Written by Super User
Category: Mount Kenya
'Gradual Paced ascent' up Sirimon route, 'summit circuit trek' before summit & 'quick descent' down Chogoria route. The tripThis itinerary uses the gentlest ascent trail up Mount Kenya and is tailored to provides extremely effective acclimatisation by having extra but shorter walking days during the trek. On the way up you split the distance to the base of the peaks into 3 bits rather than the usual 2, then skirt the high peaks in the anticlockwise direction in 2 moderate bits completing the summit circuit trek with reasonable ease. On the trek around the peaks you pass Hausberg col 4,600m and enjoy splendid views of the rocky towers, tarns and suspended glaciers of the west face of Batian peak. Then descend down the Teleki valley and join the Naromoru summit trail and overnight at Mackinder's camp. An early morning hike on day 6 gets us to Point Lenana, 4,985m – the hikers summit then a quick descent on the Chogoria trail.
Accommodation is 1 night comfortable hotel, 4 nights in mountain huts, 1 night of camping. Nonetheless, if you prefer to camp you can do so on all nights on the mountain.
Day 1: TO MOUNTAIN ROCK LODGE, 1950m.
a.m. Transfer from Nairobi – Mountain Rock lodge (200kms /3.5hrs).
p.m. Nature hike. (12kms /3hrs).
Drive from Nairobi to our base lodge on the western slopes of Mt Kenya tucked away in the Mount Kenya forest andacclimatisation begins here. This afternoon is an inclusive walk through the forest where local natural history guide will reveal the medicinal plants, birds and animals of the forest environment as you explore the lower montane forest while heading to the famous Mau Mau caves - an interesting hike that prepares you for the main trek.
DAY 2: TO OLDMOSES MOUNTAIN HUT, 3340m.
a.m. Transfer to Sirimon Gate, 2,600m. (45kms / 1.5hrs).
p.m. Trek, Sirimon gate - Oldmoses (10kms / 3hrs). Ascent: +740m.
Short drive, crossing the equator en-route, to the Sirimon Park Gate. On completion of park entry formalities we trek up through magnificent montane forests, bamboo and giant heather zones before reaching the high altitude moorland and our first hut, "Old Moses" at 3,340m. This first day's gentle trek takes 2-3 hours and ascends 740m. NB: For this itinerary, private groups that opt to camp rather than use the Oldmoses hut can do so.
Day 3: TO LIKI NORTH CAMPSITE, 3993m.Trek from Oldmoses – Liki North (approx. 7Kms. / 4hrs). Ascent: +896m.
Up the sprawling moorland to the spectacular Likii Valley an area of beautiful high altitude plants such as Ostrich Plum Lobelia and Cabbage Groundsel to emerge at the Liki North campsite at 3993m for camping (no option of a mountain hut at this location). This is a short walking day about 4 hours, with an optional acclimatisation hike in afternoon up onto Terere peak.
Day 4: TO SHIPTON'S HUT, 4236m.Trek from Liki North - Shipton's Camp (approx. 7Kms. / 4hrs). Ascent: +896m.
Another 4 hour trek up the splendid Mackinder Valley trekking past peculiar looking giant groundsel and lobelia plants to arrive at Shipton's camp at 4,236m for the night in the hut. This is a surreal setting below the towering peaks and glaciers, with its resident populations of bizarre rock hyrax and beautiful sunbirds.
NB: for this itinerary, private groups that opt to camp rather than use the Shipton's hut can do so.
Day 5: TO MACKINDER'S CAMP, 4300m.Trek from Shipton's – Mackinder's via Hausberg 4,600m. (approx. 7Kms / 5hrs). Ascent +364m.
Depart after breakfast and ascend to Hausberg col (4700m) then descend steeply to Hausberg valley and Oblong tarns before making a further steep ascent, crossing huge boulders via Two Tarn to Mackinder's camp 4,300m for overnight in the hut. The summit circuit trail we pass through today is very scenic and also offers a quality trek for better acclimatisation. NB: for this itinerary, private groups that opt to camp rather than use the Mackinder's hut can do so.
DAY 6: TO SUMMIT, 4,985m & MERU BANDAS, 3,000m.
Trek via the Summit to Meru Bandas, approx. 22Kms / 14hrs. Ascend 685m then descent: -1985m We start with a pre-dawn trek (2am) to reach the summit Pt. Lenana at 4,895m for sunrise. The climb is on frozen scree going through the Harris tarn and requiring some scrambling on final stretch to reach the summit. You need a bright head torch for this. The climb takes 4hrs and to add to the exhilaration, Kilimanjaro is usually visible on the horizon. After enjoying the picturesque summit we then start another 2-3 hours descent to Hall Tarns (4,300m) for a hefty breakfast enjoying magnificent scenes of a sheer 300m cliff overlooking the Gorges Valley. After the break we continue farther down the mountain through the Chogoria route going gently down a broad ridge enjoying magnificent views back up the valley to the snowy peaks. On the way down we pass magnificent waterfalls, tarns and lava flows in the Gorges Valley. Overnight is in the Meru Mt. Kenya bandas where you have the luxury of a log fire and hot shower. Wildlife viewing possible in evening with elephant and buffalo often grazing outside our cabins and a large numbers of forest and moorland birds.
DAY 7: TO NAIROBI OR NEXT DESTINATION.
a.m. Hike to pick up point, 2600m (approx.10kms / 2hrs). Descent: -400m. through Bamboo / Montane Forest zones
p.m. Transfer from Pick up point – Nairobi by car. (230kms / 4-5hrs).Short descent on a broad track through bamboo and virgin rain forest to meet vehicles for the return to Nairobi - usually arriving mid to late afternoon.