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Kilimanjaro has several official climbing routes. .. Included in this section are details of 6 different climbing itineraries on 4 different climbing routes. Some considerations in…

MARANGU ROUTE

Day One:
In the morning, road transfer from your Base Hotel to Marangu gate.
The actual hike begins at the park gate (6,000′) and we hike 5.5 miles up to Mandara Hut (8,860′) near the upper edge of the forest line. The hike takes about 3-5 hours. The path is interesting, starting off through rain forest vegetation, then opening up to giant heather. If time and weather permit, a short walk from Mandara to Maundi Crater is worth it. Accommodation here, as well as at Horombo, are in wooden A-frame huts that sleep 4 to 8. Overnight Mandara Hut.

Day Two:
Today the destination is Horombo Hut at 12,200′. It takes a good 5-6 hours to cover the 10-mile journey and we often get our first views of the Kibo summit. The trail is strenuous and slippery and takes us clear of the forests and out onto the moorland. It passes beneath the rocky southern face of Mawenzi-one of the three volcanoes that make up Kilimanjaro. Rainfall in this region is frequent.

Day Three:
Another long hike, this time up to Kibo Hut at almost 15,500′. Although somewhat shorter in distance, this usually takes 7 hours because it is steeper and the altitude slows everyone down. The route passes directly up onto the Saddle, a wide, flat area with the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi looming overhead. Views from here can be fantastic. The last part of the trail passes across the arid plateau before ascending to Kibo Hut. Kibo Hut is a stone hut with rooms that sleep 10-15 people in bunk beds. We have a light dinner, and turn in early for any sleep if possible. The guides give a little pre-climb talk after dinner.

Day Four:
We are awakened about midnight, and have tea and cookies. The guides try to get everyone ready to climb as quickly as possible, leaving between 1:00-1:30 a.m. Starting off, the trail swings back and forth up a steep scree slope and the climate is bitterly cold. The summit climb is an event you will not forget, with the night sky full of stars and only your breathing to help focus your mind. Most climbers arrive at Gillman’s Point, elevation 18,635 feet, in time to enjoy sunrise around 6:30 a.m. The views from the top looking down on the plains make it all worthwhile. Some climbers decide that they have reached their goal and head down from here. For the strong, the true summit is Uhuru Peak (19,340 feet)-an additional 3 hours away round-trip. The descent from Gillman’s Point is fairly rapid, taking about 2 hours. Most climbers take a short rest at Kibo Hut before descending to Horombo Hut for the night, arriving late in the afternoon.

Day Five:
A long but easy 14-mile hike back to Marangu gate and park’s headquarters where you will be met and transferred to Arusha, with drop-off at your base hotel.

MACHAME ROUTE

Day One:
In the morning, we depart from our base hotel at approximately 8:00 AM for the Machame village where you begin the trek. From the park entrance gate (Machame), you will walk for about two to three hours through a dense forest of fig and rubber trees, begonia flowers, and other tropical vegetation. A stop for picnic lunch will be made halfway to this evening’s campsite. As you continue your ascent, you will find that the tropical forest has given way to tall grasses and giant heather. You will be walking on a ridge, to the left of which is the Semira stream, and on the right, the Weru Weru. Depending on the pace of the climbers, arrival at Machame Camp is usually between 5:00 PM and 6:00 PM. Your camp is set up near some old metal huts, which were once used for shelter.
This initial stage of the climb is tranquil and relatively easy. There is no point in rushing to get to the camp, as there is little to do there. Guides tend to recommend a slow ascent, even at this point, for gradual acclimatisation. Do not try to keep up with your porters, who will usually bound ahead. Instead, take time to admire the beauty of the rainforest. Overnight: Machame Camp (10, 000 ft)

Day Two:
On this and subsequent mornings, wake-up call is at around 6:00 AM. You will be greeted with a steaming cup of tea or coffee, and weather permitting, by a fabulous view of Uhuru peak. Today’s trek takes you up a steep track through a savannah of tall grasses, volcanic rock, and bearded heather. You will encounter giant groundsels as you hike through a ghostly landscape of volcanic lava, caves, and foamy streams.
Lunch will be taken just below the Shira Plateau, about three to four hours from Shira Camp. The hike to the next campsite takes approximately six hours and you should arrive between 2:00 PM and 3:00 PM. Most climbers tend to pace themselves, walking slowly and resting about every half-hour.
Overnight: Shira Camp (12,500 ft)

