ay 1: After an early breakfast at your hotel, you will be picked up from Moshi(800m) and driven to the Marangu Gate (1980m). At the gate, the porters will organize and pack the belongings for the hike while you and your guide register with the Tanzania National Park (TANAPA). You will then begin your ascent into the rainforest.
During this section of the hike, you should expect rain, mud, and fog. Also, be on the lookout for wildlife, including Colobus monkeys! After 3-4 hours of ascending, you will reach the Mandara Hut (2700m). Each hut has 6-8 sleeping bunks (sleeps 60 hikers total) with solar-generated lighting. Next to the central hut, there are flush toilets. The porters, who arrive at the campsite before the clients, will boil water for drinking and washing.
The chef will prepare a snack then dinner for the clients. At nighttime, mountain temperatures may drop to freezing so be prepared!
Hiking time: 3-4 hour, distance: Approximately 12 kilometer, habitat: Montane forest
Day 2: Following breakfast, hikers will begin their ascent out of the rainforest and into the heather moorland. Hikers will pass the Maundi Crater and are able to climb up to its rim for a spectacular view of the Kibo Crater. In the moorland, you will spot exotic plants, including giant lobelia and groundsel. After 6 hours of hiking, you will reach Horombo Hut (3720m).
Horombo Hut sleeps 120 hikers and is located on a small plateau. Similar to the first night, the porters will prepare drinking and washing water for you. You will enjoy evening snacks then dinner prepared by our chef. Be prepared for a cold night as temperatures drop below freezing at this site.
Hiking time: 6 hours, distance: Approximately 15 kilometers, habitat: Moorland
Day 3: At Horombo Hut, you will spend the day allowing your body to acclimate to high altitude. You will have the option of doing a day hike to Mawenzi Hut (4600m) for further acclimatization with your guide. Breakfast and dinner will be at the hut and lunch will either be packed or at the hut depending on your preference for the day.
Day 4: Following an early morning breakfast, you will continue your ascent into the alpine desert habitat. Hikers have the option of 2 trails that lead to Kibo Hut (4700m). The upper route (located to the right of the fork) is the same trail used the previous day for the day hike to Mawenzi Hut. The lower route (located to the left of the fork) is the more popular route because it is a shorter hiking distance (1 hour shorter).
Kibo Hut is located in the “Saddle,” which refers to the area located between the peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo in an alpine desert. There is no water at this camp, but hikers can buy mineral water and soft drinks at the camp office.
An early dinner will be served so hikers can rest before attempting the summit the same night. Your guide will brief you in detail on how to prepare for summit night. Get to sleep by 19:00!
Hiking time: 6 hours, distance: Approximately 15 kilometers, habitat: Alpine desert
Day 5: Your guide will wake you around 23:30 for tea and biscuits. You will then begin your summit attempt. The trail is rocky up to Hans Meyer Cave (5150m). You continue your ascent to Gillman’s point (5681m). Reaching this section is an impressive achievement as the trail is steep, rocky, and at high altitudes. Gillman’s is located on the crater rim. From this point, you will usually experience a snow-covered trail until you reach the summit, Uhuru Peak (5895m). Reaching the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro is a lifetime accomplishment! You will be able to spend a short time on the summit taking photographs and drinking tea before the descent to Barafu begins. The hike down to Kibo Hut takes about 3 hours.
At Kibo Hut, you will rest and enjoy a hot lunch in the sun. After eating, you will continue descending down to Horombo Hut (3720m). You will have dinner, wash, and rest soundly at the hut after a strenuous day.
Hiking time: 8 hours to Uhuru and 6 hours to Horombo, distance: Approximately 6 kilometers ascent and 21 kilometers descent, habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
Day 6: Following a well-deserved breakfast, you will have a big celebration full of dancing and singing. It is here on the mountain that you will present your tips to the guide, assistant guides, chef(s), and porters. After celebrating, you will descend for 6 hours back to Marangu Gate (1980m).
The National Park requires all hikers to sign their names to receive certificates of completion. Hikers who reached Gillman’s Point (5681m) receive green certificates and hikers who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates. Descent: Hiking time: 6 hours, distance: Approx 27 kilometers