Mount Kenya Climbing Safari:- At a height of 5199 meters above sea level, Climbing Mount Kenya expeditions has three peaks, Batian 5,199m being the most difficult climbing peak, Nelion 5,188m second difficult climb 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. Mount Kenya is Africa’s second highest mountain at 5,199m (17,058 feet) 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 center 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 main peaks (Batian, Lenana and Nelion), only point Lenana can be reached by trekkers and the other two being only for technical climbers.
Mount Kenya is the second highest peak in Africa and stands somewhat unjustly in the shadow of its taller neighbor Kilimanjaro, which lies some 320km away in the south and is visible on a clear day. Kili may see much more traffic – due to the possibility of summiting via several non-technical trekking routes and due to the sometimes dubious honor of being one of the Seven Summits – but Mount Kenya offers a wealth of excellent and diverse climbing possibilities on rock, snow and ice.
Mount Kenya Climbing Safari – Africa’s second highest mountain – Mount Kenya Climbing Safari offers a choice of exciting treks and climbs through its varied scenery of volcanic ridges, deep valleys and rugged landscape. To climb Mount Kenya is an experience of a lifetime, highly recommended to the adventurous traveler willing to forego some of life’s luxuries for a few days. Mount Kenya offers a choice of exciting treks and climbs through varied ecosystems and awe-inspiring scenery. With its volcanic ridges and glacial valleys radiating across the land like spokes from a wheel, the massive bulk of Mount Kenya straddles the Equator yet is permanently crowned with snow. The Mount Kenya National Park, surrounded by 2000 square kilometers of Forest Reserve, is dominated by the twin summits of Batian (5,199 m) and Nelion (5,188 m).
The Mount Kenya Forest Reserve provides the ideal habitat for vast herds of buffalo and elephant as well as a bright kaleidoscope of birds and other wildlife. At higher altitudes, the forest gives way to lush bamboo groves where Columbus monkeys leap and leopard prowl and, higher up, there is tussock grass and alpine moorlands, jewel-studded by icy glacial tarns and moraines. As for the globally unique alpine flora, it features 13 species endemic to the mountain including giant lobelias, groundsel and water-holding cabbages.
Long overshadowed by Kilimanjaro, trekkers are starting to take notice of this beautiful glacial peak. An ancient dormant volcano, its flanks have been shaped and moulded to dramatic affect by glaciation. Mount Kenya plays host to dense bamboo and rain forest on its lower slopes and rare Afro-Alpine moorland and plant-life at higher elevations. Alongside the climbers’ twin peaks of Batian (5199m) and Nelion (5,188m) lies the no less dramatic trekker’s peak at Lenana (4,985m). The trek up Mount Kenya demands a degree of fitness and altitude smarts, but it rewards all the way to the peak.
Climbing Mount Kenya is very accessible and there-in lies the problem. With a decent level of fitness it is easy to gain altitude quickly and find yourself the on the night before summiting with a throbbing head-ache and all the symptoms of acute mountain sickness. Trekking with a good experienced guide, taking a sensible easy pace and keeping hydrated makes all the difference. The best approach is always to allow extra time for your ascent, an extra day at Shipton’s Camp takes all the pressure of the itinerary and gives you time to enjoy the fabulous trekking around the peak. Generally speaking it isn’t necessary to undergo a gruelling fitness regime prior to attempting Mount Kenya, anyone who is trek fit, and is comfortable walking 6-8 hour days should be fine.
Mount Kenya Climbing Safari Guides, Porters and Cooks
The trekking crew will usually consist of a guide, cook, porter for the cooking gear plus a personal porter per trekker. It has been said before, but a good experienced guide is so important on Mount Kenya, for two reasons; (1) they will regulate your pace, be able to draw on their experience to diagnose altitude sickness symptoms and have the confidence to make critical decisions and (2) their knowledge of the wildlife and fauna on the mountain will bring the environment alive. All guides and porters must be registered with Kenya Wildlife Services and hold a mountain guide park from Mt Kenya National Park. It is fair to say that all the guides will have a good knowledge of the routes, but only the good guides will have wildlife knowledge and experience of dealing with altitude sickness problems.
Point Lenana (4985m) can be achieved by any physically fit person and no climbing experience is necessary.
