Barafu Tours and Safaris | Kilimanjaro Climbing Routes
  1. Marangu Route - 5 Days Known as the “Coca-Cola” route

    The Marangu route is a classic trek on Mount Kilimanjaro. It is the oldest, most well established route. Many favor the Marangu route because it is considered to be the easiest path on the mountain, given its gradual slope. It is also the only route which offers sleeping huts in dormitory style accommodations. The minimum days required for this route is five, although the probability of successfully reaching the top in that time period is quite low. Spending an extra acclimatization day on the mountain is highly recommended when climbing Klimanjaro using the Marangu route.

    However, despite its immense popularity, we avoid leading climbs on the Marangu route. The route has the least scenic variety of all the routes because the ascent and descent are done on the same path and it is the most crowded route for that reason. Marangu is favored only during the rainy season, where the hut accommodations are preferred over wet ground, or for those who only have five days to climb Kilimanjaro (which we do not recommend anyhow). Otherwise, the Marangu route is a poor choice.

    Day 1
    Mandara Hut (2,740m) – Horombo Hut (3700m) – (9,000ft to 12,100ft)

    After breakfast and briefing, drive to the Marangu village and proceed to Kilimanjaro National Park Gate (45 minutes), register at Kilimanjaro National Park Authority offices and commence the climb. Walk through the rainforest to the Mandara hut located at 9,000 ft / 2,740 m. A side trip to Maundi Crater is a good way to see the surroundings including Northern Tanzania.

    Day 2
    Marangu gate (1700m) – Mandara Hut 2740m – (5,500ft to 9,000ft)

    In the morning around 8:30 a.m after breakfast starting trekking to Horombo hut. After about 1 hour, you will leave the glades of the rainforest and follow an ascending path on the open moorlands to the Horombo hut. The view of Kibo summit and Mawenzi are both stunning and shinning in clear days. In most cases giant lobelias and grounsels are found on your way. Horombo hut is a point were most of the climbers uses it for acclimatization whereby they spend an extra day. Spending an extra day give a wide change for successful summit the roof of Africa.

    Day 3
    Horombo Hut (3700m) – Kibo Hut (4700m) – (12,100ft to 15,400ft)

    In the morning after breakfast the trek will take us to the last watering point, walking onto the saddle of Kilimanjaro between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi. Vegetation begins with upper heartland but then disappears into desert like structure. At Kibo you will have your dinner, take a nap and at the middle of the night around 23:30 hour prepare for summit climb.

    Day 4
    Kibo Hut (4,750m/15,580ft) to Summit (5,895m/19,340ft) to Horombo Hut (3,720m/12,200ft) Elevation Gain: 1,145 meters, 3,760 feet Elevation Loss: 2,175 meters, 7,140 feet

    Around midnight, awake for the final ascent to Uhuru Peak, the roof of Africa. The hike begins with a demanding five hour hike to Gillman’s Point on the crater rim. Although this is considered to be the easiest of the three crater ascent paths, it is still extremely difficult. The first major rest stop, William’s Point, lies at 5000 meters and is approximately a two hour hike Kibo Hut. Continue on for thirty minutes before beginning the rocky switchbacks that will continue to Gillman’s Point (5,681 meters). The hike from Gilman’s to Uhuru Peak is a gradual climb and as far as hikes go, not very difficult. The altitude, however, makes the hike long and tiring. The crater rim hike takes approximately two hours. Upon reaching Uhuru, take photos of your guide and group at the peak before beginning the descent to Horombo Hut. On the way down from the summit, you will see all of the magnificent views you could not see on the way up. Stop for a short break and snacks at Kibo Hut before continuing on to Horombo Hut. Reach Horombo Hut in the afternoon and enjoy your last night on the mountain.

    Day 5
    Horombo Hut (3,720m/12,200ft) to Marangu Gate (1,800m/5,905ft) Elevation Loss: 1,920 meters, 6,295 feet

    After breakfast, finish the trek with a descent to Marangu Gate. Your last hike on Kilimanjaro is a beautiful one, passing through Kilimanjaro’s cloud forest. Watch your step during the descent, as the trail can be slippery. Our vehicles will be waiting at Marangu Gate to take you back to Moshi.

