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Kilimanjaro trekking 5.895 m

Kilimanjaro trekking 5.895 m
discover exciting routes

Kilimanjaro from Tsavo West National Park

Kilimanjaro trekking is one of the highlights in your life! It is beautiful, it is amazing and it is demanding.

Kilimanjaro is holding 2 records – as highest mountain in Africa (Uhuru Peak 5.895 m) and as tallest free standing mountain in the whole world.

Kilimanjaro is a dormant strato volcano built by different layers of lava and volcanic ash. Kilimanjaro has 3 main cones – Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira. Around 250 parasitic cones are found in the northwestern and southeastern flank. Parasitic cones mostly grow along lava cracks. They were built between 150.000 and 200.000 ago.

Estimated 750.000 years ago the volcano Kilimanjaro erupted. Kibo had spilled lava for the last time around 360.000 years ago. Smaller activities occurred 200 years ago. But still active fumaroles are around Kibo. Kilimanjaro belongs to the young volcanoes. The “Roof of Africa” as Kilimanjaro is also called is covered on top by ice and snow. Sadly the glaciers are melting due to climate change.

Ernest Hemingway wrote the book “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” which made Kilimanjaro even more famous. Clark Gable played the main role in the movie with the same name. 

Kilimanjaro was declared a National Park 1973 and covers about 756 km². Within the National Park you find the extinct volcanoes Kibo, Shira and Mawenzi (not extinct but dormant), as well as mountain rain forest, bamboo forest, moor land, heather, scree, lava walls and glaciers. During your ascend you pass all zones at their specific altitudes until you will have reached Uhuru Peak at 5.895 m. Those who would like to know more about Kilimanjaro click here.

Animals you can encounter during your Kilimanjaro trekking Anubis Baboon, Kilimanjaro Colobus monkeys, Kilimanjaro White-throated monkeys, Cape Buffalos, Bush bucks, Rock hyraxes and some interesting bird species.

Vegetation and vegetation zones you will get to know are the mixed mountain forest, the endemic Kilimanjaro Giant Groundsel or Senecio (Dendrosenecio kilimanjari), which grows up to 4.500 m, Erica, Giant Lobelia (Lobelia deckenii), fern, lichen, moss, grass species and smaller flowering plants.

Climate – usually rainy seasons last from March to May and October to December. The other months can be dry. But also here climate change is showing its impact. It goes without saying that the higher you reach the colder the temperature until also day temperature is far below freezing point. Frosty winds and mist can make it seem even colder.

What is important for our Kilimanjaro trekking? Walk slowly but steady and breathe calmly but regularly. Should you not feel well please report to your mountain guide. Good hiking shoes, walking stick, very warm cloths and sleeping bag, thermos flask, sun protection, sun glasses, a very strong torch – better a head light to have your hands free. Crampons can be useful at some points. Acclimatization is very important and you better spend 1 more day on the mountain to reach the top.

 

You can also get acclimatized by hiking Mount Meru in Tanzania or Mount Kenya first. We have combination programs.

Kilimanjaro trekking 5.895 m routes:

 

Rongai – Marangu Route 7 days

We mainly follow the Rongai Route leading from North through dry but flat slopes to Kilimanjaro. The view over the vast plains of the African Savannah will increase the feeling how huge and sublime Kilimanjaro is. We choose the path with an impressive landscape passing the dominating jagged rocks of Mawenzi the 5.149 m high side crater of Kibo. This route also helps to acclimatize to the altitude and increase the chances to reach the peak. Your last camp will be in Alpine desert below the steep slopes of Kibo.

 

Marangu is the descend route and you will experience the standard activity of mountain hiking since 85 % are moving up on this route. You will walk down through scree, scarce vegetation and end in the mountain rain forest.

 

Machame Route 6 or 7 days starts from the southwestern area of Kilimanjaro and passes the extinct volcano Shira. You will see and experience the rugged lava walls of Western Breach and the glaciers. Via Stella Point you get to Uhuru Peak. You will descend on the Mweka Route on the southern part of the mountain. Machame also called “Whiskey” route is one of the most popular and very busy at some times.

