Day 1: Springlands
Arrive Kilimanjaro Airport and transfer to hotel (Springlands).
Day 2: Moshi to Simba Camp (3500m)
Hiking time: 3-4 hours
Hiking Distance - 7km's
Habitat - Forest to Moorland
After breakfast, we head out on a 5 hour drive to the Londorossi Park Gate at 2200m, taking in sights of the east rift valley and animals en route. After completing park formalities, we drive for a further 26km to the Simba River where the trailhead begins. After a packed lunch, we trek abut 3 hours to the Simba Campsite. The trek begins. We climb for 3 to 4 hours, with a packed lunch en-route, to Simba campsite at 3500m.
Day 3: Simba Camp (3500m) to Shira Camp (3840m)
Hiking Time - 2 hours
Trekking Distance -4km's
Habitat: Moorland shrub
After breaking camp, we begin the short hike up to Shira Camp, at a height of 3840m. This usually takes no more than 2 hours, but this rest is required for adequate acclimatization. In the early afternoon as the clouds lift, you should have a clear view of the west face of Kibo volcano (commonly referred to as Kilimanjaro) After lunch, you can take the chance to walk up towards Lava Tower to aid acclimatisation, or just relax around camp taking in the view of Mt Meru in the distance.
Day 4: Shira (3840m)-Lava Tower (4630m)-Barranco camp (3950m)
Hiking time: 6-8 hours
Distance: About 15 km's
Habitat: Semi alpine desert
After breakfast, you will quickly leave the moorland scrub behind and enter into a moonscape of semi-alpine desert, while you hike constantly upwards toward Lava Tower, an impressive structure near the base of Arrow Glacier, at 4600m.
Around 4200m, you may start to feel the effects of altitude with shortness of breath and irritability, assuming it had not taken effect earlier on the climb. Walking slowly and maintaining a good rhythm
is essential. You still stop for lunch either before or at Lava Tower. (If you plan to add an extra acclimatisation day, this is a good place to stop).
If you are energetic, it is advisable to climb the tower, as the views of the surrounding plans are incredible.
After Lava Tower, your route will head down by almost 680m to the Barranco camping. This is the day where you will follow the principle of climb high and sleep low. Barranco camp is situated in a valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Wall, which should provide you with a memorable sunset while you wait for the preparation of your dinner.
Day 5: Barranco Camp (3860m) to Barafu Camp (4550m)
Distance: 7 km
Hiking Time: 4 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert
Early morning, you will head up the impressive Great Barranco Wall - a climb much easier than anticipated. This will bring you out below Heim Glacier. The route then heads down through the Karanga Valley over several ridges and valleys where you will see the magnificent giant Senecio Kilimanjari plant.You will then join up with your later descent route where you will head left up the ridge for another hour, before reaching Barafu Hut.
Barafu is the Swahili word for "ice" and it is a bleak and inhospitable camping area to spend the night, perched on a rocky ridge riddled with rocky outcrops. It is essential that you familiarise yourself with the terrain and location of toilets before dark to avoid any accidents.
The summit is a further 1345m up. It is this ascent that you will tackle in the early hours of the next morning. That night, it is important to prepare your gear, lay out your clothing etc for your summit attempt. It is also highly advisable to sleep with your water bottles to prevent them from freezing up overnight. Ensure that your headlamp has a new battery and that you have spare camera batteries if necessary. You will head for bed around 18h30.
Day 6: SUMMIT ATTEMPT
Barafu camp (4550m)-Uhuru Peak (5895m)-Mweka (3100m)
Hiking time: 6-8 hours to reach Uhuru Peak
6-8 hours to descend to Mweka
Distance: About 7 km's ascent - 23 km's descent
Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
You will rise around 23h30, and after some tea and biscuits you will head off"pole pole" into the night. Heading in a North westerly direction you will ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point (5685) on the crater rim. The hike up is about 6 hours and is for many climbers, the most mentally and physically challenging part of the entire route. It is advisable NOT to stop too long at Stella Point (5685m). Take a short rest and head the next 200m, most probably through snow, for the summit. The remainder of the climb to Uhuru Peak will take anything from 1-2 hours. From Stella Point you will normally encounter snow all the way on your 2-hour ascent to Uhuru Peak. How long you spend on the summit will depend on the weather, your levels of fatigue and the guidance of your guide etc.
After your moment of glory, you will head back to Barafu, in about 2 hours where you will have a chance to rest, buy a cola or two before collecting the rest of your gear and heading down towards Mweka hut (3100m). While the route is not difficult, it is long and will take you down the rock and scree path into the moorland and eventually into the forest. The camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Dinner, and washing water will be prepared and drinking water, soft drinks, chocolates and beer is available from the camp office!
Day 7: Mweka camp (3100m) - Mweka Gate (1980m)
Hiking time: 2-4 hours
Distance: About 15 km's
After an early and well-deserved breakfast, it is a short 3-hour scenic hike back to the Park gate. It is recommended not to pay your porters any tips until you and all your gear have reached the gate safely. At Mweka gate you will have to sign your name and details in a register in order to receive you summit certificates. Those climbers who reached Stella Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates and
those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates. From the Mweka Gate you will continue down into the Mweka village, normally a muddy 3 km (1 hour) hike. In the Mweka village you will meet up with your team and bus, and head back to the hotel for a long over due hot shower.
Day 8: Departure
Transfer to the airport for your flight home.
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