MOUNT KENYA


Mt. Kenya Summary
Mount Kenya is the highest mountain in Kenya and the second-highest in Africa, after Kilimanjaro. The highest point of the mountain is Batian Peak at 5,199 metres or 17,057 feet, however to secure the summit, technical climbing equipment is required. Point Lenana, at 4,985 metres (or 16,355 feet) is the third highest peak and considered the walking summit. The mountain is an extinct stand- alone volcano – one of the volcanic sisters of East Africa – which last erupted between 2.6 and 3.1 million years ago.

Mount Kenya is just 150 kilometres (93 miles) northeast of Nairobi and is an area of great scenic beauty. It is a challenging and rewarding trek in its own right but is also an excellent practice climb for Mt. Kilimanjaro. With the two mountains only 325 kilometres (203 miles) apart, travel between the two is easily achieved by either air or ground transportation


Climbing Mt. Kenya (4 days or 5 days program)
Mount Kenya can be climbed all year round, but the driest periods of the year occur between January and March, and between July and September annually. The highest rainfall occurs between late March and the middle of May, and slightly less between late October and mid-December. Snow can be encountered any time of year, even in the driest periods.

Mount Kenya is home to some fascinating alpine and sub-alpine vegetation including giant groundsels and lobelias. There are 13 giant floral species found only on Mount Kenya. While trekking, you will experience this unique and unusual alpine vegetation as you explore the pristine wilderness, lakes, tarns, waterfalls and mineral springs.

Wildlife viewing is possible, especially at the lower altitudes, and includes species such as elephant, African buffalo, black rhino, antelopes (waterbuck, mountain bongo, bushbuck, duikers), black and white colobus, sykes monkey and giant forest hog. 130 bird species have been recorded at Mount Kenya including the Hadada ibis, silvery cheeked hornbill and the spectacled mousebird.

Rock hyrax olive baboon, alpine chat and olive thrush are frequent visitors at camp / hut sites. Leopards can be out at night in search of hyrax – especially at Mackinder's Camp – however, you will be asleep when they are out prowling.

 

   
 
Highlights:
  • Option of using a combination of campsites, climbing huts with basic shelters and self-catering options at the park gates
  • Less crowded than the trails and huts of Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru
  • Flexibility in route choice selection and routing combinations
  • Beautiful scenery and pristine, rugged mountainous landscapes with the opportunity for wildlife viewing at lower elevations


    Challenges:
  • The weather is unpredictable and precipitation is frequent
  • Altitude effects due to elevation
  • Huts and toilets are shared with other trekking parties



Route Options
There are eight walking routes up to the main peaks, however Chogoria, Naro Moru and Sirimon and used most frequently and therefore have staffed gates. The other routes require special permission from the Kenya Wildlife Service to use.

The Chogoria route is the most beautiful of all available approaches. It can be accessed from Chogoria town and heads through the forest to the south-east of the mountain. Trekkers reach the moorland by following the Gorges Valley to Minto's Camp (no huts here) and onwards to Point Lenana. At 17 kilometers (10 miles), the walk from Chogoria gate to Minto's Camp is long, although the hill walking is excellent.

The Naro Moru route is taken by many of the trekkers who try to reach Point Lenana. It can be ascended in only 3 days and has bunkhouses at each camp. The route starts at Naro Moru town to the west of the mountain and climbs along the park access road to the Meteorologic Station. Upwards from here is a challenging wetland bog leading to the Teleki Valley and Mackinder's Camp on the Peak Circuit Path after 13 kilometers.

The popular Sirimon route approaches Mount Kenya from the northwest from Nanyuki town. The path splits on the moorlands, with the more frequently used fork following the Mackinder Valley and the quieter route traversing into the Liki North Valley. The paths rejoin at Shipton's Cave just below Shipton's Camp (13 kilometers) on the Peak Circuit Path.





 
 
 
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