Day 1

Arusha to machame camp

The day before, we will have collected you from the airport and driven you to your accommodation in Arusha. There will be a briefing and equipment check during this evening.

The drive from Arusha to the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park Gate takes about 2 hours. The journey passes through the village of Machame which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain.

We now leave the park gate and walk through the rain forest on a winding trail up a rige. Lower down, the trail can be muddy and slippery. Gaiters and trekking poles are a good idea here. We continue a short distance until we reach the Machame Camp.

Machame Gate to Machame Camp.

  • Elevation (ft): 5,400ft to 9,400ft.
  • Distance: 11 km.
  • Hiking Time: 5-7 hours.
  • Habitat: Rain Forest.

Day 2

Machame Camp to Shira Camp

After breakfast, we leave the glades of the rain forest and continue on an ascending path, crossing the little valley walking along a steep rocky ridge, covered with heather, until the ridge ends. The route now turns west onto a river gorge. Time for rest, dinner, and overnight at the Shira campsite.

Machame Camp to Shira Camp.

Elevation (ft): 9,400ft to 12,500ft.

Distance: 5 km.

Hiking Time: 4-6 hours.

Habitat: Moorland.

Day 3

Shira Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp

From the Shira Plateau, we continue to the east up a ridge, passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo. As we continue, our direction changes to the South East towards the Lava Tower, called the “Shark’s Tooth.” Shortly after the tower, we come to the second junction which brings us up to the Arrow Glacier at an altitude of 16,000ft. We now continue down to the Barranco Hut at an altitude of 13,000ft. Here we rest, enjoy dinner, and overnight. Although you end the day at the same elevation as when you started, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day.

Shira Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp.

Elevation (ft): 12,500ft to 13,000ft

Distance: 10 km

Hiking Time: 6-8 hours

Habitat: Semi Desert.

Day 4

Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp

After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge passing the Barranco Wall, to the Karanga Valley campsite. This is a short day meant for acclimatization.

Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp

Elevation (ft): 13,000ft to 13,100ft

Distance: 5 km

Hiking Time: 4-5 hours

Habitat: Alpine Desert.

Day 5

Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp

After breakfast, we leave Karanga and hit the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to the Barafu Hut. At this point, you have completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are to be seen from this position.

Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp.

Elevation (ft): 13,100ft to 15,300ft.

Distance: 4 km.

Hiking Time: 4-5 hours.

Habitat: Alpine Desert.

Day 6

Barafu Camp to Summit to Mweka Hut

Very early in the morning (midnight to 2am), we continue our way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers. At Stella Point (18,600 ft), you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see (weather permitting). From Stella Point, you may encounter snow all they way on your 1-hour ascent to the summit. At Uhuru Peak, you have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa. Faster hikers will see the sunrise from the summit.

Now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. You will want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.

Elevation ft: 15,300ft to 19,345ft (and down to 10,000ft

Distance: 5 km ascent / 12 km descent

Hiking Time: 7-8 hours ascent / 4-6 hours descent

Habitat: Arctic.

Day 7

Mweka Camp to Arusha

After breakfast, we continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy).

From the gate, you continue another hour to

Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet you at Mweka village to drive you back to hotel in Arusha.

Mweka Camp to Arusha. | Elevation (ft): 10,000ft to 5,400ft. | Distance: 10 km. | Hiking Time: 3-4 hours. | Habitat: Rain Forest.

The following morning, you will be transferred to the airport for onwards travel.