Climb Mount Kenya - Burguret Route

Summit Kenya’s highest peak traversing via its wildest and most remote route. 6 days.

  • Kenya
  • Year round
  • Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi (NBO)

This challenging climb will take you via a wild ascent on an overgrown track which is rough underfoot and used more often by elephants than people. On this previously abandoned route, you’ll traverse through dense stands of giant bamboo and montane forest with a high chance of meeting elephants and buffalo.

Your hassle-free adventure includes

  • 6 days trekking
  • 5 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 hiking holiday that offers a unique experience in a remote and wild setting. If you love to hike and can comfortably manage 5-7 hours of hiking, 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.

  • 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)

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.

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

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.

We’ve teamed up with the guys at World Nomads to offer insurance designed for adventurous travellers across 140 countries that includes overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities. To get yours sorted, click here.

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).

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.

We’ve teamed up with the guys at World Nomads to offer insurance designed for adventurous travellers across 140 countries that includes overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities. To get yours sorted, click here.

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.

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 Giant Bamboo Camp

After pick-up in Nairobi at 08:00hrs, you’ll take a drive to Nanyuki town for a welcome lunch.

After lunch, you’ll continue your drive to Gathiuru forest station to begin your trek. You initial 4-hour ascent will take you through dense stands of towering bamboo – hence the name of your first camp.

You’ll spend tonight at the Giant Bamboo Camp (2600m), a popular area for elephant and buffalo spotting. Enjoy dinner and get to know the group ahead of a great adventure together.

4 hours trekking, 10km, 740m ascent

Day 2: Giant Bamboo Camp to Highlands Castle

After breakfast this morning, you’ll leave the bamboo behind and venture into enormous podocarpus and pencil cedar forest.

You’ll climb to the hagenia rosewood zone at the edge of the moorlands where you’ll stop for lunch.

You’ll continue your trek up through giant lobelia and groundsels before arriving at the Highland Castle (3700m) where you’ll camp close to the sheer lava cliffs.

5-6 hours trekking, 10km, 1100m ascent

Day 3: Highlands Castle to Shipton Camp

Today, you’ll trek around the summit circle, surrounded by the volcanic peaks and glaciers that tower above.

As you make your way to Shipton’s Mountain Hut in the Mackinders valley, keep a lookout for turquoise tarns below and eagles and buzzards overhead.

Tonight, you’ll stay at Shipton Camp (4200m) where you can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding major peaks.

5-6 hours trekking, 10km, 500m ascent

Day 4: Summit Day

Rise early this morning for your pre-dawn attempt on the summit at 03:00. Your hike will start on frozen scree and continue on a rocky track requiring some minor scrambling.

You’ll hike for around 3 hours up to the highest trekking point of the mountain, Pt. Lenana (4985m). Your early start is made worthwhile as you arrive on the summit to witness the African sunrise and the vague sight of Mt Kili on the horizon adds to the exhilaration.

You’ll descend for 2-3 hours to Hall Tarns (4300m) for breakfast and spend the rest of the day here relaxing. Your camp is close to the top of a 300m sheer cliff with views over the Gorges Valley.

8-10 hours trekking, 17km, 785m ascent, 685m descent

Day 5: Hall Tarns to Meru Mt. Kenya Cabins

This morning you’ll enjoy the gentle hike down a broad ridge with views back up the valley to the snowy peaks.

You’ll make your way to the Meru Mt. Kenya Cabins for a night of luxury; log fires, hot showers and beds.

Celebrate your achievement with your new-found friends and maybe head out for an evening walk; you’ll often find elephants and buffalo grazing outside the cabins.

4-5 hours trekking, 17km, 1300m descent

Day 6: Return to Nairobi.

After an early breakfast, you’ll descend on a broad track through bamboo and virgin rainforest to meet your transfer vehicle.

You’ll be transferred back to Nairobi, stopping off in Chogoria town on the way for some lunch.

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

3 hours trekking

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

Prices include

  • Accommodation
  • Airport Transfers
  • Equipment
  • Guide
  • Local Transport
  • Meals As Described

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

Instant Book Icon Request To Book

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.

Large group? Make a private booking
Special requirements? Get a quote for a custom trip

If you can't find a private trip that suits you, try a group trip or ask for a quote.

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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