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At 08:30 AM we left for Chogoria, Mount Kenya shortly after departing from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, where I had met Claire, James and Steve for the first time and yet it felt like I meeting old friends. After months of communication and planning our Mount Kenya hike via email it felt like I had gotten to know them a whole lot. They were friends who had a passion for hiking and had decided to summit Mount Kenya. We had in the previous months discussed the time required to reach Point Lenana depending on the route taken (Sirimon, Narumoru, Burguret or Chogoria) level of fitness, experience and budget. After working around their busy schedule, they decided to climb Mount Kenya on 16th of November 2015 opting for Chogoria the most scenic route.

we drove to the highest mountain in Kenya marveling at the how green the farms were, every hue of green you could possibly think of was well represented. The central region is well known for tea and coffee production because it’s close to Mount Kenya. The region receives more rainfall than other regions in Kenya. We would chat for a bit but most of the drive was spent quiet admiring the beautiful countryside. It was so serene it inspired gratitude and a meditative mood in us all; just what you need for a Mount Kenya safari.

After having Lunch in Chogoria town, we prepared ourselves for the afternoon Mount Kenya climb. Sorting out our mountain gears unpacking and repacking stuff necessary for the hike and what would be left at the hotel. We took a 4X4 vehicle to take us to the gate where we would get cleared and commence hiking Mount Kenya.  It started raining 30 minutes into our drive, the season of short rains between October and December tends to be exaggerated in areas surrounding of Mount Kenya. We had to return to the hotel in Chogoria for the downpour was heavy and continued for the rest of the evening.  After having dinner, we all decided to take advantage of the free time bestowed on us to rest and acclimatize for the next day’s Mount Kenya hike.


The following day we left the hotel very early in the morning taking the  4X4 vehicle to help us get to the gate in the fraction of the time it would take us, thus saving us valuable Mount Kenya hiking time. Trekking to the gate would have taken pretty much the entire day forcing us to spend the night at the Mount Kenya Meru Bandas, as the path from Chogoria covers about 20km. And we were determined to recover the time we lost the previous day for our guests had very limited time to climb Mount Kenya before heading back home. Though the rain had stopped, the road was a nightmare. The red, volcanic Mount Kenya soil (which is great for agriculture) now turned mud is very slippery making it impossible to navigate even for our experienced driver. After struggling through the nigh impassable muddy paths, we arrived at the Mount Kenya National Park, Chogoria park gate where we took a break and took a snack

After off-loading the vehicle and signing at the park we began climbing Mount Kenya. At a nice, easy steady pace, we hiked through the forest filled with indigenous trees. The trees seemed to have been in existence for thousands of years and they stood so tall and proud dominating the Mount Kenya landscape and giving little to no space for the creeping thorns and bushes. The birds chirped happily in tune to a song only they knew, while the hyraxes and other species from the monkey family sat or swung on the branches barely minding the Mount Kenya hiking party below them. The Mount Kenya air was so cool and fresh, before coming to a place like this it’s impossible to imagine that the air we breathe could feel this pure and more natural.

The path lead us further to Lake Ellis which is one of the five glacier lakes on the highest mountain in Kenya. The lake stretches for about 3 km with the most breath-taking view. This spot is a popular 1-day Mount Kenya hike in Kenya mostly for locals pressed for time and people who cannot endure long hikes and high altitudes.  Apart from taking stunning photos of Mount Kenya snow, the place is perfect for fishing however, swimming is not allowed.

We would have continued climbing Mount Kenya further down the route since we had plenty of time before nightfall but the weather kept changing and we were afraid it would rain. We pitched our first camp at the bank of lake Ellis at about 3,450m while the cook prepared a warm meal for the whole Mount Kenya climbing party. We spent the afternoon exploring and resting at the bank of Lake Ellis before it started raining and we returned to our campsite for an early super. Our guests appreciated that we would retire for the night early as they were still jet lagged and were still to get accustomed to the high Mount Kenya altitude.


We had an early breakfast to kick start the day’s Mount Kenya hike. We began our hike as the sun was starting to peak on the horizon, the glorious light of mixed colors: gold, orange, blue silver on the clouds lit the sky even more as they were reflected on Mount Kenya Lake Ellis. We could not think of anything more pleasing than the warm rays of sunshine hitting our back as we continue hiking Mount Kenya after enduring two cloudy and cold days. The new found warmth meant shedding the extra layers of clothes we had on. Our Mount Kenya climb led us on a beaten track to follow a ridge on the mountain for about 3-4 hrs. We eventually joined our intended Mount Kenya safari route; head Route at an altitude of 4,100M.

