In the Central Highlands, east of the Great Rift Valley, Mount Kenya National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site encompassing the country’s namesake highest mountain at 5,199 meters and providing the rare sight of equatorial snow. Formed by a series of volcanic eruptions, Mount Kenya is actually comprised of three glacier-cloaked peaks. The highest is Batian, although Nelion, the next highest, is a tougher climb. The lowest peak, Lenana, is considered the easiest climb, although unpredictable weather can pose challenges.
Scenery varies from glaciers, lakes, and mineral springs to alpine forest and dense pockets of bamboo. The diversity of flora and fauna provides rewarding opportunities for safaris. Among the wildlife here, you may spot black and white colobus monkeys, buffalo, elephant, tree hyrax, leopard, and hyena.
Naro Moru Route
On the south side of the mountain this route is well marked through forest from the park gate at 2400m, initially along a track for 10km to the Meteorological Station at 3000m which can be accessed by vehicle.
After a night at the Met, where buffalo often visit the campsite, the route enters the forest and up the Vertical Bog which can often be muddy and wet. Red and white marker posts show the way onto the shoulder of the mountain and a drier ridge which looks down onto the Teleki Valley (4000m). Two possible trails lead up to Mackinders Camp at 4200m, either high or low, which is a flat area near the head of the valley. Camping is good here, although it gets cold at night, and there is a Ranger post nearby.
Now follow a steepish trail up from the Ranger Post and traverse the northwest side of the valley to cross the stream at the base of the scree slopes which are at the head of the valley. Once on the scree slopes, the trail zig zags steeply uphill to eventually reach a ridge and Austrian Hut where people can rest or sleep or even camp. From the Hut the path becomes indistinct on rock and ice, and it is important to follow the cairns along the route towards the summit on the northwest side of the Lewis Glacier. A final short scramble leads onto Point Lenana.