A five-day expedition up Mt Kenya’s Sirimon Route mixes life-enhancing exercise with some of the purest air and best views on earth. This is one adventure you really should try and squeeze into your itinerary. The 2,335 meter ascent over 45 km to Point Lenana – near the Gregory and Lewis glaciers – passes lush forest, mountain grasslands and hidden caves before a final, unforgettable early morning start to catch a sunrise over the African equator.
Depart Nairobi in the morning driving across the heavily cultivated central Kenya to the slopes of Mt. Kenya. A stop over at the equator crossing. Arrive at the hotel in the afternoon for lunch. Afternoon short excursions.
After breakfast drive to Sirimon gate where the climbing starts. Meet the guide, cook and porters. After registration and other park formalities hike to Old Moses camp up through beautiful section of Pencil Cedar and Podocarpus tree forest, before pushing out onto heath land where we may well spot one of the areas elephants. We’re starting off deliberately slowly to acclimatize
to the altitude and avoid sickness.
After breakfast a long day takes us to the base of the volcanic plug that makes up the rocky peaks of Batian, Nelion and Point Lenana. As we trek higher, the vegetation changes to alpine moorland grass with small flowering plants and the remarkable giant lobelias and senecios. We’ll pass Shiptons Caves, a former hangout of the Mau Mau in their rebellion against white settlers in the 1950s. If we’re lucky today’s wildlife ‘spot’ may be a leopard – they’ve been observed up to 4,500m!
Depart to Mackinder’s camp after breakfast camera at the ready! today has superb views of the peaks and hyrax posing on the rocks - grizzled mountaineering veterans claim the Summit Circuit Path is some of the finest trekking in East Africa. Walking past Two Tarns you can see Mackinder’s Camp in the distance and the towering peaks of Batian and Nelion only meters from the high col.
A dark 3am start puts us back onto the Summit Circuit Path, enveloped by tarns, glaciers, ice carved rock and seriously steep valleys. Our target is Pt Lenana for a spectacular sunrise celebration with astounding views. West across the Lewis glacier the main face of Nelion glows orange in the dawn sun with the Abedare Ranges in the distance, while the sheer cliffs of The Temple lie to the north and, possibly, on a very clear day! Mt Kilimanjaro, 300km to the south. After a triumphant cup of tea next to the large metal cross with its Latin inscription – a gift from the pope in the 1930s – we descend to Shiptons Camp for a well-earned rest.
Going down! Descent is via the western side of Mt Kenya on the popular Sirimon route. We drop through stunning river valleys to the Sirimon Park Gate enveloped in forest. Proceed to Nairobi after biding farewell to guides and porters.