Whether you are looking for a multiple day trek to a summit, abseiling, rock climbing or a gentle day hike - Kenya offers plenty of exciting walking trials for outdoor enthusiast. To build an interesting roadtrip itinerary, we recommend to alternate vehicle based safari with time for walks and hikes. Often these Kenyan parks see fewer tourists, and allow for an off the beaten track experience.
Roadtrip Kenya has compiled a list with best hiking trails in Kenya.
Mount Kenya - the most technical mountain to climb
Tourists have a fascination for a number one positioning, be it the highest, biggest, oldest. As such, Mount Kenya, being the second-highest mountain of Africa at 5199 metre, is often overshadowed by its higher, more popular neighbour in Tanzania, Mount Kilimanjaro. Yet, summiting Mount Kenya is more technical. There you have it, also a number one positioning. Fewer tourists climb Mount Kenya, hence, summiting the peak is a more affordable and probably also a more authentic experience than climbing the Kili.
The most frequent route to the summit is on the South East Face, approaching the mountain along the Chogoria route. This climb requires 5-6 days. Needless to say, don't try to safe a buck, choose a reputable company.
Climbing season is from July to early October.
If you do not have 5 days set aside to climb the mountain, then enjoy a beautiful day hike to the Met Station at an altitude of 3,050 m. Some hikers choose to continue to the alpine zone, 1 hour further.
This zone is covered with distinct vegetation like the senecio, giant heather, lobelia and tussock grass.The panorama is worth the tough hike.
Hells Gate - great for abseiling, rock climbing and gentle trails
The imposing Rift Valley cliff forms the exterior of Hells Gate National Park park and attracts seasoned and novice rock climbers alike. You can also go abseiling in this Kenyan park. Fischer’s Tower, a large volcanic pillar, is a good climb. Equipment can be hired at the Elsa Park gate and there’s a qualified rock climbing guide.
The Ol Njorowa Gorge meanders a distance of 24km and has one of the best hiking trails of Kenya. Its filled with hot water springs that supply water to a small stream at the floor of the gorge. You can also find more information about Hells Gate National Park in our Kenya Travel Guide, here.
Mount Elgon - put on your muddy shoes
Mount Elgon is an extinct volcano, divided by the Kenya-Uganda border. To climb the summit takes around 4 days. This area is also great for day hikes in the lower forest, with many beautiful and serene walking trails to choose from.
Trekkers should be adequately prepared. Despite its equatorial location, the Mountain can be cold, and it often rains. The cliffs of lower Elgon and Sudek are also good for rock climbing
Loroghi Hills - an off the beaten track hiking destination.
Wild and isolated, the Loroghi hills are one of Kenya’s best trekking regions. The hills provide stunning views across the Rift Valley, as well as high mountain passes and forested valleys. Tracks wind their way up the Lesiolo escarpment, reaching a 2580 metre pinnacle at Poror Peak. The real beauty of this region though, is the opportunity to meet and spend time with the Samburu people, for whom these hills are home. Travelling with a Samburu guide helps you to get to know both the land and its people, making your trek more than just a walk.
The Loroghi Hills lie in Northern Kenya. Access to the Loroghi is from the small town of Maralal, 350 km north of Nairobi. Inform Peter, the manager of Roadtrip Kenya on ground, if you wish to explore the Loroghi Hills. He can provide tips about this hidden gem in Kenya.
Kakamega Forest - a birders paradise
Kakamega is popular with specialist birders and naturalist. There are a range of trails allowing for walks of varying length and the wide variety of unique plants and animals make for a truly fascinating walk. Trekking conditions are quite easy, although one should be prepared for occasional rain. The local guides of Kakamega Park are well trained.
Mount Longonot - day hike close to Nairobi
Mount Longonot is a dormant volcano and a fairly easy accessible peak to climb. In about 2 hours, on a well marked trail, you can reach the top at 2276 meters. It’s a steep climb though, but you will be rewarded with breathtaking views over the plains. Going around the crater at the summit takes an additional 2 hours. Great if you feel like stretching your legs after a few days of vehicle based safaris.
Mount Longonot is a popular day trip from Nairobi, as its only about 1 hours drive. So you can expect more visitors over the weekend.
Mengengai Trek - a day hike close to Nakuru
Mengengai is the second largest caldera in Africa. This volcanic crater is 12km across and 500m deep. It is possible to climb up to the craters edge to 2272 metre with spectacular views from the top. From Nakuru town, the hike up and down the crater should take about 6 hours.