Hiking & trekking
Trek this magical landscape filled with wildlife, flora, and crystal clear lakes
UK airport (with flights) Niarobi airport (without flight)
ANNUAL leave needed:
6 days off work
the weather was absolutely dreadful. So the fact that I had an absolutely amazing time is all the more impressive!
Stephen, Wild Camping Snowdonia
Wild camping and hotel
Leave behind the crowds of other popular summits
Wildlife - elephants, waterbuck, monkeys
Jarassic Park like scenery
the weather was absolutely dreadful. So the fact that I had an absolutely amazing time is all the more impressive!
Stephen, Wild Camping Snowdonia
Our guide is a brilliant 'host': chilled out yet knowledgeable and with everything very much under control, making for a fun few days outdoors and away from everything.
Emily, Wild Camping Snowdonia
Been to several trips in Snowdonia, Lake District and Scotland with these guys. Great and well organised weekends away, with a super community of like-minded people.
Adrienn, Wild Camping Snowdonia
Been on 4 trips (hiking in Snowdonia, rock climbing in Peak District, and wild camping in Cadair Idris and Lake District) and can't recommend enough, I've loved every single one of those trips. Love the small sized groups, the dedication and care of the mountain guides and the itineraries they take us. Fabulous hikes, fun times and lovely food and snacks too! Plus travel is always sorted for you so no need to worry about getting to the meeting point. Absolutely recommend!
Clara, Wild Camping Snowdonia
We've had two fantastic wild camping weekends in Snowdonia and Lake District with these guys. He's taken us on some amazing (sometimes challenging) routes and we've camped in some unbelievably beautiful camp spots. We've met some great new people too. It's the perfect way to get off the grid and have an adventure without the worry of getting lost or doing the usual busy paths. We will definitely be joining him (and hopefully Ben) again.
Rose, Wild Camping Snowdonia
We’ve been counting down the days and it’s finally here. Departure day. We normally leave from London Heathrow Airport.
We fly into Nairobi Airport and then head for Mount Kenya. It’s a 4 to 5 hour trip to our hotel with some beautiful landscapes along the way. In the evening the guide will provide a detailed brief on what to expect for the upcoming adventure.
It’s an early start on day three with the transfer to Chogoria Gate. Here we’ll rendezvous with our porters and cook. We’ll then head through the rainforest into the bamboo zone to Chogoria Bandas, the start of the trek (conditions permitting).
We’ll hike through ancient woodlands and ascend to the health zone, navigating through stunning open moorlands to finish iup the day at a beautiful, tranquil lake - our camp for the night.
It’s all about getting adapted at this point (and enjoying the process) so we wont be pushing hard but should still arrive plenty of time to explore the local area, spot some wildlife, and soak up the experience.
We start day 4 with a decent breakfast before venturing out to explore the moorland discovering Africa’s unique high altitude plants - Giant Groundsels (Dendrosenecio) and Lobelia. As we continue we’ll encounter the Gorges Valley, home to Lake Michaelson, and our camp for tonight.
Situated in an imposing 400 meter high amphitheatre, we’ll be treated to our first peak of Mount Kenya’s high points and glaciers. A taster of things to come.
Ascending up past an old aircraft crash site, we’ll push up past 4,000 meters altitude atop the Gorges Valley. It’s then onto a scree scramble to our next camp, Austian Hut near Lewis Glacier. Tomorrow, we summit!
To give us the best chance of making the summit for sunrise, it’s an early start (usually 3am). Should we make it in time we’ll be treated to this first golden light steadily rising across the plateau. Even if we’re a little later, it’s still a magnificent sight.
Selfies and smiles in hand it’s time to begin our journey down to and reflect on our amazing achievement. We’ll be resting up at Mackinder’s Camp tonight.
*If you’re rock climbing the technical summit of Batian, you’ll be leaving the team here making for Shipton Kami Hut. We’ll send you all the details.
Today sees us make our way down the valley taking the Naro Moru track heading for the edge of the National Park where our driver will be waiting for us. We’ll be dropped off at our hotel, Naromoru River Lodge. Celebratory feast and a few deserved drinks please!
*Rock climbers will now be attempting the 22 pitches to the summit
Today is a free day at Naromoru River Lodge. Laze by the pool drinking beer and juices under the African sky. We have given you full board so you don’t have to think about your budget on this relaxing day.
