Mount Kilimanjaro - 11 Days
"Compie turned his head and grinned and pointed and there, ahead, all he could see, as wide as all the world, great, high, and unbelievably white in the sun, was the square top of Kilimanjaro"
- E. Hemingway
The highest mountain in Africa and the tallest freestanding mountain in the world, Mount Kilimanjaro towers over the surrounding lands like an ancient snow capped giant. At 5,895m above sea level this dormant volcano is littered with glaciers, and is not to be underestimated.
Mount Kilimanjaro has an overall summit success rate of approximately 60% across all its ascent routes. This number has significantly increase in recent years due to the shorter, 5 day, routes becoming less popular. And rightfully so! One of the main reasons failure is so prevalent on this mountain is the lack of appreciation of how big it is! Kili's summit is over 500 meters higher than Everest Basecamp in Nepal, and you certainly don't see people running up there in 5 days!
It is for this reason we only recommend and operate the Lemosho-Shira route. Spending a few extra days ascending slowly will greatly increase our chances of standing on the roof of Africa!
- Climb one of the '7 summits'
- Ascend the longest, most beautiful route
- Maximum chance of success
- End to end expedition led by an Australian trip leader
- Visit a traditional village, caves and waterfall
Day 1: Arrive in Tanzania and transfer to our hotel.
Day 2: Cultural tour day! Visit a traditional Chugga village, caves and a waterfall.
Day 3: After breakfast and once the Porter team are set up, we drive to Lemosho Park Gate for the start of our trek. Tonight we stay at Big Tree Camp at 2780m
Day 4: Today we head to Shira 1 camp located on the Shira Plateau at 3500m
Day 5: Our destination today is Shira 2 camp at 3800m
Day 6: We climb that bit higher today and stay at Barranco Hut 3900m
Day 7: Today is a beautiful walk to Karanga Valley - 4000m
Day 8: We arrive at Barafu Hut today (4600) and prepare for summit day tomorrow
Day 9: Summit Day is a big day. After returning to Barafu Hut from the summit we have a rest before heading to Mweka Camp (3000m) for the night.
Day 10: We descend down to Mweka Gate to meet the bus to take us back to our hotel.
Day 11: This morning we leave the hotel for your onward journey or return home.
Day 1: Arrival!
You will be picked up from Kilimanjaro International Airport and transferred to our chosen hotel. The rest of the day is yours to relax!
Day 2: Cultural tour day!
We will travel to Merangu to visit a traditional Chugga village to see their house, visit some local caves, and a waterfall. Quite a busy day, but a great way to learn a little about Tanzania and get acclimatised before we start trekking.
Day 3: Lemosho gate to Big Tree Camp
Climbers are taken to the gate at 2,000 metres at the entrance to the forest for entrance formalities, and then to the trailhead at Lemosho Glades at 2,380 metres. This is a long drive from out hotel – including the stop for gate formalities it could take up to 4-5 hours. The forest track to Lemosho Glades is also in poor condition, and vehicles often have to stop short of the trailhead, particularly in wet weather. From the trailhead, there is a 3 to 4 hour walk, ascending quite steeply through the forest, until a camp is made in a forest clearing dominated by a large tree – this is Big Tree Camp camp at 2,780 metres.
Day 4: Big Tree Camp to Shira One camp
Climbers emerge onto the moorland above the forest after about an hour, then detour northwards around the Shira ridge, through beautiful and rugged moorland with views northwards and westwards to the plains below the mountain. At the northern edge of the Shira ridge, the path turns eastwards and drops down onto the Shira plateau. Camp is made by a stream at Shira One campsite at 3,500 metres. Total time is about 6 to 7 hours.
Day 5: Shira One camp to Shira Two camp
The trail continues across the plateau towards Kibo. After about 2 hours, the edge of the plateau is reached and the path climbs up for about 40 minutes to Shira hut at 3800 metres. Total time is about 3 hours, therefore, if the direct route is taken. However, this day affords the opportunity to branch off the trail and climb Shira Cathedral and Shira Needle, the imposing hills on the southern side of the plateau, and to look down the Machame ridge from their tops. It is also possible to visit Cone Place, the centre of the extinct Shira volcano, and to look from there at the highest parts of the Shira plateau - Johnsell Point and Klute Peak on the western Shira ridge.