At this point we could see the famous Mount Kenya Gorges Valley and Michealson another glacier Lake nestled in the middle surrounded by steep rocks. We descended towards a small valley for lunch which was hot the cook and the porters always left ahead of us to prepare our meals and tents a gesture our guests appreciated. After lunch we had enough energy to continue climbing Mount Kenya by hiking a very steep scree for about an hour which is very demanding. The path requires a slow pace and many breaks to catch our breath. We got to Minto’s Campsite later that afternoon exhausted from the arduous Mount Kenya hike. Minto’s is the center of most scenic views on the Chogoria route, Mount Kenya; caves like the Temple, Niithi falls and the Vivienne waterfalls named after the author of’ Speak to The Earth’ . The late Vivienne De Watteville loved to roam the highest mountain in Kenya, collecting flowers making friends with wild animals and taking deeps in cold waterfalls. There are accounts of her helping out hikers like Shipton.

Spending the night at Minto’s is quite remarkable. The camp site is sheltered by various Mount Kenya hills like Ithanguni, Mugi hills, Kibirongo Table Mountain and Ratundu.

The fourth day gave us a gentle Mount Kenya climbing experience for about an hour before approaching a narrow sharp ridge. The ascent continued up along the foot of humongous wall made of rocks. The land was bear as we approached the Alpine zone we had the clearest view of peak-Delamere and Mackmillan on our left and the highest mountains in Kenya Batian and Nelion were right ahead of us.

Being at the high Mount Kenya altitude of 4,500M the air was cooler the sun did not seem to offer much warmth. Mr Steve one of our guests was showing slight signs of mountain sickness. He had a cough, headache and fatigue. Though I offered to give him one of my men to take him back to Chogoria town he insisted on hiking Mount Kenya to point Lenana. our hike was a bit slow since we had to stop often to allow Steve to catch his breath and sip warm water since he barely ate anything for lunch.   After climbing Mount Kenya for couple of hours we reached tooth Col and continued until we reached Austrian hut where we would spend the night and have dinner. The nights on Mount Kenya hiking tours at these high altitudes are extremely uncomfortable even for seasoned hikers like myself. The cold Mount Kenya climate bites at your face and sometimes it’s impossible to feel your fingers and feet. We ensured Mr. Steve stayed well hydrated by taking lots of lemons tea and it worked well until morning.


The summit day is always the toughest it requires more hours to walk to summit Mount Kenya and descent as far away as possible from the mountain. Only excitement and anticipation make this tough Mount Kenya hiking day possible for most.  Everyone seemed eager and determined even Mr. Steve seemed to have recovered overnight ready to conquer the summit of the highest mountain in Kenya. We left our campsite at 4:40 AM pre-dawn ready for point Lenana the 3rd highest peak named after a Maasai leader. The path was mostly bare rock and scree slopes common to the Alpine region. We kept a steady pace in order to get to point Lenana in time to catch the African sunrise atop Mount Kenya. The hike took about an hour thanks to the good weather as opposed to other times when the path is extremely slippery covered in Mount Kenya snow accompanied by heavy rainfall and hailstorms and our clients fit form helped a great deal.  The emotions were raw on all of our faces as we came to terms with the reason that brought us to climb Mount Kenya. Miss Claire eyes were welling up yet she still had a smile on her face. there were no words said and I doubt there are enough words to describe the beauty of watching the sun rise as you stand on the highest mountain in Kenya. We could see as far as Mount Kilimanjaro towards south east and Mt Elgon on the western part of Kenya.

With high spirits we descended to Mackinder’s Hut-3,300M for breakfast and we quickened our pace in order to Get Steve away from the high Mount Kenya Altitude as the mountain sickness seemed to come back. though he was weak he was physically fit

At Mackinder’s hut we met the chef and the potters well prepared to welcome the visitors who summit Mount Kenya. We were served with hot drinks which made it easy forget summit hardships. After breakfast resting for about an hour, we began descending Mount Kenya via Tereki valley to the met station which is 3050m.The gentle descent offers ample time to enjoy fascinating sceneries while hiking Mount Kenya like the Moor lands and vertical bog. We arrived at Met station camp in time for lunch, the warm weather at about 23 degrees Celsius was well appreciated as Steve seemed to get a miraculous healing. The rest of the day was spent re-counting stories about summiting the highest mountain in Kenya and African tales from everyone. It felt a big family get together shared by a strong bond of the love of hiking in these case hiking Mount Kenya.


The sixth day marked the last day on the Mount Kenya, we descended for about 3 hours to the Naromoru Park Gate. Tough the Naromoru route is not as scenic as Chogoria route a thicket rainforest full of wildlife and different bird species, it has the Tereki rivers and the source of Thigithi Rivers.  As we descended further down Mount Kenya, we contemplated how unpredictable the mountain weather is and we had muddy boots to show for it after enduring horrible terrains and the sticky mud. None of us would give up the Mount Kenya climbing experience we had for anything in the world. All of it; the mud, the rain, the cold, the sickness was all worthwhile

We found a tourist van waiting for us at the gate for our trip back to Nairobi. We were extremely tired but joyful for the great achievement on our Mount Kenya hike.