Day 1: Arrival day in Tanzania
Upon arrival at the Kilimanjaro International Airport code: JRO you will welcomed by ANAPA representative who will usher you into a waiting vehicle and transfer you to the Hotel in Arusha. The rest of the day will be yours to do as you please; you may choose to relax at the hotel or explore the small town of Arusha (Arusha City excurtion). You will have a preliminary talk in preparation for your trek the following days. Dinner& Overnight at Outpost Lodge Arusha.
Day 2: Kilimanjaro Gate- Mti Mkubwa Camp
Elevation (ft): 3,000ft to 9170ft - Distance: 4 km - Hiking Time: 3-4 hours -Habitat: Rain Forest
We enter Kilimanjaro National Park and check in at the Londorossi Gate located on the western side of Kilimanjaro. Our trek today will be along a little used track through the montane forest. In places the vegetation is so untouched that it grows right across the trail. The flora and fauna are richer here than on the other more popular routes through the rain forest. Our first camp is in the rain forest at Mti Mkubwa (Big Tree).
Day 3: Mti Mkubwa- Shira I Plateau
Elevation (ft): 9,170ft to 11,500ft. - Distance: 8.4 km - Hiking Time: 7-8 hours
After breakfast we leave the glades, and start the climb towards the heath and moorland zone. A couple hours after lunch we cross into the Shira Caldera, a high altitude desert plateau, very different from the rain forest. Shira is the third of Kilimanjaro’s volcanic cones, and is filled with lava flow from Kibo Peak. Weather and volcanic action have decimated the crater rim. Today you’ll get your first close views of Kibo – the summit of Kilimanjaro.
Day 4: Shira I- Shira II Plateau
Elevation (ft): 11,500ft to 13,650ft - Distance: 10 km - Hiking Time: 7-8 hours
From the Shira Plateau, we continue to the east up a ridge, passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo. As we continue, our direction changes to the South East towards the Lava Tower, called the “Shark’s Tooth.” Shortly after the tower, we come to the second junction which brings us up to the Arrow Glacier at an altitude of 16,000ft. We now continue down to the Barranco Hut at an altitude of 13,650ft. Here we rest, enjoy dinner, and overnight. Although you end the day at the same elevation as when you started, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day.
Day 5: Shira II- Baranco camp
Elevation (ft): 12,950ft - Distance: 9.9 km - Hiking Time: 6-7 hours
After breakfast, we start climbing toward Lava Tower lower camp, at 15,200-ft/4,633-m, where we stop for lunch, allowing our bodies to acclimatize. We descend down through the giant Senecio forest to Barranco Camp, which is beautifully set up on a ridge at the foot of the Barranco Wall. This is where the Machame and Lemosho routes converge, so we meet other climbers ascending the Machame Route.
Day 6: Baranco- Karanga Camp
Elevation (ft): 13,200ft - Distance: 5.8 km - Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
After breakfast, our big challenge is to hike up the Barranco Wall, a 500 -ft lava flow. It’s not a technical wall, but challenging nonetheless. Once on top of the “wall”, the climb becomes easier and extremely beautiful with fantastic views of the crags and crevasses of the jagged peaks of Kibo on your left. Lastly we descend into the Karanga Valley and up the other side, for our overnight camp. The sunsets here are truly spectacular.
Day 7: Barafu Camp- Summit-
Elevation (ft): 14,950ft - Distance: 3.4km - Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
It’s all uphill to the rocky, craggy slopes at Barafu camp. Barafu means “ice” in Swahili, and it is extremely windy and cold at this altitude. There is a buzz of excitement in the air, as climbers anticipate our toughest day just ahead. The clouds move in an out, revealing the eroded peak of Mawenzi, painted with colors of the African sun.
Very early in the morning (midnight to 2am), we continue our way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers. You head in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. At Stella Point (18,600 ft), you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see (weather permitting).
From Stella Point, you may encounter snow all they way on your 1-hour ascent to the summit. At Uhuru Peak, you have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa. Faster hikers will see the sunrise from the summit.
From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. You will want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.
Day 8: Summit/ Crater Camp
Elevation (ft): 19,340ft - Distance: 4.5 km - Hiking Time: 7-9 hours
We repack our gear, taking only what we’ll need for the summit push. Today’s the toughest day, with the most stunning views of Mawenzi, the Kibo Saddle and the plains below. We slowly wind our way up over the rocky outcrops and through the scree until we reach the rim of the crater. After lunch on the rim, we make our push to the summit. The view from the summit is dramatic. The weather and effects of altitude will determine how long we stay here. After our summit celebration we descend to our crater camp for overnight facing the amazing Furtwangler Glacier. We spend the remainder of the day taking it easy, and enjoying camp at the highest sleeping altitude.
Day 9: Crater camp- Mweka camp
Elevation (ft): 10,400ft - Distance: 12 km - Descending Time: 8-9 hours
After breakfast, you can take a short hike up to the Ash pit, where fumaroles are evidence of Kilimanjaro’s dormant volcanic state. We then head downhill to Mweka Camp, where we enjoy our last night on Mount Kilimanjaro.
Day 10: Mweka camp- Mweka Gate/ Arusha
Elevation (ft): 5,500ft - Distance: 8.5 km - Descending Time: 4-5 hours - 1 hour drive to Arusha
In the morning we have a 4-5hour walk down to the gate, where the ANAPA vehicles meet us and take us back to the hotel and a well-earned shower.
Day 11: Arusha- Transfer
After breakfast, you can continue with your travel plans or be transferred to Kilimanjaro Airport.