Our Kilimanjaro adventure starts today in the peaceful surrounds of our comfortable pre and post-trek accommodation in Moshi - the Weru Weru River Lodge.
Your trek Leader plans to meet everyone in the hotel reception at 5 pm for the welcome meeting which will include a full trek briefing. Afterwards we'll enjoy an included group dinner together at the lodge. There are no other activities planned for today. It is important to try and arrive in time for the briefing which includes essential information about your trek. However, if you do miss it, your Leader will inform you of any essential information as soon as you catch up.
If you would like an airport transfer today, you'll need to arrive into Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), which is around 45 minutes' drive from our hotel.
If you arrive earlier today, the Lodge has a swimming pool and garden where you can relax with some great views of the Mount Kilimanjaro. Stay: Weru Weru River Lodge (Comfortable) (D)
After a drive through farmland and plantations we reach the Londorossi National Park Gate on the western side of Kilimanjaro. We continue from there to the Lemosho roadhead at 2100 metres/6890 feet from where we start our trek up the mountain. We will climb steadily through the lush forest of the Lemosho Glades to reach Big Tree Camp (2780 metres/9121 feet). Porters will assist throughout the trek carrying your trek kitbag. You only need to carry what you will need for the day - waterproofs, camera, water bottle, extra fleece, sunhat, packed lunch and 3 litres of drinking water. Please note that drones are not permitted in Kilimanjaro National Park without a permit, please refer to the equipment section of the trip notes for more information.
Today's 7 kilometres/4.4 miles trek is expected to take approximately 3 to 4 hours with an ascent of 680 metres/2231 feet. Stay: Big Tree Forest Camp (Simple) (B/L/D)
Today we trek across a plateau of grassy moorland and heather scattered with volcanic rock formations. Our destination for today is the camp at Shira One (3500 metres/11484 feet), from where there are often views of Kibo Peak, seemingly floating on the clouds. We gain a reasonable amount of altitude today and parts of the route are fairly steep.
Today's 8.5 kilometres/5.3 miles trek is expected to take approximately 4 to 5 hours with an ascent of 720 metres/2362 feet. Stay: Shira 1 Camp (Simple) (B/L/D)
Today we have the chance to view the Northern Ice fields from the western side of the mountain with some unusual views of Kibo. Our steady climb across the moorland of the Shira Plateau will help with acclimatisation and we enjoy great panoramic views. Our tents will be set up for us at the Shira 2 Camp (3900 metres/12796 feet). In the afternoon there's the option to take an acclimatisation walk to the junction of the trail to the Moir Hut.
The 8 kilometres/5.0 miles trek between the camps at Shira 1 and 2 is expected to take approximately 5 hours with an ascent of 400 metres/1312 feet. The afternoon acclimatisation trek is for an additional 1 to 2 hours. Stay: Shira 2 Camp (Simple) (B/L/D)
Today's walk is longer and perfect for our acclimatisation as we will ascend to a high point of 4640 metres/15224 feet before descending to a lower altitude for the night. Our trek starts with an ascent with far-reaching panoramic views, walking in to the climatic zone of the upland desert and on the lava ridges beneath the glaciers of the Western Breach. We reach the distinct pinnacle of the Lava Tower (4640 metres/14224 feet), our high point for the day and a great place to enjoy a leisurely lunch. In the afternoon we make a steep descent to our camp for the night, located in the base of the Great Barranco Valley (3960 metres/12993 feet), sheltered by towering cliffs but with extensive views of the plains below.
Today's 10 kilometres/6.2 miles trek is expected to take approximately 7 to 8 hours with an ascent of 740 metres/2428 feet and descent of 680 metres/2231 feet. Stay: Barranco Camp (Simple) (B/L/D)
Today's trek starts with a steep ascent of the Barranco Wall, a rocky cliff almost 260 metres/853 feet high, that is believed to have been created by a huge landslide around 100,000 years ago. The trail wends its way up the 'Wall' and there are sections of what could be termed as light scrambling where you will be pulling yourself up over the rocks and it's easiest to put your trekking poles away. You don't need any technical ability and we will take it slowly. The climb leads to an undulating trail on the south eastern side of Kibo; if we are lucky with the weather there will be great views of the Southern Ice Fields. The terrain ranges from volcanic scree to pockets of lush vegetation as we make our descent into the Karanga Valley followed by an ascent to our campsite at 4035 metres/13239 feet. This valley is the last water point on the approach to Barafu.
Today's 6 kilometres/3.7 miles trek from the Barranco Valley to Karanga is expected to take approximately 4 to 5 hours with an ascent of 360 metres/1181 feet and descent of 185 metres/607 feet. Stay: Karanga Camp (Simple) (B/L/D)
This morning we make a steep climb out of the Karanga Valley following an easy path on compacted scree constantly gaining altitude with good views, until we reach our camp at Barafu (4640 metres/15224 feet). This afternoon we rest in preparation for the final night time ascent, and plan to get a very early night!
