Your Mount Kilimanjaro climbing journey begins from day 1 of your whole trip and literally ends on the eighth day where your adventure awaits. The wildlife safari takes on after the eighth day and carries on till the last day of your itinerary, taking you to Lake Manyara National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater in Northern Tanzania.
Day 1: Arrive in Arusha:
Arrival at Kilimanjaro air port, you will welcomed by our mountain guide who will usher you into a waiting vehicle and transfer you to outpost lodge in Arusha . Our tour coordinator will have a short climb briefing session with you at the Hotel and leave you to relax at Hotel (bb) booked. We will gather in the evening for a pre-climb briefing and an equipment check.
Day 2: Arusha to Kilimanjaro national get
Marangu Gate (1860m) – Mandara hut (2715m)
Hiking time: 5h
Distance: Approximately 8.1 km
Habitat: Montane forest
The drive from Arusha to the Kilimanjaro National Park gate, takes about 2hours the journey passes through the village of Marangu, which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain. Once you reach the park gate, all hikers are requested to sign in at the Park office and make their final preparations for the climb. Porters will be seen arranging and loading their packs, containing the food, water, cooking gas as well as most of your equipment. Make sure that you have all your daypack items (containing at least drinking water, your lunch pack and extra clothing) with you, as the porters ascend a lot quicker than the hikers.
Our guides will be available to assist with any additional information or needs you might have. You now leave the Park gate and ascend on a cleared ridge trail through the rain forest. The forest, suffused with mist and dripping with beards of moss, is also where most of Kilimanjaro’s animals are found.
An alternative and more scenic parallel forest trail branches off to the left a few minutes after the gate. This trail follows the edge of a stream through the undergrowth and offers you the option to rejoin the main trail either after 1.5 hours hiking, or 1 hour before Mandara hut. Your first night stop, Mandara hut, consisting of a group of wooden A-framed huts in a forest clearing. Each hut features 6-8 sleeping bunks with solar generated lighting. The total capacity of the camp is 60 climbers. Water is piped into the camp from springs above and there are flush toilets behind the main hut. Dinner is prepared by our cook and served in a communal dining mess.
Day 3: Mandara hut (2715m) – Horombo hut (3705m)
Hiking time: 6h
Distance: Approximately 11.6 km
From Mandara hut the trail passes through a short stretch of forest, skirts the base of the Maundi Crater and then emerges into the transition from rain forest to moorland. It is well worth a short detour to scramble up the rim of the Maundi Crater for your first really impressive view of the Kibo Crater. On a clear day, Kibo will glimmer in the distance, showing off her majestic glaciers in the morning sun.
Once you are in the open moorland you will get the chance to see some of Kilimanjaro’s most spectacular plants – the endemic giant lobelia which grows up to 3 m in height and the giant groundsel (Senecia Kilimanjari), which can reach heights of 5m! After about 6 hours trek from here, you reach the Horombo hut, where you will have a hot bowl of washing water, rest; an evening meal and overnight.
Day 4: Horombo hut (3705m) – Acclimatization day
Horombo hut is a village of huts perched on a small plateau, with buildings similar to Mandara, but with a total capacity of 120 climbers! Horombo is normally bustling with hikers, guides and porters, with an atmosphere of adventure and excitement. You will meet both ascending and descending hikers here.
This extra day and night at Horombo is for additional acclimatisation. A hike towards the Mawenzi hut, passing the Zebra Rocks on the way (about 3 hours up and 1,5 hours down), is strongly recommended. This hike will further assist with the process of acclimatisation. Remember to drink enough water and move slowly! All meals for the day are provided at the hut. Retire to bed early and get a last good night’s rest.
