A member of Adventure HQ hospitality team greets you upon your arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). He will drive you to your hotel, which provides all the amenities necessary for your comfort: pleasant rooms with hot showers, swimming pool, restaurant and access to the internet.
Your briefing, in the course of which your guide will provide all the details of the upcoming trek, takes place in the evening. A final check of your readiness to tackle Kilimanjaro is the final part of your preparations.
Accommodation: Panama Garden Resort
Journey time and Distance: 1 hour, 40 km from Kilimanjaro International Airport to Moshi
After an early breakfast (07.00), you leave the hotel one hour later to arrive at the Machame Gate for around 9.00, passing en-route the house of the village chief. You arrive ready for registration and the start of your trek.
Excitement builds as the porters load up equipment and you meet the trekking team who will accompany you up the mountain. The Machame-Mweka Route (normally just referred to as the Machame Route) approaches from the mountain’s south-western side. Your first day of walking, starting at an altitude of 1,800 metres, will end at a height of over 2,800 metres, cover a distance of 11 km and take around 4.5 to 5 hours of actual walking time. The beginning of today’s walk is characterized by a wide track that winds its way up through dense forest, beautiful tall trees laden with green moss. As the route becomes steeper and narrower, so the vegetation changes and the appearance of flowers such as impatiens kilimanjari and impatiens pseudoviola introduce some bright colours to the scenery. The cloud forest trees can reach over 25 metres in height. A picnic lunch is enjoyed around 13.00, water bottles can be refilled and then your walk continues. The emblematic giant heathers appear as you reach heathland and the forest thins out. You get your first glimpse of Kibo peak. Machame Camp is reached at around 17.00. You will be surprised by the richness of the birdlife here. Dinner is served at 19.30.
Accommodation: Machame Camp
Hiking time and Elevation: 5 hours, from Machame Gate (1,800 m) to Machame Camp (2,835 m)
You will soon become used to the early, 07.00 breakfast and today you aim to leave the camp at 08.30. You have a further 915 metres of ascent, finishing the day at 3,750 metres, and although the overall distance is short (5 km) you will spend around 5.5 to 6 hours actually walking.
Your path today is dusty, narrow and steep. The vegetation is initially made up of forests of heather but soon you will encounter the first of the giant groundsels. The climb before your midday picnic lunch is steep, but there are then great views to the south and to Kibo, all to savour as you eat. With today’s early start and the short distance, you should be at the camp by 14.00, by which time you will have met the moorland lobelias and the distinctive dark obsidian rock of Shira Plateau for the first time. Once at the camp, you will have plenty of time to admire sights such as the so-called Shira Cathedral, Klute Peak and Mount Meru, before your dinner at 18.00.
Accommodation: Shira Cave Camp
Hiking time and Elevation: 6 hours, from Machame Camp (2,835 m) to Shira Cave Camp (3,750 m)
Today’s trek is longer than yesterday’s, though your overall gain in height is modest. Starting at 3,750 metres, by the time you reach camp this afternoon you will only be 150 metres higher, though in between your start and finish you climb up to the base of the famous Lava Tower at 4,600 metres, before descending again to your camp.
The benefits for the purposes of acclimatization today are enormous, as you climb high and then descend again for the overnight stop. The overall distance of around 10 km means that you will actually be walking for around 6.5 to 7 hours, excluding breaks. Once again, your day will begin with breakfast at 07.00 and departure at 08.30, when you begin your trek across the stony landscape of Shira Plateau. The vegetation is sparse at first, with just a few hardy lichens to admire. You climb towards the Lava Tower and your picnic lunch is taken at 13.00. After passing the highpoint of the day by the Lava Tower, you descend down to the Baranco Camp. Once at camp, which you expect to reach by 16.00, you should take time to admire the views of the southern face of Kibo as well as the Heim Glacier. Dinner tonight is served at 19.00.
Accommodation: Baranco Camp
Hiking time and Elevation: 7 hours, Shira Cave Camp (3,750 m) – Lava Tower – (4,600) – Baranco Camp (3,900 m)
Today you breakfast slightly later (07.30) and your walk is short, being only 5 km but still taking between 3.5 and 4 hours of walking time. Your departure time today will be 08.30 and you will enjoy a hot lunch at 13.00 at Karanga and have the afternoon to enjoy the views before dinner at 18.00. Your altitude gain today is only 95 metres.
