All climbing groups, often from several countries around the world, share meals in dining huts providing a jovial and energetic atmosphere. Soft drinks, bottled water, and beer are for sale at the huts. Bring small Tanzanian bills to purchase these items (prices increase with elevation). This route is usually done on 5 days but can be done in 6 days for better acclimatization. The extra day can be spent resting at Horombo or climbing the small peak of Mawenzi.
We recommend you to bring with you gears like; hiking boots, thick hiking socks, windproof/waterproof pants and jacket, heavy gloves, heavy winter jacket, water bottles, gaiters (covers top of boots and bottom of pants), smaller personal backpack, larger backpack for clothes, cold weather sleeping bags, safari style hat protecting face and neck from sun, headlamp style flashlight, camera of course, dried fruit and energy bars, sun block, malaria pills, water purification tablets, inflatable pillows, your regular clothes.
Day 1: Marangu gate to Mandara Hut. 1700 m to 2740 m, 5500 ft to 9000 ft, 7 km, 4-5 hours, Montane Forest. After breakfast and briefing, drive to the Kilimanjaro National Park Gate (45 minutes), register and commence the climb. Walk through the rainforest to the Mandara encampment located at 9000 ft/2740 m. A side trip to Maundi Crater is a good way to see the surroundings including Northern Tanzania and Kenya. In the rainforest, look for towering Eucalyptus trees, bird life, and Colubus monkeys.
Day 2: Mandara Hut to Horombo Camp. 2700 m to 3700 m, 9000 ft to 12,100 ft, 11 km, 6-8 hours, Heathland. After about 1 hour, you will leave the glades of the rainforest and follow an ascending path on the open moorlands to the Horombo encampment. Views of Mawenzi and the summit of Kibo are amazing. Look for giant lobelias and grounsels. You will start to feel the affects of the altitude. If you wish to extend you trek, here you can spend an extra day resting at Horombo or climbing the small peak of Mawenzi.
Day 3: Horombo Camp to Kibo Camp. 3700 m to 4700 m, 12,100 ft to 15,400 ft, 10 km, 6-8 hours, Alpine Desert. Ascending, we now pass the last watering point, walking onto the saddle of Kilimanjaro between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi. Vegetation begins with upper heathland but then disappears into "moonscape". Dinner, rest, and prepare for summit climb.
Day 4: Kibo Camp to Summit and Horombo. 4700 m to 5895 m (and down to 3700 m), 15,400 ft to 19,300 ft (and down to 12,100 ft), 4 km up/14 km down, 10-15 hours, Alpine Desert. Very early in the morning (midnight to 2 a.m.), commence the climb to the summit on steep and heavy scree or snow up to Gilman's point located on the crater rim at 18640 ft/5861 m (4-7 hours).
Continuing, we now ascend to Uhuru Peak, which is the highest point in Africa: 19340 ft/5895 m (1-2 hours). Unbelievable views at every turn. Get your picture taken at the summit to show your friends. From here, we now descend, stopping for lunch and a rest at Kibo before continuing on to the Horombo encampment for dinner and a tired but happy overnight (1-2 hours).
This beginning of this climb is done in the dark and requires headlamps or flashlights. It will be very cold until you start descending, so you will need all of your warm layers. This is, by far, the most difficult part of the trek with many switchbacks. "Pole pole" and an optimistic attitude will get you there!
Day 5: Horombo to Mandara Hut. After breakfast, climb down with packed or break for lunch to Mandara Hut, dinner and overnight Mandara.
Day 6: Mandara Camp to Arusha. 3700 m to 1700 m, 12,100 ft to 5500 ft, 18 km, 5-7 hours. After breakfast, a steady descent takes us down through moorland to Mandara Hut (2,700 m), the first stopping place at the Marangu route. Continue descending through lovely lush forest on a good path to the National Park gate at Marangu (1,830 m).
At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy). A vehicle will meet you at Marangu village to drive you back to the Hotel in Arusha Don't forget to tip your guides and porters. It is time for celebration! End of the tour.
Also see tour packages in:
Africa Tanzania Outdoor: Mountain Ranger Mountain/Rock Climbing