What Kilimanjaro offers in altitude, Mount Kenya excels in beauty and ruggedness. Like Kilimanjaro, Mt Kenya is a volcano which reaches a height of 5,199m. The mountain is rugged with many glaciated valleys, carved out sheer cliffs and a number of tarns and hanging lakes. Like Kilimanjaro the vegetation is striking with a number of different zones and it is also equatorial. Mt Kenya is Africa's second highest volcano. Mount Kenya is composed of three high peaks, namely Batian (5199m or 17,058 ft), Nelion (5188m or 17,023 ft) and Point Lenana (4985m or 16,355 ft). The first two are clad in glacial ice and only accessible to technical climbers, but Point Lenana is easily reached by any fit trekker. Ten glaciers cover the peaks of the volcano, and the original crater on Mt. Kenya was over 20,000 ft (6100 m) high, having been eroded over time.

The trek takes 3 to 6 days, starting low on the lush forest floor and heading up through scrubland with giant groundsels, podocarpus and a range of animal life. It is said by the local Kikuyu people, that Mt Kenya belongs to Ngai, their local god, and traditionally, all Kikuyu homes were built to face this sacred peak. Like Kilimanjaro, Mt Kenya was formed during the Pleistocene era and her northern flanks cross the Equator.

Get answers to frequently asked questions to Climb Mount Kenya.

Mt Kenya comprises three peaks, two of which are technical climbs and one which is a trekking peak. The two major technical rock and ice climbing peaks are called Nelion and Batian. The third peak is known as Point Lenana and is a trekking peak, easily achieved via hiking or walking. Our Mt Kenya treks all go to Lenana, so our tours are to the trekking peak where no technical expertise is needed.
The shortest number of days required to climb to Lenana on Mt Kenya is three days. The longest trek is around 6 days. It all depends on which route you choose. As a general rule of thumb, any trek where the ascent is very quick makes the overall success rate, lower, so it is better to add on extra days to increase your chances of success.
Although Mount Kenya is classified as a ' trek,' it has a very fast altitude gain. It requires physical fitness and stamina and most importantly, mental fitness. Your legs will get you up the first days but for your summit night, it is often mental strength that will get you to the top - (assuming of course that you are not affected by altitude, sickness or pure fatigue). A good exercise and training program is essential. The climb should not be undertaken lightly, after all, why spend the money if you are not willing to prepare yourself physically as well?
This really depends on the operator you travel through. The Mt Kenya parks authorities do not ask for any medical information on the climbers when permits are purchased. Some operators request the clients complete a medical form, others do not. We require that all of our clients complete a medical form and based on the answers, we may request a letter from your medical practitioner. People suffering with conditions such as severe asthma e.g. should not climb. Regardless, anyone attempting the climb, or any climb for that matter, should ensure that they are medically fit, and convey any medical conditions to the operator they book with.
This is one of the most often asked questions - "how will I cope with the altitude". To be honest, this is an ' unknown' factor as no-one can predict how your body will cope at altitude. People who have been to altitude many times in the past without problems, may on one climb suddenly develop problems. There are many factors that play a role. The only way to help combat this, is to take all of the necessary precautions, and walk slowly, pole pole. Choosing a route like Sirimon-Chogoria where you get to follow the principle of "climb high, sleep low" is also advisable.

There are certain essentials that are needed for most climbs and Mt Kenya is no different. The best way to draw up your list is from the base up, i.e. thermal underwear, then hands and feet (gloves, socks etc). Then boots which must be waterproof with good ankle support, trekking pants, trekking tops, short and long sleeve, thermal jacket, outer shell jacket which likewise is windproof and water proof, hat, scarf, beanie, balaclava. Then consider sleeping, i.e. sleeping bag, mat etc. Most companies supply sleeping mats so check before you buy one. Then, the last items to add are personal items like toiletries, camera, medicines, water bottle, backpack, camera etc.

Most companies will supply you with a comprehensive list for your trek, as do we. If you arrive to Kilimanjaro and are missing items, you can normally rent most gear. Do not, however, reply on buying your gear on arrival.

Mt Kenya is a less popular choice which means less hikers. On some routes you may hardly see other people, especially during the less-popular wet seasons of March-June and October-December. Less people means less competition for bunks, less noise and less litter. Hikers can also hike at their own slower paces
Although both Kilimanjaro and Mt Kenya are mountains, Mt Kenya feels more like you are on a mountain. It has a lot of streams, very craggy volcanic peaks and valleys, more wildlife, clear lakes boulders stunning scenecios.

