DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN TANZANIA
Your African adventure begins on your arrival at the Kilimanjaro International Airport! From the airport, we will travel to Arusha, which is a bustling town on the high Rift Valley plateau. Our overnight accommodation is at the 5-Star Mt. Meru Hotel where you will have the chance to get to know the crew and the climbing team as we begin preparing for our big ascent starting the following day.
DAY 2: MACHAME GATE TO MACHAME CAMP
After a hearty breakfast we will drive to the Machame Gate where we will meet our other guides and mountain crew and enter the Kilimanjaro National Park. Our climb begins
at 6,000 feet, walking for a few hours through dense and pristine tropical forest. Admire the magnificent bird life and the many unique flower and plant species that surround you and learn more about them from our knowledgeable guides. If we are lucky, we may get to see some of the blue or colobus monkeys that populate the forest zone. Upon arrival to our first camp you will be welcomed by cheers and song from our amazing group of porters who will be supporting you every step of the way.
DAY 3: MACHAME CAMP TO SHIRA CAMP
Today is an easy-paced acclimatisation day and provides a total change of scenery from the tropical forests of yesterday. We will hike over streams, a river gorge and moorlands. We will camp for the evening on the Shira Plateau, which provides expansive views of Kilimanjaro. There is a conditioning hike in the afternoon where you can enjoy the clusters of prehistoric-looking giant lobelias and senecios that grow at this higher elevation.
DAY 4: SHIRA CAMP TO LAVA TOWER
Our trek today is another important day for acclimatisation as we hike for five hours to an elevation above 15,000 feet. We will pass through the alpine moorland zone where the plants are extremely hardy and consist of lichens, grasses and heather, to reach Kilimanjaro’s alpine desert zone. Our camp tonight at Lava Tower will have a spectacular view of the Western Breach.
DAY 5: LAVA TOWER TO KARANGA CAMP
After an initial descent from Lava Tower camp we climb the Great Barranco Wall. This is an exhilarating challenge and one which our guides will make safe and accessible for everyone. We will be ascending ‘pole pole’ (meaning “slowly” in Kiswahili). You will be able to see the breathtaking Heim Glacier from the top of the Wall. From here we will descend into the Karanga Valley and then climb again to our camp on a ridge above the valley. After an exciting and demanding day of climbing we will enjoy a well deserved rest and refreshments.
DAY 6: KARANGA CAMP TO KOSOVO CAMP
As we begin our hike today, the trail quickly becomes steep and the temperature drops as we move closer to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. You will notice the landscape changing again and becoming sparser as we work our way to Kosovo Camp. Our hiking goal today is Kosvo Camp, which is one hour closer to the summit. The camp is set on an exposed ridge and is the staging point for our final push to the summit. After an early dinner, we will have a summit briefing and check our equipment before resting.
DAY 7: REACHING THE SUMMIT
We will rise after midnight for a warm and hearty early breakfast to fuel our long day ahead. We be getting a head start on other groups who are staying at the lower camp and will ascend ‘pole pole’ under a full moon on the steep switchback trail, drinking plenty of water and eating small snacks, enjoying the trek to Uhuru Peak in solitude. We aim to reach the summit shortly after daybreak. At this early hour, before the clouds close in, we will have spectacular views of Africa in all directions. After a quick stop for photos, hugs and high fives, we descend for 2-3 hours to Kosovo Camp for lunch, rest and to pick up our belongings. We will then continue downhill for another 3-4 hours to the edge of the Mweka Forest, where we reach the final night’s camp, some 7,000 feet below the summit. It is time to rejoice in our successful climb! We will share a celebratory dinner and recount our incredible experience in touching the Roof of Africa!
DAY 8: MWEKA CAMP TO MWEKA GATE
Our final day on the mountain is another descent of 7,000 feet with 4-5 hours of hiking to Mweka Gate. The trail is steep in places and may be slippery if wet. After a hearty celebration lunch with the whole team, we will head back to our first class accommodations at Mt. Meru Hotel in Arusha to relax, have dinner and enjoy its spacious garden and swimming pool.