DAY 1 – Umbwe Gate 1800 m – Umbwe Caves 2850 m
Habitat: Montana Rainforest
Hiking Time: 5-6 hrs
After getting breakfast, we drive up to the Machame park gate to obtain climbing permits and then we drive back to Umbwe gate for 1.5hrs. In the Umbwe gate you can measure your luggage and show your permit. Then, we start to ascend in the Montana forest through the tree roots. After leaving the road, we reach the first lunch stop called Sarumba Camp, which is place where the porters fill the water for your collection before we reach the Umbwe Caves because there is no water in the Caves.
After 3hrs from this stage we complete trekking through the Montana forest to start trekking through heather and moorland. This is a sign that you are now close to the Umbwe Caves which is roughly ten minutes away. More a glorified overhang than a proper cave, the adjacent campsite dribbles up the ridge and is a rather charming spot, a quiet place hidden in the upper reaches of the forest where your porters and chefs are ready for you to camp overnight.
DAY 2 – Umbwe Caves 2850 m – Barranco Camp 3950 m
Habitat: Heather & Moorland
Hiking Time 3-4 hrs
Early in the morning after getting breakfast you start the ascent to Baranco Camp. This path is short but is very steep on our way to the Baranco Camp as we tackle the Jiwe La Kamba/Rop Stone surfaces 45mins after leaving the Umbwe Caves. The trail goes through to the end of the Montana forest to a magical stretch of giant heather & moorland zone where giant groundsels and other strange plants on Kilimanjaro grow in abundance.
The walking is pretty much uphill all the way through, including many turns that are tedious rather than technical although this is nothing to fear. By the end you will have reached the Baranco Campsite, a wonderful sooted area at the junction of number of routes which lay on the border of the alpine desert. From here then you can have a lunch served by your chefs, and the tent will be ready for rest and camp overnight.
DAY 3 – Barranco Camp 3950 m – Karanga Camp 3630 m
Habitat: Alpine Desert
Distance: 12 km
Hiking Time: 7-8 hrs
After spending a night in Great Barranco Wall, you have to make your way up the rock face, this is not as easy as it seems and you may require assistance. Then you will top out just below the Heim Glacier. You can now appreciate just how beautiful Kilimanjaro really is. The route then heads down through the Karanga Valley, the last water stop on the route over intervening ridges and valleys before it joins up with the Mweka route, the preferred route down the summit. We overnight at Karanga.
DAY 4 – Karanga Camp 3630 m – Barafu Camp 4600 m
Habitat: Moorland & Desert
Hiking Time: 3 hrs
After finishing breakfast you start the steep hill to ascend to Barafu Camp, this day is short but you will experience some mist and wind along the way. Then after 1.5hrs you will be near the Barafu Camp. Barafu is the Swahili word for ice. To get here, you will ascend up to ridge to 4600m to spend the night exposed to the over present gates in tents pitched on narrow and stony ridge.
DAY 5 – Barafu Camp 4600 m – Uhuru Peak 5895 m – Mweka Camp 3100 m
Habitat: Scree & Ice-capped Summit
Hiking Time: 9-10 hrs to reach Uhuru Peak & 6-7 hrs to descend to Mweka
We leave around midnight, between 2300-2330hrs to ascend through heavy scree to Stella Point (5568 m) on the crater rim. Here we stop for a short rest and, weather permitting, youll experience the most magnificent sunrise you are very likely to see. Then you start your summit attempt, ascending for about 2hrs to Uhuru Peak (5895 m), the highest point in Africa. Enjoy stunning views of the ice wall, then descend back down to rest before heading down to Mweka Camp (3100 m) to overnight in the upper rain forest.
DAY 6 – Mweka Camp 3100 m – Mweka Gates
Distance: 15 km
Hiking Time: 3 hrs
After an early and well deserved breakfast is a short 3hrs scenic hike bake to the Mweka Park gates. Those who reached Stella Point and Uhuru Peak are awarded with Certificate of Completion. Then, you are transferred back to your hotel for a long overdue hot shower with time to relax.
DAY 3 – Barranco Camp 3950 m – Lava Tower 4720 m
Hiking Time: 3-4 hrs
After finishing breakfast, we start on a steep hill to the desert place up to the lava tower. This can be a very tough day requiring strong climbers. After 3hrs you will arrive at the Lava Tower (4720 m) which is located with a big stone in the left side of the campsite, where your porters and chefs will be ready for you to camp and get lunch. After finishing lunch, we acclimatize to the altitude then head back to the camp for dinner and overnight stay.
DAY 4 – Lava Tower 4720 m Arrow Glacier 4871 m
Hiking Time: 2-3 hrs
After finishing breakfast, we start climbing a steep hill. Please note that it is quite exhausting being uphill the entire trek. After crossing two streams of water before climbing the steep route in southeastern direction to treetop of a ridge, you will be closing your distance to the Arrow Glacier. Soon you will pass an old trail running directly from the Lava Tower to the Western Bridge whereby you will see a camping area to meet your chefs and porters and ready yourself for lunch and dinner. For climbers wishing to stay overnight in the crater rim, please be sure to ask KiliSmile Trails for more information.
DAY 5 – Arrow Glacier 4871 m Uhuru Peak 5895 m – Millenium Camp 3700 m
Early in the morning at approx. 0200 hours you will be start to ready yourself for tea and biscuits, then ascend to the summit at Uhuru Peak (5895 m) at 0300 hours. This is the shortest way to reach the top by using Western Bridge way, although its too tough to catch stones when ascending to the top. After 4hrs you pass your way to the crater area (5729 m) where you and other climbers will proceed for 1hr until you reach Uhuru Peak (5895 m). Your porters and chefs will not use this same route, instead they descend via Barranco and Karanga to the Millennium Camp (3700 m) where you will get lunch and dinner, and stay overnight.
DAY 6 – Millenium Camp 3700 m – Mweka Gates
Habitat: Heather & Moorland / Montana Forest
Hiking Time: 4-5 hrs
After finishing breakfast, this day will be spent descending back to town/your hotel. You will pass the heather & moorland area, including Montana forest. This day you will go to the Mweka Gates via the Mweka Hut, where those who reached Uhuru Peak are awarded a Certificate of Completion, then it will be time to return to the hotel to shower and celebrate.