7th to 13th December every year
Rugged pinnacles, heaps of wildlife, long waterfalls and lush groves of Giant Lobelia make Mt Kenya an ecological paradise, especially in comparison to Mt Kilimanjaro.
Situated 200 kilometres from the Equator and at 4895 m above sea level, the trekking summit on Mount Kenya, Point Lenana, is not the only reason for climbing the second highest mountain in Africa. Read on! This is Sean’s second visit.
Warning: Like Mt Kilimanjaro, Mt Kenya is not a doddle. Summit night on ‘Kili’ is far more extreme but the same altitude rules apply. Our Swahili porters and guides take good care of us as usual. They pack our loads and provide great ‘tucker’…all the way to the top.
Scraggly Maribu stork doze on droopy lampposts as we ride through the wildlife capital of Africa. This is Nairobi, Kenya. Dodging the potholes we head towards the rural village of Chigoria. In Chigoria we hop into the crankiest Landrover on Earth. Frederick and his Series 3 have been together for 21 years and they are like middle and index finger fused. They are one!
Frederick is a legend and he skilfully weaves us (on the most derelict road on Earth)
up to the Meru Bandas (Swahili for huts) at 2800m. The Bandas are Kenyan Parks property and each hut has its own fireplace. Signboards warn us not to go out at night. Fresh buffalo ‘paddy cakes’ are the first thing to greet us as we climb out of bed in the crisp morning.
We walk from the Bandas up to ‘Nithi’ at 3200m. The walk is a superb three hour light trek. Close to Nithi we start to see the Giant Lobelia and succulent Cyonacea. The Nithi Falls are 500m away from the camp and we take a late afternoon stroll to photograph them, and for the intrepid – take an icy splash. Warm water for washing is provided for us at the campsite. Our cook prepares a meal, always with loads of fresh vegetables and fruit which is ready for us when we return.
Next morning early we set out for Hall tarns. (Tarns are small lakes). This is the most spectacular terrain of the trek. The lakes are icy blue and clear. Thawed from the glacier, the drinking water on Mt Kenya is wonderfully clean. We camp at Hall tarns at 4300m.
We rise early the next day and head for the trekking summit - Point Lenana at 4985m. After five hours of uphill, we descend to Austrian Hut at 4700m where we camp for the night. We have magnificent views all the way up.
Select a day
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7
Day 01: Depart from Johannesburg for Nairobi. Arrive 05H00. Transfer from airport to Chogoria Village, visit the market and have lunch in a restaurant before driving in a 4WD vehicle up to Meru Bandas.
Day 02: Gentle walk to the Nithi Gates, explore the Nithi Falls and Gorge after lunch.
Day 03: Walk up the ridge overlooking Gorges Valley to Hall Tarns. Superb views of Vivienne Falls and Lake Michaelson.
Day 04: An early start to gain Point Lenana shortly after dawn. Descend to Austrian Hut for lunch then descend to Mackinders camp.
Day 05: Descend from Mackinders camp to the gate via the Naru Moru route. Overnight at the Neru Moru Lodge.
Day 06: Transfer to Nairobi.
Day 07: Return to Johannesburg.