This pioneering 8-day route around Kilimanjaro, with optimum acclimatisation and captivating views on Africa’s highest mountain.
Day 1, LONDROSSI GATE TO MTI MKUBWA CAMP (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
After breakfast you will travel by 4wd to Londrossi gate where you will meet your guides and mountain crew. They will assist with all the national park formalities, registering you and weighing your duffle bags to ensure that the load carried by each porter does not exceed the mandatory 20kgs limit.
After completing the registration process at Londrossi Gate you drive for 11kms along narrow dirt roads through pine plantations, gradually climbing to the Lemosho Glades where you will begin your trek.
Today’s hike takes around 3 hours, moving uphill through thick and undisturbed montane forest that is home to a multitude of birdlife. You may hear the grunting calls of the magnificent black colobus monkeys with their long ‘cape’ of white hair and flowing white tail.
Tonight you will camp in the forest zone, where podocarpus (African yellow-wood), hagenia and hypericum (St John’s wort) dominate. In the evening you may hear the unmistakable shrieking call of the tree hyrax.
|Hiking Time:4-5 hours|
|Total Distance:7 km|
|Starting Altitude: 1981m (6890ft)|
|Final Altitude:2780m (9222ft)|
|Environment:Montane (rain) Forest|
Day 2, MTI MKUBWA CAMP TO SHIRA CAMP (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Today is a long day over narrow tracks that weave in and out of the ridges as you ascend. Along the way you will see giant heather and erica and as you gain altitude you will encounter the unique giant levelia and giant groundsel. The mantra today is ‘pole pole’ which means ‘slowly slowly’ in Swahili. There is no rush to reach camp and you should take the route slowly to enable your body to start adjusting to the altitude and to enjoy the magnificent views of Kilimanjaro.
The Shira Plateau is one of the highest in the world with an average height of 3,810m; it is a caldera (a collapsed volcanic crater) and you may see a herd of eland in the distance or startle a grey duiker near camp.
|Hiking Time:7 hours|
|Total Distance:12 km|
|Starting Altitude:2780m (9222ft)|
|Final Altitude:3511m (11520ft)|
|Environment:Montane Forest – Moorland|
Day 3, SHIRA CAMP TO MOIR HUT (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Today you trek steadily northwards through the heather and into the barren high altitude desert towards the natural landmark called Shark’s Tooth. You will gain altitude slowly and continue to acclimatize.
The scenery today is fabulous as you enter the high desert zone, where only hardy everlastings and small senecios survive. Above you is a huge circular bowl created by glaciers, and there are many lava tube caves in the cliffs at the uppermost edge. Above the bowl is the Kibo Massif and the Northern Ice Field whilst below you will have extensive views of the Shira Plateau.
|Hiking Time:5-6 hours|
|Total Distance:9 km|
|Starting Altitude:3511m (11520ft)|
|Final Altitude:4175m (13700ft)|
Day 4, MOIR HUT TO POFU CAMP (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Today is a strenuous day as you make your way around Kibo’s northern face, with many ascents and descents as you traverse the valleys that emerge from the base of Kibo. The views today are different to those that you will have had in previous days so you can enjoy these as you crest each ridge before descending again! The vegetation changes rapidly from one valley to the next until you reach Pofu Campsite, a rather barren place perched on a remote and rocky ridge.
|Hiking Time:7-8 hours|
|Total Distance:12 km|
Day 5, POFU CAMP – THIRD CAVE CAMP (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
You will continue heading around the little visited northern slopes of Kilimanjaro, still ascending and descending frequently as you pass through a mixture of rocky alpine desert and sparse moorland. The views are stunning, with both Kibo and Mawenzi looming majestically above you. Once you reach Third Cave Camp you have completed the Northern Circuit so deserve a clap on the back!
|Hiking Time:6 hours|
|Total Distance: 7 km|
|Starting Altitude: 4020 m|
|Final Altitude: 3960m|
Day 6, THIRD CAVE CAMP – SCHOOL HUTS (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Today sees a sharp ascent up to School Hut, with an altitude gain of approximately 780m. The views along the way are staggering so make sure that you stop frequently to catch your breath and admire the scenery.
School hut itself is a mountain training facility for park rangers and is in an impressive position with wonderful views of Kibo Peak.
|Hiking Time: 5 hours|
|Total Distance:6 km|
|Starting Altitude: 3960 m|
|Final Altitude:4790 m|
Day 7, SCHOOL HUTS – SUMMIT-MWEKA CAMP (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
You will rise early to leave camp at around 12am and after a warm drink and a light snack, you will begin the most difficult though most rewarding day of the trek. You are heading for the summit via Gillman’s Point and Stella Point.
Once you reach Stella Point you will stop to rest, eat ‘lunch’ and take in the views over the clouds. From Stella Point the trail is normally snow-covered, and every step of the two-hour final ascent to Uhuru peak is challenging. Passing alongside the iridescent blue Rebmann and Tarzel glaciers you reach Elveda Point (5,882) and can see Uhuru Peak now only minutes away. The roof of Africa is within your grasp!
Arriving at the summit you feel a huge sense of elation and accomplishment you have done it, you have made it to the highest point in Africa. You can spend as much time as you need to appreciate your accomplishment although this is of course dependent on the weather conditions at the summit.
When you are ready you will start back down the same trail, descending to Barafu camp. Here you will have a well-earned but short rest and remove some of your many layers of clothing as the day begins to heat up. You will head down the rock and scree path into the moorland zone, reaching the forest, and eventually arriving at Mweka Camp in the early afternoon where a hot shower and meal awaits. Today is the longest, and the most mentally and physically challenging of the trek.
|Hiking Time: 13-16 hours|
|Total Distance:19 km|
|Starting Altitude: 4790 m|
Highest point reached:5895M
|Final Altitude: 3100 m|
|Environment: Stone scree and Moorland|
Day 8, MWEKA CAMP – MWEKA GATE – ARUSHA (Breakfast, Lunch)
Today your legs will be further tested as the trail descends steeply through the lush Mweka rain forest. The trail is steep in places and the going slippery if wet. The route follows the crest of a broad ridge separating two river valleys until it meets with a road that leads you for the last 40 mins to the Mweka Park Gates where you stop for a well deserved picnic lunch. Here successful climbers will receive their summit certificates (gold for Uhuru Peale, Green for Stella point) from the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority. After you have celebrated you will transfer to your hotel for the night.
|Hiking Time: 3-4 hours|
|Total Distance:8 km|
|Starting Altitude: 3100 m|
|Final Altitude: 1800 m|
|Environment: Montane Forest|
- Two nights’ accommodation at the Hotel in Arusha (before and after the climb)
- First night includes Dinner and breakfast
- Last night includes dinner & breakfast
- Transportation from Arusha to/from the starting/finishing points respectively
- Airport transfers
- Qualified guides with mountain crew
- National park fees
- Tents and sleeping mattresses
- Cutlery / Crockery / Eating utensils
- Mess tent (for dining) / Mini camping chairs / Tables / Candles
- Rescue fees
- Pulse oxi-meters
- First aid kit
- Guides, porters, cook, waiter salaries
- Hot water on the mountain
- All meals on the mountain (breakfast, lunch & dinner)
- Guides, porters, waiter, cook accommodation and entry fees on the mountain
- Single room supplement at the Hotel (except on the 1 person rate)
- Guides, Porters, Cook & Waiters tips
- Meals and drinks not specified
- Gear for your climb
- Items of personal nature
- Additional nights beyond the two standard hotel nights included