DAY 1: Elevation (m): 1950m to 2600m, Distance: 8km, Time: 4 hours
Habitat: Montane Forest
RONGAI GATE TO FIRST CAVE’S CAMP
We will register at Marangu Park Gate and then drive to the Rongai trailhead and the Nale Moru village. This drive will take approximately 2 ½ hours. Once there we will begin your trek and cross maize fields and climb through a pine forest. This climb is a gentle one on a small winding path. The first night’s camp is at First Cave, approx 2,600m altitude.
DAY 2: Elevation (m): 2600m to 3600m, Distance: 9km, Time: 6 – 7 hours
FIRST CAVE TO KIKELEWA CAVE
Today our trek continues up towards Kibo, passing Second Cave (3450m), and reaching Kikelewa Cave at 3600 meters. From here you will see how majestic Kilimanjaro is. Tonight’s camp is at Third Cave Camp (Kikelewa Caves).
DAY 3: Elevation (m): 3600m to 4330m, Distance: 6km, Time: 4 hours
KIKELEWA CAVE TO MAWENZI TARN
Today we start with a short but steep climb up grassy slopes. At the top, you will have magnificent 360-degree views. Our next camp for the night is beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi (4330m).
DAY 4: Elevation (m): 4330m to 4750m, Distance: 4 km, Time: 3 hours
Habitat: Alpine desert.
MAWENZI TARN TO KIBO CAMPSITE
Today we cross the lunar desert of the ‘Saddle’ between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach Kibo campsite (4750m) at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. The rest of the day is spent in preparation for the ascent. During this time you will have an early dinner, finish preparing your personal gear and get some sleep.
DAY 5: Elevation (m): 4750m to 5895m, Distance: 6 km ascent/16km descent, Time: 6-8 hours ascent/4-5 hours descent
Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit.
KIBO CAMPSITE TO UHURU PEAK TO HOROMBO HUT
We will wake you up at 23.30 hours, have some breakfast and then at midnight start our ascent. The first section of the trail consists of a rocky path to the Hans Meyer Cave (5150m). We then zigzag up to Gillman’s point (5681m), on the crater rim. This section is very steep with much stone scree and is the most demanding section of the route. From Gillman’s Point, we could encounter snow all the way up to Uhuru Peak (5895m), the highest point in Africa. After taking photos and breathing in the views we descend back to Kibo Hut and then Horomobo where we camp overnight for our last night on Mount Kilimanjaro.
DAY 6: Elevation (m): 3720m to 1980m, Distance: 20km, Time: 5-7 hours
HOROMBO HUT TO MARANGU GATE
This morning we continue our descent, passing Mandara Hut, down to the Marangu Gate. We will then go to lunch and you will receive your summit certificates. After lunch, we will drive you back to your hotel and say our farewell.
DAY 1: Elevation (m): 1800m to 2700m, Distance: 7km, Time: 3 hours.
Habitat: Montane Forest.
MARANGU GATE TO MANDARA HUT
You will be picked up from your hotel in the morning and driven to the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park Gate. Once signed in at the park and final preparations are complete, we start ascending on a cleared ridge trail through the rainforest. The forest is where most of Kilimanjaro’s animals are found. Our first night is at Mandara Hut camp set in a forest clearing. This camp consists of a group of wooden A-framed huts and flush toilets behind the main hut.
DAY 2: Elevation (m): 2700m to 3720m, Distance: 12km, Time: 6 hours
MANDARA HUT TO HOROMBO HUT
In the morning we leave camp and trek through a short stretch of forest through to moorland, circumventing the base of the Maundi Crater. In the afternoon we will reach the Horombo Hut where will we stay overnight.
DAY 3: Elevation (m): 3720
HOROMBO HUT (ACCLIMATISATION).
Given that this route poses challenges for being properly acclimatized, we advise spending another night at Horombo Hut. During this day we will trek towards Mawenzi, passing the Zebra Rockson the way (about 3 hours up and 1.5 hours down)and then return to Horombo Hut.
DAY 4: Elevation (m): 3720m to 4700m, Distance: 9.5km, Time: 5 hours.
Habitat: Alpine desert
HOROMBO HUT TO KIBO HUT
Today we continue our ascent into the Alpine desert zone to Kibo Hut. From Kibo Hut, the summit is now only another 1195m ascent. This afternoon we will have an early dinner, prepare your personal gear for the summit and then get some sleep. Our summit trek starts tonight.
DAY 5: Elevation (m): 4700m to 5895m, Distance: 21 km, Time: 6-7 hours ascent, 3 hours descent.
Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
KIBO HUT TO SUMMIT
You will be woken around 23:30 pm, and after a hot breakfast we will start our final summit. The first section of the trail consists of a rocky path to Hans Meyer point (5250m). The path then zigzags up to Gillman’s point (5681m) on the crater rim. This section is very steep with a lot of scree. From Gillman’s Point, we could encounter snow all the way up to Uhuru peak (5895m), the highest point in Africa. After taking photos at the summit we start the 3 hours descent back to Kibo Hut. After a short rest, we pack up all your personal gear and trek down to Horombo Hut (3 hours). Tonight is our last night on the mountain.
DAY 6: Elevation (m): 3720m to 1980m, Distance: 18 km, Time: 6 hours
HOROMBO HUT TO MARANGU GATE.
This morning we make our final descent down to Marangu Gate where we started. You will be taken for lunch and here you will receive your summit certificate to commemorate your great achievement. We will then drive you back to your hotel where we will say our farewell.
DAY 1: Elevation (m): 1800m to 3000m, Distance: 11km, Time: 5-7hours,
Habitat: Montane Forest.
MACHAME GATE TO MACHAME CAMP
We pick you up from your Hotel and drive to the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park Gate. Once there, we sign in and get permits at the Park office then start the climb. Today we walk through the rainforest on a winding trail up a ridge to Machame Camp where we will camp overnight. You will stop for your hot lunch along the way.
DAY 2: Elevation (m): 3000m to 3850m, Distance: 9km, Time: 4-6 hours
MACHAME CAMP TO SHIRA CAMP
We continue our trek, crossing a small valley and up to a steep rocky ridge, covered with heath. Our route now turns west onto a river gorge. We stop overnight at the Shira campsite.
DAY 3: Elevation (m): 3850m to 4600m to 3950m, Distance: 12 km, Time: 6-7 hours
Habitat: Semi desert.
SHIRA CAMP VIA LAVA TOWER TO BARRANCO CAMP
This is a very important day for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day. We will ascend to Lava Tower at 4600m and take our hot lunch there to acclimatize. Following this, we descend to spend the night at Barranco campsite.
DAY 4: Elevation (m): 3950m to 4600m, Distance: 13km, Time: 6-7 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert
BARRANCO CAMP TO KARANGA CAMP
We start this day with a short scramble to the top of the Great Barranco Wall. Most people actually find this scramble quite fun. We then cross over scree ridges to the Karanga Valley (3930m) beneath the icefalls of the Heim, Kersten and Decken Glaciers. We will stay overnight at Karanga campsite.
DAY 5: Elevation (m): 3930m to 4600m, Distance: 6 km, Hiking Time: 3 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert
KARANGA CAMP TO BARAFU CAMP.
From here we connect with the Mweka descent Trail and continue up to the Barafu Hut (summit base camp). You have now completed the Southern Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles.
DAY 6: Elevation (m): 4600m to 5895m (and down to 3100m)
Distance: 7km ascent / 23km descent, Time: 6- 8 hours ascent / 7-8 hours descent.
Habitat: Stone screed and ice-capped summit.
BARAFU CAMP TO SUMMIT TO MWEKA HUT
At midnight we start our trek to the summit and trek through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This is the most mentally and physically challenging part of the trek. We take a zig-zag path in order to ease the degree of the slope and to ensure our feet don’t slide backward on the scree. At Stella Point (5732m), we will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with a magnificent sunrise (weather permitting). From Stella Point there is a final 30 – 45 minute walk to Uhuru Peak (5895m) which is easier than the trek up to Stella Point. Along this last walk, you will see spectacular glaciers and the view can be something you will always remember. At Uhuru Peak you will have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa. It can be very cold at night at these elevations, but it will be quite warm by the end of the hiking day.
After taking photos from the summit, we start our descent down to the Mweka Hut camp site, via Barafu for lunch. Trekking poles will be needed for the loose gravel going down to Mweka Camp (3100m). Later in the evening, we will enjoy our last dinner and sleep on the mountain.
DAY 7: Elevation (m): 3100m to 1800m, Distance: 8 km, Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Montane Forest.
LAST DAY – MWEKA CAMP TO HOTEL
We descend down to the Mweka Park Gate as our final park exit point. Once we leave the park we will stop for lunch and you will receive your summit certificates.
DAY 1: Elevation: 2385m to 2780m, Distance: 7 km, Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Mountain Forest
LONDOROSI GATE TO MTI MKUBWA FOREST CAMP.
Drive from your Hotel towards the western side of Kilimanjaro where we sign in at Londorosi Gate and get a permit to start our climb. We will drive again for 45minutes (11KM), to the trail ahead where we will find our climbing crew ready and waiting to start our climbing. Our cook will prepare a hot lunch for you before we start our ascent along the Forest Trail to Mti Mkubwa (Big Tree Campsite).
DAY 2: Elevation: 2780m to 3500m, Distance: 12 km, Hiking Time: 6-7 hours
Habitat: Heather & Moorland
MTI MKUBWA TO SHIRA 1.
This morning we ascend to Shira Camp which is located in the heather zone along the Shira Caldera. The hike will take about 2 hours before we are out of the forest zone and into the heather zone. Here we stop for a hot lunch then continue on to the Shira Ridge and camp in the SHIRA CALDERA with its dramatic views of Kibo. The land here looks like savanna grassland with a beautiful view of heather bushes which grow into the “colony” form to resist the cold weather as well as wind. In a clear night, you can see dramatic views of stars which occupies the whole sky. Sometimes you will hear Jackal barking at night as well as seeing some animal signs of Buffalo, Eland, Sable, and others during the hike. The trek gets steeper as you go on this day.
DAY 3: Elevation 3500m to 3900m, Distance: 8 Km, Hiking Time: 5-6 Hours
SHIRA I CAMP TO SHIRA II CAMP (via Shira Cathedral).
This is a day you will be able to touch the clouds! We will hike across Shira Caldera towards the Western side of the Kibo. Camping at Shira is a unique opportunity. If the weather permits you will have wonderful views! This zone is the only place you can see the higher altitude plants such as the Ground cell/ Giant Senecio. As you get up this far, you will find that most of the plants cannot compete with the weather.
DAY 4: Elevation: 3900m to 3960m, Distance: 15 km, Hiking Time: 6-7 Hours
SHIRA II CAMP VIA LAVA TOWER TO BARRANCO CAMP.
From Shira Plateau, we will continue trekking east, towards the Lava Tower 4640m for a hot lunch and acclimatization. This will be our toughest day so far and you may feel the altitude. After taking some photographs of the Western Breach, we will descend again by almost 680m to the Barranco Camp, which takes about 2 hours. The camp is situated in a valley below the Great Barranco Wall which should provide you with a memorable sunset while you wait for your dinner.
DAY 5: Elevation: 3960m to 4035m, Distance: 5 Km, Hiking Time: 3.5hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert
BARRANCO CAMP TO KARANGA CAMP.
After breakfast, we leave Barranco Camp for Karanga. The day begins with an hour and a half scramble up the Barranco wall, in some places you may have to use your hands to pull your body up. After reaching the top, we hike through fairly level terrain before making a short but steep descent into the Karanga Valley. The camp is above the Valley. This day is very short and the terrain has many ups and down sections.
DAY 6: Evaluation: 4035m to 4640m, Distance: 4 km, Hiking Time: 2-3hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert
KARANGA CAMP TO BARAFU CAMP.
From here we continue to Barafu Hut. You have now completed the southern circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. At camp, we can rest, enjoy dinner and prepare for the summit at night. The two peaks, Mawenzi and Kibo should clearly be seen from this position.
DAY 7: Elevation: 4640m to 5895m (3790M), Distance & Hiking Time: 5 Kms: (6-7 hours of ascent), 12kms (5 hours of descent)
Habitat: Stone Scree & Ice-capped Summit
BARAFU TO SUMMIT TO MILLENNIUM CAMP.
You will be woken at 23:00 and start dressing for the summit, 23:30 get some quick breakfast (Normally Oat porridge, some fruit, tea, biscuits and toasted bread). 24:00 we will start our trek into the cold night air towards the summit “Uhuru Peak”. The summit trek can be divided into 3 sections: The first section of the trail consists of a less rocky path up to 5,000M. The path then zig zags up to Stella Point 5730M which is located on the crater rim, this section is long, very steep with a lot of scree, requiring great physical and mental effort. At Stella point we will be rewarded with most magnificent sunrise you’ll be ever likely to see! After a short rest, we will be walking in the snow for probably the next 45 minutes to 1 hour until you reach the summit. The climb is gradual and not very difficult; the altitude however can make it more challenging. It can be very cold at night at these sections, but it will be quite warm by the end of the hiking day. Upon reaching Uhuru, we take some photos before beginning the descent to Millennium Camp. On the way down from Uhuru you will enjoy breathtaking views of the mountain, crater, clouds and glaciers. At Barafu camp we will take a short break and eat brunch, you will have another 2 hrs to go before reaching Millennium camp for tonight.
DAY 8: Elevation: 3790m to 1630m, Distance: 18 km, Hiking Time: 5-6 Hours,
Habitat: Heather & Mountain Forest
MILLENNIUM CAMP (HIGH CAMP) TO MWEKA GATE.
After breakfast, we finish the trek with a descent to Mweka gate to receive your summit certificate. The vehicle will be waiting for us at the Mweka gate to take us back to Arusha via Moshi town for lunch.