Welcome to Africa - Trekking, Safaris, & Rock Climbing (optional)
Please click one of the links below to view that section of the introductory information, or scroll down.
Africa Program Description:
Kilimanjaro / Mount Kenya / Safari combines a wide variety of mountain and safari travel at a reasonable price, allowing you to do and see quite a bit in just 20 days. Please review the individual trip information below for more about what this adventure entails.
Mount Kenya, the second highest peak in Africa at 5,199 metres/17,000 feet, is off the beaten tourist track, providing 8 days of pristine trekking, optional rock-climbing, and exploration .
- Mt. Kenya National Park: At its lower elevations, is a gorgeous montagne forest where many species of wild animals and birds abound. During the ascent, you enter alpine vegetation zones with myriad rare plants until, upon reaching the top, you discover a wind swept and gorgeous volcano with alpine lakes.
- Leader and staff: During the trek and climb, our experienced guide is with you all of the way. Our skillful cooks prepare delicious, fresh, tasty food and hot drinks at least 3 times a day. Friendly and helpful porters carry all of your personal equipment , group equipment, and set up camp each day, so you can relax and enjoy the trip.
- The trek: A unique and moderate summit circuit on easy trails. You do not have to walk on snow and the views of the high alpine scenery are superb.
- Optional rock climb: Perhaps the best climb in all of Africa; 16 to 22 pitches on excellent rock that is "climbable" and not difficult. Most of the climb is moderate scrambling. There are a few technical moves, but the steep sections are short. You should be able to follow (but not lead unless you really want to, as our leaders are professional climbers) grades up to: North American 5.7, British Severe, UIAA (French) 5, and Australian 14. Photo: Climbing some great African rock. (Felix Berg). back to top
Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in Africa at 5,895 metres/19,300 feet, is located in Tanzania; an easy and beautiful 9 day trek that offers something for everyone and is a rare opportunity to reach the summit on the uncrowded Umbwe walking route .
Kilimanjaro National Park: At the base of the mountain, the environment is beautiful and lush jungle, inhabited with wild birds and animals. As you trek up the mountain, the foliage changes and becomes more alpine. Arriving at the summit, you behold an active volcanic crater and small glacier.
Leader and staff: During the trek, our experienced guide is with you all of the way. Our skillful cooks prepare delicious, fresh, tasty food and hot drinks at least 3 times a day. Friendly and helpful porters carry your personal equipment , group equipment, and set up camp each day, so you can relax and enjoy the trip. Photo: A pleasant camp spot at 4,000 metres/13,000 feet. Bill Weber
The trek: A beautiful walk to Africa's highest summit. Kilimanjaro is on the equator with warm temperatures and is very accomplishable for the average person who enjoys hiking. The path we have chosen is off the beaten track, providing ample time to explore the mountain, the variety of foliage, and wildlife. Normally, you never step on snow and there is no climbing, only walking on easy trails. In case you wish to try higher mountains after this one, Kili is an excellent way to test yourself at altitude in a comfortable and warm environment, in order to learn how your body copes with 6,000 metres/19,000 feet. back to top
The Ngorongoro Lake Manyara Safari: Located in Tanzania's
Ngorongoro National Park, it is often referred to as the "Garden of Eden"; two days of exploring a wide open grassland dotted with accacia trees and a plethora of big game near the deep Ngorongoro volcanic crater and Lake Manyara.
- National Park: Famous for elephants, hippos, giraffes, rhinos, wildebeasts, zebras, gazelles and hundreds of exotic animals and birds. The site of a deep volcanic crater and the world's largest unbroken caldera, Ngorongoro Crater is the best self-contained safari destination in the world. Appreciate the increasingly hard to find sights and sounds of the unspoiled African bush, away from other tourists.
- Leader and Staff: Our friendly and expert driver will lead us in a purpose-built land-rover, a very safe and good vehicle for easy game viewing, through the rooftop, of wild animals inhabiting one of the most majestic landscapes in the world. During our safari, our experienced guide is with you all of the way. Our skillful cooks prepare delicious, fresh, tasty food and hot drinks at least 3 times a day. The helpful staff are there to ensure you can relax and enjoy the trip.
- Safari: Not only is this a rejuvenating rest between our two treks, but a rare opportunity to see stunning grasslands abundant with wildlife perched on the edge of the world-famous Ngorongoro Crater at the eastern edge of the Serengeti. In the evening, we will camp in comfortable lodges. Photo: Amboseli National Park, a herd of elephants in front of Kilimanjaro (Bill Weber). back to top
Who is this trip for?
Perhaps the best climb in all of Africa; 16 to 22 pitches on excellent rock that is "climbable" and not difficult. You should be able to follow (but not lead unless you really want to: our leaders are professional climbers) grades up to: North American 5.7, British Severe, UIAA (French) 5, and Australian 14. Most of the climb is moderate scrambling. There are a few technical moves; the steep sections are short.
Safari: For everyone who enjoys viewing wild game in the beautiful National Park, beneath Kilimanjaro. back to top
Please "click" one of the links on the column on the upper right of your screen under "Kilimanjaro/Kenya/Safari" to learn more about our expedition.
*Our “full-service” expedition includes:
- Leadership: Cost includes a very experienced and qualified British, European, or American leader (For 8-12 members) For smaller groups we provide a very experienced SummitClimb-trained Kenyan guide.
