About Mount Kenya
Mount Kenya is an impressive volcano that sits very close to the equator. It is Kenya's highest mountain, with three peaks hovering around the 5,000m mark - Batian (5,199 metres (17,057 ft)), Nelion (5,188 metres (17,021 ft)) and Point Lenana (4,985 metres (16,355 ft). Mount Kenya is protected by a national park of the same name. The mountain is an incredibly important watershed, providing water for about 50% of Kenya’s population and producing 70% of Kenya’s hydroelectric power.
Mount Kenya's Highest Peak
The technical peak of Mount Kenya is at Batian (5199m) but unless you are a technical climber it is going to be out of reach as it sits atop a series of chimneys, pitches and gullies. Trekkers aim instead for Point Lenana (at 4985m just 15m shy of breaking through the 5000m barrier). The ascent is in no way diminished, as Point Lenana still sits proudly and independently of the twin peaks of Batian and Nelion with sweeping 360 degree views. It is a challenging peak in of itself with the altitude and relatively steep approach to Point Lenana to contend with. From the summit, the views stretch over the African plains, the nearby Aberdares and onto Kilimanjaro in the far distance.
Mount Kenya's Flora and Fauna
Apart from the stunning mountain scenery, one of the highlights of Mount Kenya is the extraordinarily diverse wildlife and flora. The lower slopes of Mount Kenya are thickly forested and plays host to elephant, buffalo and eland. The upper slopes have a rare Afro Alpine habitat with heath land, glacial valleys and some unusually large plant life playing host to birds, mice and rock hyrax.
Trekking Mount Kenya
There is a choice of trekking routes on the mountain varying from 4 days to 7 days. (If you wish to attempt the technical climb to Mount Kenya's highest peaks, see the Cosley and Houston web site for more information). The nearest town and starting point is Nanyuki, from where it is relatively easy to organise a trek with a local company if you have time on your hands. Most organised treks include transport to and from Kenya's capital city - Nairobi (3-4 hour drive).
Trekkers can choose to either camp (at designated sites) or stay in the mountain huts. All food needs to be brought into the mountain with you and most trekkers choose to climb with a guide, cook and porters.
Thanks to Ben Colclough with Tourdust for the photos and information about Mount Kenya trekking.