Day 1: Arrival in Nairobi and transfer to a Nairobi Hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 2: Transfer to base Hotel for dinner and overnight. Evening briefing and packing of mountain gear.
Day 3: After completing the necessary registration formalities at Londorossi National Park gate, we drive a short distance on a steep track through farmland and plantations (2,800 m), and continue climbing steadily on foot through shrub forest and stands of giant heather to reach the rim of Shira Plateau (3,350 m). The views across the surrounding plains open out as we climb and our first camp is in the center of the plateau at “Shira One” (3,550 m).
Day 4: An easy day to help acclimatisation and to explore the grassy moorland and the volcanic rock formations of the plateau. We walk to the summit of Shira Cathedral (3,750 m), a huge buttress of rock surrounded by steep spires and pinnacles. There is a tangible sense of wilderness here (especially when the afternoon mists come in) and the views from our camp near Shira Hut (3,840 m) of Mt. Meru floating on the clouds are simply unforgettable.
Day 5: We explore beneath the Northern Icefields, an area almost totally unvisited by tourists and with unusual views of Kibo. The morning walk is a steady climb away from the moorland of Shira Plateau to reach the broad upland desert beneath the Lent Hills, with expansive views in all directions. After lunch in our camp close to Moir Hut (4,200 m), there is the option of a more strenuous afternoon walk to reach the summit of the Lent Hills (4,700 m) or time to enjoy our peaceful campsite. Few visitors get to this remote corner of Kilimanjaro.
Day 6: A morning of gentle ascent and panoramic views, walking on lava ridges beneath the glaciers of the Western Breach. After lunch at our Lava Tower campsite (4,550 m), there is a steep and spectacular afternoon walk on the rocky lower slopes of the Western Breach to reach the ruins of the old hut at Arrow Glacier (4,800 m). This afternoon excursion is highly recommended both for acclimatisation purposes and for the superb views of hanging glaciers on both sides of the Breach. The evening sunset views are the mark of yet another spectacular campsite.
Day 7: A steep descent into the bottom of the Great Barranco valley (3,900 m), sheltered by towering cliffs and with extensive views of the plains far below. A short climb up the famed Barranco Wall leads us to an undulating trail on the south-eastern flank of Kibo, with superb vistas of the Southern Icefields. The terrain is volcanic scree, with pockets of lush vegetation in sheltered hollows, and a powerful sense of mountain wilderness. Our next camp is at Karanga (4,000 m), the last water point on the approach to Barafu, in a narrow valley. There is plenty of time to rest, or for an acclimatisation walk in the afternoon up the valley above the camp towards the glaciers of the Southern Icefields.
Day 8: A short but steep climb out of Karanga valley, following an easy path on compacted scree with wide views that gains altitude unrelentingly to reach the Barafu campsite (4,600 m) for lunch. During the afternoon, other walkers will begin to fill the campsite for the first time in our trip. There is a short acclimatisation walk to the plateau at the bottom of the South-East valley (4,800 m). The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent before a very early night. Spectacular scene at Mt Kilimanjaro Giraffe near Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Day 9: We will start our ascent by torchlight around midnight so that we can be up on the Crater rim by sunrise. The steep climb over loose volcanic scree has some well-graded zig-zags and a slow but steady pace will take us to Stella Point (5,735 m), in about five or six hours. We will rest there for a short time to enjoy 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 (5,896 m), passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. The descent to Barafu is surprisingly fast, and after some refreshment, we continue to descend to reach our final campsite (3,100 m) at Mweka. Most of us will be too tired to notice the beauty of the forest surrounding the crowded campsite.
Day 10: A sustained descent on a well constructed path through lovely tropical forest alive with birdsong and boasting lush undergrowth with considerable botanical interest. Our route winds down to the National Park gate at Mweka (1,650 m) and on to Mweka village. Transfer to Ilboru safari Lodge for dinner and overnight.
Day 11: Transfer to Kilimanjaro airport for departure. Tailor made safari options after your climb can be organized for interested parties.
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Africa Tanzania Outdoor: Mountain Ranger Mountain/Rock Climbing
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