Marangu Route - 6 days

trekking climbing summit3Day One:
Marangu Gate (1,800m/5,905ft) to Mandara Hut (2,743m/9,000ft)
Elevation Gain: 915 meters (3,000ft)

Leave Moshi at 8:00am for Marangu Gate. The drive to Marangu takes approximately one hour. You will be met by your guides, cooks and porters when you arrive at the gate. After completing gate registration begin your Kilimanjaro trek. Walk along a narrow trail through the rainforest of Kilimanjaro for most of the hike. Eat a picnic lunch at Kisambioni, day ones half way point. After lunch continue walking through the rainforest until reaching Mandara Hut. Relax for the day or take a short walk to Maundi Crater. The views to the east over Taveta and to the northwest to Mawenzi Peak are stunning on a clear day, making the short hike well worth the effort. The A-frame Mandara Huts can accommodate up to seventy people and consist of several sleeping huts and a dining area. All of Marangu’s huts have beds with mattresses.

Day Two:
Mandara Hut (2,743m/9,000ft) to Horombo Hut (3,720m/12,200ft)
Elevation Gain: 977 meters (3,200ft)

After breakfast leave Mandara Hut and Kilimanjaro’s forests for Horombo Hut. Most of the day’s hike will be through Kilimanjaro’s moorland, a rocky landscape with desert-like plants. Eat a picnic lunch at Kambi ya Taabu before continuing to Horombo Hut. If the weather is clear, enjoy a beautiful views of Mawenzi and Kibo peaks. Arrive at Horombo Hut around 3pm and spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing. Although extremely busy, the Horombo Huts are considered to be the nicest on Kilimanjaro. The small A-frame buildings can accommodate up to eight people each and provide lodging for hikers ascending and acclimatizing. Horombo can accommodate up to one hundred hikers and many more porters, cooks and guides.

Day Three:
Horombo Hut (3,720m/12,200ft) to Mawenzi Hut (4,600m/15,100ft) to Horombo Hut (3,720m/12,200ft)
Elevation Gain and Loss: 880 meters (2,900feet)

Day three is an acclimatization day. We suggest hiking all the way to Mawenzi Hut to allow for maximum acclimatization. The hike will increase your chances of reaching Uhuru Peak and also reward you with magnificent views of Kibo. Return to Horombo for a late lunch. Spend the afternoon and evening relaxing at Horombo.

Marangu Route - Huts

Day Four:
Horombo Hut (3,720m/12,200ft) to Kibo Hut. (4,750m/15,580ft)
Elevation Gain: 1,030 meters (3,380ft)

Leave Horombo Hut after breakfast to hike through moorland and alpine desert of Kilimanjaro’s upper altitudes. After hiking for about an hour arrive at Maua River, a small mountain stream. After Maua the terrain becomes flatter and the vegetation begins to disappear. Break for lunch at Middle Red Hill. After lunch continue on a steady incline for another two hours through Kilimanjaro’s Saddle. Although the environment on the way to Kibo is a bleak desert with little vegetation you will see many stunning views of Kibo and Mawenzi peaks. Reach Kibo Hut around 3pm to rest and prepare for your midnight climb.

Day Five:
Kibo Hut (4,750m/15,580ft) to Summit (5,895m/19,340ft) to Horombo (3,720m/12,200ft) Elevation Gain: 1,145 meters (3,760ft)
Elevation Loss: 2,175 meters ( 7,140ft)

Around midnight awake for the final ascent to Uhuru Peak, the roof of Africa. The hike begins with a demanding five hour hike to Gillman’s Point on the crater rim. Although this is considered to be the easiest of the three crater ascent paths, it is still extremely difficult. The first major rest stop, William’s Point lies at 5000 meters and is approximately a two hour hike from Kibo Hut. Continue on for thirty minutes before beginning the rocky switchbacks that will continue to Gillman’s Point (5,681 meters). The hike from Gillman’s to Uhuru Peak is a gradual climb and as far as hikes go, not very difficult. The altitude however makes the hike long and tiring. The crater rim hike take approximately two hours. Upon reaching Uhuru, take photos of your guide and group at the peak before beginning the descent to Horombo Hut. On the way down from the summit you will see all of the magnificent views you could not see on the way up. Stop for a short break and snacks at Kibo Hut before continuing on to Horombo Hut. Reach Horombo Hut in the afternoon and enjoy your last night on the mountain.

