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Mount Kenya, Kilimanjaro & Lengai, an East African Trilogy

Region: Kenya and Northern Tanzania

Duration: 20 days including 13 of trekking

Type: Trek, climbing and safari

Activities:

  • 5 days of climbing Mount Kenya
  • 6 days of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro
  • 3 days of Crater Highland/ Rift Valley trek and climbing Mount Lengai
  • 3 days of safari

Level: Difficult

Period: Mid December to mid March then July to October

Group: 4 to 12 participants

A sneak preview:

We invite you to undertake the 3 combined climbs of Mount Kenya, Kilimanjaro and Lengai: this trilogy is a beautiful homage to the Rift Valley, at the source of all these fabulous volcanoes.

To acclimatize, we start by climbing Mount Kenya, without backtracking, scaling through the Chogoria route that is rendered particularly aesthetic by altitude lakes. After a safari at the foot of Kilimanjaro to admire the big African fauna, we embark on the climb of the African roof that dominates the immense plains. Here, we will use the least frequented route to climb the mountain – Umbwe route with its collapsing valley, followed by a visit of Shira plateau, before the final climb through the Western Breach; the program includes the most beautiful areas of Kilimanjaro, whilst maintaining as much intimacy as possible.

Finally, to complete this trilogy and exploration of the region, we will leave for an additional 7 days, still maintaining this path of quality. After a day of recovery spent on a game drive in the Ngorongoro Crater, we will leave for 3 days of trekking. Traversing the Maasai Crater Highlands we reach the floor of the Rift Valley wherein lies Oldoinyo Lengaï, with it’s extremely steep slopes…

Trip strengths:

  • Mark of quality: the most attractive and the least visited routes:
    • Itinerary across Mount Kenya using the highly wild Chogoria route,
    • Exploring Kilimanjaro through the most original, beautiful yet least frequented route: Umbwe route,
    • The Maasai Crater Highlands and the Rift escarpment, the most original access to the ever-dominating Lengai.
  • Three complimentary mountains, the first has an alpine character with its valleys, mountain lakes and rocky peaks, the much more softly-formed second one with more open horizons, and finally and most certainly the most impressive, the extremely steep-sloped active volcano, sacred mountain of the Maasai, dominating the depth of the Rift at 2300 meters,
  • 3 nights of acclimatization on Mount Kenya (1 night at 3300m and 2 at more than 4000m), giving maximum success chance on the Kilimanjaro where we have another 3 nights between 3800m and 4700m before the final climb,
  • Perfect training and an abundance of red blood cells to facilitate the climb (and the technical descent) of Lengai,
  • The approach of the Maasai world and three days of safari (and rest between the climbs) in the Kenyan Amboseli National Park and the Tanzanian Ngorongoro and Serengeti Parks.

Day by day plan

NB: For the complete description of Mounts Kenya and Kilimanjaro climbs, check this particular 13 day trip “Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro“. The first 13 days are described much more briefly here.

Day 1: Nairobi – Chogoria (2 hours’ walk/ night in Chogoria bungalow/ 2400m)

Day 2: Mount Kenya trek 1: Chogoria (2400m) – Nithi Camp (3300m) (3 hours’ walk/ 900m of positive elevation/ exploration walk in the afternoon/ Nights in tent):

Day 3: Mount Kenya trek 2: Nithi Camp (3300m) – Minto’s Camp (4270m) (4 hours’ walk/ 1000m of positive elevation/ exploration walk in the afternoon/ Night in tent):

Day 4: Mount Kenya trek 3: Minto’s Camp (4270m) – Lenana Point (4985m) – Shipton Hut – Liki Nirth (4000m) (8hr walk/ 715m positive elevation and 985m negative elevation/ night in tent):

Day 5: Mount Kenya trek 4: Liki North (4000m) – Sirimon gate (2400m) (5 hours’ walk)/ 1600m of negative elevation/ 3hr drive / Night in hotel):

Day 6: Mount Kenya – Amboseli National Park (4 hrs transfer by car/ 3-hour safari/ Night in tent at the park’s camp)

Day 7: Amboseli National Park – passage to Tanzania – Moshi Town (4 to 5 hours of safari/ 4 hours drive upto Moshi/ night in lodge:

Day 8: Kilimanjaro trek 1: Umbwe Gate (1660m) – Umbwe Cave (2850m) (5 to 6 hours’ walk/ positive elevation of 1190m/ night in tent)

Day 9: Kilimanjaro trek 2: Umbwe Gate (2850m) – South Barranco (3950m) (5 to 6 hours’ walk/ positive elevation of 1100m/ Night in tent)

Day 10: Kilimanjaro trek 3: South Barranco (3950m) – Lava Tower (4600m) – Shira 2 (3840m) (7 hours’ walk/ 650m positive elevation then 760m negative elevation / Night in tent)

Day 11: Kilimanjaro trek 4: Shira Plateau (3800m) – Lava Tower (4600m) or Arrow Glacier Camp (4700m) (7 to 8 hr’s walk/ 800m to 900m of positive elevation/ Night in tent)

Day 12: Kilimanjaro trek 5: Arrow Glacier (4700m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Mweka Camp (3100m) (on average 9 to 12 hr’s walk/ 1200m positive elevation and 2800m negative elevation / Night in tent)

Day 13: Kili Trek 6: Mweka Camp (3100m) – Mweka Gate (1600m) (3hr’s walk/ 1500m negative elevation/ night in lodge): 3 hours’ walk to reach Kilimanjaro National Park’s exit. The safari then commences, our vehicles take us to the town of Mto wa Mbu, not far from the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Night in lodge.

Day 14: Ngorongoro Crater: Safari in the world renowned Ngorongoro Crater, a true Noah’s ark beautifully created by nature. All of Africa’s big fauna are found here. At the end of the day, we reach the Crater Highlands to the North, a true green highlands paradise of the Maasai pastoralists.

Day 15 and 16: 2 days Crater Highlands trek > Lake Natron: 2 days of trekking will allow us to link the Crater Highlands to the Rift Valley, via the Empakai crater and the superb escarpment path leading us to the foot of Lengai.

Day 17: Climbing Lengai. Depart at night to climb in the coolness. About 4 to 5 hours of rigorous climb of 1600 meters of positive elevation using a headlight. Arrival at sunrise to admire this view of the whole Rift Valley, that we literally have the impression of flying, as the slopes plunge deep. Observing the volcanic activity before commencing the technical and delicate descent of the volcano, if you have a fear of heights you should abstain! Those who are unable to partake in the climb will go for a sort of aquatic walk on another Rift escarpment and join the Engare Sero falls. At the end of the day the whole group will take a walk along the shores of Lake Natron.

Day 18 and 19: Lake Natron > Serengeti Park: Drive to Serengeti National Park for a day of safari. One night in tent in a private bush camp at the heart of the wild. Another safari on the 19th day before returning to Mto wa Mbu.

Day 20: Mto wa Mbu > Arusha (or Nairobi): Transfer to the airport for the return flight.

 

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