Mt Kenya is riddled with pioneering history, with some of the most amazing stories in mountaineering history. To name one ‘No picnic on mount Kenya’, the scene of the famous Italian prisoners of war who escaped to climb the Teleki Valley to attempt to summit Point Batian in hot pursuit from their captures. Since then many mountaineering legends established themselves on Mt Kenya, Halford Mackinder, Eric Shipton and Arthur Firmin, to name a few. Modern day legends in Ian Howell and Ian Allen are also very evident, establishing many of the technical routes on Batian (5,199m) and Nelion (5,188m). ”Howell Hut” was built by Ian Howell who soloed Point Nelion 13 times to establish the hut on the summit; this hut is still used today and is incorporated in African Ascents itinerary’s.
The highest peaks of the mountain are Batian (5,199 metres (17,057 ft.)), Nelion (5,188 metres (17,021 ft.)) which are technical ascents, and Point Lenana (4,985 metres (16,355 ft.)). Mount Kenya is located in central Kenya, just south of the equator near the African Ascents home of Nanyuki, around 150 kilometres (93 miles) north-northeast of the capital Nairobi. Mount Kenya is the source of the name of the Republic of Kenya.
Mount Kenya is a stratovolcano created approximately 3 million years after the opening of the East African ri ft. Before glaciations, it was 7,000 m (23,000 ft.) high. It was covered by an ice cap for thousands of years. This has resulted in many eroded slopes and numerous valleys radiating from the centre. There are currently 11 small glaciers. The forested slopes are an important source of water for much of Kenya.
Known to the local tribe as Kirinjuga, meaning ‘there is an ostrich’ because of its black and white appearance, it is home to the famous giant Groundsel and many other Lobelias. Various species of wildlife can be found all over the mountain, Eland and Zebra wander high into the moorland, whilst Elephant, Bushbuck, Leopard, and Colobus Monkeys are seen in the forests. This mountain provides every visitor with outstanding beauty and an expedition that will never be forgotten.
African Ascents provides a wide variety of options for climbing Mount Kenya. Guests can opt for a basic package, or a more extended package traversing the whole mountain at high altitude. We also provide high altitude training where guests can learn about mountain rescue, abseiling, short roping over scrabbling terrain, glacial travel and of course the technical aspects.
Point Batian and Point Nelion are technical ascents which we offer. These are two of the best alpine climbs at high altitude and are underutilised. If you are an alpine climber these peaks should be on your list to conquer.
African Ascents are partners with various organisations in Kenya that help to provide a unique experience: The Mount Kenya Trust, Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Iolaus East Africa, Ragati Conservancy, and the Mountain Club of Kenya (MCK).
Mount Kilimanjaro (Kili) is not only one of the highest mountains in Africa, but is also one of the seven summits of the world. A dormant Volcano, Kili has 3 volcanic cones, Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira; with the highest peak Uhuru sitting 5,895 meters above sea level, making this mountain a real challenge, but with several thousand visitors summiting each year, this mountain simply speaks for itself.
The mountain rises out of the beauty of the African savannah, surrounded by wildlife and plant life that is significant to the African environment. Dry lands move into the rainforests on its slopes, moving into moorland and further onto the alpine desert, high up on the Mountain. Guests of African Ascents will experience all of these ecosystems as they take on the “Kili experience”.
With great altitude gain, comes the risk of altitude sickness. African Ascents’ internationally qualified guides will do there upmost to minimise this risk using their extensive high altitude experience and training. A steady pace from the very beginning is essential to allow the body to adjust to its new altitude. Coupled with good food and comfortable accommodation, the chances of reaching the summit are greatly increased.
We offer a variety of ascents for Mt Kilimanjaro, from budget to tailor made packages, on routes that allow you to climb away from the crowds. Every ascent is a truly unique experience and one not to be missed.
The Ruwenzori Mountains is the only other snow caped mountain in Africa along with Mt Kenya and Mt Kilimanjaro. Found on the southern tip of Uganda near to the plains of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Standing at 5,109 metres (16,760 ft) it is the third highest of these three great mountains. Yet the Ruwenzori’s is the least discovered and certainly the least climbed. It is out there waiting to be discovered.
Aptly, this mountain is known as ‘The Mountains of The Moon’. It was given this name in the early days of British exploration because it is always covered in mist and cloud, creating a mystical presence, you will very rarely see the summit from the base.
The Ruwenzori’s are also famous for holding the largest number of glaciers in Africa, there is far more ice here than Mt Kenya and Kili put together. These glaciers are reseeding much slower than those of its neighbours, so within a few years this could be the home of the last ice on the equator. The great ice fields provide every mountaineer a chance for some rare exploration and new African challenges.
African Ascents is currently working on developing a new expedition to the Ruwenzori’s. We aim to carry out a detailed recce in the near future to create a 6 – 7 day itineraries for amateur and experienced mountaineers. One itinerary will involve a trekking summit, the other, for the more experienced mountaineers, a glacial travel expedition. Once more experience has been gained on the mountain African Ascents hope to be able offer tailor made expeditions including ice climbing and technical alpine climbing.
If anyone has an interest in the Ruwenzori’s please make contact and we can currently offer a recce style trip between 10 days and 2 weeks of exploratory mountaineering.
The Timau Route has a fantastic charm as it brings a feeling of solitude and peace into a great mountain hike. This route brings to life some of the most beautiful and scenic sites on the mountain, it is also your best chance to see wildlife and birdlife at higher altitudes, with an abundance of […]
The magic of Mt Kenya comes to life on this spectacular route. With the steep faces of the ‘Gorges Valley’ and the beauty of the high altitude tarns, this is a route that will never be forgotten. This is a sample itinerary of the route to Point Lenana (4985m) via the scenic Chogoria route, that […]
Mt Kenya’s Glaciers are rapidly receding, and it has been estimated that they will no longer exist in as little as 30 years. However, with only a few Glaciers le ft on the Mountain there is a lot of fun to be had. The Lewis Glacier is Mt Kenya’s largest Glacier and must be crossed […]
This is a unique way to see Mt Kenya, travelling on paths less trodden; you will see all of what Mt Kenya has to offer. The Grand traverse circumnavigates round the main peaks, looking up at the massifs of Batian and Nelion and looking down at the undulating valleys and gorges of the massive expanse […]
Batian (5199m, 17,057 ft) and Nelion (5188m, 17,021 ft) are Mt Kenya’s highest peaks, climbing to their summit is unique in Africa and is said to be some of the best technical alpine climbing in the world. It is certainly the highest technical climbing route in Africa, creating the greatest mountain challenge in Africa. Although […]
The Rongai route takes us away from the crowds and into an environment with endless views, beautiful flora, fauna and the remoteness of the alpine desert. This route takes on the mountain from the north on the border of our home in Kenya. It provides guests with a better chance to do the all-important acclimatisation, […]
The Marangu route to Kilimanjaro’s summit, Uhuru Peak (5,895m) (19,341 ft) provides us with one of Africa’s greatest challenges. The Marangu route starts in the beautiful Montane Forest of Kilimanjaro’s lower slopes and finishes in the moonscape environment that surrounds the summit. The Marangu route is ideal for large groups and provides comfortable mountain huts […]