Hikers Enjoying the trails

Mt. Kenya Adventure! Chogoria route down Naromoru.

Mt. Kenya Peak
Mt. Kenya Peak

Go on a thrilling adventure on Mt. Kenya via the Chogoria Route down to Naromoru. This 5-day journey through one of the most scenic routes on Mount Kenya promises breathtaking landscapes, diverse wildlife, and a challenging yet rewarding experience for all trekking enthusiasts. Starting from Chogoria Village and navigating through the National Forest Reserve, this adventure culminates in a triumphant ascent to Point Lenana, followed by a descent through the Naromoru Route.

Key Takeaways

  • The Mt. Kenya Chogoria Route is often described as the most attractive route on Mount Kenya, offering stunning scenic highlights.
  • The journey begins at Chogoria Village and includes a drive through the forest to the Meru Bandas, located at 3000m.
  • Trekkers will encounter diverse wildlife and flora as they navigate through the National Forest Reserve.
  • Reaching Point Lenana is a significant achievement, providing panoramic views and a sense of accomplishment.
  • Descending via the Naromoru Route offers a different perspective of Mount Kenya, completing a well-rounded trekking experience.

Exploring the Chogoria Route

Starting Point: Chogoria Village

The Mt. Kenya Chogoria route approaches from the East and there is a National Forest Reserve gate near the village of Chogoria and a National Park gate further up. This route is often described as the most attractive route on Mount Kenya.

Scenic Highlights Along the Route

The Chogoria route is longer and tougher, with no lodges. And it’s about 10 times more beautiful. On the Naro Moru route, you basically walk uphill up a valley with the same view in front of you the whole time. It’s nice, but it’s just not in the same league as the Chogoria route, which twists and winds past gorges and cliffs and outcroppings and the spectacular Mintos Tarn.

The physical landscape on this route is its biggest attraction. The Chogoria traverses around the head of the spectacular ‘Temple’ with the Hall Tarns perched on the rock ledge above it and Lake Michaelson in the base of the amphitheatre.

Challenges and Rewards

From gentle hikes to steep ascents, the Chogoria route offers a variety of experiences. The route is longer and tougher, but the beautiful landscapes and spectacular mountain views make it worthwhile. The additional features of Lake Ellis and the Giant’s Billiard Table add to the allure of this route.

Navigating Through the National Forest Reserve

Entry at the Forest Reserve Gate

The Chogoria route begins at the National Forest Reserve gate near Chogoria village. This gate marks the entry into the lush and diverse forest reserve, a prelude to the more challenging terrains ahead.

Wildlife and Flora

The forest reserve is teeming with wildlife and a variety of flora. As you navigate through, you might encounter:

  • Elephants
  • Buffaloes
  • Various bird species
  • Indigenous plant species

4×4 Adventures to Meru Bandas

For those looking to save time and energy, a 4×4 vehicle can be used to traverse the lower parts of the route. This drive through the forest is an adventure in itself, offering stunning views and a chance to spot wildlife. The journey typically ends near the Meru Bandas at around 3000 meters altitude.

The drive through the forest reserve is not just a means to an end but a memorable part of the Mt. Kenya adventure.

Reaching Mount Meru Bandas

Accommodation Options

Upon reaching Mount Meru Bandas, trekkers have several accommodation options. The bandas provide a comfortable resting place after a long day of trekking. It’s common practice to drive 4x4s through the forest until you reach the Meru Bandas at 3000m. This makes it easier for trekkers to start their journey from a higher altitude, reducing the strain of the initial ascent.

Altitude and Climate

Mount Meru Bandas are situated at an altitude of approximately 2950m. The climate here can be quite variable, with temperatures dropping significantly at night. Trekkers should be prepared for cold weather and possible rain. The altitude also means that acclimatization is crucial to avoid altitude sickness.

Preparing for the Ascent

Before embarking on the ascent to higher altitudes, it’s essential to be well-prepared. This includes having the right gear, sufficient food and water, and a clear understanding of the route ahead. The trek from Mount Meru Bandas to the next camp involves a 350m ascent over 9km, which can be challenging but rewarding.

The journey to Mount Meru Bandas is a significant milestone in the trek, offering both a physical challenge and a chance to experience the stunning natural beauty of the region.

