Mount Kenya

Photo of Mount Kenya
Photo uploaded by Rudolf Willing

Mount Kenya is the second highest mountain in Africa. Like Mount Kilimanjaro, it is an extinct volcano. It dominates the Central Kenyan highlands, towering just seventy miles north of Nairobi, and ten miles south of the Equator. The mountain was once much higher, but today it is a large dome, roughly 60 miles in diameter, from which rises the steep, eroded remains of its volcanic core. This summit is actually twin summits, a pair of rocky snow-capped peaks, Batian (17,057 ft./5199m) and Nelion (17,021 ft./5188m), separated by a narrow gap and surrounded by an intricate system of peaks and ridges, with many high glaciers. More technically difficult than Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya offers some of Africa's finest rock and ice climbing. Huts are available along the most common routes, but the more serious routes may require bivouacs. The mountain is heavily forested, and its ecological diversity is one of its primary attractions. A variety of plant life grows on the slopes, including camphor, cedar, and bamboo; while elephant, rhino, buffalo and leopard roam the surrounding areas.

Elevation (feet): 17,057
Elevation (meters): 5,199
Continent: Africa
Country: Kenya
Range/Region: East Central Kenya
Latitude: -0.15
Longitude: 37.3
Difficulty: Technical Climb
Best months for climbing: Jan, Feb, Aug, Sep
Volcanic status: Extinct
Year first climbed: 1899
First successful climber(s): Halford MacKinder, C. Ollier, J. Brocherel
Nearest major airport: Nairobi, Kenya
Convenient Center: Nanyuki, Kenya

Trip Reports

There are 54 trip reports for Mount Kenya.

