P3 - This trip is physically tough. Frequent exercise is necessary to prepare properly for this expedition. Regular walking mixed with training at the gym to build up endurance and cardiovascular fitness is key. Expect to be able to do 8 hour days in hilly and often steep train, carrying a pack of 6-10kg in weight with the occasional extra long day.
Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.
T2 - Consider this a trek, although there may be occasion to use hands for short sections of easy scrambling. No previous climbing or trekking experience is necessary.
Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.
Date & Prices
Pics & Vids
Mount Kenya 5,199m may be Africa’s second highest mountain but it’s first for its fascinating variety of flora, fauna and magical landscape. Our expedition takes you to the trekkers’ summit: Point Lenana – a stunning peak just below the true technical climb of Nelion.
We trek through equatorial rainforest rich in wildlife, including elephant and waterbuck, across moorlands hiding crystal-clear lakes and above remote gorges where you can relive the excitement felt by the first explorers. We camp by mesmerising lakes fed by waterfalls. On clear days we can see the summit of Kilimanjaro, 200 miles away across the African savannah. Mount Kenya is a collection of sharp. jagged peaks forming a single mountain. Our objective. Point Lenana at 4,985m, is attainable for the fit and adventurous and is a perfect first trekking peak. We ascend at dawn to capture the sunrise over this spiky eerie landscape overlooking glaciers, and as we stand at the high point of our journey, we marvel at what seems like all of Africa falling away below.
The diversity of habitat and wildlife, the absence of other trekkers, and geography akin to the set of Jurassic Park combined with the challenge of the ascent make a climb to Point Lenana an experience never to be forgotten.Find out more
Date & Prices
Departure & Return
Price (excl. flight)
Price (incl. flight)
Start: 27 January 2018
End: 04 February 2018
Price without flights:
Price with flights: £2,495
27 January 2018
04 February 2018
Start: 15 September 2018
End: 23 September 2018
Price without flights:
Price with flights: £2,495
15 September 2018
23 September 2018
- International Flights
- Park fees
- Local guides, 360 guide, porters, cook team and vehicle
- 2 nights hotel accommodation at start and finish of trek near Mount Kenya
- 1 night hotel in Nairobi
- All camping and group equipment
- All meals except lunch on day 8
- Kenyan Visa
- Personal equipment
- Staff and guide gratuities
- Unscheduled hotels and meals
- Items of a personal nature – laundry, room service
- Personal travel insurance
- Any additional costs associated with leaving the expedition early including any airline surcharges as a result of changing return airline tickets
Pics & Vids
DAY 1 : Depart UK
Today we depart the UK normally from London Heathrow airport.
DAY 2 : Arrive Nairobi, transfer to Mount Kenya
We land in Nairobi airport and transfer straight to Mount Kenya, a 4-5 hour journey through some amazing scenery to our simple but pleasant hotel. That evening your 360 leader will give a comprehensive briefing on the days ahead.
DAY 3 : Chogoria Gate to Lake Ellis (3,600m)
We are picked up early for the drive to Chogoria Gate a few hours away, our entrance to Mount Kenya national park where me meet our porters and cook. If the roads are good, we will drive through the rainforest and into the bamboo zone all the way up to Chogoria Bandas where our trek starts. We walk through ancient woodlands and climb up into the heath zone, traversing beautiful open moorland to reach a stunning, quiet lake, and our first camp. It’s a good few hours walk to get into the swing of things, and we’ll have the rest of the day to relax, or to explore the environs in search of the rock hyrax that inhabit this area.
DAY 4 : Lake Ellis to The Temple, Lake Michaelson (4,000m)
After breakfast we head out across more moorland through Africa’s unique high altitude plants, giant groundsel and lobelia before crossing into the mouth of the great Gorges Valley where we find Lake Michaelson and our night’s camp. Set in a vast 400m high amphitheatre, we catch our first glimpse of some of Mount Kenya’s summits and glaciers above us.
DAY 5 : Lake Michaelson to Austrian Hut (4,750m)
We break the 4,000m barrier today as we climb up past the old wreck of an aircraft and up over the ridge surrounding Gorges Valley. Form there we scramble up scree towards Austrian Hut near the Lewis Glacier and our stop for the night before we go for the summit.
