There are several route choices and each one has options regarding the duration. Adding an acclimatization day helps immensely in achieving your goal. The shortest standard itinerary is 5 days but that is not recommended and has the lowest success rate. The longest standard itinerary is 9 days. 6 - 8 days are the most common. Marangu route is different than the others in that it has overnights in dormitory style huts with solar power. All other routes are camping routes.


Machame Route:

6 days

Day 1

Machame Gate (1500m) – Machame Camp (2700m)

Your driver and guide will pick you up in Moshi at 0800 and drive to the Machame Gate. After registration and clearances at the base, begin your trek through a spectacular forest area, reaching Machame Camp after 6 or 7 hours (including a picnic lunch). There you will have dinner and overnight.

Day 2

Machame Camp (2700m) – Shira II Camp (3700m)

After a short descent, you will begin your trek towards Shira Cathedral. Continuing on, you will pass by a superb bivi cave, just before arriving at Shira Camp where you will have dinner and overnight. Today’s climb is about 5-6 hours.

Day 3

Shira II Camp (3700m) – Baranco (3950m)

Trek from Shira camp to Baranco Camp. You will have dinner and overnight at Baranco Camp.

Day 4

Baranco (3950m) – Barafu Hut (4550m)

Trek from Baranco Camp to Barafu Hut where you will overnight before your ascent to Uhuru Peak.

Day 5

Barafu Hut (4550m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Mweka Hut (3100m)

Shortly after midnight, arise and begin the final ascent to Uhuru Peak. You will then begin your descent to Mweka Hut, where you will have dinner and overnight.

Day 6

Mweka Hut (3100m) – Mweka Gate (1500m)

After completing your descent to Mweka Gate, you will receive your Summit Certificate and transfer back to your hotel. Congratulations!

Marangu Route:

5 or 6 days

  Known as the “Coca-Cola” route, Marangu is a classic trek on Mount Kilimanjaro. It is the oldest, most well established route. Many favor this route because it is considered to be the easiest path on the mountain, given its gradual slope. It is also the only route which offers sleeping huts in dormitory style accommodations.

  The minimum days required for this route is five, although the probability of successfully reaching the top in that time period is quite low. Spending an extra acclimatization day on the mountain is highly recommended when climbing Klimanjaro using the Marangu route.

Day 1

Marangu gate (1700m) – Mandara Hut (2740m)

After breakfast and briefing, drive to the Marangu village and proceed to Kilimanjaro National Park Gate (45 minutes), register at Kilimanjaro National Park Authority offices and commence the climb. Walk through the rainforest to the Mandara hut.

Day 2

Mandara Hut (2740m) – Horombo Hut (3700m)

In the morning around 8:30 a.m after breakfast start trekking to Horombo hut. After about 1 hour, you will leave the glades of the rainforest and follow an ascending path on the open moorlands to the Horombo hut. The view of Kibo summit and Mawenzi are both stunning and shinning in clear days. In most cases giant lobelias and grounsels are found on your way. Horombo hut is a point where most of the climbers acclimate.

Day 3

Horombo Hut (3700m) – Kibo Hut (4700m)

In the morning after breakfast the trek will take us to the last watering point, walking onto the saddle of Kilimanjaro between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi. Vegetation begins with upper heartland but then disappears into desert like structure. At Kibo you will have your dinner, take a nap and at the middle of the night around 23:30 hour prepare for summit climb.

Day 4

Kibo Hut (4750m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Horombo Hut (3720m)

Around midnight, awake for the final ascent to Uhuru Peak, the roof of Africa. The hike begins with a demanding five hour hike to Gillman’s Point on the crater rim. Although this is considered to be the easiest of the three crater ascent paths, it is still extremely difficult. The first major rest stop, William’s Point, lies at 5000 meters and is approximately a two hour hike from Kibo Hut. Continue on for thirty minutes before beginning the rocky switchbacks that will continue to Gillman’s Point (5681m). The hike from Gilman’s to Uhuru Peak is a gradual climb and as far as hikes go, not very difficult. The altitude, however, makes the hike long and tiring. The crater rim hike takes approximately two hours. Upon reaching Uhuru, take photos of your guide and group at the peak before beginning the descent to Horombo Hut. Reach Horombo Hut in the afternoon and enjoy your last night on the mountain.

Day 5

Horombo Hut (3720m) – Marangu Gate (1800m)

After breakfast, finish the trek with a descent to Marangu Gate. Your last hike on Kilimanjaro is a beautiful one, passing through Kilimanjaro’s cloud forest. Watch your step during the descent, as the trail can be slippery. Our vehicles will be waiting at Marangu Gate to take you back to Moshi.

**We suggest planning to take a 6th day, whereas (as mentioned before) Day 3 is used as an acclimatization day.

Lemosho Route:

7, 8 or 9 Days

  The Lemosho Route offers a more private Kilimanjaro experience than the other routes of Marangu and Machame. Although the trail joins with the more popular Machame route on day three, the first two days on the mountain are relatively private, with few other trekking groups around. On the first day, arrive at Londorosi Gate at about 11am.

  Once you arrive, you’ll spend about an hour waiting to get registered for your climb and the porters and guides will make final preparations. At around 12pm you will begin hiking with your guides to Mti Mkubwa Camp, through the rain forests of Kilimanjaro viewing trees and birds along the way. You will eat a packed lunch on the trail while enjoying the sounds of the forest.

Day 1

Gate (2100m) – Forest Camp (2650m)

We will pick you up from your hotel in Arusha at 0800 and drive to the Londross Gate to obtain permits and clearance. After registration and a short briefing, begin your trek to Forest Camp where you will have dinner and overnight (3-4 hours of trekking).

Day 2

Forest Camp (2650m) – Shira I Camp (3720m)

Awaken and enjoy an early breakfast. Trek from Forest Camp to Shira 1 Camp, 4-5 hours of trekking, where you will have dinner and overnight.

Day 3

Shira I Camp (3720m) – Shira II Camp (3840m)

Following breakfast, today you have a 3-4 hour trek from Shira 1 to Shira 2 Camp where you will have dinner and overnight. Enjoy the beautiful views of the mountain.

Day 4

Shira II Camp (3840m) – Barranco Camp (3950m)

Enjoy breakfast, and starting from Shira 2, trek about 6 hours to Barranco Camp for dinner and overnight.

Day 5

Barranco Camp (3950m) – Barufu Camp (4600m)

Today you will trek from Barranco to Barafu Camp. You will have dinner and overnight at Barafu.

Day 6

Barufu (4600m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Mweka (3100m)

You will rise shortly after midnight to begin your final ascent to the top of Kilimanjaro. You should reach the summit by sunrise after about 4 hours and then descend to Mweka Camp, another 4 hours for dinner and overnight. Enjoy your last night on the mountain in celebration.

Day 7

Mweka Camp (3100m) – Mweka Gate (1500m)

It will be about 3-4 hours to reach the Mweka Gate where you receive your Summit Certificate and drive back to Arusha and your hotel. Congratulations!

** When done in 8 days, this route uses Day 5 to trek from Barranco to Karanga Valley (4100m). Then the climb returns to the regular schedule on Day 6, where you trek from Karanga to Barafu. (Base to Forest Camp, Forest Camp to Shira 1, Shira 1 to Shira 2, Shira 2 to Barranco, Barranco to Karanga, Karanga to Barufu, Barufu to summit to Mweka, and Mweka to base.) **

** When done in 9 days, this route uses the Mti Mkubwa Camp for the first overnight. In addition, on Day 5, your trek is from Barranco Camp to Karanga Valley (4100m). Finally, on Day 7, you will trek from Barafu Camp to Crater Camp (5715m) for overnight, then Crater Camp to the summit (5895m) on Day 8. (Base to Mti Mkubwa, Mti Mkubwa to Shira 1, Shira 1 to Shira 2, Shira 2 to Barranco, Barranco to Karanga, Karanga to Barufu, Barufu to Crater Camp, Crater Camp to Summit to Mweka, Mweka to base). **

Rongai Route:

7 Days

  Rongai ascends via the less forested northern side of the mountain. Rongai Route is one of the least crowded routes on Kilimanjaro because of the long drive to the gate. The Rongai trail is thought to have the best chance of viewing wildlife.

Day 1

Rongai Gate (1800m) – First Cave Camp (2600m)

After an early breakfast in Moshi, drive to the Rongai Gate near the Kenya border. After registering at the gate, begin your climb to Uhuru Peak, the roof of Africa. During the first day, hike through forests where you may see and hear wildlife. Eat lunch on the trail before continuing to the first campsite, First Cave Camp, for dinner and overnight.

Day 2

First Cave Camp (2600m) – Kikelewa Camp (3600m)

During day two hike through Kilimanjaro’s moorland. The Rongai route is relatively short and steep, making for shorter hiking times. During this day, view Mawenzi Peak ahead.

Day 3

Kikelewa Camp (3600m) – Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4330m)

This day is an acclimatization day, allowing you to hike in the beginning of the day and rest in the afternoon and evening. The hike is relatively short but steep. The Mawenzi Tarn campsite is situated below Mawenzi Peak and offers stunning views of both Mawenzi and Kibo.

Day 4

Mawenzi Tarn Camp (stay-cation)

Day four is an acclimatization day at Mawenzi Tarn. We advise hiking a bit higher this day before returning to Mawenzi Tarn in the afternoon.

Day 5

Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4330m) – Kibo Camp (4750m)

Cross the lunar landscape of the saddle on this day to arrive at the final campsite. Kibo Camp is situated directly below the Kibo cone, giving you views of your final destination.

Day 6

Kibo Camp (4750m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Horombo Hut (3720m)

Around midnight, begin the final ascent to Uhuru Peak, the highest point in Africa. For the next six hours, hike by the light of your flashlight. The ascent to the crater rim is the most challenging part of the entire trek. The trail is very steep until you reach the crater rim at Gilman’s Point. The hike from Gilman’s to Uhuru Peak is a gradual climb and, as far as hikes go, not very difficult. The altitude, however, makes the hike long and tiring. The crater rim hike takes approximately two hours. Upon reaching Uhuru, take photos of your guide and group at the peak before beginning the descent to Horombo Hut.

Day 7

Horombo Hut (3720m) – Marangu Gate (1800m)

After breakfast, finish the trek with a descent to Marangu Gate. Your last hike on Kilimanjaro is a beautiful one, passing through Kilimanjaro’s cloud forest. Watch your step during the descent, as the trail can be slippery. Our vehicles will be waiting at Marangu Gate to take you back to Moshi/Arusha. You will be able to buy t-shirts and sodas at the gate.

Shira Route:

7 Days

Day 1

Londorossi Gate (2250m) – Shira I (3550m)

The day of walking that begins from Londorossi National Park gate through farmland and plantations, and continues climbing steadily on a broad track through shrub forest and stands of giant heather to reach the rim of Shira Plateau. The views across the surrounding plains open out as we climb and the area is home to a variety of game including buffalo. Our first camp is in the centre of the plateau at “Shira One” [3-4 hours walking]

Day 2

Shira I (3550m) – Shira II (3850m)

After breakfast continue hike east across the Shira Plateau, past the Shira Cathedral, towards Shira II camp. We only gain 700 feet in elevation – this allows us to acclimatize slowly to the altitude. The views of the plateau are nothing less than spectacular.

Day 3

Shira II (3850m) – Barranco (3950m)

Today is the last of the “easy days”. It is about a 7-hour superb hike. We pass the Lava Tower, around the southern flank of Kibo, and slowly descend into the spectacular Barranco Valley, interspersed with giant lobelia and senecia plants. After arriving at our most spectacular campsite, everyone stands in awe at the foot of Kibo Peak, looming high above, on our left. Our camp is only 465 feet higher than where we were last night, but during the day, we will have climbed to just over 14,000 feet. This is one of our most valuable days for acclimatization.

Day 4

Barranco (3950m) – Karanga Valley (4000m)

On the eastern side of the valley, across the stream is the Barranco Wall – a 950 ft. barrier of volcanic rock. Although it is tall and looks steep, it is very easy to climb. This is our first challenge of the day. The views from the wall are nothing less than magnificent. The rest of the day is spent skirting the base of Kibo peak over our left shoulder. We descend down into the Karanga Valley, where we rest up for the night before the tough climb up to Barafu Camp.

Day 5

Karanga Valley (4000m) – Barafu (4600m)

First thing, you will be making a steep hike out of the valley. The air starts getting quite thin, and you will be running short of breath. It is a tough, but rewarding uphill to the rocky, craggy slopes at the camp. Barafu means, ice in Swahili, and it is extremely cold at this altitude. So, go to bed early because we will be waking you at midnight for the final leg to Uhuru Peak.

Day 6

Barafu (4600m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Mweka (3100m)

We will start our ascent by torchlight around midnight so that we can be up on the Crater rim by sunrise. The steep climb over loose volcanic scree has some well-graded zig-zags and a slow but steady pace will take us to Stella Point (5735m), in about five or six hours. We will rest there for a short time to enjoy the sunrise over Mawenzi. Those who are still feeling strong can make the two hour round trip from here along the crater rim to Uhuru Peak, passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. The descent to Barafu is surprisingly fast, and after some refreshment, we continue to descend to reach our final campsite Millennium. Most of us will be too tired to notice the beauty of the forest surrounding. We spend our last night on the mountain at Mweka Camp.

Day 7

Mweka Camp (3100m) – Mweka Gate (1980m) – Arusha (890m)

After a deserved strong breakfast it is a short scenic 3-hours hike back to the park gate. Please all tips to porters and guides is given once all crew and the clients gears reached the Mweka gate safely, but remember to tip your staff at the gate. At Mweka Gate, you can sign your name and add details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Climbers who reached Stella Point are issued green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak receive gold certificates. From the Mweka Gate, you will continue down to the Mweka Village, possibly a muddy, 3 km, 1 hour hike if the road is too muddy for vehicles. In Mweka Village a delicious hot lunch will be served after which you are driven back to Moshi for an overdue hot shower and comfortable night in a nice hotel in Moshi.

Mount Meru

  Mt Meru is Kilimanjaro's little sister. Located in nearby Arusha Nationa Park, it is the second highest mountain in Tanzania. It is much less climbed but often used as an acclimmatization climb before attempting Kilimanjaro. But Mt Meru is a great climb in its own right. Meru is a great preparation hike for climbing Kilimanjaro, or a spectacular trek for those not compelled to do Kilimanjaro. You will hike past wildlife and on the summit, witness the towering Mt. Kilimanjaro on the horizon. While typically done in only 4 days, it is not an easy peak to summit.

  To reach the top, there is some scrambling on rocks in the dark and at high altitude. You should be prepared for at least 10 hours of hiking on summit day. For an easier hike, you can climb just to Rhino Point for sunrise, and then descend (just ask us.) Mt. Meru is in Arusha National Park. The park requires all groups to be accompanied by a park ranger. This ranger is employed directly by the national park. He will carry a rifle, which is available to scare away any advancing animals such as elephant or cape buffalo. You will also have your own guide, who is managing the crew and watching out for your safety. There is only one route and overnights in dormitory style huts are the only option for this climb.

**Also available as a Day Trip excursion.

Day 1

Momela Gate (1500m) – Miriakamba Hut (2500m)

Pick up from Moshi and pass through open grassland with cape buffalo and herds of warthogs. With luck, you might also see giraffe and elephants. Continue a steady climb through the mountain forest and enjoy your lunch at the famous “Fig Tree”. Continue through less dense forest where there are lots of birds and monkeys (including the black and white colobus.) By mid afternoon, you will see the first views of the towering cliffs and the Ash Cone. Miriakampa Hut, situated in idyllic grassy glade, is reached in time to enjoy the afternoon sun and the views of the plains.

Day 2

Miriakamba Hut (2500m) – Saddle Hut (3500m)

After breakfast, begin the walk from Miriakampa to the saddle below Little Meru, which is a steep, sustained climb. Starting through the lush mountain forest, the path continues beyond the halfway point of Elephant Back Ridge and carries on uphill to Saddle Hut where you will lunch. In the afternoon, make the short climb to the nearby summit of Little Meru (3800m) for superb views. Walk back down the Saddle Hut for the evening.

Day 3

Saddle Hut (3500m) – Summit (4566m) – Miriakamba Hut (2500m)

Summit day has an early start around 12:00 AM. There is an hour steep climb to Rhino Point (3800m) then the path continues along a ridge of ash and rock to reach Cobra Point (4350m) The summit of Socialist Peak (4566m) is an hour more on a steep path with magnificent views of Mount Kilimanjaro. Depending on your speed, you can enjoy the sunrise at Cobra Point or the Summit. The route back to Rhino Point in the sharp morning light along a narrow ridge between the sloping outer wall of the crater and the sheer cliffs of the inner wall is one of the most dramatic and exhilarating walks in Africa. Brunch and a brief rest is taken at Saddle Hut before continuing the descent to Miriakamba Hut.

NOTE: For an easier climb, you can start the trek at 05:00 A.M., hike for about 1 hour, and enjoy sunrise at Rhino Point before going back to Saddle Hut for breakfast and then descending.

NOTE: In icy conditions or in strong winds, it may be impossible for anyone to progress beyond Rhino Point.

Day 4

Saddle Hut (2500m) – Momela Gate (1500m)

Two descent options exist. You can either descend the same way you ascended, or you can walk down the jeep road, which descends to the lower crater floor. This route passes through the well known Fig Tree Arch and there, you can visit an impressive waterfall hidden in a ravine not far from the road. The descent is quick, passing through grassland and mixed forests, with a good chance of seeing wildlife. The trail has excellent views back towards the crater and over the plains of the National Park. Momela gate is reached by late morning.

Eric Urassa
Joining Safaris Ltd
PO Box 8907
Kilimanjaro, Tanzania