We pride ourselves as being one of the most refine budget travel company in East Africa. Our mountain climbing driver/guides are multilingual and with vast knowledge and experience in climbing Africa highest Mountains. Our well equipped vehicles range from safari minibuses, 4WD land cruisers all fitted with high frequency radio calls to ensure we are in constant communication. Mountain climbing adventure experts welcomes you to Africa, where you meet with the wild for all your East African safari wildlife needs
Mount Kenya is the country's highest mountain. Sitting astride the equator its icy summit reaches to 5199 meters (17,058 feet). The entire mountain above the 3200-meter contour forms a national park. In fact, Mount Kenya consists of three principal zones: the rocky peak area, which is actually an eroded volcanic plug, with its mantle of glaciers and snowfields; the alpine zone with its distinctive giant vegetation; and the vast gentle lower slopes drenched in mountain forest and bamboo jungle. It is no wonder that awed farmers at its foothills considered this remote majestic wonderland as God's domain.
Many rivers flow from the perpetual snows of Mount Kenya, among them the mighty Tana River, Kenya's largest and longest river and source of much of Kenya's electricity supply. Most tourists are content to marvel at the mountain's beauty but some will want to attempt to reach the peaks; a feat requiring considerable rock climbing skill. But the mountain's lesser peaks and glaciers can be scaled and walked by the fit and the adventurous. Point Lenana on Mount Kenya, 4985 meters, can be easily reached. In fact the majority of visitors go to the mountain to enjoy the walking and especially the high level hut-to- hut hike round the mountain with its humbling vistas.
Wildlife within the forests below the park boundary includes elephant, buffalo, lion, several species of antelope including the rare bongo and occasionally the melanistic forms of both the leopard and the serval cat. Much of this wildlife can be seen from the safety of Serena Mountain Lodge, which lies just inside the forest on the south side of the mountain. When climbing Mount Kenya, climbers should appreciate the need for acclimatization over several days before attempting the high peaks. Naro Moru River Lodge specializes in assisting climbers with guides, porters and equipment. It is quite unwise to attempt to climb during the rains. The best months are January and February and late August through September. For those who wish to savor the mountain air, the glorious views and the peace and tranquility, which emanate from the mountain, there are many hotels around the foothills among them the famed Mount Kenya Safari Club.
During your Mt Kenya climbing safari, you have the opportunity to see most of the vegetation. This varies with altitude and rainfall, and there is a rich alpine and sub-alpine flora. Between 1200m and 1850m, the vegetation is mainly dry upland forest comprising of Croton associations. Juniperus procera and Podocarpus spp. are predominant in the drier parts of the lower zone (below 2,500m), with rainfall between 875 and 1400mm (Naro Moru and Sirimon tracks on the western slopes). In wetter areas (over 2200mm/year) in the south-west and north-east, Cassipourea malosana predominates.
Higher altitudes (2,500-3,000m with rainfall over 2000mm/year) are dominated by a dense belt of bamboo Arundinaria alpina on south-eastern slopes, and a mosaic of bamboo and Podocarpus milanjianus with bamboo at intermediate elevations (2,600-2,800m), and Podocarpus at higher and lower elevations (2,800-3,000m) and (2,500-2,600m).
Towards the west and north of the mountain, bamboo becomes progressively smaller and less dominant. There are also areas in zones of maximum rainfall 2,000-3,500m with up to 2,400mm/year, where Hagenia abyssinica with Hagenia revolutum predominate.
Above 3,000m, cold (low temperatures) become a more important factor, tree stature declines, and Podocarpus is replaced by Hypericum spp. A more open canopy here results in a more developed understorey. Many of the trees are festooned with mosses. Grassy glades are common especially on ridges. High altitude heath between 3,000m and 3,500m is characterised by shrubs with small leaves like African sage, Protea and Helicrysum.
