School Trek - Mount Kenya and the Samburu

A high-altitude summit and walking in the Samburu



From 0 Land only

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Holiday Overview


  • A community project at a local primary school
  • Two days of camel trekking with the Samburu People
  • Trek to Point Lenana on Mount Kenya
  • See elephant, giraffe, zebra and other African plains game

This KE-exclusive 2-week schools itinerary combines high mountain trekking, a traditional camel safari with the Samburu people and the chance to do some much-needed project work at a remote and very basic primary school. Starting out from Nairobi, we drive northwards to the Samburu territory which lies between Mount Kenya and the Aberdares Mountains. Here, we meet the colourful morani (warriors) of the Samburu who will be our guides on a 2-day camel safari across the dry savannah plains. With no vehicles, this is the best possible way to view game - we should see elephant, zebra and giraffe and then at night we can relax beside the camp fire under the big African sky. The Samburu share many customs with the Masai and are perfectly at home in this arid region, herding cattle and more recently camels, which do well on the scrubby plains of the Laikipia Plateau. This part of Kenya is divided into a number of large ranches and reserve areas which support a great diversity of wildlife. Laikipia is the last stronghold of several endangered species, as well as the more common plains game and there is much to see here, especially alongside the permanent water of the Ewaso Ngiro River which attracts a lot of wildlife. After our camel trek, we spend 2 days on project work at primary schools in the Mukogodo region in the northern part of the Laikipia Plateau, which gives us the chance to learn a lot more about the Masai and Samburu inhabitants of this unspoiled corner of East Africa. As a finale to this action-packed trip, we transfer to Chogoria Village, which is the starting point for our climb to the ‘trekkers summit' of Mount Kenya at Point Lenana (4985m). We have chosen to climb Mount Kenya by way of the Chogoria Route, which takes in some of the mountain's most stunning scenery, as we progress through several climatic zones. Starting in the jungle, the trail quickly leads into a temperate zone where elephant and buffalo can be spotted. Higher up, the route reaches the alpine zone, with many varied and interesting plants and animals to be seen. Finally, above the snow line, just below the final slopes to Point Lenana, we get fantastic views of the rocky and inaccessible summit of Mount Kenya. Given good weather, the summit views extend to distant Kilimanjaro in the south and the less distant Aberdares to the west. Descending via the Sirimon Route provides a spectacular finish to this classic traverse of Kenya's most beautiful mountain. To round off the trip in style we spend a day viewing big game at Sweetwaters Reserve. This unique school adventure provides a unique opportunity to experience the true spirit of Africa. This tried and tested KE Schools itinerary can be adjusted to better fit the needs of your group - please call and speak to a KE School Groups Coordinator or email

Is this holiday for you?

This trip starts out easily, with three quite short days trekking with the Samburu on the Laikipia Plateau at elevations of between 1600 and 2000 metres. Here, we can expect it to be quite hot and we will be walking on soft sand for some of the time. Our 3 days of project work will help with acclimatisation to the heat and altitude, before setting off to climb Mount to the walkers summit of Mt Kenya at 4985m above sea level. Whilst there is considerable altitude gain involved to reach Point Lenana, our tried and tested itinerary allows plenty of time for acclimatisation. It is important to note that trekking at high altitude makes greater demands on the body than walking at low altitudes. The Mt Kenya trek takes place over 5 days and all of this is on excellent trails. No technical climbing is required to reach Point Lenana but on the final approach to this rocky summit we do have to negotiate sections of scree and possibly snow. With the exception of the summit day where we will be walking for around 8 hours, we will walk for around 5 to 6 hours each day. On most afternoons there will the opportunity to rest and relax.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
  • Day 6
  • Day 7
  • Day 8
  • Day 9
  • Day 10
  • Day 11
  • Day 12
  • Day 13
  • Day 14
The LAND ONLY prices are for the itinerary joining in Nairobi. If your group is making their own flight arrangements, Nairobi Airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. Please refer to Joining Arrangements and Transfers in the trip notes for further details. If flying from the UK there are a number of airlines operating on this route.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

We have undertaken to guarantee that all of our Land Only prices will not change once you have booked your holiday. Unlike some of our competitors we have decided never to surcharge, whether you are booking for this year or the next.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • peaks
  • point
  • trip direction
  • trek
  • transfer

