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Climb Mount Kenya - Chogoria Route

Climb Kenya’s highest mountain from East to North via it's driest and arguably most scenic route. 4 days.

DURATION
3 Nights
COMFORT
Happy Camping
LOCATION
Kenya
SEASON
Year round
NEAREST AIRPORT

This climbing adventure will take you to the summit of this notorious mountain, traversing from the East to the North. You’ll ascend the peak via the remote Chogoria route and descend via the forest tracks of the Sirimon route; achieving Point Lenana, the highest trekking peak on Mount Kenya, along the way.

Your hassle-free adventure includes

  • 4 days trekking
  • 3 nights camping/mountain hut stays
  • Local, certified guide, porters and cook
  • All park fees
  • All meals during the trek
  • Local transfers
  • Airport transfer
  • All taxes, insurances and licenses relative to the trip

Perfect for

Keen trekkers looking for a walking holiday that offers a unique experience. If you love to hike and can comfortably manage 5-7 hours of gentle walking, this trip is for you.

Need To Know

The following are not included in the trip price:

  • Flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tips for your guides (optional)

This trip will run with a minimum of 2 people, and a maximum of 12. The guest to guide ratio will be maximum 6:1. Please note, if there are not 2 people booked the trip may be rearranged or cancelled.

Sure can! A lot of people do, and it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Previous mountain climbing experience is not necessary to climb Mt. Kenya, You should have a decent level of trekking fitness, but as long as you lead a reasonably active lifestyle and are comfortable walking for 6-8 hours a day then a gruelling pre-trek fitness regime is not really necessary.

The fitter you are the more you will enjoy the hike. If you’d like to do some prep: spend a good number of hours walking on rolling terrain with a small pack of say 5kg on your back. Other forms of cardiovascular exercise such as running, cycling and swimming will also of course help with the right kinds of fitness, though especially if they focus mainly on the legs.

It is recommended you make an appointment at least 4-6 weeks before your trip and inform your doctor that you are travelling to Kenya. This allows for adequate time to get new immunisations, if required, and ensure that others are up-to-date. Due to the elevation, there is no risk of contact with mosquitos. You should also talk to your doctor about the risks of exercise at high altitude. You can check the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website for the most up-to-date recommendations.

Wild animals on Mt. Kenya do not normally come in contact with hikers and because of the dense forest most species are rarely seen. If surprised or provoked they, particularly cape buffalo and elephant, may attack.

Talking, frequently clapping or making a ‘hooting’ sound while hiking through the forest zones warns animals you are approaching and they should move away from you. Do not approach the animal or proceed along the trail if it fails to move away. Consider backtracking away from elephant and buffalo in particular. Feeding wild animals disrupts their natural behaviour and this includes monkeys, hyrax and birds. You may also be attacked if the animal is aggressive, so exercise caution and leave the wildlife alone. Do not break twigs or branches and leave flowers to grow where you find them — that is where they are most beautiful.

Yes, of course. The more time you take for your body to acclimatise to the high altitude, the more you’ll enjoy the climb. Feel free to get in touch with the host to discuss how they can adjust the route to your preferences.

Refuse left by careless hikers is not only an eyesore but can also be harmful to all forms of wildlife. There is no proper means of waste disposal on the mountain other than carrying litter out.

Buried litter breaks down extremely slowly in this environment and is liable to be dug up by animals. Unsightly and unhealthy garbage pits could result which is why we are very attentive to this issue. Burning is illegal.

If you have extra supplies, give them directly to someone who will use them. Do not leave them in the huts. Collect uneaten food scraps and pack them out with the litter. Do not feed the animals. Be a part of the Mount Kenya Clean-Up Effort; bring back more than just your own litter!

With so many individuals concentrated in limited areas on the mountain, it is vital to protect water sources from contamination. All drinking water is purified by boiling it. You may feel more comfortable using purification tablets. Never use soap directly in water sources. Even the best biodegradable soaps take several days under ideal conditions to break down. Where possible move at least 10 meters away from the water sources before using soap. Human faecal material is a major source of water contamination on the mountain. Where they exist, use an established toilet (choo).

