For five days, our team climbed Mt Kenya for one purpose: protecting lions. What began as an adventure to strengthen our team turned into something much more. Thanks to many of you, we were able to raise nearly $20,000 for our lion conservation programmes. And at the same time, we used our expedition to raise awareness among people around the world that Kenya’s lions are in serious trouble.
Updated: We did it! We completed our goal of raising $20,000 for lion conservation. Thanks to everyone who contributed!! Video available here: https://youtu.be/LEJTLcJiFjk
Here we tell the story of our expedition through photos.
The team consists of 18 members: 14 Ewaso Lions staff, 1 of our sponsored students, 1 board member, and 2 friends of the project. We started from the Sirimon Gate of Mt Kenya National Park.
After months and months of trip planning, gear sorting, and packing — the day had finally arrived. Everyone was really excited, and there were quite a few nerves too. This was a big moment for the Samburu warriors and scouts, who have never had such a unique experience. They were perhaps more anxious about the cold than any other aspect of the trip.
We stopped at a frozen puddle and Lentiyo touched natural ice for the first time.
The trail up provided endless views that forced us to stop and take it all in. We hiked slowly so that we could acclimate to the thin air and stay hydrated.
We were amazed by the unique and bizarre flora of the mountain, like this Lobelia telekii, which is found only in the alpine zones of Mt Kenya.
After two days of long treks, we reached Shipton’s Camp at 4,200 m.
We spent each night in small camps along the route. All 18 of crammed into cozy bunk beds. Here, we enjoy much needed tea which helped combat the cold temperatures.
On the day we summited, we set out before dawn. It took us 5 hours from Shipton’s Camp to reach the peak. A strong, freezing wind was blowing. The path was loose and steep. Several of us felt the effects of altitude and became sick with headache and nausea. But none gave up. Our excellent guides from Alpine Adventures took great care leading us to the top.
We proudly hoisted the Ewaso Lions and Kenyan flags at the top of Point Lenana (4,985 m / 16,355 ft). Making it to the top was one of the proudest moments for all of us. We couldn’t have done this without help from people around the world.
A panoramic view from the top. To the left is Batian, the highest peak of Mt Kenya, which requires technical rope climbing and major courage — above our level! We were lucky enough to be treated to a clear view of Mt Kilimanjaro whose peak broached the clouds to the south (out of the frame).
We took the Ch0goria route down the mountain. It was absolutely stunning — for most of us, it was our favourite scenery of the entire trip.
Yesalai, Shivani, Jeneria, Heather, Lekurana and Thomas with Lake Michaelson in the background.
Thomas says this is the most beautiful place he has ever been.
Parting shot: We return to Samburu with tired feet, but feeling energised about the accomplishment of climbing Kenya’s highest mountain for lions.
> Watch the video from our trip: https://youtu.be/LEJTLcJiFjk
> Visit our Facebook page for more photos
> Visit our campaign page at http://bit.ly/ClimbForLions
> Share this page using the hashtag #ClimbForLions