- National Park entrance fees;
- Camping fees;
- Crater service fees;
- Local English speaking guides;
- Porters for gear (one personal porter per person);
- Group gear: tents, dining tent, medical kit, radio gear;
- Cook and cooking facilities;
- 3 meals a day and water while camping;
- Meals during traveling;
- Hotel in Nairobi before and after tour (total 2 nights only);
- Hotels B/B during travel;
- Transport: Shuttle, Bus, Safari bus, 4x4 Landrover.
- Extra hotel nights Nairobi ($50 sharing double);
- Telephone bills, emailing costs and other personal expenses;
- Personal gear for hiking, climbing and camping;
- Alcohol, extra meals not included in itinerary;
*Hotel upgrade, single rooms and single tents are possible against modest surcharge.
Kilimanjaro, Mt. Kenya, and Safari Cost (all three trips combined):
- Full Service Cost $4950 (with Amboseli 2 day safari) or $5550 (with 4 day Serengeti safari).
- Full Service Cost: $2950 USD.
Mt. Kenya Summit Circuit Trek or Optional Rock Climb Only-
- Full Service Cost: $1850 USD.
- a) 650 USD (Amboseli 2 day safari)
- b) $1200 USD (Serengeti 4 day safari).
All costs are for groups of 6 or more. For smaller groups, a 25% surcharge may be applied.
Custom Kilimanjaro trips:
At any time we can organize Kilimanjaro tours on request for groups or individuals. The standard 9 day (7 days on the mountain/in the national park) itinerary led by local African leaders (without SummitClimb expedition leader) costs:
For groups of 3 or 4: $2950 USD
For groups of 4 of 5: $2600 USD
For groups of 6 to 9: $2350 USD
For groups of more than 10: $2000 USD
Extra costs for Summitclimb western leader and guide: $5500 USD fixed per group.
Custom Mt Kenya trips:
You can always join us on a trip to Mount Kenya.
If we do not have six or more members signed up – unfortunately that is the case up now- we can still run the trip with a 25% surcharge . That makes a cost of $1950 USD per person.
For groups of 4 to 5 we run the trip with SummitClimb leadership as advertised.
For groups of 1 to 3 we run the trip with local leadership*
*Felix, our man for Africa, trains the KWS (Kenyan Wildlife Service) mountain rescue team. He recruits the best rangers as technical guides, who then lead the tours and the climbing on Nelion an Batian.
Equipment Transport: Our expedition includes transport of all of your equipment from Nairobi to our destinations, and returned to Nairobi. While trekking and climbing on the mountain, we DO NOT ask our full-service members to carry heavy group equipment (although it is an option if you really want to), such as tents, rope, fuel, food, etcetera. We employ porters to carry group equipment and supplies.
Cooks and Food: On the trek our skilled trekking cooks provide delicious meals. Our skillful and hard working cooks prepare three hot meals each day with a very healthy diet of fresh vegetables, cheeses, eggs, and fresh as well as tinned fruits, meats and fish (all meats and fish are prepared separately out of respect for the vegetarians in our midst). They supply you with unlimited hot-drinks, the key to successful acclimatization. On the mountain we provide you with abundant and nutritious locally available quick-cooking food, so that you may prepare at least three meals and lots of hot drinks each day, in our specially designed high-altitude stoves using our butane-propane expedition mix fuel.
Group Equipment: We provide a plethora of top-quality, and time-tested equipment, group gear, and supplies, including: rope, ice, rock, and snow anchor protection; basecamp, advanced basecamp and altitude tents; cookers, fuel, high-altitude food, walkie-talkie radios, bamboo marker wands, etcetera. Please see the above EQUIPMENT link, to study what we bring for your use and safety.
Staff: Our staff, working together through local agencies, are hospitality experts and have, for many years, been arranging overland tours, safaris, raft trips, treks, mountain climbs, trek support staff, cooks, peak climbing permits, satellite phone permits, video and film-making permits, translators, liaison officers, porters, helicopter flights, air tickets, equipment purchase/hire, storage, import/export, shipping, customs clearance, transport bookings, advance hotel bookings, visas, repatriations, and permits.
Safety: BOTH full-service and basic expeditions are allowed access to our extensive communications equipment, medical supplies, first-aid kits, and medical oxygen in case of emergency. Thank you for being a well-prepared and safe team member! back to top
* Our "basic climb" includes:
- Organization: With local agency;
- National Park entrance fees and all permit fees;
- A walkie-talkie radio is provided to stay linked-in with the leader of the full service expedition while on the mountain;
- Camping fees;
- Transport: Bus, Safari bus, 4x4 Landrover. back to top
Matthew hiking at the top of the Western Breach on Kili. D.L.Mazur
High end relaxation after the mountain?
***Zanzibar (3 nights, 4 days) ****service:
1) Flight to Zanzibar. Transfer to hotel Emerson & Green. City tour of the 800 year old stone town, which is historically known for its spices and as being a gold trading center;
2) Drive to Club Breezes or Club Blue on the beach, which are both top end resorts with endless white beaches on the Indian ocean;
3) Relax on the beach, snorkeling, swimming or spa;
4) Afternoon flight back to Nairobi or Kampala.
Prices Per Person:
***Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater Safari(2 nights, 3 days):
- Single: Available upon request.
