Hike Kilimanjaro’s climactic last stretch by lamplight, reaching Africa’s highest point in time for a stunning sunrise.. Taking the Marangu route to climb the mighty Mount Kilimanjaro allows you to stay in the comfort of huts.. Travelling with experienced guides and porters, you’ll be in good hands, with one guide for every two passengers.. Spot monkeys hiding in the jungle on your way to Mandara Hut.
With the help of our expert guides, step out of your comfort zone and climb Tanzania’s mighty Mt Kilimanjaro. The path to Uhuru Peak takes you through a diverse landscape, slowly shifting from verdant rainforests filled with monkeys and birdlife, to alpine meadows and desolate moon-like landscapes. Prepare to be challenged as you tackle both the steep climbs and thinning atmosphere, but be equally rewarded with breathtaking vistas of snow-capped mountain peaks, icy craters and verdant plains, which combine to make this a truly incredible adventure.
Breakfast Included: 7 Lunches Included: 6 Dinner Included: 6
Jambo! Welcome to Tanzania. This journey begins at the the foothills of Mt Kilimanjaro. Please make sure you are at the hotel by early evening as the tour commences here with a full briefing and kit inspection with your experienced Kilimanjaro leader before dinner. You’ll need to look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where the meeting will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. Please note that it is sometimes necessary to have this meeting on the morning of Day 2 if someone arrives late. Please check at reception for up to date information on where and when this important meeting will take place.
Before your trip: Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your doctor. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatising to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor.
During your trip: While our leaders have basic first aid training and are aware of the closest medical facilities, it is very important that you are aware of the cause and effects of travelling at altitude, monitor your health and seek assistance accordingly. Please read the following document carefully and, during your trip, utilise the table on the back daily to record your own perspective of your general health and any symptoms you may experience:
After breakfast, meet our guides and porters. It takes just 15 minutes to get to Marangu Gate (1,860 metres/6,000 feet) at the entrance of the Mt Kilimanjaro National Park. After completing registration procedures, you should be on your way there by late morning. The porters will carry your trek bag with all of your kit, while you’ll carry a day bag with your wet weather equipment, camera, lunch and water. Generally, the porters are much faster and will walk ahead.
In the forest there are many species of brightly coloured birds and different types of monkeys can be seen and heard. Walk through giant heather on the way to Mandara Hut (2,725 metres/9,000 feet), our stop for the night. From here you can choose to embark on an optional walk to nearby Maundi Crater. If the skies are clear, there may be excellent views of the nearby town of Moshi far below.
The distance from Kibo Hotel to Mandara Hut is 8 kilometres (approximately 3-5 hours).
Our second day on the mountain involves another long hike over a slightly steeper stretch. The rainforest gives way to open and rolling alpine meadows dotted with giant heather trees. Out of the forest canopy, the twin snow-tipped peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi lie directly ahead. During the day's walk, traverse several ravines before reaching the hut, which is set in a rocky valley. There’s time to enjoy a wide variety of vegetation and changing landscapes on the way to Horombo Hut (3,780 metres/12,000 feet), our base for the night.
Horombo is a small village of huts, perched on a plateau and flanked by lush greenery. The atmosphere here is one of adventure, anticipation and excitement, as hikers make their way to and from the summit.
The distance from Mandara to Horombo Huts is 12 kilometres (approximately 5-7 hours).
Horombo Hut - acclimatisation day
After breakfast, walk towards Mawenzi Hut, passing the unusual Zebra Rocks on the way. It’s a steep climb up a grassy slope, but well worth it: the views over the area towards Kibo are second-to-none. Afterwards, return to Horombo for lunch. Spend the afternoon relaxing and acclimatising to the altitude, or ask your guides about short walks in the area. Take advantage of the rest day here and drink plenty of water – the next couple of days will be pretty intense!
The distance from Horombo to Mawenzi Huts is around 5.6 kilometres (approximately 3 hours walk there and 90 minutes back).
Kibo Hut/Uhuru Peak
The landscape becomes progressively more rugged and rocky and the air noticeably thinner today so we slow our pace accordingly. Pass giant groundsels and lobelias while travelling across the sparse moorland.
Skirting Mawenzi Peak, arrive at the stark lunar landscape of the Saddle. Reaching Kibo Hut in afternoon (4,740 metres/15,450 feet), we take the opportunity to have an early night before our 11pm wakeup call later this evening.
The distance from Horombo to Kibo Hut is 10 kilometres (approximately 5-7 hours).
After being woken by our guides and served hot tea late in the evening on Day 5, we begin the last leg of the trek to the summit.
The trek begins beneath the stars as we zigzag our way up a large scree slope guided only by torchlight to reach Gilman's Point (5,685 metres). Hopefully we'll arrive in time to see breathtaking views of the sun rising behind Mawenzi Peak. This is the stretch that most people find the hardest, and you should be prepared for a very cold morning. However, the dramatic spectacle of the sun rising over the ice fields of the crater will make the early start totally worthwhile.
For those who still have the will and the energy, it is a further two hours along the rim of the crater to Uhuru Peak (5,896 metres), the highest point in Africa. From this peak, there are unforgettable views of the crater, the ice fields and the vast and distant East African plains below.
After photos and time to catch our breath we descend back to Horombo Hut for a well-earned rest.
The distance from Kibo Hut to Uhuru Peak is 14 kilometres (approximately 6-8 hours); the descent to Horombo takes approximately the same amount of time.
Today we continue our descent through alpine meadows and rainforest to the park gate. The distance from Horombo to Marangu Gate is 20 kilometres (approximately 5-6 hours). In the afternoon, we can return to the Marangu Hotel for a relaxing shower – a real treat after the physical exertions of the last few days. Over a celebratory meal, relive and share your experiences of the past six days on the mountain.
You are free to depart at any time on the final day of your trip. A transfer to Kilimanjaro Airport or a shuttle to Nairobi can be arranged locally. Please speak to your leader about this at the welcome meeting.