Moshi - Shira Gate - Shira Camp (118 km)
After breakfast and a briefing from the guide, we will leave Moshi and drive several hours to the Shira Gate on the western side of Kilimanjaro to register with the national park. We will then begin our hiking excursion in the rainforest. At low elevations the trail up the ridge can be wet and muddy but gaiters and trekking poles will help. Halfway through the hike, we will stop for lunch. In the afternoon, we will arrive at the final destination of the day, Shira Camp, where we will unpack, rest, enjoy tea or coffee, and eat dinner at around 7:00pm.
Shira Camp - Lava Tower - Barranco Camp
After breakfast, we will hike east up a steepening path above the highest vegetation toward Kilimanjaro. After several hours, we will reach the prominent landmark called Lava Tower. After a lunch stop near Lava Tower, we will descend for 2 hours to the lower cliffs of the Western Breach and Breach Wall, before arriving at Barranco Camp where we will eat dinner and spend the night.
Barranco Camp - Karanga Camp
After breakfast, we will continue up a steep ridge to the great Barranco Wall and arrive just below the Heim Glacier. From here we can truly appreciate Kilimanjaro's natural beauty. With Kibo's Glaciers soaring overhead, we will descend into the lush Karanga Valley Campsite. From the camp, we can look east and see the jagged peaks of Mawenzi jutting into the African sky. After a hot lunch at camp, we will have free-time to rest or explore the surrounding area. After two long days hiking, this short day is very important for acclimatization, since we will embark on summit push the following day.
Optional: Extra Day
Guests can add an extra day to their trek by staying at Barranco Camp for two nights. Guests will hike to the Karanga Valley Camp on Day 5, the Barafu Camp on Day 6, the summit on Day 7, and finish the descent on Day 8. Adding this day will ease effort, and amplify your acclimatization.
Karanga Camp - Barafu Camp
In the morning, we will hike east over intervening ridges and valleys to join the Mweka Route, which will be the descent route. After hiking up the ridge through a sparse landscape for another hour, we will receive a hot lunch at the Barafu Hut. The last water on the route is in the Karanga Valley; there is no water at Barafu Camp, even though Barafu is the Swahili word for "ice." The famous snows of Kilimanjaro are far above Barafu Camp near the summit of the mountain. We will pitch a tent on a narrow, stony, wind-swept ridge.
**It is essential that guests familiarize themselves with the terrain before dark to avoid accidents. Additionally, guests should prepare equipment and wear warm clothing for the summit climb, and drink plenty of fluids.
After an early dinner, we will have the chance to relax and enjoy a few hours of precious sleep.
Barafu Camp - Uhuru Peak - Mweka Camp
After a breakfast of tea and biscuits, we will begin the 6-hour climb to the summit at approximately 11:30 p.m. Heading northwest, through heavy scree between the Rebmann and Ratzel Glaciers, we will arrive at the most challenging portion of the route at Stella Point. Here, we will stop for a short rest and a chance to see a breathtaking sunrise. From Stella Point, we journey to the top of Marangu Route to Uhuru Peak. At the top of the summit, we can take in the surrounding scenery, and enjoy a deep sense of satisfaction and personal accomplishing from the mountain tops.
After the 3-hour descent from the summit back to Barafu Camp, we will take a short rest and collect our gear before hiking into the forest to Mweka Camp. Located in the upper forest, we can expect mist or rainfall in the late afternoon. Dinner and washing water will be prepared and we can purchase drinking water, soft drinks, chocolate and beer at the camp office. We will spend the night at Mweka Camp.
Mweka Camp - Mweka Gate - Moshi
After a well-deserved breakfast, we will take a 3-hour hike back to the Mweka Gate. Here we will have an opportunity to sign their name and add details to the park register, and successful climbers will receive summit certificates. Climbers who reached Stella Point will be issued green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak will receive gold certificates. From the Mweka Gate, we will continue down to the Mweka Village (if the road is deemed too muddy for vehicles, we will be required to hike 1-hour to Mweka Village). Here, we can enjoy a hot lunch. Finally, we will be driven back to their hotel in Moshi where we can enjoy an overdue hot shower and comfortable accommodations for the evening.
Note: Guests are encouraged to wait until all of their gear has arrived at the Mweka Gate before tipping park staff.
Moshi, in the very northeast of Tanzania, sits on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest point in Africa and a dormant volcano. Many hikers and climbers stay in Moshi before exploring the famous mountain on which is resides.