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Kenya's Best Outdoor Climbing Locations

When you’re ready to venture outside of the gym and enjoy a climbing adventure in the great outdoors, Kenya has plenty of options to choose from. As I’ve explored Kenya, a few places stand out. Here are five of my favorite climbing locations in Kenya.


Hell’s Gate is just a two-hour drive from Nairobi, near Lake Naivasha, and combines both climbing and wildlife. It has excellent trad climbing, ranging from short cracks to amazing multi-pitch routes. The main wall is the largest cliff, but the last pitches are often deprived of quality rock. Fischer Cliff is the smaller face with some really good crack climbing. There’s also the iconic Fischer’s Tower, a 30-meter, standalone rock tower with several exhilarating routes. Remember to take a moment at the top to look around and enjoy the scenery, including the zebra, giraffes, buffalo, and other animals you can spot from above. You can camp within the park or opt for campsites outside the park, which are plentiful around this area.


Owned by the Mountain Club of Kenya, with entry free to its members, Lukenya is the most popular crag in Kenya, found just 45 minutes away from Nairobi out Mombasa Road. Lukenya has perfect routes, making it an outstanding place for beginners, intermediate and advanced climbers. It has been the center of the growth of sport climbing in Kenya. In addition to trad and sport climbing, Lukenya is also a good place for climbers who love bouldering. There are also plenty of wild animals, including a resident leopard, hyenas, giraffe and impalas just to name a few.


An hour from Nairobi, past Ngong town, you will find the “Frog” which has plenty of reputable routes—over 100 in total. Although they have plenty of single-pitch routes, the greatest ones are in the higher grades.


Ololokwe is a gigantic cliff in northern Kenya, past Samburu and Shaba National Reserves, with numerous adventurous routes. This giant rock is the central draw to this region; a megalith that takes up the skyline as you drive. Cat and Mouse is an additional highlight in the area and other crags of shorter trad and sport routes can be found at Baboon Cliff.


Last but definitely not least, Mount Kenya is the second-highest mountain in Africa and offers great opportunities for multi-pitch and ice climbing. There is outstanding rock and ice climbing at above-average elevations to the twin summit peaks, Batian (at 5199m) and Nelion (at 5188m). The third utmost peak is Point Lenana (at 4985m), which can be trekked by any hiker. Nearby are lower climbable routes, including Point John and Point Peter. The mountain is in good condition for rock climbing through two drier seasons. From December to around March, the rocks facing south are sunny, while starting June to around October, the rocks facing the north are in the sun.


If you’re interested in experiencing the best that Kenyan climbing has to offer, but don’t have the equipment, transportation, or other resources to take these trips safely and enjoyably, please reach out to us! We have group trips that regularly go to locations like Lukenya and Hell’s Gate and we can also work with you individually to plan your ideal excursion!

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