At the beginning, you encounter the hardest part of today’s stage as you have to scramble up the near-vertical face of the Baranco Wall (also commonly referred to as the ‘Breakfast Wall’ as you tackle it right after your breakfast!). At the top of this climb, you will be rewarded with views of the Heim Glacier. After this, the rest of today’s walk becomes a bit easier as you first descend to the gully below, and into the cold but beautiful Karanga Valley. You then continue and finally climb up a steep series of zig-zags until reaching the Karanga Camp.
Accommodation: Karanga Camp
Hiking time and Elevation: 4 hours, from Baranco Camp (3,900 m) to Karanga Camp (3,995 m)
Another short day -in terms of distance – begins with your breakfast at the camp at 07.30 and another 08.30 departure. Today you will ascend about 670 metres in a distance of around 4 km and walking time once again is between 3.5 and 4 hours.
You will be aiming to arrive the Barafu Camp by 13.00, when you will be rewarded with a hot lunch. (With tomorrow being the summit day, it will be important to relax and prepare for the hard work ahead.) Dinner tonight is served at 17.30, giving you time to get to bed early. After leaving Karanga, today’s stage climbs steadily, passing through barren, rocky landscape, with the Decken and Kersten glaciers visible away to your left. At the top of the climb, the landscape remains bleak as you descend into a valley and you get your first sight of another glacier, Rebmann. At the end of this valley is today’s goal, the Barafu Camp, at which you arrive after a short, steep scramble and a walk.
Accommodation: Barafu Camp
Hiking time and Elevation: 4 hours, from Karranga Camp (3,995 m) to Barafu Camp (4,673 m)
Today is the most challenging day, but hopefully with the great sense of achievement of reaching your goal – the summit of Kilimanjaro! Your schedule for your ‘Summit Day’ is of course very different. Rising at 23.00, you take your tea and biscuits (23.30) before a midnight departure.
The day starts with the long, tough climb from Barafu at 4,673 metres to Stella Point at 5,756 metres; for some of this you will be walking on scree, making your trek more difficult. From there it is another 139 metres of ascent and 45 minutes’ walk to the summit. Your goal is to reach the summit by around 07.00 then celebrate reaching the top, take your precious photos and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience. After the summit, you return to Barafu, where you rest for a couple of hours, take a hot lunch and then leave again at 13.30 to continue to descend to Mweka Camp (3,100 metres) where you spend the night. You would expect to arrive at 17.00 and take your dinner at 19.00. (In total, you cover around 17 km today with about 13 hours of walking.)
Accommodation: Mweka Camp
Hiking time and Elevation: 13 hours, Barafu Camp (4,673 m) – Uhuru Peak (5,895 m) to Mweka Camp (3,100 m)
Still thrilled by your achievement, breakfast is taken at 07.00 and at 08.00 you can take the chance to reward your trekking team at the ‘Tipping Celebration.’
Departure is at 09.00 and you descend down to Mweka Gate at an altitude of 1,640 metres, where you will be served a hot lunch at midday and be presented with your hard-earned certificate. Your transport will be waiting to bring you back to your hotel in Moshi, where you can choose to relax – or celebrate!
Accommodation: Panama Garden Resort
Hiking time and Elevation: 3 hours, from Mweka Camp (3,100 m) to Mweka Gate (1,640 m)
After a good night’s rest at your hotel, you will take breakfast ready for the scheduled check-out by 11.00.(In case you need a late check-out because of an evening flight, please advise us of this when you book your trip and we will inform you of the cost for day room which ends at 18:00hrs, and then make the booking on your behalf.)
As a transfer to the airport is included on this trip, you will be collected from your hotel and dropped off at the airport. For those travellers who have booked to go on safari, our Jerry Tanzania Tours guide will be meeting you in the evening to provide you with a briefing.
We are Tanzania Safari Specialists and dedicated tour operators who excel in crafting personalized private and group safari experiences that are unmatched in the industry, all while offering competitive prices.
© 2023 –Adventure HQ. All rights reserved.