 

Marangu Route 5 or 6 days starts southeast of the volcano and after passing the mountain rain forest you walk through heather and moorland. You will cross the saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo which is an alpine desert with great views. Via Gilman’s Point you traverse on the crater rim to Uhuru Peak. You also descend on Marangu Route via Horombo Hut.

Lemosho Route 7 or 8 days starts at Londorossi Gate in the West of Kilimanjaro. Through tall grass and highland vegetation you reach the extinct volcano Shira. From there you walk to the less often used Moir Hut/Campsite and climb up to Barranco Camp. Here you will be exposed to weather’s elements. But the experience is amazing! You camp under tall lava walls and have a splendid view to the Barranco Wall. After passing Stella Point you will hopefully reach Uhuru Peak and descend along the Mweka Route on the southern slope. This is the route we chose after hiking Mount Meru and visiting Arusha National Park.

 

Umbwe Route 6 days starts south-southwest of Kilimanjaro. After leaving the mountain forest behind you the alpine vegetation awaits you and so does the challenge of getting over the Barranco Wall. The peak ascend is via Stella Point to Uhuru Peak and you will descend on the Mweka Route.

 

Shira Route 8 days begins West of Kilimanjaro. After passing Londorossi Gate and doing the check in administration you drive up a steep road to Shira Gate. Now you start walking through heather and lava stones. Shira Cathedral at Shira Plateau is a bizarre lava formation with towers and peaks. This will give you a feeling of being in a wild world! Your trekking will take you to Lava Tower an almost 30 m high lava formation shaped like a tower. Steep and tiring is the hike up Barranco Wall before you walk down into Karanga Valley. The night walk to Uhuru Peak is via Stella Point and you descend via Mweka Route.

Kilimanjaro route map

Kilimanjaro trekking – Rongai – Marangu Route

Day 1 – Arrival in Moshi
Either you arrive from abroad by plane at Kilimanjaro international Airport and we organize that will be taken to a hotel nearby.
Or you just come from Mount Meru in Tanzania and you will travel by car to the starting point.
Or you have climbed Mount Kenya, saw wildlife in Amboseli National Park and crossed the border either at Namanga or Loitokitok. All will be organized and coordinated for you in our combination package.

Day 2 – Moshi – Rongai Camp 2.600 m
You will be driven through fertile agricultural land full of bananas, coffee and other crops. The hike will start northeast of Kilimanjaro and you walk through mountain rain forest. You might spot some Kilimanjaro Colobus Monkey. The camp you will overnight today is between mountain forest and open moorland.

Distance 7 km, driving time 3 hours, hiking time 3 – 4 hours, altitude difference around 1.400 m

Day 3 – Rongai – Kilelwa Camp 3.600 m
The path ascends continuously to the 2nd cave at 3.450 m. Lava in different form dominates the area and you will pass small lava caves. After lunch break you leave the main path and hike through moorland towards Mawenzi. Flowers will decorate the often brownish underground. Many are related to flowers in the Alps and the Rocky Mountains. Impressive are the Giant Senecio (Dendrosenecio kilimaniari) which grow up to 4.500 m in valleys less exposed to harsh weather. In the afternoon you will reach the 3rd cave called Kilelwa.

Distance 15 km, hiking time 5 – 7 hours, altitude difference 1.000

 

Day 4 – Kilelwa Camp – Mawenzi Tarn 4.300 m
Today’s hike is short but steep. After passing areas patched with grass you get to an altitude where nothing grows anymore – you are now in the alpine desert. But the amazing views in different directions are the reward. The camp is at a small lake at the foot of the dominant peaks of Mawenzi (5.149 m)

Distance 5 km, hiking time 3 – 4 hours, altitude difference 700 m


Day 5 – Mawenzi Tarn 4.300 m

Today is a resting day to so your body can get used to the altitude. If you like you can ask your guide to take you around. Also take the opportunity to take photos of the wonderful landscape.


