Mount Kenya Wilderness Trek
6 days Burguret and Chogoria route trek
With a 5-day route on the mountain and an additional acclimatisation day at a mid-way camp on the moorland (3700m), our Burguret to Chogoria route traverse is designed to offer you a great chance of reaching the summit. Due to the Burguret route’s infrequent use, there’s a strong chance you won’t run into anybody else until you reach Shipton’s Camp or the summit walk. We descend along the scenic Chogoria route on the western flank of Mount Kenya, which complements the image of the Burguret Route.
Itinerary : 6 day Mount Kenya trek via Burguret & Chogoria Routes
Day 1: Nairobi transfer to Mountain Rock Lodge (1950m) Acclimatisation walk to Mau Mau Caves.
From Nairobi (or as advised), we drive to Mountain Rock Lodge, around a 4-hour drive in time for lunch. This afternoon, we walked to the Mau Mau caves in Mount Kenya Forest Reserve. These caves used to be the hideouts of local freedom fighters who fought for independence in the colonial period. This is a pleasant walk through the tall towering trees. The forest reserve is home to a wealth of birdlife, game and plants that your nature guide will enlighten you on. As you explore the forest, Colobus, Sykes and Vervet monkeys crash around the branches, scarlet-winged turacos flash through the forest canopy and you may see waterbuck and bushbuck in the forest clearings.
Day 2: Begin the trek to Giant Bamboo Camp (2600m).
An initial transfer to Gathiuru Forest Station is 15 km away (approximately 1 hour) before entering the dense forest with its towering bamboo. We trek through forest and bamboo, gaining around 400m in altitude. This hiking is essential for acclimatisation. On the lower slopes of Mount Kenya, there is a wide range of vegetation and fauna. Look out for tracks from various game as we walk through a variety of vegetation including huge podocarpus and pencil cedar trees. In the forest, brightly coloured birds such as scarlet winged turacos can be seen and heard, as well as different types of monkeys. (2600m) Approximately 4-5 hours walking. Distance covered: 10 km or 6 miles.
Day 3: Ascend to Highland Castle Camp (3700m).
We get up early this morning to trek to Highland Castle Camp. We hike over steep ground where the bamboo gives way to the Hagenia rose wood zone (2850–3100 m), and we then climb higher through the Giant Heather zone (3100m-3300m). Our camp is located close to the sheer lava cliffs. We cross high altitude moorland, dotted with the unique Giant Lobelia and Senecio plants. We gain a further 1100m in altitude in the course of the day. There is little game as we reach this point, but look out for the elusive high-altitude zebras and eland, and the more commonly spotted rock hyrax and sunbirds. Burguret Valley offers spectacular views of the two highest and most technical peaks of Baitan and Nelion, a thoroughly rewarding day. (3700m) Approx 5-6 hours walking. Distance covered: 12 km / 7 miles).
Day 4: Scenic summit circuit to Shipton’s Camp (4236m).
Today we ascend up to Hausberg Col. We pass spectacular moorland landscapes, and it is not unusual to spot eagles and buzzards circling overhead as we ascend to Hausberg Col at 4600m, after connecting the summit circuit trail to descend to Shipton’s Camp (one of the few permanent camps on the mountain). The camp is the first time where we are likely to come across other trekkers on the mountain and has panoramic views of all the main peaks including Terere and Sendeyo, two old parasitic vents of the main peaks. Climbing high and sleeping low is excellent for acclimation, and the benefits of today’s ascent and descent is great preparation.(4236m) Approximately 5.5- 6 hours walking. Distance covered: 10 km / 6 miles.
Day 5: Final ascent to Point Lenana (4985m); descend to Nithi Camp via Chogoria route
Pre-dawn start this morning (2am) with the aim of arriving at Point Lenana for sunrise. We zig-zag up a large scree slope before we make the final short ascent, which involves some scrambling to Point Lenana at 4985m. If the moon is bright you will hardly need a torch. The climb takes between 3 – 4 hours. Watching the sunrise over the Kenyan plains is a truly amazing experience. We later descend A further 3 hours down to a late breakfast by Hall Tarns in the magnificent Gorges Valley. Then in the afternoon another 3 hours down past spectacular chasms, waterfalls and weirdly eroded lava flows to camp by the track-head in the giant heather zone – Nithi Camp 3,300m.