Day Three:
The entire Shira Plateau greets you this morning with sweeping vistas across to Meru and the Shira Needles. A steady walk takes you up to the pass at Lava Tower (15,000 ft), where you stop to have lunch. Crossing the Bastains stream, you will begin to descend towards Barranco Camp. The descent takes you along an immense canyon called Grand Barranco. Along the way, you will see numerous waterfalls, which are fed, by streams coming from the mountain, converging here to form the Umbwe River. Your camp is set at almost the same altitude as the night before. Today’s trek lasts for about six hours and arrival at camp is between 4:30PM and 5:30PM.
Overnight: Barranco Camp (13,000 ft)

Day Four:
This morning you begin your hike to Barafu Camp via Karanga Camp, which is on the same altitude as Barranco Camp.
You will encounter a bit of a climb at Barranco Cliff and spend the rest of the trek climbing up and down the slopes of the mountain most of the way to camp. The climbing is not considered difficult and you should arrive in time for lunch (approximately 1:00PM) having trekked for about four hours.
In the afternoon you have to hike in the Karanga Valley where giant senecios and lobelia grow; then continue with the scenic climb to Barafu which is mostly on a moraine with a view of Mawenzi peak towering majestically to the right, and overhead, Kibo peak seemingly just out of reach. The alpine desert terrain encountered at this point is mostly a mineral environment with few lichens and mosses. Climbers arrive at Barafu Camp at around 3:30PM. Climbers who choose to ascend the peak will go to bed very early this night, as the next day is the longest one. Overnight: Barafu Camp (15,200 ft)

Ascent to Summit (19,430 ft) / Descent
Day Five:

You will be awakened at midnight and after a light breakfast, start climbing at around 1:00 AM. It is at this stage that the climb becomes much more difficult. Here, very few will not be suffering from altitude sickness in some form or another; and climbers should carry as little as possible on this portion of the climb. Temperatures will range from -4° to 5° Fahrenheit. Making your way up a path that is flanked by the Ratzel and Rebman glaciers, you will climb for about six hours before reaching the edge of the crater, between Stella and Hans Meyer points. Another hour of climbing brings you to the summit. Uhuru stands at 19,340 feet and is the highest point on the continent of Africa. The track around the edge of the crater is rocky and icy. Concentrate on your feet, and follow your guide very closely for this portion of the journey.
The descent is no easier than the ascent. You will reach Kibo Hut after about three hours (around 11:30 AM). Climbers will be given the opportunity to rest and have some refreshments before continuing on to Mweka Camp for the night. Arriving into camp at around 5:00PM, you will have trekked a total of thirteen hours today.
Overnight: Mweka Camp (10,200ft) Mweka to the Gate

Day Six:
On the final day of the journey, climbers descend from Mweka camp to the base. The descent to the gate will take approximately 4 hours and climbers usually arrive before noon. Upon arrival at the gate climbers will be rewarded with certificates attesting their success at climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and then get transferred back to your base hotel.

SHIRA ROUTE

Day One:
In the morning, we peak you from your base hotel and take a drive across the Maasai Steppe to our trailhead at the Lemosho gate at the foot of the Kilimanjaro. We start climbing through the forest to our own private camp – a gentle walk of a few hours to stretch our legs in anticipation of the long climb ahead.
Overnight: Forest Camp 9000ft (FB)

Day Two:
After breakfast in the chattering forest, we start a slow walk to aid acclimatisation through the forest and into the Hagenia zone, where the vegetation begins to thin out as we approach the Shira Plateau. Shira is one of the three craters of the Kilimanjaro volcanic massif, the others being Mawenzi and Kibo and from our camp we have great views of the Shira needles.
Overnight: Shira Camp 11000 feet (FB)