Day Six:
Horombo Hut (3,720m/12,200ft) to Marangu Gate (1800m/5,905ft)
Elevation Loss: 1,920 meters (6,295ft)

After breakfast finish the trek with a descent to Marangu Gate. Your last hike on Kilimanjaro is a beautiful one as you pass through Kilimanjaro’s cloud forest. Watch your step during the descent as the trial can be slippery. Vehicles will be waiting at the lower station of the Mweka Gate to take you back to Moshi.

Machame Route - 6 days

Machame Gate - Mt. Kilimanjaro

Day One:
Machame Gate ( 1,800/5,905 ft) to Machame Camp (3,000m/9840ft)
Elevation Gain: 1,200 meters (3,935 feet).

At 8:30am leave Moshi for Machame Gate where you will meet the Summit Odyssey porters, guides and cooks that will spend the next seven days trekking with you to the Uhuru Peak, the roof of Africa.  The drive through coffee farms and villages to Machame Gate takes about 1.5 hours.  Once you arrive you will register with the park for your climbing expeditions and your guides and porters will make final preparations for your climb.

Your first day’s destination is Machame Camp. Each day porters and cooks will walk ahead to set up the camp in time for your arrival.  On the first day hike through the moss covered trees of Kilimanjaro’s cloud forest.  The forest will thin at the end of the hike and vegetation will change to include heathers, tall grasses and wildflowers. If the weather is clear you will be able to view the surrounding area and your ultimate destination, Kibo Peak.

Day Two:
Machame Camp (3,000m/9840ft) to Shira Camp (3,840m /12,600ft)
Elevation Gain: 840 meters (2,760ft)

Although considered to be easiest day on the Machame Route, today’s trek includes several uphill sections.  Carry plenty of drinking water, as the exposed hike can be hot on a clear day.  There are several viewpoints from which you can see the plains forests below and Kibo and Mawenzi peaks above.  As you gain altitude, notice the change in vegetation.  The trees diminish in size, giving way to Kilimanjaro’s famous high altitude plants, Scenecio kilimanjari and Lobelia deckenii.  After eating lunch, climb the Shira Plateau, created when Kibo’s lava flow filled the Shira crater. Continue to the Shira Camp, where you will relax for the rest of the day. Kibo lies to the west and Mount Meru to the east.

Day Three:
Shira Camp (3,840m/12,600ft) to Barranco Camp (3,950m/12,960ft)
Total Elevation Gain:  690 meters (2,264ft)

Although this up and down ends with an elevation gain of only 110 meters, by early afternoon  you will have climbed 690 meters to a height of  4,530 meters before beginning your decent to Barranco Camp. This day is crucial for acclimatization.  After breakfast, hike east on the Shira Plateau before reaching the junctions for Shira and Lemosho Routes. Continue on through to the barren landscape before stopping for lunch. Shortly after lunch, reach the highest point of the day before descending quickly to Barranco Camp. Faster hikers can take a detour via Lava Tower, a 300-foot lava formation jutting out of the mountains. Barranco Camp is set among stands of Senecio kilimanjari, is considered the most scenic campsite on the Machame Route.

Lunch Meals - Mt. KilimanjaroDay Four:
Barranco Camp (3,950m/12,960ft) to Barafu Camp (4,600m/15,100ft)
Elevation Gain: 600 meters (2,140ft)

Leave Barranco Camp after an early breakfast to begin the long hike to Barafu Camp.  The day begins with and hour and a half scramble up the Barranco Wall. This is the hardest part of the day and in some places you will have to use your hands to pull your body up.  After reaching the top, you will make a short decent into the greener Karanga Valley before continuing onto Barafu Camp.  On the way to Barafu you will see several of Kibo’s glaciers as well the junction that connects the decent route, Mweka, with the Machame trail.  During day four, hike by the Heim, Kersten and Decken Glaciers.  Although the way to Barafu is bleak, alpine desert with little vegetation. Barafu Camp offers stunning views of Kibo and Mawenzi peaks and Rebmann Glacier.  Try to sleep as soon as you finish dinner as you will be waking up at midnight for your summit hike.

