Mount Kenya Ascent

Ascend to Point Lenana, Mt Kenya`s trekking summit




From $1,940 Land only

Book this holiday

Holiday Overview


  • Chogoria and Sirimon routes - a full traverse of Mt Kenya
  • One week of trekking in Mount Kenya national park
  • Well-paced trekking itinerary with sunrise views over Africa
  • Stunning lakeside camps on Africa`s second highest mountain

Within just a week, this great trip completes a spectacular traverse of the mountain by way of the ‘trekkers summit' at Point Lenana (4985m), where the views include distant Kilimanjaro and the nearby rocky pinnacle of Batian (5199m), Mount Kenya's true summit. So much more than just up and down Mount Kenya, this trekking holiday has sustained interest throughout. Ascending by way of the Chogoria Route, we pass through a forest area that is home to elephant and buffalo, en route to the idyllic camps at Lake Ellis and at Lake Michaelson. Then, from our highest camp at Simba Tarn, we make the final ascent, often on a snow-covered trail. After enjoying the stunning Point Lenana sunrise, our 2-day descent via the beautiful Sirimon Route provides a suitably scenic conclusion to what is unquestionably one of the world's great adventures. North of Nairobi and almost straddling the equator, the triple-summited Mount Kenya provides the setting for one of the best treks in Africa.

Is this holiday for you?

This is quite a tough trekking holiday, simply in terms of the altitude gain which is involved in climbing Mount Kenya. However, the climbing involves mostly short days and generally, there are excellent trails to follow. This trip has been given grade blue 7 to reflect the considerable height gain and the physical challenge of the summit day.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in Nairobi. Transfers from Nairobi Airport are provided.
  • Transfer to Mount Kenya National Park and trek onto traditional banda at Chogoria Gate (2730m).
  • Early morning game walk. Trek across open moorland to camp at Lake Ellis (3390m).
  • Trek to join Chogoria Trail. Views of Vivienne Falls before descent to Lake Michaelson (4000m).
  • Ascend to the northern side of Point Lenana (4985m). Short, steep ascent to Simba Tarn (4620m).
  • Steady climb to the trekkers’ summit of Point Lenana (4985m). Descend to Old Moses Camp (3400m).
  • Trek to the park gates. Use of hotel day-room, then transfer to Nairobi Airport.
Sun 20 Dec - Sat 26 Dec Code KEN /08/15/ Adult$1,940 Status Available Book now
Sat 23 Jan - Fri 29 Jan Code KEN /01/16/ Adult$1,940 Status Guaranteed Book now
Sat 13 Feb - Fri 19 Feb Code KEN /02/16/ Adult$1,940 Status Available Book now
Sat 21 May - Fri 27 May Code KEN /03/16/ Adult$2,020 Status Available Book now
Sat 25 Jun - Fri 01 Jul Code KEN /04/16/ Adult$2,020 Status Available Book now
Sat 16 Jul - Fri 22 Jul Code KEN /05/16/ Adult$2,020 Status Available Book now
Sat 03 Sep - Fri 09 Sep Code KEN /06/16/ Adult$2,020 Status Guaranteed Book now
Sat 15 Oct - Fri 21 Oct Code KEN /07/16/ Adult$2,020 Status Available Book now
Sat 24 Dec - Fri 30 Dec Code KEN /08/16/ Adult$2,020 Status Available Book now
Sat 21 Jan - Fri 27 Jan Code KEN /01/17/ Adult$2,020 Status Available Book now
Sat 11 Feb - Fri 17 Feb Code KEN /02/17/ Adult$2,020 Status Available Book now
The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary, joining in Nairobi, Kenya. For clients making their own flight arrangements, Nairobi International airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. Please refer to the 'Joining arrangements & transfers' section in the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee*

* Against Land Only services.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • peaks
  • point
  • trip direction
  • trek

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel in Nairobi. Transfers from Nairobi Airport are provided.

    Meet at the group hotel in Nairobi. Complimentary Airport transfers are included on this day. KE Land Only services begin with the overnight at the group hotel. Note that as most flights into Nairobi arrive late evening, dinner is not included on this night.

    • Accommodation Hotel

  • Transfer to Mount Kenya National Park and trek onto traditional banda at Chogoria Gate (2730m).

    We drive north from Nairobi into the Mount Kenya National Park. En route we have good views of the mountain ahead of us. Arriving at Chogoria, we have lunch, before transferring to four-wheel-drive vehicles for the final 15 miles drive up a rough and muddy road to our overnight halt. An early start means that we will have time to walk some of this rough road if the vehicles get stuck. We stay overnight in a "banda" (cottage) in woodland near to the Chogoria Gate (2730m).

