Please note you will be mailed a set of Mount Kenya Team Reference Notes upon registration. This extensive booklet includes detailed information to assist in the planning of your trip; from travel and medical advice to equipment lists and photography tips. The following is to serve as a helpful guideline but please feel free to call or e-mail if you have any further questions. Our team is here to help!
What is the difference between the various routes on the mountain?
Mount Kenya has three main peaks; the highest but most difficult being Batian at 5,199m (17,058ft), then 11m lower is Nelion at 5,188m (17,020m) and lastly Lenana Peak (4985m / 16,354ft). Both Batian and Nelion are technical multipitch ascents, whereas Lenana is a straightforward trekking route.
What is the best time of the year to go?
As the peak is equatorial the two technical routes have opposite seasons - Batian is climbed in June and Nelion in December/January. Lenana Peak can be climbed at any time of year, however the better seasons are June-September or December-February to avoid the rainy seasons.
TRAVEL, ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES
What time should I arrive and where do I meet my guides?
Please plan to fly into Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta Airport (NBO) where you clear Kenyan customs. Typically we will arrange an airport transfer to bring you to the hotel. Prior to your trip, our office will send you a final details letter including hotel information, your guide bio and details on when and where you will meet your guides, as well as pertinent last minute information.
What if I arrive early or depart late?
We ask that you try to arrive on time, so early is great! The reason for this is so your bags have a chance to catch you, if for some reason they are delayed and you arrive later than the group. If you do arrive early, we will be happy to help you with your hotel arrangements and additional transfers. The same goes for departing later, contact the office for details.
What sort of hotels do we stay at in the city?
Typically we stay at a 4 star hotel in Nairobi. Each year we strive to make sure that the hotels we choose maintain their level of customer service and quality. Contact our office for further details.
Will I be sharing a tent or room with other climbers? Is there a single room option on this trip?
In Nairobi the hotels are on a twin- share basis. On the mountain you will generally be sharing a tent with one other member, or in a shared dormitory in the huts. There is the option for a single hotel room and/or mountain tent supplement, please contact our office for details.
I would like to also visit Zanzibar after my climb, is this possible?
Of course it is! We highly recommend it! From the spice market in Stone Town to the eastern coast of the island; the 1.15 hour flight from Nairobi transports you to this African beach destination. We can arrange your schedule to either go out after a safari or head out to the island straight after your climb. Our office is more than happy to provide advice on this magnificent holiday location.
Is Africa safe? Is the area around Mt Kenya safe?
With any overseas travel, it is important to know your surroundings and the situation on the ground, but given Mt Kenya's remoteness, it does not attract the level of crime that one may see in urban areas. We work hard with our local outfitters to assure that local situations, if any, are closely monitored to ensure our safety. We always suggest that you check with your consulate before travelling to check on any travel advisories.
Do I really need to get a Yellow Fever vaccination?
Vaccination is recommended as Yellow Fever is a risk in certain parts of Kenya, including near to Mt Kenya itself. The government of Kenya also requires proof of Yellow Fever vaccination if you are travelling from a country with risk of yellow fever which can depend on where you are travelling from and through enroute to Kenya. Vaccination is recommended by Adventure Consultants given that the advice changes frequently and you never know what the Kenyan officials stand point on any given day will be. Please talk to your doctor prior to travelling.
There are so many safari options to choose from after my climb, can you offer me some recommendations?
You are right, there is A LOT to choose from, and seeing as your trip may be a once in a lifetime experience, we want to make sure you see everything you want to. Visit the world-renowned Masai Mara, be astounded by the sight of millions of flamingoes at the Lake Nakuru bird sanctuary, and spot Zebra in the Samburu Park. There are plenty of lodges and remote tented camps to choose from, and the ones we visit come from extensive research. We feel that our selections are top quality, and offer the best from the variety to choose from. Contact our office for specific details about the safari accommodation options.
Where are the best locations for enjoy a safari in Kenya?
Kenya offers an extensive array of safari locations from the magnificent Masai Mara National Park and Hells Gate National Park, to the little known Crescent Island Game Sanctuary located on Lake Naivasha. Consider the Amboseli National Park that borders on the Kenyan/Tanzanian border and from where you can take in views of Kilimanjaro.
