Size up mighty Mt Kilimanjaro from the lush tropical surrounds of Marangu, as you prepare to ascend the incredible mountain with the help of an experienced climber.. Travel with experienced guides and porters. You’ll be in great hands – with one guide for every two passengers – so all you’ll have to worry about is soaking up the scenery and keeping your footing!. Kilimanjaro’s changing scenery – magnificent rainforests and high-alpine deserts to ice fields and vast glaciers – is all on display as you tackle the trails to the top of Africa.. Catch a dazzling African sunrise from Stella Point on your way to summit Africa’s highest mountain peak – definitely a rewarding experience after an early wake-up call!
Embark on a nine-day Lonely Planet Experience trekking the challenging Machame Route to the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro – Africa’s highest point. At high altitude, it’s an epic journey through varied terrain of lowland forest and dry mountain desert. With local guides and porters making your hike that much easier, set up camp at night and soak up all the incredible scenery along the way. Then at the very top of Uhuru Peak, rising 5896 metres above sea level, feel the exhilaration and sense of achievement as you marvel at the incredible views and consider what you’ve just accomplished. Congratulations – you’ve hit the peak of Kilimanjaro.
Breakfast Included: 8 Lunches Included: 7 Dinner Included: 8
Jambo! Welcome to Tanzania. Your hike begins in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in Moshi. The hotel is a short walk from the village’s bustling market and some excellent coffee shops. Please make sure that you’re at the hotel by early evening, as your trip starts with a full briefing and kit inspection by an experienced Kilimanjaro climber. After the meeting, fuel up on a hearty dinner and get a good night’s rest ready to start your climb tomorrow.
Meet your guides and porters after breakfast and take the opportunity to organise your gear before setting off on a 1-hour transfer by road to the Machame Gate – the south western entrance to the Mt Kilimanjaro National Park. On the way, stop into one of the clothes lending offices of Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Projects and learn how their program, supported by the Intrepid Foundation, is assisting porters. Begin your hike around lunch time, starting with a pleasant stroll through the rainforest, where many species of brightly coloured birds can be seen. Set up camp at Machame in the mid-afternoon ready for your first night on Kilimanjaro. The huts fell into disrepair some years ago, so with the help of the porters you will set up tents for the night. Enjoy an evening meal prepared by the porters and savour the first night of sleeping outdoors.
Your second day on the mountain takes you out of the rainforest and up a steep ridge into moor land. Watch as the vegetation grows sparser as you ascend along the path to the Shira Plateau – soon, several distinct species, including the giant groundsel and lobelia, will be the only plants dominating the harsh landscape. Spend the night camping on the edge of the plateau and be treated to a golden sunset over the snow-dusted peaks of Kibo.
Enjoy a fantastic walk as you continue through the rolling landscape and deep river valleys. The undulating landscape offers a great chance to acclimatise and as you ascend to the more rugged areas of the mountain, there are great views of the Kibo Massif and its magnificent surrounds. Tonight is spent at Barranco Camp.
Today is an important acclimatisation day as you’re only going to be walking during the morning. First, climb the Barranco Wall (not a technical climb) and then follow the Kibo South Circuit. If the weather is clear, you can expect to have some magnificent views of Kibo's southern glaciers. Arrive at your camp around lunchtime and rest your legs as you enjoy great views by the river in the Karanga Valley.
Barafu Camp / Uhuru Peak
From Karanga, head up to the intersection of the South Circuit and the Mweka route where you’ll start climbing up a ridge to Barafu Hut. Barafu is Swahili for ‘ice’ – it can be very cold here at night! You should arrive at Barafu around late lunchtime, allowing plenty of time to rest before the final summit attempt very early tomorrow morning.
Uhuru Peak / Millennium Camp or Mweka Camp
At around midnight you’ll be woken by the guides with some hot tea and biscuits to give you energy before the long, difficult ascent up scree, and sometimes snow, to Stella Point (5780 metres). Pass the giant Rebmann Glacier en route and hopefully arrive at Stella Point in time for sunrise and superb views of the crater, the glacier glistening in the morning sun. From Stella it’s a further 1-hour hike along the rim of the crater to Uhuru Peak (5896 metres), the highest point in Africa. From the summit, take in unforgettable views of the crater, the ice fields and the vast and distant East African plains below. After photos and back-patting, begin your descent. Back at Barafu Camp, enjoy a well-earned lunch and much thicker air! After lunch, continue on to Mweka Camp for the night and have a well-deserved rest.
Today you’ll continue to descend the mountain, traversing alpine meadows and rainforest to the Mweka park gate. From Mweka Camp to the Mweka gate, trek for 10 kilometres (approximately 3–4 hours) descending a total of 1300 metres (4300 feet). Enjoy some lunch after checking out of the park and then transport back to the hotel for a relaxing shower – a real treat after the physical exertions of the last few days! Tonight, gather with your trekking companions for a meal, sharing your experiences of the past six days on the mountain.
With no activities or trekking planned for today, you are free to depart at any time. Transfers to Kilimanjaro Airport or a shuttle to Nairobi can be arranged locally – please speak to your leader at your welcome meeting if you wish to organise this.