Mt Kenya Trek, Service Learning & Safari School Expedition

Mt Kenya Trek, Service Learning & Safari School Expedition

Trip Highlights

  • Completing a community project to assist a remote Kenyan village school
  • Game safari at the remote Samburu Nature Reserve
  • Viewing elephants, lions, cheetahs, Grevy's zebras, buffalos, oryx, grants gazelles, dikdiks, cheetah, and hyena in Samburu Reserve
  • Acclimatisation day on flanks of Mt Kenya with opportunities to spot wildlife
  • Traverse Mount Kenya from East to West via the Chogoria and Sirimon routes
  • Ascend via the quieter and most dramatic Chogoria route, climbing to Point Lenana, the highest trekking peak in Mt Kenya.

Trip Summary

This exciting itinerary combines a service learning project with outstanding wildlife viewing opportunities and a challenging trek to ascend Mt Kenya, Africa's second-highest peak. Our adventure begins in Nairobi where we visit the herds of inquisitive Rothschild giraffe that wander the grounds of the famous Giraffe Manor. From Nairobi we travel by private vehicle to a village primary school where we'll spend 3 days working alongside local teachers and tradesmen to refurbish classrooms. From here we then set off on a fully supported 6 day camping adventure to summit the country's highest peak, the majestic Mt Kenya (4985m). Home to diverse wildlife and fewer trekkers than Kilimanjaro, trekking on Mt Kenya offers an exhilarating climb without the crowds. The Chogoria/Sirimon Route offers the best combination of alpine scenery and acclimatisation as we traverse the mountain via Point Lenana at 4985m. After completing out trek, we return to the plains to view the incredible wild game and bird life of the remote Samburu Nature Reserve.


Mount Kenya Ascent is graded moderate to challenging and is considered to be one of the more demanding treks in East Africa, suitable for experienced and fit walkers only. Undoubtedly the altitude is a factor in determining the challenging grade of the trip, however, the terrain you will be required to ascend and descend through is sometimes difficult to negotiate at times, with some rock scrambling and long ascents. This trip has been designed to achieve the best possible acclimatisation in the time frame.

As with all our Challenging programs, we expect people to be regular outdoors people, enjoying aerobic sport around four or five times a week over some period of time. Preferably this has been a long term interest but if not, you have set a program of fitness preparation with at least three months lead in time to your trip. The fitter you are for your trip, the more of a holiday it will be. Activities as close to the actual activity on your trip are the best training; in this instance walking and climbing, with and without a pack. This builds leg strength, aerobic capacity and confidence in your ability to travel comfortably with a pack for extended periods. Whilst this ascent of Mt Kenya is not a technical climb, it is nevertheless a short and steep trek at altitude in possibly adverse weather conditions, and for many people it will be the hardest physical walk of their life. Come and talk to us if you are unsure about your suitability for the Mt Kenya Ascent..

Sample Itinerary

THIS IS JUST A SAMPLE ITINERARY - IT CAN BE TAILORED TO YOUR SCHOOL'S NEEDS. Upon arriving in Nairobi you will be met by your guides at the airport and driven in private transport to the group hotel where you will have an opportunity for a rest and to freshen up before we head out for some exploring and some lunch. Our first stop will be to visit the famous Giraffe Manor where we can experience the resident herd of Rothschild giraffe going about their business whilst also keeping in close contact with the people who come to visit and stay at the manor. Seeing a cheeky giraffe poke its head and elongated neck through a window at people enjoying lunch is a sight to behold! The Giraffe Manor is surrounded by 140 acres of indigenous forest just outside Kenya's capital, Nairobi. As well as the giraffe, the property is also home to many species of birds, large families of warthogs and the elusive Bush Buck. Tonight we will enjoy a welcome dinner and celebrate being in Kenya and actually doing what you have dreamed of for so long....

Meals:  D

The final location of your project will be advised during the planning stages of your expedition. There are many villages that are in need and we select different villages for every different school. For the following two days we will assist the staff and students from the school on a variety of jobs which will make the school a better place to work and learn. The materials would have been purchased locally and transported to the school ready for our arrival. To improve efficiencies and to ensure the project is completed on time the group will be split into work groups, each tackling a different aspect of the project. Along with our expert guides there will be a professional carpenter on-site who will be coordinating the project and who will act like a foreman. The tasks will include, sanding and preparing internal and external wooden surfaces for painting, repair or replacement, repairing broken wooden floor boards and wall panels, repairing and also building new classroom desks and chairs, and other minor class room repairs. It will involve manual labor and you should be prepared for up to eight hours work per day. The work will be hard at times but rewarding, constructive and fascinating. There could be some heavy carrying at times although no ladders, power tools or access to the roof will be allowed. Accommodation: Camping at school grounds

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning bid farewell to the plains and our new friends at Ol Pejeta and commence our six day trek to the summit of Kenya's highest mountain. We head to Chogoria Village where in the afternoon we will ascend the steep and rutted track to the Bandas (cottages) in woodland near the Chogoria Gate (3,017m) of the Mt Kenya National Park where we stay for the night. Our gear will be transported by Land Rovers while we gain acclimatisation with our first walk at altitude. Today is a good opportunity to acclimatise, as we will be staying at an altitude of around 3,000m. We will relax and organize our gear for the trek ahead. There will also be opportunities to view some of the native wildlife that live in this forest belt. The flora and fauna surrounding the Banda’s is prolific. Accommodation: camping