- Double sharing: Available upon request. back to top
1) After breakfast depart to Serengeti stopping on the way at Olduvai Gorge, the archaeological site made famous by Louis and Mary Leaky, also known as, "The Cradle of Humankind". Lunch and afternoon game drive in Serengeti untill 6:30 p.m., dinner, and overnight at Seronera camp site or Sope/Serena Lodge;
2) Full day game drive in Serengeti until 2:30 p.m. Then we will drive to Ngorongoro for dinner with a stay overnight at Simba Campsite or Sopa/Serena Lodge;
3) Breakfast and departure for a full day game drive discovering the beauty and abundance of wildlife permanently residing on the crater floor until 3:00 p.m. and then drive to respective destinations.
Prices Per Person:
- Camping Available upon request.
- Luxury Lodging Single: Available upon request.
- Double sharing: Available upon request (Min 3 people, without transfer from Kampala to Safari and back). back to top
Please click one of the links below to view that section of our Africa Expedition daily itinerary or scroll down.
Note: This is a proposed schedule, which has been developed through previous trips. The actual itinerary of your trip can differ depending on such factors as weather and local conditions. For example, the trip may finish earlier than these dates, or we may need every single day of the schedule. Thank you for being patient and flexible when coming to a foreign country like Kenya and Tanzania.
1) Arrival in Nairobi.
2) Drive 3 hours to Rongai Gate, then start walking to Simba
Camp at 2650 metres/8700 feet (3 hrs). The walk is initially through plantations, then rain forest and finally bush country. Dinner and overnight at Simba Camp.
3) Trek to the 2nd Cave at 3450 metres/11,300 feet, (3 hrs). A gentle day trekking through bush and heather. Dinner and overnight at Cave 2 campsite.
4) Depart after breakfast for a gentle rising traverse through
moorland over several ridges to Kikelewa Caves, 3600 metres/11,800 feet (3 hrs).
5) Depart to Mawenzi Tarn Hut, 4330 metres/14,200 feet (3 hrs). Lunch, dinner and overnight at Mawenzi Tarn Hut.
6) Full day acclimatization at Mawenzi Tarn Hut (photo right: Our trek leader, Elselien, trekking up the trail to Umbwe Cave at 2900 metres/10,000 feet
7) Trek to Kibo Hut for lunch, dinner and overnight.
8) Very early start for the summit on steep scree up to Gillman's Point (5681 metres/18,630 feet), which is on the crater rim. Continue around the rim (which will take about two hours) to Uhuru Peak (5895 metres/19,330 feet), the highest point in Africa. Descend to Kibo Hut for tea and biscuits or soup and then down to the thicker air and warmth of Horombo Hut.
9) After breakfast descend further down to Mandara for a hot lunch, then proceed to the Marangu Park gate where you will be picked up and taken back your hotel in town. back to top
1) Early morning hiking or climbing, then drive to Nainjuki at the base of Mt. Kenya; the starting point for the Sirimon route up Mount Kenya. Camping overnight near Old Moses (3000 metres/10,000 feet) (Photo right by Cheryl Goodwin - Good2GoPhotography.com (all rights reserved) : Our team member Peterson enjoying the view of Teleki Tarn.
2) Traverse, crossing Ontulli Stream, to reach Mackinders valley. After about four hours hike we reach our campsite near the half-demolished Leki North Hut (3900 metres/12,800 feet).
3) Continue up Mackinder’s Valley to reach the Shipton Hut and our campsite (4100 metres/13,400 feet) at the base of the northern slopes of Mount Kenya’s main peaks Bation and Nelion.
4) Rest day at Shipton’s Camp. Optional small hikes to the surrounding hills or "Icey Mike" (a famous elephants skeleton) or catch up on some climbing skills on the near by cliffs.
5) Hike around the main peaks of the mountain past two Tarns, over the Hausburgs Col into the valley and through Arthur's Seat, to Mackinder’s Hut in the Teleki Valley.
Climb Option 1: Climbing Bation via North Face Standard route (photo left: View of the main peaks, Batian and Nelion (Dan Mazur).
Climb Option 2: Climbers hike to "Austrian Hut"
15) Trek up to Point Lenana at 4950 metres/16,200 feet (the highest hiking point on the mountain). We will arrive at the point at sunrise and walk back down stopping at Austrian Hut for breakfast. We will later walk to “Minto’s hut” in Chogoria Valley for the night.
Climb Option 1: Climbing Bation, bivouac, and back to "Minto's Hut".
Climb Option 2: Rock climbing Nelion via the southeast ridge standard route.
6) Hike down the mountain using the Chogoria track. We end up at Chogoria Bandas from where we will drive to a nearby lodge for overnight.
7) Drive back to Kenya (Nairobi). Depart that night for home (unless you plan to stay an extra day). The shuttle bus will get you to the airport around 7:00 p.m. and flights generally depart around 11:00 p.m. back to top
Optional Ngorongoro Lake Myanyara Safari:
1) Optional: extra day in Nairobi if you feel it's necessary or go on safari.
Leave Nairobi after breakfast to Serengeti stopping on the way at Olduvai Gorge, the archaeological site made famous by Louis and Mary Leaky, also known as, "The Cradle of Humankind". Lunch and afternoon game drive in Serengeti untill 6:30 p.m., dinner, and overnight at Seronera camp site or Sope/Serena Lodge;
2) Full day game drive in Serengeti until 2:30 p.m. Then we will drive to Ngorongoro for dinner with a stay overnight at Simba Campsite or Sopa/Serena Lodge;
3) Breakfast and departure for a full day game drive discovering the beauty and abundance of wildlife permanently residing on the crater floor until 3:00 p.m. and then drive to respective destinations. back to top
Kilimanjaro only itinerary (Not combined with Mt Kenya)
Day 1- Arrive in Tanzania. Arrive in Arusha, Kilimanjaro International Airport, then transfer to Hotel for overnight stay (nights / F).
