Schools Mount Kenya Expedition

A fantastic high-altitude trek with full days of walking




From $2,900 Land only

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Holiday Overview


  • Learn about the wildlife of Africa on a game-viewing walk
  • A School Group trek to point Lenana on Mount Kenya
  • A well-paced trekking itinerary with sunrise views over Africa
  • Stunning lakeside camps on Africa`s second highest mountain

North of Nairobi and almost straddling the equator, the triple-summited Mount Kenya provides the setting for one of the best treks in Africa. Being of lesser altitude (although still the second highest mountain in Africa), Mount Kenya always seems to lie in the shadow of its more illustrious neighbour, Kilimanjaro, yet most people would agree that Mount Kenya is the finer of the two, providing sensational trekking without the crowds that come to climb East Africa's highest peak. 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. We start out by flying in to the Kenyan capital Nairobi and after spending a night in a comfortable hotel in the city we make a short transfer northwards into the Mount Kenya National Park. We have chosen to climb Mount Kenya over four days, via the Chogoria Route, which is the most varied and scenically interesting of the options on the mountain. At the start of our climb we have the opportunity to do a little game-viewing in the forested area below our first camp at Lake Ellis. We continue the ascent with a series of idyllic camps at Lake Michaelson and Simba Tarn, usually having these camping places to ourselves. From our high camp we make the final ascent, often on a snow-covered trail to the rocky peak known as Point Lenana. This is the ‘walkers' summit of Mount Kenya. Beyond this point, the mountain presents a quite difficult rock climb and only well-equipped and experienced parties can proceed to the actual summit. After enjoying the stunning Point Lenana sunrise, our 2-day descent via the Sirimon Route provides a suitably scenic conclusion to what is unquestionably one of the world's great adventures. This trip is a great introduction to mountain walking, and to 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 is a superb school adventure, and a great travel experience. It includes the ascent to the walker's summit of Mt Kenya at 4985 above sea level, which is a fantastic achievement to aim for. 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. There are 5 days of trekking in this school adventure, and all of this is on excellent trails. No technical climbing is required to reach Point Lenana on Mount Kenya 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
  • 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.

Land Only

The price of our trips does not include international air travel to the start location in the destination city and country. The start location for joining the trip is identified for each trip. It's usually a centrally located hotel. KE can easily arrange all airport transfers for you.

International Air Travel

Please contact us at KE for air travel advice. We will be happy to discuss the flight arrangement which best suits your group.

2 teachers FREE

The Guide Price assumes that 2 teachers will accompany the group. Their Land Only costs are covered by the group's payment.

Guide Price $2,900*
Park Fees/permits N/A
Other Charges N/A

* We give a price estimate for all of our school trips. This is based on 12-16 pupils and includes two free teacher places. If you are interested in a specific trip, we will send you a quote letter. You may wish to take extra teachers or add on additional days and this can all be included into your quote, on request.

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

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 100m

    • Time 4 hours

  • 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

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 350m

    • Time 4 hours

  • 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

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 200m

    • Time 4 hours

  • 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

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1900m

    • Time 8 hours

  • 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 transfer to Nairobi Airport. Additional days can be added.

    • Meals bl

    • Time 4 hours

Holiday Information

  • A qualified UK KE Schools leader
  • Professional English-speaking local guide
  • 2 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 dossier
  • All meals
  • A full trek service including all 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.

During this trip the group will spend 1 nights at a comfortable hotel in Nairobi, which has a swimming pool and all amenities. (Note: at the end of the trip, the group will also have use of a shared day room at this hotel to enable you to shower and change before the evening departure). Whilst on trek there will be a total of 4 nights camping and 1 night in a 'banda' (simple mountain lodge style cottage accommodation). All accommodation is allocated on a twin sharing basis.

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

All meals are included in the trip price from breakfast on day 2 until lunch on day 7. (Note that as most flights into Nairobi arrive late evening, dinner is not included on the first night.)

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.

Nairobi Airport transfers are included on arrival and departure. The KE School Group Leader or KE representative will meet you on arrival and assist with the transfers to the group hotel. Full joining instructions along with hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with the 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

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.

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.

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 very high altitude. During the course of your trip you will be spending at least one night above 4000 metres and/or trekking to 5000 metres or above. 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 on our website which can be viewed via the link below. Unless you have previous experience of trekking above 4000 metres you should consult one of our trekking experts before embarking on this holiday. On this trip we carry a portable altitude chamber (PAC-bag) and/or bottled oxygen for use in emergencies.

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)



Trekking trousers

Lightweight waterproof overtrousers


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


Warm hat

Eyewear - sunglasses

Daypack c.30 litres

Headtorch / headlamp with spare batteries

Sun protection (including for lips)

Water bottles 1 Litre (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 for camp

    Sleeping bag liner


    Spare laces


    Camera, media, 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.

    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.

    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, dropping to 15° at night. Once we are climbing, we can expect the temperatures to be rather lower, with daytime temperatures at 3000 metres being around 15°C. Higher up (above 4000 metres) the night-time temperatures will fall below freezing and it will also be no more than 10°C 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.

    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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