Day 6 – Mawenzi Tarn – School Hut 4.715 m

After crossing the alpine desert of the saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo you your next camp around noon. The afternoon serves the preparation for the peak ascend. Go and sleep or at least rest early!

Distance around 10 km, hiking time 4 – 5 hours, altitude difference 415 m

Day 7 – School Hut – Uhuru Peak 5.895 m – Millennium or Horombo Camp

The most demanding part of this Kilimanjaro trekking starts at midnight. Before you depart take a hot drink and a few crackers. Now you will really realise why a very good head light is important. You walk in the darkness.

 

It can be that the group will split up due to faster and slower hikers. Don’t get pushed, go the speed you are comfortable with. The guides will be in contact and please inform them should you develop a health problem.

 

Scree and chipped loose lava on a steep path make the ascend tiring. After around 4 – 6 hours you will have reached Gilman’s Point (5.681 m) on the crater rim. Look down into the Reusch Crater – it is an impressive view.

 

Uhuru Peak is now “only” 1 or 2 hours away and 200 m higher up. Once you stand on the highest point of Africa you did it! Be proud of yourself and enjoy the rewarding sight of a wonderful sun raise (weather permitting). Slowly the area gets brighter and you can see your surrounding. Please don’t stay for too long so exhaustion and cold can not get a grip on you.

Going down is a faster walk than up. You will either descend to Millennium Hut (3.950 m) or Horombo Camp (3.700 m). Vegetation is now surrounding you. I hope you can have an eye for the beautiful plants.

Distance up 5.4 km, down 15 km, hiking time around 14 hours, altitude difference up 1.180m, down 1.945 m or 2.195 m

 

Day 8 – Millennium or Horombo Camp – Marangu Gate – Moshi or Arusha

Your knees might start paining during the descend. Also here, don’t rush, go the pace you are comfortable with through the more and more denser alpine and highland vegetation. The last stretch to Marangu Gate leads through mountain rain forest. The path can be muddy and slippery.

 

At the gate you will get your certificate according to which point you have reached. It is also time to say good-bye to your guides, your cook and your porters.

 

Distance 20 km, descending time 5 – 7 hours, altitude difference 3.000 m

 

Dependig on your plans for the next days you stay in a hotel in Moshi or Arusha.

Kilimanjaro trekking Machame Route 7 days

Day 1 – Arrival
You either fly in from abroad and you will be awaited at Kilimanjaro international Airport KIA and taken to a hotel nearby
OR you started with hiking Mount Meru and arrive by car
OR you have climbed Mount Kenya, spent 2 nights in Amboseli National Park and crossed the border
Overnight in a hotel

Day 2 – KIA – Moshi – Kilimanjaro – Machame Campsite 3.020 m
Distance 10.8 km, hiking time 7 – 8 hours, altitude difference  2.110 m

Very early in the morning a driver from the mountain team will pick you. The drive takes you through crop plantations and savannah to Moshi. Moshi means smoke in Kiswahili. The village at 910 m at the foot of Kilimanjaro is often in the mist. From Moshi you drive for about 45 minutes to Machame Gate at 1.828 m.

Before you can start hiking administration work has to be done (registering) and your belongings have to be distributed to the porters.

The first part of your Kilimanjaro trekking goes through mountain rain forest. It can be wet, muddy and slippery, but it is a beautiful forest with different tree species. Lunch break will be half way and then the hike continues up to 3.020 m at Machame Camp.

Your porters will have reached before you and already your tents are pitched and dinner prepared. You will get some warm water for your hygiene. Temperature can already be below 0 degrees Celsius especially in the cold month of July and August.

Day 3 – Machame Camp (3.020 m) – Shira Camp (3.847m)
Distance ca. 5.2 km, hiking time about 6 hours, altitude difference  827 m

 

The wake up call will be very early and after breakfast you start walking. After around 1 hour you get out of the mountain forest and open moorland is ahead of you. It is an interesting 2 hour walk through the moorland with its different plants and flowers.

