 4 hours. Watching the sunrise over the Kenyan plains is a truly amazing experience. We later descend back to Shipton's Camp for breakfast then relax our tired legs for the rest of the day. Shipton's Camp at 4,236m is a dreamlike setting below the towering peaks of Batian Sendeyo and Terere, with its resident population of bizarre rock hyrax and beautiful sunbirds

    Approx. 6 hours walking.
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    Descend; drive to Nairobi; end.

    We descend down Mount Kenya up to Old Moses Camp at (3340m) in 4 hours before a short drive to a much needed shower and beer! En route we cross the equator and stop to enjoy lunch at the foot of the mountain. We then drive on to Nairobi airport for the evening departure.

    Approx. 4 hours walking.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Kenya

Most nationalities do now require a visa for Kenya, including Britons, most EU nationals, Australians, New Zealanders, Americans and Canadians.  At present single entry and transit visas are available online (see below) and soon all visas will have to be obtained online. Alternatively visas are available in advance or on arrival. The Kenyan government are planning for all visas to be obtained online and may stop delivering visas on arrival on short notice. For the latest information please contact your local Kenyan High Commission or Consulate.  
For information about the online application process please visit http://evisa.go.ke/evisa.html.
The cost of the visa is US$50 for a single entry visa and US$100 for an East Africa visa (valid to travel in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda – if the website still says coming soon please check with the Kenyan High Commission) (https://immigration.ecitizen.go.ke/index.php?id=7)
You will need to first register to the ecitizens website (including needing a photo 500px x 500px) before you can start applying.
For the application process itself you will need details of the accommodation used (which we will send you) and itinerary as well as a photo 5.5cm x 5.5cm and a scanned or photographed copy of your passport’s bio/photo page.
If after visiting Kenya you will also travel to Uganda and Rwanda, you may apply for East African Visa that will cover all three countries. This  visa is currently available upon arrival in Nairobi. Please contact the Kenyan High Commission to obtain more information about the combined visa from Kenya.

Vaccinations

Kenya

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. Malaria prophylaxis is essential and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 5 dinners included.

An outline of the kind of food you can expect to eat on trek is detailed below: Breakfast: cereals, assorted fruits and fruit juice, tea/coffee/chocolate, oat porridge, toast, pancakes, scramble eggs, bacon or sausages. Picnic lunch: ham/cheese/lettuce sandwiches, burger steaks or veggie burger, assorted fruits, packets fruit juice, crisps. Dinner: soup of the day, fish fillets with buttered potatoes or vegetable stew with rice, fruit, tea or coffee.

Vegetarians are well catered for but please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests. Please note that in Kenya the availability of certain products for restricted diets, e.g. gluten-free or dairy-free, is minimal or non-existent and we strongly recommend you bring these specialised dietary items from home.You may find it beneficial to bring some 'summit snacks' with you from home; summit day is a long trekking day and high energy snacks are not readily available locally in Kenya.

Weather

Although Kenya lies in the tropics, the temperature depends more on altitude than on season. Kenya straddles the equator so short showers can happen at any time of year. Daytime temperatures can get as high as 30 degrees in Nairobi but with low humidity.

Mount Kenya can be climbed all year round, but it's safest to climb during the dry seasons: January-February and July to September offer the most reliably fine weather and it's best to avoid the two rainy seasons from mid March until June and from late October to the end of December. Above the cloud line the days are warm and pleasant, with temperatures in sunlight often above 20ºC, but the nights can get very cold. It is possible for temperatures to get as low as -15ºC at our highest overnight stop. The daily weather pattern on the mountain tends to be clear mornings with an afternoon cloud build-up that often clears before sunset.

In the (European) summer, the weather is usually cloudy at lower altitudes and often sunny above 3,500 m. Please note that mountain weather conditions are never totally predictable and we may meet wet and snowy conditions at any time. The weather chart is for Nairobi. As we climb with altitude these conditions will tend to change, as described above.

Is this trip for you?

