Mt. Kilimanjaro can be climbed by anyone who is ready for adventure trekking. It is accessible through the year except during the rainy season (March to April).
DGA recommends six trekking routes to the top – Uhuru peak – including Machame, Umbwe, Lemosho, Londorosi (Shira), Rongai and Marangu Routes.
Kilimanjaro is a free standing mountain and the highest in Africa with a height of 5,895 meters (19,341 feet). It has three main peaks, which are very beautiful. All three are inactive volcanic cones.
a) The first peak is Kibo with a height of 5,895 meters (19,341 feet). This was the last one to cool down.
b) The second peak is Mawenzi with a height of 5,145 meters (16,880 feet). This was the second one to cool down.
c) The third peak is Shira with a height of 4,145 meters (13,599 feet). This was the first one to cool and leave a massive beautiful caldera.
The mountain is divided into five zones, each with its own flora and fauna.
a) Lower slopes (cultivated zone)
b) Forest zone
c) Heath and moorland
d) Highland desert
e) Summit (alpine desert)
- Hiking via Marangu Route
- Hiking via Machame Route
- Hiking via Londoros/Lemosho (Shira Route)
- Hiking via Rongai Route
- Hiking via Umbwe Route
Hiking via Marangu Route 5 Days/4 Nights
Day 1: We will pick you up at your hotel and leave Arusha at 8:30 a.m. for the mountain entrance – Marangu Gate (1,800 meters/5,906 feet). The walk on this day is relatively easy and passes through the lush vegetation of the mountain to Mandara Hut (2,700 meters/8,858 feet). The route is about 8 km (about 5 miles) and takes between 3 and 4 hours. We will eat lunch at the gate or along the way.
Day 2: On the second day, we cover about 13 km (5 to 7 hours). During this day the landscape changes from forest to grasslands. We stay overnight at Horombo Hut (3,750 meters).
***You have the option of staying an extra day at Horombo Hut to acclimatize. This will make the trek 6 days, instead of 5. You will spend two nights at Horombo Hut instead of hiking straight to Kibo Hut. During your rest day, you can choose to acclimatize by climbing to Zebra Rocks and then Saddle Point 4200 meters (13,780 feet). From Saddle Point, there is a nice view of both Kibo Hut and the Peak.
Day 3: This day is a hard climb to Kibo Hut (4,750 meters/15,584 feet). It covers 9 kms (about 8 miles) (about 6 to 7 hours), crossing “the saddle” – terrain between Mawenzi and Kibo peaks. On arrival, there is time to relax, before departing for the summit shortly before midnight.
It takes about 5 to 6 hours to walk from Kibo Hut to the peak. However, it can take longer depending on your fitness level as well as the weather.
Our first stop is Gilman’s Point 5,686 meters (18,655 feet). Then we continue to Stella Point and lastly Uhuru Peak (5896 meters), descending back to Kibo Hut for a few hours of rest.
Day 4: After getting a few hours rest at Kibo Hut, we descend to Horombo Hut, which takes about 3 to 4 hours.
Day 5: This is the last day on the mountain. It is also all downhill, back to Marangu Gate where you will be met by a Diamond Glacier Adventures Officer, collect your certificates from the Gate clerk, have lunch, celebrate for reaching THE TOP OF AFRICA “UHURU PEAK” then drive back to Arusha.
Hiking via Machame Route 6 Days/5 Nights
Day 1: We will pick you up at your hotel and leave Arusha at 8:30 a.m. for the mountain entrance – Machame Gate (1,800 meters/5,906 feet). Begin trekking through the rainforest on a winding trail past the caretaker’s hut. The trek takes between 5 and 7 hours. We stop for the night at Machame campsite (3,000 meters/9,843 feet).
Day 2: After breakfast, we head through the glades of the rainforest, then continue trekking across a small valley and along a steep rocky ridge covered with heath. We have then reached the river gorge at 3658 meters (12,001 feet). This part of the trek takes between 5 and 7 hours. We then camp at Shira Hut campsite (3,800 meters/12,467 feet).
Day 3: From Shira Plateau, we continue trekking for about 5 to 7 hours, where we reach the Lava Tower, or “the shark’s tooth” (4,600 meters/15,092 feet). After the tower, we continue to the junction leading to Arrow Glacier. We camp at the Baranco Hut campsite (3950 meters/12,959 feet).