The lower alpine or moorland zone (3,400-3,800m) is characterized by high rainfall, a thick humus layer, low topographic diversity, and low species richness. Tussock grasses Festuca pilgeri, and sedges Carex spp. predominates. Between the tussocks there are Alchemilla cyclophylla, Alchemilla johnstonii, and Geranium vagans. Above the 3500m contour is the Afro-alpine zone, a moorland characterised by tussock grasses, senecios and lobelias. The upper alpinezone (3,800-4,500m) is more topographically diverse, and contains a more varied flora.
Many of the species here are bizarre, especially the giant rosette plants Lobelia telekii and Lobelia keniensis, Senecio keniodendron and Carduus spp. Senecio brassica is found in both the lower and upper alpine zone.There are a variety of grasses on well-drained ground and along the streams and river banks such as megaphytic Senecio battescombei and Helichrysum kilimanjari. Continuous vegetation stops at about 4,500m although isolated vascular plants have been found at over 5,000m. There are 13 species endemic to Mount Kenya listed in Hedberg,(1951)
Getting to Mount Kenya - Mount Kenya is approximately 200km north of Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, and is comfortably accessible by road using a variety of transport options - buses, mini buses, taxi cab or a car hire will get you close to the mountain on the tarred roads to the nearest town: Naromoru town for Naro Moru route, Nanyuki town for Sirimon route and Chogoria town for Chogoria route for your Mt Kenya Hiking, Climbing, Trekking, Climbing Africa Mountains, Climbing Mt Kenya,
Mount Kenya Climbing Routes Information Guide
Mount Kenya climbing Routes/Itineraries
There are three main routes, which penetrate the forest and the moorland. The routes are Naromoru Mountain Climbing route, Sirimon Mountain Climbing route and Chogoria Mountain climbing route and each of which has something different to offer.
Climbing Mount Kenya Naromoru route - The fastest climbing route to point Lenana but not as scenic as the other two. It is often overcrowded with many climbers since it's the most popular route compared to Chogoria route and Sirimon route.
Mount Kenya Climbing Chogoria route - The most scenic and interesting of the three main climbing routes
Climbing Mount Kenya Sirimon route - The least used of the three main routes, but features the most gradual ascent profile and best acclimatisation options and above all the most interesting since its on the drier side on the mountain. The route passes through impressive Yellowwood forests in the lower reaches and features abundant wildlife and beautiful alpine scenery higher up.
There are other four routes up Point Lenana but are least known and used. These are: Burguret Route, Timau Route, Meru Route and Kamweti Route
Note: The normal pattern of weather on Mount Kenya is for clear mornings with mist closing in from 10:00am although this can clear by evening. Therefore, early morning starts are the order of the day with a 2am start for the final ascent to point Lenana, if you want to catch the sunrise.
Permits: Each Mount Kenya climber must pay a park entrance fee, as well as an entrance fee for any porters he takes up the mountain with him. These are ever increasing and are available at the park entrance station, at the Meru Mount Kenya Lodge.
Special Considerations: Almost all parties attempting Mt Kenya use porters, who are very cheap and friendly. Also, it's recommended that you hire a porter simply to guard your stuff at a high camp while climbing: theft is common. They are available in all the small towns surrounding the mountain.
Walking/hiking shoes - For most of this safari we will wear hiking shoes, for our approach to the peak, circumnavigation, and time spent around camp. The hiking is rough, sometimes on scree or steep dirt, so you'll want something that can handle these challenging walking conditions.
Hiking pants - A light pair of synthetic pants are ideal for the hike in and for around base camp.
Climbing Pants - For the summit climb we recommend some kind of light synthetic pant with a hard finish. The Patagonia Guide Pants are a good example. There are good models by Arcteryx, Millet, Eider, Mammut and others.
Rain/Wind Pants - Normally we'll climb Mount Kenya in our synthetic climbing pants described above. If the weather turns foul, however, you will need a pair of very lightweight waterproof rain pants to keep you dry. Our favorites are extremely light weight two-ply Gore-Tex. Our pants weigh 8.5 ounces.