With the target peak in the bag, it’s time to relax. Chill out poolside sipping on a cool one or a Pina Colada soaking it all in. It’s all included here to make the most of it!
*Rock climbers will be arriving today for grub, rest, and maybe even a beer or two
Given the early starts and the hard pushes it’s time to reward ourselves with a relaxed morning. Later, we’ll head back to Nairobi. On the way we’ll see first hand a demo of the Coriolis Effect (you know the thing where water spins one way then the other depending on which side of the equator you’re on…mental).
We’ll enjoy dinner at the renowned Carnivore and then head to the airport to catch our flight home. When no flights are available tonight, we’ll head back in the morning.
(If you’re a lucky badger and have booked the safari add on, you’re off on another adventure now)
Glory in hand, we return to the UK happy little campers.
Fully qualified, European guide too
All meals on the mountain are of the highest possible standard. In fact considering that our cooks have to produce the best possible meals in a wilderness setting using only the most basic of facilities (kerosene stoves) the meals they produce are nothing short of a miracle. The meals are always fresh, nutritious and varied. We ensure that dietary preferences are always met and that the best local ingredients are used. The underlying aim is to provide balanced nutritional meals packed with carbohydrates to re-fuel hungry bodies and to replenish stores for the next day of activity. On top of well balanced meals clients are provided with coffee, tea and snacks upon arrival into camp. The morning wake-up call is usually accompanied with a cup of tea or coffee in your tent.
You are invited to bring along any of your favourite snacks and goody bags from home if they want. Concentrate on high energy food-stuffs such as Jelly Babies to give you that little boost on an arduous day.
Absolutely, please inform us of any allergies or intolerances and we will ensure that these are taken into account on the trek.
For the first day bottled drinking water will be used. At the higher camps we use locally sourced drinking water from streams or springs. These are usually fresh being topped up from melt water above or by rainfall but we also increase their purity by treating the water with purification tablets and by boiling it. We always ensure that our drinking water is 100% bug free.
Before leaving camp in the morning you will fill your water bottles or camel bladder. If this runs low you will have ample more water to replace it with. For most walking days water can be replenished at the lunchtime site.
Most altitude related symptoms manifest themselves at night. We therefore recommend tent sharing from the onset of all our Mount Kenya expeditions. Tent share is always organised according to sex and where possible age groups. Obviously if climbing this mountain with a friend or partner then you will be able to share tents. If you have joined the team by yourself then it is highly likely that you will be sharing a tent with your pre-assigned room buddy unless prior arrangements have been made. We use high quality 3 man tents to be shared between 2 people to provide extra space for your comfort.
Our local camp crew will set up the tents for you each night. We send them ahead of the group to secure the best site and to get the site prepared before you arrive. Bear in mind that these guys are also porters and when our walking days are shorter we might get to camp before them. If this occurs then have a cup of tea in the dining tent and wait for your tents to be ready.
We bring along our own toilet tents with Portaloo units. This method allows us to maintain the best possible levels of hygiene without contributing to the toilet problems that can happen at some camps.
All our guides are in communication with each other by phone and radio. In addition the national park operates a rescue service on all the routes we use, this service is linked by radio to the park headquarters. In the vast majority of cases of emergency rescue the problems can be attributed to altitude and if so the solution is immediate descent to lower altitudes. Our local mountain crew are all experienced in dealing with any problems that arise. Our guides are either doctors or qualified with the highest standard of wilderness first aid qualifications and can handle any emergency to the highest level of competency, in the vast majority of cases without national park assistance.
There are different types of altitude sickness. Although our acclimatisation regime ensures that everybody enjoys the best possible chance of getting high on the mountain, altitude related problems can happen.
The most common of these is high altitude sickness. (AMS – Acute Mountain Sickness).
Symptoms for this generally include:
In all this sounds quite dramatic but generally this is just the process your body naturally goes through to adjust to the higher altitudes and the reduced partial pressure of the atmosphere. For some people the acclimatisation process is a little longer and harder than others.
For our guides this is all part and parcel of ascending a near 5,000m peak and although we asses each client’s personal situation carefully we also further consider the compounding effects of dehydration brought on by excessive vomiting and continuing headaches.
We don’t recommend using Diamox as a prophylactic and if you have been prescribed it by your GP, please raise this with your expedition leader.