    PRICE::: Check the table in standard package above
  2. Marangu Route - 6 Days

    Day 1
    Marangu Gate (1,800m/5,905ft) to Mandara Hut (2,743m/9,000ft) Elevation Gain: 915 meters, 3,000 feet

    Leave Moshi at 8am for Marangu Gate. After completing gate registration, begin your Kilimanjaro trek. Walk along a narrow trail through the rainforest of Kilimanjaro for most of the hike. Eat a picnic lunch at Kisambioni, day one’s halfway point. After lunch continue walking through the rainforest until reaching Mandara Hut. Relax for the rest of the day or take a short walk to Maundi Crater. The views to the east over Taveta and to the northwest to Mawenzi Peak are stunning on a clear day, making the short hike well worth the effort. The A-frame Mandara Huts can accommodate up to seventy people and consist of several sleeping huts and a dining area. All of Marangu’s huts have beds with mattresses.

    Day 2
    Mandara Hut (2,743m/9,000ft) to Horombo Hut (3,720m/12,200ft) Elevation Gain: 977 meters, 3,200 feet

    After breakfast, leave Mandara Hut and Kilimanjaro’s forests for Horombo Hut. Most of the day’s hike will be through Kilimanjaro’s moorland, a rocky landscape with desert-like plants. Eat a picnic lunch at Kambi ya Taabu before continuing to Horombo Hut. If the weather is clear, enjoy beautiful views of Mawenzi and Kibo peaks. Arrive at Horombo Hut at around 3pm and spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing. Although extremely busy, the Horombo Huts are considered to be the nicest on Kilimanjaro. The small, A-frame buildings can accommodate up to eight people each and provide lodging for hikers ascending, descending and acclimatizing. Horombo can accommodate up to one hundred hikers and many more porters, cooks and guides.

    Day 3
    Horombo Hut (3,720m/12,200ft) to Mawenzi Hut (4,600m/15,100ft) to Horombo Hut (3,720m/12,200ft) Elevation Gain and Loss: 880 meters, 2,900 feet

    Day three is an acclimatization day. We suggest hiking all the way to Mawenzi Hut to allow for maximum acclimatization. The hike will increase your chances of reaching Uhuru Peak, and also reward you with magnificent views of Kibo. Return to Horombo for a late lunch. Spend the afternoon and evening relaxing at Horombo.

    Day 4
    Horombo Hut (3,720m/12,200ft) to Kibo Hut (4,750m/15,580ft) Elevation Gain: 1,030 meters, 3,380 feet

    Leave Horombo Hut after breakfast to hike through the moorland and alpine desert of Kilimanjaro’s upper altitudes. After hiking for about an hour arrive at Maua River, a small mountain stream. After Maua, the terrain becomes flatter and the vegetation begins to disappear. Break for lunch at Middle Red Hill. After lunch, continue on a steady incline for another two hours through Kilimanjaro’s Saddle. Although the environment on the way to Kibo is a bleak desert with little vegetation, you will see many stunning views of Kibo and Mawenzi peaks. Reach Kibo Hut around 3pm to rest and prepare for your midnight climb.

    Day 5
    Kibo Hut (4,750m/15,580ft) to Summit (5,895m/19,340ft) to Horombo Hut (3,720m/12,200ft) Elevation Gain: 1,145 meters, 3,760 feet Elevation Loss: 2,175 meters, 7,140 feet

    Around midnight, awake for the final ascent to Uhuru Peak, the roof of Africa. The hike begins with a demanding five hour hike to Gillman’s Point on the crater rim. Although this is considered to be the easiest of the three crater ascent paths, it is still extremely difficult. The first major rest stop, William’s Point, lies at 5000 meters and is approximately a two hour hike Kibo Hut. Continue on for thirty minutes before beginning the rocky switchbacks that will continue to Gillman’s Point (5,681 meters). The hike from Gilman’s to Uhuru Peak is a gradual climb and as far as hikes go, not very difficult. The altitude, however, makes the hike long and tiring. The crater rim hike takes approximately two hours. Upon reaching Uhuru, take photos of your guide and group at the peak before beginning the descent to Horombo Hut. On the way down from the summit, you will see all of the magnificent views you could not see on the way up. Stop for a short break and snacks at Kibo Hut before continuing on to Horombo Hut. Reach Horombo Hut in the afternoon and enjoy your last night on the mountain.

