Photo credits: Andrey Josephs

Mount Kenya History

Mount Kenya is a 3 Million-Year old extinct volcano and has been given the nickname, ‘place of light’.

Its location is in the Central Region of Kenya and is a few Kilometers North of the Equator.

The mountain has three main summits. The highest being Batian (5,199 m a.s.l.). Second highest and third highest respectively are Nelion (5,188m a.s.l.) & Lenana (4,985m a.s.l.).

Batian & Nelion, the two highest peaks are challenging to beat since they require technical climbing experience and a good one at that.

Point Lenana is the most famous peak and is attempted by most hikers.

Facts about Mount Kenya

The park covers area of 715 km2 (276 sq mi) around the centre of the mountain was designated a National Park and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997

The three main summits, Batian, Nelion and Lenana are named after chieftains of the Masai Tribe.

There are some tribes that still remain in the region and one in particular, the Kikuyu, live on the Western & Southern slopes of the mountain. They firmly believe that ‘Ngai’, their God, lived on the mountain top when He created the world.

Sir Halford Mackinder, Joseph Brocherel and Cesar Ollier did the first ever ascent to Mount Kenya’s highest peak, Batian on September 1899. Before their 1899 success, the trio had made three unsuccessful attempts.


Climate on Mount Kenya

The year is divided into two distinct wet seasons and two distinct dry seasons which mirror the wet and dry seasons in the Kenyan lowlands.

As Mount Kenya ranges in height from 1,374 m (4,508 ft) to 5,199 m (17,057 ft) the climate varies considerably over the mountain and has different zones of influence.

The lower, south eastern slopes are the wettest as the predominant weather system comes from the Indian ocean. This rainfall supports dense montane forest on these slopes. High on the mountain most of the precipitation falls as snow. Combined, these water sources feed 11 glaciers.

The current climate on Mount Kenya is wet, but drier than it has been in the past.

The temperatures span a wide range, which diminishes with altitude. In the lower alpine zone temperature usually do not go below 12 °C (54 °F).

Snow and rain are common from March to December, but especially in the two wet seasons. The wet seasons combined account for 5/6 of the annual precipitation.

The monsoon, which controls the wet and dry seasons, means that most of the year there are south-easterly winds, but during January and February the dominant wind direction is north-easterly.

Mount Kenya, like most locations in the tropics, has two wet seasons and two dry seasons as a result of the monsoon. From mid-March to June the heavy rain season, known as the long rains, brings approximately half of the annual rainfall on the mountain.

This is followed by the wetter of the two dry seasons which lasts until September. October to December are the short rains when the mountain receives approximately a third of its rainfall total. Finally from December to mid-March is the drier dry season when the mountain experiences the least rain.


One of our personal favorite Itineraries. (check out more itineraries by clicking here)


As Polemark Tours, we have a wide-range of itineraries. These can be fully customized to fit the client’s needs. This particular itinerary, however, has always been a special one


Chogoria route up & down Sirimon route itinerary.


Route: Chogoria Route up & down Sirimon Route

Number of Days: 5 Days

Distance: 75 km |

Difficulty: Demanding

Start/Finish: Nairobi




This is the most scenic and picturesque route. You’ll get to take-in tropical rain-forests, bamboo forests, lush heath & moorland, lakes, alpine zones, snow and glaciers.


Day 1: Nairobi- Mt Kenya Chogoria Bandas (2,900m) – Lake Ellis Campsite (3,600m) – 3-4 hrs, 9km walk, 700m ascent.


Depart from Nairobi at 7.00 am, driving through agricultural country up to Chogoria town for lunch.

After lunch, we take 4×4 and drive up to the edge of the bamboo forest where we start our trekking through the dense bamboo and tropical forest for a distance of 10 km up to the Mt Kenya Bandas.

After packing, we walk towards Lake Ellis having scenic views of Mugi Hill, Ithanguni and the Giant’s Billiards Table; all spectacular land formations found nowhere else in Africa, whilst if we follow the river near road head, upstream for about 3 km, the foreground scenery and flora is particularly beautiful.

Hike up to the secluded campsite on the shores of Lake Ellis at an altitude of 3400m (3hrs walk). Dinner and overnight in the Camp well away from any of the more “touristy” areas.


Day 2: Lake Ellis- Lake Michaelson Camp (4,200m) 6/7hrs, 12km, 600m ascent.

Wake up at 7 am, have breakfast at 7:30 am.