AMS might sound frightening but our guides are fully trained (and experienced) in helping to relieve your personal symptoms and provide advice on how to best proceed.
In most cases AMS can be avoided by following these guidelines: Drink lots of water, Walk slowly, stay warm, eat well
We recommend that you familiarise yourself with the various affects that altitude can cause. During your pre-climb briefing, we describe altitude sickness to you in detail, and advise you how to cope with it. The most important thing is not to fear it, but to respect it and to know how to deal with it and more importantly tell your guides how you feel. Our guides have seen every condition that the mountain produces, and they will always know how to deal with problems. We ascend the mountain on the Chongoria Route. This is a longer route which greatly reduces the incidences of AMS developing.
HACE and HAPE rarely occur on Mount Kenya and our guides are fully trained in the recognition of the onset of these problems and will deal with them at the first sign of their development.
The Malaria protozoa generally does not survive over an altitude of 1,500m so once you start the actual Mount Kenya climb Malaria poses no threat. (The entry gate is at 2,800m). We personally do not take them. However we recommend that you visit your Doctor or travel clinic before departure for the latest advice. If you are extending your stay in Kenya to visit other areas, for example, doing the safari option, then you should take them.
Yellow Fever (see below)
This list is not exhaustive and it is important you should see your GP Surgery or travel clinic for latest recommendations and to ensure you are up to date on necessary vaccinations.
If you have an International Vaccination Certificate, it should be carried with you. This certificate shows which inoculations you have had and when. In the past 2 years there have been some remote YF outbreaks in East Africa which have resulted in travellers having to provide proof of vaccinations before entry. This is not always enforced however (at least not in January 2015) but the International Vaccination Certificate is well worth obtaining. On the occasions when they had been necessary clients without the document have had to pay $50 to receive the inoculation at the airport before being permitted entry to the country. Please contact the us to obtain the most recent travel information.
If you need to leave early, arrangements can be made with the assistance our guide. Additional costs (transport, hotels, flights etc.) will be incurred by you but our guides will be able to assist in every detail of your departure.
All our guides are in communication with each other by phone and radio. In the vast majority of cases of emergency rescue the problems can be attributed to slow acclimatisation or altitude and if so the solution is immediate descent to lower altitudes. Our local crew is very experienced in dealing with any problem that may arise. Our guides are either doctors or possess the highest standard of wilderness first aid qualifications and can handle any emergency to the highest level of competency without assistance if necessary.
There are three high points on Mt Kenya: Point Lenana (4,985m), Nelion (5,188m) and Batian (5,199m).
The trekking Peak is Lenana.
Nelion and Batian are technical climbs, with Batian being the true summit.
Our expedition takes you to the trekkers’ summit of Point Lenana but you also have the option to reach the true summit of Batian Peak (involving a 22-pitch technical climb).
On a day to day level remember that you will be camping at altitude. You are likely to be cold, washing and toilet facilities will be limited, your appetite may be affected by the altitude and as you get higher on the trek you are likely to suffer shortness of breath and many people experience difficulty sleeping. Remember that everyone on the trek is likely to be experiencing exactly the same symptoms: physical and mental.
Our training programs have been devised to be expedition specific. Use these as a guide but also feel free to contact us for individual advice on how best to incorporate a suitable fitness program with your own lifestyle.
If you are struggling from day one then you will not enjoy the rest of the trip. Physical preparation does not have to be Herculean: concentrate on cardio-vascular exercise during the week by taking short runs when time allows and try to spend at least 2 weekends a month going on long duration walks (longer than 6 hrs) carrying a rucksack of around 10kg.
This kind of regime will not only prepare your body for carrying minor loads but will harden your body against the big days on the mountain itself. In addition it will help break in your boots and get you used to your equipment. In combination this will pay dividends when you reach Mount Kenya because even though you can’t train for altitude your body will be ready for arduous days and you will be familiar with how to best use your equipment, both adding to you being able to enjoy and appreciate the mountain all the more. Summit day can be up to 9 hours long.
The optimal climbing seasons are late December through to early March when the daytime temperatures are the warmest and there is reduced cloud cover. June through to October are also good as the daytime conditions are generally cooler but clear. Bear in mind that this time-frame coincides with the European and USA holiday season and that the routes may be busy. In October the crowds vanish.
