Routes: Mt Kenya(Sirimon – Chogoria Route) | Kilimanjaro – (Marangu Route)

Mount Kenya and Mount Kilimanjaro though located in two different countries, they share a lot in common and are so far yet so near. Mount Kenya is located in Kenya, Tanzania’s neighbouring country. Tanzania is the home country of Mount Kilimanjaro, in fact, Mount Kilimanjaro lies close to the Kenya – Tanzania border. These two mountains are Africa’s highest with Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895m) being higher than Mount Kenya (5,199m). In that case, climbing Mount Kenya would act as an acclimatisation climb to warm up for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain and the world’s highest free-standing mountain. While Mount Kilimanjaro is Tanzania’s highest, Mount Kenya is Kenya’s highest, now imagine the thrill of combining the two treks that offer amazing scenery, views and world-class bragging rights under their belts.

This 2 week Mount Kenya and Mount Kilimanjaro trek combines a 5-day Mount Kenya climb using the  Sirimon – Chogoria Route and 6 day Marangu route to come up with a single itinerary with an extra day of rest after travelling between the two countries of East Africa that share the same border.

Your level of stamina, determination, mental and physical preparedness will be questioned as you seek to reach the summits of these two African giants.

Even though both mountains are not technically demanding, you will need to be in good form to climb them, both physically and mentally.

If you would like to enjoy a 2-week mountaineering adventure that features climbing Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro, then this is the trip for you. This trip can be customised and is flexible enough to include a safari to either Kenya, Tanzania or both or a beach holiday add-ons to Zanzibar or the Kenyan coast. We can also adjust the routes to include or reduce the number of days. Please contact us for more requirements.

Highlights

  • Enjoy a 14-day trekking trip to the summit of Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro.
  • Spend your nights in various camps/huts on both mountains.
  • Enjoy spectacular views from both peaks’ summits.
  • Spot some wildlife and birds around both mountains

How to get to Mount Kenya

To get to Mount Kenya, you have to fly into Kenya first through the International Airports that serve as Kenya’s entry points like the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi and the Mombasa Moi International Airport in Mombasa. Many air companies fly into Kenya from all over the world e.g Virgin Atlantic, British Airways and Kenya Airways fly regular direct flights to Nairobi. There are other airlines that offer competitive prices for air tickets that make a stop from Qatar Airways, Ethiopian and Emirates.

Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta airport is a ½ hr drive away from the capital city of Kenya, Nairobi with a distance of about 16km.

How to get to Mount Kilimanjaro

To get to Mount Kilimanjaro, you have to get into Tanzania by flying into any of the major airports like the Kilimanjaro International Airport located between Arusha and Moshi, Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam or from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya then travel into Tanzania by road or by air. The best way however is flying into the Kilimanjaro International Airport which is the nearest International Airport to Mount Kilimanjaro and Moshi, the closest town to the mountain. Kilimanjaro International Airport is only 51km away from Mount Kilimanjaro and it would take you about 49 minutes to reach there by driving.

Best time to climb Mount Kenya 

Best times for climbing Mount Kenya from any of the trekking routes are January to March and June to October but it can be climbed year-round. The rainy seasons typically occur in April, May and November. However, with the onset of climate change, they have been difficult to predict in recent years

Best time for Mount Kilimanjaro

The best times of the year to climb Mount Kilimanjaro are the months of December through to March, and June through to October. These are the dry months of the year and are suitable for mountain climbing. The months of  November and April / May,  are the rainy seasons, the weather is usually unpredictable during these months and the rains make the trails wet, muddy and are not enjoyable to climb the mountain but if at all you climb Mount Kilimanjaro during these seasons, be sure to bring along waterproof gear and gaiters.

Is the 14 Day Mount Kenya & Kilimanjaro Trek for me?

