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Mt. Kenya

During the 16th and 17th centuries, the foothills of Mount Kenya became inhabited by various Bantu tribes including the Kikuyu, the Meru and the Embu, where the fertile soils and high rainfall suited their practice of intensive agriculture. By the 18th century the Kikuyu were the dominant tribe.

Mount Kenya was considered sacred to these tribes. To the Kikuyu, who called the mountain, Kirinyaga (meaning White Mountain), it was the home of their god, Ngai. Only tribal elders were allowed onto the mountain and the dead were buried facing the summit. The Kamba called the mountain Kee Nyaa (meaning Place of the Ostrich), from which the English name of the mountain (and the country) were probably derived. It was also sacred to the Maasai because they believe this is where the first Maasai couple descended with their cattle.

The first sighting of the mountain by a European was in 1849 by the German missionary, Ludwig Krapf, but his description of snow-capped peaks on the equator was largely dismissed until in 1883 the Scottish explorer, Joseph Thomson, confirmed Krapf's story. A few years later, Count Samuel Teleki cut his way through the forest and reached a point above the moorland on the south-west side of the mountain.

Batian was climbed in 1899 by the British mountaineer, Halford Mackinder (see right), the first man known to have been there. Mackinder named the three peaks after Maasai leaders. Nelion, the second highest peak but a much harder climb, was not ascended until 1929 by Eric Shipton.
4 days Naru-Moru out Naru-Moru
6 days Sirimon down Chogoria
5 days Sirimon out Naru-Moru
6 days Chogoria out Sirimon
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Rock Climbing

Mountain Cuisine: The menus for all climbs are specially prepared to provide a balanced diet of fresh fruit, vegetables, plenty of protein and carbohydrates. We have tried to choose food items that are easiest to digest at high altitude. Our cooks undergo extensive training and we have ongoing workshops to review menus. The cooks are particularly vigilant in  their hygiene practices as contracting stomach bugs is common for visitors to the developing world.

Dinners are typically a main course with vegetable and salad. Chicken and fish are served at some of the days during the climb, with pastas and rice dishes being served in the middle of the climb while up high. Lunches are often on the trail and usually consist of cold cuts and  vegetables laid out on a table so you can make your own sandwich. Fresh  hot vegetable soups are served at every meal, and packet soup is  available on request between meals as is coffee and tea. Breakfast is  your choice: granola, toast, fruit, eggs, and sometimes pancakes or French toast. While hiking some people have a favorite snack that they like; it is a good idea to bring this from home.

Fit to trek. The Machame Route is a strenuous, but not technical, climb and no mountain-climbing experience is necessary. But there's no avoiding the steep ascents and high altitudes that make robust physical fitness (and a minimum age of 16 years) a prerequisite for this trip. You'll want to consult your physician before undertaking this unforgettable adventure. Alternative independent itineraries. These include the more remote anddemanding Rongai, Shira, Umbwe and Western Breach routes - ask for details.

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