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Group Size: Varies
Trip code: TAKM
Duration: 7 days
Scaling the king of African mountains, climb to the summit of mighty Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Led by experienced guides along the most popular Kilimanjaro trail – the Marangu Route – you can hike and acclimatise to the altitude in style, sleeping in huts at the base camps along the way and enjoying the luxury of a luggage porter service. With the option to take a rest and adjust to the altitude, you’ll be giving yourself the best chance to reach your final goal and enjoy a golden sunrise with breathtaking views across Africa. If you choose to embark on a full moon expedition, you’ll have the added mystique of a lunar-lit trek to the top, where the mountainside landscape really comes alive!
You can book a 7 or 8 day trip, which includes 5/6 days trekking. There is one extra day for altitude acclimatisation planned in on the 8-day trip and this will take place on day 4.
Itinerary for 7-day trip:
Joining this mountain conquering trip, you’ll need to arrange your flights into Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) in Tanzania. From here you’ll be met and transferred to Moshi, the base town for your Kilimanjaro trek for the night. Situated on the southern slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, after a night of rest, recuperation and a basic pre-departure meeting with your climbing guide, you’ll be ready to start your trip and take on the mighty mountain itself the next day!
After a hotel breakfast you’ll hand your kit over to the porters so that it can be weighed and loaded onto the bus. After checking out of your room, placing unnecessary luggage into storage and making sure you have adequate water supplies, the expedition begins at Marangu Gate (1830 metres) after a 45 minute drive.
After checking in and registering with the National Park, you’ll have a chance to buy any last-minute items, hire equipment, and make a quick toilet stop before beginning your climb at around 10:30. Heading through lush rainforest you should be prepared for wet muddy conditions and hot temperatures. Shorts and t-shirts should be sufficient here, but keep your layers to hand just in case, and keep your eyes open for chance Colobus monkey sightings! After a group lunch stop we’ll reach our overnight stay at the Mandara Huts (2740 metres) at about 14:00. This usually involves around 5 hours and 8km of trekking, so you can unpack, enjoy a snack and if you’re still not tired, take the 15 minute walk to the Maundi Crater. From here you will have good views of Northern Tanzania and Kenya.
Dinner is usually served at 19:00. Afterwards, climbers normally relax and talk to others in the group or head back to their hut to read a book or get an early night.
Day three starts from the Mandara Huts and continues for 12km until we reach our overnight stay at the Horombo Huts (3690 metres). Again, this usually takes about 5 hours.
Breakfast is served at around 7:30 and the hike begins with a last hours’ trek through the rainforest before ascending through heath-land. Here you can test out your photographic skills with some brilliant subjects, such as the giant lobelias and groundsels (unusual looking trees) which provide a fantastic muse! You’ll then continue up through the open moorlands and have lunch in the shrubbery landscape, enjoying stunning views out across Mawenzi.
You should reach the second camp at the Horombo Huts by 15:00 and have excellent views of Kibo’s summit. Today you’ll have walked for 5 hours and totted up 12 km on the pedometer.
You may start to feel the effects of the altitude here so you should try to take it easy and drink plenty of fluids. For those that booked the extra day of acclimatization, this will be your rest stop for the next day and night. If you chose to soldier on however you’ll take a short hike the following day to the sub peak at Mawenzi base camp.
If you added on an extra day to allow yourself to acclimatize to the altitude, you will spend all of today and tonight in the Horombo Huts. During this stay you can either enjoy your rest, or take a stroll up to Mawenzi base camp.
If you didn’t book an extra day here, you will continue for another 5-8 km and hike for 5 hours to the Kibo Huts (4695 metres). Along the way there will be more excellent photo opportunities from seeing the sunrise to climbing through the dwindling heath land which blends into a moonscape desert connecting Mawenzi and Kibo. With further views of the summit climb ahead of you, today your camera will get a serious workout. Be careful to notice any signs of altitude sickness here, and if you feel unwell talk to your guide immediately. Once you reach camp, you’ll have dinner and prepare for the summit hike straight away – we’ll be waking you up at midnight for the final push on up to the top!
If you would like to slot an extra day of altitude acclimatisation into your Kili schedule, you should let us know at the time of booking.
Prepare yourself for some stunning scenery as today is summit day! The most hardcore day on your expedition, we’ll wake you up at midnight to start climbing at 1am. After making it to Gilman’s Point on the crater rim at 5861 metres between 5am and 7am, by sunrise you should have hopefully reached the summit – Uhuru Peak (5895 metres) by 9am and be able to enjoy a heart-stopping morning sight, well worth the effort.
After taking a moment to stand at the highest point in all of Africa, your descent to the Kibo Huts for lunch begins, before you work your way to the Horombo Huts for dinner. Today involves around 11 hours of trekking, going for 4km up to the summit, and hiking along 12km to reach the overnight hut.
After a hearty breakfast, and a descent through the moorland to Mandara Huts, we’ll hike back through the rainforest and reach the Marangu Park Gate by 3pm. If you managed to make it to the summit, you can collect your certificate of achievement before bundling onto the bus and heading to the hotel for a hot shower, a big dinner and some well earned celebrations! By the time you hit your bed you’ll be able to add another 4 hours and 32 km of striding to you trek-list. Although breakfast is included on this day, lunch is not.
A the last day of the trip you’ll depart Moshi, either taking the (non-inclusive) return bus Kilimanjaro International: a 45 minute airport transfer, or continuing your travels elsewhere.
Please note: You will be accompanied on your climb by a team of guides, cooks and porters. If you are satisfied with their service, you should pay a tip at the end of the climb. Tipping is usually done as a group, and each climber should expect to pay between USD200-300 in tips. In the unlikely event that you are not satisfied with the service of your guides and porters, you are not obliged to tip. More detailed information about tipping will be provided after you book.
Essential Climbing Equipment
Please note, we would recommend that you pack all essential equipment for the climb in your hand luggage, as long as your weight limit permits. You may choose to wear your boots and jacket on the plane in order to reduce weight and ensure that you have these with you at the start of the climb.
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