Stay in one of Northern Tanzania’s most historic buildings and explore the lush tropical surrounds of Mangaru. Travelling with experienced guides and porters, you’ll be in good hands, with one guide for every two passengers. Hike through the dense greenery of Mt Kilimanjaro’s foothills, spotting native creatures and wildflowers along the way. Witness the stark beauty of Mawenzi as the cirque of this stunning 5,149-metre peak towers above you
See Africa from a different perspective – from the peaks of Mt Kilimanjaro. Approach the striking mountain from the north for the opportunity to see mountainside animals – monkeys and even the occasional elephant inhabits these parts, so keep your eyes peeled. Traverse through rich forests along the north-eastern side, then embark on a trek to the summit. Discover an enticing array of wildlife and gorgeous scenery along the way and be rewarded by incredible views from Uhuru Peak.
Breakfast Included: 7 Lunches Included: 6 Dinner Included: 7
Jambo! Welcome to Tanzania. Your hike begins in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in Marangu. The hotel is a short walk from the village’s bustling market and some excellent coffee shops. It is also very close to some beautiful waterfalls and ancient Chagga caves. Please make sure you are at the hotel by early evening, as your trip starts with a full briefing and kit inspection by an experienced Kilimanjaro climber. This will take place before dinner. Your insurance details and next of kin information will also be collected. Check with hotel reception for the exact location of the meeting. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, consider arriving a day early so you can 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. In the event that someone is late, the meeting may have to be rescheduled for the following morning.
Enjoy some breakfast, then meet your guides and porters. Each person has a personal porter and there are extra porters for camping equipment and food. This morning you’ll transfer to the northern side of the mountain and the village of Nale Moru (1,950 m). As you walk up from the gate you’ll wind through cultivated farmland and pine forest plantations before entering lush forests. As you go along, keep your eyes peeled – many species of bird hide in the trees, and you might be lucky enough to see monkeys and signs of larger game. Your first mountain camp is on the edge of the moorland zone with great views back down to the plains and into Kenya. Total walking time today is approximately 3–4 hours.
Rise early for a hot drink and a hearty breakfast. Your walk commences with a steady uphill ascent which will bring you to the second cave (3,450 m). Look above and see the glorious Kibo peak of Kilimanjaro looming large. The eastern ice fields cling to the mountain's crater rim. Down below, the slope sweeps away down into the forests. The third cave is our goal for today, so we will head further up the mountain and reach the camp in the afternoon. Total walking time today is approximately 5 hours.
This morning you have a steady but steep ascent under the jagged peaks of Mawenzi. Leave the grassy slopes and vegetation zone behind as you enter the high-altitude desert. Make the journey to the Mawenzi Tarn, the location of tonight's camp. This is the only permanent lake on Kilimanjaro. You'll see the cirque of the 5,149-metre peak towering above you as you complete your hike. Enjoy free time this afternoon – take the opportunity to relax. It's important to pace ourselves – this is part of the acclimatisation process. Total walking time today is approximately 4 hours.
Kibo Camp / Uhuru Peak
Head out into the lunar landscape of 'The Saddle', a broad tundra desert between the two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo. From here you can take in fantastic views of the upper reaches of the mountain. Continue to Kibo Camp (4,703 m) that has limited facilities. Tonight we will prepare for tomorrow's final adventure. Take the opportunity to re-pack your bag and leave any non-essential items with the porters – you'll need all your energy for tomorrow's hike to the summit, so there's no need to carry anything you don't need. It's important to retire early tonight and get as good a sleep as you can, as there will be a midnight start. This allows us to reach the summit in the morning, before the cloud cover settles, and have time to get back down. Total walking time today is approximately 4–5 hours.
Uhuru Peak / Horombo Camp
Prepare for a demanding but rewarding day. The guides will wake you before midnight. Starting your walk in darkness, you will zig-zag up a long scree slope by the light of your head-torch. At this time of day the scree is still frozen, which makes it easier to walk on. After roughly two hours we should reach Hans Meyer's Cave, which is named after the German geologist who in 1889 made the first successful ascent. The gradient will get steeper, and three hours on (this is the hardest stretch of the ascent) we should reach the crater rim at Johanne’s Notch. From here it's a short scramble to Gillman's Point (5,680 m) in time for dawn. The reward is the dramatic spectacle of the sun rising over the ice fields and craggy peaks of Mawenzi – the profusion of colours and shapes make all the exertion seem worthwhile. Those with some drive left can take another couple of hours to hike along the crater rim to Uhuru (Freedom) Peak (5,895 m). Your descent retraces the route to Kibo Camp. Here you can get some food and recharge a little before continuing down to Horombo Camp for a well-deserved rest. Total walking time today is approximately 13 hours.
The descent from Horombo to Mandara Camp takes around three hours, and the final part of the descent through the forest to Marangu Gate takes another two hours. Vehicles will be waiting at the gate to take you and your crew back to the hotel. Enjoy an invigorating hot shower – a real treat after the intense physical effort of the last few days. Over a celebratory meal you can relive and share your experiences of the past five days on the mountain.
You are free to depart at any time on this final day of the trip. Transfers to Kilimanjaro Airport or a shuttle to Nairobi can be arranged locally. Please speak to your leader about this at the welcome meeting.