The various routes to climb Mount Kenya
This route provides the easiest and most scenic access to the Northern side of the central peaks, which include Batia, Nelion and Lenana. The track is 15 km from Nanyuki town heading towards Meru. This route has a lot of advantages that makes it more favorable and comfortable. It lies on the northwestern side of Mt. Kenya, and generally escapes some rainfall, making it drier than other routes most time of the year. There are two permanent camps, the Old Moses at 3300 m and Shipton’s camp 4200 m (overlooking the main peaks) From the Mackinder valley, where the Shipton camp stands, you have the panoramic view of all the main peaks including Terere and Sendeyo two ancient parasitic vents of the main peaks. Water is plentiful and you can always refill your bottles. You also have a chance to cross the Equator both at Nanyuki and on your way to Old Moses Camp.
This route provides access to the peaks, from the eastern side of the mountain. The route begins from chogoria town; about 96km from Embu and 64km from Meru. It is regarded as being the most beautiful route to the mountain. Ernest Carr, who made a vehicle track to the moorland, opened it in 1920s. It is however, a much longer route, compared to the others.
Camping is possible at the road head and water is available from a stream that passes by. Mintos Hut (4,300m) is an excellently sited hut on the plateau overlooking Lake Michaelson 300m below. Spectacular views can be sighted at the Nithi George, by walking ten minutes south-east of the Mintos hut to the edge of the “Temple.” From Hall Tarn the trail continues to the Austria Hut (4,790m) via square Tarn and the Tooth Col, then round the head of the Hobley Valley. Alternatively Shipton’s Camp (4,200m) may be reached (3 hours), via Simba Col. Drop down towards lower Simba Tarn and turn left to Shipton’s Camp.
This route to the Teleki Valley and is the shortest way to the peaks. It is the most densely populated with hikers owing to the fact that is the shortest way up, and most obvious trail. A steep marshy section known as the Vertical bog, is reached one hour from Met Station, this section is terrible and is covered in two hours. After three to four hours from Met Station the path reaches the crest of the ridge overlooking Teleki Valley (4000m)
The path contours along the right hand side of the Teleki Valley, keeping high and then gradually descending to pass Naro Moru stream to Mackinder’s Camp (4,200m). From Met Station to Mackinder’s camp is app 5-6 hours of hiking. The Austrian hut can be reached in a further 4 hours walk and another 45 min you see point Lenana (4985m)
The route starts from Mountain Rock Hotel, and goes through the forest past Gathiuru Forest Station to an indistinct road head at the end of the plantation area – 2,500m. The trail continues from here to elephant camp 2,600m. The trail cuts through tropical rainforest till it gets to the more open Hagenia –Hypericum Zone 2860m and eventually to the Heath Zone from where you can now clearly see the peaks. Further on after the castle there is a good campsite ‘kampi ya farasi’ on which we pitch up our tents for the night.
From ‘kampi ya farasi’, the trail swings left and climbs steeply out of the valley. The ridge bears right again, and a walk over rocky ground brings you round the hill. The trail then swings to the left via the Hausberg Col and Oblong Tarn to Mackinder’s valley and descends down to Shipton’s Camp (4,200m).
Mount Kenya Summit Circuit of the main Peaks.
Beginning from Shipton’s Camp you ascend directly to Kami Hut, follow the sandy scree to Hausberg Col and drop steeply to Oblong and Hausberg Tarn for a short rest.
After your rest the path leads straight on between the two tarn’s to reach the foot of a scree slope that climbs steeply up a to reach a col with Nanyuki tarn as its base.
The path trends left and downwards from the col passing below Arthurs seat, trends to reach Nanyuki Tarn, passes to the left of the tarn, to climb a short rocky section, then cross a small col to reach Hut Tarn, turning right to reach Two Tarn Hut (4,490m)
From here the path continues along the right side of the tarn, climbs a bolder to reach a scree overlooking Teleki Valley then drops through a steep scree slope to reach Mackinder camp (4,200m).
From Mackinder’s trend northwards to meet a path coming from American Camp, the path to Austrian Hut can be seen snaking up the large scree slope on the opposite side of the valley, follow this clearly cairned path around the head of a valley. Cross a boulder scree and a large buttress, trend steeply upwards to reach Tooth Col, from this col it is possible to see down into Georges Valley and Hall Tarns.
The path then drops down to square Tarn, continues to follow cairns trending left and down towards Simba Tarn, drop steeply down towards the lower Simba Tarn the cut across the to the shiptons camp. Hiking time to complete the circuit is eleven hours. It is advisable to split the trip into two by spending a night a t the Mackinder’s camp on the Teleki Valley (4,200m).
We stay on trails where they exist. This protects the surrounding vegetation and prevents soil erosion.
If we are hiking where no trails exist, we spread the impact (do not hike in a single file) so that we don’t create new trails. When taking breaks, we choose areas that will not show as much sign that people have been there, such as rock or bare ground. Sitting on vegetation leads to its destruction.