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

  • Early morning game walk. Trek across open moorland to camp at Lake Ellis (3390m).

    We have an easy start to the day, with a game viewing walk in the early morning in the area around our overnight lodge. If we are lucky, we may see elephant, cape buffalo, antelope and colobus monkeys in this area, as well as many species of impressive birds, such as the augur buzzard and Verreaux's eagle. After a late breakfast, we start our trek up towards Mount Kenya - walking initially through forest, we walk onto moorland area with fewer trees. On our walk, there are excellent views back towards the plains. We camp at Lake Ellis at an altitude of 3390m. This is a blissful campsite in full view of the main peaks of Mount Kenya and well away from the main trail. 3 hours walking. In the afternoon, there is the option of an acclimatisation walk to the summit of Mugi Hill at 3640m. - a round trip of 2 hours.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 550m

    • Distance 7km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 100m

    • Time 4 - 5 hrs trekking

  • Trek to join Chogoria Trail. Views of Vivienne Falls before descent to Lake Michaelson (4000m).

    We continue our ascent, climbing away from Lake Ellis on its west side, across moorland to a ridge which eventually joins the main Chogoria Trail. We have views of Vivienne Falls and the Gorges Valley as we descend to the most picturesque campsite in the range, at Lake Michaelson (4000m). Above the camp are the impressive cliffs of the "Temple." Exotic bird species, including the tacazze sunbird, can be seen close to the camp amongst the bizarre giant plants - principally groundsel and lobelia.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 900m

    • Distance 8km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 350m

    • Time 4 - 5 hrs trekking

  • Ascend to the northern side of Point Lenana (4985m). Short, steep ascent to Simba Tarn (4620m).

    Today we ascend into the alpine zone, above the last of the trees and giant vegetation species. Our route follows Lake Michaelson’s main feeder stream. Initially, we head towards “The Tooth,” a rocky promontory at around 4700m, high up on our left-hand side. Rather than camping at the usual Austrian Hut, we head towards the north side of Point Lenana and climb a short, sharp scree slope to Simba Tarn (4620m), where we find great views, good water and usually no other trekkers.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 850m

    • Distance 3km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 200m

    • Time 4 - 5 hrs trekking

  • Steady climb to the trekkers’ summit of Point Lenana (4985m). Descend to Old Moses Camp (3400m).

    An early start (at around 3 a.m.) for a cup of tea and a relatively easy 2-hour climb up to Point Lenana (4985m), which is the trekking summit of Mount Kenya. As dawn breaks over Africa, we are treated to a remarkable spectacle - a thin purple line becomes brighter on the eastern horizon, bursting above the morning clouds which lie in the Rift Valley and brightly illuminating the nearby peaks of Nelion and Batian. In the far distance, we can even see the snow-capped summit of Kilimanjaro - looking like a small white cloud - and over 200 miles away. Retracing our steps towards Simba Tarn, we descend as far as Shipton’s Camp for a hearty breakfast. We then continue our descent on the Sirimon Route, crossing the heather moorland of the northern slopes of the mountain to the “Old Moses” campsite at 3400m.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 650m

    • Distance 18km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1900m

    • Time 8 - 9 hrs trekking

  • Trek to the park gates. Use of hotel day-room, then transfer to Nairobi Airport.

    After breakfast we continue descending through the forest for 3 hours to the Park Gates where we say goodbye to our crew over an early lunch. We then drive back to Nairobi and check in to the group hotel. We spend the afternoon at leisure beside the swimming pool and communal ‘day rooms’ are available for freshening up before we start the homeward journey. KE Land Only services end with the transfer to Nairobi Airport.

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bl

    • Time 4 hrs trekking

Holiday Information

  • A professional English speaking leader
  • National Park Fees (worth $295)
  • Nairobi Airport transfers on day 1 and day 7
  • All land transport involved in the itinerary
  • All accommodation as described in the trip dossier
  • All meals
  • A full service on trek including food and all equipment (excluding personal equipment)

  • Travel Insurance
  • Kenyan visa
  • Tips for staff
  • Miscellaneous expenses - souvenirs and drinks etc.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

All clients arriving on day 1 of the itinerary will be met at Nairobi Airport by a KE representative and transferred to the group hotel in Nairobi. All clients departing on day 7 will be transferred to Nairobi Airport. 'Land Only' clients must inform the KE office of their flight details so that we can arrange your transfer. At the end of the holiday the transfer to Nairobi International Airport will arrive there at approximately 5.00pm. and you should not book any flight departing before 7.00pm. Land Only clients MUST provide the KE office with full details of their flights, so that we can arrange their Nairobi Airport transfers. Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

A typical day starts with an early morning cup of tea or coffee brought to your tent. After a hot breakfast, during which camp will be struck and porters given their loads, we start walking in the pleasant cool of the morning. Depending on the length of the day’s walk we may take lunch along the way or we may opt to have our lunch in camp. This leaves plenty of time for exploring around camp and for catching up on your diary or for reading. Dinner is served in the mess tent at around 6 p.m. and is a three course meal. This is a great time of day for relaxing and for discussing the events of the trek so far. After dark the temperature falls and we will usually be in our sleeping bags by early evening.

