Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa, with its summit about 4,900 meters (16,100 ft) from its base, and 5,895 meters (19,341 ft) above sea level. The mountain is part of Kilimanjaro National Park and is a major climbing destination.
Kilimanjaro is a large stratovolcano composed of three distinct volcanic cones: Kibo, the highest; Mawenzi at 5,149 meters (16,893 ft) and Shira, the lowest at 4,005 meters (13,140 ft). Mawenzi and Shira are extinct, while Kibo is dormant and could erupt again.
Uhuru Peak is the highest summit on Kibo’s crater rim. The Tanzania National Parks Authority, a Tanzanian government agency, and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization list the height of Uhuru Peak as 5,895 m (19,341 ft), based on a British survey in 1952. The height has since been measured as 5,892 metres (19,331 ft) in 1999, 5,891 metres (19,327 ft) in 2008, and 5,888 metres (19,318 ft) in 2014.
Trek Gradient: Challenging to Difficult
Number of Days: 12 Days
Trek Duration: 40+ hours
Departures From: Kilimanjaro
Trek Distance: 80 + Kms
Highest Altitude: Uhuru Peak 5,895 m (19,341 ft)
Arrival day at Kilimanjaro International Airport and meet the team at the airport and get transferred to the Lodge/Hotel for overnight.
This day will be a Leisure day at the Hotel for Gear checking, and meeting your main mountain crews for Pre-climbing meeting and Full briefing and a short walk for acclimatization.
Travel Duration: 4-5 hours
The drive from Arusha to the Kilimanjaro National Park gate takes about one hour. The journey passes through the village of Marangu, which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain. Once you reach the park gate, all hikers are requested to sign in at the Park office and make their final preparations for the climb. Porters will be seen arranging and loading their packs, containing the food, water, cooking gas as well as most of your equipment. Make sure that you have all your daypack items (containing at least drinking water, your lunch pack and extra clothing) with you, as the porters ascend quicker. Our guides will be available to assist with any additional information or needs you might have. You now leave the Park gate and ascend on a cleared ridge trail through the rain forest. The forest, suffused with mist and dripping with beards of moss, is also where most of Kilimanjaro’s animals are found. An alternative and more scenic parallel forest trail branches off to the left a few minutes after the gate. This trail follows the edge of a stream through the undergrowth and offers you the option to rejoin the main trail either after 1.5 hours hiking, or 1 hour before Mandara hut. Your first night stop, Mandara hut, consisting of a group of wooden A-framed huts in a forest clearing. Each hut features 6-8 sleeping bunks with solar generated lighting. The total capacity of the camp is 60 climbers. Water is piped into the camp from springs above and there are flush toilets behind the main hut. Dinner is prepared by our cook and served in a communal dining mess.
Trek Duration: 6-7 hours
From Mandara hut, the trail passes through a short stretch of forest, skirts the base of the Maundi Crater and then emerges into the transition from rain forest to moorland. It is well worth a short detour to scramble up the rim of the Maundi Crater for your first really impressive view of the Kibo Crater. On a clear day, Kibo will glimmer in the distance, showing off her majestic glaciers in the morning sun. Once you are in the open moorland you will get the chance to see some of Kilimanjaro’s most spectacular plants – the endemic giant lobelia which grows up to 3 m in height and the giant groundsel (Senecio Kilimanjaro), which can reach heights of 5m! After about 6 hours trek from here, you reach the Horombo hut, where you will have a hot bowl of washing water, rest; an evening meal and overnight.
Trek Duration: 4-5 hours
Horombo hut is a village of huts perched on a small plateau, with buildings similar to Mandara, but with a total capacity of 120 climbers! Horombo is normally bustling with hikers, guides and porters, with an atmosphere of adventure and excitement. You will meet both ascending and descending hikers here. This extra day and night at Horombo are for additional acclimatization. A hike towards the Mawenzi hut, passing the Zebra Rocks on the way (about 3 hours up and 1,5 hours down), is strongly recommended. This hike will further assist with the process of acclimatization. Remember to drink enough water and move slowly! All meals for the day are provided at the hut. Retire to bed early and get a last good night’s rest.
