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Arrive at Kilimanjaro international Airport in Moshi, Tanzania. We provide group transfer from the airport to the lodge.
Just after the morning breakfast, we’ll head out to acclimatize and perform a warm up climbing orientation. The rest of the day is adventure and exploration. This day, you will see the beautiful view of Mt. Kilimanjaro on a clear day. We will also visit Machare Estate tea and coffee farm to taste many varieties of teas and coffee produced locally. We will end the day walking to a nearby waterfall through a trail pass with coffee trees and streams under shady glades of handsome hardwood.
We depart after breakfast and drive to the park headquarters where we meet the porters and guides that will trekk with you up the mountain. The actual hike begins at the park gate at 6,000 ft as we hike 5.5 miles up to Mandara hut at 8,860 ft, near the upper edge of the forest line. The hike takes about 4 to 6 hours- a good time to start using your walking sticks. Our path starts off in a bamboo rainforest then opens up to hillsides of heather and temperate forests. If time and weather permit, a short walk from Mandara to Maundi Crater is worth it.
Our destination today is Horombo Hut at 12,340 ft. It takes 6 to 8 hours to cover the 8-mile journey and altitude gain may slow the group down. The trail is strenuous but not technical. We often get our first views of the Kibo summit today far in the distance as we pass from forest into high moorland. We also pass beneath the impressive, rocky southern face of Mawenzi – one of the three volcanic peaks that make up the summit of Kilimanjaro.
Today is for acclimatization day, again. Choose to hike up towards Zebra Rock, an aptly named geologic formation before returning to Horombo camp. The landscape has unique flora such as the odd-shaped giant groundsel. The trail offers inspirational views of both Kibo and Mawenzi peaks. Birdlife is also abundant in the Horombo area. If you’re feeling fatigued at this point, you can choose to spend the day resting at Horombo. Afternoon rains are common, so plan to be back inside the lodge with a cup of tea and good book by 4pm. After the rain passes, sunsets are beautiful and the black night sky sparkles with stars. All meals included.
Today is another long hike, this time up to Kibo Hut, 15,520 ft. Although shorter in distance, this usually takes about 7 hours because it is steeper and the altitude slows everyone down. Our route climbs the Saddle, a wide, flat plateau with the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi looming overhead. The views here are breathtaking. The last part of the trail passes across the plateau before the final ascent. Kibo Hut is a stone hut with rooms that sleep 10 to 15 people in bunk beds. We have a light dinner and a pre-climb talk with our guides before turning in early to rest.
Our guides wake us before midnight for a light snack before our summit attempt. By the time we reach Gillman’s Point (18,640′), it will be below freezing. We’ll hit the trail by 1am, starting the hike on a steep scree slope. We place one foot in front of the other and focus on steady breathing. With the black starry sky above us, most climbers will arrive at Gillman’s point in time to see the sunrise. The views from the top looking down on the plains of Africa make it all worthwhile. Some climbers decide they have reached their goal and head down from here, a legitimate summit. Others continue to hike 2 to 3 hours to the true summit, Uhuru Peak at 19,340 ft. The descent from Gillman’s point is rapid, taking about 2 hours. We take a short rest at Kibo Hut before descending to Horombo Hut for the night, arriving in the late afternoon. All meals included.
Another long downhill hike today, but our spirits are up with the satisfaction of yesterday’s climb. At Marangu gate we receive certificates and bid our climbing team farewell. We transfer back to our lodge in Moshi. It’s a welcome treat to take a hot shower, sip a cold drink and commemorate the climb with a celebration dinner.
Today you are free to go enjoy in the city of Moshi, shopping, local tour or relax at the lodge. We will arrange for a late check-out, and we provide transfer to the airport. When applicable, you will continue our another safari extension. Breakfast and lunch included; dinner will be provided only upon request.
Although we do our very best to follow the schedule above, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control.