Meals:  B,L,D

The day starts slowly with a gentle game walk in the surrounding forest. Elephant, Buffalo, Antelope & Colobus Monkey all live here as do Augur Buzzard & Verreaux's Eagle. After a late breakfast we will trek to Lake Ellis (3,500m). Gradually the forest drops away as we enter a high moorland zone. Lake Ellis is a peaceful spot with good views of the main peaks - still two days trekking away. Accommodation: camping

Meals:  B,L,D

The walk to Mintos Hut is spectacular. Overlooking the Gorges Vallley, rising into the Afro-Alpine zone, winding through mazes of house-sized rocks, it offers one photo op after another. The campsites are as gorgeous as the walk. Mintos Tarn is a deep blue alpine lake surrounded by giant groundsel and lobelia, framed by peaks and pinnacles. Accommodation: camping

Meals:  B,L,D

The trek now enters the Alpine Zone - after quite a boggy start to the trek the walking surface soon turns to scree. We climb several steep slopes to the Tooth (4,700m), from where it is a gentle contour to Simba Tarn at 4,560m, which we should reach in time for a late lunch. Accommodation: camping

Meals:  B,L,D

After a hot drink we commence at 5.00 am for the steep ascent (2 hours) of Point Lenana (4,985m) in time for sunrise. Although the climb is straightforward, the final section is hard work at this altitude. From the summit it is often possible to see Mt Kilimanjaro 320km away as well as the nearby climbing peaks of Mt Kenya; Nelion and Batian which should be bathed in golden sunlight at this time of the morning. We descend back to Simba Tarn for a well-earned cooked breakfast, and continue our descent via the Sirimon Route to Old Moses Camp. The walk today is long and exhausting and will challenge even the fittest of walkers. However the thrill of standing on the roof of Kenya will surely make the effort worth while. Accommodation: camping

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast we head through the Sirimon Valley and down through the lush forest belt to the Park Gate where our transport will be waiting to take us on our next stage of our African Odyssey, to go see the incredible game and wildlife which makes Africa so unique. We plan to arrive at our campsite by mid afternoon where we can then head out on our first game safari drive in the glowing light of a Kenyan sunset. Accommodation: camping

Meals:  B,L

Samburu Reserve, established in 1985, is an arid, hilly region with riverine forests, doum palms, acacia woodland and scrubland, offering a dramatic and rugged landscape in a rather remote location of Kenya - which is precisely the attraction of this reserve - fewer tourists in a wildlife rich, desert like setting amidst a colourful local tribe. Samburu has a permanent water supply that's like a magnet for the numerous animal species, that include the big Cats, herbivores and reptiles such as crocodiles. Samburu is one of the few parks where leopard spottings are frequent. Samburu also offers superb bird-watching with numerous weaver birds, the marial eagle and the blue legged somali ostrich. Accommodation: camping

Meals:  B,L,D

An early morning game drive offers the best wildlife viewing before breaking camp. We exit the reserve by private vehicle on our way back to Nairobi, arriving in the late afternoon where the rest of the day is at your leisure. Tonight with our guide we will enjoy one last dinner together to celebrate the incredible sights, amazing people and to reflect on the beautiful animals you have seen throughout the adventure. Accommodation: The Heron Hotel

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we will learn about an inspiring program which has been educating disadvantaged children from a suburb of Nairobi for more than 15 years. Karen Street Children's Trust has been very successful in sponsoring children so as they can attend various boarding schools where they can receive a secondary education. We will meet a representative who will discuss the challenges many Kenyan children are faced with and the difference and importance an education can make. In the afternoon you will have an opportunity to look around Nairobi, doing any last minute shopping or just relaxing before your long flight home. You will be transferred to the airport for your flight home.

Meals:  B

What's Included

  • 12 breakfasts, 12 lunches and 12 dinners
  • return economy class international flights from Sydney to Nairobi on QANTAS International and Kenyan Airlines including international airline taxes at $350 per person
  • 3 day community project including the logistical and operational support and expert locals to assist with the project being completed on time
  • private air conditioned vehicle transport throughout Kenya
  • national park entrance fees Mt Kenya and Samburu Nature Reserve valued at US$240 per person
  • 2 nights in The Heron Hotel, Nairobi
  • 10 nights camping whilst completing the community project, trekking on Mt Kenya or at Samburu Nature Reserve
  • group camping equipment (sleeping bags and mats are not provided)
  • services of porters and experienced guides on Mt Kenya
  • experienced bilingual safari guides and local Masai guides
  • group medical kit
  • pre departure information kit including all you need to know for your trek and community project

What's Not Included

  • Bottled water, Aerated drinks, and items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry, email etc.
  • $200 fundraising component for the materials and relevant freight charges to Gatundu Primary School whilst undertaking the class room community project
  • 3 meals not included (B x 1, L x 1, D x 1) Allow for approx US$15 per meal
  • Tipping for the crew, porters and drivers should you feel appropriate at a total of $50 per student
  • Kenyan entry visa - approx US$25 paid upon arrival
  • travel insurance (compulsory)


Duration:13 Days
Activities:Community Project at local primary school
Trek Mt Kenya
Samburu Nature Reserve Wildlife Safari
Discover the Kenyan way of life
Grade:Moderate to Challenging  Click for more information
Trip Code:SOG3181