Both mountains are not technical but somehow physical. if you are a mountain climbing enthusiast then you should go for both. Kilimanjaro (5,895m), is a true test of endurance to make it to the top and it is the highest in Africa and Tanzania while Mount Kenya (5,199m) is a scenic mountain that does not demand much technicalities to climb and is the highest in Kenya, the second in the whole of Africa. For both mountains, proper acclimatisation is the key as even though they are not technical, they are high mountains and altitude sickness is most probably the biggest obstacle for reaching to their summits. This 14-day trek to these mountain heavyweights of the African continent with take you to the roof of Africa. Mount Kenya will act as your acclimatisation climb then followed by the higher Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

When trekking both mountains, all you need is to follow your mountain guides advice while on the mountain and drink as much water as possible to combat altitude sickness. To climb Mount Kenya and Mount Kilimanjaro, you do not need to be superhuman fit, if you can comfortably walk for 6-8 hours a day with ease then you can climb either of the mountains. Remember, age is not a limiting factor, children as young as 10 and adults as old as 80 have climbed both mountains.

Mount Kenya versus Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya share many similarities as well as differences and offer spectacular views and a chance for unrivalled adventure. We are going to take a look at that makes Mount Kenya and Mount Kilimanjaro so similar and what makes them different, unique and quite the opposite of each other.


Geology: They are both isolated volcanic massifs that tower spectacularly above the clouds of the tropical East African landscape. Mount Kilimanjaro(5,895 m) is the highest of the two followed by Mount Kenya (5,199 m) though both are the highest mountains in their respective countries. They are both extinct volcanoes with glaciers at the top.


History: Both of these mountains were first ascended by European explorers at the end of the 19th century. Due to the proven fears of rapid glacier retreat, both mountains have recently become subjects in the debate on global climate change.


Location: Both mountains are located in the East African region of the African continent although they are in two different countries, it is worth noting that these countries are neighbours that share the same border.  Mount Kenya is located approximately 16.5 kilometres (10 14 miles) south of the equator, about 150 km (90 mi) on the North-Eastern side of Nairobi, Kenya’s capital.

Height: Despite the two mountain being the highest in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro standing at an altitude of 5,895m above sea level is higher than Mount Kenya which stands at a height of 5,199m above sea level.


Peaks: The three main peaks of Mount Kenya are Batian, Nelion and Point Lenana. Mount Kilimanjaro’s peaks are the Mawenzi, Shira and Kibo whereby Kibo is the highest of the three summit peaks that contain the Uhuru peak, Kilimanjaro’s highest peak on the Kibo summit.


Duration: It takes about 4 to 8 days to climb Mount Kenya, depending on the route that you choose. A great trekking summit success chance depends on the number of days, the longer the better as it gives you extra days and enough time to acclimatize. Mount Kilimanjaro, on the other hand, would take you 5 to 9 days to climb.


Scenery: Both of these two African mountains offer amazing scenery due to their varied vegetation and climatic zones. They are both located within national parks, hence they give you the possibility of wildlife and bird watching. Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya have terrain features that range from Craggy volcanic boulders, trickling creeks, crystal clear lakes, indigenous alpine flora, and summit glaciers. Watching sunrises from the peaks of any of these mountains is a view to behold. Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or Mount Kenya on a full moon is another sight to behold as you get to the summit through then help of the natural light of the moon.


Routes: Mount Kenya’s routes sum up to a total of eight routes, starting clockwise from the north they are the: Meru, Chogoria, Kamweti, Naro Moru, Burguret, Sirimon and Timau Routes.

The main routes leading to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro are the Machame Route, Rongai Route,  Lemosho Route, Marangu Route, Umbwe Route, Northern Circuit, Shira Route, Kilema Route used for biking, the dangerous and rarely used Western breach, and the Mweka Route which is popular for descending the mountain.


Price: Climbing any of these two mountains depends mainly on the number of people in your group, the number of days you will spend on the mountain among other factors. Mount Kenya costs lesser than Mount Kilimanjaro because Mount Kilimanjaro is more popular, has more demand and many factors play a major role in the price of the trekking package.


Accommodation: Most of the routes up both mountains depend largely on camping and accommodation is in the form of tents. There are exceptions though as some routes depend on huts/cabin as a way of accommodation. The Marangu route on Mount Kilimanjaro is a good example of the routes that depend solely on dormitory styled huts.