Grade 6 - Mount Kenya is the highest mountain in Kenya and the second highest peak in Africa, after Mount Kilimanjaro. Reaching Point Lenana requires considerable fitness. This itinerary is designed to give you the best chance of reaching the summit. Even if you consider yourself fit, you might still find the climb very hard, depending on how well your body acclimatises to high altitude. There is no scientific way to determine how easily you acclimatise, and be aware that the acclimatisation process also can differ from climb to climb.

The summit attempt is graded as 7 -Tough because of the high altitude and the level of physical effort needed. Please be aware many clients find the summit day on Mount Kenya a real challenge. The rest of the trek is graded 5- Challenging more as a consequence of the high altitude and extended wilderness and the difficulty of walking; hence the Challenging/ Tough grading for the overall trek.

Our Burguret to Sirimon route circuit is designed to give you an excellent chance of reaching the summit by using a five-day route on the mountain and having an extra acclimatisation day at a mid-way camp on the moorland (3700m). There is a good chance our group will not encounter anyone else on the mountain until arriving at Kami Camp or the summit walk, as the Burguret route is a seldom used remote path. Our descent via the picturesque Sirimon route, on the north-western side of Mount Kenya, escapes some rainfall, making it drier and, in our view, preferable to other routes. The weather on Mount Kenya can however change quite rapidly from warm daily temperatures to minus figures as the sun goes down. Adequate clothing needs to be worn as to cope with these changes in temperature. Please note that as we reach higher altitude  on  days 4  and 5 of the itinerary there may be a lot of scree, making the trek more challenging. The final ascent is almost exclusively on scree and loose rock without permanent footpaths but no technical skills are required. Some of the trails are not well defined and some forest sections can be slippery and moorland paths can be very wet in poor weather conditions. 

Call for general departures:
0800 643 997
Call for tailormade trips:
+61 3 9998 9052
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Camping & Lodge

1 night basic lodge, en suite, 4 nights full service camping.
You will spend 1 night in a basic lodge and 4nights full-service camping with a private toilet tent. You will only carry your day pack while trekking and local staff will take care of camping chores. Limited single accommodation is available and we can arrange extra accommodation before or after the trip.

Single supplement available from GBP100 (includes tent)

Call for general departures:
0800 643 997
Call for tailormade trips:
+61 3 9998 9052
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
0800 643 997
Call for tailormade trips:
+61 3 9998 9052
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Embracing a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge, but if you’re going to keep it up there’s got to be more to it than

  • Reviewed October 2018
    Gayle Lindsay

    An incredible journey to the top of Kenya

    Words cannot describe how amazing this trip was and photos don't do it justice. Our goal when we started was simply to reach the top of the mountain, however it was the journey to get there that I'll never forget!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The first inspirational moment came on our first evening (before we'd even started the hike) when we met a man who'd summitted Mt Kenya at the age of 81. He is proof that we are often capable of achieving so much more than the limits that we (or society) place on ourselves. Standing at Point Lenana as the sun appeared over the horizon was also an incredible moment that I'll never forget.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our full support team (guides, chefs and porters) were amazing! It is thanks to our guides that everyone in our group managed to reach the summit. They were extremely friendly, very professional and went out of their way to ensure we had the best experience. I have the utmost respect for them!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Walk slowly, drink plenty, laugh lots!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Patrick from Mountain Rock Lodge deserves a special shout out...his selection of jazzy African shirts always brightened up our day!
  • Reviewed October 2018
    katrina lindsay

    mount kenya

    It was a phenomenal and well organised trip from start to finish. The route Exodus take is so peaceful, we didn't bump into any other trekking group until Shiptons camp. The scenery is spectacular and changes all throughout the walk. Summit night is tough but the guides are brilliant and managed to get us to the top without any trouble at all.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We met Ken at our starting lodge, who climbed Mount Kenya at the age of 81. His stories were so inspiring

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the climb and about his country. They couldnt do enough for us to make the trip enjoyable - thank you Peter!1

