About the Mountain Club of Kenya
The Mountain Club of Kenya first started as the Mountain Club of East Africa (Kenya Section) in 1938 but it has been in existence as a separate club since 1949. We meet at a pre-announced location in Westlands, twice a month - the second and last Tuesday of the month. We organise meets every two to three weeks. These are often hiking trips, some of which are easy day walks while others are more strenuous. Every few months, there is a climbing meet, but groups of climbers go out climbing almost every weekend. We also organise climbing instruction and camping at Lukenya, a hill that we acquired in the early 1960's. This is 40 km south of Nairobi. There's a timetable of events in the newsletter and this is posted on the club notice board.
It used to be situated at the Nairobi Sailing and Sub-Aqua Club, behind the Langata Shopping Center. The Club's library has a wide selection of mountaineering books as well as all previous copies of the MCK Bulletin, which can provide useful information on specific areas. Our map library is only for reference use and you are not allowed to remove any maps from the Club House. If you need copies of maps, please talk to the person in charge of the map library or any of the Committee members. The Club publishes guidebooks to walking and climbing in Kenya and in addition, we have stocks of maps on Mount Kenya, Kilimanjaro and the Ruwenzori. All these publications are available for sale at our bi-monthly evening meetings at affordable prices.
About every second or third weekend there is an activity organised by a member. There is usually an announcement and a list for you to sign yourself up on; this is posted on the notice board in the entrance hall. On the Tuesday before the event, there may be a briefing on the outing in order to sort out transport and other logistical problems.
You will find a list of activities of the coming months in the Newsletter (we try to be 3-4 months ahead of time when planning the activities). The current Newsletter is always posted on the club notice board. Mountaineering and rock-climbing activities tend to be arranged by individual members on an informal basis. Rock-climbing for beginners is arranged twice a year at our own crag at Lukenya.
The Club owns a part of the Lukenya Hill, which provides many good possibilities for rock climbing. It is ideal for both beginners and experienced rock climbers and it has a unique setting. It is situated 40 km south of Nairobi along the Mombasa road. There are two guidebooks on the climbs at Lukenya available and they give you the directions to get there. To visit Lukenya, one needs to be a member of the Club. Temporary or daily membership can be arranged for visitors. MCK does not allow use of Lukenya for commercial purposes/gain. Some time ago, we experienced some problems with security so we now advise you to follow a few simple rules when you go there.
- Do not leave your car unattended at the base of the cliffs. Either park your car at the Lukenya Academy (the school just north of the cliffs), obtain a guard from there or bring one with you.
- Try to avoid walking alone on the hill.
- Do not camp anywhere apart from at our campsite on top of the hill.
Athi River Police Station provides personnel for security and this is usually a good idea when camping. It is advisable to contact the Athi River Police Station Sergeant-in-Charge one or two days beforehand. Please talk to any of the members for further information and if anything happens to you at Lukenya, you should report the incident to Athi River Police Station and to the MCK.
The Club owns four huts on Mount Kenya: the Teleki Valley Rescue Hut, Black Hole Bivvy, Bailles Bivvy (unusable) and Howell Hut. If using the huts, please do not leave ANY litter in their vicinity and please toilet well away from the hut. Others would also like to enjoy them after you. Please talk to any of the Committee members for further information on the use of the huts.
PUBLICATIONS - See "Published Books" page
The MCK has published several guides to walking, climbing and mountaineering in Kenya. The most important titles are:
e to Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro edited by Iain Allan. This book describes walking and climbing on the two highest mountains in Africa. It is targeted mainly at climbers and alpinists but it also is of good general interest since it describes the walking routes, flora, fauna, geology and history of the two mountains.
Both these books are available in many of Nairobi's bookshops or directly from the MCK or from our distributors in the UK and USA.
The MCK has also published climbing guides to the following crags close to Nairobi: Lukenya (vols. 1 and 2) Frog, Ndeya, Hells Gate. In addition the Club publishes a monthly Newsletter and a yearly MCK Bulletin. These publications are mainly for the members, but they also give interesting accounts of trips to mountains in East Africa and elsewhere.