Difficulty and Technicality: these two mountains are not too different as they do not demand too much in terms of technical levels. Mount Kilimanjaro is walkable for most of the part. Mount Kenya, on the other hand, is a manageable trek, especially if you, choose Point Lenana as your summit point. Batian, the true summit of Mount Kenya, rises a little bit higher than Point Lenana at 5,199 meters (17,057 feet) and it offers rock and ice climbing that pushes even experienced mountaineers to the edge.


Crowds: Compared with Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya’s trails to be more tranquil and quieter as it is not as popular as Mount  Kilimanjaro especially during the less-popular wet seasons of March-June and October-December. Lesser traffic means less litter, noise, people at the summit and competition for beds at the huts.

Day1

Arrival

Once you arrive at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya, you will be received by the Tranquil Kilimanjaro staff and be transferred to your hotel in Nairobi. Dinner and overnight at Comfort Inn Hotel or similar.

Day 2

Nairobi/Nanyuki

Early morning after breakfast and briefing you will leave Nairobi mid-morning and head to foothills and base camp for climbing Mount Kenya, Nanyuki arriving just in time for lunch. You will spend your afternoon here familiarising yourself with the surrounds in a bid to acclimatise. Dinner and overnight at the recommended hotel.

Day 3

Old Moses Camp - 3300m

After early morning hearty breakfast, we will drive to Sirimon Park Gate for paperwork and to meet your mountain crew before we officially begin our trek to the summit of Mount Kenya. After check-in, we begin hiking through the Rain Forest zone of the mountain for about 9 km to the first camp that we encounter along the trail, Old Moses camp (3300m). Dinner and overnight at Old Moses Campsite.

Day 4

Shiptons Camp - 4200m

Your mountain cook will prepare breakfast for you and after having breakfast, you leave Old Moses Camp at around 7:30 am in the morning crossing the Mackinders Valley towards Shiptons Camp (4200m). hiking takes a duration of about 6 to 7 hrs. Dinner and overnight at Shipton’s Camp.

Day 5

Point Lenana- Chogoria - 4,985m

We wake up rather earlier than usual as we make a summit attempt early just to make it to the summit in time for sunrise before the mid-morning cover hampers our quality time at the summit. At exactly or around 3:00 am we take a 3-hour trek to Point Lenana, otherwise known as “Climbers summit” at an elevation of 4985m arriving at 6:30 am in the morning. After sunrise and spending some time taking pictures, we make a descent to Mintos Hut for proper breakfast and later descend down through the Gorges valley to Chogoria Bandas and eventually the campsite. Dinner and overnight.

Day 6

Chogoria/Nairobi

We descend further down for another 32km to Chogoria gate after having breakfast (32km) to find tranquil kilimanjaro vehicles awaiting to transport us back to Nairobi. We leave Chogoria for nirobi City and we finally arrive to Nairobi in the evening. You will be dropped at your hotel for an after noon rest, a proper shower, then dinner and overnight at at Comfort in hotel or similar.

Day 7

Arrival – Arusha

Tranquil Kilimanjaro staff/representatives will transport you to the airport to catch a flight to Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro Airport for your Mount Kilimanjaro climb. Upon reaching Kilimanjaro International Airport, you will be transferred to Moshi, the closest town to Mount Kilimanjaro whereby you will be dropped at your hotel/lodge for a briefing and preparations for your Mount Kilimanjaro trek.  Dinner and overnight at Pink Flamingo/ Kilimanjaro Wonders or similar.

Marangu Route
The second part of your 2 weeks climb will use the Marangu route, one of the easier routes to climb Mount Kilimanjaro popularly known as the Coca-Cola route.

Total hiking distance: About 96 km’s on Marangu route
(Excluding any acclimatisation hikes on day 3)

Day 8

Marangu Gate (1980m) – Mandara hut (2700m)

5 hours hiking time | Distance: About 12 km’s | Habitat: Montane forest
Early morning after breakfast at your hotel. Tranquil Kilimanjaro driver will pick you up for a transfer from Moshi to the Kilimanjaro national park gate, the drive that goes through a few coffee plantations and the Marangu village usually takes a duration of 50 minutes.