Day 2 - Kilimanjaro Trekking - 1.Rongai camp From the hotel ride on a private bus through a region with lush vegetation, coffee and banana plantations on the north side of Kilimanjaro. By forest area we continue to Nale Moru, the starting point for the ascent. A narrow path along the corn and potato fields into forests and with a little luck we can observe wild animals there too. Finally, we leave the forest belt and reach the camp in the transition from forest to moorland near the Rongai cave. Journey time approx. 3 hours walking time approx 3-4 hrs. Overnight tent / VP (2600m).
Day 3 - Kilimanjaro Trekking - Kilelwa stock Equally, the path pulls up to the second cave to around 3450m, always show up in the formed of lava landscape small caves. After lunch we leave the main path and walk across the moorland towards Mawenzi. Finally, we reach the camp near the Kikelewa Caves in the sheltered valley a fascinating backdrop. Walking time 5-7 hours. Overnight tent / VP (3600m).
Day 4 - Kilimanjaro Trekking - Mawenzi Tarn Today's stage is very steep, but short. Grass covered slopes lead in a high alpine, virtually no vegetation zone. The fantastic panoramic view rewards the effort of the climb to camp near the Mawenzi Tarn, a small lake at the foot of the dominant rock spiers of Mawenzi, the 5149m high neighbouring Kilimanjaro. Walking time 3-4 hours. Overnight tent / VP (4300 m).
Day 5 - Kilimanjaro - Mawenzi Tarn rest day Optional short hikes offers wonderful views of Mawenzi. Overnight tent / VP (4300m)
Day 6 - Kilimanjaro Trekking - School Hut A wide, desert-like and reminiscent of lunar landscape level crosses the saddle between Mawenzi and Kilimanjaro to the next camp at School Hut. In the afternoon, the equipment is placed ready for the next day and everything is prepared. An early dinner followed by a sleep before shortly after midnight heading for the summit climb. Walking time approx. 4-5 hours overnight hut (VP, 4800m)
Day 7 • Kilimanjaro climb Midnight head for the summit. The summit day is the steepest and most demanding part of the tour. In light of the headlamp we leave as a group. You will be accompanied by local guides and expedition leaders who communicate with each other in radio contact. We can optionally allow for individual groups that run their own pace. We follow a gravel road which becomes steeper upward, rising to become more difficult. This takes approx. 4-6 hrs. To Gilman's Point at 5685 m, at the summit crater where the terrain is flat. Only 200 meters altitude, about 1-2 hrs further. To the main summit, Uhuru Peak at 5895 m, the highest point in Africa. Walking time: about 9-12 hours (6-8 hours ascent, descent 3-4 hours.. .) Overnight tent / VP (3950m / 3760m)
Day 8 • Kilimanjaro trekking - Descent Despite the long but not very strenuous descent we have time to admire and photograph the landscape and flowers. Back at the Marangu Gate it's time to say goodbye to guides and porters. Then we drive to the hotel and you will be rewarded for the summit success with a certificate of the National Park. Walking time approx 3-4 hrs., takes about 1 hr., Hotel (Nights / F).
Day 9 • flight back home or onward
Thank you for joining our African Expedition
Please click one of the links below to view that section of our Africa Expedition route description or scroll down.
The proposed itinerary allows enough time for proper acclimatization and rest days, where the cooks and staff can look after all of your needs, and quell your appetite. The weather is normally quite good and stable for both times of year we offer this trip. There are also several options to extend your stay with other adventures in Africa (Rwenzori), as well as high-end realxation . (photo: Cheryl Goodwin - Good2GoPhotography.com (all rights reserved). back to top
Arriving in Nairobi-
You will be picked up from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and taken to your hotel, which is situated in an area with perfect contact to the city. We will have a welcome dinner arranged so that the members of the group may get acquainted with one another, as well as having a bit of orientation over how the trip will be operated.
The following day is a rest day for you to spend enjoying the quiet atmosphere of the surrounding areas and explore Nairobi, do some shopping, and try some of the numerous local restaurants.
Kilimanjaro is on the equator with warm temperatures and is very accomplishable for the average person who enjoys hiking. The path we have chosen is off the beaten track, providing ample time to explore the mountain, the variety of foliage, and wildlife. Normally, you never step on snow and there is no climbing, only walking on easy trails. At the base of the mountain, the environment is beautiful and lush jungle, inhabited with wild birds and animals. As you trek up the mountain, the foliage changes and becomes more alpine. Arriving at the summit, you behold an active volcanic crater and small glacier.
Our trek leader, Elselien, trekking up the trail to Umbwe Cave at 2900 metres/10,000 feet (Arnold Coster). Barranco Hut, a pleasant camp spot at 4000 metres/13,000 feet. We sleep in tents most of the time, and a cook prepares our meals. The huts are not as nice as our tents, which are clean and private (Dan Mazur).
After breakfast in Moshi, we will drive about 15km to Mt. Kilimanjaro National Park using the Umbwe Park gate. We will then take the Umbwe Route (remotely used) to Umbwe Cave. The first part of the hike is through an old road followed by a deep tropical rain forest leading to the cave at 2900 metres/10,000 feet. We will then camp at the cave.