Gloves - A lightly insulated glove with a leather palm is probably your best choice. You will want to be able to rock climb in them (the leather palm helps with gripping) and a bit of insulation keeps you warm. We prefer to climb (and rappel) in leather work gloves, carrying another very light pair of Wind Stopper gloves in the pack.
Mount Kenya climbing gear
Harness - Most modern rock climbing harnesses are great. A belay loop is a good idea.
Climbing helmet - Almost any UIAA approved helmet will work fine, but again, go for lightweight. Be sure you can fit your warm hat under it.
Trekking poles - Trekking poles are handy on the steep ups and downs of the hike around Mount Kenya and our climb of Point Lenana.
Water bottle or bladder - We normally carry only about a liter of water on Mount Kenya. A couple of 2 liter bottles should be plenty for all you needs.
Headlamp - You'll need your headlamp around camp and also for the climb. For Mount Kenya, we start one or two hours before dawn and hopefully finish before evening dusk. For these climbs we like to use a lightweight Petzl Tikka. Plan on starting out the climb with a unused fresh set of batteries.
Money - The currency in Kenya is the Kenyan Shilling, worth about 68 to the US dollar (93 Kenyan Shillings per Euro) in 2006. Nairobi has ATM machines. US dollars are widely accepted, however, and this is how we carry most of our cash.
Meals at the hotel can be signed to your room and paid with a credit card when you check out.
Money pouch - Nairobi is notorious for pickpockets and petty thievery. Bring a discreet pouch and wear it under your clothing. When going out, carry what cash you think you need separately in a handy pocket in order to avoid having to dip into your main stash, hidden in your pouch.
Mount Kenya Climbing Accommodation
Depending upon the weather conditions and the fitness level of the mountain climbing party, the trip takes approximately 3 days in ascent and 2 days in descent and is led by a team of experienced mountaineers and naturalists who remain in constant radio contact with the Lodge, hotel and camping sites. Mount Kenya accommodation is provided in the form of ready-pitched camps of comfortable and fully-equipped high-altitude tents (or alternatively, bunk-houses) whilst the food, provided daily by the hotel, will include tasty packed lunches, hot drinks, fortifying snacks and individually presented supper menus. Upon arrival at Lenana Point guests will also be met with hot drinks, biscuits and brandy before being transported back down the mountain to a celebratory dinner at the hotel. There's also just lazing by the pool.
Whether visiting Kenya at a leisurely pace or stopping simply for lunch, the Mount Kenya Safari Club maintains an immutably majestic presence and is a touching reminder of the vision of its creators. Mount Kenya Safari Club is a two and a half hour drive from Nairobi. Alternatively, it is a fifty-minute flight to Nanyuki airstrip and a fifteen-minute transfer drive to the club. Kenya Safari Club has a variety of rooms located in the 100-acres of beautifully manicured lawns, which vary according to their location. One can visit the types of bedrooms on a sweeping circle of the magnificent grounds: the Club Rooms in the main building, to the Garden Cottages by the tennis courts, around the William Holden Cottages, by the Riverside Cottages along the River Likii, returning back up the hill via the Luxury Villas to the main building. The club has a total of 114 ensuite rooms, each room, with its own club-like charm, has a log fireplace, which is lit every evening.
Serena Mountain Lodge, Mount Kenya - Hidden in a quiet forest glade within the Mount Kenya Forest, Mountain Lodge offers the ultimate window on wild Kenya Safari. From the privacy of your room, steady streams of shy and magnificent creatures are drawn to the ancient waterhole. Located at 2194 meters on the slopes of Mount Kenya, Serena Mountain Lodge is surrounded by a dense rainforest that comes alive at dusk with myriad of sounds that make the African bush so special and exhilarating; and this is just a sample of what to expect on a Safari. Serena Mountain Lodge is ideally situated as a base for guests who want to climb Mount Kenya. Hiking and walking tours can be arranged through Kenya.com for those who want to experience a part of Mount Kenya
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