At the park’s gate you will go through some paperwork and registrations concerning your trek. it is also a great opportunity to meet and greet your Mount Kilimanjaro climbing crew that includes your guide and porters. The porters are responsible for carrying your mountain equipment and food supplies plus the utensils. Double check to make sure that you have all the essential items in your daypack.

You Mount Kilimanjaro trek begins with an ascent cleared ridge trail traversing the rain forest zone which is characterised by mist and bearded moss, and home to the most number of wild animals on Mount Kilimanjaro.
Your first accommodation option along the trail is the Mandara hut, made up of a cluster of wooden A-shaped huts in a forest clearing. Each hut contains 6-8 dormitory styles bunk beds with solar-powered lighting. Mandara Hut has the capacity to accommodate 60 climbers at a time. There is the availability of piped water into the camp tapped from springs above and there are flush toilets (WC) behind the main hut.

Day 8

Mandara hut (2700m) – Horombo hut (3720m)

6 hours hiking time | Distance: About 15 km’s | Habitat: Moorland
From Mandara hut, the trail traverses a brief forest cover, then passes beneath the Maundi Crater and then ascends into the border of the rainforest zone to moorland. You can take a still to the rim of the Maundi crater to catch a spectacular view of the crater itself as the shine shines behind the towering Kibo peak showing off her majestic glaciers in the morning sun.

The trail continues up to an open field of the moorland zone that is characterized by medieval-like plants of the Giant lobelias and Scenecios a giant groundsel (Senecia Kilimanjari), which can grow up to 5m tall! After a good 6 hours of trekking, you reach the Horombo hut, your resting accommodation for the day. here at the Horombo Hut, you will have bath then rest for the rest of the evening, have dinner and overnight.

Day 10

Horombo hut (3720m) – Acclimatisation day

Day 10 of your two weeks tour which also happens to be the third day on Mount Kilimanjaro has the sole purpose of acclimatisation. you will spend an extra night here at Horombo to acclimatise by ascending to the Mawenzi Hut past the Zebra Rocks then descending back to the Horombo Hut to rest and sleep. This 3-hour ascent and 1.5 hours descent is meant to follow the acclimatisation rule of “climbing high and sleeping low”. Horombo hut is similar to Mandara hut only that Horombo has a larger capacity with the ability to accommodate about 120 climbers at a go. The share the same A-shaped design but Mandara hut is more lively with a huge turn out of climbers, guides and porters giving it a more adventurous and exciting feel.

N.B: To minimise altitude sickness symptoms, it is recommended that you drink as much water as possible, at least 4 litres or more a day. This day will give you the chance to rest early, get a good night rest as you prepare for the day ahead.

Day 11

Horombo hut (3720m) – Kibo hut (4700m)

6 hours hiking time | Distance: About 15 km’s | Habitat: Alpine desert
After breakfast, you leave camp to continue climbing up to the Alpine desert zone. From Horombo there are two trails to the “Saddle”, that is the area sandwiched between the two peaks  Mawenzi and Kibo. here you have two options, one trail is the upper route (right hand fork) while the other trail is the lower route (left-hand fork). Since you will have familiarised yourself with the upper route (right-hand fork) during the previous day on your way to the Mawenzi hut, it is a very eroded route with rock outcrops on the trail.
The other trail which we strongly recommend is the lower route (left-hand fork) which is easier and takes about one hour and it also passes the last watering point at an altitude of 4,130m above sea level. it plays a great role on the mountain as climbers often fill their water bottles which will come in handy for the rest of trek until you make a return back to Horombo Hut after two nights or you can alternatively buy mineral/bottled water at Kibo hut. Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is not a 100-meter sprint, treat it more like a marathon, climb slowly and always remember to drink as much water as possible. The stone-built Horombo Hut is perched on the barren Alpine desert zone and it has 60 bunk beds with the capacity to accommodate 60 climbers. Due to its location in the harsh alpine desert zone, the hut has no running water because streams are absent in the vicinity. You can still buy mineral water and refreshments at the camp office though.
There are basic platform toilets behind the hut. The summit is now within sight, at a mere elevation of 1,195m up and you wake up at around midnight to make a summit attempt. here it is a suitable moment and place to start preparing your essentials,  especially your mountain gear, ski-stick and thermal clothing for the summit attempt. You should also consider replacing the batteries to your headlamp/torch and camera, hope you have spare batteries as well, just incase as summiting usually begins in total darkness. To prevent freezing it advisable to consider carrying hot water in a thermal flask. Another thing to consider retiring to bed earlier, about 19h00 to get enough rest and sleep.