The temperature at the top of the mountain can vary widely. Sometimes it is only a degree or two below freezing, but visitors should be prepared for possible temperatures as low as minus 15 Celsius, especially in conjunction with wind chill.
Please be assured that we only schedule our expeditions at the optimal time, during dry season, so we would not expect to encounter too much rain.
In the unlikely event of rain, this will not affect reaching Point Lenana. If you are undertaking the technical climb, rain will make the climb more difficult and if deemed too dangerous, will be void in situ.
We will be booking flights on your behalf. We provide confirmation of flight times and departure terminal approximately three weeks before your departure date. Please be aware that flight schedules are subject to change. Please ensure that you have checked flight details before setting out for your flight.
You must carry individual travel insurance to take part in the expedition. We cannot take you on the mountain without proof of insurance.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the appropriate insurance for your intended trip. To include medical evacuation and coverage up to the maximum altitude of this trip.
Your insurance details are requested on the booking form, however this can be arranged at a later date. We will be requesting your insurance details 8 weeks before your departure.
You must have insurance that covers you for high altitude multi climbing that takes you to the height of 5200m.
Your passport should be valid for 6 months after the date the trek starts. If it runs out before you may be refused entry. It is also advisable to have a couple of photocopies of your passport in case of loss.
Visas are compulsory for entry into Kenya for all foreign nationals. These can be easily acquired at the border (Nairobi airport and all land borders) with a little patience and queuing (and $50). You can also contact your nearest Kenyan High Commission to avoid queuing, unnecessary delays and potential clearance problems.
The Kenya High Commission
45 Portland Place
London W1B 1AS
Telephone: 020 7636 2371/5
Generally speaking deposits are due upon booking as we need to book your international flights well in advance. The full amount should be paid 4 months prior to departure. However having said this, our aim is to get you to the top of this mountain and we understand that personal financial situations can vary.
Please contact our friendly office crew to discuss a suitable payment plan should you find raising the funds to be difficult. We have after all been in your shoes many a time and go by the motto of where there’s a will there’s a way.
Please read our terms and conditions carefully before you book. We highly recommend trip cancellation insurance for all expeditions. Due to the nature and heavy costs of government and operator permits we must adhere to a strict refund policy.
Our local crew work extremely hard to ensure that your expedition runs well. While tipping is not compulsory, it is very much ingrained in the Kenyan culture. Once someone sees the hard work the crew provides and realises the small amount of money they get paid relative to your own income, tipping will seem the least you can do to say thank you. We suggest a minimum of $150 dollars is given per trekker that will be then split across the team.
American dollars are readily recognised and easily converted to the local currency at banks. Upon arrival there will always be a bureau the change at the airport as well as lots of ATMs including Barclays that will give you Kenyan Shillings. Once away from the airport you will need Kenyan Shillings, very few places will accept dollars except the bigger souvenir shops or your hotel, and they will not offer you a great exchange rate.
The amount of money you will need depends on how many presents you wish to buy or how much you wish to drink when you come off the hill. As a basic rule of thumb $200 USD should be more than adequate for any post expedition spending. Kenya is a relatively cheap place and when indulging in the local custom of haggling, then goods can be very good value for money.
Your leader will be happy to point out the relative bargains and the suitable prices plus where to get the best value for money. The only cash you’ll need to consider taking with you on the mountain is the local crew tips which are presented to them before you sign out from the national park.
Opportunities to charge your batteries will be limited. If you can get hold of a solar battery charger this is probably the best option. Also make sure that you keep your spare batteries warm i.e. by keeping them near your body day and night.
In Kenya, telephones and internet access are readily available in town. Our guides will carry satellite phones in the mountains. Mobile reception on the mountain is sporadic, but the locals know all the best spots to pick it up.
The voltage is 220v / 50Hz like the UK. Rectangular or round three-pin plugs are used.
While we will do everything we can to provide adequate safety for the group and security for your possessions, the general rule is that if you don’t need it, don’t bring it. This includes jewellery, necklaces, rings and even watches. Your passport and money should be kept on you at all times.
As with travel in any foreign country, you need to look after yourself and your possessions, and this is no different.
Kenya has made a bold conservation move and has banned plastic bags – from production to importation and use within the country. Nice!
Visitors are advised to avoid carrying plastic bags or packing plastic bags in their luggage but please note that ziploc bags to carry toiletries will be permitted, on the basis they remain in your possession and are not disposed of within the country.
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