Mount Kenya is the highest mountain in Kenya and the second highest in Africa, after Mount Kilimanjaro. The Mountain has several peaks but the highest peaks are Batian peak (5,199 meters (17,057 ft)), Nelion Peak (5,188 meters (17,021 ft)) and Point Lenana (4,985 meters (16,355 ft)). Batian and Nelion are permanently iced with snow and small glaciers, and home to an array of technical alpine climbs.
Mount Kenya is located in central Kenya, just south of the equator, around 150 kilometers (94 miles) north-northeast of Kenya’s Capital City, Nairobi. Mount Kenya is the source of the name of the Republic of Kenya.
Mount Kenya is an extinct volcano created approximately 3 million years after the opening of the East African rift. Before glaciations, it was 7,000 m (23,000 ft) high. It was covered by an ice cap for thousands of years. This has resulted in much eroded slopes and numerous valleys radiating from the centre. There are currently eleven small glaciers. The forested slopes are an important source of water for Kenya.
Mount Kenya is close to the equator ad therefore the season for climbing the mountain depends on which side of the peak you want to take. Batian peak is most commonly climbed by the “North Face Standard Route” and the season for this is typically July to September. Nelion peak is commonly done by the MacKinder’s Route. The climb faces southeast and the season is normally December to February when the south side of the peak receives more sun. . The famous ice routes of the Diamond Couloirs and Ice Window face south, and their best season is June to October.
Our trekking safaris to Mt. Kenya cover a broad spectrum of possibilities. We have designed many new itineraries to meet a variety of demands from all types of individuals. We cater to the needs of a range of visitors, from the nature admirer who simply wants to have a leisurely day around the Mt. Kenya National Park or a day hike to explore the unique lower forest of the Mt. Kenya slopes – hoping to have a glimpse of the summits. To the more ambitious, who wishes to summit Point Lenana, we feel that the suggested itineraries offer the best value. However, because the mountain is so large and offers such a diversity of trekking and climbing routes, should there be a need for a special itinerary that you require, please let us know and we will assist you in every way. We will be only too glad to tailor make the itinerary suited to you.
Preparing for your trek.
The very best way to prepare for climbing to high altitude is to climb to high altitude. Although this is difficult for most people, remember that the higher the altitude you can reach and the longer the hikes you do for training, the better. This also allows you to get used to your backpack and boots. You should be hiking with everything in your day pack that you anticipate carrying when climbing Mount Kenya on Mount Kilimanjaro.
Running and biking are also very good and at least take you outdoors so you can test your equipment. Stair masters and climbing machines at the gym will work if outdoor hiking isn’t an option. Try not to go for short hard blasts of exercise but long sustained workouts instead. An adequate training regime is to maintain 75% of your max heart rate (220 minus your age) for an hour, three to four days a week. Remember high altitude mountain climbing requires acclimatization and that a strong mind is as important as a strong body. If you are fairly fit and choose a climbing itinerary that allows plenty of time to acclimatize you have the formula for success.
What to pack.
Items on this list have been chosen to maximize your comfort and safety while hiking on the mountain. The item can be hired from our mountain store as listed on the hiring charges – you are required to book in advance.
For the head and the face:
- Wool hat: Bring one that covers ears, a balaclava type is excellent. -Available for hire @ US$ 20 per hat.
- Shade Hat: Visor hats with good brims are essential for protection from the equatorial sun.
- Sunglasses: Essential for eye protection in the tropics, at altitude.
- Sunscreen: Bring plenty of complete sun block.
- Lip Balm: bring your favorite type.
For the upper body:
- Upper Body Layers: For climbing the mountain we recommend you have three warm layers. Items must be made of wool, synthetic or pile. Make sure all layers fit comfortably over each other and supply good insulation.
- Down Jacket or heavy jacket of wool- available for hire @ US$40 per jacket.
- Fleece jacket or warm wool sweater- available for hire @ US$ 30 per sweater.
- T-shirts – 3 Pieces – Synthetic is the best.
- Gloves: Wool or pile. One pair of heavy mittens and a light pair of gloves work well- available for hire @ US$20 per pair.