Day 4: We walk along the steep ridge passing the Baranco wall, through the Karanga Valley to the to Barafu campsite (4,600 meters/15,092 feet). The trek takes about 7 to 8 hours. From Barafu there is a good view of Kibo and Mawenzi Peaks.
You will have few hours to rest at Barafu before starting the summit trek at midnight.
***You have the option of staying an extra day at Karanga campsite to acclimatize. This will make the trek 7 days, instead of 6.
Day 5: During or just after sunrise we arrive at Stella point (5,732 meters/18,806 feet). Here we take a short brake and continue all the way to the summit “Uhuru Peak” (5,895 meters/19,341 feet). It is about one hour from Stella to the Peak.
The entire trek takes about 5 to 6 hours depending on your path. Descending to Barafu from the peak is not difficult. It usually takes about 2 to 3 hours.
After a few hours rest at Barafu, we continue to Mweka campsite (3100 meters/10,171 feet) (3 to 5 hours).
Day 6: It is an easy trek (about 3 to 4 hours) to Mweka gate where you will be met by a Diamond Glacier Adventures Officer, collect your certificates from the Gate clerk, have lunch, celebrate for reaching THE TOP OF AFRICA “UHURU PEAK” then drive back to Arusha.
Hiking via Londoros/Lemosho (Shira Route) 8 days/7 nights
Day 1: We will pick you up at your hotel and leave Arusha at 8:30 a.m. for the mountain entrance – Londoros Gate at 2,100 meters (6,890 feet). The starting point is about 40 minutes from the main entrance. Begin trekking through the rainforest with some steep areas. We spend the night at Mti Mkubwa Campsite, which is at 2,250 meters (7,382 feet).
Day 2: We start walking toward Shira I Campsite, which is at 3500 meters (11,482 feet). It is a long day – 6 to 7 hours of walking, and it is very steep. We will arrive in the saddle area between Kibo Peak and Shira Plateau. We camp overnight at Shira I.
Day 3: This is an easy day – we will walk for about 3 to 4 hours to Shira II Campsite at 3,850 meters (12,631 feet). Most of the time you will be enjoying the mountain view. We camp overnight at Shira II.
Day 4: We hike to Lava Tower at 4600 meters (15,092 feet). It takes about 3 to 4 hours to reach the Lava Tower. From here, we descend to Baranco Campsite after staying awhile to acclimatize. It takes about another 2 to 3 hours to reach Baranco. We camp overnight at Baranco at 3950 meters (12,959 feet).
Day 5: Via Baranco wall, we will walk to Karanga Campsite at 3930 meters (12,894 feet). It is a short day but very steep and takes between 3 to 4 hours. We camp overnight at Karanga Campsite.
Day 6: This is also a short but difficult day – we walk for 3 to 4 hours to Barafu Campsite at 4,600 meters (16,092 feet). We will arrive at Barafu early so there will be enough time to rest before the midnight hike to Uhuru Peak at 5895 meters (19,341 feet). We walk to the peak in 5 to 6 hours.
Before reaching Uhuru Peak, we will pass Stella at 5732 meters (18,806 feet) around sunrise. After reaching the peak we descend back to Barafu Campsite to rest.
Day 7: From here we descend to Mweka Campsite at 3,100 meters (10,171 feet). This takes about 4 to 5 hours. We camp over night at Mweka Campsite.
Day 8: We walk back through the rainforest to Mweka Gate (1,800 meters/5,906 feet) where you will be met by a Diamond Glacier Adventures Officer, collect your certificates from the Gate clerk, have lunch, celebrate for reaching THE TOP OF AFRICA “UHURU PEAK” then drive back to Arusha.
Hiking via Rongai Route 6 Days/5 Nights via upper route
Day 1: We will pick you up in Arusha. (It’s a long drive – almost 4 to 5 hours). The trail starts from Rongai Gate at 2,100 meters (6,890 feet) with an average walk of 2 to 3 hours. Your dinner and overnight will be at Simba Camp at 2,600 meters (8,530 feet).
Day 2: We walk from Simba Camp to Second Cave Camp at 3,450 meters (11,319 feet). This is a beautiful day as you will enjoying the cool breath of Kilimanjaro as well as the nice view of both Kibo and Mawenzi Peaks, and the moorland zone, the third zone on Kilimanjaro. The average walk is 2 to 3 hours. Dinner and overnight at Second Cave Camp.