After breakfast, we will follow the trail as it leads up through glades of montane forest climbing away from Lake Ellis on its west side, across moorland to a ridge which eventually joins the main Chogoria trail.

On this day our team will be ahead of us and upon arriving in the camp they will have prepared our lunch and hot drinks.

This is subject on how the group will advise as we move forward during the day but basically since its 5-6 walk hot lunch is normally ready in the camp as our team always walk ahead of guests to make sure the tents and the Lunch is on time just before we get into the camp.

Beautiful views of Vivienne Falls and the staggering Gorges Valley on descent to the picturesque campsite next to Lake Michaelson.

Exploration around the lake, Dinner and overnight in the same Camp


Day 3: Lake Michaelson – Austrian Top Hut (4,700m) 4hrs, 7km, 500m ascent.

Today we begin our trek ascending up along the foot of huge rock walls alongside the soothing sound of a river feeding Lake Michelson.

After a few hours we`ll have an excellent view of the peaks of Mt Kenya up close. \

After ascending for a couple of hours we reach Tooth Col. From here we traverse for an hour until we reach the Austrian Hut.

At Austrian Hut, you’ll have the rare opportunity to get inches close to the Lewis Glacier. A shrinking glacier with an ice cave.

Dinner and overnight at camp.


Day 4: Austrian Hut (4,700m asl) – Pt. Lenana (4,985 asl) – Old Moses(3,300 m asl). 6hrs, 20km, 285m ascent – 1,400m descent.

Wake up at 4:30 am and have a cup of tea and biscuits.

Leave at 5.00am for pre-dawn attempt, climbing for 1 hour across bare rock and scree slopes characteristic of the alpine region up to Pt Lenana – the hiker`s summit, arriving in time to catch the stunning African sunrise.

After the sunrise and few pictures with happy spirits, we descend down to Shipton’s Camp (4,200m asl) for breakfast.

After breakfast descend to Old Moses Camp (3,300m asl) Lunch en-route with dinner and overnight at the camp.


Day 5: Leave from Old Moses


After late breakfast descend leisurely for 2 hours to Sirimon Park Gate for transfer back to Nanyuki.

Say your goodbyes to the team, give the optional gratuity (Tips) and part ways for transfer back to Nairobi.


Price: 150 US Dollars per day per person


 Included in the price:
• Guarantee price/guarantee trek on confirmation
• Transfer to and from the base of the mountain.
• Full board accommodation whilst on the trek.

  • Meals
    • Accommodations in camps/huts as per the itinerary
  • All park entrance fees to include Government taxes
    • Service of an English-speaking Professional Guide, experienced Chef, Professional Photographer and potters.
    • Start and finish Nairobi.
    • Treated water on the trek.Excluded:
    • Tips, laundry, sleeping bags and drinks
  • Accommodation before/after the trek
  • Climbing gears
    • International flights
    • Visas to Kenya
    • Items of personal nature
    • Any other extras not detailed in the above itinerary

Important to Note:

Package Fees and refunding:

  • A cash deposit of 300 US Dollars is required before the hike commencement date.
  • Once payment has been made and the Kenya Wildlife Service has officially signed the visitor(s) into the National Park, the full 5-day package will commence. If the client(s) make a personal choice to descend when the 5 days are not complete, that will be considered a personal choice and shall not merit any
  • If an emergency of any nature occurs before checking-into the park and the hike has to be canceled, a full refund will immediately be in effect.
  • Payments are accepted in either cash or PayPal (


Plastic water bottles

We are a company that cares about the environment.

Plastic water bottles that are non-recyclable are not allowed into the park.

Visitors are advised to bring recyclable water bottles or camel-bags.


Required Gear for Mt Kenya Hike (all gear available for rent at under 2 US Dollars each-negotiable-)

A pair of Warm Jersey.


Set of Thermal under-wear top and bottom.

A pair of light loose-fitting cotton trousers.

Sleeping bag.

Hiking boots – (an extra light pair of shoes is recommended)

Warm Gloves.

Warm Hat or Balaclava.

Head lamp with extra batteries.

Sun Glasses.

Sunscreen (factor 50 or higher).

4 or more pairs of warm socks – (mixture of thick and thin).

1/2 long sleeves shirt.

2/3 T-shirts.

Warm jacket.

Rain jacket.


Extra batteries or personal power bank and charger (a necessity if you are a fan of taking photos).

Personal toiletries.

Water bottles (Camel-bags).

A poncho or a waterproof cover for your backpack.

Your personal medication (if you have any).




For a booking, contact us.