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It was tough at the top so make sure youare prepared fitness wise for the trek...and enjoy!!
  • Reviewed July 2018
    Denise Prime

    A truly excellent adventure

    It's understandable that people want to say they've climbed the highest mountain somewhere - but having climbed both Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya in the past year, I strongly recommend anyone considering the former to seriously think about Mount Kenya instead. No, it's not as high and summit night is not as long - but if anything, the overall trek is more challenging, given consecutive days of steep ascents and a far more difficult descent. The scenery is truly stunning and, best of all, crowds are non-existent. A fantastic local team ensured that everyone reached the summit.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Admiring the glorious landscapes throughout. Reaching the summit after a tough, slow climb on a dazzling morning.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Peter was friendly and low-key, and set a "pole pole" pace that kept the group close together until summit night, when slower walkers like myself were guided separately to ensure we all succeeded. He was well assisted by Cyrus, who has been climbing Mount Kenya for over 30 years. The chefs deserve a special mention for the excellent meals they produced throughout.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    My group was a highly experienced one, with most having done Kilimanjaro, Everest base camp or both, and we conceded we may have been a little complacent about Mount Kenya. It's a shorter trek, but in no way an easier one, so if you are looking for a good challenge, do consider this. Mount Kenya deserves to be far more popular than it is.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Because of the small matter of a World Cup semi-final, our group opted to complete the trek on summit day. This added 5-6 hours of walking after a short break at Shipton, making for quite a long day. The benefit, however, was hot showers and comfortable beds on our last night in Kenya, followed by an extremely pleasant, lazy half-day at Mountain Rock Lodge before the long drive to the airport. In my view, this worked really well; perhaps future itineraries should also consider this option.
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Philip Loat

    Mount Kenya Ascent

    An interesting comparison with the Kilimanjaro trip I did 3 years ago. Mount Kenya is prettier and certainly less crowded. The final ascent of Mount Kenya is just as hard as Kilimanjaro but took 3 hours compared with Kili's 5-6 plus the extra altitude. Overall then because of the altitude, length of climb and number of walking days Kili is a tougher challenge. Mount Kenya is an excellent alternative though and worth doing on its own or as preparation for Kili.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the top. A lovely morning.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Peter was a great group leader. Interesting information and stories, particularly about Kenya and its tribes.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get plenty of hill walking in before your trip. Its the best kind of preparation. You can leave bags at the Lodge so bring a larger airline bag to put the Exodus one into if you want.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Lovely camp fires on the first two nights. Good for drying out wet things! EXCELLENT food. Thank you for the drinks during a stop over en route back to Nairobi where we were given our certificates. Unexpected and appreciated.
  • Reviewed February 2017
    Andrew Vaughan

    An excellent mountain climbed in excellent company

    Mount Kenya is a far more inspirational mountain than her big sister Kili. The setting is fabulous with austere peaks all around, languid tarns and rich vegetation. The climb on summit day is hard work but very doable - the reward at the top of the view to Batian and Nelion is worth every drop of sweat.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The climb over to the MacKinder valley past two tarns, up a steep scree leading to a col and then down a zig -zag slope with the crags of Batian and Nelion constantly looming to our right leading to the first sight of our final route.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Peter was cheerful and attentive and ensured that the pace suited all the members of our group. His side-kick Cyrus was a staunch and protective backstop for the slower walkers and was always willing to share his extensive knowledge of the mountain. The cook, first-aiders and porters were cheerful and willing at all times.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Follow the packing advice carefully and take only what you need but don't skimp on layers - summit day can be cold at first. Ensure you have a water-proof kitbag (or dry liners) and day sack cover - we did get a little rain and wet kit would have been miserable. Ensure you carry spare camera batteries or a power pack for recharging = also head torch batteries. Take it easy - it's not a race - enjoy the scenery!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There are many routes - we did the Burguret up Sirimon down route which involves 3 full and 2 half days hiking including summit day. For those with time on their hands the Chogoria route up is potentially more attractive and involves an extra day hiking through an impressive gorge. Read 'No Picnic on Mount Kenya' before you travel or even during your climb. The route in the book is the Burguret route.
  • Reviewed February 2016
    Gary Watt

