Climbing Kilimanjaro is on many people’s list of lifetime achievements. Around 22,000 climbers set out each year to conquer it, making it the most climbed mountain in the world. None of the routes require mountaineering skills, specialized equipment, or even previous climbing experience. Still, hiking to the Roof of Africa is physically and mentally demanding and should not be underestimated. Mountain Kilimanjaro can be climbed at any time of the year, but the rainy seasons (April-June; November-December) make the forest more slippery and the summit might be blocked by snow. It’s essential to have warm clothes and a good sleeping bag.
Day 1: Moshi - Marangu Hotel, 6 004 feet. Arrival at your hotel. If you need to hire any extra gear, advise the hotel this evening. Leave any excess clothing and valuables at the hotel - they will lock them up for you. Pack your bag carefully for the climb - remember the weight limit of 12kg. Leave some 'bin bags' in an outer pocket of your bag, and show the porters where they are so that in case of rain they can quickly cover your bag. Keep one out for your personal backpack too! Dinner and overnight at Marangu hotel or similar. Includes: (D).
Day 2: Mandara - Mandara Hut, 8 856 feet. After breakfast transferred to Marangu Gate - approx 1.5 hours drive. Your guide will do paperwork with the National Parks as well as sorting out luggage and the porters. Please do not expect to start climbing immediately - there will probably be at least an hour or more delay at the Park Gate. Commence climb through superb rain forest to Mandara Hut (8,856 feet), approximately 4 hrs from the Park Gate. There is a detour on this route, which is well worth following - discuss with your guide before you set off.
Be careful of hut steps, which can be slippery when wet. Please note we have been advised that there is now a 12kg luggage limit per porter, i.e. please try and keep your luggage to 12kg, a barrel/soft bag, or a backpack in some cases, is preferred as they tend to carry everything on their heads. Remember that you will not see your luggage from morning until night, it is important to keep all your day gear with you - especially rain gear and water. Take plastic bin bags (or bag liners) to cover your luggage - pass them to the porter/s and show them what to do in case of rain.
Your accommodation is in dormitory style chalets. There are no shower/bath facilities while doing the climb and toilets will be long drops. You will be provided with bowls of warm water each morning, on request, to wash with. We suggest at night you try and sleep next to an open window, or at least persuade other climbers to leave the window open for air/oxygen. It gets worse the higher you go! It is advisable to 'walk high - sleep low' - i.e. every evening, after a short rest at the camp, walk up another few hundred meters and return to camp for the evening. It helps with acclimatization to altitudes. It is possible to buy beers, soft drinks at the huts - the price increases the higher you go! Dinner and overnight at Mandara Hut. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 3: Horombo - Horombo Hut, 12 136 feet. Continue climb to Horombo Hut (3,700m). A steep sometimes wet, 20 min walk through the upper part of the rainforest, followed by a 2km section of tall giant heather interspersed with large clumps of tussock grass. 15kms and approximately 5 hrs from Mandara. The vegetation will have changed to stunted clumps of heather, the 'everlasting' flowers and short tussock grasses.
Lobelia and groundsels occupy the wetter areas. If you plan to take "Diamox", either take it this morning, or the following morning. Side effects include tingling of fingers , toes - extremities of the body, and of course you will urinate a lot - it is vital to keep your fluid intake high. Minimum 2 liter of water, plus tea, soups and juices. We suggest you do not take Diamox at night! Dinner and overnight at Horombo Hut. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 4: Kibo - Kibo Hut, 15 416 feet. Continue climb, the path traverses west, before turning northwards towards a col between Middle Red Hill and the Triplets. It then turns west for the final 3km to Kibo Hut (15,416 feet). Dinner and overnight at Kibo Hut. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 5: Horombo - Horombo Hut, 19 344 feet. Very early start for the final ascent. The start of this section is done in the dark. Please ensure you take a good torch and spare batteries. A 4-5hr slow walks up increasingly steep scree to Gillman's Point (18,663 feet). From here a 1-2hrs walk around the crater rim to Uhuru Peak (19,344 feet). After the assault on the peak descend to Horombo Hut. This is an incredibly long and tiring day - make sure you carry lots of water for the ascent - your water bottle will probably freeze on your back, so cover it with a sock or something! Keep your camera under your jacket, as close to your body as possible, otherwise the batteries may go flat. Dinner and overnight at Horombo Hut LDBB.
Day 6: Moshi - Ameg Lodge. After breakfast return to the Park Gates. Transferred back to Hotel in Moshi. Dinner and overnight at Ameg Lodge. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 7: Depart. Breakfast at your hotel. Depending with the mode of transfer and time, you will be picked from your hotel and transfer to your respective destinations.
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