Day Three:
After a spectacular sunrise that reveals the magnitude of the distant snow-capped crater, we slowly climb into the alpine heather zone, approaching the Kibo massif from the west, to our private camp. Today is a shorter walk allowing for further exploration of the lobelias, senecios and other endemic plants on an acclimatising walk for those so inclined. Overnight: Heather Camp 12,500 feet (FB)

Day Four:
As the vegetation slowly thins out, we approach the Alpine Desert Zone, where few things survive except the toughest of lichens and tussock grasses and the temperatures swing between the searing heat of tropical Africa and the freezing extremes of a 19000 ft mountain. We camp in the shelter of the Lava Tower, an imposing monolith from Kilimanjaro’s volcanic past.
Overnight: Lava Tower Camp 14,300 feet (FB)

Day Five:
In the early morning, we have sweeping views of Meru, Kibo Massif and the Western Breach the imposing wall, which constitutes our climb over the next two days. In order to aid acclimatisation, we slow down the pace and walk a short distance to the base of the breach where we make our camp at Arrow Glacier. The afternoon is free for a short walk in the name of “walk high, sleep low” philosophy of sound acclimatisation. As the temperature drops we are treated to one of the finest sunsets in Africa before we climb into our tents for sleep.
Overnight: Arrow Glacier Camp 15,500 feet (FB)

Day Six:
Another early start after a cold night and we face up to the imposing western Breach that looms above us. We take the non-technical ascent route climbing slowly for six hours, our path sometimes covered in the famous snows of Kilimanjaro. As we reach the top of the wall, we slowly traverse a crater before arriving at our own special camp, far higher than any other on the mountain. Here we rest up and prepare for the final push tomorrow.
Overnight Crater Camp 18,300 feet (FB)

Crater Camp – Summit (19,340 feet)

Day Seven:
Thanks to our careful acclimatisation and slow ascent to this final camp, we are closer to the summit than any of the other climbers and do not have a gruelling final day with only a final two hour hike to the crater summit and a ten minute final stretch to Uhuru Summit, the Roof Of Africa. Arriving at the summit for sunrise, we are captivated by the sweeping vistas in all directions, applauding the sheer magnitude of our achievement before we start our descent. After a thrilling scree run for two hours, we follow the Mweka descent path, feeling the air thicken as we descend, as we reach Mweka Camp after a tiring but rewarding seven hour trek and 9000ft. descent. Here we celebrate our achievements amidst the thick forest reliving one of the definitive moments of our life.
Overnight: Mweka camp 10,200 feet (FB)

Day Eight:
On the final day of the journey, climbers descend from Mweka camp to the base. The descent to the gate will take approximately 4 to 5 hours and climbers usually arrive before noon. Upon arrival at the gate, climbers will be rewarded with certificates attesting their success at climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Thereafter, a road transfer to your base hotel.

LEMOSHO ROUTE
Day One: After Breakfast at your Hotel, drive across the Masai Steppe to the trailhead in the Lemosho Forest, continue driving up to Morum Barrier Gate. We start walking to Shira Camp in the chattering forest. Shira is one of the three craters of the Kilimanjaro volcanic massif, the others being Mawenzi and Kibo and from our camp we have great views of the Shira needles.
Overnight: Shira Camp 1 at 11000 feetDay Two: After a spectacular sunrise that reveals the magnitude of the distant snow-capped crater, we slowly climb into the alpine heather zone, approaching the Kibo massif from the west, to our private camp. Today is a shorter walk allowing for further exploration of the lobelias, senecios and other endemic plants on an acclimatising walk for those so inclined.
Overnight: Shira Camp 2 at 12,500 feetDay Three:
The entire Shira Plateau greets you this morning with sweeping vistas across to Meru and the Shira Needles. A steady walk takes you up to the pass at Lava Tower (15,000 ft), where you stop to have lunch. Crossing the Bastains stream, you will begin to descend towards Barranco Camp. The descent takes you along an immense canyon called Grand Barranco. Along the way, you will see numerous waterfalls, which are fed, by streams coming from the mountain, converging here to form the Umbwe River. Your camp is set at almost the same altitude as the night before. Today’s trek lasts for about six hours and arrival at camp is between 4:30PM and 5:30PM.
Overnight: Barranco Camp (13,000 ft)

