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Mount Kenya: Burguret Chogoria Traverse

A 7 day Mount Kenya trek along a little used wilderness trail through the bush wild camping along the way.

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 rises from the African plain to a height of over 5,000m. Originally formed from a volcano, it has been shaped over the years by weathering and glaciation into a dramatic mountain with some fantastic trekking routes. Whilst most trekkers opt for the Sirimon Naro-Moru routes, Burguret – Chogoria is a real treat for anyone wanting to avoid crowded trails and willing to rough it a little. Burguret was pioneered during the colonial era but had fallen into disuse until our guides opened it up again in the early 90s. Climbing up Burguret is a real challenge, following overgrown game trails through dense bush. There are no mountain huts, you’ll be camping in the wild.

The undoubted highlight of any trek on Mount Kenya is reaching Point Lenana, at 4,985m the highest point accessible to non technical climbers. Most trekkers aim to get to Point Lenanna for sunset, and watching the sun rise over the misty African plains below is an awe inspiring moment. Made only better by the fact that you have just scrambled up steep scree and rocks for 3 hours in pitch dark.

The sense of discovery you get on climbing up Burguret route is palpable, buffalo and elephant are common in the bush around the camp sites. Your guide will often be hacking a clear trail as you pass.

The descent is along the dramatic Chogoria route, which although not the fastest, offers the most striking views with terrifying gorges, waterfalls and beautiful tarns on offer.

Day-by-day

Route duration: 6 days on the mountain
Total hiking distance: Approximately 76 Kms.

Day 1: MOUNTAIN ROCK LODGE - 1950m
AM. Nairobi (1,650) – Mountain Rock lodge (2,000m) by car (200kms /3.5hrs).
PM. Acclimatisation nature hike.
Span, 12kms /3hrs.

Day 1 details: Depart after breakfast and journey north past divergent 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. Meals and overnight at the lodge. (L,D)
.
Day 2: GIANT BAMBOO CAMP – 2,600m.
AM. Base lodge – Gathiuru Forest by car (15kms / 1h).
P.M Trek, Gathiuru Forest – Giant Bamboo camp (2,600m - 3,600m).
Span, 10kms / 4h.
Ascent: +740m. Habitat: Montane Forest / Bamboo / Hagenia zones.

Day 2 Details: After breakfast we get a full briefing, equipment check and meet the crew - each one gets a personal porter and there are extra porters for camping equipment and food. Shortly afterwards is the drive to Gathiuru forest station via the renowned Mau Mau caves then a 4 hour ascent through dense stands of towering bamboo to our own Giant Bamboo camp at 2600m. Elephant and buffalo are common here. (B,L,D)

Day 3: HIGHLAND CASTLE – 3,700m.
Trek, Giant Bamboo camp - Highland Castle (2,600m - 3,700m).
Span, approx.10kms / 5-6h).
Ascent: +1,100m.
Habitat: Montane Forest / Bamboo / Hagenia / Moorland zones.

Day 3 Details: The luxuriant bamboo yields to enormous podocarpus and pencil cedar forest before we climb to the hagenia rosewood zone at the edge of the moorlands. This marks our lunch spot before heading up through the extraordinary giant lobelia and groundsels. We spend the night close to the sheer lava cliffs of the “Highland Castle” at 3,700m. Todays hike takes 5-6 hours with an ascent of 1,100m. (B,L,D)

Day 4: SHIPTON’S CAMP – 4,236m.
Trek, Highland Castle via Hausberg col – Shipton’s Camp (3,700m - 4,600m - 4,236m).
Span, approx.10kms / 5-6h.
Ascent: +900m. to Hausberg col. then descend -365m to Shipton’s camp.
Habitat: Moorland / Alpine desert.

Day 4 Details: Spectacular scenery as the jagged volcanic peaks and shimmering glaciers tower above our trek around the summit circuit. Turquoise tarns nestle in the valleys, eagles and buzzards soar overhead. We might, for the first time, meet other trekkers here as we hike for 5-6 hours to overnight at Shipton’s Hut at 4,236m. (B,L,D)

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

Day 5 Details: After the the wilderness experience 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 – 3300m.
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 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 - 1650m.
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: Descent on a broad track for about 10 kms through bamboo and virgin rain forest to meet vehicles for the return to Nairobi - usually arriving mid to late afternoon. (B,L)

BLD indicates those meals included. i.e. B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner

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 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.

Is it for me?

Whilst this is an incredible trek, you do need to come prepared for a tough time. The trail is rough and during the rains, very muddy. You will also be camping out at night in the bush most nights. Other than that the same health warnings apply as with any other Mount Kenya trek, you need to have a good level of trekking fitness but a pre trek fitness regime is not strictly necessary. Altitude sickness can be a real problem but the ascent is steady and provided you take your guides advice and keep to a nice and easy pace and drink plenty of water you should be ok.

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 496 reviews

(4.96/5)

  • 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

  • We had an excellent trip, thanks!

    The guide was very knowledgeable and flexible with breaks, timings, etc. He kept phone contact with the main office to ensure all connections/vehicles were in the proper place at the right time. The lodging was acceptable for a trek. Nothing great, mostly hard huts or tented camps, but nice to have a warm shower on days between our tenting nights. The one night we were supposed to be in The Pelican Lodge, we were changed to Lake Nakuru Lodge, which was fantastic!

    During the trek, the cook made wonderful breakfasts and dinners. There was a decent variety of soups, vegtable and meat dishes. Lunch was a basic 'box lunch' with a sandwich, chicken, boiled egg and fruit. Lunch was acceptable and fueled us for the journey, it just got a little redundant by the end of the trek.

    All pre-trip literature was informative and sufficient.

    I have already and will continue to recommend this trip to others. For the trek: the days are long and tiring, but it was very worth the effort, and the sense of accomplishment is immeasurable. The safari itself was also great. The amount of time spent driving between the trek end to Nakuru and Nakuru to Masai Mari got old... however, this is unavoidable when trying to do it all.

    Thanks again for aranging a very enjoyable trip!

    MissingAlan Bardsley reviewing Mount Kenya: Burguret Chogoria Traverse on 11 January 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

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