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 incorporates some of the most beautiful and scenic sites on the mountain. All in all it takes 5 days with campsites set up by a team of trained local porters, who accompany you throughout your expedition.
Route Name- Chogoria
Distance to the Summit – 29km
Altitude at the Start – 2,400m, 7,875 ft
Altitude at the Summit – 4985m, 16,355 ft
Summit- Point Lenana
The sample itinerary for this route is as follows:
Transfer from the solitude of Colobus Cottages to the Chogoria Route road head on the far eastern side of the Mountain. An early start is required as you travel round the mountain passing through Meru communities and the lush farm lands below the Montane Forest. Once through the bustling Chogoria town the journey enters the forest to the road head. The first days walk takes you up through the forest for approximately 5 hours to the Chogoria Banda’s. If it is a clear afternoon you can generally get a good sense of the landscape from this point; where the Afro alpine forest ends and the moorland begins. The area is paradise, with rolling hills and crystal clear rivers, and a good chance to see some wildlife with good high view points over waterholes. Elephant, Buffalo, Zebra and Eland are often spotted. After a very comfortable night in the Banda’s you will be prepared to go into mountain mode, itching for what’s to come and ultimately the summit.
Distance: 10 km
Hours walking: 5 hrs
Altitude gain: 700m, 2,295 ft
Overnight at Chogoria Banda’s (3,100m, 10,150 ft)
Depart the Banda’s at a leisurely pace to enjoy the spectacular views of the rolling hills ahead and perhaps even a glimpse of the snow-capped peaks of Batian (5199m) and Nelion (5188m). Arrive at Lake Elice camp earlier than the previous day, giving you a great chance to sit back and relax and enjoy the views around the lake whilst having lunch. We go by the general rule of thumb to “climb high and sleep low” to allow for better acclimatisation. You will head out on an evening walk to the nearby Mugi Hill for a great chance to have a good look at the main peaks and your ultimate goal. This is a very nice way to finish the day and enjoy the sun going down.
Hours walking: 5hrs
Altitude gain: 400m, 1,310 ft
Overnight at Lake Elice (3,480m, 11,420 ft)
Today begins by heading up the ridge that overlooks the Gorges Valley, which is possible the most stunning walk on Mt Kenya. Lake Michelson can be seen in the valley below, surrounded by the steep cliff faces on each side. Lunch is enjoyed with a great view of the Gorges Valley and of the main peaks ahead. This is followed by a gentle traverse into the Halls Tarns camp. Afternoon rest followed by a walk to the “Temple” view point and a summit brief.
Hours walking: 7hrs
Altitude gain: 800m, 2,625 ft
Overnight at Halls Tarn Camp (4,290m, 14,075 ft)
A beautiful day’s trek as you approach the massifs of Batian and Nelion over the rocky lunar landscape. The walk sees you traverse the summit of Point Lenana from the northern side to Austrian Hut on the south. The Hut is your high camp and is a major part of Mt Kenya’s history, full of mountaineering stories of exploration, bravery and rescue. Throughout the trek you pass several little tarns where lunch can be enjoyed and views of terrain passed enjoyed.
Hours walking: 8hrs
Altitude gain: 500m, 1,640 ft
Overnight at Austrian Hut (4,790m, 15,720 ft)
The short trek to the summit of Point Lenana starts at 4 am and is likely to be your toughest challenge of the expedition. Yet standing on the summit at sunrise is a great experience with uninterrupted views of the expanse of Africa. The descent takes you down the southern side along the Naro Moru route in the Teleki Valley an original route used in the famous story ‘No Picnic on Mt Kenya’. An early lunch is had before leaving the Valley and the view of the main peaks and other rock faces. The final walk takes you down through fields of Giant Groundsel, Cabbage Groundsel and other endemic flora in the Moorland Zone and ends at the MET station for collection.
Hours walking: 9hrs
Altitude gain: 195m, 640 ft
Overnight at Met Station (3,050m, 10,000 ft)