What are the accommodations like on the safari?
World class. Walled tents with actual running water, outdoor showers, and when we stay in lodges, huge sitting rooms with picture windows to watch the sunsets from. Food is second to none with the lodges serving 5 course meals and excellent service!
What are the days like on safari?
Typically an early start and you can expect 4-7 hours in a Landcruiser, stopping frequently for photos and to watch the amazing wildlife in their daily routine. You will arrive at your tented camp lodge where a welcome drink is usually served, followed by free time in which to freshen up before sundowner drinks and dinner. After a sumptuous breakfast the next day, you start all over again!
ACCLIMATISATION AND THE CLIMB
What are the skills/prior experience required for this climb?
The peaks of Batian and Nelion are challenging multi-pitch climbs (Grade 5.9/AU17) that require competence in rope-management, belay techniques, rappelling/abseiling etc. Summit day can be very long and cold, but very rewarding, especially when the sun comes up! Lenana Peak is a non-technical climb suitable for trekking groups.
What is the conditioning level needed for this climb?
Climbers and trekkers on Mt Kenya should have a high level of cardiovascular fitness, and be able to carry a 18kg/40lb pack for up to six hours on consecutive days and about 10-12 hours on summit day.
How many climbers will be on this expedition?
The technical peaks of Batian and Nelion are only guided on a 1:1 ratio. Trekking groups generally have between 4-12 members.
Can I contact other climbers or guides for this expedition?
Of course! The closer you get to your trip, please contact the office as we are happy to pass on your contact details to the other team members.
How heavy will my pack be?
Typically up to 40 lbs (18kgs) and each day, you will be carrying water, snacks, other essential items and any layers you will need for the day. Porters will carry the bulk of your equipment and clothing.
How long is a typical day on the mountain?
Most days are between 4-6 hours longer, with summit day in the region of 10-12 hours.
Would you let us know what food will be available?
If you have any special treat you like, we encourage you to bring some along. You’ll get breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as snacks, and ample hot and cold drinks. We can cater for vegetarians as well as many other special diets as long as we are informed of this prior to the trip. All of our expeditions provide excellent local and western food! Our food is rated so highly that our guides are frequently seen chasing guides and clients from other expeditions out of our mess tents!
What is the food like?
Our well-trained cooks prepare high quality ‘western’ food as well as popular local dishes. Please indicate any specific dietary requirements you may have on your application form. We are happy to accommodate for those with specific diets.
CLOTHING & EQUIPMENT
Do you have a recommended list of clothing we should bring?
Yes, you will be sent a personal clothing and equipment list once our office has received your trip registration form and deposit. We do also have a dedicated equipment coordinator who is happy to provide advice and answers to any questions you may have.
Do I really need all the equipment on the equipment list?
Yes, these lists have been carefully prepared and you must bring everything on the list. We can also assist in arranging the rental of particular items, so do let your client liaison know if you are interested in exploring this option.
How warm do we need our sleeping bags to be?
You will require a sleeping bag warm enough for you in conditions that can be between -5oC and -10oC. We highly recommend buying a sleeping roomy enough to allow you to wear some clothes inside, if it is especially cold.
COMMUNICATION & ELECTRONIC DEVICES
Will there be any access to a satellite phone? If yes then what would be the charges for usage?
Yes, our expedition guides take sateliite phones and you are welcome to use these at a cost of US$3 per minute .
I want to contact my friend or relative, who is on one of your trips, how can I reach them?
Many of our treks and climbs send daily internet dispatches, and we receive updates from our guides while they are in the field. The best place to reach a loved one is through our office.
Will there be any power source for charging batteries, etc available throughout the trek? What voltage requirements?
We take solar panels and sometimes battery power packs on our treks and expeditions. Our first priority is to charge our satellite phones and expedition electrical equipment. There is usually enough power to then charge your personal electrical equipment. If your equipment has a cigarette lighter type car charger, bring that and you can plug it in to charge. We do NOT recommend bringing rechargeable digital cameras, they tend to run out when power is not available. Use cameras with replaceable batteries and we recommend lithium batteries. We can cater for special power requirements at an extra cost - please enquire with our office.