From here we hike to "Barranco Hut" situated at 4000 metres/13,000 feet. The route we take leads eastwards down the valley where all the glacial streams converge. It is also filled with plenty of green vegetation and we get to see the famous “Giant Heather”. We will end the day at Barranco and spend the night.
The team walks to Arrow Glacier. The route to western breach continues up the Umbwe Ridge which becomes the western lateral morraine of the Barranco. The Arrow Glacier is situated west of the Little Arrow Glacier at about 4800 metres/15,700 feet. Here we will get to enjoy the fascinating views of the Bridge Wall. Hike from the Arrow Glacier, up the Western Bridge to the Mt. Kilimanjaro Crater. We will camp here for the night as we enjoy the breathtaking sunset. back to top
Our team member posing on the summit of Kilimanjaro (Arnold Coster). Our team on the summit of Kilimanjaro at Stella Point. From left to right: Bill, Frank, Stacy, Preston, Felix, and Isaac (Felix Berg).
The final leg of the trek is an easy and short hike to Uhuru Peak (the highest point of Africa).This gives the most amazing view of the sunrise over the savanna grasslands. We will later walk down to Mweka Hut.
We head back down to Mweka Park Gate using the Mweka Route. The route is not as scenic as Umbwe Route, but it is easier and will lead us to the gate where we will be picked up. We will then drive to the town of Arusha and sleep over there.
Mt. Kenya: Chogoria Route-
The trip commences with an early morning drive past the towns of Thika and Embu. This is a three hour drive that leads to the town of Chogoria and on to Mt. Kenya National Park. Depending on the conditions of the roads, we will drive up as far as possible, leave the cars, and then hike up the mountain. We will spend the first night at “Chogoria Bandas”, which is in the park at 3000 metres/9800 feet.
This being a day on the mountain, we hike gently along an old road to reach the trailhead, which is situated next to a nearby stream with an astonishing little waterfall. We will camp here for the night. back to top
We take the route to "Hall Tarns", crossing a stream leading to the “Thirteen Zigzags” at 3700 metres/12,100 feet. The route goes to the west side of the Nithi Gorge, taking us to "Hall Tarns" at 3400 metres/11,200 feet. From there we drop into the Nithi Gorge, which is possibly the most fascinating area on the whole of Mt. Kenya. We will camp on a romantic, wild, and beautiful spot right next to Lake Michaelson. You can try some fishing if you bring equipment or go for a somewhat cold swim if you are feeling brave. (photo: Felix Berg)
We will hike past some amazing 300 metre/1000 foot rock cliffs off the "Temple Fields", where we meet up with the Summit Circuit Route, heading on up to "Minto’s Hut", located at 4300 metres/14,100 feet. This is an excellent camping place on the plateau overlooking Lake Michaelson (300 metres/1000 feet below). We will stay at the same site and enjoy the spectacular views of the Nithi Gorge, which can be seen by walking to the edges.
Very early in the morning the trekking group will hike up to Point Lenana at 4950 metres/16,200 feet (the highest hiking point on the mountain and 3rd highest summit). Arriving at the point at sunrise, we will walk back down, stopping at "Austrian Hut" for breakfast. We will later walk to “Shipton’s Hut” for the night.
The trekkers will hike around the main peaks of the mountain, past the Two Tarns. Going over the Hausburgs Col, through the Hausburg Valley, we will arrive at "Mackinder's Hut". This spot provides a magnificent view of the rock faces of the mountain.
Hiking up toward Tarn Hill on Mt Kenya during our January expedition (Cheryl Goodwin - Good2GoPhotography.com (all rights reserved). Peter Horsey, top Kenyan climber on the Mackinder's boulders (Dan Mazur). Our team member Peterson enjoying the view of Teleki Tarn (Cheryl Goodwin - Good2GoPhotography.com (all rights reserved).
Taking another rest day on the mountain, you may explore the Teleki Valley, which offers plenty of beautiful hikes along it's ridges and hills.
We will hike down the mountain using the Naro Moru track which provides the easiest way to the northern sides of the central peaks. It is the quickest descent of the mountain with a good view over the plains surrounding Mt. Kenya. We will end up at the Park Gate Headquarters in time for pick up and drive to some basic and comfortable shelter at th base of the mountain or maybe even back to Nairobi. back to top
Mt. Kenya: Optional Rock Climb of Nelion-
For our January optional rock climb, we will attempt Nelion Peak on Mt Kenya (second highest peak on the mountain). From Minto's Hut, our group will break from the trekkers for a few days before rejoining the rest of the team. Climbers will go to "Austrian Hut" the day the trekkers go to Point Lenana. The next day, the rock climbers will begin their climb of Nelion via the southeast ridge standard route.
The route begins in a small ampitheatre at 4800 metres/15,700 feet, above the Lewis Glacier, straight across from the Austrian Hut. The first few pitches lead to an uneven ledge where we rope up. From here we ascend to the base of Mackinder's Chimney. Climbing to the right of the chimney up a crack, we get to One O'Clock Gully (photo right: Cheryl Goodwin - Good2GoPhotography.com (all rights reserved).
We go up the gully and on for several pitches to Baillie's Bivy, a small metal hut sitting on Nelion's South Ridge. We cross the South Ridge onto rock ledges above the Upper Darwin Glacier. From here we ascend the notch between Mackinder's Gendarme and the upper South Ridge to a broad, flat, white-covered ledge. There is a chimney here that leads to the final pitch to the summit of Nelion (5189 metres/17,000 feet), which is fairly moderate. Howell Hut sits upon the summit and is a good place to bivy for climbers crossing the Gate of the Mists to the summit of Batian.
