Mount Kenya National Park
The snow-dappled summit of Africa's second highest peak stands at 5,199 metres, rising majestically over lush savannah and monkey-filled forests. It's nowhere near as famous as Mount Kilimanjaro, but we think it's just as inspiring.
A peaceful climb.
Mount Kenya receives far fewer visitors than Tanzania's Kilimanjaro and we've been pleasantly surprised by the serenity of the hiking trails. Every panorama is sublime as you don't have hundreds of other hikers standing in the foreground. And the journey up Mount Kenya is just as remarkable. Rise through yellowwood forests of colobus monkeys and buffalo, traverse a lunar-like plateau, then hike towards a dramatic expanse of spires and cliffs that hang above the savannah. With comfortable hut accommodation along the way, it's an iconic ascent through mystical habitats.
Which trail should you take?
Routes up and down this World Heritage Site take three to five days, with the most common being the steep yet rewarding Naro Moru trail from the west. Although longer, we've found that the Chogoria trail is easier on the legs and altitude changes. Reaching Point Lenana is the focus and the views are spectacular, the old volcanic mountain standing over the evocative African savannah. On clear days we've gazed out all the way across Kenya to Mount Kilimanjaro.
Rest your weary legs in luxury accommodation.
Pre and post climb you'll be keen for some luxurious accommodation and it's hard to look past the Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club. Even if you're not climbing the mountain it's a pristine place to spend the night and savour the views. With its proximity to various safari destinations, this little retreat can be a great place to recuperate and see the alpine side to Kenya's beauty.
Reaching the peak.
Most climbs culminate at Point Lenana, the mountain's third highest peak at 4,985 metres. You'll need some rock climbing experience to ascend further to Batian and Nelion. But Point Lenana certainly isn't an anticlimax. It really feels like you're on the roof of Africa.
Mount Kenya isn't a walk in the park and we love the sense of satisfaction you get when rising to the dramatic upper peaks. It's a feeling that's never forgotten, the whole of Africa seeming to extend beneath your feet.