A few weeks ago I wrote of about my hiking adventure in the Elephant hill  which I embarked in preparation for much tougher climbs such as Mt Kenya and Mt Kilimanjaro. Well, I finally got to climb Mt Kenya …  

I had been planning to climb Mt. Kenya for quite sometime, and this year 2014 it finally happened. A couple of us decided to take the trip end of July. The trip was going to take us 3 nights and 4 days.

Mount Kenya_Peak

Rising to a height of 5,199 meters, Mt Kenya is the second highest mountain in Africa after Mt. Kilimanjaro. The mountain has three main peaks; Batian at 5,199 meters, Nelion at 5,188 meters and Lenana at 4,985 meters. Our goal was to reach Lenana since the other peaks are more technical and require rock climbing equipment (cables, hooks, etc).

Mount Kenya_Peaks


There are several routes that one can use to get to either of these peaks. They each present unique features, scenes, and resilience levels and cater for a wide range of expedition needs of the individual. For our trip though, we went through Nanyuki town because we were set to use the Sirimon route.

Mount Kenya_Nanyuki route


Mount Kenya_crossing equator


Our journey started on a lovely afternoon at the Sirimon gate in the Mt. Kenya National Park. After having lunch, we embarked on a three hour trek together with our guide. The day’s mission was to reach the Old Moses camp before sunset.  It was a fair ascent from the main gate through thick forest with many old indigenous trees. The vegetation varied with altitude, from thick forest, to bamboo, shrubs and then alpine vegetation.

Mount Kenya_Sirimon Gate


Mount Kenya_Sirimon Gate 2


Mount Kenya_House Sirimon Gate


Mount Kenya_beginning hike


Mount Kenya_beginning hike 2


Mount Kenya_beginning hike 3


Mount Kenya_beginning hike 4


Mount Kenya_beginning hike Views


Mount Kenya_beginning hike Views 2


Mount Kenya_beginning hike Views 3


We took occasional water breaks as we continued with our journey. We made it to Old Moses camp before sunset and later on took a stroll around the bandas.

Our guide David had done a good job making arrangements for us so that by the time we got their, the porters had already arrived with our luggage and prepared some refreshments.  It was quite chilly and so one had to layer up at night to stay warm.

Mount Kenya_Old Moses Camp sign


Mount Kenya_Old Moses Camp


Mount Kenya_Old Moses Camp Sleeping quarters


Mount Kenya_Old Moses Camp_our stuff


The second day was going to be a long one (an 8 hour trek) and our journey was set to begin at 8a.m.  Since it was my birthday, my colleagues surprised me with a small cake to celebrate the occasion despite being miles away from many comforts.

Mount Kenya_Old Moses Camp_celebrating birthday


Mount Kenya_Old Moses Camp_celebrating birthday 2


We soon set off for a great day in the vast wilderness, stopping for the occasional water break and then eventually for lunch. Walking briskly up and down the valleys we passed quite a number of streams and marveled at the amazing scenery that was outright beautiful with little interference from man.

Mount Kenya_crossing stream


Mount Kenya_stream


Mount Kenya_stream 2


Mount Kenya_stream 3


Mount Kenya_stream 4


Mount Kenya_stream 5


Mount Kenya_stream 6


Mount Kenya_stream 7


Mount Kenya_stream 8


Mount Kenya_scenery


Mount Kenya_scenery 2


Mount Kenya_scenery 3


Mount Kenya_scenery 4


Amazing flora and fauna endemic (found only) to Mount Kenya.

Mount Kenya_Flora


Mount Kenya_Flora 2


Mount Kenya_Flora 3


Mount Kenya_Flora 4


Mount Kenya_Flora 6


Mount Kenya_Flora 7


Mount Kenya_black bird

That’s it for this week, stay tuned for part 2 as we get to traverse the Mackinder’s valley through mists and storms and ultimately to the summit of Lenana peak.

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  1. September 21, 2014 at 11:05 pm — Reply

    Looks like you were freezing at night! But I’m sure it was all worth it for a great experience with beautiful views 🙂

  2. September 21, 2014 at 11:59 pm — Reply

    What an incredible trek. I enjoyed the diverse landscape and vegetation. They’re pretty spectacular and reminded me of the first few days of my trek to Kilimanjaro. So thoughtful of your friends to surprise you with a cake high up on the mountain. Stunning photos. Looking forward to the next part.

