The South Eastern side of Mount Kenya is best explored using this 8-day trip beginning from Nairobi and the best time for this hike is during the trekking season of December, January and February. The typical trekking route begins at the Austrian Hut and is the most frequently used route on the southeast side of the mountain. It is the only route equipped with fixed abseil rings. Climbers set out from the Austrian Hut around 4:00 a.m., trekking across the Lewis glacier and up to the base, which takes approximately 2 hours. From the base, the climb is relatively simple with the first 3 pitches involving a running belay. After that, climbers encounter Mackinder’s Chimney, which can be challenging, with the Rabbit Hole serving as an alternative. Both pitches are classified as grade IV. The journey then leads to the One O’clock Gully, followed by another 4 easy pitches that lead to the Bailles’ Bivy.

From Mackinder’s Gendarme, the ascent will take you to the De Graph Variation, widely considered the most challenging portion of the climb at grade IV+. Here, the lack of secure holds and steps makes for a tough time, although the rugged rock surface does provide some traction, rated at grade V+. Following this, an easier grade III section leads to a tricky traverse of about 20 meters. After this, two more straightforward pitches will guide you to Nelion. If you are making the crossing to Batian, you will scramble 50 meters to an anchor, where you will secure a rope for the Gate of Mist crossing, followed by two brief 25-meter pitches to reach the summit of Batian.

To ascend the standard route, you will need specialized ice climbing gear such as crampons and an ice axe. The route consists of 18 pitches and is considered the most manageable way to reach Nelion and Batian. The optimal months for attempting the climb are December, January, and February.

Day 1

Nairobi – Old Moses Camp 3300 m (10,890 ft.)

Depart from Nairobi at 8:00 am for the journey to Nanyuki, with an average travel time of 4 hours. Next, continue to Mt Kenya National Park Sirimon gate. Enjoy a picnic lunch before embarking on a 10 km uphill trail. At the junction, take a left to arrive at Old Moses camp, located at an elevation of 3,300 m. The climb from Sirimon gate to Old Moses measures 690 m.

Day 2

Shipton’s Camp 4236 m (13,898 ft.)

Throughout the day, we will trek across the Liki Valley, passing through Mackinder Valley until we reach Shipton’s Camp. The journey will take approximately 7-8 hours, with a lunch break along the way. Once we arrive at Shipton’s Camp, you can take in the breathtaking views of the north faces of Nelion and Batian peaks. After a well-deserved dinner, you will spend the night camping at this picturesque location.

Day 3

Peak Circuit for Acclimatization Shipton’s Camp

Following breakfast, we begin our ascent on the peak circuit in order to aid in acclimatization. We will ascend to a steep ridge, passing through Kami Hut, Hausberg Col and Two Tarns Lake, which will take approximately 4 hours to walk through. The route offers stunning and picturesque scenery. We will then make our way back to Shipton’s Camp.

Day 4

Austrian Hut (Top Hut) 4700 m (15,510 ft.)

Today, we will journey to the Austrian Hut, situated to the east of Point Lenana. This will serve as your starting point for the ascent to Nelion.

Day 5

Point Lenana Summit 4985 m (16,355 ft.), Austrian Hut

At 2:00 am, we begin our day with a light meal of tea and biscuits as we prepare for the day ahead. Setting out at 3:00 am, our journey to the Lenana summit is challenging and requires perseverance, with some parts of the path being difficult to distinguish. The terrain is rugged, and we navigate through scree until we reach Harris Tarn. From there, we ascend the north face of Point Lenana, finally reaching the summit approximately 45 minutes later. The breathtaking sunrise is at 6:30 am, providing a stunning view and an opportunity for photos. Following this, we make our way down to the Austrian hut at 4700 m, which will serve as our base camp before the ascent to Nelion at 5100 m. It’s worth noting that experienced climbers have the option to continue on to the Batian summit in a single day.

Day 6

Nelion and Batian Summit 5199 m (17,257 ft.), Austrian Hut

By waking up early, we can get to the bottom of the path leading to the peak in approximately one hour. Crampons are typically worn to traverse the small glacier. The incline is not very steep, but the snow is usually quite hard. Refer to the technical information mentioned earlier. Walk through the Gate of Mist to reach the Batian summit. Take some time to commend yourself and admire the scenery. Subsequently, head back to Nelion and the Austrian Hut. The day of reaching the summit is quite long, lasting from 10 to 12 hours for the entire journey. Dinner and overnight accommodations are provided at the Austrian Hut.

Day 7

Met Station 3048 m (10,000 ft.)

Following breakfast, make your way down to the southern area to reach Met Station. Then, plan to stay overnight at this location.

Day 8


Keep strolling through the native woodland until you reach your ride back to Nairobi. Ultimately, you will reach Nairobi in the evening hours.

The cost for the whole 8 days Mount Kenya SE Route includes and excludes the following items

8 Days Mount Kenya Trek Price includes

All National Park fees

Camping & mountain Huts fees where applicable

Camping equipment EXCEPT sleeping bags, mattresses

English speaking guide(s)

Porters & Cook(s).

Meals while on the mountain (breakfast, lunch, dinner).

Transfers from and back to base hotel/lodge.

Pick up and drop off at either Nairobi airport, hotel or residence

Government taxes and local levies

Price Excludes

Tips & Gratuities

Meals/drinks not mentioned as included



Any increase in National Park fees or other fees/taxes charged by National Park and/or other government authorities.

Sleeping bag / mattress and other personal equipment (a limited selection of hire equipment is available – please pre-order).

7 days Mount kenya Sirimon - Chogoria route
Mount kenya trek
7 days Mount kenya Sirimon - Chogoria route