Mt Kenya Trekking, Naro Moru Trail

Location Mt Kenya  Nationa Park and Mt Kenya Forest
Starting Point  Mt. Kenya National Park Naro Moru gate
Ending point Mt. Kenya National Park Naro Moru gate
Walking Duration 4 days
Terrain Forest, Bamboo, Alpine and snow
Difficulty Difficult
Elevation gain 2572m

The aim of this hike is to reach point Lenana on Mt Kenya.

This is arguably the most popular of the Mt Kenya trails. Perhaps this is on account of the good accommodation along the route or perhaps due to the short distance to the peak thus making it the fastest route to point Lenana. It is not all that scenic though. The final ascent to the peak is aided by the Olonana via ferrata. Of note on this route is the treacherous vertical bog on day two that can easily ruin ones morale once and if the boots get wet inside. The extremely steep trail on scree in day tree is a major trial.

The summit is easily reached in 4 days but an extra acclimatisation may be added either at the base, Naromoru River Lodge or Mackinder’s camp. For acclimatisation, most climbers begin the trek at the park gate, although it is possible to drive a vehicle up to and beyond the Met station (3050 metres).

Itinerary:

Day 1: Naro Moru Park Gate (2413masl) – Met Station (3050masl)
Time = 3-4 hrs, Walking distance = 9.5km, Altitude gain = 637m
The trek starts at the Mount Kenya National Park, Naro Moru Gate that is at an altitude of 2600m above sea level. The first stretch to the met station is through a motorable road with an occasional cutting of contours through the bamboo. This is a gentle 9.5 Kilometres trek that takes 3 – 4 hrs gaining an elevation of 450m and ends at Met station 3,000m.

Day 2: Met Station (3050masl) – Mackinder’s Camp (4300masl)
Time 5-6 hrs, Walking distance = 9.4km, Altitude gain = 1200m
The trek up to the UHF booster station is on a motorable gravel road through the bamboo zone. From the road head, it is a short walk in the rainforest that suddenly gives way to giant heather, tussock grass in the marshy vertical bog to arrive at the “Picnic Rocks” in time for lunch.

The terrain is tussock grass that gradually thins to alpine dessert all the way to Mackinder’s camp, gaining 1200m.

Day 3 (a): Mackinder’s Camp (4200masl) – Lenana Peak(4985)
Walking time 4hrs, Distance 5km, Elevation gain 785m
Wake at 2:00 am in order to launch an assault on point Lenana at 3:00 a.m. The trek takes you through Mackinder’s valley with the terrain mainly frozen scree and at times bare rock. You go past point John and Hans glacier and on to Austrian’s hut at 4790m. Expect snow and Ice. At the Austrian’s hut, you strip your luggage to a bare minimum and start kicking the snow to the peak an ascent of a further 200m. If all goes well, the 6km journey takes about 4 hrs and hikers target to be there at sunrise at 6:30 am for spectacular photos.

Day 3 (b): Lenana Peak (1985) – Met Station 11hrs, 11km, 785m ascent
Having summited, you descend down to Mackinder’s Camp for breakfast shedding 2hrs and then walk another 4hours to Met Station for dinner and overnight.

Day 4: Met Station (3050masl) – Naro Moru Forest gate (2600masl), 3hrs, 9km, 400m
After breakfast, you start your trek downhill for 9km through the rainforest to Naro Moru Park Gate.

Getting There
If driving, Naro Moru Town is to the west of Mt. Kenya and is easily identifiable in google maps near Nanyuki. The park gate is 18km from Town on an earth road.

If using public transport, take the Nanyuki matatus (from Accra Road, Tea Room area if in Nairobi). Arrange to meet your guide at Naro Moru bus station by calling them when the Matatu departs from your location.

Usually, the mountain guide would arrange your transfer from the Naro Moru town to the forest gate and back. Seen parking list

Having outdoor fun in Kenya