Returning to Shipton's Hut that night, we meet up with the rest of the team before heading out the next day. back to top
Mt. Kenya: Sirimon/Chogoria Route-
Upon leaving Nairobi, we will have an early morning drive (2 hours) to Lake Naivasha, where large amounts of flamingo reside, next to which, Hell’s Gate National Park is situated. We will wander around the volcano formations of the park, which has hot springs and gentle wildlife. There are 200 metre/650 foot high cliffs, which offer opportunities for rock climbing practice for Mt. Kenya for those who may be interested (photo right: Dan Mazur).
After some early morning hiking or climbing we will drive to Nainjuki at the base of Mt. Kenya; the starting point for hiking the Sirimon route up the mountain. We will camp overnight near Old Moses (3000 metres/10,000 feet).
The next day we follow a slightly rising traverse, crossing Ontulili Stream to reach Mackinder's Valley. After about a four hour hike we reach our campsite near the Liki North Hut (3900 metres/12,800 feet).
Felix, one of our great Africa leaders, and team member Sylvia, practicing on a boulder before our ascent of Mt. Kenya (Arnold Coster).
We continue up Mackinder's Valley, leaving the stone formation of Tereri and Sendeyo on our left. After we pass Shipton’s caves we reach the Shipton Hut and our campsite (4100 metres/13,400 feet) at the base of the northern slopes of Mount Kenya’s main peaks Bation (5199 metres/17,050 feet) and Nelion (5189 metres/17,000 feet).
We will take a nice rest day at Shipton’s Camp, where you can take optional small hikes to the surrounding hills, go visit "Icey Mike" (a famous elephant's skeleton) or practice your climbing skills on the nearby cliffs.
After our free day, we will hike around the main peaks of the mountain past Two Tarns. Going over the Hausburgs Col into the Hausburg Valley, we pass through Arthur's Seat and end up at Mackinder's Hut in the Teleki Valley. We will have a magnificent view of the rock faces of the mountain from here.
Very early in the morning the trekking group will hike up to Point Lenana at 4950 metres/16,200 feet (the highest hiking point on the mountain and 3rd highest summit). Arriving at the point at sunrise, we will walk back down, stopping at "Austrian Hut" for breakfast. We will later walk to “Minto’s Hut” in the Chogoria Valley for the night.
The next day we will hike down the mountain using the Chogoria track which provides magnificent views of the Nithi Gorge with the 300 metre/1000 foot vertical cliff called "The Temple" with Lake Michaelson below, as well as some waterfalls and other lakes at Hall Tarns at 3600 metres/11,800 feet. We end up at Chogoria Bandas, where we will drive to a nearby lodge and stay overnight. back to top
Mt. Kenya: Optional Rock Climb of Batian-
For our August optional rock climb, we will attempt Batian Peak on Mt Kenya (highest peak on the mountain). From Shipton Hut, our group will break from the trekkers for a few days before rejoining the rest of the team to begin their climb of Batian via the northeast standard route,'
The climbing begins after a short traverse up to the gully between Krapf Rognon and the main peak. A circle with a cross is chipped into rock at the start of the route.
A short climb brings us to a couloir that we follow up for several pitches to a right-facing corner on easy slabs. From here we ascend to a series of easy, grassy ledges below a wall. Traversing up to a steep chimney, we climb to a large hanging amphitheatre that looks down on both the north and east sides of the mountain. We will bivouc here for the night.
After packing up camp in the morning, we traverse up a gully to Firmin's Tower. Moving between and up several cracks, we attain the top of the tower. Climbing over to another wall, we go up into another smaller amphitheatre, before moving up to reach the West Ridge. Traversing left, we reach Shipton's Notch and continue up and over several ledges to reach the summit of Batian (5199 metres/17,050 feet), the second highest peak in Africa.
Returning to Minto's Hut that night, we meet up with the rest of the team before heading out the next day. back to top
Amboseli National Park is located at the Kenyan-Tanzanian border. We will drive down to Namanga after leaving Mt Kenya and then over to the park, famous for elephants, hippos, giraffes, rhinos, wildebeasts, zebras, gazelles and hundreds of exotic animals and birds. There are wonderful views of Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa, rising above the savannah grasslands. Appreciate the increasingly hard to find sights and sounds of the unspoiled African bush, away from other tourists. In the evening, we will camp under Acacia trees in a special campground in the center of the park guarded by Masai-warrior park-wardens.
Not only is this a rejuvenating rest between our two treks, but a rare opportunity to see stunning grasslands abundant with wildlife in the shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
We will have another early morning big game safari drive through the park and in the afternoon go back to Namanga and on to Tanzania. We will drive to Moshi (a town at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro) where will have dinner and spend the night in a hotel (photo right: Bill Weber). back to top
Ngorongoro Lake Myanyara Safari-
After breakfast we depart to Serengeti, stopping on the way at Olduvai Gorge, the archaeological site made famous by Louis and Mary Leaky, also known as, "The Cradle of Humankind". Lunch and afternoon game drive in Serengeti untill 6:30 p.m., dinner, and overnight at Seronera camp site or Sope/Serena Lodge.
Full day game drive in Serengeti until 2:30 p.m. Then we will drive to Ngorongoro for dinner with a stay overnight at Simba Campsite or Sopa/Serena Lodge.