Yes, children are from the age of 12 are welcomed to join this trip, if you’re booking as a private group.

Although Mount Kenya can be climbed all year round, the highest rainfall occurs between late March and the middle of May and slightly less between late October and mid-December.

Maximum rainfall occurs in the forest belt and on the south-east side of the mountain where it reaches 2500mm per year at 3000m. Precipitation decreases with altitude and is about 700mm per year at 4500m. Rain and, higher up, snow can, however, be encountered at any time of year – even in the driest periods (January and February); but 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. Temperatures vary considerably with height and with the time of day. On the plains surrounding Mount Kenya, the average daily temperature is about 25°C. At 3000m touches of frost can be encountered at night while day temperatures range from 5 to 15°C. Night time temperatures on the summit are well below freezing. The south-facing side of Mount Kenya receives more sunshine in the December to March period. During this time rock climbs are “in-condition” and snow and ice climbs gradually deteriorate. During June to October, the north-facing rock climbs and south-facing ice climbs are best.

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Start point?
You will be met at Jomo Kenyatta Airport. Your transfer will meet all flights scheduled to land by 06:15 or earlier. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

End point?
You will be dropped off at Jomo Kenyatta Airport. You are free to book any flight that departs after 18:45. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Getting there and away?
Jomo Kenyatta Airport (JKIA) is served by regular, inexpensive flights. You can get any flight that suits you, but make sure they fit the times above to take advantage of the included transfers. We will contact you before you leave to check your arrival and departure plans.

  • 4 season sleeping bag and a liner
  • Sleeping pad: full-length Therma-Rest or equivalent.
  • Fleece or wool hat: it must cover the ears
  • Shade hat: a visor hat with a good brim is essential for protection from the equatorial sun
  • Bandanas: various uses – cleaning glasses, sun protection when tied around the neck, etc.
  • Sunglasses or Glacier glasses: essential eye protection whether in the tropics, at high altitudes or by the water.
  • 2x T-shirts: Patagonia capilene is best. No cotton.
  • Long underwear top: one medium weight and one heavyweight long sleeve Patagonia capilene, pull-over is best.
  • Fleece or soft-shell jacket
  • Gore-Tex Parka
  • Down or Synthetic jacket
  • Fleece gloves
  • Shell gloves
  • Underwear
  • Hiking shorts: one pair of quick-drying shorts
  • Long underwear or tights: to be worn under heavier layers on colder days or worn by themselves on warmer days, which are why tights are good.
  • Soft-shell pants
  • Gore-Tex Pants
  • 2 pairs of thin socks
  • 2 pairs of thick socks
  • Hiking boots
  • Gaiters
  • Tennis shoes or sandals
  • Toiletries
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Earplugs
  • Personal first aid
  • Towel
  • Wet wipes
  • 2 one-quart, wide-mouthed plastic bottles
  • Water treatment tablets
  • Water flavouring: powdered additives like Tang, Gatoraid and Wyler’s lemonade make treated water taste better.
  • Adjustable ski poles
  • Day Pack: with padded shoulder straps and waist belt
  • Large Backpack: gear will be kept in it and the entire Backpack will go into the group mountain bag that will be carried by the porters
  • Plastic bags to protect belongings from rain

Other recommendations are: - Camera - Binoculars - Mobile phone - Umbrella - Snacks - Personal medicine if required (please inform your guide in case of emergency)

Location

View map

Mt. Kenya, an extinct volcano that last erupted between 2.8 to 3.2 million years ago, was gazetted a National Park in 1949 and a National Reserve in 2000 and is managed by Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).

In the 2800 sq km of National Park and National Reserve, there are over 800 recorded plant species with 81 species being endemic to Mt. Kenya. There is also a wide variety of wildlife such as elephant, buffalo, eland, bushbuck, waterbuck, zebra, hyena, colobus monkey, white-throated guenon and common at higher altitudes, the ubiquitous Monte Kenia rock hyrax.

