Day 1: Arrival - Nairobi
On arrival at Nairobi Airport, met and assisted. Transfer to a city budget hotel for an overnight stay on bed and breakfast, Comfort Inn
Day 2: Nairobi - Mountain Rock Lodge,
Depart Nairobi in the morning with a drive to the Mount Kenya base at Mountain Rock Lodge for lunch taking about 4 hrs (excluding en route stop/s of about 30 minutes or so). Afternoon complementary leisure walk to the Mau Mau pre-historic as part of the acclimatization exercise. Dinner and overnight at Mountain Rock Lodge,B,L,D.
Day 3: Mountain Rock/Nanyuki/Sirimon/Judmier Camp (Old Moses Camp) 3-4 hrs, 9km, 860m ascent
Leave Mountain Rock in the morning and drive through the Equator to Nanyuki town where your guide will collect fresh supply (fruits and vegetables etc) for the mountain. Proceed to Sirimon Gate, 1 hr, 2440m. From the gate follow the track as it winds uphill though the forest which becomes heath land after about 3 hrs. About 3½ hours from the gate the track veers right to Judmier Camp, 3300m for dinner and overnight, B,L,D
Day 4: Judmier Camp/Shipton Camp 6-7hrs, 14km, 900m ascent
After breakfast, follow the track uphill, forking left at the junction. After one hour from Old Moses Camp, the track crosses Ontulili River. Go right contouring through the Moorland and crossing Liki North and continue uphill to Mackinders Valley from where there are panoramic views up the valley towards the main peaks. Dinner and overnight at Shipton Camp, 4200m, B,L,D
Day 5: Shipton Camp
Spend the day acclimatizing. Walk to Kami Hut down to Hauseberg Lakes (Hauseberg Tarn and Nanyuki Tarn). Walk back to Shipton for dinner and overnight, B,L,D.
Day 6: Shiptons/Point Lenana/Mount Meru Bandas (Chogoria Gate) 6 hrs, 14km, 785m ascent
Leave at 3am up a steep stony quarry that cuts through a cliff clearing visible part towards lower Hall Tarns arriving point Lenana at 6:30am, taking about 3hrs. After the sunrise, descend down to Mintos hut, 2hrs, for breakfast and further 3 hrs down to Mount Meru Bandas, 2950m, for dinner and overnight, B, L, D
Day 7: Chogoria Bandas/Chogoria/Nairobi
Descend 2hr, 15km to forest clearance to catch a 4x4 transfer vehicle to Chogoria Village where you will connect with your transfer vehicle back to Nairobi. Overnight at Comfort Inn B,L.
Day 8: Nairobi - Arusha
After breakfast, catch the morning scheduled shuttle bus to Arusha for an afternoon leisure sorting any Kilimanjaro gear you may need for the next day. Overnight at Jacaranda Hotel on bed and breakfast, B.
Day 9: ARUSHA - MARANGU GATE (1980M) - MANDARA HUT (2700M)
Hiking time: 5 hours
Distance: About 12 km's
Habitat: Montane forest
The drive from Arusha to the Kilimanjaro National Park gate passes through the village of Marangu, which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain. Once you reach the park gate, all hikers are requested to sign in at the Park office and make their final preparations for the climb. Porters will be seen arranging and loading their packs, containing the food, water, cooking gas as well as most of your equipment. Make sure that you have all your daypack items (containing at least drinking water, your lunch pack and extra clothing) with you as the porters ascend a lot quicker than the hikers. Our guides will be available to assist with any additional information or needs you might have.
You now leave the Park gate and ascend on a cleared ridge trail through the rain forest. 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 1½ hours hiking, or 1 hour before Mandara hut.)
Your first night stop, Mandara hut, is a group of wooden A-framed huts in a forest clearing. Each hut features 6-8 sleeping bunks with solar generated lighting. The total capacity of the camp is 60 climbers. Water is piped into the camp from springs above and there are flush toilets behind the main hut.
DAY 10: MANDARA HUT (2700M) - HOROMBO HUT (3720M)
Hiking time: 6 hours
Distance: About 15 km's
From Mandara hut the trail passes through a short stretch of forest, then skirts the base of the Maundi Crater and then emerges into the transition from rain forest to moorland. It is well worth a short detour to scramble up the rim of the Maundi Crater for your first really impressive view of the Kibo Crater. On a clear day, Kibo will glimmer in the distance, showing off her majestic glaciers in the morning sun. Once you are in the open moorland you will get the chance to see some of Kilimanjaro's most spectacular plants - the endemic giant lobelia which grows up to 3 m in height and the giant groundsel (Senecia Kilimanjari), which can reach heights of 5m! After about 6 hours from here you reach the Horombo hut, where you will have hot washing water, rest; an evening meal and overnight.
DAY 11: HOROMBO HUT (3720M) - ACCLIMATISATION DAY
Horombo hut is a village of huts perched on a small plateau, with buildings similar to Mandara, but with a total capacity of 120 climbers! Normally bustling with hikers, guides, porters and with an atmosphere of adventure and excitement. You will meet both ascending and descending hikers here. This extra day and night at Horombo is for additional acclimatisation. A hike towards the Mawenzi hut, passing the Zebra Rocks on the way (about 3 hours up and 1.5 hours down), is strongly recommended. This hike will further assist with the process of acclimatisation. Remember to drink enough water and move slowly! All meals for the day are provided at the hut. Retire to bed early and get a last good night's rest.
DAY 12: HOROMBO HUT (3720M) - KIBO HUT (4700M)
Hiking time: 6 hours
Distance: About 15 km's
Habitat: Alpine desert
After breakfast you now continue your ascent into the Alpine desert habitat. From Horombo there are two trails to the "Saddle" (which refers to the area located between the peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo). There is an upper route (right hand fork) and lower route (left hand fork) to choose from. The upper route (right hand fork) will be very familiar, as you will have climbed most of it the previous day towards Mawenzi hut. It is very stony and eroded.
The recommended lower route (left hand fork) is much easier and nearly an hour and it also passes the last watering point at 4130m. You will have to fill your water bottles with all the water you will need until your return to Horombo hut in two night's time (unless you are willing to buy Mineral water at Kibo hut). Once again remember to slow down and drink enough water!! Situated in the barren Alpine desert is Horombo hut, a stone build block house which has bunk beds for 60 climbers, but no streams with water nearby. It is however possible to buy mineral water and soft drinks at the camp office.
There are platform toilets behind the hut. The summit is now a further 1195m up and you will make your final ascent the same night. Prepare your equipment, ski-stick and thermal clothing for your summit bid. This should include the replacement of your headlamp and camera batteries and make sure you have a spare set available as well. To prevent freezing it will be wise to carry your water in a thermal flask. Go to bed at round about 19h00 and try to get as much rest and sleep as possible.
DAY 13: SUMMIT ATTEMPT,KIBO HUT (4700M)-UHURU PEAK(5895M)-HOROMBO HUT(3720M)
Hiking time: 8 hours to Uhuru - 6 hours to descend to Horombo
Distance: 6 km's ascent - 21 km's descent
Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
You will rise around 23h30, and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the night, and this is where the going really gets tough. The first section of the trail consists of a rocky path to the Hans Meyer Cave (5150m), also a good resting spot. The path then zigzags up to Gillman's point (5 681m), which is located on the crater rim. This section is very steep with a lot of stone scree, requiring a great physical and mental effort. Probably the most demanding section of the entire route. Do the Kili shuffle and move slowly.
From Gillman's Point you will normally encounter snow all the way up to Uhuru peak (5895m), the highest point in Africa. Total exhilaration and satisfaction - you made it. Weather conditions on the summit will determine how long you will be able to spend, taking photographs, before the 3 hour descent back to Kibo hut. After a short rest you gather all your gear you left behind for the ascent and head down to Horombo hut (3 hours) for your overnight. The return to Horombo hut will seem surprisingly fast compared to the ascent. The total time spent walking on this day is around 14 hours, so be prepared for a very tough day
Later in the evening you enjoy your last dinner (with soft drinks and beer for sale at the camp office) on the mountain and a well-earned sleep, filled with memories and stirring emotions.
DAY 14: HOROMBO HUT (3720M) - MARANGU GATE (1980M)
Hiking time: 6 hours
Distance: About 27 km's
After breakfast you continue your descent (6 hours), passing the Mandara hut, down to the Marangu gate. At Marangu gate you sign your name and details in a register. This is also where 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. You now drive back to Arusha for a long over due hot shower, dinner and celebrations!! Overnight at Jacaranda Hotel.
Day 15: ARUSHA - Nairobi - Departure
Catch either morning or afternoon shuttle bus back to Nairobi where you will be dropped off at the airport for your flight back home, B.
Listed below are hotels/lodges/resorts that the safari tour operator can accomodate for you.