Breakfast and departure for a full day game drive discovering the beauty and abundance of wildlife permanently residing on the crater floor until 3:00 p.m. and then drive to respective destinations.
We finally drive back to Kenya (Nairobi) crossing over the border at Namanga. In Nairobi we will spend the night at the hotel and have a final dinner celebration together. Team members depart to their respective destinations the next day. back to top
Thank You for joining our Kilimanjaro, Kenya, & Safari Trek.
Please scroll down to read our Reviews
Here is what Bhav had to say about her Mt Kilimanjaro trek 2016
I honestly wasn't sure what to expect as this was my first such experience. But I can say that I found it kind of therapeutic (everyone laughs when I say this)! But honestly, I had a wonderful experience with the team from the start to the summit & back
The SummitClimb Staff were all amazingly supportive and encouraging, and I have no complains at all. I had heard people saying to me you won't like the food as you go up, but the SummitClimb cook was a star and cooked amazing nutritious meals. The millet porridge and sukumawiki were my Fav :)
The porters were amazing in their part. Admire them for what they do!
The SummitClimb leader was like a climbing partner in the form of a guide. Informative, supportive & a wonderful person to have shared an amazing expedition with.
To be honest I couldn't tell you what to change as what I experienced was amazing. I personally believe that to enjoy nature one has to be in sync with her. So everything was just perfect as far as I am concerned:)
Overall it was a wonderful experience trekking up Kilimanjaro & getting to finally see that part of nature so closely. Thank you to the team of Summitclimb
Here is what Mary says:
Once again , a big thank you for a wonderful experience on stunning Mt Kenya , and attempt on Batian ,a very well organised safari, and THE ONLY ascent route on Kilimanjaro! Umbwe Route is so spectacular, you are right to keep it a secret!!
Hope Mt Elbrus went well for all of you ....It's on my bucket list, and I'll join you soon again and climb it with you.
Have a safe season.
Best wishes, Mary
.View on Kili from Simba Camp. Photo by Arnold Coster .Mackinder’s valley on Kili. Photo by Arnold Coster.
Here is what Jack from California had to say about our Kilimanjaro/Mt. Kenya/Safari:
"The leaders made considerable efforts to insure a great climb on Kenya and memorable trekking of the Circuit Route around the massif. Climbing guides especially were all amazing in knowledge of mountain craft, experience and patience.
Thank you for a really great time on Mt. Kenya. Everything went so smoothly, almost like it was too easy! Even the weather cooperated.
I was able to make the summit in the company of clients and guides from all over the world; Canada, Germany, Holland, Kenya and the US. The backgrounds among all the people here are equally as varied and interesting."
Arnold watching Andrew belay on the Point Peter practice climb. Photo by Jonathan Barbero.How close! photo by Jonathan Barber
Here is what Nicola from Australia, now living in London, had to say:
"It was an amazing time, one I do not wish to forget in a hurry. Words cannot describe my experience in Africa. I thought the other team members were great and everyone seemed to really enjoy the safari."
Here is what Sylvia from Victoria, Canada, had to say:
"Thank you for a very enjoyable and successful trip. I think it was really good."
Here is what Paul from Chicago, had to say:
"I had a great time and the trip was awesome."
Here is what Cheryl from Vancouver, had to say:
"I really enjoyed it. I am very glad that we had the chance to stay on Mt. Kenya. The trek and time spent there was amazing."
Andrew and Jonathan on the summit of Point Peter 4900m / 16,000 feet. Photo by Arnold Coster. Lion cub resting on a branch in Masai Mara national park. Photo by Jonathan Barbero.
Here is what Wayne from Vancouver had to say:
"The trip was really very well done and I commend SummitClimb on the flexiblility they are able to bring, allowing people to all try to reach their goals in their own way."
Here is what Kelly from Chicago had to say:
"The camaraderie is great and the SummitClimb guides are great team-builders. back to top
We take our member's Reviews, feedback and testimonials seriously. These help us to refine and make our Africa expeditions a successful, safe, and enjoyable experience for our future teams.
Below is a detailed list of clothing, shoes, equipment, and other items you need to bring for Kilimanjaro, Mt Kenya, and Safari.
We encourage members to bring all of their equipment with them to Nairobi and not hire/purchase it there, as the prices can be quite outrageous or the items may be impossible to find.
At the bottom is a description of team equipment we bring for you (click link below to go directly to that section of the personal equipment list or just scroll down).
When you fly to Africa you can bring as much as the airline will allow. On trek, your bag is going to be limited to 18 kg/40 pounds, but you can store the remainder of your items at the hotel.
Weather-In town and on the safaris the weather is usually very comfortable. In general the evenings are between 10-15 degrees Celsius or 50-60 Fahrenheit, with days sometimes around 25 c/80 f.
Weather Conditions near the base of the mountain tend to be tropical to semi-temperate and are relatively stable all year round. The lower plains are hot and dry with average temperatures of around 30 c/85 f.
Higher up the mountain, temperature extremes tend to be far more drastic and the variation between daytime and night time temperature becomes more and more apparent. At night the temperatures at most camps drops to around freezing, sometimes below. Once the sun comes over the peaks it usually warms up to a comfortable 15-20 c/60-70 f.
Kilimanjaro and Mt Kenya trekking equipment:
Mt. Kenya optional rock climb (in addition to the trekking equipment listed above):
Group Equipment we bring for you:
Please go to our personal & team equipment section of the "Kili/Kenya/Safari Questions" for additional information and detailed discussion of the equipment lists below.