Day 5: Horombo hut (3705m) – Kibo hut (4730m)
Hiking time: 6h
Distance: Approximately 9.6 km
Habitat: Alpine desert
After breakfast you now continue your ascent into the Alpine desert habitat. From Horombo there are two trails to the “Saddle” (which refers to the area located between the peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo). There is an upper route (right hand fork) and lower route (left hand fork) to choose from. The upper route (right hand fork) should be very familiar, as you will have climbed most of it the previous day (on your acclimatisation hike) towards Mawenzi hut. This section is very stony and eroded.
The recommended lower route (left hand fork) is much easier and nearly an hour shorter, and it also passes the last watering point at 4130m. You will have to fill your water bottles with all the water you will need until your return to Horombo hut in two night’s time (unless you are willing to buy Mineral water at Kibo hut). Once again remember to slow down and drink enough water!
Situated in the barren Alpine desert is Kibo hut, a stone build block house which has bunk beds for 60 climbers, but no streams with water nearby. It is however possible to buy mineral water and soft drinks at the camp office. There are platform toilets behind the hut.
The summit is now a further 1195m up and you will make your final ascent the same night. Prepare your equipment, ski-stick and thermal clothing for your summit bid. 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 19h00 and try to get as much rest and sleep as possible.
Day 6: Kibo hut (4730m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Horombo hut (3705m)
Hiking time: 7 to 8 hours to reach Uhuru Peak, 6 to 8 hours to descend to Horombo
Distance: Approximately 5.4km ascent and 15 km descent
Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
You will rise around 23h20, and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the night, and this is where the going really gets tough. The first section of the trail consists of a rocky path to the Hans Meyer Cave (5150m), also a good resting spot. The path then zigzags up to Gillman’s point (5 681m), which is located on the crater rim. This section is very steep with a lot of stone scree, requiring a great physical and mental effort. This is probably the most demanding section of the entire route. Do the Kili shuffle and move slowly.
From Gillmans Point you will normally encounter snow all the way up to Uhuru peak (5895m), the highest point in Africa. Total exhilaration and satisfaction – you made it. Weather conditions on the summit will determine how long you will be able to spend, taking photographs, before the 3 hour descent back to Kibo hut. After a short rest you gather all your gear you left behind for the ascent and head down to Horombo hut (3 hours) for your overnight. The return to Horombo hut will seem surprisingly fast compared to the ascent. The total time spent walking on this day is around 14 hours, so be prepared for a very tough day. Later in the evening you enjoy your last dinner (with soft drinks and beer for sale at the camp office) on the mountain and a well-earned sleep, filled with memories and stirring emotions.
Day 7: Horombo hut (3705m) – Marangu Gate (1860m)
Hiking time: 6h
Distance: Approximately 19.7 km
After breakfast you continue your descent (6 hours), passing the Mandara hut, down to the Marangu gate. It is strongly recommended not to pay your porters any tips until you and all your gear have reached the gate safely. Click here for more info on tips. At Marangu gate you sign your name and details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Those climbers who reached Gillman’s Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m), receive gold certificates. You now drive back to Moshi for a long overdue hot shower, dinner and celebrations!! Overnight at outpost lodge
Day 8: free of leisure at hotel
This day after breakfast you will have a free time at hotel and the time to make town tour visit the local masai market after that back to the lodge for resting and prepare for 2 days safari to lake manyara and ngorongoro crater, overnight at outpost lodge.
Safari starting below
Day 9: Arusha – Lake Manyara
Non game-viewing travel time: 2 ½ hours
Distance: 130 km
Meet our professional tours guide/driver in Arusha town, who will deliver a short safari info briefing, after which, we travel to the Lake Manyara National Park. We arrive in time for lunch at the lodge. After lunch we head into the Lake Manyara National Park. This impressive park is one of Tanzania’s most dramatically located wildlife areas, consisting of a massive but shallow soda lake (covering two-thirds of the park) at the foot of the Great Rift Valley’s western escarpment. The park’s varied habitat attracts a wide variety of animals, including one of Africa’s largest concentrations of elephants, Manyara’s famous tree-climbing lions, as well as large flocks of flamingos attracted by the algae in the lake.
