Climbing Mount Kenya is promised to be one of the most memorable experiences of any traveller’s life. Nevertheless, climbing the extinct volcano is not for the faint hearted and requires research and preparation to ensure that the journey is carried out safely – ultimately making the most of this incredible experience.
Choosing your Mt Kenya Summit
Mount Kenya is the second highest mountain in the African continent and boasts three summits: Batian, Point Lenana and Nelion. When selecting your route, many guide packages incorporate all three summits into the trek. However, there is a route option to only hike to the Point Lenana summit, for those who are looking for a shorter, less intense climb.
1. Point Lenana
There are numerous trails and routes leading to Mount Kenya’s lowest summit – Point Lenana. With an elevation of 16,345ft, it is the most popular peak for hikers as it doesn’t require technical climbing skills in order to reach the summit. Despite this, as the third peak of Africa’s second largest mountain, it’s still a challenge to ascend and descend this peak.
As Mount Kenya’s highest peak at 17,057 feet, Batian is the most tricky and challenging summit to conquer, requiring those who tackle it to be at peak fitness. Climbing equipment is required for the latter stage of this hike, with the southwest ridge route an easier option to reach the Batian summit.
The north face standard route is rated at IV+ and is best taken from July to September. Typically, this route is best enjoyed by advanced rock climbing and mountaineering enthusiasts.
At 17,021ft is the twin peak of Batian with one main route to the summit, known widely as the ‘normal route’. Climbing Nelion is challenging and therefore, necessitates experience with multi-pitch rock climbing in order to reach the peak.
The Nelion peak is a good practice run before attempting summit Batian as it’s rated IV-.
Selecting the Ideal Route
Commonly, hikers descending on Mount Kenya will combine two various routes for the There are a multitude of routes available in order to reach your selected peak of Mount Kenya. Depending on what you’re looking for during your hike will determine which route is most suited to you and your party.
There are five main routes to reach point Lenana on Mount Kenya. It’s pretty common to combine these and to choose different trails for the ascent and descent.
This helps you control the time of your trip and it also means you get to see different scenery and experience the diverse landscapes surrounding the mountain.
If you wish to take on one of the two more technical summits, you will still first need to reach Point Lenana before carrying on.
This hiking route begins with a tropical rainforest trek and is accompanied by night stays spent in wilderness huts. At times, the Burguret route can be fairly muddy and also require hacking your way through wild vegetation, making it one of the more challenging routes.
This route is perfect for those looking to have a more isolated hiking experience up Mount Kenya, taking a minimum of three nights in total for the expedition.
The Sirimon route requires a minimum of two days, with a recommended extra day to acclimatise to the altitude. As one of the more popular summit routes, Sirimon allows for a more steady and picturesque ascend to the final peak.
Two camps feature along this route with one at Old Moses (approximately 10,800ft) and another at 13,800 ft (Shipton’s camp).
3. Naro Moru
This route is one of the most populated routes as it’s commonly used due to it being the most direct and shortest route for hikers. With glorious plant life, the Naro Moru route can typically be completed throughout a long day, however, it’s advised to stretch it out across two days and one night.
Sections of the route can in some instances become waterlogged, such as the Vertical Blog.
Most commonly, the Naro Moru is used for the descent as it is so much quicker than other routes. Nevertheless, there is no reason why it can’t be undertaken as an ascending route.
The Chogoria route is longer than most routes, taking approximately three days to complete. With spectacular views of waterfalls and incredible scenery, this route can be selected as either a descending or ascending route when hiking Mount Kenya.
Unfortunately, the Timau route doesn’t provide a place to sleep overnight, or any facilities. Therefore, this older track is not a particularly common route to use.
How much does it cost to climb Mount Kenya?
At Rustic Africa Safaris, the price of our most up to date Mount Kenya Climbing package, starts at £2950 and includes an array of added extras such as a meet and greet, as well as government fees and VAT.
How Difficult is it to Climb Mt Kenya?
The difficulty of each route and peak varies when climbing Mount Kenya. However, all options require high levels of fitness, with both the Batian and Nelion peaks requiring technical climbing equipment, as previously mentioned.
Altitude can have a significant impact on hikers’ health during the ascent of Mount Kenya. As a result, taking a certified and experienced guide is highly recommended so that they can assist if you or a member of your party become unwell. Additionally, it’s important to spread out your hike over numerous days to ensure you have enough time to rest during the climb.
What is the Climate Like Throughout the Year in Mount Kenya?
Mount Kenya’s temperature rarely drops below freezing, despite the high altitude at which it sits. As an African mountain directly positioned on the equator, Mount Kenya is typically warm and sunny during the day, with temperatures dropping considerably once the sun sets for the night.
When sleeping in high altitude camps, hikers must prepare for this by taking protective outer layers, thermals, fleeces and an appropriate sleeping bag.
The best time to trek up Mount Kenya is during the dry season, which runs from December to March and July to September. At this time, there are low levels of precipitation and depending on the level of altitude, average daily temperatures are usually in the range of 11 ºC to 26ºC.
Plan Your Mount Kenya Climbing Trip with Rustic Africa Safaris
Our expert tour leaders and guides at Rustic Africa Safaris are sure to make your Mount Kenya climb memorable for all the right reasons.
Our experience guides operate a wide variety of Kenya safari holidays.
Contact a member of our friendly customer service team online to find out more information.