Arrive in Moshi and make your way to the hotel. Attend a pre-departure meeting with your guide scheduled for the evening.
Hiking Time: 3-4 hrs Total Distance: 8km Starting Altitude: 1950m Final Altitude: 2750m Habitat: Montane forest After breakfast, we begin the 3-4 hour drive to Rongai Gate. Begin the ascent from the attractive wooden village of Nale Moru (1950m) following a small path that winds through fields of maize and potatoes before entering pine forest. The track starts to climb consistently, but gently, through attractive forest that shelters a variety of wildlife, including the beautiful Kilimanjaro Colobus monkey. These monkeys are black with a long ‘cape’ of white hair and a flowing white tail. Make first camp at the edge of the moorland zone (2750m) where the forest begins to thin out and extensive views of the Kenyan plains can be seen. Most days the hiking will begin early in the morning. You will hike from between 3 to 6 hours each day. The guides will take you at a moderate pace, so as to allow you time to acclimatize to the altitude changes. Your guides will continually repeat the words, “pole pole” (po-ly, po-ly), which means “go slowly” in Swahili. The lower terrain is gorgeous and fascinating, as we will pass through a thick rainforest zone. Over the next three days you will continue to your ascent to the saddle of Kilimanjaro. From up here the views are vast and beautiful. As the camps have limited activities, you should take advantage of your time on the hikes to take in all the scenery and great views.
Hiking Time: 3-5 hrs Total Distance: 7km Starting Altitude: 2750m Final Altitude: 3450m Habitat: Moorland Continue on a steady ascent during the morning walk, approximately 5km up to the Kikelelwe Camp with superb views of Kibo and the Eastern ice fields on the crater rim. After lunch, leave the main trail and strike out for the approximatly 3-5 hour walk across the moorland on a smaller path towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi. Our campsite is in a sheltered valley with great vistas near Kikelelwe Caves (3600m).
Hiking Time: 4 hrs Total Distance: 10km Starting Altitude: 3450m Final Altitude: 4330m Habitat: Semi-Desert Continue on a short but steep climb up grassy slopes where you will be rewarded with superb all-round views and a tangible sense of wilderness. Leave the vegetation behind shortly before reaching the next camp at Mawenzi Tarn (4330m), spectacularly situated in a cirque directly beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi. Feel free to rest or explore the surrounding area as an aid to acclimatization during the afternoon. Overnight at Mawenzi Tarn Campsite.
Hiking Time: 5 hrs Total Distance: 8km Starting Altitude: 4330m Final Altitude: 4700m Habitat: Alpine desert Cross the lunar desert of the ‘Saddle’ between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach School Campsite (4700m) at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. Spend the remainder of the day resting in preparation for the final ascent before a very early night!
Hiking Time: 10-15 hrs Total Distance: 28km Starting Altitude: 4700m Final Altitude: 3700m (via 5895m) Habitat: Alpine desert Start the final and, by far, the steepest and most demanding part of the climb by torchlight around 12am. Plod very slowly in the darkness on a switchback trail through loose volcanic scree to reach the crater rim at Gillman’s Point (5685m). Rest there for a short time to enjoy the spectacular sunrise over Mawenzi. If you are still feeling strong, make the three hour round trip to Uhuru Peak (5895m), passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. Descend to Kibo (4700m), which is surprisingly fast, and after some refreshment continue the descent to reach our final campsite at Horombo (3700m).
Hiking Time: 5-7 hrs Total Distance: 18km Starting Altitude: 3700m Final Altitude: 1830m Habitat: Montane forest Continue down through moorland to Mandara Hut (2700m.), the first stopping place on the Marangu route. Descend through lovely lush forest on a good path to the National Park gate at Marangu (1830m.). Transfer to Springlands Hotel in Moshi for a well-deserved night in relative comfort.
Tour ends at approximately 8am. Please note: while it is our intention to adhere to the route described above, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. On Day 1 of your tour you will be advised of any amendments.