Day 3: We walk from Second Cave to Third Cave Camp at 3,950 meters (12,959 feet). It’s a short day as you will need time to relax and let your body acclimatize and gain a lot more kilojoules for the other days. It’s an average walk of 2 to 3 hours. Dinner and overnight at Third Cave Camp.
Day 4: We walk from Third Cave to Kibo Hut at 4,750 meters (15,584 feet). It’s a slightly steep day, but you can still enjoy the view of both Kibo and Mawenzi. The rock and ridges also look beautiful from here. It’s an average walk of 3 to 4 hours.
On this day of arriving at Kibo, it’s the day when you will hike to the summit starting at midnight. The average walk from Kibo Hut to Uhuru Peak is 5 to 6 hours.
Day 5: From the summit you will walk down to Kibo Hut for breakfast ( lunch), take a short break and then later walk to Horombo Hut for dinner and overnight. We walk from Kibo Hut to Horombo Hut at 3,750 meters (12,303 feet). It is an average walk of 4 to 5 hours.
Day 6: We walk from Horombo Hut to Marangu Gate (1,800 meters/5,906 feet). We go through the moorland zone to Mandara Hut at 2,700 meters via rain forest. You will come to Marangu Gate at 1,800 meters for collection of your certificate. Your ride will be at the gate waiting for you. Eat lunch and drive back to Arusha in 2 to 3 hours. The average walk on this day is 5 to 6 hours.
We can also provide another option via a lower route to Mawenzi Hut. The route can also be 5, 6, 7 and more days depending on your program and how you want it to be arranged.
Hiking via Umbwe Route (a very steep route) 6 Days/5 Nights
Day 1: After 2 1/2 to 3 hours drive from Arusha you come to the staring point at Umbwe Gate. We walk from Umbwe Gate at 1,800 meters (5,906 feet) to Umbwe Cave at 3,200 meters (10,499 feet). It is the longest day of all. After registration your walk will start via a thick rain forest. Most of the time your walk will be through the forest. You will come to Umbwe Cave camp for dinner and overnight. You will still be in the forest. The average walk is 5 to 6 hours.
Day 2: We walk from Umbwe Cave to Baranco Camp at 3,950 meters. After breakfast, we start our walk via a very steep ridge. It is this ridge that will lead you to Baranco Camp. There is a nice view of southern glaciers and the western breach. The average walk is 3 to 4 hours. Dinner and overnight at Baranco Camp.
Day 3: We walk from Baraco Camp to Karanga Camp at 3,930 meters (12,894 feet). The Baranco wall is what will make your day so beautiful and enjoyable. It’s somehow hard but the slow (pole pole) walk will make you climb the wall to the top. Where you need to be more careful, your guide will tell you and, if possible, assist. The top of the wall is also very beautiful with glacier views. The day is short with an average walk of 3 to 4 hours. Dinner and overnight at Karanga Camp.
Day 4: We walk from Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp at 4,600 meters (15,092 feet). It’s a short day with an average walk of 2 1/2 to 3 hours. From the night before until this day, the nice views of Deken, Kersten and Rebman Glacier will influence you to take a lot of photos. You will acclimatize a little after short break at Barafu Camp. You will rest after dinner and be prepared for the summit hike on the following day at midnight. The average walk to the top will depend on your strength, but normally it takes 5 to 6 hours. It’s a tough night.
Day 5: We walk from the summit to Barafu and later on to Mweka Camp at 3,100 meters (10,171 feet). Your guide will provide you with time to rest at Barafu before your descent to Mweka for the last night. There is an average walk of 4 to 5 hours from Barafu to Mweka. Dinner and overnight at Mweka Camp.
Day 6: We walk from Mweka Camp to Mwaeka Gate at 1,800 meters (5,906 feet). Walking back via the rainforest you will end up at Mweka Gate in about 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
It’s on this gate you will collect your certificate and have a little celebration with your team. A bottle of champagne will be waiting for you. After the celebration, we drive back to Arusha. This will be the end of your 6 days trekking.
We can also provide another option via this route, either 7, 8 or more days.
You can also take western breach trail to the top via Lava Tower (4,600 meters/15,092 feet) and Arrow Camp (4,800 meters 15,748 feet) to the Summit.