Photo Credit: Jonas Gejke
Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa, reaching a height of 5,895 meters or 19,341 foot above sea level. On clear days her snow capped peaks can be seen from different vantage points from Arusha and Moshi.
For those wishing to tackle Mt Kilimanjaro’s dizzying heights there are several options open with each route having a different character; suitable in accordance to age, fitness level, prior experience as to climbing & trekking in general and at altitude, and – at the end of the day – just what you would like to experience out of your climb of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Marangu Route- 8 days
Also known as cocacola route. With mountain hut based accommodation, generally seen as the easier way as the distance is shorter and gets traffic due to accommodation type and lack of wilderness.Travels up and down the same route.For many years Marangu used to be the most popular route. It has now been delegated to number two by the Machame route
Day 1: Moshi and Kilimanjaro Safari Lodge
Optional Excursion Options: Walk around Moshi
The tour begins today at our base hotel in Moshi, Kilimanjaro Safari Lodge, located on the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure, giving you time to sort through your gear in preparation for your climb. Extra gear can be left in storage at the hotel. At 6pm your mountain guide meets you at the hotel for a full briefing on your climb.
O/n: Kilimanjaro Safari Lodge (Nil)
Day 2: Start Kilimanjaro Ascent - Mandara Hut
Following breakfast at the hotel, you are met by your guides and porters and commence the assault on the summit, passing through a number of different landscapes along the way. Today’s walk takes you through luxuriant rainforest, which can be very wet at times, and up to Mandara Hut (2700m). Around 11 kilometres are covered today and you should arrive at the hut during the middle of the afternoon. Passing through the Mandara Gate you walk on a wide track that passes through forest until it reaches a fork. If you rather a more direct and shorter trail to Mandara Hut you should choose the right fork. If you choose the left fork you are walking the path less travelled - this longer alternative is a forest trail that offers opportunities to observe wildlife and enjoy the peacefulness of the forest. This trail rejoins the main trail after almost two hours and, after that, it is a further 90 minutes to Mandara Hut.
O/n: Mandara Hut (B,L,D)
Day 3: Mandara Hut - Horombo Hut
After passing through a further steep section of lush rainforest, you suddenly encounter a substantial change. Rainforest gives way to open moorland that is bisected by small streams in a landscape that features stunted trees, giant grevilleas, lobelias and other native flora. Mist and fog will occasionally add to the effect, whilst in clear conditions, occasional views may be had of our objective – the main summit, rising above grass-covered ridge lines and now starting to look tantalisingly close. Today's walk covers approximately 17 kilometres and ascends 1000 metres, before reaching Horombo Hut at 3700 metres.
O/n: Horombo Hut (B,L,D)
Day 4: Horombo Hut - Acclimatisation Day
After yesterdays climb of almost 1000 metres the effects of altitude will probably start to become noticeable. Today an important day trek is planned with the aim of assisting you with your acclimatisation. This walk takes you up to The Saddle along an eastern path, where you can then explore the area around the lower slopes of Mawenzi Peak. The Saddle is a desolate, flat and incredibly beautiful plain, between Kibo and Mawenzi peaks. You return for another night at Horombo Hut (3700m).
O/n: Horombo Hut (B,L,D)
Day 5: Horombo Hut - Kibo Hut
In clear conditions the snowy mantle can be seen towering above you. The landscape becomes increasingly barren, as you move up on to the great volcanic saddle, which separates the main peak from its slightly lower partner, Mawenzi. It will probably take about seven hours to cover some 15 kilometres today, again ascending 1000 metres. Tonight’s destination, Kibo Hut, can be seen nestling on the shoulder of the main peak, at 4700 metres.
Again there are two paths that can be taken today. The left fork (western path) gradually gains height as it passes the Last Water Point, where the highest running water on the mountain can be found. From here The Saddle beckons until the paths rejoin at a point called Jiwe La Ukoyo, or 'pointed rock', at 4394 metres. After a rest here you have just two hours left to trek for the rest of the day. If you are looking for a less travelled route the right fork from Horombo Hut (eastern path) is steeper and rougher, but still walk able.
O/n: Kibo Hut (B,L,D)
Day 6: Summit Day - Horombo Hut
A long, hard (rewarding) day! Leaving Kibo Hut around midnight, we begin our final ascent in the dark, with the aid of torches and lanterns. Departing the hut in the middle of the night has the added advantage of making the walk up toward the summit safer and less strenuous. At this time there may be snow on the path as you commence the switchbacks up the scree from Kibo, past Williams Point (5000m) to Hans Meyer Cave Point (5182m). From here the gradient steepens for another five to six hours to Gilman's Point (5680m). Your reward in reaching Gilman's Point is a panorama of incredible landscapes. From here your view extends into the snow-filled crater, across the spectacular steeped cliffs of the eastern ice fields, back down to The Saddle and Mawenzi and along the edge of the crater rim to Uhuru Peak.
As we push ahead to the final summit of Uhuru Peak, at 5895m, a further two and a half hour climb away, we time our attempt to reach the peak at sunrise. Our perseverance and efforts are rewarded by standing atop one of the Seven Summits and the highest free-standing mountain peak in the world.
After time to savour your achievement, we begin the leisurely descent to Horombo Hut. Returning along the same path you should be able to reach Gilman’s Point in 60-90 minutes, and arrive at Kibo Hut within another three hours, where lunch awaits. The final stage back down to Horombo Hut, for a well-earned dinner and overnight accommodation, should take a further 2-3 hours. Today you will have ascended 1200 metres and descended 2200 metres over a period of between 12 to 16 hours.
O/n: Horombo Hut (B,L,D)
Day 7: Horombo Hut – Moshi Kilimanjaro Safari Lodge
Today your walk retraces your steps back down to the park gate, where our vehicle is waiting to take you back to the hotel. Here, you farewell your guide and porters. The walk from Horombo to Mandara should take three to four hours, and then from there the gate is just a couple hours further. Tonight there is time for a welcomed hot shower before dinner which will no doubt be followed by a few celebratory drinks. Just enjoy the evening and look back on your achievements.
O/n: Kilimanjaro Safari Lodge (B,L)
Day 8: Transfer to the airport for your Int'l flight
Park fees, camping fees, rescue fees
Meals as stipulated B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner, Nil
Accommodation as indicated above
Airport transfers and transfer to/from the mountain
Professional mountain guide, chef and crew
Camping equipment such as tent, table and stools
Emergency Evacuation Cover (Amref)
Emergency oxygen (3 liter cylinder per every 4 climbers)
Champagne brunch on the descending day
Personal gear including sleeping bag and thermarest
Visa and airport departure tax
Items of personal nature and not mentioned in the above itinerary
Whilst we commit to running your tour as per the itinerary above, we are at the mercy of many factors outside of our control and from time to time it may be necessary to amend the itinerary to suit the local conditions. We will always notify you if the changes are essential and we have advance warning, often though any changes are due to weather conditions and we have no control over this, and usually very little warning.
.......Did you know while climbing the mountain you go through several temperate climates in just a few days? Be ready with lots of layers and pack lightly for all seasons. Before leaving, test that you can actually wear your clothes over each other.
Cotton fabrics are not advisable , instead go for wicking fabrics for all your clothing and under garments.