Day Four:
This morning you begin your hike to Karanga Camp, which is on the same altitude as Barranco Camp.
You will encounter a bit of a climb at Barranco Cliff and spend the rest of the trek climbing up and down the slopes of the mountain most of the way to camp. The climbing is not considered difficult and you should arrive in time for lunch (approximately 1:00PM) having trekked for about four hours.
In the afternoon you have the opportunity to hike in the Karanga Valley where giant senecios and lobelia grow; however, you are well advised to rest as much as you possibly can to prepare you for the climb ahead.
Overnight: Karanga Camp (13,000 ft)

Day Five:
The scenic climb to Barafu is mostly on a moraine with a view of Mawenzi peak towering majestically to the right, and overhead, Kibo peak seemingly just out of reach. The alpine desert terrain encountered at this point is mostly a mineral environment with few lichens and mosses. Lunch will be taken along the way and climbers arrive at Barafu Camp at around 2:30PM. Climbers who choose to ascend the peak will go to bed very early this night, as the next day is the longest one.
Overnight: Barafu Camp (15,200 ft)
Ascent to Summit (19,430 ft) / Descent

Day Six:
You will be awakened at midnight and after a light breakfast, start climbing at around 1:00 AM. It is at this stage that the climb becomes much more difficult. Here, very few will not be suffering from altitude sickness in some form or another; and climbers should carry as little as possible on this portion of the climb. Temperatures will range from -4° to 5° Fahrenheit. Making your way up a path that is flanked by the Ratzel and Rebman glaciers, you will climb for about six hours before reaching the edge of the crater, between Stella and Hans Meyer points. Another hour of climbing brings you to the summit. Uhuru stands at 19,340 feet and is the highest point on the continent of Africa. The track around the edge of the crater is rocky and icy. Concentrate on your feet, and follow your guide very closely for this portion of the journey.
The descent is no easier than the ascent. You will reach Kibo Hut after about three hours (around 11:30 AM). Climbers will be given the opportunity to rest and have some refreshments before continuing on to Mweka Camp for the night. Arriving into camp at around 4:00PM, you will have trekked a total of sixteen hours today.
Overnight: Mweka Camp (10,200ft)

Day Seven: Mweka to the Gate
On the final day of the journey, climbers descend from Mweka camp to the base. The descent to the gate will take approximately 4 hours and climbers usually arrive before noon. Upon arrival at the gate, climbers will be rewarded with certificates attesting their success at climbing Mount Kilimanjaro followed by a road transfer to your Hotel.

UMBWE ROUTE
Day One:
You will be picked from your base hotel and driven to the Umbwe Road head at 1800m. The route initially follows a forestry track winding up through the natural rain forest. It then narrows and steepens to climb the ridge between the Lonzo and Umbwe rivers. The first campsite is in the forest by some rock overhangs at 2,940m, (5-6 hours walking).

Day Two:
Shortly after leaving the camp the forest ends and the path continues along a narrow spectacular ridge. Above, the sheer 1000m of the Breach Wall appears and disappears as the afternoon mists roll up the Great Barranco. From the Umbwe ridge the route descends slightly to the Barranco Hut and our camp in the valley floor at 3900m, (5-6 hours walking).

Day Three:
A short scramble to the top of the Great Barranco and then a traverse over scree and ridges to the Karanga Valley (4000m, 3 hours), beneath the icefalls of the Heim, Kersten and Decken Glaciers.
After climbing out of the Karanga Valley the trail ascends a ridge to the Barafu Hut, a bleak location with little vegetation at 4600m, (3 hours walking).

Day Four:
An early start for the ascent to the rim of the Kibo Crater between the Rebmann and Ratzel Glaciers, (4 hours); the last section before the rim can sometimes be snow-covered and an ice-axe or ski stick is useful for balance. From here a further hour leads to Uhuru Peak, from where there are often fine views of Meru to the west and the jagged peak of Mawenzi to the east. After a short time on the summit you descend to the Barafu Hut for a rest and lunch before continuing on down to camp at Mweka Hut in the giant heather zone on the Mweka route. Those with energy on the summit may wish to descend to the Reutsh Crater and visit the dramatic ice pinnacles of the Eastern Icefields.

