Mount Kenya

Mount Kenya is the second-highest mountain in Africa and offers breathtaking hikes suitable for adventurers with a range of abilities.

Climb Mount Kenya

Located in equatorial Africa, Mount Kenya boasts the second highest point on the continent and stands at an impressive 5,199m (17,057ft) tall. The main peaks rise from about the 4,500m mark to the summit of Batian (5199m), Nelion (5188m) and Lenana (4985m) amongst others.

This natural wonder is often overlooked by potential travellers in favour of the taller African alternative, Mount Kilimanjaro. However, many experienced hikers report that they preferred Mount Kenya because of the thriving wildlife and idyllic mountain lakes it has to offer. It is also much more off-the-beaten path. With snow-covered peaks and panoramic views of its forested slopes and the surrounding African planes, hiking Mount Kenya promises the adventure of a lifetime.

Mount Kenya Routes

There are 8 main trekking routes on Mount Kenya, all of which summit the lowest peak, Point Lenana at 4,985 metres (16,355 ft). The majority of the 15,000 annual visitors to the mountain go on to summit the lower peak, but for those with technical climbing skills, the second peak Nelion and highest point Batian, are there for the taking too.

Hikers usually choose different routes for their ascent and descents, the most common combinations being the Sirimon-Chogoria (six or seven days) and the Sirimon-Naro Moru (five days) options.

These lesser-used routes require special permission from the Kenya Wildlife Service: the Burguret Route, the Timau Route, the Meru Route and the Kamweti Route.

Below is a summary of the most popular routes to point Lenana, the highest point that can be reached without advanced rock-climbing.

Naro Moru Route (4 days)

This is the most popular and fastest route to Point Lenana, but can often be overcrowded with hikers. It also does not pass through some of the more scenic regions of the mountain.

The ascent generally takes only three days and there are bunkhouses available along the route for overnight accommodation.

The terrain is mostly manageable, but it includes the “Vertical bog”, a steep and challenging marshy area. Otherwise, this route passes through the wide Teleki Valley with a striking view of the Tyndall glacier.

Ascent on the Naro Moru route:

  • Day 1*: Nairobi to Met Station ( 3 to 4 hours)
  • Day 2: Met Station to MacKinder’s Camp (5 to 6 hours)
  • Day 3: MacKinder’s Camp to Point Lenana and descent to Met Station (8 to 10 hours)

* One day at Naro Moru River Lodge, or another base camp is recommended for acclimatization

Chogoria Route (5 days)

This is perhaps the most scenically beautiful of the routes featured on this guide to climbing Mount Kenya. It is, however, the longest, requiring approximately four days from bottom to top. The trail starts from Chogoria town.

It includes spectacular views of Lake Michaelson from a sheer cliff known as the “Temple”, as well as a long walk along the Gorges Valley.

Sirimon Route (4/5 days)

This is definitely the most off-the-beaten path and physically manageable route on the northern side of the central peaks and takes three to four days from base to summit.

It is the driest region, avoiding much of the rainfall which falls on the mountain experience. Nevertheless, drinking water is ample and there is always enough to refill bottles.

The route passes through unique, wildlife-filled, yellowwood forests which give way directly to moorland – the bamboo forest is not present on this part of the mountain.

Typical Itinerary for casual hiking to Point Lenana – Sirimon via Chogoria traverse:

This is a typical itinerary for the combination of the two most scenic routes, Sirimon via Chogoria, and includes one mandatory camping night.

  • Day 0 (Optional): Arrival from Nairobi, day at Base lodge
  • Day 1: Arrival from Nairobi, enter through Sirimon Park gate. Hike through forest and bamboo (3 – 4 hours) and arrive for overnight at Old Moses Hut
  • Day 2: (May be split into 2 days of hiking): Long trek through moorlands to the base of the peaks (7 hours). Sleep in Shipton’s Hut. 
  • Day 3: Early morning attempt to summit Point Lenana to watch the sunrise. Descent to Minto’s camp and spend the day resting and exploring the Gorges Valley. Sleep in Minto’s campsite
  • Day 4: Gentle descent on the left bank of the Gorges Valley to Meru Mount Kenya Lodge (5 -6 hours)
  • Day 5: Walk through the Chogoria Forest to base, where vehicle transfers back to Nairobi or Base Lodge

Hikers usually choose different routes for their ascent and descents, the most common combinations being the Sirimon-Chogoria (6 or 7 days) and the Sirimon-Naro Moru (5 days) options. This allows hikers to see much more of the mountain.

Burguret Route (7 days)

If you are looking for a more challenging, wild trek, this option might be for you.

Because the Burguret route has only recently been reclaimed from the surrounding forest, the paths are very overgrown and other hikers are few and far between.

The Chogoria route can then be followed down the mountain.

These lesser-used routes for climbing Mount Kenya require special permission from the Kenya Wildlife Service. Check with your tour operator if the fees are included in your quote: 

  • Burguret Route
  • Timau Route the Meru Route
  • Kamweti Route

Mount Kenya Climbing Itineraries

Kenya Safari Styles

Ways to Travel with Access to Kenya Safaris


Private Safari

Understands the importance of flexibility during your exploratory journey

Luxury Kenya Safaris

Luxury Safari

Luxury safari lies not only in lavish accommodations but in the curated experiences

Tailor made Safari in kenya

Tailor made Safari

Tailor-made safaris designed for specialized tour groups, individuals, family