- Arrival and transfer to the hotel (D)
When you arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport, your guide will drive you to Arusha where you will join a team briefing on the climb and an individual gear check.
Arusha is surrounded by some of Africa’s most famous landscapes and national parks. It is close to the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, Olduvai Gorge, Tarangire National Park, and Mount Kilimanjaro, and it has its own National Park on Mount Meru.
- Machame Gate (1,790m) – Machame Camp (2,980m) (B, L, D)
Distance: 10 km/ Altitude gain: +1,190m/ Time: 6 hours
Today, after breakfast, you will be driven from Arusha to Machame Gate where you sign in and get a permit to start climbing. We will join the climbing crew here and your guide will tell you exactly what to expect each day: weather-wise, the nature of the trail and the wildlife.
Machame camp is surrounded by small trees overgrown with lichen. Our porters will set up the tents and prepare hot drinks for us. It’s pretty cold when the sun sets, we will need to dress warmly and use our headlamps.
- Machame Camp (2,980m) – Shira (3,720m) (B, L, D)
Distance: 7km/ Altitude gain: + 740m/ Time: 4 hours
Today is an easy paced acclimatization day, we will continue hiking through streams, a river gorge and moorlands. Camp is set a little higher today on the Shira Plateau with a fantastic view of Kilimanjaro. You can opt for a hike in the afternoon and enjoy the large tenacious sand lobelias that grow around here.
Shira camp is a beautiful spot, it has a great view of the Kibo Peak and has vast prairies and bushes. At night, the sky is covered with thousands of stars and you can admire the famous Southern Cross and hear the distant cries of jackals.
- Shira (3,720m) – Lava Tower (4,650m) – Barranco (3,950m) (B, L, D)
Distance: 10km/ Altitude gain: +930m/ Altitude loss:-700m/Time: 5 hours
Today is another acclimatization day, we will hike to an elevation of 4570 meters before descending to camp. This area will be your first introduction to alpine zone where the only plant life is the heartiest of grass and lichens. We will slowly ascend through the moorlands to alpine desert zone.
Barranco Camp is located in a beautiful valley with stunning views of Mount Meru, the twin volcano of Mount Kilimanjaro. We can also enjoy stunning views of the Heim glacier views, the southern slope of Kibo, and the impressive Barranco Wall.
- Barranco (3,950m) - Karanga (3,995m) (B, L, D)
Distance: 5 km/ Altitude gain: + 400m/Altitude loss- 355m/ Time: 4 hours
As the slope is steep you climb and enjoy wonderful view of the area. You think you see the summit of the wall but as you reach it you realize it is not... but never mind, it's the beginning of the day and you're full of energy! Moreover, the landscape is so beautiful that you really enjoy this trail to the summit that you reach
approximately less than two hours after you leave the camp. Once at the top, Heim glacier is overhanging. After a quick break you start to descend in a desert landscape as far as Karanga valley. Then the vegetation is back again offering a stunning contrast. You rapidly reach the bottom of the valley where water runs and that will be your last source of water until Kibo, Kilimanjaro's top. Here lies the last difficulty of the day, a steep rocky wall that you climb in carefully. Twenty minutes later you reach Karanga camp... in the clouds.
Karanga camp is located in the Karanga valley, below Heim, Kersten&Decken glaciers.
- Karanga (3,995m) – Barafu (4,605m) (B, L, D)
Distance: 5km/ Altitude gain: +655 m/ Time: 4 hours
Today you you climb a rock wall, not too steep but challenging for some people. Your trip leader makes this safe and accessible for everyone. You will be able to see the breathtaking Heim Glacier. You continue hiking throughrolling hills as you gradually approach Barafu. You are going to climb slowly and slowly and slowly, like snails. Drink plenty of water, tea and small snacks. Keep breathing and keep moving. After an early dinner, you will rest.Overnight at Barafu Camp.
We will spend the night at Barafu camp, after a dinner cooked by our chef on site.
- Barafu (4,605m) – Uhuru Peak (5,895m) – Mweka (3,068m) (B, L, D)
Distance: 20 km/Altitude gain: +1.290m/ Altitude loss: – 2,827m/ Time: 14 hour
Today is the big day! At midnight, we will start our ascent to Uhuru Peak hiking for six to eight hours from the camp. This part of the journey is life changing, especially when you stand on the top of the highest free standing mountain in the world. The weather will determine how much time we can spend on the top but we’ll make sure to take photos to celebrate the moment! From the summit, we will have a three hours hike with a short stop for lunch around Barafu camp. Later, we will celebrate our victory as well as our last night on Kilimanjaro at Mweka Camp.
- Mweka Camp (3,068m) – Mweka Gate (1,650m) - Arusha (B, L, D)
Distance: 16km/ Altitude loss: -1,418m/ Time: 4 hours
Today is the last hike, it is steep in places and may be slippery if it is a wet day so we will use trekking poles. At Mweka Gate, we will bid farewell to our mountain crew and enjoy a picnic lunch. We will drive to Arusha for a hot shower and dinner.