Day 1: From Marangu Gate (1860masl) - Mandara camp (2715masl)
Habitat: Motane forest
Distance: Approximately 8.1kms Hiking time: 5hrs
Your journey begins at the hotel where you will be sleeping. This can be either in Arusha town, Moshi or Marangu within the Kilimanjaro region. From the hotel to the Marangu Gate, you will travel through the village areas of the Wachagga people cutting through their farms and plantations on a tarmac road. At the gate, you will spend a few minutes signing in and making the final preparations, ensuring that you have all the necessary items and that your day pack has enough drinking water, food, and extra clothing to meet all weather conditions.
You will be walking through the mountain rainforest which is densely populated with trees, shrubs and herbs of different species that have, in themselves, created a home for different species of animals. The most melodious species of birds can be found here and their songs will be entertaining you throughout the forest. Blue monkeys can also be seen on your way to Mandara, each of them putting on a display and watching the tourists inquisitively. Our guides will be available for interpretation and to assist you with any local information and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Your day will end at Mandara camp where you will overnight. This camp has a capacity for 60 to 80 hikers. The camp comprises a wooden hut with 6 to 8 bunks, with good water supply and toilet facilities. In the evening, food will be served in a communal dining room, after which you will retire to your bunk for the night.
Day 2: Mandara Hut 2720masl - Horombo Hut 3720masl
Habitat: Heather and moorlands
Distance: Approximately 11.6kms Hiking time: 6hrs
You will be climbing through heather and moorlands on your way to Horombo Hut, about 11.6 kms away from Mandara camp. This should take approximately 6 hours. On a clear sunny day, you should be able to catch beautiful volcanic features and other stunning scenery on your camera. The rugged Mawenzi is so vivid and welcoming on your right but the route should lead you through lands of heather, Protea, Lobelia and Senecio among other species of plants. After walking for 6 hours through the beautiful landscape, you should finally arrive at Horombo where you will be given washing bowls with hot water to freshen up before taking the opportunity to rest before supper.
Day 3: At Horombo Hut 3720masl
Habitat: Alpine desert
Distance: Approximately 7kms ascending and descending
Hiking time: 6hrs
An extra day at Horombo (optional) could be significantly important for acclimatisation. You can hike to Mawenzi ridge, observe and study the rocks and minerals of Kilimanjaro and have a good view of Mawenzi peak (the third highest peak in Africa after Kibo and Mount Kenya respectively) also known as Hans Meyer's peak. There are also a lot of different plants and animal species dominating the camp area. The likes of giant groundsels, giant Lobelia, and species of Helichrysum amongst others.
Day 4: Horombo Hut 3720masl – Kibo Hut 4720masl
Habitat: Alpine desert
Distance: Approximately 9.6kms
Hiking time: 6hrs
For this stage you will be climbing through alpine desert. After a few kilometres is the saddle, a region between Mawenzi and Kibo lava cones. Saddle is almost a desert plain with rock outcrops and hills that gives an impression of being on a different
planet! You will need a lot of water to prevent dehydration during the entire tour and you should inform your guide of any sign of sickness. For more information on this, please visit our health and acclimatisation page.
Day 5: Kibo Hut 4720masl – Uhuru Peak 5895masl - Horombo 3720masl On to Uhuru
Habitat: Rocks, stone scree and snow lands
Distance: Approximately 5.4kms
Hiking time: 8hrs
At Kibo, you will take the opportunity to eat, take a rest, and get yourself prepared for Uhuru. Occasionally tourists may climb to Uhuru during the day but this depends on the weather. Waking up in the middle of the night and getting ready for the main event is what the majority of climbers do at Kibo hut. You will wake up at 2300hr and prepare yourself for the long climb ahead. After having a cup of tea with biscuits, you will commence to Uhuru. The distance is 6 kms and it should take about 8 hours to arrive at Uhuru. This is the tough part but the trick is to take it slowly. ‘Pole Pole is a phrase you will hear a lot during your week long climb, it means slowly slowly! The zigzag path which gets steeper and with a lot of scree takes you to Gilmans Point (5686masl) through Hans Meyer caves (5200masl). The path to Uhuru from Gilman's is snowy white and miraculously beautiful. Uhuru is the final stop on the ascent and the highest point in Africa. People pause here for photos and appreciation of one’s achievement. You can take your time here depending on the weather but after you are satisfied we can start descending to Kibo a journey of 3 hours. At Kibo Hut, you can rest for a while then commence to Horombo. It's here where you will spend your last night at Kilimanjaro National park from Uhuru.
Day 6: Horombo Hut 3720masl – Marangu Gate 1860masl
Habitat: moorlands and forest
Distance: Approximately 19.7kms
After breakfast, you will commence the descent to Marangu Gate. Take your time and slowly descend to Marangu Gate through moorlands and down to the forest. You should have enough time during the descent to take pictures of plant flowers, beautiful scenes and animals on your way back. At the gate, you say goodbye to the rest of the crew and get your certificate (assuming you made it to either Gilman's point or Uhuru Peak. For those who make to Gilman’s are given green certificates and those from Uhuru Peak a golden certificate. Your adventure ends at the hotel.