DAY 1: Machame Gate (1,828m/ 5,997ft) – Machame Camp (3020m/ 9,908ft)
Early in the morning we drive from Arusha/Moshi to the Kilimanjaro National Park Gate. The ride passes through Machame Village, which is situated on the lower slopes of the mountain. After registration at the gate office, we start our hike in the rainforest on a trail up a ridge. The trail can be slippery and muddy. Halfway we stop for a lunch and continue until we reach the Machame Camp in the late afternoon. In the evening the porters will bring a bowl of washing water to your tent and the cook will prepare dinner, before you retire to your tent for the night.
DAY 2: Machame Camp (3,000m/ 9,840ft) – Shira Camp (3,840m/ 12,600ft)
After early breakfast, we climb to the top of the rainforest and continue for a few hours on an ascending path through the moorland zone on a steep rocky ridge. Enjoy the amazing views of Kibo (peak of Kilimanjaro) and Shira Plateau (collapsed volcanic crater). After a short rest and lunch we continue the hike to Shira Camp. It’s time for rest, dinner and overnight at the Shira campsite. The temperatures can already drop below freezing during the night.
DAY 3: Shira Camp (3,840 m/ 12,600ft.) – Lava Tower – Barranco Camp (3,850m/ 12,960ft)
From the Shira Plateau, we continue to the east up a ridge and hike in a few hours to the beautiful Lava Tower. This is a large rock formation that was formed from lava, when Kilimanjaro was still an active volcano. We descend the valley to Barranco Camp, which is set below the Great Barranco Wall. This camp is the most scenic campsite on the route. Here we rest, enjoy dinner and overnight. Your day starts and ends at the same elevation to give your body time to acclimatize and prepare for summit day.
DAY 4: Barranco Camp (3,850 m./12,631ft) – Karanga Camp – Barafu Camp (4,600 m./1591 ft)
After breakfast, we leave Barranco Camp and hike on a steep ridge passing the Barranco Wall, to the Karanga Valley campsite. The trek continues in a circle around the mountain. On your left side you can view Kibo, at your right side Mount Meru. We descent into the green Karanga Valley and continue up to the Barafu Camp. At this point you can see the mountain peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi. Here we make camp, rest, enjoy dinner and prepare for the summit day the same night.
DAY 5: Barafu Camp (4,600 m/ 15,100ft) – Uhuru Peak (5,895 m/ 19,340ft) – Mweka Camp (3,110 m/ 10,170ft)
At midnight we start the most challenging part of the hike. It begins with a rocky part and zigzag to the crater rim at Stella Point (18,600 ft). From Stella Point it’s just another hour to Kilimanjaro’s summit, the Uhuru Peak. If you reach the summit on time, you can see the most beautiful sunrise you have ever seen. Enjoy the overwhelming sense of achievement. It’s time for a short celebration and to take awesome pictures. From the summit, we make our descent to Mweka Camp, stopping at Barafu for lunch. This is a tough climbing day (8-14 hours) from Barafu Camp to the summit and back to Barafu Camp. The last challenge is another 2-4 hours downhill from Barafu Camp to Mweka Camp. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.
DAY 6: Mweka Camp (3,110 m. /10,170 ft) – Mweka Gate (1,830 m. / 6000 ft) – Arusha/Moshi
This last hike down takes you through the forest to the Mweka Park Gate where you receive your summit certificates. At this lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear. 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 Moshi/Arusha.