The Mackinders Quest -- Mt. Kenya Day Hike
Can you get to Mackinders Camp?
If you want to experience Mt. Kenya on a tight budget, the Naromoru route is your perfect choice. The trail is short, making it possible to trek all the way to the Mackinders camp (4,300m ASL) on a day trip, where you enjoy glorious views of the peaks. Our 10km Mackinders Hike trail starts at the Met Camp (3,048m ASL), cutting through the marshy vertical bog in the lower moorland zone, past the upper moorland zone, dotted with lobelias and other beautiful montane vegetation, to get to the magnificent Teleki Valley.
Our ascent ends at the Mackinders Camp, where we will enjoy scenic views of the peaks — if the weather is favorable — and then descend back to Met Camp for pickup back to Nairobi.
This is an important altitude acclimatization hike for the Beginner to Mt. Kenya program participants, as it simulates altitude sickness symptoms that may appear on the main Mt. Kenya climb. The experience will help you understand, identify, and communicate your altitude sickness symptoms long before they become severe.
Mackinders Hike Distance & Stats
Maximum Elevation: 4,300m
Maximum Elevation Gain: 1252m
Duration: 7-10 hours
Mackinders Hike Itinerary
4:15 a.m Meet up at International House Parking, City Hall Way. Boarding opens.
4:30 a.m Departure for Mt. Kenya Naromoru Gate.
08:30 a.m Arrival at Mt. Kenya Naromoru Gate for registration.
09:00 a.m Departure for Met Camp
09:30 a.m Hike Starts
02:00 p.m Mandatory turn-back and descent to avoid encounters with wild animals after dusk
EST 06:30 p.m Departure for Nairobi
How to Prepare for the Hike
- Engage in active cardio exercises such as aerobics, walking, running, cycling, and swimming among others the week prior to the event.
- Set aside the day before the hike for resting--take a break from exercises.
- Increase your hydration at least two days to the hike.
- Purpose to get enough rest the night before the hike.
- If on intermittent fasting or on a diet, take a break in the period one day before and after the hike. This way, you will build up your energy reserves for the arduous task ahead.
- Cut your toe nails!
- Have a generous breakfast at least 3 hours before the start of the hike. This ensures that most of the food has been digested by the time you begin the hike, giving you the much-needed energy while ensuring your stomach is not too full for comfort.
- Use the bathroom before leaving the house to reduce the need for bathroom breaks on the commute.
- Set your mind up for conquering yourself. Hiking is more about your mindset than physical preparation. Once you win the battle in your mind, everything else contributes less than 10%. You can do it!