- Rain Parka: Afternoon showers are common in East Africa, especially on the mountain. Bring a good rain parka- waterproof nylon that has been “seam sealed” – Available for hire @ US$40 per rain jacket.
For the lower body:
- Quick Dry Hiking Shorts: 1 pair. Good for hiking at lower elevations on the mountain.
- Long Underwear Bottoms: One pair. Wool or synthetic.
- Wool, Bunting or Pile Pants: One pair that fit loosely and is comfortable.
- Rain Trouser: Bring a good pair of rain pants- waterproof nylon that has been “seam sealed”. Available for hire @ US$30.
- Tights: Lycra or polypropylene types are comfortable to hike in, provide good warmth.
- Undergarments: Enough for the duration of the trek.
For the feet:
- Thin Socks: Two pair of synthetic socks to wear under heavy wool socks. These help to prevent blisters and keep feet dry- available for hire @ US$20 per pair.
- Thick Socks: 3 pairs of heavy wool or synthetic socks to wear for warmth with hiking boots- available for hire @ US$20 per pair.
- Hiking Boots: One pair medium weight hiking boots large enough to be comfortable with on liner sock and one heavy wool –available for hire @ US$40 per pair.
- Tennis Shoes or sandals: These are to wear in camp after a day of hiking.
- Sleeping Bag: On the mountain temperatures can get down to zero degrees Fahrenheit at night so bring a warm bag- available for hire @ US$40 per sleeping bag.
- Water Bottle: One of 2 liters wide-mouthed plastic bottles at least. The rest of days we refill with stream water. Bring purifying tables.
For carrying your gear:
- Rucksack (60ltrs): A comfortable pack with some support is adequate to carry personal gear by the porters- available for hire @ US$40 per rucksack.
- Day Pack: Small day pack for your personal loads with camera gear, water for the day and rain jacket and personal effects- available for hire @ US$30 per day pack.
- Store bag of the clothes to be left at hotel. This will meet you at the hotel after the climb.
- Plastic Bags: Several, to double bag your sleeping bag and clothes on the mountain. It can rain every afternoon.
For personal health and comfort:
- Toiletries: Bring enough for entire trip. Keep simple and light. Bring enough for all your needs.
- Walking sticks: Optional* helps to balance on steep terrain- available for hire @US$25 per pair.
- Headlamp: Important on summit day and handy in camp. Plenty of batteries- available for hire @ US$30 per headlamp.
- Personal First Aid and Drug Kit.
- Trail Munchies: Although plenty of snack food is provided, trekkers like that taste of home in their pack. Touted as an important accessory by those who have brought them in the past!’
- Hot Drink Mixes: We will provide plenty of coffee, cocoa and tea, but non-caffeinated drinks are not readily available here. Bring a supply of your favorite herbal teas.
- Towel: For wash up in camp, a small one is fine, or you can use a bandana.
- Towelettes: Such as “Wash ‘n’ Dries” for general hygiene.
- Spare Glasses: For contact wearers in dusty conditions and any eye glass wearer while on vacation.
- Umbrella: Very useful against rain and sun. Most guides use one.
Our Support Team:
We have professional outdoor trained local guides to lead our trekking/ walking and climbing teams. The ratio is 1 Guide for 3 clients.
We have en;ough local porters who provide porterage services. The porters are trained to give all support to the guides and clients while on the safari. The ratio is 2 Porters for 1 Client.
We have trained chef to accompany our every trip. They are trained to cater all diets depending with clients’ request- able to handle special diet cases like vegetarian diets.
The ratio is 1 cook for 5 clients.
All meals for the trek is either fresh or tinned. Our chefs do their best to prepare a three course meal up on the mountain- starting with hot soup and bread roll, Main course- either pasta, rice, mashed potatoes served with vegetable stew, chicken stew, or beef stew, then fresh fruits and finish up with a cup of hot coffee/tea/chocolate.
Number of clients:
Our Minimum number is 1 person.
Maximum group per trip is 30 people.
Minimum number of years to do our high altitude trek is 12 years old and considered as an adult in terms of payments.