Day 1: Marangu Gate to Mandara Huts
Following breakfast you will have a briefing from your guide. At 9 am, our staff will drive you from your hotel in Moshi to the Marangu Gate on the east side of Kilimanjaro. After the drive and gate registration with Kilimanjaro National Park, you will begin hiking around 10:30 AM. Starting in the rainforest, you will be surrounded by towering soaring Eucalyptus trees, birds, and even the Colubus monkeys. Shorts and t-shirt usually will suffice at this altitude, but you will want to keep your rain gear and warmer clothing in your daypack just in case. If it is muddy, you can use your trekking poles for added stability. You will stop for lunch halfway through your trek before continuing on to the Mandara Huts. You will arrive between 2 or 3 PM, unpack and rest with coffee or tea. You will also have a chance to take a short trip to the Maundi Crater which offers spectacular views of Northern Tanzania and Kenya. Dinner is served around 7 PM.
Day 2: Mandara Huts to Horombo Huts
Rise and shine at 7:30 AM for breakfast and packing for the day’s trek, starting at 8:30 AM. Your trek will begin with an hour hike through rainforest glades before ascending through heathland and on into the open moorlands where the vegetation is sparse with small shrubs. Stop halfway for lunch overlooking the view of Mawenzi. You will arrive at the Horombo Huts by 3PM. Again you will rest and unpack before preparing for dinner.
Day 3: Acclimatization Day
You may begin to feel the effects of altitude at Horombo, which is why Elite Kilimanjaro uses this day as an aid to your acclimatization. Depending on how you are feeling, your guide will recommend you either rest at the huts or take a hike up to the Mawenzi basecamp and return to the Horombo Huts for a second night.
Day 4: Horombo Huts to Kibo Huts
If you wake early, you can capture some beautiful sunrise photos before breakfast. The day’s trek begins through the heathland and quickly turns into a moonscape as you enter the saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo. From lunch onwards, you will get a view of the summit climb which you will start in a short 4-5 hours! Pay attention to your body and keep your guide informed of any signs of altitude sickness. Upon arriving you will have a snack and try to catch a few hours of sleep before awaking for your final ascent.
Day 5: SUMMIT DAY! Kibo Huts
Wake for breakfast at midnight and prepare for your summit ascent. Depart at 1 AM with the goal of reaching the peak near the same time as sunrise. Your trek will be full of switchbacks, winding you up the steep scree before reaching Gilman’s Point on the rim of the crater (18,640 ft/5,861 m) between 5 and 7 AM. Here, you are greeted by the snow-filled crater and its icecaps. Hiking along the crater rim, you will reach Uhuru Peak around 9 AM. Congratulations, you are now standing on the Roof of Africa! You will have time to take pictures with the world-famous Uhuru Peak sign, but it is important to begin your descent soon in order to allow yourself enough time to rest at the Kibo Huts. Upon reaching back to Kibo, have lunch, grab some much needed rest, pack up, and return to the Horombo Huts. Enjoy some dinner and some well-deserved sleep.
Day 6: Horombo Huts to Marangu Gate
Wake up for breakfast as usual, pack, and descend back through the moorland to the Mandara Huts for lunch.
Continue your descent through the rainforest, reaching the park gate around 2 or 3 PM. A 45-minute drive and you will be back to your hotel in Moshi. It’s time to celebrate!
Final Day in Moshi