DAY 6 : Austrian Hut to Point Lenana (4,985m) down to Mackinder’s Camp
We wake early at Austrian hut, typically around 3am, and make for the summit in time to see the sun rise, bathing glorious light over the breathtaking eastern panorama of Mount Kenya. When we’ve finally taken in the glory of reaching the summit, with the incredible excitement at having completed such a fantastic challenge we’ll begin our descent down to Mackinder’s Camp for a well earned rest.
DAY 7 : Descent to Naromoru River Lodge
From Mackinder’s camp we take a gentle walk down the valley following the Naro Moru route as we head for the gates of the National Park, and to our vehicles that will take us back to the Naromoru River Lodge, our hotel for the night in, enjoying a very well earned dinner and a few tuskers to celebrate our feat.
DAY 8 : Nairobi
We have a leisurely start today – perhaps starting with a swim – as there’s no rush to get back to Nairobi. On the way to the city we’ll stop at the equator for the fascinating demonstration of the Coriolis Effect. That evening we’ll head to the famous Carnivore for dinner.
DAY 9 : Arrive UK
We’re up early for breakfast before our daytime flight to UK.
These are subject to minor changes depending on flight arrival and departure times, weather, group dynamics and fitness and so on, but the itinerary outlined provides an excellent indication of the trek and what you will experience.
Bags & Packs
A 80-120L duffel bag to transport kit. A duffel bag is a strong, soft, weather resistant bag without wheels but with functional straps for carrying. Suitcases and wheeled bags are not suitable
Approx. 30L capacity. Your day to day pack that you carry with your daily essentials, fitted with shoulder straps and importantly a waist belt
Waterproof rucksack cover
To protect rucksack from rain
For use on your kit bag for travel and on the expedition plus your hotel bag
Nylon rolltop bags (or even just large plastic bags) that keep fresh clothing and other important items like passports and iPods dry in the event of a total downpour that seeps into your kitbag. Good for quarantining old socks
Small kit bag or light bag
This is for any kit you intend to leave at the hotel and could even simply be a heavy duty plastic bag
4 Season sleeping bag
You should get a sleeping bag rated to -10C and choose a sleeping bag that functions within the comfort rating of this temperature. A silk sleeping bag liner will enhance this rating on the coldest nights
Sleeping bag liner
Silk is best for keeping the bag clean and you a little warmer
Full length self-inflating rather than ¾ length Thermarest
This can be a warm hat, beanie, balaclava, anything to reduce the heat loss from your head
Wide brimmed hat
Keeps the sun off exposed areas like ears and the nape of the neck
Essential for protection from the sun and dust
Worth spending money on good UV filters
Buy the highest SPF you can find as UV intensifies with altitude
Sun cream will not work on your lips and they are very susceptible to burn without proper protection
This is the layer closest to the skin and its principal function is to draw (wick) moisture and sweat away from the skin. You can also get thermal base layers for use at higher altitudes that provide an additional insulative layer while still drawing sweat during times of high exertion
These are typically lightweight microfleeces or similar technology that provide varying degrees of warmth and insulation without being overly bulky or heavy to pack
Optional – A great low volume additional layer to keep your core warm, whether down, primaloft or fleece
Light insulated jacket
A lighter jacket such as a Primaloft or lightweight down which can be worn at lower to mid altitudes is a great addition to your kit offering greater flexibility with layering
Soft Shell (optional)
Optional – These should be windproof (not all are) and insulative. They are mostly made of soft polyester and sometimes resemble a neoprene finish which makes them very mobile and comfortable to wear. While offering a degree of weather repellence, they are not waterproof
Essential waterproof, windproof kit, should be big enough to fit over several other layers and breathable. Heavy and bulky ski jackets are not suitable for this expedition
Generally made using feathers, these are the ultra-warm and insulated layer that are used when sitting in the tea houses or in extremely cold environments. Those with a windproof outer fabric will provide the best insulation. Ask advice in the shop (or from us) when buying the jacket and mention you want it rated to -10C and the assistant will recommend the correct fill for you
Consider liners or a light polartec pair for lower altitudes and evenings, and a thicker waterproof pair like ski gloves for higher altitudes
These tend to be polyester so they dry quickly after a shower and weigh little in your pack. Consider perhaps a pair with detachable lower legs as an alternative to shorts
Windproof or thermal lined trekking trousers for higher altitudes and the summit phase. Thermal leggings can still be worn underneath if necessary
Thermal insulation for the lower body
Like the jacket, an essential piece of kit to stay dry and should also be Goretex
Merino or wicking material, not cotton. How many pairs you take is entirely up to you
3-4 season walking boots
Well worn in 3-4 season waterproof boots with mid to high ankle support
For evening use and to give your feet a break once we reach the lodges
Start with lighter socks lower down, working up to thicker pairs for higher up as it gets colder. Some people like a clean pair every day, others are happy to change every other day – that’s a personal choice
Just in case
3L equivalent – Camelbaks are useful at lower altitudes but have a tendency to freeze up at higher altitudes without insulation tubes, Nalgene bottles are better at altitude. We suggest a combination of a 2L bladder and 1L bottle or 2 x ½L bottles to put in your jacket for summit night
Purification tablets are better than any other system. Highly unlikely to be needed. Always good to have in your bag
Keep it simple on the mountain. Essentials are toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant. Moisturiser is advisable, everything else is a luxury!
