US: 856-417-5560 | Tanzania: +255 7860 17843

Kilimanjaro Climb Routes

Machame

The Machame Route Given it’s nick name (Whiskey Route) this route is the most popular camping route on Kilimanjaro. The trek winds through some beautiful scenery, which changes quite dramatically every day. The route is physically challenging for most people.

DAY: 1, MACHAME GATE (5,950 FT./ 1,815 M.) ~ MACHAME CAMP (9,850 ft./ 3,000 M.)
Departure from Arusha will be at around 8am for the Machame Gate trail head, about 1.5 hour driving. Upon completion of entry registration formalities we will meet the rest of the crew (Cooks and Porters) ready for the climb. We will start the climb through rainforest and the giant heathers for 5 to 6 hours with a lunch stop halfway then continue on to our first overnight at Machame camp.( 5,950 ft.)

DAY: 2, MACHAME CAMP ~ SHIRA CAMP (12,600 FT./ 3,840 M.)
Short day but rather steep rocky and dusty trails. It’s a slow hike with plenty of breaks and enough time to acclimatize. Most of the route is rather bare of vegetation providing little shade from heat. You will cross many ridges and see the first of many Senecios, one of Kili’s most recognizable plant species.

DAY: 3, MACHAME CAMP ~ SHIRA CAMP (12,600 FT./ 3,840 M.)
Proceed steadily upward over extensive ridgelines of high desert to Lava Tower, for lunch. The trek is about 4 hours. Lava Tower, a 300 foot volcanic plug, marks an exposed pass at 15,000 feet. In the afternoon, descend the steep track into the Great Barranco Valley. Hanging glaciers glint in the sunshine above, amidst the eerie landscape of plants such as the giant groundsels (Senecio Kilimanjari), and the uniquely endemic Giant Lobelia.
Total trekking time is 6-7 hours.

DAY: 4, BARRANCO CAMP ~ KARANGA VALLEY CAMP (13,200 FT./4,023 M.)
Start scrambling up the steep Baranco wall for an hour and a half. While you will be using your hands to reach and pull yourself upward, the climb is not as challenging as technical rock climbing would be. At the top of the wall you
can see the Baranco valley and the campsite you slept at the previous night. You will walk up and down the greener valley which is the last water point before the Kibo Summit.

DAY: 5, KARANGA CAMP ~ BARAFU CAMP (15,200 FT./ 4,630 M.)
Short but steep uphill climb across barren landscape with lots of boulders and shattered rocks. You will see the Southern Ice field and Rebmann glaciers on your left. Keep going along a very steep ridge until we reach a rocky section for more scrambling for about one hour and a half. Our next camp will be on large rocks with very steep cliff faces. We will go to bed very early because we will have to wake up at 11 pm for the summit.

DAY: 6, BARAFU CAMP ~ UHURU PEAK (19,340 FT./5,895 M.) ~ MWEKA CAMP (10,200 FT./3,110 M.)
We will start our ascent by head lamps at 12 midnight so that we can be up on the Crater rim by sunrise. The steep climb over loose volcanic scree has some well- graded zigzags and a slow but steady pace will take us to Stella Point in about five to six hours. We will rest there for a short time with a hot cup of tea while enjoying the sunrise over Mawenzi. Those who are still feeling strong can make the two hour round trip from here along the crater rim to Uhuru Peak (19,340 ft) 5,895m. Passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. We will start our descent which is steep and rigorous via Stella Point to Barafu hut Camp. We will stop at Barafu Camp for lunch and a good rest before we proceed down to Mweka Hut, (10,170ft./ 3760m.) very comfortable hike, but long.

DAY: 7, MWEKA CAMP ~ MWEKA GATE (6,000 FT. /1,830 M.)
This festive day will include Kili songs, a hike down through the rain forest to Mweka Gate Today’s hike will take us about 3 to 4 hours and will include a picnic lunch, presentation of certificates and photos. After lunch we will transfer you to your hotel in Arusha, where you will have hot shower and a relaxing dinner.

machame route

Marangu

The Marangu Route is a well-traveled path up Kilimanjaro; it’s nickname “the Coca Cola Route” refers to the fact that the beverage is sold in huts along the way and hints at the fact that the route is less intense than others . This route can be completed in five to six days. While it is a mild hike it can be physically challenging because the time to acclimatize is short.

DAY: 1, MARANGU GATE (5,900 FT./ 1,800 M.) ~ MANDARA HUT (8,860 FT./ 2,700 M.)
Depart from Arusha at 8am and drive about 2 hours to Marangu Gate. Upon completion of entry registration formalities we will meet the rest of the crew: cooks, porters and guides ready for the 4 to 5 hour hike to Mandara Hut. The hike is at a gentle pace through a dense and humid forest to the Mandara hut. Once you arrive, there is the option of a short hike to the nearby Maundi crater for great views over the open plains. The night is spent inside one of the huts.

