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Mount Kenya: Sirimon - Chogoria Trek

A gentle well paced 7 day trek on the classic Mount Kenya route; up Sirimon and down Chogoria route.

Private Trek Adventure 1 week

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

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Itinerary

Overview

Mount Kenya is Africa’s second highest mountain, but whilst Kilimanjaro beats it on altitude Mount Kenya is unarguably the more enjoyable mountain to climb, with stunning views, glacial features and varied flora. There are half a dozen alternative routes on the mountain, each joining at the trekkers peak at Point Lennana (4985m). The Sirimon – Chogoria route may not be the fastest way up and down the mountain but it undoubtedly offers up the mountain’s best features. Sirimon is the most popular ascent with fantastic glacial scenery and a nice steady rate of ascent. Chogoria is the favoured descent for those who can afford the extra time on the mountain, with dramatic gorges, waterfalls and mountain tarns. Due to the prevalence of altitude sickness on the mountain we include an extra day’s acclimatisation the day before summiting.

Whilst the undoubted highlight of this trek is summiting dramatic Point Lennana just in time for sun-rise, both the ascent and descent offer fantastic trekking and scenery. Mackinder’s Valley on the ascent is a striking U-shaped valley that gently snakes up to the craggy peak and is covered in bizarre giant plants unique to this Afro Alpine environment. Shipton’s Camp nestled under the twin peaks has an incredible location and the extra day spent here for acclimatisation offers the opportunity to hike part of the summit circuit up to the Hausberg Col and two tarns. On the descent, the trail passes along the ridge of the incredible dramatic Gorges Valley. The last night is spent in mountain cabins deep in the forest with elephant and buffalo often spotted roaming through the camp.

Day-by-day

Route duration: 6 days on the mountain
Total hiking distance: Approximately 77 Kms.

Detailed itinerary:

Day 1: MOUNTAIN ROCK LODGE -1950m.
AM. Nairobi – Mountain Rock lodge by car (200kms /3.5hrs).
PM. Acclimatisation nature hike. (12kms /3hrs).
Habitat: Montane Forest / farmlands

Day 1 Details: Depart after breakfast and journey north past diverse agricultural lands and landscapes to the slopes of Mount Kenya. After lunch at the base lodge you take part in some easy walks around this predominantly Kikuyu area, exploring local farms and villages and perhaps local schools. We can gain a privileged insight into the lives of the people who live on the slopes of Mt. Kenya and know that our visit is contributing towards their local economy. An extended evening walk through the forest, where a local natural history expert will reveal the medicinal plants, birds and animals found here. We’ll also get to meet and spend some time with our mountain guides. (B,L,D)

DAY 2: OLDMOSES MOUNTAIN HUT / CAMP – 3340m.
AM. Base lodge - Sirimon Gate (2,600m) by car (45kms / 1.5hrs).
PM. Trek, Sirimon gate (2,600m) - Oldmoses (3,340m) (Span, 10kms/2.5hrs).
Ascent: +740m.
Habitat: Montane Forest / Bamboo / Hagenia zones.

Day 2 Details: Breakfast is followed by a full briefing and equipment check before we begin the trek - we’ll meet the full crew at this point. Each person has a personal porter and there are extra porters for camping equipment and food. Then a short vehicle transfer past the equator to Sirimon park gate. Our ascent of Mt Kenya, following the Sirimon route, this 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 3,340m, a total ascent of 740m in just 2-3 hours. 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)

Day 3: SHIPTON’S HUT – 4236m.
Trek, Oldmoses - Shipton’s Camp (3340m - 4236m).
Span, approx.14Kms. / 7-8hrs.
Ascent: +896m.
Habitat: Moorland zone.

Day 3 Details: 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. 7-8 hours, 896m of ascent. (B,L,D)

Day 4: SHIPTON’S MOUNTAIN HUT / CAMP – 4236m.
Acclimatisation to Hausberg Col. (4,600m).
Span, approx. 7Kms. / 4-5h.
Ascent 364m then descent back 364m.
Habitat: Alpine desert

Day 4 Details: 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. Highly recommended is a short walk on the summit circuit trail up to the Hausberg col (4,6OOm) OR go farther, passing between Oblong and Hausberg Tarns to Nanyuki and Two Tarns to enjoy panoramic views of peaks Batian (5199m) and Nelion (5188m). Having reached a high altitude of over 4600m the true acclimatisation benefit of this day becomes clear, Climbing high and sleeping low is excellent for acclimatisation (B,L,D)

DAY 5: NITHI CAMP - 3,300m.
(Summit attempt) Shipton’s camp – Pt. Lenana (4,985m) – Nithi Camp (4236m - 3,300m).
Span, approx. 3kms / 4h to Pt. Lenana and 14 kms / 6h to Nithi Camp.
Ascent: 749m to the summit / Descent: -1,685m to Nithi Camp.
Habitat: Scree / Rocky summit / Moorland

Day 5 Details: 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. A further 3 hours down to a late breakfast by Hall Tarns in the magnificent Gorges Valley. Then in the afternoon another 3 hours down past spectacular chasms, waterfalls and weirdly eroded lava flows to camp by the track-head in the giant heather zone. (B,L,D)

DAY 6: MERU BANDAS - 3,000m.
Trek Nithi Camp - Meru Bandas (3,300m - 3,000m).
Span, approx. 7Kms / 2-3h.
Descent: -300m.
Habitats: Moorland / Giant heather/ Hagenia zones

Day 6 Details: Short descent through the forest zone to the mountain cabins and afternoon relaxing. Log fires, hot showers, beers, and real beds for overnight. Wildlife viewing in evening - often from your cabin window as the elephant and buffalo graze outside! (B,L,D)

DAY 7: NAIROBI (1965m.)
AM. Hike, Meru Banda’s – Pick up point (3,000m - 2600m).
Span, approx.10kms / 2h.
Descent: -400m.
Habitats: Bamboo / Montane Forest zones
P.M. Pick up point – Nairobi by car. (230kms / 4-5hrs).