These are great for washing when modern shower facilities become a thing of the past
A must have for good camp hygiene
For early stages and once back down
Provided on the mountain but a spare in your daysack may be useful if you need to hide behind a rock between camps
Nappy sacks or dog poo bags
Only needed to bag your toilet paper if you are caught short in between camps and for keeping your rubbish tidy in your tent
Personal first aid kit
Blister patches, plasters, antiseptic, painkillers; (see FAQ’s)
Keep this in your daysack
Bring spare batteries
These tend to be a personal preference but help with your stability and can dampen the pressure on the knees coming down hill
Bring plenty of spare batteries and memory cards
You will be fed very well and given snacks each day however we advise bringing a small selection as a little bit of comfort. Extra snacks can be bought en-route if needed. Energy gels and protein bars are not suitable
iPod, book, Kindle etc.
Don’t forget this! Your passport should have at least 6 months validity. With your passport expiry date at least six months after the final day of travel.
Copy of passport
Just in case
Passport photos x 4
Rarely needed but worth having just in case
Dental Check up
We recommend you have a dental check-up before your trip. New fillings can be an issue at altitude if there is an air pocket left in the gap
Copy of own travel insurance details and relevant contact numbers. Please ensure you have appropriate insurance for your intended trip to include medical evacuation and coverage up to an altitude of 5,000m
Food and Water
What is the food like on the mountain?
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.
I have food allergies, can these be catered for?
Absolutely, please inform the office of any allergies or intolerances and we will ensure that these are taken into account on the trek.
Where does the drinking water come from?
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.
How often is fresh water available for replenishing during the day?
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.
How does tent sharing work? And how big are the tents?
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.
Will the camp be freshly set up or will we be staying at existing camps at a set site on the way up?
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.
Will the toileting facilities will be “Au naturel”, or pit latrines?
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.
Health and Safety
What happens if there is a problem on the mountain?
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.
Am I likely to suffer from altitude sickness on this expedition?
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.
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.
What can I do to help prevent AMS?
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. 360 ascends the mountain on the Chongoria Route. This is a longer route which greatly reduces the incidences of AMS developing.
Is there a risk of getting HACE (High Altitude Cerebral Edema) and HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema) on the mountain?
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.
Do I need to take Malarial drugs?
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.
You advocate taking a small first aid kit, what should it contain?
We advocate a little bit of self-help on the mountain. If you have a blister developing for example then please stop take off your boot and treat it before it becomes a problem.
Your own first aid kit should contain: a basic blister kit, plasters, antiseptic, sun-protection, your own personal medication (sometimes your porter might get to camp after you and if he is carrying your medication you may not be able to take it according to the regime you are used to), basic pain relief (aspirin and Ibuprofen), a personal course of antibiotics if prone to illness. Foot powder in your socks every morning is great for preventing blisters.
Generally the best approach to take when packing your first aid kit is to include such basic medications as if you would on a family or personal holiday.