DAY: 2, MANDARA HUT ~ HOROMBO HUT (12,200 FT./ 3,720 M.)
After breakfast you will hike about 45 minutes in the forest until you suddenly arrive at an area of high grasses in the heather zone. As the hike continues the landscape becomes increasingly desert identical to Montane forest and the
Moorland zone. With a total of 5 to 6 hours of hiking you will arrive at the Horombo Hut, where you will enjoy stunning views of Mawenzi Peak. Night will be spent in one of the huts.

DAY: 3, HOROMBO HUT ~ ACCLIMITIZATION DAY.
This extra day is taken at Horombo Hut mainly to help your body’s acclimatization. You will also enjoy the beautiful scenery. There is a hike to the base of Mawenzi, at nearly 15,000 ft (4,600 m), along the way passing Zebra Rock, and the remarkable landscape of the moorland zone.

DAY: 4, HOROMBO HUT ~ KIBO HUT (15,430 FT./ 4,703 M.)
Today’s hike will take 6 to 7 hours. You will hike across the exposed Alpine Desert zone on the saddle between Kibo and Mawenzi. The last fresh water point is at 14,100 ft. (4,300 m.), where it will be necessary to fill your water bottles. From here, the porters will carry the rest of the water needed. The saddle crossing is inspiring and the scenery is amazing. Night spent at Kibo Hut.

DAY: 5, KIBO HUT ~ UHURU PEAK (19,340 FT./ 5,895 M.) ~ HOROMBO HUT (12,200 FT./ 3,720 M.)
Right after midnight we begin our ascent by head lamps to the summit of Kilimanjaro. It is most straightforward to climb the scree slope to Gillman’s Point (5685m) on the crater rim. The early start gives you the chance of reaching the summit in time for sunrise. From Gilman’s Point, it is a 3 hour round trip along the crater’s edge to Uhuru Peak(19,340 ft.)(5,895m.), the highest point in Africa. After a short time at the summit, we start to descend the steep scree trail back to Kibo Hut for some rest, then continue descending to Horombo Hut for dinner and overnight.

DAY: 6, HOROMBO HUT ~ MARANGU GATE (5,900 FT./ 1,800 M.) ~ ARUSHA
Descend straight to the gate of Marangu, which will take about 6 – 7hours of hiking. On arrival at the gate you will have lunch and then transfer to Arusha where you can enjoy a hot shower and a relaxing dinner.

marungu route

Lemosho

The Lemosho Route climbs through the climatic zones and diverse landscape of Kilimanjaro’s western side. It offers a good chance for acclimatization and therefore a high rate of success in summitting.

DAY: 1, LEMOSHO TRAILHEAD (7,800 FT./ 2,375 M) ~ FOREST CAMP (9,500 FT./ 2,895 M.)
Depart from your local lodge in Arusha at around 7:30am for the Londerosi Gate trail head, about 1.5 hour driving. Upon completion of entry registration formalities we will meet the rest of the crew cooks and porters ready for the climb; we start our hike through uninterrupted rainforest which winds to the first camp, only about 3-4 hours of hiking. First camp will be at Forest Camp (Mti Mkubwa Camp).

DAY: 2, SHIRA 1 CAMP (12,200 FT./ 3,720 M.)
After being out of the forest, take a steep trail into a Savannah of tall grasses, heather, and volcanic rock. Ascend through the lush steep hills below the Shira plateau, finally reaching camp at the edge of the plateau; hiking time is four to five hours. The view of Kibo from across the plateau is amazing.

DAY: 3, SHIRA 2 CAMP (12,600 FT./ 3,950 M.)
The entire day exploration the Shira plateau also known as Fisher camp, hike east toward Kibo’s glaciered peak, with the option to visit the ancient collapsed Shira cone, the oldest of Kilimanjaro’s three volcanoes. Arrive at Shira 2 camp at 12,600 ft. Shira is one of the highest plateaus on earth, averaging 12,500 feet. Hiking time without the optional excursions is about 2-3 hours.

DAY: 4, BARRANCO CAMP ~ KARANGA VALLEY CAMP (13,200 FT./ 4,023 M.)
Start scrambling up the steep Baranco wall for an hour and a half. While you will be using your hands to reach and pull yourself upward, the climb is not as challenging as technical rock climbing would be. At the top of the wall you can see the Baranco valley and the campsite you slept at the previous night. You will hike up and down the greener valley which is the last water point before the Kibo Summit.

