Day 1: Trek to Machame Camp
Pick up from the hotel after breakfast and transfer to Machame gate where we will register before starting the climb. From the park entrance gate (Machame), we will walk for about two to three hours through a dense forest of fig and rubber trees, begonia flowers, and other tropical vegetation. A stop for hot lunch will be made halfway to this evening’s campsite before we continue our ascent, where we will find that the tropical forest has given way to tall grasses and giant heather. As we continue along the ridge, to the left there is the Semira stream, and on the right, the Weru Weru. This initial stage of the climb is tranquil and relatively easy, so depending on the pace of the group, arrival at Machame Camp is usually between 5:00pm and 6:00pm. We always recommend clients to walk at a slow, controlled pace as this will aid in the acclimatization process and ease your body into this low oxygen environment . We will sleep tonight at the Machame Camp at (2,980m/9,777 ft).
Day 2: Machame Camp to Shira 2 Camp
On this and subsequent mornings, wake-up call is at around 6:00am. We will be greeted with a steaming cup of tea or coffee, and weather permitting, by a fabulous view of Uhuru peak! Today’s trek takes us up a steep track through a savannah of tall grasses, volcanic rock, and bearded heather. Lunch will be taken just below the Shira Plateau, about three to four hours from Shira Camp. The hike to the next campsite takes approximately six hours and you should arrive between 2:00pm and 3:00pm. Most people find this a hard day and important to regulate your heart and take your time. Tonight, we will camp at the Shira Camp located at (3,840m/12,598ft) above sea level.
Day 3: Shira Two Camp to Barranco Valley Camp
After breakfast we will start crossing the Bastains stream, where we will begin to descend towards Barranco Camp, along an immense canyon called Grand Barranco. Along the way, you will see numerous waterfalls, which are fed, by streams coming from the mountain, converging here to form the Umbwe River. We will stop for lunch near the highest point yet reached near the Lava Tower at (4,630m/15,190ft). Today’s trek lasts for about six/seven hours and arrival at the Barranco Camp (3,950m/ 12,595ft) is between 4:30pm and 5:30pm.
Day 4: Barranco Valley Camp to Karanga Valley Camp
We have a slightly more leisurely start to today as this is our day to acclimatise. After breakfast we can see the Great Barranco Wall. The Barranco wall looks intimidating but most people find it a fun morning scramble up to (4,200m/13,780ft) and have a leisurely walk to Karanga camp through the Karanga Valley. We reach the Camp for lunch and have a relaxed afternoon with opportunities for walk a little higher or just relax and rest in camp. We consider this day vital in giving you the maximum chance acclimatising and completing your goal of summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro. Tonight we sleep at the Karanga Camp at (3,900m/12,795ft).
Day 5: Karanga Valley Camp to Barafu Camp
The scenic climb to Barafu is mostly on moraine with a view of Mawenzi peak towering majestically to the right, and overhead, Kibo peak seems just out of reach. The alpine desert terrain encountered at this point is mostly a mineral environment with few lichens and mosses. Snacks will be needed on route and lunch or dinner will be served on arrival into the Barafu Camp at (4,650m/15256ft) early in the afternoon. We will all go to bed extremely early today as tonight we will leave for our summit attempt.
Day 6: Summit Attempt
We will awake before midnight and after a light breakfast, start climbing at around midnight. It is at this stage that the climb becomes much more difficult and climbers should carry as little as possible on this portion of the climb. Temperatures will range from (0° to – 20° Celcius / 32° to – 4° Fahrenheit). Making our way up the path that is flanked by the Ratzel and Rebman glaciers. We will climb for about six/seven hours before reaching the edge of the crater, between Stella and Hans Meyer points. Another hour of easier climbing brings you to the summit of Kilimanjaro. Uhuru peak stands at (5,895m/19,341ft) and is the highest point on the African continent. It is now time for the decent back to Barafu camp after about three hours from the time you left the summit. We will take some time to have a quick rest and some lunch before we pack up all our remaining things and head further down the mountain to Mweka camp at (3,100m/10,170ft) for the night and some much needed rest.
Day 7: Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate
After breakfast then continue to head down to Mweka gate where we sign each of our names and details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Those climbers who reached Stella Point are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak receive gold certificates. We will then return to Arusha, where it is a welcome treat to sleep in a bed, take a hot shower and celebrate!