• Hi!

    I am planning to climb Mt. Kenya Dec 27th-Jan 4th with two other friends. I was hoping to get tips and advice of best companies/ tour guides and price ranges for a 6 day trek.

    Thanks so much!
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    Hey, Mt. Kenya is great and totally worth it!
    I've been there last week. We have started at Sirimon Gate and exited the park via the Chogoria gate and made it a 5/6 day trip.

    If you are going with two friends, maybe you want to consider going on your own? Concerning the park regulations, you must not be alone, but a guide/porter is not a must. The way is not so difficult to find (at least it was for us, but I think we were quite lucky with the weather - no rain at all!) and you save sooo much money. We went with a group of 4 and carried our own food (and a camping gas cooker). For the food and so on, everybody of us 4 paid about 5500 Shilling. I don't think you are a resident, so the park entrance fee is something about 320USD for the 6 days per person.

    What I really suggest is that you do not take the same route back as you came. The Mt. Kenya National Park is so beautiful that you should consider going back via the Chogoria route (this route is quite long, so it is not recommended to do that on your way to the summit, but for going home, there is nothing more amazing!).

    The initiary my group had (none of us was at Mt. Kenya before, if you want to know) was:

    Day1: from Nairobi to Nyanyuki (with Matatu, if you go from Thika it should not cost 400KES - we got cheated there, it is probably about 200-300KES), then a taxi (was 1600KES, maybe you can also get it a little cheaper, but I think this was ok) to the Sirimon Gate (you can't really walk there). We started at the gate at around 2 pm and walked up to the Old Moses Camp (you have to book all accomodation in advance - there are offices in Nairobi), where we spent 2 nights because

    Day2 was only a relaxing day to get used to the altitude (Old Moses is at 3300m ASL). What we did was doing a little hike to the Meteorological Station that you can see from the Moses Camp. That was also good to find the first part of the way that we were taking the following day.

    Day3: Hike to Shipton's Camp at the foot of the mountain. It was a very exhausting part because the sun was burning. But except for maybe a few meters the route was easy to find (and there are always groups with guides so that you can take a look where they are going, of course I don't know how many people will be there around New Year). We started at around 7.30 am and reached the Shipton's Camp (4200m ASL) at about 4 pm I think.

    Day4: We started at around 7.30 am to hike up to the summit. Even there the route is quite easy to find. Some gropus start at 3am to experience the sunrise at the summit, but I think for that you really need a guide. We reached the summit at noon and were lucky having a fantastic view (although it is said that from noon on, there will be clouds all over). At about 2pm we were back in the camp and spent a second night there.

    Day5: We started very early (some minutes to 7am) hiking up the Simba pass to the Chgoria Valley. The view is incredible all the time, but it is about 27km, so it takes some time (especially when you have your own luggage). But even with some problems (one of us got injured at 1pm) we reaced the Meru Mt. Kenya Bandas at around 6pm. The Meru Mt. Kenya Bandas are very close to the Chogoria gate (and had a hot shower and a fireplace - luxury compared to the other camps) and if you want to hire a 4WD that gets you to Chogoria the next day, you can just walk this 500m (or maybe 1km) to make the car pick you up outside the park so you save money (the car does not have to pay the entrence fees). For us, the car picked us up at the Bandas (because of our injured) and we had to pay 8000KES (we paid the guy at the "reception" of the bandas, but maybe it is better to pay the driver directly so that you might get it a little cheaper (if the reception guy doesn't hear you bargaining with the driver) and the money goes to the driver instead that the reception guy collects half of it.

    So on day 6 we only took the 4WD to Chogoria (if you have some incidents it might take the whole day, but we were lucky again). From Chogoria, the Matatu Shuttle (direct) is 500KES to Nairobi (but they can drop you anywhere along the way) and you drive through very beautiful areas where they do rice farming and so on - it is worth not to sleep in the Matatu ;)

    Sorry that I cannot tell you about companies organizing the trips. The only thing that I know is from talking to some other Germany guy in the Shipton's camp. He was on alone and hired a guide, a porter and a cook (but I don't exactly know if porter and cook was not the same person). He paid about 600 (I don't even remember if it was USD oder Euro).

    I hope I could help you, if you have further questions don't hesitate to write me a message. I am leaving Kenya just before Christmas so I won't be around when you are coming but I wish you a wonderful trip!

    (That you should take very warm clothes, long underwear, a very warm sleeping bag and so on is obvious I hope - and don't play around with the altitude sickness. Since Mt. Kenya/Point Lenana is very easy to access, people get careless of their health. Our group was lucky not having any problems, but I don't know how it would have been without this extra day at Old Moses camp. None of the other people that we met did this extra day - and some of them were throwing up all the time...)

    Have a wonderful stay in this wonderful country!

    Larissa
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    Hi Colette,
    I've met a guide for a short hike and he told me that he was orgnizing a trek to mount kenya, he wrote me:

    Hi colaz Thanks for ur email. The date we are hiki is 17th December.we are the group of 20,and to make it cheap for u i would advice u to join.For the cost is KSH 25000 all inclusive i hope to here from u soonest Regards Rufas

    I haven't find much cheaper on the interent but there're a lot of options...I will go to the coast for xmas/new year's eve so you can have my place, contact him at carruufas@yahoo.com (and check the "all inclusive" prices cause the park fees are quite expensive you're not a resident...)
    have fun and let me know how it was !
    Colas

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