DAY: 5, KARANGA CAMP ~ BARAFU CAMP (15,200 FT./ 4,630 M.)
A short day but steep uphill climb crossing barren landscape with lots of boulders and shattered rocks. You will see the Southern Ice field and Rebmann glaciers on your left. Keep going along a very steep ridge until we reach a rocky section for more scrambling for about one hour and a half. Our next camp will be on large rocks with very steep cliff faces. We will go to bed very early because we will have to wake up at 11 pm for the summit.

DAY: 6, BARAFU CAMP ~ UHURU PEAK (19,340 FT./5,895 M.) ~ MWEKA CAMP (10,200 FT./3,110 M.)
We will start our ascent to the summit with head lamps at 12 midnight so that we can be up on the Crater rim by sunrise. The steep climb over loose volcanic scree has some well graded zigzags and a slow but steady pace will take us to Stella Point in about five to six hours. We will rest there for a short time with a hot cup of tea while enjoying the sunrise over Mawenzi. Those who are still feeling strong can make the two hour round trip from here along the crater rim to Uhuru Peak (19,340 ft) 5,895m. Pass close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. We will start our descent which is steep and rigorous via Stella Point to Barafu hut Camp. We will stop at Barafu Camp for lunch and a good rest then proceed down to Mweka Camp.

DAY: 7, MWEKA CAMP ~ MWEKA GATE (6,000 FT. /1,830 M.)
This festive day will include Kilimanjaro songs, and a hike down through the rain forest to Mweka Gate Today’s hike will take us about 3 to 4 hours and will include a picnic lunch, presentation of certificates and photos. After lunch we will transfer you to your hotel in Arusha, where you will have hot shower and a relaxing dinner.

marungu route

Rongai

Rongai Route is a rugged but relatively flat terrain offering a true wilderness experience in the early part of the hike. This route is usually completed quickly and therefore offers only a limited acclimatization time.

DAY: 1, RONGAI GATE (6,550 FT./ 2,000 m) ~ RONGAI 1 CAVES CAMP (9,285 ft./ 2,830 M.)
The departure from Arusha will be at around 8am for the Rongai Gate trail head, about 2.5 hours driving. Upon completion of entry registration formalities we will meet the rest of the crew (Cooks and Porters) ready for the climb, begin the 3 to 4 hour hike to the first camp. The hike is at a leisurely pace through fields and then into the rain forest. Arrive at your camp set in the heather zone.

DAY: 2, RONGAI 1 CAVES CAMP ~ KIKELEWA CAVES CAMP (11,800 FT./ 3600 M)
A 3-4 hour trek through the heather will bring you to Second Cave. If the weather is clear, Mawenzi will be in plain view; a stunning sight. Enjoy stopping to see the exotic heather-zone flowers and plants which grow alongside the trail. A smaller track leads off the main trail through the moorland and towards Mawenzi. The trekking time is about 6-8 hours, arriving in camp for dinner, surrounded by a landscape of bizarre plants, rock formations and caves. Overnight at Kikelewa Caves camp.

DAY: 3, KIKELEWA CAVES CAMP ~ MAWENZI TARN CAMP (14,160 FT./ 4,315 M.)
The trek takes you from the moorland zone into the stark highland desert towards Mawenzi on trails not frequented by many tourists. From the Mawenzi Tarn Campsite you will enjoy a magnificent view of Mawenzi, with it is steeply rising rock spires. Total hiking time is 5-7 hours.

DAY: 4, MAWENZI TARN CAMP ~ KIBO HUT CAMP (15,520 FT./ 4,750 M.)
The trekking time today is between 5 – 7 hours, though a relatively easy hike across the wide saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo. The hike takes you across the massive saddle – the crossing is impressive and the landscape spectacularly stark. Prepare all your gear for the night ahead, and turn in early to rest at the Kibo Hut.

DAY: 5, KIBO HUT CAMP ~ UHURU PEAK (19,340 FT./ 5,895 M.) ~ HOROMBO CAMP (10,200 FT./ 3,110 M)
Right after midnight we begin our ascent by head lamps to the summit of Kilimanjaro. It is straightforward to climb the scree slope to Gillman’s Point (5685m) on the crater rim. The early start gives you the chance of reaching the summit in time for sunrise. From Gilman’s Point, it is a 3 hour round trip along the crater’s edge to Uhuru Peak (19,340 ft., 5,895m.), the highest point in Africa. After a short time at the summit, we start to descend the steep scree trail back to Kibo Hut for some rest, then continue descending to Horombo Hut for dinner and overnight.

DAY: 6, HOROMBO CAMP ~ MARANGU GATE (5,900 FT./ 1,800 M.)
Descend straight to the gate of Marangu, which will take about 6 – 7 hours of hiking. On arrival at the gate you will have lunch, and then will be transferred to Arusha where you can enjoy a hot shower and a relaxing dinner.

marungu route