DAY 1: MACHAME GATE TO MACHAME CAMP
- Distance: 11 km
- Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
- Habitat: Rain Forest
You will be driven from your hotel in Arusha or Moshi to the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park Gate, passing through the village of Machame, located on the lower slopes of the mountain. As we leave the park gate behind, our walk starts through the rain forest on a winding trail up the ridge. In some sections the trail can be muddy and slippery, so the gaiters and trekking poles are good to bring. At the end of our today’s trek lies Machame Camp, where we stay for the night.
DAY 2: MACHAME CAMP TO SHIRA CAMP
- Distance: 5 km
- Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
- Habitat: Moorland
The second day continues through increasingly sparse trees and bushes into moorlands. The day finishes with Shira Camp, which is on a small plateau in the high moorlands and features views of Kibo in the northeast and Mount Meru towards the west. White-necked ravens can be seen throughout the day. There is also a set of small caves a short walk from the campsite known as the Shira Caves.
DAY 3: SHIRA CAMP TO LAVA TOWER TO BARRANCO CAMP
- Distance: 10 km
- Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
- Habitat: Semi Desert
Today’s route turns east into a semi-desert and rocky landscape surrounding Lava Tower. Lunch will be served in a designated area before ascending the rocky path to Lava Tower. After lunch, your descent again to the Barranco camping area and after reaching the high altitude of 4600m at Lava Tower, you will feel the actual benefit of acclimatization. This descent to Barranco camp takes about 2 hours and offers great opportunities to take some beautiful photographs of the Western Breach and Breach Wall.
DAY 4: BARRANCO CAMP TO KARANGA CAMP TO BARAFU CAMP
- Distance: 9km
- Hiking Time: 8 hours
- Habitat: Alpine Desert
After breakfast, we take a short scramble to the top of the Great Barranco and then a traverse over scree and ridges to the Karanga Valley, beneath the icefalls of the Heim, Kersten, and Decken Glaciers. After a short and well-deserved break, we leave Karanga and cross the junction that connects with the Mweka Trail, used to descending from the mountain later. From here we continue up to the Barafu Camp. Here we will rest, have dinner, and prepare for the summit day. From Barafu you can enjoy the view of two volcanic cones Mawenzi and Kibo peaks, and that view is quite spectacular and you should not miss it.
DAY 5: BARAFU CAMP TO SUMMIT TO MWEKA HUT
- Distance: 5 km ascent / 12 km descent
- Hiking Time: 7-8 hours ascent / 4-6 hours descent
- Habitat: Arctic
An early start for the ascent to the rim of the Kibo Crater between the Rebmann and Ratzel Glaciers. The last section before the rim can sometimes be snow-covered and an ice-ax or ski stick is useful for balance. At the rim, we will reach Stella point, from where we have a further hour to Uhuru Peak. After a short stop for taking photos, we descend to the Barafu Hut for a rest and lunch before continuing on past Millenium camp down to Mweka Hut in the giant heather zone on the forest edge. Those with the strength left from the summit may wish to descend to the Reutsh Crater and visit the ice pinnacles of the Eastern Icefields. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.
DAY 6: MWEKA CAMP TO MOSHI/ARUSHA
- Distance: 10 km
- Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
- Habitat: Rain Forest
After breakfast, we continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. From the gate, you continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet you at the village to drive you back to the hotel in Moshi or Arusha.
Group departures for Safari
If you are looking for a company to share the enjoyment of your odyssey in Tanzania, consider joining one of our group departures. These are the adventures with fixed start dates and itineraries. All departures are guaranteed, and special prices (lower than for our private tour programs) apply.