Dinner and overnight at EILEEN’S TREES LODGE full board included
Day 10 Lake Manyara National Park – Ngorongoro Crater – Arusha for free of leisure in town
Non game-viewing travel time: 2 & 4 hours
Distance: 60km & 190 km
After breakfast we descend 600m into this magnificent crater for a morning, half-day game drive. The Ngorongoro Crater is one of the most densely crowded African wildlife areas in the world and is home to an estimated 30,000 animals including some of Tanzania’s last remaining black rhino. Supported by a year round water supply and fodder, the Ngorongoro National Park supports a vast variety of animals, which include herds of wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, eland, warthog, hippo, and giant African elephants. Another big draw card to this picturesque national park is the dense population of predators, which include lions, hyenas, jackals, cheetahs and the ever-elusive leopard, which sometimes requires a trained eye to spot. We will enjoy a picnic lunch in the crater, after which we travel back to Arusha where we will end our African safari adventure. The group should tip the tour guide around $20 a day for all our safaris. You will be taken to your hotel, which ends our safari Dinner and overnight at outpost lodge. Full board included
Day 11: departure after breakfast.
Our standard package includes the following:
- Tanzania VAT on tourism activities and park fees
- 2 Nights’ shared, budget 3 star accommodation at the keys Hotel in Moshi, or outpost lodge in Arusha on bed and breakfast basis (lunch and dinner can be arranged on request and at additional cost)
- Hotel accommodation includes storage facilities for excess luggage during hikes
- Return transfers between the hotel to the start / finish point of a climb
- All Kilimanjaro National Park gate fees, camping / hut fees and climbing permits.
- Kilimanjaro National Park rescue fees (Kilimanjaro Rescue Team)
- Chief guide carries a Pulse Oximeter, used to take blood-oxygen level readings of clients twice a day
- Emergency oxygen (for use in emergencies only – not as summiting aid)
- Basic first aid kit (for use in emergencies only)
- Qualified mountain guide, assistant guides, porters and cook
- Salaries for mountain support crew, as per required KINAPA minimum payments
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as hot drinks on the mountain
- Camping equipment (tents, sleeping mat, camp chairs, camp tables, mess tent & cutlery for meals) – not applicable on the Marangu route as all meals are served at the camps in designated dining halls
- Water for washing up daily
- Porter to carry your duffel bag, with maximum weight of 15kg / 32 lbs, from one camp to the next camp
- Our exclusive, printable Climbing Kilimanjaro 15 page altitude sickness survival guide
- Kilimanjaro National Park certificate for your successful summit attempt
- A comprehensive Climbing Kilimanjaro Travel Information pack
- Private hikes only guaranteed for 2 persons or more on Standard Package bookings – for individual climbers additional fees would apply to arrange a private climb
Excluded from Standard Package rates:
- Flights and airport taxes
- Items of a personal nature
- Optional shared tourist shuttle airport transfers between Kilimanjaro International Airport and Moshi town/Arusha
- The first and second night’s hotel accommodation with the Standard Package does not include dinner, but could be arranged at an additional cost
- Compulsory tips for guides, porters and cook (average tip is anything from US$230 to US$ 300 per hiker – depending on the number of days and number of hikers in the group, as well as the route chosen)
- Entry visa for Tanzania (US$50 per passport holder for most nationalities / US $ 100 per visa for USA passport holders)
- Health requirements (Yellow Fever – only compulsory if you travel to Tanzania via a Yellow Fever infected country, Meningitis & Hepatitis A remains optional, but comes recommended)
- Optional but highly recommended travel and medical insurance.
- Standard Packages do not include Flying doctors memberships (Helicopter evacuation to Nairobi), but could be done at own arrangement
- Personal hiking/trekking gear – you could rent some of the gear in Tanzania
- Optional, but highly recommended Portable toilet (Portable toilet not allowed on the Marangu route)
- Snacks, personal medicine and water purifying tablets
- Meals and drinks not specified