Your 360 expedition leader and / or a local porter (we call the ambulance man!) carries a very comprehensive first aid kit which contains a wide range of supplies and medications. They are fully trained to use whatever is needed for any emergency that may arise. We advocate keeping this in mind when packing your own first aid supplies and keeping your own FA kit as compact and light as possible.
What vaccinations do I need?
The following vaccinations are recommended:
- Hepatitis A
Yellow Fever (see below)
This list is not absolute 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.
Do I need to have a yellow fever certificate?
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 360 office to obtain the most recent travel information.
What happens if I need to leave the expedition early?
If a climber needs to leave early, arrangements can be made with the assistance our 360 Guide. Additional costs (transport, hotels, flights etc.) will be incurred by the climber but our guides will be able to assist in every detail of your departure.
What happens if there is a problem on the mountain?
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.
What clothing should I wear on the mountain?
We advocate the beg, steal and borrow principle for first timers instead of buying brand new stuff that may never get used again. The cost of equipment is usually a major deterrent for people coming onto trips in the first place.
Our guides usually start the walk wearing long, lightweight trekking trousers and T-shirts. Long trousers are recommended as a deterrent to insects, stinging plants and to act as sun protection. Shorts can also be worn on the initial few days of the trek as the temperature is usually warm. Ensure that you apply sun-protection frequently!
The prevailing conditions on the mountain will dictate what you will wear: if it is cold when you leave the camp in the morning then wear a fleece. As things warm up take advantage of the zipper system which most trekking clothing has and open and / or close the zips to adjust to your own preferred temperature. If you get too warm simply take a layer off.
Waterproofs are needed at all times. Mount Kenya is a big mountain that creates its own weather system. It is not unusual to be caught out in an afternoon rainstorm low down on the mountain. Waterproofs should be Gortex material or similar.
What do your guides wear on summit day?
On summit day it gets cold and temperatures of -10 to -15 C are not unusual.
Typically our guides wear 2 sets of base layers (Long Johns) a fleece layer (top and bottom) and then on the legs waterproofs whilst on the upper torso a down jacket is often worn. If the wind picks up near the summit ridge our guides will put on their wind proof layer to ward of the wind-chill. On their hands they’ll wear a thin layer of working gloves over the top of which is a thicker set of “ski gloves” or mittens.
Their heads are covered by a thermal “beanie” hat and the hood of their down jackets. On their feet the guides wear one pair of thin socks and one pair of thick socks.
On summit day Guides use waterproofs as an invaluable wind shield to protect themselves against wind-chill when a strong wind blows.
What is the best type of footwear to use?
Because of the huge variety of terrain encountered when ascending this mountain it is very important to wear the right footwear. Boots should be sturdy, waterproof, insulated against cold temperatures and offer adequate ankle support.
In addition it is highly recommended that your boots are well worn in to prevent the formation of blisters. A range of suitable boots are on the market and further advice as to which brand names are available can be found online or at your local gear store. When in-store try lots of boots on, use the ramps in the shops to test their traction, make sure they are comfortable as you will be almost living in them for days on end and they are very important.
To ascend Mount Kenya it is not necessary to buy technical boots with crampon clips as crampons are not used for climbing this mountain unless you plan to do more ambitious climbs in the future.
What should I carry inside my daysack?
A daysack is worn by the client at all times during the trek. The content of this is mandatory and should include: a fleece (for when taking breaks or weather changes) a full set (top and bottoms) of waterproofs, sufficient water for the day, snacks, camera equipment, personal medication and a head torch.
What do the porters carry? What is the correct porter weight?
Your day to day sack should weigh no more then 3 – 4 kg and a rucksack of around 30L capacity will more than suffice. This rucksack can be filled to brim with extra stuff when checking in at the airport. It is important that this bag has an adjustable waist belt to transfer the weight of your daily load onto your hips and from here onto your legs (your strongest muscles) to do most of the carrying.
Your porter bags should be off a soft material “duffel bag” or rucksack variety and should not be a suitcase or hard bodied metal case. Furthermore they should weigh no more then 12-14 kg when packed for the mountain. On all our Mount Kenya trips we have found this weight to be ample and usually everybody can plan to take only enough clothes and equipment needed for the mountain. Please bear in mind that park regulations restrict porters only carrying 20kg and that on top of your load porters will also have to carry a share of the food, kitchen equipment, camping equipment and their own survival gear.