 

After a short lunch break the path goes up steeply to the Shira Plateau. You walk on scree and loose lava which might be a bit tiring. The reward is a splendid view to Western Breach and the still amazing glaciers. You are now West of Kibo and you will reach Shira Campsite after a short ascend. Again some hot water will be brought to you for washing while dinner gets prepared. Temperatures will be below 0 degrees Celsius.

 

Day 4 – Shira Camp (3.847m) – Lava Tower (4.642m) – Barranco Camp (3.984m)
Distance ca. 10.7 km, hiking time about 7 hours, altitude difference  795 m + 658 m

 

The area is dominated by lava stones, lava rocks and vegetation is becoming sparse – this is the characteristics of the alpine semi desert. The path goes in eastern direction around Lava Tower an eroded volcano chimney.

 

After around 5 hours hiking you will get your well deserved lunch. You are at an altitude where some might get headache, dizziness and breathless. But this is an important day for acclimatization to and increases the chance to reach Uhuru Peak.

 

During the 2 hour descend to Barranco Camp you will have great opportunities to photograph the amazing looking Western Breach – a basalt lava wall with ice. From the camp you might experience one of the most beautiful African sunset while the crew is preparing dinner.

 

 

Day 5 – Barranco Camp (3.984 m) – Karanga Camp (3.995 m)
Distance 6 km, hiking time 3.5 – 4 hours, altitude difference 95 m but the path will go up and down

 

It is a steep path up the Eastern Wall leading to below the Heim glacier. From here you will enjoy a fantastic view of Kilimanjaro. Now you have to handle the steep descend of the Great Barranco Wall, which separates you from the southeastern slope of Kibo. You will walk through alpine desert with no vegetation but different formations of lava down into the Karanga Valley. And again a steep ascend to the camp.

 

Day 6 –  Karanga Camp (3.995 m) – Barafu Camp (4.673)
Distance 4 km, hiking time 3 – 4 hours, altitude difference 678 m

 

After breakfast you start the steep walk out of Karanga Valley. It is not difficult since the ground is firm. The area consists of lava in various forms; from sand to stones and rocks. From Barafu Camp you have a great view to Kibo and Mawenzi.

 

The afternoon is spent with preparation for the night hike to Uhuru Peak. Please go to bed early even if you can’t sleep but at least rest.

 

Day 7 – Barafu Camp (4.673 m – Uhuru Peak (5.895 m) – Mweka Camp (3.100 m)
Distance 5 km up, ca. 10 km down, hiking time 6 – 7 hours up, 6 – 7 hours down, altitude difference up to Uhuru Peak 1.222 m, to Stella Point auf 5.756 m up 1.083 m, down 2.795 m

 

You will be woken up before midnight and a hot coffee or tea and some biscuits are waiting for you. Latest now you will realize how important a strong head light is. You walk on loose lava in the darkness. Walk slowly but steady. Once you have reached Stella Point rest for a short while and watch how the sun appears behind Mawenzi – one of the most spectacular moment!

 

We hope you will feel strong enough to walk along the crater rim for 2 more hours to reach the highest point of your Kilimanjaro trekking – Uhuru Peak. You have done it! Congratulation and be proud of yourself. Don’t stay for too long so cold and fatigue can not overwhelm you.

 

The walk down goes faster than up. You pass Barafu Camp for a hot drink and prepared food. You pack the rest of your belongings and start descending to Mweka Hut. Your knees might become weak. To avoid this don’t rush and walk zigzag.

 

Day 8 – Mweka Camp (3.100 m) – Mweka Gate (1.640 m)
Distance 10 km, hiking time 4 – 5 hours, altitude difference 1.460 m 

 

The path goes down gently but it can be wet and slippery through the mountain rain forest. At the gate you will obtain your certificate according to the point you have reached. The moment has come to say thank you and good-bye to your guide, cook and porters. After a hot meal you will be driven to a hotel in Arusha or where you wish according to your plans.