Trek Duration: 6-7 hours
After breakfast, you now continue your ascent into the Alpine desert habitat. From Horombo there are two trails to the “Saddle” (which refers to the area located between the peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo). There is an upper route (right-hand fork) and a lower route (left-hand fork) to choose from. The upper route (right-hand fork) should be very familiar, as you will have climbed most of it the previous day (on your acclimatization hike) towards Mawenzi hut. This section is very stony and eroded. The recommended lower route (left-hand fork) is much easier and nearly an hour shorter, and it also passes the last watering point at 4,130 m. You will have to fill your water bottles with all the water you will need until your return to Horombo hut in two night’s time (unless you are willing to buy Mineral water at Kibo hut). Once again remember to slow down and drink enough water! Situated in the barren Alpine desert is Kibo hut, a stone build block house which has bunk beds for 60 climbers, but no streams with water nearby. It is, however, possible to buy mineral water and soft drinks at the camp office. There are platform toilets behind the hut. The summit is now a further 1195m up and you will make your final ascent the same night. Prepare your equipment, ski-stick and thermal clothing for your summit bid. This should include the replacement of your headlamp and camera batteries and make sure you have a spare set available as well. To prevent freezing it will be wise to carry your water in a thermal flask. Go to bed at round about 19h00 and try to get as much rest and sleep as possible.
Trek Duration: 7 to 8 hours to reach Uhuru Peak, 6 to 8 hours to descend to Horombo
You will rise around 11.30 PM, and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the night, and this is where the going really gets tough. The first section of the trail consists of a rocky path to the Hans Meyer Cave (5,150 m), also a good resting spot. The path then zigzags up to Gillman’s point (5,681 m), which is located on the crater rim. This section is very steep with a lot of stone scree, requiring a great physical and mental effort. This is probably the most demanding section of the entire route. Do the Kili shuffle and move slowly. From Gillmans Point you will normally encounter snow all the way up to Uhuru peak (5,895 m), the highest point in Africa. Total exhilaration and satisfaction – you made it. Weather conditions on the summit will determine how long you will be able to spend, taking photographs, before the 3-hour descent back to Kibo hut. After a short rest, you gather all the gear you left behind for the ascent and head down to Horombo hut (3 hours) for your overnight. The return to Horombo hut will seem surprisingly fast compared to the ascent. The total time spent walking on this day is around 14 hours, so be prepared for a very tough day. Later in the evening, you enjoy your last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep, filled with memories and stirring emotions.
Trek Duration: 6 hours
After breakfast you continue your descent (6 hours), passing the Mandara hut, down to the Marangu gate where you will get a chance to say goodbye to your mountain crews. It is strongly recommended not to pay your porters any tips until you and all your gear have reached the gate safely. At Marangu Gate, you sign your name and details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificate. After that, you will be transferred back to Arusha for a long overdue hot shower, dinner and celebrations!
In the morning you will be transferred to Tarangire National Park for a game drive. The park runs along the line of the Tarangire River and is mainly made up of low-lying hills on the Great Rift Valley floor. Its natural vegetation mainly consists of Acacia woodland and giant African Baobab trees, with huge swamp areas in the south. Both the river and the swamps act like a magnet for wild animals, during Tanzania’s dry season. The Tarangire National Park is reputed to contain some of the largest elephant herds in Africa. This African national park is also home to three rare species of animals – the Greater Kudu, the Fringed-eared Oryx, as well as a few Ashy Starlings. In the afternoon you will have a picnic lunch in the Park and continue with game viewing till evening when we will drive to a Camp inside the Park for dinner and Overnight.
On this day we will wake up very early in the morning around 5 to 6 AM. After having a cup of hot tea or Coffee we will start doing the Early morning game drive in the Park to see some actions of the animals during the early morning like hunting, drinking and movements from one place to another due that the early morning time allow the animals to be active. Late morning around 11 to 12, we will drive back to the Campsite for Branch meals before we reload our Safari jeep for the Transfer to Ngorongoro for Overnight at Campsite.