    Mount Kenya

    Just wonderful. The trip notes and photos cannot do justice to what is one of the most special journeys in the world. Habitats change everyday. Views of the different peaks of the mountain gently reveal themselves. Before you finally ascend to the summit and watch the sun-rise across the plains, with Kilimanjoro in the distance. And every step of the way the Exodus team provide perfect commentary, from the flora and fauna to the history of the place. A perfect combination of place and people.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Inspiration and moments to remember don't come much better than stepping onto the summit just before sun-rise. Then all we needed to do was sit back and watch as one of the most wonderful sights unfolded before our eyes - with the added wonder of the summit of Kilimanjaro being visible in the distance. Wonderful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Peter (and the rest of the support team) was nothing sort of amazing, and made sure that our trip was memorable for all the right reasons - a great guide; a wonderful host; and a new found friend. Bravo !
  • Reviewed February 2016
    Neil Dyson

    Ascent of Mt Kenya

    A well organised and paced trek with plenty of time to enjoy the surroundings. Perfect weather conditions and timing on the final ascent produced an amazing sunrise experience "on top of the world." Guides and porters really pleasant and helpful with fresh meals daily.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    From Pt. Lenana to look across the horizon at the curvature of the earth and Kilimanjaro 250 miles away.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He paced us well and knew when to support someone on tricky stretches. He had good local fauna and flora knowledge and could identify all the peaks, tarns and glaciers for us. We were always well briefed for the next day.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a very quiet, unspoilt route. Do it whilst it remains that way. The other more popular routes are over used, often with people who are unprepared. It is a hard route so a good level of fitness will help you enjoy it.
  • Reviewed February 2016
    Francis Taylor

    Mount Kenya

    Anyone keen on treking off the beaten track with little chance of meeting other walkers should look at this trip. The treking is demanding but the effort is rewarded with spectacular views and superb wildlfe. Much better alternative to Killy. Hard to understand why this trip is not oversubscribed!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Watching the sunrise at Point Leanna at just under 5000m and looking across at the top of Killymanjaro poking up out of the clouds some 250 miles away is a truly unforgetable moment.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Having went on a few of these trips and met some professionals the leader is this group surpassed all others. His knowledge coupled with his personality made him a pleasure to travel with.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Give Exodus a call on this one. If you want to see rural East Africa without crowds of walkers this is the trip for you. Truly an experience which is understated at present. Get there before that changes.
  • Reviewed October 2015
    Julii Brainard

    Mt Kenya Ascent

    I thoroughly enjoyed this, but it is tough.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to Pt. Lenana.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Friendly, seemed very organised.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I managed to walk wearing sandals & knee-length shorts for the first 3 days (sandy soils, through bamboo forest & across the initial bog). If you know you tend to prefer walking in sandals, I recommend it as long as you can handle muddy feet & biting ants (they bite the people wearing regular boots & full trousers too) . Need light trainers for chilly nighttime; 3 pairs of shoes isn't so crazy in case one pair needs drying out.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Bring painkillers in case of high altitude headaches or mild sickness. Our Guide asked us to decide the size of tip for each team member (porter, guides, cook, etc). This is apparently unusual, but guide wanted to do things this way to make things transparent. Worth being prepared for! We gave more to the staff with more responsibility which seemed to be well-received by the team.
  • Reviewed July 2015
    Julia Dolan

    Mount Kenya Trek

    Well organised with good guides. The scenery is ever changing and quite spectacular. Great weather - perfect blue sky and sunshine on summit day. The camp by the caves on the second night is really something special with the singalong by the campfire and the millions of stars in the sky.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the sunrise on the approach to the summit. The beautiful green tarns on day three.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very good - friendly, approachable and informative.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring lots of wet wipes and plenty of deet - there are a LOT of insects!

Dates & Prices

Call us on 0800 643 997