This is the most common traverse on Mt. Kenya. Unless preferred, camping is not necessary as accommodation is available in mountain huts throughout the trip.
Although the trip offers reasonably good chances of reaching the summit, those who may not manage the challenge can cross over via the easier summit circuit trail and join up with other hikers at the Minto’s Camp or consider adding on a day at Shipton camp to acclimatize better ahead of the summit.
After pick up in Nairobi,drive to Nanyuki town for lunch crossing the equator en route to the Sirimon Park gate (2660m). From the gate, we trek up thro magnificent montane forest, bamboo and giant heather zone before reaching the high altitude moorland and our first hut (Old Moses camp 3,300m) for dinner and overnight. This is a gentle trek that takes 3 – 4 hrs gaining an elevation of 680m.
After breakfast, follow the track uphill, forking right at the junction. After a water break, you continue on the track crossing Ontulili River before turning right contouring through the Moorland and crossing Liki North River and continue uphill to Mackinders Valley from where there are panoramic views up the valley towards the Shipton Camp. This camp is a surreal setting below the towering peaks and glacier. Resident population is of Rock hyrax and sun birds.
Kick off at 3.am to reach pt Lenana in time for the African sunrise. The climb starts on frozen scree and continues on a rocky track with some very minor scrambling. With a good Moon you barely need a torch. Without a Moon, then the pollution- free sky bangs on the ground giving you as good a view of the stars as almost anywhere on Earth. The climb takes 3 -4 hrs and to add to the exhilaration, Mt. Kilimanjaro is also visible from the horizon. Descend to Minto’s hut for full breakfast. After a short rest descend further to Mt Kenya bandas along the gorges valley where you can enjoy good views of The Temple, Lake Michaelson, Mushroom rocks and Giant billiards table. Dinner and overnight at the Bandas. You can enjoy log fires, hot showers and bed at the Bandas!
After breakfast, descend on a broad track through bamboo and virgin rain forest to meet vehicle for transfer to Chogoria town and further to Nairobi arriving by 17:00hrs.