Inside the porter bag should be a change of clothing, your clothing for higher up the mountain, a sleeping mat (thermarest), sleeping-bag, personal toiletries etc. (see equipment list).
Are down jackets necessary?
They are highly recommended and are often worth their weight in gold on summit day. Our guides wear them on all evenings from the first camp up. A layer system comprising of several layer of base layers, fleeces, and a thick jacket will suffice on most summit nights but nothing beats the efficiency of a good down jacket (especially when topped with a water proof layer).
How warm does my sleeping bag need to be?
Should be rated within the -10C comfort zone. From the first camp upwards it is not unusual to experience frosty nights and a good night’s sleep is important to giving you the best chance to climb this mountain. Ensure you get a sleeping bag that has this temperature rating at this comfort zone rather than as its extreme zone.
Our guides take sleeping bags rated to well below -10C to ensure that they are warm at night. 3 – 4 season sleeping bags can be enhanced by using an inner silk sheet (or similar). The idea is to be as comfortable and warm as possible for the night and henceforth to ensure plenty of sleep for the arduous days ahead. It is important to remember that down sleeping bags work by your own body heating the down that’s inside the bag.
Once you have warmed up the bag the down will retain the heat and ensure that you sleep at a temperature that’s your own body temperature. For best results it is best to wear as little as possible when inside your sleeping bag. Our guides will often only wear a set of thermals in their bag. It is important for the bag to trap the heat. By wearing multiple layers of clothing your clothing will trap this heat and your bag will not function properly.
Is it possible to rent equipment before I go?
You can rent equipment from www.outdoorhire.co.uk. Look under Partner Kit Lists, 360 Expeditions and Mount Kenya Point Lenana. However, we do advocate the use of personal equipment when it comes to footwear, your boots should be well worn in to your own feet.
What clothing is suitable for when we come back from the mountain?
Kenya straddles the equator and daytime temperatures are warm. When in Rome do as the Romans. Shorts and T-shirts are fine to wear during the course of the day. Evening wear generally tends to be casual: long trousers and casual shirt are fine for all hotels and restaurants.
Kenyans are generally quite conservative in their dress code and are generally well dressed despite their situation in life. Your town and party clothes can be left in a safe lock up and will not need to be taken up the mountain.
How out of my comfort zone will I be?
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.
What is the best time of the year to climb the mountain?
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.
How cold can it get?
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.
Do I need to book my own flights to Kenya?
360 Expeditions 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.
Do I need special travel insurance for the trek?
You must carry individual travel insurance to take part in the trek. We cannot take you on the mountain without proof of insurance. For Mount Kenya you will need insurance that covers you for trekking to 5,000m (Point Lenana is at 4,985m).
Your insurance details are requested on the booking form, however this can be arranged at a later date. 360 Expeditions will be requesting your insurance details 8 weeks before departure.
Entry into Country
My passport runs out 3 months after the trek, is this OK?
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.
Do I need a visa for Kenya?
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
How can I best train / prepare for climbing the mountain?
The 360 expedition 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. Please also see the recommended training program for climbing Mount Kenya.
When is the money due for this expedition? What kind of payment do you accept?
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 and go by the motto of where there’s a will there’s a way.
What is your cancellation policy? What is your refund policy?
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.
How much do we tip our local crew?
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. The general rule of thumb in Kenya is $8 – $10 per porter per day on the mountain from the group as a whole, so $40 – $50 total each with a little more for the Kenyan guides(s) and cook. For the leader this is your call.
Money: am I correct in thinking we only need to take American Dollars with us?
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. The exchange rate is approximately 120 KSH to 1GBP (The shilling is pegged to the dollar). 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.
What additional spending money will we need?
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 360 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.
Will I be able to charge my camera/phone battery on the trek?
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.
Is there mobile phone reception on the trek?
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.
Do we need a travel adaptor for the plug sockets in the hotel or are they the same as UK?
The voltage is 220v / 50Hz like the UK. Rectangular or round three-pin plugs are used.
Will my valuables be safe?
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 jewelry, 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.