Day 12

SUMMIT ATTEMPT, Kibo hut (4700m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Horombo hut (3720m)

8 hours hiking time to Uhuru – 6 hours to descend to Horombo | Distance: 6 km’s ascent – 21 km’s descent | Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
You will wake up earlier than before at around 23h30, after some tea and snacks you begin the much dreaded final push to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro into the deep night. It is a challenging event that will test your willingness, stamina and perseverance. The first section of the trail is a terrain full of rock outcrops that leads to Hans Meyer Cave at an elevation of 5,150m, it is a great area to relax. The trail takes a zig zag ascent to Gillman’s point (5,681m), which lies on the crater rim. This section of the summit trek is a steep one filled with scree, a collection of rock fragments and it is a very demanding terrain that demands great physical and mental stamina, perhaps the most challenging part of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Slowly, slowly or as the locals say “Pole, Pole” is the way to do it.

You will come across snow from Gillman’s Point, until the summit at Uhuru peak (5,895m), the highest point in Africa. it is a challenging segment but worth it in the end, it is a satisfying feeling to reach the summit as you spend some time taking pictures and soaking in the achievement, it is time to give yourself a pat on the back, you have made it! Shortly afterwards, you get to descend for at least 3 hours to get back to Kibo hut. for a rest as you pack your belongings the continue to descend to Horombo hut for another 3 hours where you will get your dinner and spend the night, your last night on Mount Kilimanjaro for this 2 week Mount Kenya -Mount Kilimanjaro trek. The descent down to Horombo hut will seem surprisingly fast compared to the ascent. You will have spent a total of approximately 14 hours on this day trekking, so be prepared for a very tough day.

Day 13

Horombo hut (3720m) – Marangu Gate (1980m)

6 hours hiking time | Distance: About 27 km’s
This is your final day on Mount Kilimanjaro, expect to continue descending for at least 6 good hours after breakfast, passing the Mandara Hut, proceeding to the Marangu Gate where you will sign to check out as well as receive your Mount Kilimanjaro summit certificates. Climbers that reached to any of Kilimanjaro’s summit points the Gilman’s point and Uhuru peak are eligible for certificates only that those that ended their climb at Gillman’s Point (5685m) are awarded green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m), the main summit, receive gold certificates. You now drive back to your hotel in Moshi for a long over due hot shower, celebrations!! Dinner and overnight at your Moshi or Arusha Hotel.

Day 14

Departure

Today concludes your 2-week trek to Mount Kenya and Mount Kilimanjaro, you will be dropped at the Kilimanjaro Airport for your flight back home or you may opt for a safari or Zanzibar add-on.

The cost for the 14 days ( 2 weeks) trek to Mount Kenya & MOunt Kilimanjaro includes and excludes the following items

Mount Kenya & Kilimanjaro Price includes

Guarantee price/guarantee trek on confirmation

Transfers from/to Kilimanjaro Airport.

All ground transport and transfers as per the itinerary

Full board accommodation whilst on the trek

Sirimon/Chogoria route on Mount Kenya and Marangu route on Mt Kilimanjaro

Meal plan as described, B=Breakfast, L=Lunch and D=Dinner

Accommodation on the mountain in huts as shown.

Bed and breakfast accommodation in Nairobi and Arusha

All park entrance fees to include government taxes

Service of an English speaking professional driver/guide

Transfer to and from the base of the mountains

Service of an English speaking professional guide, porters and skilled cook

Start and finish Nairobi

Treated water on the trek.