Day 6: Shira Two to Baranco camp
The path continues through high altitude desert directly up the ridge towards Kibo. After about 4 hours, Lava Tower is reached at 4,500 metres. Climbers are now directly at the foot of the Great Western Breach of Kibo, the scene of a massive avalanche in pre-historic days which formed the Umbwe Valley. The path now forks to the right and descends into the Umbwe Valley, also called the Barranco Valley, and the night is spent at Barranco camp on the valley floor at 3985 metres. This is an interesting day, since climbers ascend to 4500 metres at lunchtime, but then descend to a camp which is only slightly higher than where they were in the morning.
Day 7: Baranco camp to Barafu camp
The path climbs out of the Barranco Valley via the Barranco wall. This is a steep 1 to 2 hour climb, ascending about 300 metres. The path then follows the gently undulating Kibo South Circuit. Wonderful views are to be had of Kibo's southern glaciers if the weather is clear. After about 3 hours the Karanga valley is reached. There is a short but steep descent into the valley, which has a small stream running through it, and then a short climb up the eastern valley wall. At the top of the wall, at 4000 metres, is the Karanga Valley camp.
Day 8: Karanga Valley to Barafu camp
Although Barafu camp is visible from early on in the trek, as one nears the ridge upon which it is located it disappears from view. You are walking in high altitude over slate type scree with interesting views of the final ascent route and as one nears Barafu camp on the opposite side of the valley are terrific views of the ridge known as The Red Wall.
Day 9: Barafu camp to summit then down to Millennium or Mweka camp
Climbers are woken at about 11pm. After dressing in all their warm clothing, they have a hot drink and then set off at midnight. The first part of the ascent is on a rocky ridge. This then turns into scree. The surface is loose and can be hard going. On its steepest sections, the path zig zags up the scree. It takes an average of 7 hours to reach Stella Point on the crater rim. On a fine morning, the views of the sun rising from behind Mawenzi are spectacular. Stella Point is at 5,750 metres. From here, the path goes around the crater rim for a further hour to the summit at Uhuru Peak, 5896 metres. The descent back to Barafu Camp can take a further 3 or 4 hours. After a rest and a meal, the descent continues to Mweka Camp at 3100 metres, a further trek of around 4 hours. If climbers are very tired, or if it is late, camp can be made at Millennium Camp at 3800 metres – this simply increases the length of the following walking day by around an hour.
Day 10: Mweka camp to Mweka gate
The path descends for around 3 hours through the forest to Mweka gate. Vehicles will be waiting to transport climbers and crew back to Marangu Hotel.
Day 11: Our tours departure day!
We can transfer you to the airport for your flights home, or assist in your onward journey. We can recommend a number of activities to extend your stay including some of the best game safari's in Africa!
We can also arrange amazing extensions to Zanzibar for some great diving or beach time!
Expedition cost is $4,200* twin share, ex Kilimanjaro International Airport, Tanzania.
For groups greater than 6 guests, an experience Australian Expedition leader will escort the entire expedition!
If you do not wish to share accomodation a single supplement is available at additional cost.
*minimum number of bookings required, see Terms and Conditions for full details
Airport and hotel/trail transfers
accommodation pre and post trek (twin share)
trek fees including all park entry fees
Breakfast & Dinner at hotel
All meals on the mountain, prep'd by camp cook
Tented camps on trek, including dining tent
Extreme winter sleeping bag and thermal sleeping mattress hire
Porter team to carry your equipment and establish/break camps
Cultural day tour
Oxygen bottle carried with trek, and Gamow bag available at hut for safety
Travel insurance (mandatory)
Personal clothing and equipment (sleeping bag and insulted mattress rental included)
Tips for guides and porters
Cost raised by cancelation or modification due to events beyond our control, e.g., landslides necessitating trail diversions, weather delays, political unrest, illness, et cetera.
Note the below items can be added at the time of booking.
|Activity:||Classic Expd, Trekking|
|Difficulty Rating:||Grade 3 - difficult|
|Comfort Level:||Comfortable camping|
|Season:||Jan, Feb, Mar, Sep, Oct,|