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 Zebra, Eland, Daiker, Buffalo, and if you’re really lucky Cats. All in all it takes 5 days with campsites set up by a team of trained local porters and guides, who accompany you throughout your expedition.
Route Name- Timau
Distance to the Summit – 36kms
Altitude at the Start- 2700m, 8,860 ft
Altitude at the Summit- 4985m, 16,355 ft
Summit- Point Lenana
This is a sample itinerary for the Timau Route:
Transfer from the Nanyuki Airstrip, on the outskirts of Nanyuki Town, to the road head of the Timau route, north of Timau Town, at 2700 meters above sea level.
This hike starts off at the start of the Moorland Zone and takes you up through patches of bamboo and heather. Lunch on the rim of the crater offers a chance to see some of the rare mountain species such as Eland, Zebra, Buffalo and even the occasional Elephant.
Arrive in camp overlooking the scenic views that northern Kenya has to offer.
Hours walking: 4 hrs
Altitude gain: 500m, 1,640 ft
Overnight at Marania Camp (3,200m, 10,500 ft)
Depart the camp after breakfast walking up through the Moorland looking back on more magnificent views of the north, and the peaks ahead that make up the Mt Kenya Massif.
Lunch is at the Marania spring which is the source of the river that runs by Marania camp. A beautiful lunch spot especially if there are some curious Zebra around.
Arrive in Majors Camp after walking through the rolling hills that make up the Moorland Zone, which some say resemble the highlands of Scotland. The camp is set up at the base of the valley near some very dramatic rock faces. Some wildlife have been known to frequent the area, previous guests have had sightings of the rare Serval Cat
Hours walking: 8 hrs
Altitude gain: 600m, 1,970 ft
Overnight at Majors Camp (3,800m, 12,470 ft)
Start the long, gradual hike up towards the Lower Simba Tarn. This walk is definitely an experience that resembles no other, with an extremely unique lunar landscape coupled with very distinctive vegetation; this will be your first glimpse of the fabulous Groundsels and Lobelias. In the Hobley Valley below the massifs of Terere and Sendeyo, named after 2 Masaai wise men, you will see a large number of Giant Groundsel. This vegetation is endemic to Mt Kenya with its unique adaption’s to the vast day to day temperature changes.
Arrive at the Simba Tarn camp at the top of the Hobley Valley and aptly named Gorges Valley. The views from Simba Tarn camp are breathtaking with the summit of Point Lenana now tantalisingly close.
Hours walking: 8 hrs
Altitude gain: 850m, 2,790 ft
Overnight at Simba Tarn Camp (4,650m, 15,255 ft)
An early start is required to prepare yourself for the 2 and a half hour walk to the summit (4985m), where you will watch the best sun rise you will ever see and maybe even get a glimpse of Mt Kilimanjaro. You will find breathtaking views of the Massifs of Batian and Nelion and of the valleys below as they are slowly illuminated by the sun’s rays. Enjoy a hot cup of tea or hot chocolate and reflect on your achievement with this magnificent view.
You then descend for a full breakfast and then down the southern side of the mountain to the MET Station for collection.
Hours walking: 12hrs
Altitude gain: 335m, 1,100 ft