After breakfast at the Lodge, we descend 600 m into this magnificent crater for a morning, half-day game drive. The Ngorongoro Crater is one of the most densely crowded African wildlife areas in the world and is home to an estimated 30,000 animals including some of Tanzania’s last remaining black rhino. Supported by year-round water supply and fodder, the Ngorongoro Crater supports a vast variety of animals, which include herds of wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, eland, warthog, hippo, and giant African elephants. Another big draw card to this picturesque national park is its dense population of predators, which include Lions, Hyenas, Jackals, Cheetahs, and the ever-elusive leopard, which sometimes requires a trained eye to spot. We will enjoy a picnic lunch in the crater, after which we start ascending from the Crater driving back to Arusha.
Today you depart from Kilimanjaro to your home town.
We will endeavor to make your program smooth and as pleasant as possible. However, the entire course of trekking depends on the ranges of the mighty mountains, physical health, and environmental conditions. Therefore, Monks on wheels or our partner TrekNomads shall not be responsible for any changes in the itineraries due to unavoidable circumstance and natural disasters such as landslide, road blockage, flood, snowing, cancellation of flight and delay, any types of sickness including altitude sickness
The trek to Africa’s highest peak is a challenging trek that requires prior high-altitude trekking experience. During the course, we will trek 4 to 10 hours per day on moderate to steep grades, at varied elevations. Some days will be rest days with optional hikes to properly acclimatize, while on other days you will continue your journey towards Kilimanjaro summit. Your Trek Captain will set a suitable pace to minimize the risk of altitude issues. Porters and pack animals will transport your gear. A signed medical consent form from your doctor will be required for participation. You will also be required to sign an indemnity bond before heading on the trek.
This trek requires a good level of fitness and prior high altitude trekking experience.
To register for this trek you are required to complete a 5K run in under 35 minutes. Once you do register, please share the run details with our Trek Captain.
If you’re not already following a fitness regime, you would need to follow the regime that will be shared with you. The training routine is spread over four months and you would be expected to work out at least 4 times a day. The regime is designed to help you climb smarter even in higher altitudes. The regime consists of a good combination of exercises that works on all parts of your body including – Upper Body, Core, Endurance, Lower Body, Shoulder strength and along with streamlining your breathing pattern. When followed religiously, you can be rest assured that you will be ready for the trek. Not only does this regime help you with the trek, but it will also help you inculcate a sense of fitness in your day-to-day life.
This trek is graded challenging to extreme because you will be trekking for 7 consecutive days over rough terrain, you will be exposed to increasing altitudes each day, averaging 4,000 m and up to a maximum of 5,895 m.
Your Trek Captain will brief you on the next day’s trek every evening so you have ample time to prep and be ready for the climb the next morning. You are expected to wake up at the time told by the Trek Captain. This is highly important because the earlier you start the trek, the faster you can reach the next village.
Being away from home comforts and family for an extended period of time is often a challenge for Nomads although access to communications on the trail is very good overall.
We believe in leaving the mountains in a better condition, which is why we follow a no-litter policy on our treks. Each trekker will have to bring back the waste that is created during the trek.
Trekking is best enjoyed when you’ve worn comfortable clothes. Try and avoid wearing Jeans, bright colours and heavy apparels as much as possible.
A lighter backpack always helps you have a better trek, try and carry just as much as needed.
Always be in sight of your trek lead, if you feel the need to stop for any reason at all, please keep the trek lead informed.
If you do come across any reptiles, animals or even insects during the trek, please keep your calm and let it patiently pass by. Any kind of noise and panic will scare them as well.
Do not venture out into the forest/waterfalls on your own as it may be dangerous.
Trekking is a good adventure, having said that, it is our primary responsibility to take good care of ourselves and be compassionate towards fellow trekkers
If, at any point, during the trek, you feel uneasy or unwell, please inform the trek lead immediately
Tune in to the sounds of nature while on a trek and avoid carrying speakers or playing music during the course of the trek
To help you enjoy the trek to the fullest, we avoid smoking and consumption of alcohol, and other intoxicants during the course of the trek
If, due to any unforeseen circumstances you would like to cancel your trek with us, here is our cancellation policy.
1. If the notice is received more than 60 days prior to the event, 100% Refund will be adjusted against other treks
2. If the notice is received up to 30 days prior to the event, 50% Refund will be adjusted against other treks
3. All cancellation requests made 29 days prior or on the day of the event, no Refund would be given as the accommodation, transportation and everything else would be confirmed under your name.