Kilimanjaro Lemosho Route

 

Day 1 – Arusha – Kilimanjaro Forest Camp 2.750 m
Hiking time 3 – 4 hours, distance 7 km, altitude difference 500 m

Most of the drive to Londorossi Gate (2.250 m) at the foot of  Kilimanjaro is quite bumpy. At the gate you meet your mountain crew and register. The trekking starts through dense mountain forest and maybe you will spot an Elephant of Buffalos. Today’s destination is Forest Camp

 

Day 2  – Forest Camp – Shira Camp 2 – 3.850 m
Hiking time 5 – 6 hours, distance 10 km, altitude difference 1.100 m

 

After the forest is behind you the open heather and moorland zone welcomes you with amazing flowers of different colours and shapes. Shira Ridge is at 3.600 m and you will have to cross it. The landscape is amazing! Great views to Kibo, Shira and Mount Meru are the reward.

Day 3 – Shira Camp 2 – Lava Tower ca. 4.600 m
Hiking time 3 – 4 hours, distance 8 km, altitude difference 750 m

 

Should Breach Wall be open you will hike up on this route to Lava Tower at the foot of Breach Wall. If it is closed your mountain guide will choose a different suitable route.

 

At a higher altitude there will be not vegetation but also the alpine desert with various rock formations is fascinating. The camp is behind Lava Tower which got extinct long time ago.

 

Day 4 – Lava Tower – Crater Camp 5.650 m
Hiking time 4 – 5 hours, distance depends on the route, altitude difference 950 m

 

Today will be a very interesting and diversified day! Hike up Western Breach Wall: passing rocks and walking on scree take you to the crater rim at 5.650 m. There the camp will be pitched. Western Breach route is at some places exposed to falling rock due to melting glaciers. A helmet is recommended.

This is the plan if Tanzania National Park Authority has the route open (mostly possible with a special permit) and participants are well acclimatized. The route has a few places where climbing is required but it is not difficult (UIAA1). Technical climbing skills are not required neither rope up nor using hooks for back up.

 

Those with less acclimation or less stamina can get to the peak today and descend via Mweka Route and wait at Millennium Camp.

 

Day 5 – Uhuru Peak ascend 5.895 m – Millenium Camp 4.000
Up 1 – 2 hours, down 3 – 5 hours, distance ca. 15 km

 

The short but steep path leads directly from the camp to Uhuru Peak. You also have the option to choose the gentler route via Stella Point. The ascend starts in the darkness and the head light will serve you well to place your feet safely. We hope that you will witness an amazing sun rise over the African savannah and Mawenzi.

 

Today you can also explore Reusch Crater, Kibo plateau and Heim glacier. Thereafter you descend in southeastern direction via Mweka Route to Barafu Camp and further to Millenium Camp.


Day 6 –  Millenium Camp – Moshi

 

It is a long descend and some might feel their knees get week. Despite enjoy the beautiful mountain vegetation and some interesting birds.

 

At Mweka Gate you will be handed over your success certificate. Also the time has come to say good-bye to your local mountain guide, porters and cook. In Africa gratitude is expressed with a tip.

 

A vehicle will take you to a hotel in Moshi and you will now enjoy a hot shower.

 

Day 13 – Moshi and your plans

 

Either you will be taken to Kilimanjaro international Airport for your departure flight

OR you start a safari to the amazing wildlife areas of Northern Tanzania

OR you fly to Zanzibar and relax

We gladly provide detailled programs for other Kilimanjaro trekking routes

All Kilimanjaro trekking tours will be guided by professional, licenced and experienced mountain guides

Prices depend on number of participants, days on the mountains, hotel overnights and transfers

There is also the possibility to join groups at set dates and itinerary.

Get in touch with us and we create your personal Kilimanjaro trekking and if you like a safari in Tanzania’s beautiful national parks or relaxing days at the Indian Ocean on the spice Island Zanzibar