The elevation range is approximately 2200m to 5200m and includes several distinct vegetation zones: mixed broad-leaf forest, gallery forest, bamboo, giant heath and hagenia, moorland tussock grasses, giant senecio and lobelia and, at the uppermost elevation, rock and ice.

Start point

You will be met at Jomo Kenyatta Airport (NBO). Your transfer will meet all flights scheduled to land by 06:15 or earlier. Alternatively, you can arrange for your host to pick you up from your hotel in Nairobi. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

Finish point

You will be dropped off at Jomo Kenyatta Airport (NBO). You are free to book any flight that departs after 18:45. Alternatively, you can arrange to be taken back to your hotel in Nairobi. Your host will be in touch before the trip to finalise details.

What to Expect

Day 1: Nairobi to Mt Kenya Bandas

After pick-up in Nairobi at 08:00hrs, you’ll take a drive through agricultural country up to Chogoria town for lunch.

After lunch, you’ll be transferred by 4x4 up to the starting point of your trek; you’ll make your way through dense bamboo forest for a distance of 10 km up to the Mt Kenya Bandas.

Tonight, you’ll spend the night at the Mount Kenya Bandas (3000m); enjoy dinner and get to know the group ahead of a great adventure together.

3 hours trekking, 10km, 950m ascent

Day 2: Mt Kenya Bandas to Minto’s Campsite

You’ll have an early start today as you take a long trek on a wide track through the forest; keep a lookout for the occasional elephant, bushbuck, buffalo and impala.

Emerging from the forest, you’ll walk through heather before crossing the Nithi River to reach the moorlands from where you can enjoy good views of the picturesque Gorges Valley, Lake Michaelson, and the popular 200m-high cliff known as The Temple.

Tonight, you will set up camp at Minto’s campsite (4200m). Enjoy dinner around the camp-stove and get an early night ahead of a long trek tomorrow.

8-9 hours trekking, 17km, 1400m ascent

Day 3: Summit Day

Rise early this morning as you begin your pre-dawn attempt on the summit at 03:00. You’ll hike for around three hours up to the highest trekking point of the mountain, Pt. Lenana (4985m), the hikers’ summit.

Your early start is made worthwhile as you arrive on the summit to witness the African sunrise. Take in this elite moment before you descend to Shipton’s camp (4200m) for breakfast.

After breakfast, you’ll begin a 5-hour descent via Mackinder`s valley to the Judmiere camp (3300m). The descent is gentle, allowing you to take in your surrounding on your way to your final camp.

11-12 hours trekking, 24km, 685m ascent

Day 4: Return to Nairobi.

After an early breakfast, you’ll begin the 3-hour descent to the Sirimon Park gate.

Your transfer will be waiting to take you back to Nairobi, stopping for lunch on-route in Nanyuki.

You’ll arrive in Nairobi at around 17:00 for your forwarding journey home to share your experience with friends and family.

2 hours walking

Note: This itinerary and the duration of the activities are subject to change due to group abilities and preferences, and weather conditions and forecasts.

Accommodation

During the trip, you’ll mountain camp in tents and sometimes stay in mountain huts at various points along the route. If you prefer to camp throughout the entire trip, just let your host know.

The mountain huts are often privately owned and offer basic dorm-style rooms shared with other hikers.

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Dates & Prices

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Your host will confirm your booking subject to availability. There may be a minimum number of guests required to guarantee that a trip will go ahead.

Prices include

Accommodation · Airport Transfers · Equipment · Guide · Local Transport · Meals As Described · Happiness Guaranteed · 100% Financial Protection · No Single Supplements

Please note: Flights are NOT included and must be purchased separately.

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Guide Prices

Group size Adults Children
1
2
3–12

Please note: These prices may change subject to extra requirements.

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Optional Extras

Make your life easy. Once you have reserved your space, your host can help you arrange the extras you’ll need. Here are some guide prices which can be confirmed with you during booking.

Additional Day of Guided Trekking Payable Before Departure
Additional Day of Guided Trekking (e.g. for better acclimatisation) $160.00 Per Person
Single Supplement (private guide) Payable Before Departure
Single Supplement $200.00

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