Mt. Kenya, 5.199m, is the second highest mountain in Africa, an extinct volcano whose diameter at the base is about 12 km. In 1997 UNESCO inscribed Mount Kenya a World Heritage Site as "one of the most impressive landscapes in Eastern Africa with its rugged glacier-clad summits, Afro-alpine moorlands and diverse forests that illustrate outstanding ecological processes". Since 1978, the area is also an International Biosphere Reserve. Mt. Kenya, an extinct volcano, was gazetted a National Park in 1949 and a National Reserve in 2000 and is managed by Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). Its extension is 2.800 sq km. The elevation range is between 2200 to 5200 metres and includes several vegetation zones: Mixed broad-leaf forest, Gallery Forest, Bamboo, Giant Heath and Hagenia, moorland tussock grasses, Giant Senecio and Lobelia and rock and ice.
There are three popular routes to the peaks of Mount Kenya: the Naro Moro, the Sirimon and Chogoria; all can be integrated with the Summit Circuit. There is rock and ice climbing of a high standard to the twin summit peaks of Batian (5199 m) and Nelion (5188 m). The third highest peak is Point Lenana (4985 m) which can be reached by any fit walker, suitably equipped. The snow covered peaks and glaciers are located about 16 km south of the equator (while the Rwenzori peaks are situated on the north of the equator). All the central body and peaks are surrounded by the Summit Circuit path, a circular trail which gives you the best sceneries of the mountain.
All meals for the trekking are either fresh or tinned. At night, and on the higher parts of the mountain, temperatures often drop below zero, so warm clothes and high altitude sleeping bags are essential.
The best period to climb Mount Kenya:
The climbing season for Mount Kenya is generally the dry season, from December to March and from June to September. However, the chances of encountering good weather on the mountain seem to be about equal throughout the year, so the timing of your safari is not as critical as once was due to climatic changes.
Day 1 - Naro Moru Village
From Nairobi or any other place you reach the village of Naro Moru at the foothills of Mount Kenya for a night of acclimatization at Naro Moru River Lodge.
Day 2 - Stage 1 Naro Moru Lodge to Met Station Hut (3.050m)
Distance: 10 km, Time: 3-4 hours Vegetation: forestAfter breakfast, you prepare your equipment and the trekking starts following on the western side of the mountain to the Naro Moru Park Gate, 2.600m, for registration. You proceed for eight more km in the forest between Northern and Southern Naro Moru Valleys. You reach up to Met Station Hut (3.050m) for dinner and overnight.
Day 3 - Stage 2 Met Station to Mackinders Camp (4.160m)
Distance: 10 km, Time: 6 hours, Vegetation: moorlandLeave the hut and pass through the Teleki Valley within the forest up to 3.200m. This is the starting point of the moorland zone. You ascend the so called Vertical Bog up to the Mackinder’s Camp (4.160m) for dinner and overnight. Enjoy beautiful views of the peaks.
Day 4 - Stage 3
Mackinders Camp to Point Lenana (4.895m) and back to Met Station
Distance: 11 km Time: 8-10 hours, Vegetation: alpineLeave the camp early, normally at 2am and ascend to Point Lenana for the sunrise. Average time 5 hours. About one hour below Point Lenana you reach Austrian Hut (4.790m). After you encounter a narrow rocky path parallel the Lewis Glacier and finally arrive at Point Lenana (4.895m). Then you descend to Mackinders Camp for breakfast and walk further 4 hours to Met Station for dinner and overnight.
Day 5 - Stage 4 Met Station back to Naro Moru
After breakfast descend to Naro Moru Park Gate where you will find the transport for your next destination or return to Nairobi.
Listed below are hotels/lodges/resorts that the safari tour operator can accomodate for you.