Today's 6 kilometres/3.7 miles trek is expected to take approximately 4 to 5 hours with an ascent of 605 metres/1985 feet. Stay: Barafu Camp (Simple) (B/L/D)
Today we make our final ascent to the summit at 5895 metres/19341 feet before descending over 2000 metres/6562 feet to our last camp site. It is undoubtedly a long and strenuous day, particularly with the high altitude and extreme cold. We plan to make a start around midnight as at this time the scree and potential snow are still frozen and our aim is to have summited and descended before the top layer of scree becomes wet and slippery. Our path zigzags up the scree and after passing Rebmann Glacier, we reach Stella Point (5685 metres/18652 feet) on the crater rim. Although at times you may be able to walk for only 10 paces before you have to stop and rest, there is no doubt that it is all worth it when you reach the top. From Stella Point we continue around the crater rim to Uhuru Peak, the highest point in Africa at 5895 metres/19341 feet. After time to enjoy your achievement and take those all important photographs at the famous summit sign, we descend back down the scree to Barafu Camp for a rest and something to eat. It's then a virtual continuous descent down to the Millennium Camp at 3790 metres/12435 feet where the air feels positively oxygen rich in comparison to where we have just ventured!
Today's walking totals 19.5 kilometres/12.1 miles and is expected to take up to 14 hours. The trek from Barafu Camp to Stella Point is an ascent of 1045 metres/3429 feet and will take around 5 to 6 hours, with the hike from here around the crater rim to Uhuru Peak (additional 210 metres/689 feet of ascent) taking another 1 to 2 hours. The trek down from the summit to Millennium Camp, (a total descent of 2105 metres/6907 feet), is expected to take approximately 5 to 6 hours (excluding the time spent resting at Barafu). Stay: Millennium Campsite (Simple) (B/L/D)
After a well-deserved night's sleep and rest, our final day on trek takes us down through the lush beauty of the rainforest, enjoying the increasing warmth and richness of the mountain air. The trail end is at the Mweka Gate (1630 metres/5348 feet) from where we travel by road to Moshi and back to the comforts of our lodge. We will have a well-earned lunch on arrival back in Moshi.
Today's 12 kilometres/7.5 miles trek is expected to take between approximately 4 to 6 hours and is a total descent of 2160 metres/7087 feet. Stay: Weru Weru River Lodge (Comfortable) (B/L/D)
After saying farewell to our Leader this morning, we are picked up after breakfast by our experienced driver/guide in Moshi and drive to the Tarangire National Park to start off our game viewing experience. Tarangire National Park is Tanzania's 5th largest park and is named after the life-giving Tarangire River that provides the only permanent water for wildlife in the area. The river is a magnet for wildlife during the dry season when massive concentrations of elephant, buffalo, wildebeest and zebra congregate along its banks. The Tarangire River runs up the centre of the park through diverse habitats and varied topography. Gentle rolling hills interspersed with giant baobab trees, open acacia woodlands and seasonal swamps provide a spectacular and picturesque setting. The most renowned feature of Tarangire is that it serves as a place of refuge for the largest elephant population in northern Tanzania. After a game drive around the park, we continue to the Bougainvillea Safari Lodge where we will be spending the next 2 nights.
The Tanzanian owned and operated lodge is located on the edge of Karatu town, just 15 minutes' drive from the main gate of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Its 32 comfortably furnished cottages are set among lushly landscaped gardens - a great place to relax and spot the many bird species that visit. There is also a swimming pool where you can take a refreshing post-safari dip. Wi-Fi is available. Each cottage has a mosquito-netted king or twin beds, fireplace, large bathroom with hot shower and a veranda. Meals at the camp will be prepared in the site kitchen by the camp staff. The on-site restaurant, serves up a tasty and generous array of simple dishes prepared from locally-sourced products. Dietary restrictions can be catered for with prior notice.
Please note that the 4 day safari at the end of the trip is designed as an extension to our Kilimanjaro trek. Whilst this safari has been designed to complement the trip, we wish to point out that this extension may not be a group experience, so you may not be travelling with other customers. Stay: Bougainvillea Safari Lodge (Comfortable) (B/L/D)
We leave the lodge early and head to the Ngorongoro crater for a full day of game viewing. Ngorongoro is a World Heritage Site and the world's largest intact volcanic caldera, the 600 metres/1969 feet high walls of the approximately 16 kilometres/9.9 miles wide crater create a natural amphitheatre for one of the densest populations of large animals anywhere. In one day it is possible to see a staggering array of East African wildlife including all the big carnivores. The crater lives up to its reputation with abundant and easily accessible wildlife and offers a reasonable chance to see lion, hyena or cheetah in action. After the morning game drive, we take a break to enjoy a packed lunch at the Hippo Pool picnic site before continuing with an afternoon game drive. In the early evening we drive back to our lodge for the night. Stay: Bougainvillea Safari Lodge (Comfortable) (B/L/D)
This morning we depart the lodge at around 0730 and head to the Lake Manyara National Park for our final game drive. Lake Manyara was formed as a result of the Great Rift Valley - over millions of years as the rift grew wider, streams cascaded down its continually eroding slopes and pooled into what is now the famous lake. Lake Manyara National Park is famous for its tree climbing lions and large flocks of flamingos. Lake Manyara also provides the perfect showcase for Tanzania's birdlife with more than 400 species of birds recorded in the area. After exploring around the beautiful lake and its surroundings we drive back to our lodge in Moshi for the final night of the trip. Stay: Weru Weru River Lodge (Comfortable) (B/L)
The trip ends today after breakfast at our lodge in Moshi. If you have an early morning flight you may have to leave before breakfast is available.
There are no activities planned for today and you are free to depart at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day luggage storage facilities are available at the lodge. If you would like an airport transfer today, you'll need to depart from Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), which is around 45 minutes' drive from our hotel. (B)