In the recent years Mt.Kenya has really shown the effects of littering on the mountain by careless climbers. Climbers should take the environment, natural wildlife and the natural forests into consideration. Mountaineering is just not about climbing, a dedicated climber should also think about his/her actions and the impact they will have on the environment.

Littering has become a problem at the huts,  especially Austrian Hut. Please do carry all your litter down. Leave the mountain as it was before or help the environment by gathering other peoples litter and bringing it down. Any efforts to clean the mountain will be much appreciated.

Littering has also upset the natural ecosystem and the wildlife. The once thriving Rock Hyrax at Mackinders Camp are now no longer thriving and are often seen in small families rather than the herds which were present years back. The litter and basically human interference on their natural life have greatly affected them. Though it has been mentioned in the Park Gate entrance ticket DO NOT FEED THE ANIMALS visitors do have the tendency to throw bits of food. To many it is amazement and others think they are helping them. Believe me you are doing more harm than good and gradually wearing down the Hyrax’s hunting and gathering skills thus making them dependent on humans for food.

In the recent years there have been various attempts to clean up the mountain. At present there is much concern about the environment and groups like NOLS and UNEP are involved in the conservation of this beautiful mountain and its environs. There have been various clean up missions on the mountain which attempt to bring all the garbage on the mountain down. Clean up missions have now become common events almost annual as the littering problem is alarming and usually frequent climbers participate in them as they are more familiar with the problem and it is them who have to climb frequently.

At the time of publishing the most recent clean up was the Mt.Kenya Clean Up Mission 1998. The events of the clean up are listed in the report and some interviews of the participants and their personal views. Cleaning the mountain has and will always be an important and difficult task. I would personally like to thank the participants on a job very well done.

To get to Naro Moru park gate from Nairobi it is advisable to leave by 8:00 A.M. Follow the Thika dual carriage way to Karatina. From here about 40Km turn right at the turning for Naro Moru River Lodge. Follow the road to Naro Moru town. At the end of town is the police station and the turning into the murram road for Naro Moru River Lodge. Here turn right into another murram road which leads the the base of the mountain (Park Gate). There is normally a board to indicate the turning. The Mt.Kenya Porters & Guides are also located on this road.

The Naro Moru Route is at the moment the most popular of all the routes which lead up to the peak areas. It is the steepest and the fastest way up the mountain but this may be a major setback to climbers vulnerable to AMS. The ascent up to Point Lenana and descent of this route can be accomplished within duration of four days or three days.

On the first day it is advisable to walk from the Park Gate to Met Station Bandas to acclimatize to the climate and the altitude. Ensure plenty of intakes of water. This is a rather steep climb especially the first few hills after which it commences to level off. Parties normally do take a long rest at Percival Bridge; some three hours walk from the Park Gate. From Percival Bridge Met Station is just two hours walk on fairly steep inclines. A good indication of Met Station is the two wide corners with scattered rocks and boulders at the sides and a really bad motor way. A night is normally spent here for further acclimatization and resting. On the second day climbers normally begin to walk by at least nine in the morning as it is the longest and the toughest day. On this days climb gaiters or plastic bags are to be put on for the bog. The first part of the climb is fairly easy. This is the climb up to Radio Mast, which normally takes one hour. From here the climb steepen’s and it takes another hour or two to reach the bog clearing. From here to the Picnic Point is normally a tiring but gentle climb of three to four hours. Parties can rest here and have a snack under the shelter of the cliff. Another hours walk leads you to the Teleki Valley and in the vicinity of the peak areas. the walk is now a brisk descent of the valley up to the river crossing and takes no more than one to two hours. From here the terrain is completely flat and in another thirty minutes you are no more than 200m from Mackinders Camp which is reached just after a tiring steep hill climbing. A night is normally spent here acclimatizing. It is very wise to have an early night as the next day you have to wake up at two in the morning to attempt the climb of Point Lenana.

Kenya is located in the eastern part of Africa. It has an area of about 150,000 square kilometers. It is a very popular tourist destination and also a hotspot for climbing and hiking. In the central highlands a couple of hundred kilometers north of the equator lays Mt.Kenya. It is here, where the Kikuyu god ngai resides. It is the highest mountain in Kenya and the second highest in Africa. It is one of the few places near the equator on Africa with permanent glaciers. The name of the country has been known to have been derived from Mt.Kenya which was formerly known as Mount Kirinyaga.

The mountain is located 180 kilometers north of Nairobi and it can often be seen from high-rise buildings in Nairobi and from Thika. It is an extinct volcano, which formed a couple of million years ago. The mountain is located in the Mount Kenya National Park, which is a designated protected area around the mountain above 3200m altitude. The Kenya Wildlife Service manages the park. The national park covers an area of 700 square kilometers and was established in 1949.

Kenya enjoys an equatorial climate with average annual temperatures of about 26oC and diurnal temperatures of about 3oC. There are two rainy seasons on the mountain from April-June and October-December. The mountain is an important water catchment area and many rivers such as the Naro Moru emerge from the melting glaciers.

The first documented ascent of the mountain was by Halford Mackinders. At the moment the mountain attracts several thousand climbers both local and international annually. It is this popularity, which has contributed to the deterioration of the environment and the litter accumulation.

At the base and around this mountain are famous hotels such as the Mount Kenya Safari Club, Outspans, Naro Moru River Lodge, Treetops, Mountain Lodge, Bantu Lodge and several others. Tourists who do not wish to climb often visit the hotels for the view, luxury accommodation, fresh air and the tranquil atmosphere.

Compared to Mt. Kenya Africa’s highest mountain Kilimanjaro is a
relatively easy climb and the main summit of Uhuru peak (5895m) can be
reached by most climbers. The mountain, though the highest is relatively
a boring climb with not much scenery or change in landscape. The origin
of the name Kilimanjaro still remains a mystery and is thought mean a
great hill in Kiswahili. It is also thought that Mount Kilimanjaro once
belonged to Kenya up until the division of the British empire in east
Africa when the Queen of England altered the border of the two nations to
accommodate the mountain onto Tanzania. After that local history has it
that the presidents of the two nations agreed on a trade; Mount
Kilimanjaro will be part of Kenya if Kenya hand over Mombasa to Tanzania
which did not happen as Kenya would loose a strategic port and its second
largest city.

Though Kilimanjaro is relatively dry and can be climbed all year round the
main dry climbing season begins from January-February and June-September.
For climbers with limited time one can easily fly to Kilimanjaro
International airport from either Nairobi or Dar es salaam and stay
overnight in Moshi or Arusha town.