  • Log #22190 - by Brandon Zietsman on June 25, 20113.00 stars
    Bation North Face Standard Route, West face variation around Firman Tower to the right. Climbing party: Brandon Zietsman and Marc Wiederkehr (South Africa). We flew in from Johannesburg to Nairobi...
  • Log #3483 - by Liz Broderick on Nov 06, 20043.00 stars
    I was part of a group of 15 who made it to Point Lenana at 6.00am to a sunrise we will never forget. This was the final part to our Gold Duke of Edinburgh expedition and after 18 months of training,...
  • Log #3485 - by Simon Ngugi on Oct 27, 20043.00 stars
    Perhaps one of the most challenging mountains to climb because of its rugged terrain and the poisibility of falling ice not rocks. The view from the top is incredible, you can see as far as Mt...
  • Log #3486 - by Mike Sporen on Sep 10, 20043.00 stars
    Forced off the North Route just below Firman's Tower by bad weather. The mountain is beautiful and I can't wait to go back - the whole setting is so surreal.
  • Log #3487 - by Olivier Dumon on Sep 09, 20043.00 stars
    The second time has been the good. I finished the last 200 meters left two years ago on Batian normal route North Face. Start at 4h30 am from Shipton, summit at 12h30. Unfortunately weather a bit...
  • Log #3488 - by Andreas Koehn on Aug 22, 20043.00 stars
    We reached the summit of Point Lenana (4.985m a.s.l.) at 7:00am while a beautiful sunrise enabling us to have a look on the other summits and a wonderful scenery.
  • Log #3489 - by Thomas Doppler on Apr 30, 20043.00 stars
    Before ascending the Kilimanjaro a week later, our small group of 4 Austrians (Helene, Alexandra, Günter and me) climebed Mt. Kenya via Sirmion route. We made Point Lenana early on August 8th before...
  • Log #3490 - by wanja on Apr 22, 20043.00 stars
    I made it all the way to Lewis Tarn but it kills me whenever i know i never made it to Lenana Point which was my dream. Where are you who shares this with me? Perhaps we can give it another chance.
  • Log #3491 - by Thorunn Gudmundsdottir on Mar 01, 20043.00 stars
    Wonderful hike up the Sirimon route, via Leki North Camp. The final ascent to Point Lenara was pretty steep up the scree, even steeper than Kili which I did last year. On Kili you could zik-zak up...
  • Log #3492 - by Mr. Nikunj Shah on Mar 01, 20043.00 stars
    Should be treated with respect and bring out all your trash with you. Leave nothing behind.
  • Log #3493 - by Edmund Wuu on Jan 05, 20043.00 stars
    A beautiful hike to Point Lenana up Chogoria and down Sirimon. Would recommend this to anyone - this is a lovely mountain. And seeing the twin peaks of Nelion and Batian just sets you thinking for a...
  • Log #3494 - by Xavier Galisteo on Jan 04, 20043.00 stars
    It's another world. It will shock you. Ss endinsar-se a un altre mun... fora d'aglomeracions de gent d'altres muntanyes africanes.
  • Log #3495 - by craig robertson on Oct 23, 20033.00 stars
    gday mate. climbed it early sep 2003 up and down sirimon route. took one and half days. by myself so i had to take a guide so it was like "hurry up mate". if there is two or more of you,...
  • Log #3496 - by Derek horsfield on Oct 15, 20033.00 stars
    Enjoyed the trip and left a shield with all the names of the team on.
  • Log #3497 - by Arjen Sutterland on Oct 02, 20033.00 stars
    Mt. Kenya is a awesome, beautifull mountain which I enjoyed very much. As a man from the land at sea level, I took my time with six days, up chogoria and down sirimon route. The most beautifull...
  • Log #3498 - by Mike Ryan on Sep 30, 20033.00 stars
    Hiroshi Kashiwagi, John Deysher, & I summitted Point Lenana after having been turned back the day before from an attempt on the North Face route of Batian due to snow and ice. We did manage to...
  • Log #3499 - by Wilson Njeru Edward. on Sep 06, 20033.00 stars
    I am the most trained guide on M,t Kenya. I did 15 corses with National Outdoor Ledership School, which saw me doing nervigation, camping,technical rescue, gear care, first aiders respoders course,...
  • Log #3500 - by Juan Ramon Morales on May 31, 20033.00 stars
    WE made the Sirimon-Chogoria traverse with Lenana and an attempt to Batian from Shipton's camp ( a terrible diarrhoea on the first pitch, not very good to climb...). The mountain is amazingly...
  • Log #3501 - by Andy Humphrey and Dave Locker on Apr 05, 20033.00 stars
    Summitted Nelion via the Ice Window, South Face. A great experience to be able to ice climb near the equator. A true mountain epic, in a harder than thought approach, a superb line taking 16hrs 16...
  • Log #3503 - by Dave Eaton on Mar 10, 20033.00 stars
    Did this in 36 hours from the Youth Hostel on the Naro Moru Route, up and back. The Vertical Bog was completely dry and I had acclimatized for a week in the Cherangani Hills at 3000m prior to my...
  • Log #3504 - by Martin Harrow on Feb 16, 20033.00 stars
    Between January 20th and 25th I had an excellent trek across Mount Kenya, made possible by my excellent guide, Linus Kirimi: Starting at the Sirimon Gate, we trekked to Old...
  • Log #3505 - by Keld Laursen on Feb 15, 20033.00 stars
    Summited Batian via the normal route via Nelion with Jesper Kofoed (see below). Here is a couple of pictures from the climb:
  • Log #3506 - by Peter Len on Jan 31, 20033.00 stars
    Summited Nelion on a beautiful day. Took 7 hours to the top of Nelion from the Austrian Hut. More technical than I thought but a great climb. The altitude totally drained me though.
  • Log #3507 - by Jesper Kofoed on Jan 27, 20033.00 stars
    Nice easy climb, only altitude makes this route a D-. Calculate on 4-5 nights for aclimatisation. Abseil is straight forward heading towards De Graf's variation on 2. abseil.
  • Log #3508 - by Judi McDougall on Jan 26, 20033.00 stars
    In someways better than Kili! A good one to do before attempting anything else . AWESOME!!!!
  • Log #3510 - by Gerry Whitehouse on Dec 23, 20023.00 stars
    6 day traverse of Pt. Lenana.Ascended Sirimon descended Naro Moru. Stayed in Bunk houses.Lots of snow and ice summit day.
  • Log #3511 - by Olivier Dumon on Dec 22, 20023.00 stars
