So They Can Cimb Mt Kenya

Climb Kenya's highest peak and visit the So They Can projects to see first hand the amazing work being done

Challenge Highlights

  • Climb Point Lenana (4985m), the highest trekking peak on Mt Kenya
  • Traverse Mount Kenya from East to West via the Chogoria and Sirimon routes
  • Ascend via the quieter and more dramatic Chogoria route
  • Delight in the beautiful alpine scenery and views
  • Search for wildlife in the lower slopes
  • Travel with So They Can representative
  • Spend time with the children at Aberdare Ranges Primary School and Mitti Mingi Village


Mt Kenya is regarded as the most visually stunning of the ice-capped African peaks and is home to a great diversity of wildlife, including leopard, elephant and buffalo. The ascent is an exhilarating and diverse trek, with relatively few hikers compared to Kilimanjaro. Many would argue that Mount Kenya, whilst not being as high as Kili, is certainly the more enjoyable, interesting and dramatic of the two mountains. The Chogoria/Sirimon Route offers the best combination of alpine scenery and acclimatisation as we ascend via spectacular Lake Michaelson and Lake Ellis to the trekking peak of Kenya, at Point Lenana (4985m). Our traverse continues to the north where we descend the stunning Sirimon trail to the Park Gate where our vehicles will meet and transfer us to Sunbird Lodge Nakuru, our base for the next four nights. Visit So They Can projects at Aberdare Ranges Primary School and Mitti Mingi Village.

Challenge Grade

Mount Kenya Ascent is graded moderate to challenging and is considered to be one of the more demanding treks in East Africa, suitable for experienced and fit walkers only. Undoubtedly the altitude is a factor in determining the challenging grade of the trip, however, the terrain you will be required to ascend and descend through is sometimes difficult to negotiate at times, with some rock scrambling and long ascents. This trip has been designed to achieve the best possible acclimatisation in the time frame.

As with all our Challenging programs, we expect people to be regular outdoors people, enjoying aerobic sport around four or five times a week over some period of time. Preferably this has been a long term interest but if not, you have set a program of fitness preparation with at least three months lead in time to your trip. The fitter you are for your trip, the more of a holiday it will be. Activities as close to the actual activity on your trip are the best training; in this instance walking and climbing, with and without a pack. This builds leg strength, aerobic capacity and confidence in your ability to travel comfortably with a pack for extended periods. Whilst this ascent of Mt Kenya is not a technical climb, it is nevertheless a short and steep trek at altitude in possibly adverse weather conditions, and for many people it will be the hardest physical walk of their life. Come and talk to us if you are unsure about your suitability for the Mt Kenya Ascent.


On arrival in Nairobi you will be met and transferred to your hotel to meet your fellow travellers. Enjoy dinner and a trip briefing.

Meals:  D

This morning we head to Chogoria Village (approx. 4-5 hours drive). In the afternoon ascend the steep and rutted track to the Bandas (cottages) in woodland near the Chogoria gate (3,017m) of the Mt Kenya National Park. We will stay here for the night. Our gear will be transported by Land Rovers while we acclimatise with our first walk at altitude (Walk 1 hour).

Meals:  B,L,D

The flora and fauna surrounding the Bandas is prolific, with the possibility of seeing game in the surrounding forest (Elephant, Buffalo, Antelope, Colobus Monkey, Augur Buzzard & Verreaux's Eagle). As we walk, the forest gradually drops away and we enter a high moorland zone. En route we ascend nearby Mugi Hill (3600m) to help with acclimatisation, before arriving at our camp on Lake Ellis (3500m). The site is a peaceful spot with good views of the main peaks. (Walk 6 hours)

Meals:  B,L,D

The trail out of camp and away from the lake ascends through moorland to a ridge that eventually joins the main Chogoria route. After enjoying views of Vivienne Falls and the Gorges Valley we descend to Lake Michaelson (3,830m) and possibly the most beautiful campsite on the walk. The cliffs of the Temple tower overhead while Tacazze sunbirds flit amongst the giant groundsel and lobelia and Hyraxes scamper around in the rocks. (Walk 6-8 hours)

Meals:  B,L,D

The trek now enters the Alpine Zone. After quite a boggy start the walking surface soon becomes scree. We reach Simba Tarn at 4560m, in time for a late lunch. An afternoon walk will assist with acclimatisation. (Walk 4-6 hours)

Meals:  B,L,D

After a hot drink we leave camp at 3:30 am for the steep ascent (2 - 2.5 hrs) of Point Lenana (4,985m) in time for sunrise. Although the climb is straightforward, the final section is hard work at this altitude. From the summit it is often possible to see Mt Kilimanjaro which is 320km away, as well as the nearby climbing peaks Nelion and Batian which should be bathed in sunlight at this time of the morning. We descend back to Simba Tarn for a well-earned cooked breakfast, and continue our descent via the Mackinder Valley to Shipton's Camp before joining the Sirimon Route to Old Moses Camp. The walk today is long and exhausting and will challenge even the fittest of walkers. However the thrill of standing on the roof of Kenya will be absolutely make the effort worthwhile. (Walk 11-12 hours)

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast we head through the Sirimon Valley and down through the lush forest belt to the Park Gate where we farewell our Kenyan trekking crew. Our transport will be waiting at the gate to take us to Sunbird Lodge, our home in Nakuru for the next four nights. Enjoy sunset drinks on the terrace overlooking Lake Elementatia and a delicious and well earned celebratory dinner. Overnight Sunbird Lodge.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today is set aside as a rest day to recover and recap after the Mt Kenya climb. Overnight Sunbird Lodge.