During this trip the group will spend 1 night at a comfortable tourist-class hotel in Nairobi, which has a swimming pool and all amenities. At the end of the holiday, the group will also have use of shared 'day rooms' at this hotel for showering and changing before the evening departure. Whilst on trek there will be a total of 4 nights camping and 1 night in a 'banda' (cottage). All accommodation is on a twin sharing basis. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. It is possible to hire a single tent while on trek for an additional cost. Please note single tent hire does not include single rooms in hotels. Single rooms for an additional supplement for the group night in Nairobi are available depending on availability at the time of booking. Additional nights in Nairobi can also be arranged. For single tent hire cost, single supplement and additional hotel night costs, Please refer to our website.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

On trek, the food is a mixture of local and international, all purchased in Africa and cooked for us by highly trained trek cooks. The emphasis is on a high carbohydrate and largely vegetarian diet, which we have found to be easily digestible especially at high altitude. This is a fully inclusive package and all meals are included in the trip price.

All meals are included in the holiday price from breakfast on day 2 to lunch on day 7 (dinner on day 1 is not included due to the late arrival of flights into Nairobi.)

Approximately £200 should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses, including around £50 for tips to your local crews and guides. There will be opportunities to buy soft drinks and beers. Souvenirs can be bought in a number of places, some of which will accept credit cards. If you are intending to buy expensive items, you should budget accordingly. Your travel money should be carried in the form of cash and you should change this into Kenyan shillings at the airport on arrival. Sterling, Euros and US dollars are all readily exchanged for Kenyan shillings, but US dollars in small notes can also be used in emergencies where change facilities are not available. Tips to trek staff can be paid either in Kenyan shillings or in US dollars, or a mix of both. Credit cards can be used to purchase some goods and services.

The entrance and camping fee for the Mount Kenya park is relatively expensive and also prone to increase. We include this fee in your holiday price so there are no hidden costs or last minute surprises.

Our groups on Mt Kenya are led by first-rate local guides, most of whom have worked for KE for many years and who have considerable experience of ascents on this mountain. During the trek we are supported by a full trek crew including cooks and porters.

Tips are the accepted way of saying thank you to your local guides and porters. They do not form part of their wages. KE always pays local crews the best rates of pay, no matter what country they are in and any tips they receive are seen as a personal thank you from group members. For our part, we advise local teams that tips are not a duty or a prerequisite but are a bonus and entirely dependent on the service that was given. Tipping should be decided and given by the group as a whole rather than from individuals. As a rough guide we suggest a contribution of £50 (in local currency or US dollars) from each group member should provide an appropriate pot to divide between all your guides and support staff for the Mount Kenya trek and ascent.

Your baggage on trek will be carried by porters. The packed weight of your trek bag whilst trekking should be no more than 14kg (31 pounds). It is possible to leave clothes or other items not required on trek at the group hotel. You will also bring a small daypack to carry the things you need during the day.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

This holiday involves going to high altitude. During the course of your trip you will reach altitudes in excess of 3500 metres. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude. You can also talk to one of our trekking experts if you have any concerns about altitude. On this trip we carry a portable altitude chamber (PAC-bag) and/or bottled oxygen for use in emergencies.

You should apply for your visa in advance of arrival in Kenya via the e-visa portal,

The procedure is as follows:

  1. Prepare in advance, a digital passport photograph, a scanned copy of the information page of your passport, a digital copy of your booking confirmation
  2. Register on eCitizen's website
  3. Upload your digital passport photograph
  4. Select: "Department of Immigration Services," "Submit Application," "Kenyan Visa," "Apply for a Single Entry Visa"
  5. Carefully read the entry requirements and select: "Apply Now"
  6. Follow application directions and input your information
  7. Pay the processing fee
  8. Your eVisa will be processed and sent to you online at the email address you have provided
  9. Log in to your eCitizen account, download and print the approved eVisa
  10. Take this hard copy of the eVisa with you and present it along with your passport at your point of entry

The eVisa costs $52.28 USD, inclusive of a $1 service charge and $1.28 card handling fee. (please check this price before applying for your visa)

Note that a single entry visa is valid for reentry into Kenya from Tanzania and Uganda.