    Day 6
    Horombo Hut (3,720m/12,200ft) to Marangu Gate (1,800m/5,905ft) Elevation Loss: 1,920 meters, 6,295 feet

    After breakfast, finish the trek with a descent to Marangu Gate. Your last hike on Kilimanjaro is a beautiful one, passing through Kilimanjaro’s cloud forest. Watch your step during the descent, as the trail can be slippery. Our vehicles will be waiting at Marangu Gate to take you back to Moshi.

  3. Machame Route - 6 Days

    Day 1

    We will pick you up from your hotel in Arusha at 0800 and drive to the Machame Gate. After registration and clearances, begin your trek through a spectacular forest area, reaching Machame Camp after 6 or 7 hours. There you will have dinner and overnight (2,700M- 8,856 Ft) Meal Plan: {L, D}

    Day 2

    After a short descent, you will begin your trek towards Shira Cathedral. Continuing on, you will pass by a superb bivi cave, just before arriving at Shira Camp, at 3,700 meters (about 12,136 Ft), where you will have dinner and overnight. Today’s climb is about 5-6 hours. Meal Plan: {B, L, D}

    Day 3

    Trek from Shira camp to Baranco Camp. You will have dinner and overnight at Baranco Camp. Baranco is 3,950 M, about 12,950 Ft) Meal Plan: {B, L, D}

    Day 4

    Trek from Baranco Camp to Barafu Hut (4,550 M, about 14,920Ft) where you will overnight before your ascent to Uhuru Peak. (5,896 M, about 19,340 Ft) Meal Plan: {B, L, D}

    Day 5

    Shortly after midnight, arise and begin the final ascent to Uhuru Peak. You will then begin your descent to Mweka Hut, 3,100 M, about 10,170 Ft), where you will have dinner and overnight. Meal Plan: {B, L, D}

    Day 6

    After completing your descent to Mweka Gate, you will receive your Summit Certificate and transfer back to your hotel. Meal Plan: {B, L}

  4. Machame Route - 7 Days

    Day 1

    We will pick you up from your hotel in Arusha at 0800 and drive to the Machame Gate. After registration and clearances, begin your trek through a spectacular forest area, reaching Machame Camp after 6 or 7 hours. There you will have dinner and overnight (2,700M- 8,856 Ft) Meal Plan: {L, D}

    Day 2

    After a short descent, you will begin your trek towards Shira Cathedral. Continuing on, you will pass by a superb bivi cave, just before arriving at Shira Camp, at 3,700 M (about 12,025 Ft), where you will have dinner and overnight. Today’s climb is about 5-6 hours. Start about 8:30 and trek until about 1:30. Meal Plan: {B, L, D}

    Day 3

    Trek from Shira camp to Baranco Camp via Lava Tower.Starting at 8 Am until 1:30 PM. You will have dinner and overnight at Baranco Camp. During the day you will climb to 4,200 M (13,650 Ft), then descend to 3,950 M (about 11,850 Ft) at Baranco Camp for overnight. Meal Plan: {B, L, D}

    Day 4

    Trek from Baranco Camp starting at about 8:30 AM to Karanga Valley, 4,100 M (about 13,325 Ft.). You will arrive about 11:30 AM. Meal Plan: {B, L, D}

    Day 5

    Beginning about 8:30 AM, trek to Barafu camp, 4,550 M (about 14,788 Ft), arriving about 12:30 PM., where you will remain until your final ascent to the top. Meal Plan: {B, L, D}

    Day 6

    Shortly after midnight, arise and begin the final ascent to Uhuru Peak. You will then begin your ascent to Uhuru Peak, 5,896 M (about 19,620 Ft) about 12:30 AM and arrive at the summit at sunrise, about 7 AM. You will descend to Mweka Camp 3,100 M (9,300 Ft). Meal Plan: {B, L, D}

    Day 7

    After completing your descent to Mweka Gate, arriving by about noon. You will receive your Summit Certificate and transfer back to your hotel. Meal Plan: {B, L}

  5. Rongai Route - 6 Days

    The Rongai Route is the only route that approaches Kilimanjaro from the north, near the Kenyan border. Rongai's ascent profile is very similar to that of Marangu. It is one of Kilimanjaro's easier routes. The climb to the top is gradual and steady. However, unlike Marangu, this route has low crowds and passes through remote wilderness areas. It is probably the only route where seeing wildlife in the first days is possible.