    Arrive a Shipton's Camp le 9 aout apres midi, en passant par Simba col et Chogoria route. Le 10 aout, depart a 5 heures, a 6 heures nous sommes l'attaque de la voie (Normal Route, North Face); Au...
  • Log #3512 - by huybrecht jean-pierre on Nov 13, 20023.00 stars
    Deze morgen om 0330Hr vertrokken naar de top van de Lenana. Het weer was prachtig, alles lag er bevroren bij. Juist voordat we de top bereikten kwam de zon op boven het Afrikaans...
  • Log #3513 - by Godfried Warreyn on Nov 01, 20023.00 stars
    A very wet but also a very beautiful mountain - and an easy one if you go to Lenana only.
  • Log #3514 - by Kat Githinji on Sep 16, 20023.00 stars
    Got to Point Lenana. A truly awesome experience. Next stop: Batian!!
  • Log #3515 - by Andrea Vido de'Zaccaria on Sep 10, 20023.00 stars
    summitted Point Lenana with Silvio Gazzea, in preparation for Batian the following day. Got horrible snow storm in the afternoon, which has blocked our plans. Wonderful mountain and very...
  • Log #3516 - by Greg Yanagihara on Sep 04, 20023.00 stars
    Summited Batian via standard North Face route. It took us about 25 hours round trip from Shipton's hut. We could have shaved off about 6 hours or so from that time if we hauled ass, but if I ever did...
  • Log #3517 - by samir on Aug 07, 20023.00 stars
    truely awesome peaks...try them'll fall in love with them!!
  • Log #3518 - by Levi Roach on July 21, 20023.00 stars
    A beautiful mountain. Purely for beauty I would choose it over Kilimanjaro any day.
  • Log #3519 - by Andy Hills on July 07, 20023.00 stars
    Used this to acclimatise for Kilimanjaro. We came onto the mountain from Naro Moru amd spent 2 days getting to Mackinders, we spent a day acclimatising by going over to Shiptons and summited from...
  • Log #3520 - by Kaushik Patel on June 22, 20023.00 stars
    Failed to get to Pt Lenana in 1979 (student in Nakuru). Bothered me ever since. Had to go back and settle the score. Summited Pt Lenana in February 2002.
  • Log #3521 - by Jon Zigmond on Mar 04, 20023.00 stars
    We slept at the foot of Nelion and started climbing about 8.30am. We reached the summit of Nelion around 1.00pm, then descended into the Gate of the Mists and summitted Batian before returning to...
  • Log #3522 - by Michael Steeves on Feb 12, 20023.00 stars
    Fabulous experience! Poke around my web pages for photos and stories of the mountain. I'm reorganizing things right now so don't want to point to a specific URL. I hope to do the mountain again in...
  • Log #3523 - by Anderson Mwenda on Feb 08, 20023.00 stars
    Hi am a Guide and Porter on Mt Kenya. For any inquiries on this mountain please ask me. If you wish to climb the mountain, I do not work through an operator and am fully licenced by the Kenya Wild...
  • Log #3524 - by Paul Rosenquist on Feb 07, 20023.00 stars
    Forgot to tel you about our porter/guide Anderson, he is a really nice guy. Knows a lot about the mountain and really enjoys walking up the mountain. try to reach him on or...
  • Log #3525 - by Paul Rosenquist & Louise Dellstrom on Feb 06, 20023.00 stars
    Most amazing climb!!! 4 days of hard trekking followed by a great climb. It took us 12 hours....a bit long but we made it. Just my girlfriend and me on top of afrika YHAOO.
  • Log #3526 - by Maggie Lim on Dec 14, 20013.00 stars
    Pretty wet mountain especially during the time the group was there during August ; hailstones, snow, rain never failed to arrive every afternoon in our week-long stay there. Best to bring...
  • Log #3527 - by Freya Cameron on Nov 04, 20013.00 stars
    We were lucky enough to have a beautifully clear blue sky and spent a good whil just lying at the top, basking in the sunshine and feeling amazing!
  • Log #3528 - by Stephen Obrochta on Oct 26, 20013.00 stars
    Arrange your own transportation by Matatu to Nanyuki and hire a guide/cook/porter/whatever locally before starting the climb. If you book a climb in Nairobi with one of the zillion safari companies,...
  • Log #3529 - by Conan Harrod on Sep 18, 20013.00 stars
    The North Face route on Batian is fantastic on solid rock. Caught out by a snow storm so had to Bivi at 17,000ft. Great sunrise the following morning before summiting and descending over Nelion down...
  • Log #18778 - by Chris Mishmash on Oct 02, 20053.00 stars
    After a frustrating guide experience on Kilimanjaro we decided to go unassisted to Mt. Kenya. This turned out to be the best decision of the trip. We climbed Batian via the North Face Standard Route....
  • Log #19012 - by Olivier Dumon on Feb 14, 20063.00 stars
    North east,the normal route in summer for Batian. Good climb with cloudy weather, a bit sunny in the middle, very cloudy after Frmin tower, the crux of the climb. Summit at noon thirty, then snow...
  • Log #19041 - by craig mckechnie on Feb 14, 20063.00 stars
    a must for any climber at any level.altitude sickness very bad at summit but worth every bit.
  • Log #20402 - by Ballard Family and Friends on Sep 30, 20063.00 stars
    Summited by Lenana (the bannana) from chogoria (beatiful route in with sketchy road access). The next day made attempt on Batian North face standard. Met slick conditions at the base of Firmins tower...
  • Log #20586 - by Jurgen Wohlfarter on Jan 07, 20073.00 stars
    I did a 4day hike up to Point Lenana. Starting at Naru Moru and down to Chogoria Village. First day I hiked up to the parks gate to find a group I could join and enter – to no avail so I returned...
  • Log #20682 - by Douglas Hartzell on Mar 03, 20073.00 stars
    We hiked to Met Station via Noro Moro on Friday, Sabbath we did a short hike to get used to the altitude. Sunday we hiked up the Talek valley to Mackinders Camp and then early Mon morning we left for...
  • Log #21588 - by Elaine Leighton on Feb 05, 20093.00 stars
    We were a group of 5 women of different nationalities who last hiked together in Tien Shien, Kazakhstan 5 years ago. It was an exhilirating, exhausting, epic journey to the summit at Pt Lenana. We...
  • Log #22051 - by Pep Pons on Aug 16, 20103.00 stars
    This was my first summit in Africa. In fact was a trainning for the Kilimanjaro, but it is a very recommendable climb.
  • Log #22493 - by ondmand on Nov 17, 20143.00 stars
    Standard route, 3 days, careful management for altitude sickness required.