During the 16th and 17th centuries, the foothills of Mt. 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.
Mt. 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.
Mt. Kenya is the highest mountain in Kenya and the second highest in Africa, after Kilimanjaro. The highest peaks of the mountain are Batian at 5,199 metres (17,057 ft), Nelion at 5,188 metres (17,021 ft) and Point Lenana at 4,985 metres (16,355 ft). Mt. Kenya is located in central Kenya, just south of the equator and 150 kilometres from Nairobi.
Batian was climbed in 1899 by the British mountaineer, Halford Mackinder, 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.
The glistening peaks, stunning scenery, and cheerful superhuman porters, the sweat and tears that go into a successful trek to the summit is part of the extraordinary and outstanding sense of achievement one experiences from standing on the summit and watching the sun rise over Africa.
Our formula for success is the use of professional guides, well paid porters and crew, going slower, giving enough rest between stages and acclimatization time which also plays a crucial role in mountain climbing overall success. What you eat and where you sleep is also very important. This is well taken care of by Leiden Expedition.
We provide you with some thrilling opportunities to experience the best of African adventure within a challenging but safe environment. We are professionals in assessing risk and implementing systems to reduce any recognized danger to a minimum.
You can discover a great deal about yourself through this adventure, but only if the experience is of extremely high quality and professionally organized. As such we do what we know we are good at, the results superb. You don't need to be super human. Average fitness and determination is all it takes.
There are several routes up Mt. Kenya. A team of guides, porters and cooks will make the ascent up Mount Kiliminjaro with you, allowing you to enjoy the experience free from the burden of carrying heavy gear, gathering water, finding your way up the mountain and making meals.
Itineraries can be tailored to suit ones requirements starting from a short 5 days 4 nights trekking to the summits with camping or banda accommodation options.: