Distance: 11 km
Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
Habitat: Rain Forest
You will be driven from your hotel in Arusha or Moshi to the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park Gate, passing through the village of Machame, located on the lower slopes of the mountain. As we leave park gate behind, our walk starts through the rain forest on a winding trail up the ridge. At some sections the trail can be muddy and slippery, so the gaiters and trekking poles are a good to bring. At the end of our today’s trek lies Machame Camp, where we stay for the night.
Day 2DAY 2: MACHAME CAMP TO SHIRA CAMP
Distance: 5 km
Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
The second day continues through increasingly sparse trees and bushes into moorlands. The day finishes with Shira Camp, which is on a small plateau in the high moorlands, and features views of Kibo in the northeast and Mount Meru towards the west. White necked ravens can be seen throughout the day. There is also a set of small caves a short walk from the campsite known as the Shira Caves.
Day 3DAY 3: SHIRA CAMP TO LAVA TOWER TO BARRANCO CAMP
Distance: 10 km
Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
Habitat: Semi Desert
Today’s route turns east into a semi desert and rocky landscape surrounding Lava Tower. Lunch will be served in a designated area before ascending the rocky path to Lava Tower. After lunch you descent again to the Barranco camping area and after reaching the high altitude of 4600m at Lava Tower, you will feel actual benefit of acclimatization. This descent to Barranco camp takes about 2 hours and offers great opportunities to take some beautiful photographs of the Western Breach and Breach Wall.
A steep climb up the eastern wall leads us just below the Heim Glacier, where we may have some spectacular views of Kilimanjaro. We then take a steep exit up the Great Barranco Wall, which divides us from the southeastern slopes of Kibo, the trail continues down into the alpine desert of the Karanga Valley, finally we have a steep climb up to Karanga Camp.
After breakfast, we leave Karanga and cross the junction that connects with the Mweka Trail, used for descend from the mountain later. From here we continue up to the Barafu Camp. Here we will rest, have dinner and prepare for the summit day. From Barafu you can enjoy the view of two volcanic cones Mawenzi and Kibo peaks, and that view is quite spectacular and you should not miss it.
DAY 6: BARAFU CAMP TO SUMMIT TO MWEKA HUT
Distance: 5 km ascent / 12 km descent
Hiking Time: 7-8 hours ascent / 4-6 hours descent
An early start for the ascent to the rim of the Kibo Crater between the Rebmann and Ratzel Glaciers. The last section before the rim can sometimes be snow-covered and an ice-axe or ski stick is useful for balance. At the rim we will reach Stella point, from where we have further hour to Uhuru Peak. After a short stop for taking photos we descend to the Barafu Hut for a rest and lunch before continuing on past Millenium camp down to Mweka Hut in the giant heather zone on the forest edge. Those with the strength left from the summit may wish to descend to the Reutsh Crater and visit the ice pinnacles of the Eastern Icefields. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.
DAY 7: MWEKA CAMP TO MOSHI/ARUSHA
Distance: 10 km
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Rain Forest
After breakfast, we continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. From the gate, you continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet you at village to drive you back to hotel in Moshi or Arusha.