    DAY 1

    After completing the necessary registration formalities at Marangu National Park gate, we transfer to Rongai. The climb begins from Nale Moru (1,950 m) on a small path that winds through fields of maize and potatoes before entering pine forest. The track then starts to climb consistently, but gently through attractive forest that shelters a variety of wildlife, including the beautiful Kilimanjaro Colobus monkey. These monkeys are black with a long ‘cape’ of white hair and a flowing white tail. The forest begins to thin out and the first camp Rongai One (SIMBA), is at the edge of the moorland zone (2,600 m) with extensive views over the Kenyan plains.
    [3-4 hours walking]

    DAY 2

    The morning walk is a steady ascent up to the ‘Second Cave’ (3,450 m) with superb views of Kibo and the Eastern icefields on the crater rim. After lunch, we leave the main trail and strike out across the moorland on a smaller path towards Second cave camp.
    [6 hours walking]

    DAY 3

    A short but steep climb is rewarded by superb all round views and a tangible sense of wilderness. We leave vegetation behind shortly before reaching the next camp at Thirdy cave (4,330 m), spectacularly situated in a cirque directly beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi. The afternoon will be free to rest or explore the surrounding area as an aid to acclimatisation.
    [4-5 hours walking]

    DAY 4

    We cross the lunar desert of the ‘Saddle’ between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach Kibo campsite (4,700 m) at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent before a very early night!
    [5-6 hours walking]

    DAY 5

    We will start the final, and by far the steepest and most demanding, part of the climb by torchlight around 1 a.m. We plod very slowly in the darkness on a switchback trail through loose volcanic scree to reach the crater rim at Gillman’s Point (5,685 m) We will rest there for a short time to enjoy the spectacular sunrise over Mawenzi. Those who are still feeling strong can make the three hour round trip 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 Kibo (4,700 m) is surprisingly fast and, after some refreshment, we continue the descent to reach Horombo Camp (3,720 m).
    [11-15 hours walking]

    DAY 6

    After breakfast, finish the trek with a descent to Marangu Gate. Your last hike on Kilimanjaro is a beautiful one, passing through Kilimanjaro's cloud forest. Watch your step during the descent, as the trail can be slippery. Our vehicles will be waiting at the lower station of Marangu Gate to take you back to Moshi. At the Gate gate you sign your name and details in a register book. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Those climbers who reached Gilmans Point are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m), receive Golden certificates.
    You now drive back to Moshi for a long overdue hot shower, dinner descent bed and celebrations!!
    [5-6 hours walking]

  6. Rongai Route - 7 Days

    The Rongai Route is the only route that approaches Kilimanjaro from the north, near the Kenyan border. Rongai's ascent profile is very similar to that of Marangu. It is one of Kilimanjaro's easier routes. The climb to the top is gradual and steady. However, unlike Marangu, this route has low crowds and passes through remote wilderness areas. It is probably the only route where seeing wildlife in the first days is possible.

    Day 1:
    Rongai Gate (1,800m/5,900ft) to First Cave Camp (2,600m/8,400ft) Elevation Gain: 760 meters, 2,000 feet

    After an early breakfast in Moshi, drive to the Rongai Gate near the Kenya border. After registering at the gate, begin your climb to Uhuru Peak, the roof of Africa. During the first day, hike through forests where you may see and hear wildlife. Eat lunch on the trail before continuing to the first campsite. Rongai ascends via the less forested northern side of the mountain. Rongai Route is one of the least crowded routes on Kilimanjaro because of the long drive to the gate. The Rongai trail is thought to have the best chance of viewing wildlife.

