MT KENYA CLIMB This information should answer some of your questions about the trip and give you a better idea of what we do day-to-day. It doesn’t hope to answer everything. If you have any questions please get in touch.
• A traverse of Mount Kenya by the most spectacular route on the mountain
• See the African dawn from Point Lenana (4985m)
• Excellent acclimatisation
• Seven days ex Nairobi
• Option to add on extra days or a private safari. "Haraka haraka haina baraka" - In hurrying there is no blessing - Kiswahili proverb The trip We recommend our ‘Journey to Mt Kenya’ for a complete African experience but this trip may suit you better if you are short of time. We make a full traverse of the Mt Kenya massif, avoiding the well-trodden paths and using a longer and more interesting route. This gives us plenty of time to acclimatise and gives everybody a much better chance of reaching Point Lenana. We walk for about 3-6 hours each day, although options are flexible and can be tailored to suit the group. We use local porters to carry all the gear and food. This is a normal job for the locals and a valuable way of earning
money. For us it is an important contact with the local culture and they are a valued part of the team. We carry only daypacks with waterproofs, camera, snacks, water and personal gear. As in all mountain areas, unexpected local conditions may make paths difficult, or impossible to follow. Sometimes we have to make alterations to the route which may include more (or less!) walking. Accommodation On Mt. Kenya we use mountain huts with one night’s camping and in Nairobi we stay in a comfortable guesthouse. Food On trek all meals are provided and prepared by our own cook. We are happy to cater for vegetarians. On the final days lunches and evening meals are not included – this gives you a chance to sample some local Kenyan cuisine. Tipping Tipping in East Africa has been customary since explorers and safari seekers first started travelling there and using the services of local people. It is a sensitive issue, and High Places do not automatically accept the practice of tipping, as we prefer to make honest and fair payments for services received. However, where there is a strong local tradition of tipping it is not possible to avoid this without upsetting local staff, who work extremely hard to make your trip successful. We suggest you allow around US$150pp for tips, and consider donating some clothing or equipment to local staff at the end of trip. Seasons and climate Our trips run in July and August, one of the dry seasons in east Africa, when conditions for walking and travelling are at their best. The rains have finished, the climate is generally warm and pleasant, the skies are clear, and the vegetation is luxuriant. Daytime temperatures in the lower lands and foothills are warm, around 20-30°C although evenings can be chilly and afternoon showers are not unknown. On the high mountain sections, it feels very warm in the sun but chills rapidly if it clouds over, while at night and in the early mornings temperatures can drop well below freezing. Also, even in the dry seasons, rain may occur at any time on the mountains. A range of clothing to cope with these conditions is essential. Altitude Above 3000m, the air is thinner, the pressure is lower with less oxygen available in the atmosphere. Acclimatisation is the process by which the body adapts to these conditions. The key to acclimatisation is a good itinerary with gradual initial height gain, walking at a slow and steady pace, and increasing fluid intake – drinking at least 4 litres a day is advisable above 3000m. Many people have some minor side effects from altitude, such as headache, nausea or general lassitude. The optional use of ‘Diamox’ has proved useful for some people, as this drug can reduce these symptoms. You will be given more information on ‘Diamox’ with your Final Information, between 8 and 10 weeks before departure. Transport Between Nairobi and Mt Kenya we travel by car or private bus depending on numbers. Language
Swahili and English are the national languages of Kenya. Many people speak English, including most of our local staff.
DAY BY DAY ITINERARY This itinerary is flexible and should be seen as a guide only. Local conditions, weather or fitness could lead to changes in our daily plans. All times and distances are approximate. ‘B,L,D’ refers to meals included in the trip cost, i.e. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. This trip is 7 days ex NAIROBI. The first and last days refer to the days of arrival and departure in NAIROBI, and may not be the days you depart from or arrive back home.
The ascent of Mt Kenya following the Sirimon route is one of the longest and gentlest on the mountain. It is also one of the most spectacular. We walk up to our first hut at 3,400m, a total ascent of 690m. On this route, we will pass through zones of dense forest, bamboo, giant heather and out onto high open moorland. 3-4 hours. (B,L,D)
Today's trek takes us up the surreal Mackinder Valley with its strange vegetation of giant lobelia and groundsel, unique to equatorial African mountains. Here we stay at Shipton's Camp (4236m), just below the glaciers and jagged peaks of bare rock that surround the main summits. 6 hours, 836m of ascent. (B,L,D)
We stay at Shipton’s for two nights, and have a rest day. This is invaluable for acclimatisation and will make the summit day more enjoyable! Optional short walks on the summit circuit. (B,L,D)
After the rest day comes the highlight of the Mount Kenya trek: the stiff, but exhilarating, scramble by starlight up to Point Lenana, the "trekkers’ summit", in time to see the African dawn from a vantage point of nearly 5,000m. We leave at 4am and climb the 800m to the peak in 3-4 hours. The descent down to our campsite at Hall Tarns drops 685m in around 2 hours. (B,L,D)
To complete our traverse of the mountain we descend by the Chogoria route with enjoyable walking and spectacular views of the chasms and waterfalls in the Gorges Valley. 5 hours, descent 1280m. Awaiting us are hot showers and a log fire at the mountain chalets (bandas) by the exit gate. (B,L,D)
Walk down through the giant bamboo forest to meet our vehicles for the return journey to Nairobi, arriving in the late afternoon. Evening transfer to the airport OR ask about extra nights in Nairobi or a private safari. (B)
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