Holiday Itinerary

  • Day 1

  • Day 2

  • Day 3

  • Day 4

  • Day 5

  • Day 6

  • Day 7

  • Day 8

  • Day 9

  • Day 10

  • Day 11

  • Day 12

  • Day 13

  • Day 14

Holiday Information

  • A qualified UK KE Schools leader
  • Professional English-speaking local guide
  • Two free teacher places (land only) Nairobi airport transfers
  • All land transport involved in the itinerary
  • Guided sightseeing as indicated in the itinerary
  • Mt Kenya national park fees
  • All accommodation as described in the trip notes
  • All meals
  • A full service trek including all food and equipment (excluding personal equipment)
  • International flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Kenyan visa fees
  • Tips for drivers and other trek staff
  • Miscellaneous personal expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc.
On trek, the food is a mixture of local and European, all purchased in Africa and cooked for us by highly trained trek cooks. The emphasis is on a high carbohydrate and largely vegetarian diet.
All meals are included in the trip price from lunch on day 1 until lunch on day 14.
A transfer will be arranged to meet the designated group flight on arrival at Nairobi Airport. At the end of the trip, there will be a transfer back to Nairobi Airport timed to the check in for the homeward flight. The KE local guide or a representative of our local agent will assist with the transfers. Our local contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.
Whilst on trek there will be a total of 12 nights camping and 1 night in a 'banda' (simple mountain lodge style cottage accommodation). All accommodation is allocated on a twin sharing basis. Whilst trekking 2 people will share a tent. Group members of the same sex will be paired up.

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

A typical day starts with an early morning brew served in your tent at 6 a.m.. After a hot breakfast, during which camp will be struck and the ponies loaded, we start walking in the pleasant cool of the morning. We take a packed lunch every day and will stop at a convenient place on the trail for this snack meal, usually after 3 or 4 hours’ walking. The porters usually catch up with the group during lunch and are well on their way to camp which we hope to establish by 4 pm., well before dusk. It is usual for the afternoon’s walk to be shorter than the morning session. On arrival at camp, the crew will quickly put the tents up and a hot drink will soon follow. Dinner is ready at around 6 p.m. and is a 3-course meal served in the mess tent. This is a great time of day for reliving the events of the trek so far and for socialising. On some days we will only be walking for 4 to 5 hours, whilst on the longest day to the Pt Lenana on Mt Kenya we can expect to have an 8 to 10 hour day.
All KE school adventures are led by a specialist UK KE Schools leader. During the trip the leader will be assisted by an English-speaking local guide and on trek will be supported by a trek crew including a cook, camp staff and porters or baggage animals and their handlers.
Approximately £200 should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses, including around £60 for porter tips. Souvenirs can be bought in a number of places around Kenya, and it is also possible to buy soft drinks. It is not necessary to obtain local currency prior to your departure. We recommend that you carry your travel money 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.
Your baggage on the Mt Kenya trek will be carried by porters. The packed weight of your trek bag whilst trekking should be no more than 14kg. 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 adventure 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 adventure you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude on our website which can be viewed via the link below. You can also talk to one of our trekking experts if you have any concerns about altitude.

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. Items in italics are optional.


  • Walking boots
  • Training shoes or sandals for camp

    • Socks
    • Technical walking socks (2 or 3 pairs)
    • Spare laces


    • Trekking trousers
    • Lightweight waterproof overtrousers
    • Underwear
    • Shorts
    • Long johns (thermal underwear)

    Fleece trousers

    Travel pants


    • Thermal baselayer shirts (2 short sleeve, 2 long sleeve)
    • T-shirt or casual shirt to travel in
    • Fleece jacket or warm jumper
    • Lightweight windproof/waterproof jacket

      Warm jacket (down)


    • Sunhat
    • Warm hat or balaclava
    • Eyewear - sunglasses


    • Lightweight thermal gloves
    • Warmer overgloves or mittens

      Rucksack & contents

    • Rucksack c.30 litres
    • Headtorch and batteries
    • Basic First Aid Kit - refer to trip notes for details
    • Sun protection (including for lips)
    • Water bottles 1 Litre (x2)

      Trekking poles

    • Insect repellant – (75 – 100% DEET)

      Camera, film, batteries

      Swiss Army Knife

    Trek Bag Contents

    • Travel clothes
    • Washbag and toiletries
    • 4 season sleeping bag

      Sleeping bag liner

    • Thermarest or similar sleeping mat

      Synthetic trek towel

      Antibacterial handwash

      Travel clothes line

    • Money belt
    • Sewing kit
    • Small padlock
    • Gaffer tape

    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.

    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.

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

    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.

    Kenya has a tropical climate and lying on the equator it tends to have similar temperatures throughout the year. Generally, it is hot and relatively humid at the coast and more temperate inland. The highland areas of East Africa have a pleasant, temperate climate throughout the year with a rainy season in April and May. The maximum daytime temperatures that we will encounter in Nairobi will be around 25 to 28 degrees centigrade, dropping to 15 degrees centigrade at night. On the plains expect the temperatures to be slightly hotter than Nairobi. Once we are climbing, we can expect the temperatures to be rather lower, with daytime temperatures at 3000 metres being around 20 degrees centigrade. Higher up (above 4000 metres) the night-time temperatures will fall below freezing and it will also be no more than 10 to 15 degrees centigrade during the day, although in the heat of the sun it will feel warmer than this.
    East Africa. Lonely Planet. The Trekkers Handbook. Tom Gilchrist. Snowcaps on the Equator - The Fabled mountains of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zaire. Boy and Allan. Kenya. Insight Guides. Kenya. Rough Guides. My Kenya Days. Wilfred Thesiger. Bill Bryson's African Diary. Bill Bryson.
    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 for hikers and climbers

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