Day 1: Arrival Arusha
Pick up at bus station and transfer to your hotel in Arusha. Catch your first glimpse of Mt Kilimanjaro, rising high above the East African plains, while you wander about the town making last minute preparations for your big trek ahead. Tonight, you will get briefed on your upcoming trek. Overnight in Arusha.
Day 2: Arusha - Mandara Hut
Drive from Arusha to the Marangu Gate at Kilimanjaro National Park Gate [1,860m] on the eastern side of the mountain. The trek begins through dense rainforests of tall eucalyptuses where many species of birds and colobus monkeys can be sighted jumping through the canopy. Reach Mandara Hut [2,750m] where you will enjoy your evening meal and overnight.
Day 3: Mandara Hut - Horombo Hut
You will start hiking through rainforests and then through mountain heathland, where you will view unique giant lobelias and groundsels, some of which are over 3 meters high! You will then continue on, as the landscape turns into low shrubs and moorlands. As you get to Horombo Hut [3,700m], you will have amazing views of the Mawenzi, Kibo massifs and Masai steppe. Enjoy your evening meal and overnight.
Day 4: Horombo Hut - Zebra Rocks - Horombo Hut
Today will be an acclimatization day so your body can adjust to the altitude, which will greatly improve your chances of reaching the summit. Have a relaxing breakfast and then set off on a 2-4 hour trek to Zebra rocks situated at 3,980m. The rocks are named for their distinctive black and white zebra-like stripes. Return back to Horombo Hut where lunch will be waiting for you. Enjoy some free time this afternoon to relax and charge your batteries for the strenuous trekking days ahead. Have your evening meal and overnight.
Day 5: Horombo Hut - Kibo Hut
Today’s hike will be long and tough as you begin climbing past the “last water point” and the “saddle” into the plant-less plateau with a rocky moon-like landscape. You will cross the surprisingly wide saddle of alpine desert connecting Mawenzi and Kibo. Remember to drink a lot of water and move slowly to prevent altitude sickness. Reach Kibo Hut [4,700m] and go to bed early so you can get lots of rest before beginning your ascent to the summit tomorrow.
Day 6: Kibo Hut - Uhuru Peak - Horombo Hut
Today is the big “summit day”! You will be woken in the middle of the night around 12:00 - 1:00 am and begin your trek along frozen lava ash in the dark towards the summit. Climb along the rocky path passing the Hans Meyer Cave [5,200m] and then reach Gilman’s Point [5,715m] on the crater room at dawn. Appreciate a breathtaking sunrise with views over the impressive crater and the plains down below. After another 1-2 hours you will find yourself standing on the “Roof of Africa” at the great Kilimanjaro’s dizzying Uhuru Peak! [5,895m] On the summit, enjoy your accomplishment in total exhilaration as you admire the magnificent views of the surrounding plains. Once you have taken in this outstanding view, descend back to Kibo Hut where a rewarding warm meal awaits you. Take a 1-2 break and regain your strength so you can descend further to Horombo Hut [3,700m] arriving in the afternoon. The return to Horombo Hut will seem surprisingly fast compared to the tough ascent of the last days. After a 14-hour journey today, have your evening meal and tuck into bed early to rest up and recover from your big adventure!
Day 7: Horombo Hut - Marangu Gate - Arusha
Have breakfast this morning and bid farewell to your mountain crew. Descend back down through moorlands and lush forests to Mandara Hut [2,700m] where lunch awaits you. Then continue down through lush rainforest to reach the Mount Kilimanjaro Marangu Gate [1,860m]. Get your Kilimanjaro trekking certificate and then meet your driver who will take you back to Arusha where you will be able to take a long and rewarding warm shower. Enjoy the rest of the day to relax, celebrate your big achievement and share photos with the rest of your group.
Day 8: Arusha
Transfer to the bus station for your departure. You will leave with incredible memories that will last a lifetime!