Day Five:
Barafu Camp (4,600m/15,100ft) to Uhuru Peak (5,895m/19,340ft) to Mweka Camp (3,100m/10,700ft)
Elevation Gain: 1,295 meters (4,240ft)
Elevation Loss: 2,795 meters (9,170ft)

Around midnight you will begin the final ascent to Uhuru Peak, the highest point in Africa. For the next six hours, hike by the light of your headlamp. The ascent to the crater rim is the most challenging part of the entire trek. The trail is very steep until you reach the crater rim at Stella Point. The hike from Stella Point to Uhuru Peak is a gradual climb and as far as hikes go, not very difficult. The altitude however makes the hike long and tiring. The crater rim hike takes approximately one hour. Upon reaching Uhuru you will have the opportunity to take photos of your guide and group at the peak before beginning the descent to Mweka Camp. On the way down from Uhuru, enjoy views of the mountain, crater, clouds and glaciers. On decent you will eat breakfast at Barafu Camp and take a short break. You still have another three to five hours to go before reaching Mweka Camp.

Day Six:
Mweka Camp (3,100m/10,170ft) to Mweka Gate(1,500m/4,920ft)
Elevation Loss:1,600 meters (5,250ft)

After breakfast you will finish the trek with a descent to Mweka Gate. Your last hike on Kilimanjaro is a beautiful one as you pass through Kilimanjaro’s cloud forest.  Watch your step during the descent as the trial can be slippery. Vehicles will be waiting at the lower station of the Mweka Gate to pick you.

Rongai Route - 6 days

View from Mt. Kilimanjaro

Day One:
Rongai Gate (1,800m/5,900ft) to First Cave Camp (2,600m/8,400ft)
Elevation Gain: 760 meters (2,000 feet)

After an early breakfast in Moshi drive for approximately 3 hours to Rongai Gate near the Kenya border. After registering at the gate, begin your climb to Uhuru Peak, the roof of Africa. During the first you will hike through forests where you may see and hear wildlife. Eat lunch on the trail before continuing to the first campsite. Rongai ascends via the less forested northern side of the mountain. The Rongai Route is one of the least crowded routes on Kilimanjaro because of the long drive to the gate. The Rongai trail is thought to have the best chance of viewing wildlife.

Day Two:
First Cave Camp (2,600m/8,400ft) to Kikelewa Camp (3,600/11,810ft)
Elevation Gain: 1,000 meters (3,280ft)

During day two hike through Kilimanjaro’s moorland. The Rongai route is relatively short and steep, making for shorter hiking times. During this day you will be able to view Mawenzi Peak as you move ahead for Uhuru Peak.

Day Three:
Kikelewa Camp (3,600m/11,810ft) to Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4,330m/14,200ft)
Elevation Gain: 730 meters, (2,390ft)

This day is an acclimatization day, allowing you to hike in the beginning of the day and rest in the afternoon and evening. The hike is relatively short but steep. The Mawenzi Tarn campsite is situated below Mawenzi Peak and offers stunning views of both Mawenzi and Kibo.

trekking machame tents3Day Four:
Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4,330m/14,200ft) to Kibo Camp (4,750m/15,580ft)
Elevation Gain: 420 meters (1,380ft)

Cross the lunar landscape of the saddle on this day to arrive at the final campsite. Kibo Camp is situated directly below Kibo cone, giving you views of your final destination.

Day Five:
Kibo Camp (4,750m/15,580ft) to Uhuru Peak (5,895m/19,340ft) to Horombo Hut (3,720m/12,200ft)
Elevation Gain: 1,145 meters (3,760ft) Elevation Loss: 2,175 meters (7,140ft)

Around midnight, begin the final d ascent to Uhuru Peak, the highest point in Africa. For the next six hours, hike by the light of your flashlight. The ascent to the crater rim is the most challenging part of the entire trek. The trail is very steep until you reach the crater rim at Gilman’s Point. The hike from Gilman’s to Uhuru is a gradual climb and as far as hikes go, not very difficult. The altitude however makes the hike long and tiring. The crater rim hike takes approximately two hours. Upon reaching Uhuru take photos of your guide and group at the peak before beginning the descent to Horombo Hut.