    Day 2:
    Second Cave Camp (2,600m/8,400ft) to Kikelewa Camp (3,600m/11,810ft) Elevation Gain: 1,000 meters, 3,280 feet

    During day two hike through Kilimanjaro's moorland. The Rongai route is relatively short and steep, making for shorter hiking times. During this day, view Mawenzi Peak ahead.

    Day 3:
    Kikelewa Camp (3,600m/11,810ft) to Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4,330m/14,200ft) Elevation Gain: 730 meters, 2,390 feet

    This day is an acclimatization day, allowing you to hike in the beginning of the day and rest in the afternoon and evening. The hike is relatively short but steep. The Mawenzi Tarn campsite is situated below Mawenzi Peak and offers stunning views of both Mawenzi and Kibo.

    Day 4:
    Mawenzi Tarn Camp

    Day four is an acclimatization day at Mawenzi Tarn. We advise hiking a bit higher this day before returning to Mawenzi Tarn in the afternoon.

    Day 5:
    Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4,330m/14,200ft) to Kibo Camp (4,750m/15,580ft) Elevation Gain: 420 meters/1380 feet

    Cross the lunar landscape of the saddle on this day to arrive at the final campsite. Kibo Camp is situated directly below the Kibo cone, giving you views of your final destination.

    Day 6:
    Kibo Camp (4,750m/15,580ft) to Uhuru Peak (5,895m/19,340ft) to Horombo Hut (3,720m/12,200ft) Elevation Gain: 1,145 meters, 3,760 feet Elevation Loss: 2,175 meters, 7,140 feet

    Around midnight, begin the final ascent to Uhuru Peak, the highest point in Africa. For the next six hours, hike by the light of your flashlight. The ascent to the crater rim is the most challenging part of the entire trek. The trail is very steep until you reach the crater rim at Gilman's Point. The hike from Gilman's to Uhuru Peak is a gradual climb and, as far as hikes go, not very difficult. The altitude, however, makes the hike long and tiring. The crater rim hike takes approximately two hours. Upon reaching Uhuru, take photos of your guide and group at the peak before beginning the descent to Horombo Hut.

    Day 7:
    Horombo Hut (3,720m/12,200ft) to Marangu Gate (1,800m/5,905ft) Elevation Loss: 1,920 meters, 6,295 feet

    After breakfast, finish the trek with a descent to Marangu Gate. Your last hike on Kilimanjaro is a beautiful one, passing through Kilimanjaro's cloud forest. Watch your step during the descent, as the trail can be slippery. Our vehicles will be waiting at Marangu Gate to take you back to Moshi.

  7. Lemosho Route - 7 Days

    Day 1

    We will pick you up from your hotel in Arusha at 0800 and drive to the Londross Gate to obtain permits and clearance After registration and clearance, begin your trek trek to Forest Camp where you will have dinner and overnight (3-4 hours of trekking). (2,650 M) Meal Plan: {L, D}

    Day 2

    Trek from Forest Camp to Shira 1 Camp, 4-5 hours of trekking, where you will have dinner and overnight. 3,610 M) Meal Plan: {B, L, D}

    Day 3

    Today you have a 3-4 hour trek from Shira 1 to Shira 2 Camp where you will have dinner and overnight. (3,840M) Meal Plan: {B, L, D}

    Day 4

    From Shire 2 Camps, trek about 6 hours to Barranco Camp (3,950 M) for dinner and overnight. Meal Plan: {B, L, D}

    Day 5

    Today you will trek from Barranco to Barafu Camp. You will have dinner and overnight at Barafu (4,550 M). Meal Plan: {B, L, D}

    Day 6

    You will rise shortly after midnight to begin your final ascent to the top of Kilimanjaro. You should reach the summit by sunrise after about 4 hours and then descend to Mweka Camp 3,100 M (4 hours) for dinner and overnight. Meal Plan: {B, L, D}

    Day 7

    Today it will be about 3-4 hours to reach the Mweka Gate where you receive your Summit Certificate and drive back to Arusha and your hotel. Meal Plan: {B, L}

  8. Lemosho Route - 8 Days

    Day 1

    We will pick you up from your hotel in Arusha at 0800 and drive to the Londross Gate to obtain permits and clearance. Today you will trek to Forest Camp where you will have dinner and overnight (3-4 hours of trekking). (2,650 M) Meal Plan: {L, D}