Where should I purchase my equipment?
Please "click here" to view our list of recommendations on where to purchase kit from our Kili/Kenya/Safari Frequently Asked Questions.
- Wind/waterproof/breathable jacket;
- 1 lightweight down/duvet jacket or synthetic fill jacket;
- 1 medium weight polar fleece jacket;
- 1 long sleeve polypropylene shirt, lightweight;
- Umbrella (optional);
- 2 cotton t-shirts and 1 long sleeve cotton shirt for wearing in town or safari. back to top
- Warm mitts or gloves with wind/waterproof cover;
- 1 pr thin polypropylene liner glovers.
- Warm hat;
- Sun hat, plus cotton head‑scarf or "bandana";
- Head torch, with extra batteries and lamps/bulbs;
- Sunglasses. back to top
- 1 pr wind/waterproof/breathable trousers, salopettes, or bibs. Full side zips are a plus;
- 1 pr medium weight polar fleece trousers;
- 1 pr very lightweight polypropylene/thermal leggings;
- 1 pr non-cotton walking trousers;
- 1 pr cotton trousers for wearing in town or safari;
- Cotton underwear briefs. back to top
- 1 pr sturdy leather walking boots or trail shoes (make sure they are "broken‑in");
- Light comfortable running shoes or trainers for wading streams or wearing in town / safari;
- 2 pr thick non-cotton walking socks;
- 2 pr thin non-cotton liner socks;
- 2 pr cotton socks. back to top
- Sleeping bag for ‑10 centigrade (15 Fahrenheit);
- 2 normal thickness foam karimats or 1 thick mat. Full length, non-inflatable are best. back to top
Rucksack and Travel Bags-
- Rucksack, small or medium (maximum 50 litre/3,050 cubic inches). You will carry this small bag;
- Waterproof rucksack cover (optional);
- Travel, kit, or duffel bag with lock, (80‑100 litre/5,000-6,000 cubic inches). Your porter will carry this large bag;
- Medium size travel, kit, duffel bag for storage at the hotel. back to top
- Sun cream for face, and lip sun cream;
- Wash Kit, bar soap or hand sanitizer gel / 1 small towel;
- Female/male hygiene products;
- Mosquito repellant cream;
- Hand wipes (optional);
- Toilet paper, we provide on trek. You should carry your own in town. back to top
Medical- (Please see your GP or doctor)
- 1 skin blister repair kit;
- 1 small pack anti-diarrhea pills;
- 1 small pack anti-headache pills;
- 1 small pack cough lozenges;
- 1 small pack cold medicine;
- 1 course antibiotics for chest infection, available at chemist shop or pharmacy with no doctor's prescription;
- 1 small pack anti-altitude sickness pills: Diamox, Acetylzolamide, available as above;
- Malaria prevention medicine may be recommended by your doctor;
- 1 bottle water purification tablets, drops, or filter;
- Extra prescription glasses, extra contact lens supplies (contact lens wearers: there is a lot of dust, you definitely need to bring prescription glasses as a backup);
- Do not bring sleeping pills, they are a respiratory depressant. back to top
- On the mountain we supply 3 meals each day. This food will consist of soup, local cheese & sausage, biscuits, dried noodles, potatoes, rice, porridge, butter, dried and tinned vegetables, fruit, meats, and fish, tea with milk and sugar, coffee, powdered juice drink, and drinking chocolate. Our porters will carry this food so you don't have to.
- We suggest you may wish to bring energy or chocolate bars for summit day. back to top
- 3 one‑litre water bottles;
- 1 pee/urine bottle (suggested);
- Adjustable, telescoping trekking pole (optional, but highly recommended);
- 1 camera with extra cards/film/batteries;
- Binoculars (optional);
- Several waterproof plastic sacks, ie: rubbish sacks for your sleeping bag, shoes, etc;
- 1 bathing suit/swimming costume (you never know);
- Basecamp entertainment. For example: paperback books, playing cards, ipod mp3 player, short-wave radio, small sturdy musical instruments, etc.;
- Travel clothes for basecamp and in town;
- Passport, proof of insurance card, flight ticket. Keep all in plastic bag;
- Cash for hotels, visas, small items and gratuities. Credit cards, traveler's cheques, bank/atm cards. Use an "under the trousers" money belt, not one of those round‑the‑neck jobs or bum‑bags that are really more of a sign showing where the money is;
- Photos of your home and its surroundings to show your new friends;
- Extra gifts of used clothing, shoes, hats, jackets, for the porters, their wives, children, mothers and fathers;
- Please be sure and bring your patience and try to keep an open, relaxed, positive and friendly attitude as travelling in this part of the world may be very different than what you are used to, but things always seem to fall into place at the last moment. Thank you. back to top
Mt Kenya Rock Climb (optional)-
- Helmet (your warm hat must fit beneath it);
- Descender-belay device: "atc" or other;
- 3 regular carabiners;
- 2 locking carabiners;
- 1 piece of 7 millimetre cord, 2 metres / 6 feet in length or 1 short sling;
- 1 piece of 7 millimetre cord, 3 metres / 10 feet in length or 1 long sling;
- Comfortable, warm, all day rock shoes. back to top
We provide a plethora of top-quality, and time-tested equipment, group gear, and supplies, including rope and rock protection, tents, etcetera. Please see the group EQUIPMENT link, in the menu bars above to study what we bring for your use and safety. back to top
Please submit any equipment questions or concerns to: email@example.com