Day 7 Details: Walk down through the giant bamboo forest to meet our vehicles for the return journey to Nairobi, arriving in the late afternoon. Drop off within the city or at the airport.

Details

Getting there

Getting to Kenya: Kenya has international airports in Nairobi (Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta NBO) and Mombassa (Mombasa Moi International MBA) which are around 8 hours flying time from the UK. Virgin Atlantic, British Airways and Air Kenya fly regular direct services to Nairobi. Return tickets usually range from £450 to £750 depending on when you are travelling. If you are willing to put up with the inconvenience then cheaper tickets can usually be purchased with a stop from Qatar Airways, Ethiopian and Emirates.

Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta airport is a ½ hr 16km drive from Nairobi City Centre, but traffic can be bad.

This trek includes pick up and drop off in Nairobi by minibus or 4wd Landcruiser.

Price includes

This price includes:
All National Park fees.
Camping & mountain Huts fees where applicable.
Camping equipment EXCEPT sleeping bags, mattresses.
English speaking guide(s).
Porters & Cook(s).
Meals while on the mountain (breakfast, lunch, dinner).
Transfers from and back to base hotel.
Complimentary Nature hike included on first day when accommodated at the Mountain Rock Lodge.

NOT included
Tips
Meals/drinks not mentioned as included
Insurances.
Visa.
Any increase in National Park fees or other fees/taxes charged by National Park and/or other government authorities.
Sleeping bag / mattress and other personal equipment (a limited selection of hire equipment is available - please pre-order).

Please note
Persons attempting the climb must be physically very fit and in very good general health
Clients climb at their own risk
Transfers might be shared with other guests
Campsites and toilet facilities on the mountain are very basic
Water for personal hygiene on the mountain is limited
Hut accommodation on Sirimon Route is dormitory style with bunk beds
It is at the guide's decision to break off a climb in case weather conditions or clients health dictate it for safety reasons.
No refunds are given in case of a break off of the climb / early exit

When is best?

As a general rule you can trek up Mount Kenya at any time of year, but the paths will be better and you will stay drier outside the rainy seasons (particularly the long rains in April and May). The best time to trek is early in the year (January and February) before the long rains and in the summer months of July, August and September. Having said that, even during the long rains in April and May there is usually a solid dry spell each day and as long as you come equipped with rain gear and garters you will be fine.

Is it for me?

There is no doubt that climbing to 5,000m on Mount Kenya is a serious undertaking, but don’t let that put you off. Mount Kenya is accessible to anyone with a decent level of trekking fitness.

The main priority is avoiding altitude sickness. This itinerary has been designed to help trekkers fresh to the high altitudes acclimatise at a gentle rate. You will need to listen to the advice of your guide who will encourage you to take a very gentle pace and drink plenty of water.

You should have a decent level of trekking fitness, but as long as you lead a reasonably active lifestyle and are comfortable walking for 6-8 hours a day then a gruelling pre trek fitness regime is not really necessary. Age is not really a limiting factor, children as young as 10 and adults as old as 80 have climbed Mount Kenya.

As with most treks, the huts and facilities are basic. In all likelihood you won’t be showering for 4 or 5 days and you’ll be sleeping on a well worn mattress. If you come prepared with the right kit and right attitude this shouldn’t be a problem. Bringing your own 4 season sleeping bag is a very good idea as are baby wipes for washing with.

Safety

For the latest travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth office check www.gov.uk/travelaware

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 493 reviews

(4.96/5)

  • A big thank you to the team at Tourdust for our fantastic trek to Mount Kenya.

    We made it. It was a tough climb and not for those who are afraid of heights. I learnt loads about the flora and fauna of Africa from our expert guide Francis and we enjoyed great food prepared by Ngari.

    Full write-up and pictures of my trip are here

    MissingKathryn Bullock reviewing Mount Kenya: Sirimon - Chogoria Trek on 04 April 2013

  • The trip was amazing everything was better than we could have imagined.
    There was a moment climbing the mount Kenya where my wife accused me of tricking her into doing this (half kidding) as some of the nights got pretty cold, but we were dressed well and the sunrise at the peak was astonishing.
    Safari was spectacular, Ben who was our main guide and driver was awesome! We saw everything excepts rhinos which were more of a hope than a reality. We also were able to watch a rock python eat a Thompson gazel live. It was one of the most interesting and unsettling things I have ever seen.
    Just overall, so many moments that make you think wow or I can't believe I am here. Thank you for your help in getting everything set up. I don't believe I could have booked the trip without your help and guidance. It was an amazing way to start our marriage and truly the trip of a lifetime!

    MissingWilliam Kearns reviewing 11 Day Mount Kenya Trek and Masai Mara Safari Combined on 29 October 2018

  • We both suffered but enjoyed it immensely. Just how it should be!!!!
    Our route up the mountain, the Burguret trail is very arduous and certainly should not be used for people who are not very fit and experienced trekkers. It mainly followers animal trails through the forests and bog lands around the mountain. The Chogoria route down was great. The guide and porters were great. Wild camping means just that, really just what I wanted, but I have lived in Kenya.

    MissingJonathan Bailey reviewing Mount Kenya: Burguret Chogoria Traverse on 24 September 2018

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