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Mount Kenya is the highest mountain in Kenya and the second-highest in Africa, after Kilimanjaro. The highest peaks of the mountain are Batian, Nelion and Point Lenana.
It is a challenging hike to the summit following straightforward paths and making use of accommodation huts located along the way. This is a common itinerary for hikers with limited amounts of time for their hike or those on a weekend break. The routing is quit convenient for larger trekking parties since it follows the same trail up and down allowing those unable to reach the very top to wait behind at the lower camps as the fitter ones attempt the summit.
Optional night spent at the base lodge before the trek allows for a time to prepare and to do a nature hike in the Mount Kenya forest kicking off the much-needed acclimatization. If time does not permit for this, it’s passable.
Drive from Nairobi to preferred lodge on the slopes of Mt Kenya for lunch. After lunch is a full briefing and equipment check before we begin the mountain trek then an introduction to the crew. A personal porter will be required and there are extra porters for mountain equipment and food. It takes about one hour to get to the Sirimon Park Gate (2600m) crossing the equator en-route. On completion of park entry formalities you begin a 3-4 hour hike through forest, bamboo, rosewood and heather zones to Old Moses camp (3300m).The forest and bamboo are home to hundreds of buffaloes, elephants, bushbucks and a plethora of bird species. Overnight will be spent in the Old Moses hut (3340m).
After an early breakfast we commence a 7-8 hours trek to Shipton’s camp (4,236m). The trek is quite challenging and interesting but also a good test on individual fitness. You’ll ascent to Mackinder Valley close to 900m which has unique vegetation of giant lobelia and groundsel, unique to equatorial African mountains. We shall stay at Shipton’s hut.
The trek starts early before sunrise, you’ll need a bright head torch for this. Go up steep landscape and a bare rocky track to reach the hikers summit called Point Lenana in time for sunrise – to add to the exhilaration, Kilimanjaro is usually visible 340kms to the south on a clear day. The climb is tough going through frozen scree and requiring some scrambling on final stretch to reach the summit – this is unavoidable on any route. We aim to reach the summit and witness the magical sunrise over the equator at 6.30am. Descend back to Shipton’s camp for a hefty brunch and relax at a bonfire evening.
Descend back to Oldmoses Camp (3340m) arriving in a further 4-5 hours. Lunch will be served at the camp before boarding the vehicle for transfer off the mountain to Nairobi.