Arrive at the Kilimanjaro International Airport/Alternative Airport pick up and transferred to the hotel for overnight.
Your day starts early with a briefing, followed by breakfast and a 45-minute drive from Moshi (910m) to the Machame gate (1800m). The guides and porters prepare and pack the supplies and your equipment in the village. After registering at the gate office, you start your ascent and enter the rainforest. You will receive a lunch pack at the gate and drinks. There is a possibility of rain in the forest depending on what season you are climbing, which will transform the trail into a very muddy and slippery experience. In the evening you will have your dinner before you retire to your tent for the night. Night temperatures can already drop to freezing point at Machame campsite so don’t forget to keep your warm jacket on.
You rise early at Machame camp and after breakfast, you climb an hour or so to the top of the forest and then for 2 hours at a gentler gradient through the moorland zone. After a short lunch and rest, you continue up a rocky ridge onto the Shira plateau. By now you will be able to see an eastern direction and the western breach with its stunning glaciers. You are now due west of Kibo and after a short hike, you will reach the Shira campsite at 3840m. The porters will provide hot water for drinking and washing, before serving dinner. The night at this exposed camp will even be colder than the previous night, with temperatures dropping down to freezing levels. Warm jacket is still your best friend. Keep it close.
The route now turns east into a semi desert and rocky landscape surrounding Lava Tower, where you reach an altitude of 4630m after in about a 4 to 5 hour-walk. Lunch is served in a designated area before ascending the rocky scree path to Lava Tower (4630m). Definitely the toughest day so far. It is normally at this point, where for the first time, some climbers will start to feel symptoms of breathlessness, irritability, and headaches. After lunch, you descent again by almost 680m to the Barranco camping area.
After reaching the high altitude of 4600m at Lava Tower, the true acclimatization benefit of this day becomes clear. This descent to Barranco camp takes about 2 to 3 hours and offers great opportunities to take some beautiful photographs of the Western Breach and Breach Wall. The camp is situated in a valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Wall, which should provide you with a memorable sunset while you wait for the preparation of your dinner and overnight at Barranco Campsite.
Totally exposed to the ever-present gales the tents are pitched on a narrow, stony, and dangerous ridge. Make sure that you familiarize yourself with the terrain before dark to avoid any accidents. The summit is now a further 1345m up and you will make the final ascent the same night. Prepare your equipment, ski stick and thermal clothing for your summit attempt. This should include the replacement of your headlamp and camera batteries and make sure you have a spare set available as well. To prevent freezing it will be wise to carry your water in a thermal flask. Go to bed at round about 07:00pm and try to get some precious rest and sleep for not more than 5 Hours.
You will wake up around 11:30pm, and after some tea you go straight into the night walking. You will head in a north-western direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This 6-hour walk to Stella point is for many climbers, mentally and physically the most challenging on the route. At Stella Point (around 5700m/feet?) you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see (if weather permits). From Stella Point, you will normally encounter snow all the way on your 1 to 2-hour ascent to Uhuru Peak. The time you will spend on the summit will depend on the weather conditions. Do not stop here for too long, as it will be extremely difficult to start again due to cold and fatigue. Enjoy your accomplishment and a day to remember for the rest of your life. The walk back to Barafu campsite from the summit takes about 3 hours. Here you will have a well-earned but short rest, before heading down to Mweka Camp (3100m) for dinner and overnight.
After breakfast at Mweka camp, you will continue down into the Mweka village, normally a muddy walk. In the Mweka village drive back to hotel and you will be served a delicious hot lunch after a looong overdue hot shower!! Tips are recommended and highly appreciated at the end of the trip. Tips can be given to the guide at the Hotel. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Those climbers who reached Stella Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates.
Tarangire • Serengeti • Ngorongoro • Lake Manyara
Arusha National Park • Lake Manyara • Serengeti • Ngorongoro
Destination: Mount Kilimanjaro