Conquer the Roof of Africa
Day 1: Arrival and Meeting with Our Team
We will pick you up from the Kilimanjaro International airport and take you to the city of Arusha to stay the first night at a nice hotel in Arusha. You will be able to rest from the flight, and prepare for the ultimate experience that starts the following day early morning.
Day 2: Transfer to Marangu and First Steps
After breakfast we will pick you up and drive to the Marangu gate. We will arrange all registration and requirements for you before getting ready to start the ultimate adventure. The first stage will take us through the rain-forest up to Mandara Hut where we would spend the night. Hike itself to Mandara hut is not steep and its easy to walk. The forest, suffused with mist and dripping with beards of moss, is also where most of Kilimanjaro’s animals are found. An alternative and more scenic parallel forest trail branches off to the left a few minutes after the gate. This trail follows the edge of a stream through the undergrowth and offers you the option to rejoin the main trail either after 1.5 hours hiking, or 1 hour before Mandara hut. All the tiredness vanishes the moment you get to Mandara hut on 2720 meters. There you can enjoy the Maundi crater, around 350 meters from the hut, then a good sleep with the magnificient calm of the rainforest. Mandara hut, consists of a group of wooden A-framed huts in a forest clearing. Each hut features 6-8 sleeping bunks with solar generated lighting.
Day 3: Reaching Horombo Hut at 3705m
From Mandara hut the trail passes through a short stretch of forest, skirts the base of the Maundi Crater and then emerges into the transition from rain forest to moorland. We always recomemd a detour up the rim of Maundi crater as there is a impressive view of the Kibo peak, you will enjoy the majestic glaciers in the morning. If the weather is good and clouds allow it we will as well see the other cone of the dormant volcano Mawenzi. Legend has it that Kibo and Mawenzi were good neighbours, until Mawenzi played a prank on Kibo and threw away embers he had received from Kibo and claimed that they had burned out. Kibo eventually got angry and beat Mawenzi badly, explaining why the mountain is so badly degraded. Once we are in the open moorland you’ll have the possibility to see kilimanjaro’s spectacular plants, for instance the endemic giant lobelia up to 3 m in height, the giant groundsel reaching 5 meters. The third day trek takes aproximately 6 hours to Horombo hut, where you can refresh, wash and have comfortable rest.
Day 4: Acclimatization day at Horombo and Mawenzi Peak
The extra day offers the benefit of acclimatization. You can enjoy the ascend to the nearby Mawenzi cone and get back for resting and lunch in Horombo. This hike helps you get used to daily treks in a comfortable way as it’s short but the views are incredible. Mawenzi peak reaches 4310m and its part of the dromant volcano who erupted a million years ago. This treck offers good views of the ice field on the western side of the mountain, and the ancient glacier of the Breach Wall on Kibo.
You will have time to explore around Horombo before resting for the night. Horombo hut is a small plateau with similar building you can see in Mandara. It’s exciting the feeling of adventure as there are many climbers and porters changing impressions and stories. It’s fascinating how climbers meet ascending an later descending forming great conversations and sometimes friednships. All the meals and drinks will be provided at the hut.
Day 5: Ascent to Kibo peak (4732m)
We will continue the ascent towards Kibo peak, this is the fastest route as we have different options. You will be able to choose according your prefernces on site, although we recommend the following one towards Kibo hut. You will be amazed at how picturesque the alpine desert is, even though only the hardiest of plant species can survive in this extremely harsh terrain.
This route passes the last watering point at 4130m, so as to fill the water bottles for the way up to the summit and back to Horombo in 2 nights time, however you can always buy water at Kibo hut in case neccessary, so don’t worry!
The big moment is coming. The summit is now a further 1195m up and you will make your final ascent the same night. Thus all the equipment must be ready, thermal clothing, headlump, and batteries. It’s convenient to go to sleep early so you’re rested for your summit bid.
Day 6: Conquer the Snow-Caped Roof of Africa
After midnight we will get up and get some breakfast for the last stage before summit. This is thoughest part of the ascent but you will be already acclimatised and of course extremely motivated. The first section is a rocky path until the Hans Meyer cave at 5150m where we will rest some time. Later we will find classic zig zags paths arount the crater, this is a steep section with stones that leads to Gillman’s point at 5681m, already in the crater rim. This section is likely the most demanding of the entire climbing, so do the ‘kili shuffle’ moving slowly one feet in front of the other.
At this point you are already seeing snow all the way up to Uhuru peak, the roof of Africa. And here it comes, you made it!! After enjoying some time at the summit taking pics and feeling the incredible sensation, we will descent back to kibo hut, after resting we head down to Horombo and enjoy a well deserved rest. The descent will way faster in contrast with what you experience the previous days. After a tough and long day the evening will consists of the perfect mix of excitement and satisfaction.
Day 7: Last Day on the Mountain
A copious breakfast after a total rest before continue the descent passing the Mandara hut, where we stayed, towards the Marangu gate. On the way you wil look at the rain forest trying to catch more of those moments that stay in the memory forever, whether blue monkeys jumping between the huge tropical trees or the electric atmosphere of excitement.
At the gate you will register your name and successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Those climbers who reached Gillman’s Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m), receive gold certificates. Later you will be transferred to your hotel.