The Trek to Point Lenana

Trail Description

The trek to Point Lenana, standing at 4985m, is a popular choice for many adventurers. The journey can be completed in just 3 days, with bunkhouses available at each camp. The trail begins in Naro Moru town, passing the Park Headquarters and ascending the ridge between the Northern and Southern Naro Moru Rivers. One notable section of the trail is the Vertical Bog, which can be quite challenging.

Key Landmarks

  • Point Lenana: The highest hiking peak on Mount Kenya at 4985m.
  • Batian: The highest point of the mountain at 5199m, visible from the trail.
  • Met Station Camp: A key stop with a recently constructed paved road leading up to it.

Safety Tips

  • Start your ascent early in the morning to catch the sunrise over the African skies.
  • Be prepared for varying terrain, including rocky scree and the challenging Vertical Bog.
  • Ensure you are acclimatized to the altitude, as Point Lenana is 4300m above the sea level.

Descending via the Naromoru Route

The Naromoru Route is a popular descent path for those who have ascended Mount Kenya. This route is relatively short and offers a quick descent through diverse vegetation zones. Starting from the Met Station at 3,000m, the trek down to the Naromoru Park Gate at 2,600m takes about 3 hours and covers approximately 9km. The trek is relatively short and very rich in fauna.

  • Diverse Vegetation: As you descend, you’ll experience a quick change in vegetation types, from bamboo forests to rainforests.
  • Wildlife: The route is rich in fauna, offering opportunities to spot various wildlife species.
  • Scenic Views: Enjoy striking views down into the northern Naromoru valley.

Essential Gear and Preparation

Preparing for an adventure on Mt. Kenya via the Chogoria and Naromoru routes requires careful planning and the right gear. Proper preparation can make the difference between a successful summit and a challenging experience. Below are the essential items and considerations to ensure a safe and enjoyable trek.

Packing List

  • Clothing: At least a warm underlayer, a fleece (or equivalent) jacket, and an outer shell (pants and jacket) plus hat and gloves.
  • Camping Gear: Tent, sleeping bag, camp chairs, tables, and sleeping mattress.
  • Food and Water: Breakfast, lunch, dinner, hot drinks, and water treatment supplies.
  • Miscellaneous: National park entrance fees, and a comprehensive travel info pack.

Physical Fitness Requirements

Trekking Mt. Kenya is physically demanding. It’s essential to be in good physical condition to handle the altitude and the strenuous nature of the hike. Regular cardiovascular and strength training exercises are recommended in the months leading up to your trek.

Weather Considerations

The weather on Mt. Kenya can be unpredictable. Be prepared for a range of conditions, from warm sunny days to cold, windy nights. Layering your clothing is crucial to adapt to changing temperatures. Always check the weather forecast before your departure and pack accordingly.

By following these guidelines and ensuring you have the right gear, you’ll be well-prepared for your Mt. Kenya adventure.

Experiencing the Local Culture

Chogoria Village Life

Chogoria Village is a vibrant community that serves as the gateway to the Chogoria Route. The village is known for its warm hospitality and rich cultural heritage. Visitors can explore local markets, sample traditional foods, and engage with the community to gain a deeper understanding of their way of life.

Interactions with Local Guides

The local guides are not only knowledgeable about the terrain but also eager to share insights into the local culture. They often provide fascinating stories and historical context that enrich the trekking experience. Engaging with these guides offers a unique opportunity to learn about the traditions and customs of the area.

Cultural Etiquette

When visiting Chogoria Village and interacting with the locals, it’s important to be mindful of cultural etiquette. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Respect local customs: Always ask for permission before taking photographs of people.
  • Dress modestly: Ensure your clothing is respectful of local norms.
  • Learn basic phrases: A few words in the local language can go a long way in building rapport.


The Mt. Kenya adventure via the Chogoria Route down to Naromoru is an unforgettable experience that combines breathtaking landscapes, challenging terrains, and the thrill of high-altitude trekking. This 5-day journey offers a unique opportunity to explore the most scenic route on Mount Kenya, with its lush forests, glacial valleys, and crystal-clear lakes. Despite the demanding nature of the trek, the rewards are immense, making it a must-do for any avid trekker. For those seeking an adventure of a lifetime, the Chogoria to Naromoru route on Mount Kenya is an experience not to be missed.

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