    Day 2

    Trek from Forest Camp to Shira 1 Camp, 4-5 hours of trekking, where you will have dinner and overnight. 3,610 M) Meal Plan: {B, L, D}

    Day 3

    Today you have a 3-4 hour trek from Shira 1 to Shira 2 Camp where you will have dinner and overnight. (3,840 M) Meal Plan: {B, L, D}

    Day 4

    From Shire 2 Camp, trek about 6 hours to Barranco Camp (3,950 M) for dinner and overnight. Meal Plan: {B, L, D}

    Day 5

    Trek from Baranco Camp starting at about 8:30 AM to Karanga Valley,( 4,100 M, about 13,450 Ft.). You will arrive about 11:30 AM. Meal Plan: {B, L, D}

    Day 6

    Today you will trek from Karanga Valley to Barafu Camp. You will have dinner and overnight at Barafu (4,550 M). Meal Plan: {B, L, D}

    Day 7

    You will rise shortly after midnight to begin your final ascent to the top of Kilimanjaro. You should reach the summit by sunrise after about 4 hours and then descend to Mweka Camp 3,100 M (4 hours) for dinner and overnight. Meal Plan: {B, L, D}

    Day 8

    Today it will be about 3-4 hours to reach the Mweka Gate where you can pick up your Summit Certificate before returning to Arusha. Meal Plan: {B,L}

  9. Umbwe Route - 6 Days

    Day 1

    At 8am leave Moshi for Umbwe Gate where you will meet our porters, guides, and cooks who will spend the next six days trekking with you to Uhuru Peak, the roof of Africa. After arriving, wait at the gate while we register your climb and the porters and guides make final preparations. Your first day’s destination is Cave Bivouac Camp, approximately 6 hours from the gate. The trail is steep and can be slippery in some places.

    Hike through the moss-covered trees of Kilimanjaro’s cloud forest. The forest will thin later in the hike and heathers, tall grasses and wildflowers will come into view. Porters and cooks will walk ahead to set up the camp in time for your arrival.

    Day 2

    The first section of the trail continues following the ridge. After leaving the forest, continue through open moorlands until reaching Barranco Camp. Barranco is generally regarded as the most scenic campsite on the Umbwe Trail as it’s surrounded by giant senecios and lobelias. As Barranco is in a valley, the sun rises later than at the other camps.

    Day 3

    Leave Barranco Camp after breakfast for Karanga Valley. The day begins with a 1.5 hour scramble up the Barranco Wall. This is the hardest part of the day and in some places you may have to use your hands to aid your climb. After reaching the top, hike through fairly level terrain before making a short but steep descent into the green Karanga River Valley.

    Day 4

    After breakfast, begin the hike to Barafu Camp. On the way to Barafu, view several of Kibo’s glaciers as well as the junction that connects the descent route, Mweka, with the Machame trail. During day four, hike by the Heim, Kersten and Decken Glaciers. Although the trail to Barafu passes through alpine desert with little vegetation, Barafu Camp offers stunning views of Kibo and Mawenzi peaks. Try to sleep after finishing dinner as you will wake before midnight for your summit hike.

    Day 5

    Around midnight, begin the final ascent to Uhuru Peak. Hike by the light of your headlamp for the next six hours. The ascent to the crater rim is the most challenging part of the entire trek. The trail is very steep until you reach the crater rim at Stella Point.

    The hike from Stella Point to Uhuru Peak is a gradual climb and, as far as hikes go, not very difficult. The altitude, however, makes the hike long and tiring. The crater rim hike takes approximately one hour. Upon reaching Uhuru, take photos of your guide and group at the peak before beginning the descent to Mweka Camp. On the way down from Uhuru, enjoy views of the mountain, crater, clouds and glaciers.

    At Barafu Camp, eat breakfast and take a short break. You still have another three to five hours to go before reaching Mweka Camp.

    Day 6

    After breakfast, finish the trek with a hike through the forest to Mweka Gate. The trail may be slippery following rain. Our vehicles will meet you at the lower station of Mweka Gate to take you back to Moshi.