On completion, successful climb certificate/s

Mount Kenya acclimatisation overnight at Mountain Rock Lodge on the base of Mt Kenya to include a walk to Mau Mau caves

Chemical toilet on the mountain

Group maximum of 12 climbers for personalised service

Price Excludes

Laundry, tips, sleeping bags, climbing gear and drinks

International flights and taxes

Emergency Oxygen, available on request at $200 per group (MUST BE REQUESTED IN ADVANCE)

Passports and Visas

Traveler’s insurance and medical evacuation insurance

Items of personal nature and any other extras not detailed in the above itinerary

Can you see Kilimanjaro from Amboseli?

Yes, you can view Mount Kilimanjaro clearly at Amboseli National Park. Amboseli is situated on the South and South-East of Kenya, just like the Kilimanjaro Mountain which is at the border of Amboseli in Kenya and Kilimanjaro region in Tanzania.

What is Kilimanjaro famous for?

Mount Kilimanjaro is most famous for being the highest mountain in Africa and the highest free-standing mountain in the world.

Can you see Kilimanjaro from Kenya?

Yes, Though located in Tanzania, Mount Kilimanjaro can be best viewed from Kenya’s Amboseli national park or Loitoktok town which is located at the border of Kenya and Tanzania

Can you view Mount Kilimanjaro from the Serengeti?

No, Mount Kilimanjaro is not visible from the Serengeti National Park but you stand a better chance seeing it if you take a hot air balloon and use a telescope because Serengeti is 324 km away from Mount Kilimanjaro.

Can you see Kilimanjaro from Arusha?

Yes, from Arusha, Kilimanjaro is not very far away, if you stand on a high building or on top of Mount Meru you can Mount Kilimanjaro when the sky is clear.

Can you see Kilimanjaro from Moshi?

Yes, Mount Kilimanjaro is very visible everywhere around Moshi town. In fact, it is the first thing you notice when you enter Moshi as Moshi is the closest town to Mount Kilimanjaro.

Where is the best view of Kilimanjaro?

The answer to this can be arguable, to be honest. Most people claim that Amboseli National park in Kenya offers the best view while others say it is more beautiful from Moshi Town in  Tanzania.

How much does it cost to climb Mount Kenya?

Mount Kenya climbing costs depend on a few factors. These are the number of days you will spend on the mountain, the number of people in your group among other factors. Currently, the entrance fees into the Mount Kenya National Park are $150 per adult for a three-day itinerary, $220 per adult for four days or $300 per adult for 5 days. This includes the entrance fee plus camping fees. 

Can you climb Mount Kenya?

Yes, you can climb Mount Kenya with the help of guides and porters. There are designated routes to the summits of Mount Kenya and each route can be accessed by all types of people, from first-timers to experienced mountain climbers.

What animals live on Mount Kenya?

There are many wild animals roaming around Mount Kenya and the Mount Kenya national park. They include, elephants, bushbucks, buffaloes, duikers etc.

Can you see Mount Kenya from Nairobi?

At an altitude of about 17,057 feet and being the second-highest mountain in Africa, Mount Kenya can be seen from Nairobi, on a clear sky but from the top of a tall building in Nairobi which is about 85 miles away.

How hard is it to climb Mt Kenya?

By comparison, MtKenya is easier to climb than Kilimanjaro because it is lower and you get to spend much less time in the cold, thin-air zone.

How many days does it take to climb Mt Kenya?

It would take you between 4 to 8 days to climb Mount Kilimanjaro depending on the route that you choose and your mountain climbing expertise.


How high is Mount Kenya?

The Elevation of Mount Kilimanjaro is 5,199 m above sea level from the base of the mountain to the peak.

Does Mt Kenya have snow?
Due to the high altitudes, the peak of Mount Kenya that lies on the alpine zone is constantly covered with snow and ice. This is mainly because of the sub-zero temperatures at the top that can fall to as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 degrees Celsius). 

How much higher is Mount Kilimanjaro than Mount Kenya?
Mount Kilimanjaro measuring 5,895 meters above sea level is about 695m higher than Mount Kenya, standing at 5,199 meters above sea.
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