  3. September 22, 2014 at 7:56 am — Reply


  4. September 22, 2014 at 8:47 am — Reply

    What a great hike! I love the photos, Raita, and the hike looks like one I would really enjoy. So pretty!

  5. September 22, 2014 at 12:22 pm — Reply

    That looks like a really great hike Ratia, even if it seemes quite cold at night. But the nature is simply stunning which makes all the walking efforts worth the while. Happy birthday by the way… 🙂

  6. September 22, 2014 at 7:31 pm — Reply

    Beautiful, beautiful scenery! I’d love to take a hike like this!

  7. September 23, 2014 at 8:17 pm — Reply

    What a memorable way to spend your birthday. I am loving these photos. They make me feel like I am trekking right along with you, minus the aching legs and the cold temps. Those plants are so fascinating… especially the ones with the caps, ha ha.

  8. September 24, 2014 at 2:05 am — Reply

    Ohh, I’m really looking forward to seeing the rest of the trip. Incredible that you’re able to hike this massive mountain.

  9. September 24, 2014 at 9:48 am — Reply

    Wow! What a way to celebrate a birthday!
    Already eager for part 2.
    The vegetation is definitely unique.
    Oh and happy belated birthday Ratia.

  10. September 24, 2014 at 10:45 am — Reply

    Gives me memories of my 2006 climb up the same route, and the desire to return soon.

  11. World traveler
    September 24, 2014 at 1:05 pm — Reply

    I had done Mt Kilimanjaro before Mt kenya, was under the impression that this would be more easier. However I can now vouch that all the reviews which say that this is a steeper and more difficult climb – are entirely true. The rewards are spectacular views, more wildlife and much less crowds. A great experience and definitely worth even better than Kilimanjaro.

  12. Keniamoja
    September 24, 2014 at 1:09 pm — Reply

    Mount Kenya is Africa’s second highest mountain, and despite peaking at over 5,000m it still seems to sit well and truly in Mount Kilimanjaro’s shadow, across the border in Tanzania. What it lacks in height however it more than makes up for in beauty. Jagged snow-capped peaks, sweeping glacial valleys and diverse vegetation make climbing Mount Kenya a strong contender for Africa’s greatest trek. One of the many highlights is its unique Afro-Alpine zone with its Dr Seuss-like landscape of Giant Lobelias and Senecios.

    Apart from the stunning mountain scenery, one of the highlights of Mount Kenya is the extraordinarily diverse wildlife and flora. The lower slopes of Mount Kenya are thickly forested and plays host to elephant, buffalo and eland. The upper slopes have a rare Afro Alpine habitat with heath land, glacial valleys and some unusually large plant life playing host to birds, mice and rock hyrax.

  13. September 24, 2014 at 7:42 pm — Reply

    Beautiful place with amazing landscapes.

  14. September 24, 2014 at 11:22 pm — Reply

    What a bautiful place to go hiking, I love the photos! Crazy that you got to cross the equator too!

  15. September 25, 2014 at 6:02 am — Reply

    Wow, how nice to celebrate your birthday on the side of Mt. Kenya. The scenery is fairly similar to what I remember on Mt. Kilimanjaro. Everyone needs a big mountain climb experience at least once in their lives (sounds like you are planning to do Kili soon – feel free to check our our blog posts about our climb!).

  16. September 26, 2014 at 9:27 am — Reply

    What a great virtual tour! It’s such a memorable way to spend a birthday. I don’t think I’ll be able to dedicate this much and effort for such a climb so I’m glad I can vicariously live through you. Beautiful photos and scenery, Ratia!

  17. September 26, 2014 at 11:25 am — Reply

    The landscape is absolutely breath-taking, let me tell you that!! Cake after a long hike sounds like a great idea!! Happy belated Birthday!!! xxx Keep inspiring people x

  18. October 19, 2014 at 5:26 pm — Reply

    […] Hiking Up Mt Kenya – Part 1 – September 20, 2014 […]

  19. December 18, 2018 at 10:53 am — Reply

    An excellent write up there about Climbing Mount Kenya

  20. David
    July 15, 2020 at 11:22 am — Reply


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