Meals:  B,L,D

Visit Aberdare Ranges Primary School (ARPS) and receive a traditional warm African welcome at morning assembly by the school community, followed by a tour of the school built by So They Can. Meet the wonderful staff and learn about So They Can’s educational plans for Kenya. We visit the New Canaan Village (formerly the Pipeline IDP camp) where many of our school children live and where the So They Can story began. We'll also visit the New Canaan medical clinic that we support. After lunch we will pay a special visit to Mitti Mingi Village, home to 120 orphaned and vulnerable children who are safe, loved and nurtured in our care, and meet the mummas who have dedicated their lives to caring for these children. We will also stop by our Sew Women Can workshop to meet the team and visit the Bibi &me shop where beautiful handmade items are available for sale. Overnight Sunbird Lodge.

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we head back to New Canaan Village to meet some of the graduates from our Wezesha Business Skills Project and learn about the difference being made to the lives of these women. Return to ARPS to undertake a range of activities including helping the cooks serve the children lunch, painting, craft and assisting the sponsorship team with the children's letters. There will also be the opportunity to visit your sponsor child’s classroom, home or possibly high school if they have already graduated from ARPS. Overnight Sunbird Lodge.

Meals:  B,L,D

Depending on your travel plans, there is the option of enjoying a relaxing morning game drive to the nearby Soysambu Conservancy; home to over 450 bird species including the pink flamingo and 50 species of mammals including zebras, gazelle, buffalo and the endangered Rothschild Giraffe. This can be booked directly. Afternoon return to Nairobi and transfer to the airport where arrangements conclude.

Meals:  B

What's Included

  • Travel with a So They Can representative
  • 1 night in 3 star hotel in Nairobi on a twin share basis
  • 5 nights fully supported camping on a twin share tent basis
  • 4 nights Sunbird Lodge, Nakuru on twin share basis
  • All meals as indicated
  • Group camping equipment including tent (sleeping bag and mat not included)
  • Experienced local guides, cook and camp crew
  • Porters to carry personal and group equipment
  • Private return transfers from Nairobi to Mt Kenya
  • Mt Kenya Park entrance fees valued at US$300
  • Visit So They Can projects including Aberdare Ranges Primary School and Miti Mingi Village
  • All transfers

What's Not Included

  • International flights
  • Optional game drive at Soysambu Conservancy on final day
  • Sleeping bags & sleeping mats
  • Bottled water, aerated and alcoholic drinks
  • Dinner in Nairobi on departure day
  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry, etc
  • Tips
  • Visa
  • Travel Insurance

What You Carry

  • In your daypack you will need to carry extra warm clothing (depending on the altitude, location and weather), a rain jacket, water bottle, camera gear, valuables and personal items such as sunscreen, lip balm etc. Porters carry all group gear and your main luggage in your own trek pack/ duffle bag.

Fundraising Impact

Your donation will have tremendous impact and go towards supporting:

* 16,500 students supported in collaboration with our government partners, receive a high quality education equipping them with the skills and knowledge for life.

* 37 schools supported as part of our Education Collaborative and includes teacher development, classroom construction, water solutions, education and feeding programs.

* 390 teachers' skills developed every year through our teacher mentors in our education collaborative schools.

* 6,310 students nourished benefiting from school and college feeding programs which nourish minds and dramatically increase school attendance rates and academic performance.

* 23 water tanks installed ensuring a supply of clean drinking water, improved hygiene and facilitation of feeding programs.

We believe that by improving the quality of primary school education, children are more likely to enter and complete secondary school and break the poverty cycle.

Travel Dates

Other Challenge Costs

Donation/Fundraising So They Can:AUD$3000 
Single Supplement - hotels only:AUD$440 

Fast Facts

Trip Dates: DepartReturn
 23 Aug 20202 Sep 2020
Duration:11 Days
Charity Challenge
Grade:Moderate to Challenging  Click for more information
Trip Code:ST2
Registration Fee:AUD$200
Travel Cost:AUD$5490

So They Can Education Programs currently reach over 16,500 children living in poverty in East Africa. Working together with teachers, national government and local partners we improve their learning through quality teaching, school resources, student welfare, effective school management as well as parent and community engagement.