DAY 1: MARANGU GATE – MANDARA HUTS: 7k /mi | 4-5 hrs | Rainforest
Elevation: 1830m/6000ft to 2740m/9000ft
Departing from Moshi a 45-minute drive will take you through the Village of Machame to the Kilimanjaro National Park Gate. We will patiently wait for our permits to be issued while watching the hustle and bustle of operations as many crews prepare for the journey ahead Enjoy the beautiful rainforest scenery and windy trails while your guide tells you about the local flora and fauna and natural wildlife. At these lower elevations, the trail can be muddy and quite slippery. We highly recommend gaiters and trekking poles here.
DAY 2: MANDARA HUTS – HOROMBO HUTS: 11km/3mi | 6-8hrs | Mooreland
Elevation: 2740m/9000ft to 3690m/12,100ft
After a good nights sleep and a hearty breakfast, we emerge from the rain forest and continue on an ascending path, through heathland, looking for giant lobelias and groundsels. Continue up into open moorlands where small shrubs are the main vegetation. Stop halfway for lunch, to enjoy amazing views of Mawenzi. Arrive at the Horombo Huts late afternoon beneath the spectacular Kibo Summit viewpoint. Temperatures begin to drop.
DAY 3: HOROMBO HUTS- KIBO HUTS: 10km/6mi | 6-8hrs | Semi-Desert
Elevation: 3690m/12,100ft to 4695m/15,400ft
After breakfast, we continue on through the dwindling heathland that blends into a moonscape as you enter the sweeping saddle connecting Mawenzi and Kibo. Here while we stop for lunch, and later when you cross this surprisingly large saddle, you can examine the summit climb up Kibo that you will be starting in just a few hours.
DAY 4: KIBO HUTS – SUMMIT: 4km /2.5 mi up | 5-7hrs | – HOROMBO HUTS: 14km /9mi down | 5-6hrs | Glaciers, Snow Capped Summit
Elevation: 4695m/15,400ft to 5895m/19,340ft
Descent to 3690m/12,100ft
Excitement is building as morning comes with an early start between midnight and 2 a.m. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek.
We continue our way to the summit in a switchback formation through trying to stay warm and focused on the amazing sense of accomplishment that lies ahead. With a switchback motion, we ascend through heavy scree and possibly snow towards Gillman’s Point on the crater rim. You will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise during your short rest here. Faster hikers may view the sunrise from the summit. From here on your remaining 1 hour ascent to Uhuru Peak, you are likely to encounter snow all the way.
Congratulations, one step at a time you have now reached Uhuru Peak the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the entire continent of Africa!
After photos, celebrations and maybe a few tears of joy we take a few moments to enjoy this incredible accomplishment. We begin our steep descent down to Mweka Camp, stopping at Barafu for lunch and a very brief rest. We strongly recommend gaiters and trekking poles for uncooperative loose gravel and volcano ash terrain. Well-deserved rest awaits you to enjoy your last evening on the mountain. Overnight Mweka Camp.
DAY 5: HOROMBO HUTS – MARANGU GATE – MOSHI: 18km/11mi |6-7hrs | Rainforest
Elevation: 3690m/12,100 to 1830m/6000ft
After breakfast and a heartfelt ceremony of appreciation and team bonding with your crew, it’s time to say goodbye. We continue the descent down stopping at the Mandara Huts for lunch. Remember to tip your guides, cooks, and porters, since you will be leaving them here. You return back to the Marangu Park Gate and receive your summit certificates. As the weather is drastically warmer, the terrain is wet, muddy and steep and we highly recommend Gaiters and trekking poles. From the gate, a vehicle will meet you to drive you back to your hotel in Moshi (about 45 minutes).