Unfortunately this is something every trekker has to consider. Anything from a stomach bug to altitude sickness can quickly stop a trekker in their tracks. If you are ill and need to turn back or even too tired to continue, a porter will walk off the mountain with you and your gear.

Yes you do. We (Nomadic Adventures) do not allow anyone to climb with us unless they have adequate travel insurance. Adequate, means you must be covered for

1) trekking or hiking - this may sound strange, but many insurance list that as an exclusion.

2) altitude up to 6,000 meters. Most travel insurance providers do not include this under their standard option and often limit it to 3500m or less.

3) Sprains strains and physiotherapy - yes, many insurers exclude this, though ironically, this is what you will most likely need cover for.
4) personal
accident - this is the horrible part of insurance. Yes, you need to be covered in the case of death. We are often told by clients - "if anything happens to me, just leave me there." Bodies need to be brought home or laid to rest overseas, and this can run into thousands of dollars, creating a huge burden on family members.

We will assist in helping you provide good cover.

There are 3 principal summit routes (and 4 lesser used routes), namely Sirimon, Chogoria and Naro Moru. These can either stand alone, or together as variations with other routes.

The fastest route and most direct to Point Lenana is the Naro Moru route. Given the short number of days it is often a very popular route with groups. It is also a lot steeper than other routes and also has the famous 'vertical bog,' which is a steep section of mud and best traversed in gum boots. Because of its steepness, it has less acclimatisation chances. The route makes use of Met Station and McKinders Camp.

The most scenic and interesting of the three main routes on Mt Kenya is the Chogoria route. It starts at Meru Bandas at the base of arguably one of the beautiful Lake Michaelson. As it is a slower ascent it offers more prospects for acclimatisation and also time to enjoy the magnificent scenery.

The third main route is Sirimon, which has the most gradual ascent and also ascends on the direst side of the mountain, meaning less chance of rain. It starts in a yellowwood forest, into a shrubland, a forest of Scenecio's up to Lenana.

These routes can be combined to get the best of various scenes. Likewise Noromoru - Sirimon and Sirimon Chogoria.

There are so many good books written on Kilimanjaro it is hard to choose. Some of the ones we suggest are:-

1) Upon That Mountain by Eric Shipton

2) No Picnic On Mount Kenya by Felice Benuzzi.

3) The First Ascent of Mount Kenya by H Mackinder

4) Through Masai Land by J Thomson

A link to Mount Kenya National Park website

Mt Kenya query

Book your Mount Kenya Climb
Overview of Trekking Routes
3 days trekking
Shortest way to Lenana summit
Rapid ascent
Starts at Naro Moru Park gate (2400m)
Sleep in Tents/Huts
Steep vertical bog section
Summit via Mackinder's and Austrian Camp
Naro Moru Route
4 days hike
Scenic easier route
Northern side so drier
Starts from Sirimon Park Gate (2600m)
Sleep in Tents/Huts
Long open valleys
Summit via Shipton's camp (4200m)
Sirimon Route
From 4 days
Most beautiful route
Longer approach route
Starts at Chogoria Park Gate (2950m)
Sleep in Tents/Huts
Steep craggy peaks and views
Summit via Shiptons Hut (4790m)
Chogoria Route
4 days trekking
Ascent via Sirimon and descend Naro Moru
Starts at Sirimon Park Gate
Sleep in Huts/Tents
Steep vertical bog on descent
Summit from Shiptons camp (4200m)
Naro Moru Sirimon Route
5-6 days
Very scenic route
Slower ascent
Starts at Sirimon Gate
Sleep in Huts
Steep graggy views and lakes on descent
Summit through Shiptons camp (4200m)
Sirimon Chogoria 5 days
Sirimon Chogoria 6 days
Kilimanjaro Short Treks
These treks are designed for people with less time available or who do not want to go for summit. They range from 1 to 4 days on the mountain
Kilimanjaro Short Treks
Mt Meru
Mt Meru is a great pre-acclimatisation trek before Kilimanjaro or a stand alone trek. These treks are 3-4 days
Mt Meru itinerary
Mt Kilimanjaro
Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in Africa and summit can be reached in 5 days. It can be done with Mt Kenya and Mt Meru
Kilimanjaro itinerary

There are several options to add on a safari tour in either Tanzania or Kenya after your Kilimanjaro trek. The shortest safari is 3 days up to around 9 or longer if you prefer.
Safari Tours