Transfer from the airport to your hotel in Moshi (815m/2670ft) or Arusha (1.387m/4543ft) for overnight and briefing by your Professional Mountain guide.
To Mandara Hut 1700m to 2740m (5500ft to 9000ft)
After breakfast and briefing, drive to the Kilimanjaro National Park Gate (45 minutes), register and commence the climb. Walk through the rain forest to the Mandara encampment located at 9000 ft / 2740 m. A side trip to Maundi Crater is a good way to see the surroundings including Northern Tanzania and Kenya. In the rain forest, look for towering Eucalyptus trees, bird life, and Colobus monkeys.
To Horombo Hut 2700m to 3700m (9000ft to 12,100ft)
After about 15 minutes, you will leave the glades of the rain forest and follow an ascending path on the open moorlands to Horombo encampment. Views of Mawenzi and the summit of Kibo are amazing. Look for giant senecio and lobelias. You may start to feel the affects of the altitude.
Horombo Hut (acclimatization day) 3700m (12,100ft)
This day is considered optional since it starts and ends at Horombo Hut but we consider it an important acclimatization day that will increase your chance of reaching the summit. You can choose to do this route as a 5 day trip however. During this day, you can rest at the camp or have a day trek to Zebra Rocks (4200m) and Mawenzi Tarn Hut (4300m), returning to Horombo Hut for overnight.
To Kibo Camp 3700m to 4700m (12,100ft to 15,400ft)
Ascending to Kibo, pass the last watering point, walking onto the saddle of Kilimanjaro between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi. Vegetation begins with upper higher moorland but then disappears into “moonscape”. Dinner, rest, and prepare for summit climb at Kibo Hut.
To Summit and Horombo 4700m to 5895m(and down to 3700m)
15,400ft to 19,300ft(and down to 12,100ft)
Very early in the morning (midnight to 2am), commence the climb to the summit on steep and heavy scree or snow up to Gilman’s point located on the crater rim at 18640 ft / 5861 m (4-5 hours). Continuing, you now ascend to Uhuru Peak, which is the highest point in Africa: 19340 ft / 5895 m (1-2 hours). Unbelievable views at every turn. Get your picture taken at the summit to show your friends. From here, we now descend, stopping for lunch and a rest at Kibo before continuing on to Horombo encampment for dinner and overnight (3-4 hours).
The beginning of this climb is done in the dark and requires headlamps or flashlights. It will be very cold until you start descending, so you will need all of your warm layers. This is the most difficult part of the trek with many switchbacks. “Pole, pole” and an optimistic attitude will get you there!
To Moshi 3700m to 1700m
After breakfast, A steady descent takes you down through moorland to Mandara Hut (2700m / 8858 ft), the first stopping place at the Marangu route. Continue descending through lovely lush forest on a good path to the National Park gate at Marangu (1830 m / 6004 ft). 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).
A vehicle will meet you at Marangu village to transfer you back to your hotel in Moshi or Arusha. Don’t forget to tip your guides and porters. Its time for celebration!