Day Five:
A 3-4 hour descent through beautiful forest brings you to the Park gate and your waiting transport. Drive to your base hotel.

RONGAI ROUTE
Day One
After completing the necessary registration formalities at Marangu National
Park gate, we transfer you by a Land Cruiser to Rongai. The climb begins from the attractive wooden village of Nale Moru (1,950 m.) on a small path that winds through fields of maize and potatoes before entering pine forest. The track then starts to climb consistently, but gently through attractive forest that shelters a variety of wildlife, including the beautiful Kilimanjaro Colobus monkey. These monkeys are black with a long ‘cape’ of white hair and a flowing white tail. The forest begins to thin out and the first camp is at the edge of the moorland zone (2,600 m.) with extensive views over the Kenyan plains.
[3-4 hours walking]
Dinner and Overnight – Rongai Campsite.

Day Two
The morning walk is a steady ascent up to the ‘Second Cave’ (3,450 m.) with superb views of Kibo and the Eastern icefields on the crater rim. We then leave the main trail and strike out across the moorland on a smaller path towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi.
We then take a short but steep climb up grassy slopes and we are rewarded by superb all round views and a tangible sense of wilderness. We leave vegetation behind shortly before reaching the next camp at Mawenzi Tarn (4,330 m.), spectacularly situated in a cirque directly beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi. The remaining part of the afternoon will be free to rest or explore the surrounding area as an aid to acclimatisation. [8-10 hours walking]
Dinner and Overnight – Cave 4 Campsite.

Day Three
We cross the lunar desert of the ‘Saddle’ between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach School campsite (4,750 m.) at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent before a very early night!
[4-5 hours walking] Dinner and overnight – Kibo Campsite.

Day Four
We will start the final, and by far the steepest and most demanding, part of the climb by torch light around 1 a.m. We plod very slowly in the darkness on a switch bank 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 enjoy the spectacular sunrise over Mawenzi. Those who are still feeling strong can make the three hour round trip to Uhuru Peak (5,896 m) passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. The descent to Kibo ( 4,700 m) is surprisingly fast and after some refreshment, we continue the descent to reach our final campsite at Horombo (3,720 m).
[11-15 hours walking]
Dinner and Overnight – Horombo Campsite

Day Five
A steady descent takes us down through moorland to Mandara Hut (2,700m.), the first stopping place at the Marangu route. We then continue descending through lovely lush forest on a good path to the National Park gate at Marangu (1,830 m.). You will find your vehicle waiting here. [5-6 hours walking)
Road Transfer to Arusha.

BASE HOTELS
BASE HOTELS
DELUXE HOTELS
  • ARUMERU RIVER LODGE
  • MOIVARO COFFEE LODGE
  • KIA LODGE

MID RANGE HOTELS

  • KARAMA LODGE
  • IMPALA HOTEL MOSHI
  • SAL SALINERO HOTEL MOSHI

BUDGET HOTELS

  • SG RESORT
  • NEW KEYS HOTEL MOSHI
Mountain Climbing Equipment recommended for each Climber.
  1. Warm Hat
  2. Sun glasses
  3. Balaclava
  4. Suncream for your face
  5. Cotton head scarf
  6. warm/rain jacket
  7. warm/rain trouser
  8. Good quality trekking boots
  9. Gaiters
  10. Wool socks up to 6 pairs for trekking trips.
  11. Day pack which you will carry daily
  12. Head torch with batteries
  13. Adjustable trekking sticks.
  14. Sleeping bag of 10 degrees centigrade/50 degrees Fahrenheit
  15. Cotton shirts, trousers, and walking shorts
  16. Undershirt and underwear
  17. Warm gloves
  18. Water purification tablets otherwise highly recommended that you use bottled water.
  19. Altitude sickness medicine – but better consult with your doctor just incase you are allergic to some medicine.
  20. Small Towel
  21. Your favorite Snacks/Energy food (few chocolates or energy bars for each day on the climb) which are not bulky.
  22. Camera with films for memorable pictures