Guide to climbing Mount Kenya

Guide to climbing Mount Kenya : Mount Kenya is the most remarkable tourist attraction in Kenya famously known for offering amazing Kenya mountain climbing safaris, Mount Kenya is the second tallest Mountain in the African continent coming second to Mount Kilimanjaro and the tallest Mountain in Kenya rising to 5,199 meters.

Mount Kenya is an extinct stratovolcano formed approximately 3 million years ago, the volcano is situated in the centre of Mount Kenya national park. Mount Kenya located in the former Eastern and Central provinces of Kenya currently known as Meru, Embu, Laikipia, Kirinyaga, Nyeri and Tharaka Nithi. Kenya is a very important site in Kenya as a Kenya safari destination and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kenya as a country derives its name from this beautiful volcano.

If you are planning on visiting Kenya on a Kenya mountain climbing safari, below are the answers to frequently asked questions/ guide to climbing Mount Kenya.

guide to climbing mountain kenya

How to get to Mount Kenya?

Mount Kenya is protected by Mount Kenya national park, the mountain is situated approximately 200 kilometers (125 miles) northeast of Nairobi and getting to the mountain you have to fly to Kenya through Nairobi using Jomo Kenyatta international airport (NBO).

From Nairobi to the hiking point of Mount Kenya, the Mountain is reached using road transport by either public or private vehicle

Summits of Mount Kenya

 Mount Kenya comprises of 3 peaks that are Batian, Nelion and Point Lenana standing at different elevation.

Batian is main summit and the highest peak of Mount Kenya rising to 5,199 meters (17,057 feet) in elevation, Batian peak is the usually climbed by advanced rock climbing and mountaineering enthusiasts.

Batian peak is climbed using the north face route which is at its best from July to September and another option is southwest ridge route which is slightly easier and it is best used from December to March.


 Nelion peak is a smaller twin peak of Batian peak rising to 5,188 meters (17,021 feet) in altitude, climbing peak Nelion is quiet challenging and it includes climbing through multi-pitch rocks to reach the peak

Point Lenana

 Point Lenana is the 3rd peak of Mount Kenya rising to 4,985 meters (16,354 feet) in elevation, climbing to this peak requires no technical skills of climbing that is why it is the popular Peak climbed by most climbers on Mount Kenya.

There are a number of routes used to get to reach Point Lenana, ascending to Point Lenana is quiet challenging that is why you are required to have physical fitness as a climber.

mount Kenya summit
mount Kenya summit

How hard is it to climb Mount Kenya?

Generally, climbing Mount Kenya is quiet challenging regardless of the peak you are climbing and because of this each and every climber to have a high level of fitness. The level of fitness helps you navigate through steep sections and longer distances during the climbing experience.

Ascending Mount Kenya is usually more difficult when compared to descending and this is because of the altitude.

Note:  climbers suffering from altitude sickness need an experienced guide to help you manage the situation.

The main climbing routes used when climbing Mount Kenya?

Mount Kenya comprises of 5 main climbing routes used when climbing Mount Kenya, these trails/climbing routes reach different peaks of the mount and these include

Sirimon route

Sirimon route is a route of a minimum of 2 days climb offering a climber a stunning approach to the final peak of Mount Kenya, this route is one of the most popular climbing routes used to reach the summit of Kenya. When climbing Mount Kenya using Sirimon route it is wisely advised to add an extra day to your climbing safari to adjust to the altitude.

Sirimon route consists of two camps that are Old Moses at 3,300 meters (10,800 feet) and Shipton’s camp 4,200 meters (13,800 feet) to stay at while climbing the volcano.

hiking mount kenya

Burguret route

Burguret route is challenging route used to climbing Mount Kenya, this route rarely used and it is best fit for climbers who need climb alone. Burguret route runs through tropical rainforest at its starting point, wild vegetation and it is very muddy.

 Climbing Mount Kenya using Burguret route takes a minimum of 3 nights and to reach the majestic peak of the mountain and it can be combined with other routes/trails.

Naro Moru route

 Naro Moru route is the shortest climbing route used when climbing Mount Kenya, this route is also the most direct and popular routes and because of its shortness the route is very busy. Naro Moru route is the best route to use when climbing Mount Kenya because it is relatively quick and easy, offers spectacular views of colorful plant life and one of the best sites to encounter during the climb on this route is the Vertical Bog which is sometimes waterlogged.

Climbing Naro Moru route can be done in one day but 2 days and one night are better.

Chogoria route

Chogoria route  is an awesome route to use when climbing Mount Kenya and a best option to use when ascending and descending the volcano, this route offers spectacular scenery including views of waterfalls and amazing gorge.

Climbing Mount Kenya using Chogoria route takes 6 days including 3 days for descending.

 Timau route

Timau route is an older route/track on Mount Kenya but currently the route is not used as much, Timau is not one of the best routes to use when climbing Mount Kenya as it has no place to stay overnight.

South Ridge route to Nelion

 South Ridge route to Nelion leads to Nelion peak which is next to the highest peak of Mount Kenya and offers breathtaking views as it takes climbers along the south face of the mountain

Climbing Mount Kenya using South Ridge route to Nelion takes 8 hours of climbing around 18 patches and 3 hours of descending (2 days and 1 night).

North face route to Batian

 North face route to Batian is an excellent route for climbers approaching Batian peak from Nelion reached via a climb on the north face of the mountain,

 This is the most challenging route while climbing Mount Kenya and it is mostly used by advanced climber, climbing Mount Kenya using this route takes around 12 hours to ascend and 5 hours to descending (2 days and 1 night).

What is the weather like in Mount Kenya?

The climate of Mount Kenya is associated with the equator where the volcano lies, this climate of Mount Kenya is generally warm and sunny during the day with temperatures dropping gradually at night.

 Mount Kenya experiences two seasons that are dry season and wet season, dry season at Mount Kenya is experienced from Mid-March to June and the dry season is experienced from December to March and July – September.  The dry season is the best time to climb Mount Kenya and in this season is characterized of very little precipitation and average daily temperatures between 11 ºC to 26ºC depending on the elevation.

While climbing Mount Kenya, you are spend the night on high altitudes of the mountain  and despite of the high altitude of the Volcano, temperatures rarely drop below freezing which is why are advised to carry warm clothing most especially at night.

Must have items when climbing Mount Kenya include sleeping bag, thermal base layers, fleeces and protective outer layers.

How much does it cost to climb Mount Kenya with a guide?

Climbing Mount Kenya requires a guide and the cost of climbing this volcano plus an experienced guide typically depends on the duration, climbing Mount Kenya is offered in packages as shown below.



Child/student (Kshs) Adult (US$) Child/Student (US$)
Mt.Kenya (Day trip) 250 215 30 20
Mt.Kenya (3 Day Package) 700 645 85 55
Mt.Kenya (4 Day Package) 950 860 110 75
Mt.Kenya (5 Day Package) 1,200 1,075 140 95
Mt.Kenya (6 Day Package) 1,450 1,290 175 115

 Note: the above rates are applicable for 2020 – 2021

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