Note also that a current Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is required for travel between Kenya and Tanzania.

Until September 1st 2015 it is also possible to get your Kenya visa on arrival at Nairobi Airport. You will need to fill in a form and supply one passport photo. The fee for a single entry visa is $50 and must be paid in cash. Sterling is accepted. After September 1st 2015, the facility to obtain Kenyan visa on arrival will be withdrawn.

We do keep our information up to date but please be advised visa requirements are subject to change. It is recommended that you contact the relevant embassy, commission or consulate in case of recent alterations.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.

You must bring the following items:

  • Hiking boots (waterproof)
  • Gaiters
  • Socks
  • Trekking trousers/pants
  • Lightweight waterproof overtrousers / rainpants
  • Underwear
  • Long johns (thermal underwear)
  • Thermal baselayer shirts
  • T-shirt and/or casual shirt
  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper
  • Lightweight windproof/waterproof jacket
  • Warm jacket (down)
  • Thermal gloves
  • Warmer over-gloves or mittens
  • Sunhat
  • Warm hat
  • Eyewear - sunglasses
  • Daypack c.30 litres – 2000 cu in
  • Headtorch / headlamp with spare batteries
  • Sun protection (including for lips)
  • Water bottles 1 Litre / 1 quart (x2)
  • 4 season sleeping bag*
  • Thermarest or similar sleeping mat*
  • Washbag and toiletries
  • Antibacterial handwash
  • Trek towel
  • Small padlock (to lock your KE trek bag)
  • Selection of dry bags (to keep trek bag contents dry)
  • Basic First Aid Kit including the following: Insect repellent; antiseptic cream; throat lozenges; diarrhoea treatment (Diocalm or Immodium); altitude (Diamox); painkillers; plasters/band-aids and blister treatment; and re-hydration salts (Dioralite). Glucose sweets and vitamin tablets are a useful addition.

The following items are optional:

  • Travel clothes
  • Trekking poles (recommended)
  • Trainers / sneakers for camp
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Shorts
  • Spare laces
  • Nailbrush
  • Camera, film, batteries
  • Pen-knife (remember to put all sharp objects in hold baggage


Equipment hire: Items marked * can be hired / rented through KE Adventure Travel. Please make all requests at least 6 weeks prior to the trip departure date. Hire / rental equipment is issued in Kenya.

Note that the hire sleeping bags are not suitable for people over 6 feet in height.


PHD Gear Advisor

PHD specialise in cold weather equipment, from the world’s lightest right up to the most protective for Everest or the Poles. It’s a large range. So to help you choose what you need to keep you warm, PHD have listed the gear that is appropriate for this expedition.

>> Click here to go to the PHD Gear Advisor for Mount Kenya Ascent












A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

Visa Kenya

UK and USA passport holders do require a visa. The visa fee is around US$55 and you need to apply for this online prior to departure at . Please download the detailed information document: Visa PDF Kenya.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on a trekking trip getting some additional exercise. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. We suggest that you adopt a weekly exercise regime. Regular hiking in hill country is the best preparation but jogging, squash and swimming are also good for developing better stamina and general cardio-vascular fitness.

You should contact your GP or travel clinic to check whether you specific require any vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella), alnog with hepatitis A and typhoid. Malarial prophylaxis are required. There is risk of yellow fever and you should carry a current vaccination certificate. On holidays to more remote areas you should also have a dentist check up. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

The highland areas of East Africa, including the part of Kenya which we will be visiting have a pleasant, temperate climate throughout the year with a long rainy season from mid March to June and a second, shorter rainy period from October to late December. The maximum daytime temperatures that we will encounter at the foot of Kenya at the time of any of our scheduled departures will be around 25 to 28°C/77 to 82°F, dropping to 15°C/59°F at night. Once we are climbing, we can expect the temperatures to be rather lower, with daytime temperatures at 3000 metres or 10000 feet being around 15°C/59°F. Higher up (above 4000 metres or 13,000 feet) the night-time temperatures will fall below freezing and it will also be no more than 10°C/50°F during the day, although in the heat of the sun it will feel warmer than this.

East Africa. Lonely Planet.

Trekking in East Africa. Else.

Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro - Climbing Guide.

Zombies on Kilimanjaro (Father-Son Above the Clouds) - Tim Ward

Mount Kenya - Map and Guide, West Col productions 1: 50,000

Double-sided sheet combining three maps of the mountain at various scales, drawings of its peaks annotated with hiking and climbing routes, and information on for hikers and climbers.

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