How much should I budget for this expedition? How much cash should I plan to bring?
Usually members are really excited to purchase local artisan crafts, and most of the places that sell such items don’t take credit cards. There are cash machines in town, although these are not always reliable, and in the villages cash is king! Most get by with US $400-800 for gifts and additional expenses.
How much should I tip my guide staff?
Tipping is mandatory and standard practise across the board for your guides, porters and camp staff on the mountain. An indication of the suggested total will be given in your Reference Notes. As final amounts are dependent on your group size, and the number of local staff employed, further information will be sent in your final details letter 2-3 weeks prior to your departure.
Are there any entry or visa requirements?
Please do check this with your travel agent prior to travelling. For some nationalities, it is required that you have your Kenyan visa issued prior to arrival and for others, this can be issued on arrival.
What insurance do we need to get?
In addition to evacuation & medical insurance we recommend to all our expedition members to buy trip cancellation insurance on sign up for your expedition. It is also highly recommend purchasing a Comprehensive Travel Insurance policy to provide cover for trip interruption, baggage loss, damage or theft, delayed flights or other such incidents that may occur during your trip. Contact us for expedition insurance advice.
Do I need evacuation insurance?
Yes, it is very important. Many of our expeditions are in remote places with no roads and third world medical services. In the unlikely event you get sick, you want to get to good medical care ASAP.
Who do you recommend for insurance?
You will be sent information specific to your expedition as part of your welcome package and requirements differ depending on where you are travelling and your home location, so be sure to discuss cover with your Client Liaison before purchasing a policy.
What is Trip Cancellation Insurance?
Trip cancellation insurance is an option that may allow you to cancel your trip without losing the total cost of the trip. Adventure Consultants highly recommends cancellation insurance for all expeditions. If circumstances cause us to cancel a trip (e.g. minimum numbers are not reached) then we refund your fees paid but trip cancellation insurance covers your airfare and any other costs you may have incurred.
FEES & PAYMENTS
Can I pay by credit card?
We can accept the trip deposit payment on credit card, and we add a 3% fee to accept the balance payment by credit card for your expedition. Please contact our office or visit our secure credit card page to send us your credit card details - your card is not charged at the time as we process this here in our office and not via an online payment system.
What is included in the cost of my trip? Does it include airfare?
Each specific trip page on the website has a section as well as a downloadable pdf document with exactly what is and what is not included on the trip. International airfares are not included in the trip price. We can however recommend excellent travel agents whom we have worked with in your country, should you require help with arranging your international airfare.
Why are you sometimes more expensive than other operators?
Many of our trips are very similar in price to our competitors. Some companies even wait for us to set our prices and use ours as a guideline!! Some of our main selling points, which sometimes do cost more, are; internationally qualified western guides, proven dependable local operators, small group sizes and safe client:guide ratios, quality equipment and high summit success rates, among other things. You do get what you pay for which is why we stand out from the rest. Many clients come to us after failing on one of our competitors ‘cheaper’ trips.
How do I sign up for a trip?
The best way to reserve your space on a trip is to call our office or complete our online booking form. Return this with the trip deposit either through a telegraphic transfer (information is on our trip notes downloaded from the specific trip page) or by using our secure credit card page. Phone our New Zealand head office on +64 3 443 8711 (Monday - Friday, 9:00am - 5:30pm PST + 19 hours) or Freephone 1-866-757-8722 from North America.
What is your cancellation policy? Refund policy?
Once you have paid your deposit your trip is confirmed, subject to payment of the balance of fees owing 90 days prior to your trip commencement date. An expedition trek member may then cancel his/her participation on the following basis:
- Cancellations outside of 90 days will result in the loss of the trip deposit.
- For cancellations made within 89 - 60 days of the trip commencement date we reserve the right to retain 50% of the balance payment.
- For cancellations within 59 days of the departure date a cancellation fee of 100% of the full fee applies.
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