Day Six:
Horombo Hut (3720m/12,200ft) to Marangu Gate (1,800m/5,905ft)
Elevation Loss: 1,920 meters (6,295 ft)

After breakfast finish the trek with a descent to Marangu Gate. Your last hike on Kilimanjaro is a beautiful one as you pass through Kilimanjaro’s cloud forest. Watch your step during the descent as the trial can be slippery. Vehicles will be waiting at the lower station of the Mweka Gate to take you back to Moshi.

Rongai Route - 7 days

Porters shipping supplies - Kilimanjaro

Day One:
Rongai Gate (1,800m/5,900ft) to First Cave Camp (2,600m/8,400ft)
Elevation Gain: 760 meters (2,000 feet)

After an early breakfast in Moshi drive for approximately 3 hours to Rongai Gate near the Kenya border. After registering at the gate, begin your climb to Uhuru Peak, the roof of Africa. During the first you will hike through forests where you may see and hear wildlife. Eat lunch on the trail before continuing to the first campsite. Rongai ascends via the less forested northern side of the mountain. The Rongai Route is one of the least crowded routes on Kilimanjaro because of the long drive to the gate. The Rongai trail is thought to have the best chance of viewing wildlife.

Day Two:
First Cave Camp (2,600m/8,400ft) to Kikelewa Camp (3,600/11,810ft)
Elevation Gain: 1,000 meters (3,280ft)

During day two hike through Kilimanjaro’s moorland. The Rongai route is relatively short and steep, making for shorter hiking times. During this day you will be able to view Mawenzi Peak as you move ahead for Uhuru Peak.

Day Three:
Kikelewa Camp (3,600m/11,810ft) to Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4,330m/14,200ft)
Elevation Gain: 730 meters, (2,390ft)

This day is an acclimatization day, allowing you to hike in the beginning of the day and rest in the afternoon and evening. The hike is relatively short but steep. The Mawenzi Tarn campsite is situated below Mawenzi Peak and offers stunning views of both Mawenzi and Kibo.

Day Four:
Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4,330m/14,200ft)

Day four is an acclimatization day at Mawenzi Tarn. We advise hiking a bit higher this day before returning to Mawenzi Tarn in the afternoon.

Day Five:
Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4,330m/14,200ft) to Kibo Camp (4,750m/15,580ft)
Elevation Gain: 420 meters (1,380ft)

Cross the lunar landscape of the saddle on this day to arrive at the final campsite. Kibo Camp is situated directly below Kibo cone, giving you views of your final destination.

Mt. Kilimanjaro - Reaching the Summit

Day Six:
Kibo Camp (4,750m/15,580ft) to Uhuru Peak (5,895m/19,340ft) to Horombo Hut (3,720m/12,200ft)
Elevation Gain: 1,145 meters (3,760ft)
Elevation Loss: 2,175 meters (7,140ft)

Around midnight, begin the final d ascent to Uhuru Peak, the highest point in Africa. For the next six hours, hike by the light of your flashlight. The ascent to the crater rim is the most challenging part of the entire trek. The trail is very steep until you reach the crater rim at Gilman’s Point. The hike from Gilman’s to Uhuru is a gradual climb and as far as hikes go, not very difficult. The altitude however makes the hike long and tiring. The crater rim hike takes approximately two hours. Upon reaching Uhuru take photos of your guide and group at the peak before beginning the descent to Horombo Hut.

Day Seven:
Horombo Hut (3720m/12,200ft) to Marangu Gate (1,800m/5,905ft)
Elevation Loss: 1,920 meters (6,295 ft)

After breakfast finish the trek with a descent to Marangu Gate. Your last hike on Kilimanjaro is a beautiful one as you pass through Kilimanjaro’s cloud forest. Watch your step during the descent as the trial can be slippery. Vehicles will be waiting at the lower station of the Mweka Gate to take you back to Moshi.

Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Routes