The Weekender / short holiday special. A quick trek to Mount Kenya that’s only recommended for the well-acclimatised and energetic mountain hikers. It is a challenging hike to the summit following straightforward paths and making use of accommodation huts located along the way. However, attempting the summit on Day 3 and descending up to the Sirimon road head on the same day will be difficult though achievable.
This is a common itinerary for hikers with limited amounts of time for their hike or those on a weekend break. The routing is quit convenient for larger trekking parties since it follows the same trail up and down allowing those unable to reach the very top to wait behind at the lower camps as the fitter ones attempt the summit.
Optional night spent at our base lodge before the trek allows for a time to prepare and to do a nature hike in the mount Kenya forest kicking off the much-needed acclimatisation. If time does not permit for this, it’s passable.
(A similar itinerary is possible following the Naro Moru route).
Route Duration: 3 – 4 days on the Mountain
Total Hiking Distance: Approximately 55Kms.
Day 1: NAIROBI (1,650m) – OLDMOSES CAMP (3,340m.)
A.M transfer, Nairobi to Sirimon Gate (225Kms / 4-5h)
P.M trek, Sirimon Park Gate – OldMoses hut (2,600m – 3,340m).
Span, approx. 10Kms. / 2-3hrs.
Habitat, Montane Forest / Bamboo / Hagenia /Heather zones
D1 Details: Drive from Nairobi to our base lodge on the western slopes of Mt Kenya for lunch. After lunch is a full briefing and equipment check before we begin the mountain trek – we’ll meet the crew at this point, each one has a personal porter and there are extra porters for mountain equipment and food. It takes about one hour to get to the Sirimon Park Gate (2600m) crossing the equator en-route. On completion of park entry formalities you begin a 3-4 hour hike through forest, bamboo, rosewood and heather zones to Old Moses camp (3300m). Today we gain 740m on the ascent and begin to truly acclimatise. The forest and bamboo are home to hundreds of buffaloes, elephants, bushbucks and a plethora of bird species. Overnight in the Old Moses hut (3340m). (B,L,D)
Day 2: OLDMOSES CAMP (3,340m.) – SHIPTON’S CAMP (4,236m.)
Trek, Oldmoses – Shipton’s Camp (3,340m – 4,236m).
Span, approx.14Kms / 7-8hrs.
Habitat: Moorland zone.
D2 Details: After an early breakfast we commence a 7-8 hours trek to Shipton’s camp (4,236m). Today’s trek is long and interesting but also a good test on individual fitness. You’ll ascent close to 900m going 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 hut (4236m), just below the glaciers and jagged peaks of bare rock that surround the main summits. (B,L,D)
Day 3: SHIPTON’S (4,200m) – LENANA (4,985m).
(Summit climb) Shipton’s camp (4236m) – Pt. Lenana (4,985m) – Oldmoses or Shipton’s.
Ascent: 749m to the summit.
(3 day Option) – Descent: -1645m to Oldmoses Camp.
(4 day Option) – Descent -749m to Shipton’s camp.
Span, approx. 20kms / 10h from Shipton’s to Pt. Lenana down to oldmoses
Or, 6kms/6h from Shipton’s to Pt. Lenana and back to Shipton’s
Habitat: Scree / rocky summit / Moorland
D3 Details: Predawn start (3am) for the summit attempt – you’ll need a bright head torch for this. Go up steep screes and a bare rocky track to reach the hikers summit, Pt Lenana at 4,985m in time for sunrise – to add to the exhilaration, Kilimanjaro is usually visible 340kms to the south on a clear day. The climb is tough going through frozen scree and requiring some scrambling on final stretch to reach the summit – this is unavoidable on any route. We aim to reach the summit and witness the magical sunrise over the equator at 6.30am. Descend back to Shipton’s camp for a hefty brunch then continue the descent to Oldmoses Camp (3340m) arriving in a further 4-5 hours. Or relax the rest of the day at Shipton’s and descend on day 4 if time permits. (B,L,D)
3 days challenge: Hikers intending to complete this hike in 3 days should be very well prepared and fit enough. The trek today combines a demanding attempt of the summit and descend to Oldmoses camp (or even further down) where you connect with the vehicle for transfer off the mountain. This tusk is really challenging and needs a lot of resilience.
Additional 4th day consolation: Hikers who can spare an extra day on the mountain are strongly advised to spend this extra night at the Shipton’s Camp after the summit attempt to relax the pace of descent. Alternatively, this additional day my be utilised to boost acclimatisation prior to summit attempt then descent directly as in the 3 day option.
BLD indicates those meals included. i.e. B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner