The day by day expedition itinerary is as follows :
Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport. Transfer to Protea Aishi Hotel for dinner and overnight stop.
Rongai Gate (2008m) – Simba Camp (2641m)
Hiking Time: 3-4 hour, Distance: 6,96km, Habitat: Montane forest
Your day starts early with a briefing, followed by breakfast and a 45-minute drive to the Marangu Gate. After completing the necessary registration formalities, we transfer by 4WD vehicles to Nale Moru (2008m) to begin our climb on this unspoilt wilderness route. The first day is only a half-day walk on a small path that winds through farmland and pine plantations. It is a consistent but gentle climb through attractive forest that shelters a variety of wildlife. We reach our first overnight stop by late afternoon at the edge of the moorland zone (2,641m). Your porters (arriving at the camp site long before you) will have erected your tent on your arrival. In the evening the porters will boil drinking and washing water and the cook will prepare dinner, before you retire to your tent for the night. Night temperatures can already drop to freezing point at this campsite.
Simba Camp (2641m) – Kikelewa Cave (3640m)
Hiking Time: 6-7 hours. Distance: About 12,52 km, Habitat: Moorland, Ascent : 1,104m
The morning walk is a steady ascent up to the ‘Second Cave’ (3,450m) with superb views of the eastern ice fields on the rim of Kibo, the youngest and highest of the three volcanoes that form the entire mountain. After lunch, we leave the main trail and strike out across the moorland on a smaller path towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi, the second of Kilimanjaro’s volcanoes. Our campsite, which we reach in late afternoon, is in a sheltered valley near Kikelewa Caves (3,640m).
Kikelewa Cave (3640m) – Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4310m)
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours, Distance: About 4,23 km, Habitat: Moorlands
A steep climb up grassy slopes is rewarded by superb panoramas of the Kenyan plains to the north. We leave vegetation behind close to Mawenzi Tarn (4,310m), spectacularly situated in a cirque beneath the towering cliffs of Mawenzi. The afternoon will be free to rest or to explore the surrounding area as an aid to acclimatisation. It is normally around this point, where for the first time, some climbers will start to feel symptoms of breathlessness, irritability and headaches. We will carefully monitor everyone and have a relaxing dinner in the evening.
Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4310m)
Hiking Time: 2 hours, Distance: About 2-3 km, Habitat: Alpine Desert
We will spend the day at Mawenzi Tarn Camp letting our bodies adjust to the altitude. In the afternoon we will have a short acclimatisation hike of around 2 hours. This will be a relaxing day for everyone.
Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4310m) – Kibo Hut (4706m)
Hiking Time: 4 – 6 hours, Distance: About 9,38 km, Habitat: Alpine Desert
We leave our attractive campsite to cross the lunar desert of the ‘Saddle’ between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach Kibo campsite (4,710m) at the bottom of the Kibo Crater wall by early afternoon. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent before a very early night! Prepare your equipment and clothing for your summit attempt. Go to bed at round about 19h00 and try to get some precious rest and sleep for not more than 5 hours. We awake at just before midnight for our summit attempt.
SUMMIT ATTEMPT: Kibo Hut (4710m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m)
Hiking Time: 6 – 9 hours to reach Uhuru Peak, Distance: 5,7 km Ascent, Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
You will rise around 23h30, and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the night. We plod very slowly in darkness and cold on a switchback trail through loose volcanic scree to reach the Crater rim at Gillman’s Point (5,685 m). We will rest there for a short time to enjoy the spectacular sunrise over Mawenzi. We will then continue on along the snow-covered rim to the true summit of Uhuru Peak (5,895m), passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. The time you will spend on the summit will depend on the weather conditions.
DESCENT: Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Kibo Hut (4710m)
Hiking Time: 3 – 6 hours to descend to Kibo Hut, Descent 5,7 km
The descent to Kibo Hut (4,710 m) can be very challenging for some hikers, but if you take the scree slope it is surprisingly fast.
DESCENT: Kibo Hut (4710m) – Horombo Hut (3720m), Descent 8,56 km
After some refreshments at Kibo Hut and some rest, we continue descending to reach our final campsite at Horombo (3,720 m). This is an extremely long and hard day, with between 12 to 18 hours walking at high altitude. Enjoy your accomplishment and a day to remember for the rest of your life.
Horombo Hut (3720m) – Mandara (2700m) – Marangu Gate (1830m)
Hiking Time: 5 – 6 hours, Habitat: Forest
Distance 11,56km (Horombo to Mandara)
Distance 7km (Mandara to Marangu Gate)
After an early and well-deserved breakfast, it is a 5-6 hour and scenic hike back to the Park gate. At Marangu Gate you sign your name and details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates.
Those climbers who reached Gillman’s Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates. You now drive back to Moshi for a long overdue hot shower, dinner and celebrations!! We will enjoy a celebration dinner before our departure the next day.
Depart Moshi for flight home. Flights leave from Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA).