The Route is a popular and widely chosen option for climbing Mt Kilimanjaro for several reasons:
Scenic Beauty: The trail takes you through lush rainforests, moorlands, and alpine deserts, and offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.
High Success Rate: The gradual ascent and longer duration of the route allow for better acclimatization, reducing the risk of altitude-related issues.
Varied Terrain and Challenges: the famous Barranco Wall, and the ascent to Lava Tower.
At Your Hotel (in Moshi/Arusha)
MACHAME GATE – MACHAME CAMP: 10.75K /7MI | 5-6 HRS | RAINFOREST
Elevation: 1811m/5942ft to 3021m/9911ft
Altitude gained: 1210m
Departing from Moshi a 45-minute drive will take you through the Village of Machame to the Kilimanjaro National Park Gate. We will patiently wait for our permits to be issued while watching the hustle and bustle of operations as many crews prepare for the journey ahead Enjoy the beautiful rainforest scenery and windy trails while your guide tells you about the local flora and fauna and natural wildlife. At these lower elevations, the trail can be muddy and quite slippery. We highly recommend gaiters and trekking poles here.
MACHAME CAMP – SHIRA CAMP: 5.3KM/3MI | 4-5HRS | MOORLAND
Elevation: 3021m/9911ft to 3839m/12,595ft
Altitude gained: 818m
After a good night's sleep and a hearty breakfast, we emerge from the rain forest and continue on an ascending path, crossing the valley along a steep rocky ridge. The route now turns west onto a river gorge until we arrive at the Shira campsite. Temperatures begin to drop.
SHIRA CAMP – LAVA TOWER – BARRANCO CAMP: 10.75KM/6MI | 5-6HRS | SEMI-DESERT
Elevation: 3839m/12,595ft to 3986m/13,077ft
Altitude gained: 147m
Although you end the day around the same elevation as when you began, this day is very important for acclimatization. From Shira Plateau we continue east up a ridge, passing the junction towards the Kibo peak before we then continue, South East towards the Lava Tower, called the “Shark’s Tooth” (elev. 4650m/15,250ft). Shortly after the tower, we come to a second junction, which leads to the Arrow Glacier. We then continue to descend overnight at Barranco Camp.
BARRANCO CAMP – KARANGA CAMP: 5.2KM/3MI | 3-4HRS | ALPINE DESERT
Elevation: 3986m/13,077ft to 4034m/13,235ft
Altitude gained: 48m
After breakfast, we continue on a steep ridge up to the adventurous Barranco Wall to the Karanga Valley and the junction, which connects, with the Mweka Trail. This is one of the most impressive days to see the power, agility, and strength of your crew zip over this wall with what appears such ease. Overnight at Karanga Camp.
HIKE KARANGA CAMP – BARAFU CAMP: 3.3KM /2 MI | 3-4HRS | ALPINE DESERT
Elevation: 4034m/13,235ft to 4662m/15,295ft
Altitude gained: 628m
We continue up toward Barafu Camp, and once reached you have now completed the South Circuit, which offers a variety of breathtaking views of the summit from many different angles. An early dinner and rest as we prepare for summit night. Overnight at Barafu Camp.
BARAFU CAMP – SUMMIT: 4.86KM /3MI UP | 5-7HRS | – MWEKA CAMP: 11.5KM /7.2MI DOWN | 5-6HRS | GLACIERS, SNOW CAPPED SUMMIT
Elevation: 4662m/15,295ft to 5895m/19,341ft
Altitude gained: 1233m
Descent to 3106m/10,190ft
Altitude lost: 2789m
Excitement is building as morning comes with an early start between midnight and 2 a.m. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek.
We continue our way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers trying to stay warm and focused on the amazing sense of accomplishment that lies ahead. With a switchback motion in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. You will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise during your short rest here. Faster hikers may view the sunrise from the summit. From here on your remaining 1 hour ascent to Uhuru Peak, you are likely to encounter snow all the way.
Congratulations, one step at a time you have now reached Uhuru Peak the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the entire continent of Africa!
After photos, celebrations and maybe a few tears of joy we take a few moments to enjoy this incredible accomplishment. We begin our steep descent down to Mweka Camp, stopping at Barafu for lunch and a very brief rest. We strongly recommend gaiters and trekking poles for uncooperative loose gravel and volcano ash terrain. Well-deserved rest awaits you to enjoy your last evening on the mountain. Overnight Mweka Camp.
MWEKA CAMP – MWEKA GATE – MOSHI: 9.1KM/6MI |3-4HRS | RAINFOREST
Elevation: 3106m/10,190ft to 1633m/5358ft
Altitude lost: 1473m
After breakfast and a heartfelt ceremony of appreciation and team bonding with your crew, it’s time to say goodbye. We continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. As the weather is drastically warmer, the terrain is wet, muddy and steep and we highly recommend Gaiters and trekking poles.
From the gate, a vehicle will meet you at Mweka village to drive you back to your hotel in Moshi (about 30 minutes) or Arusha (About 2 Hours). Enjoy a long overdue hot shower, dinner and celebrations!!
At Your Hotel (in Moshi/Arusha)
-All Park Fees and taxes
-Airport transfers: Kilimanjaro airport to Moshi and Moshi to Kilimanjaro airport
(if you prefer flight to car transfer, flight fee is included)
-Large portions of fresh, healthy, nutritious food all 3 meals a day during the trek
-Kilimanjaro National Park rescue fees (Kilimanjaro Rescue Team)
-Emergency oxygen (for use in emergencies only and not as summit aid)
-Basic first aid kit with Oximeter
-Qualified mountain guides, assistant guides, porters and cook + Their wages as per the standard set
-Camping equipment (tents, camp chairs, tables & sleeping mattresses)
-Fresh Water for drinking & Hot water for a wash daily
-Visas, international flights and airport taxes
-Items of a personal nature
-Health requirements (Yellow Fever vaccination is compulsory if travelling to Tanzania)
-Highly recommended travel and medical insurance.
-Personal hiking/trekking gear (you may opt to rent the gear from equipment stores in Moshi)
- Hot Shower During trek (Available at extra charges)
-Optional but highly recommended Portable toilet (Extra charges apply)
-Personal medicine and water purifying tablets
-Meals & drinks not specified and snacks
-Hotel the night before and the night after the climb, with breakfast included (Can be arranged upon request with extra charges)
-Be sure to have all the items of personal nature per specific trip
-Make sure you have all the health requirements for visiting Tanzania
-As I and my fellow local guides have to cover as many places as possible, personally, I won't be able to be available everywhere and every time; so kindly trust me when I handle you to one of my colleagues.
End of March, April - Mid May, and November can be challenging because of Rain, But Not Impossible with appropriate gears.
Physical Fitness: Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro requires a good level of physical fitness. It's essential to engage in regular exercise and endurance training before attempting the trek. Cardiovascular exercises, hiking, and strength training can help prepare your body for the physical demands of the climb.
Altitude and Acclimatization: Mount Kilimanjaro is a high-altitude mountain, and altitude sickness can be a serious concern. Proper acclimatization is crucial to minimize the risk. Choose a route that allows for gradual ascent and includes rest days to aid acclimatization. Follow your guide's instructions regarding ascent rates, hydration, and rest breaks.
Guides and Porters: It is highly recommended to hire experienced guides and porters (we assure you that we are). We have valuable knowledge about the mountain, and safety procedures, and can provide support throughout the trek. Porters will carry the majority of your gear, allowing you to focus on the climb.
Packing Essentials: Pack lightweight and breathable clothing suitable for various weather conditions. Include layers, a waterproof jacket, hiking boots, a warm sleeping bag, and a good-quality backpack. Carry essential items such as sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, a headlamp, water bottles, and a first aid kit. Consult with me for a comprehensive packing list.
Hydration and Nutrition: Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the trek. Proper nutrition is also important to maintain energy levels. Eat a balanced diet, including carbohydrate-rich foods for sustained energy. Avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol consumption, as they can contribute to dehydration.
Mental Preparation: Climbing Kilimanjaro is mentally challenging. Prepare yourself mentally for physical exertion, altitude, and potential discomfort. Maintain a positive mindset, set achievable goals, and take each day of the trek as it comes. Stay motivated and focused on reaching the summit.
Safety and Regulations: Follow the safety guidelines provided by your guides. Respect the mountain and adhere to park regulations. If you experience severe altitude sickness or any health issues, inform your guide immediately. They will assess the situation and make appropriate decisions for your safety.
Tipping Guidelines: The recommended tipping guidelines can vary depending on the trekking company and the length of your climb. If you're willing to tip kindly consult me in advance to understand the specific tipping recommendations. As a general guideline, the total tipping amount per trekking group can range from $200 to $300 per climber for a standard 6-7 day trek. The total tipping amount is typically divided among the crew members involved in your trek. This includes guides, assistant guides, porters, cooks, and other support staff. The lead guide usually receives a higher tip compared to other crew members.
Tipping Etiquette: Tipping is usually done on the last day of the trek, after descending from the mountain. I will provide guidance on the tipping process and assist in organizing the distribution. It is customary to gather as a group and express your gratitude to the crew members before handing over the tips.
Be Considerate: The crew members work hard to ensure your safety and comfort during the trek. It is important to be respectful, and considerate, and show appreciation throughout the journey, not just through tipping. Treat the crew with kindness and acknowledge their efforts.