Mount Kenya is Africa’s second highest mountain at 5,199m and the highest of all Kenya Mountains. Mount Kenya is roughly circular, about 60km across at the 200mm contour, where the steep font hills rise out of the gentler slopes of the centered highlands. At the centre of the massif, the main peaks rise sharply from around 4,500m to the main summit of Batian 5,199m, Nelion 5,188m and point Lenana 4,985m. Other major summits on the mountain include Point Piggott 4,957m, Point Dutton 4,885 and Point John 4,883m. Of the three Mt. Kenya main peaks (Batian, Lenana and Nelion), only point Lenana can be reached by trekkers and the other two being only for technical climbers.
After the cultivated farmlands on the lower slopes of Mt Kenya, the trails pass through the rain forest, rich in trees of many species but noticeably camphors, then onto a bamboo zone growing to heights of more than 12m or more up through open moor land before reaching the moonscape of higher slopes. The forests on Mount Kenya are rich in wildlife including elephant, buffalo and monkeys with even the moor lands offering a long list of mammals including the rock hyrax, the nearest living relative of the elephant.
Mt. Kenya is an ancient volcanic mountain much older than Mt. Kilimanjaro. Hiking Mount Kenya is believed to have once reached well above 600m. What is left today is volcanic plug which erosion has fashioned into the complex jagged outline of the central peaks.
When to Trek Mount Kenya
Although, Mount Kenya can be climbed all year round, it’s best and safest to climb Mt. Kenya during the dry seasons: months of January-February and August to September off the most reliably fine weather. The main routes are likely to be more crowded at this time of the year. If you favor complete solitude over the sunny skies, try going slightly off the peak season. It’s best to avoid the two rainy seasons from mid March until June and from late October to the end of December.
Mount Kenya climbing Routes/Itineraries
There are three main Mount Kenya climbing routes, which penetrate the forest and the moorland. The Mount Kenya trekking routes are Naromoru, Sirimon and Chogoria and each of which has something different to offer. Naromoru is the fastest route to point Lenana but not as scenic as the other two. Mount Kenya Chogoria Route is the most scenic and Sirimon the most interesting because it is on the drier side of the mountain.
Note: The normal pattern of weather during climb Mount Kenya hiking is for clear mornings with mist closing in from 10:00am although this can clear by evening. Therefore, early morning starts are the order of the day with a 2am start for the
final ascent to point Lenana, if you want to catch the sunrise.
Join Mount Kenya Trekking Groups.
NARO MORU ROUTE
Day 1: Nairobi/Meteorological Station 3-4 hrs, 10km, 400m ascent
Transfer to Naromoru Park Gate for registration and where the hike starts, 2600m From the gate, keep to the park track, which follows the crest of a board ridge between the Northern and Southern Naromoru valleys. The going is easy and it’s a pleasant walking through the forest. About two thirds of the way up after the bridge there are good views to the left north down into the Northern Naromoru valley. The trek ends at Met station 3,000m where dinner and overnight rest will be, L, D
Day 2: Met Station/Mackinders Camp 5-6 hrs, 10km, 1200m ascent
Head uphill on the track to pass the radio must on your right after about half an hour. The trek runs into a path and after another 30 minutes, you will reach the end of the forest belt and enter the moorland. This is the vertical bog conditions range from damp to glutinous depending on when it last rained. Continue through until the going improves and you reach a fork overlooking Teleki Valley to reach Mackinders Camp, 4,200m. Dinner and overnight at Mackinders Camp, B, L, D
Day 3: Mackinders Camp/Point Lenana/Met Station 8-10 hrs, 11km, 785m ascent
The normal approach is to start at 2 am in order to reach point Lenana taking about 4 hr walk by sunrise at 6:30am. After sunrise, descend down to Mackinders Camp for breakfast, 2hrs and walk further 4hrs, way back to Met Station for dinner and overnight, B, L, D
Day 4: Met Station/Naromoru/Nairobi 3hrs, 9km, 400m
After breakfast, descend through the rainforest which is 9km to Naromoru Park Gate at 2,600m where you will connect with your transport back to Nairobi to arrive at approximately 2-3pm, B, L