  10. Umbwe Route - 7 Days

    Day 1

    Your day starts early with a briefing, followed by breakfast and an hour drive from Moshi to Umbwe Village (1,490 m/4,890 ft) where your guides and porters pack your equipment and supplies, and give you a lunch pack. You start your ascent at the small Umbwe Gate just above the village and follow a gentle winding vehicle track for an hour to a signboard that announces the small steep Umbwe trail. The introduction is over, and you now climb up for several hours through a dense forest of rubber trees and giant fig trees. In places, you must scamper up steep sections of roots and rock. The Umbwe Camp is in the forest, and there are some caves nearby. You will be greeted here with a graciously served hot meal.

    Day 2

    Your day starts early with a steaming cup of tea or coffee. After breakfast, you will climb steeply through thinning forest glades to Giant Erica, Heather, and drier air. You continue up a ridge that drops steeply on both sides, and hopefully, the clouds will part to reward you with a view of Uhuru Peak looming overhead. After lunch, you enter a zone of giant groundsels (Scenario Kilimanjaro) that seem to guard the heights, and this garden is one of Kilimanjaro's special treasures.

    Day 3

    Extra Day for Acclimatization. Adding this day will ease your effort, and amplify your acclimatization.

    Day 4

    After breakfast, we continue up a steep ridge to the great Barranco Wall, and then you climb this imposing obstacle, which turns out to be easier than it looks. Topping out just below the Heim Glacier, you can now appreciate just how beautiful Kilimanjaro really is. With Kibo's glaciers soaring overhead, you descend into the lush Karanga Valley to the Karanga Valley campsite. From the camp, you can look east and see the jagged peaks of Mawenzi jutting into the African sky. After a hot lunch in camp, your afternoon is at leisure for resting or exploring. This short day is very important for your acclimatization, since your summit push is about to start. Scramble easily to the top of the Great Barranco and then a traverse over screes and ridges to the Karanga Valley campsite (3h, 4000m.), beneath the icefalls of the Southern Glaciers.

    Day 5

    In the morning, you hike east over intervening ridges and valleys to join the Mweka Route, which will be your descent route. Turn left toward the mountain and hike up the ridge through a sparse landscape for another hour to the Barafu Hut where you will receive a hot lunch. The last water on the route is in the Karanga Valley; there is no water at Barafu Camp, even though Barafu is the Swahili word for ice. The famous snows of Kilimanjaro are far above Barafu Camp near the summit of the mountain. Your tent will be pitched on a narrow, stony, wind-swept ridge, so make sure that you familiarize yourself with the terrain before dark to avoid any accidents. Prepare your equipment and warm clothing for your summit climb, and drink a lot of fluids. After an early dinner, go to bed for a few hours of precious sleep.

    Day 6

    You will rise around 11:30 PM, and after some steaming tea and biscuits, you shuffle off into the night. Your 6-hour climb northwest up through heavy scree between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers to Stella Point on the crater rim is the most challenging part of the route for most climbers. At Stella Point (5,685 m/18,650 ft) you stop for a short rest and a chance to see a supremely sanguine sunrise. At Stella Point you join the top part of the Marangu Route, but do not stop here too long, as it will be extremely difficult to start again due to cold and fatigue. Depending on the season and recent storms, you may encounter snow on your remaining hike along the rim to Uhuru Peak. On the summit, you can enjoy your accomplishment and know that you are creating a day that you will remember for the rest of your life. After your 3-hour descent from the summit back to Barafu Camp, you will have a well-earned but short rest, collect your gear, and hike down a rock and scree path into the moorland and eventually into the forest to Mweka Camp (3,100 m/10,170 ft). This camp is in the upper forest, so you can expect mist or rain in the late afternoon. Dinner, and washing water will be prepared, and the camp office sells drinking water, soft drinks, chocolates, and beer!

    Day 7

    After a well-deserved breakfast, it is a short, scenic, 3-hour hike back to the park gate. Don't give your porters any tips until you and all your gear have reached the gate safely, but do remember to tip your staff at the gate. At Mweka Gate, you can sign your name and add details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Climbers who reached Stella Point are issued green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak receive gold certificates. From the Mweka Gate, you will continue down to the Mweka Village, possibly a muddy, 3 km, 1 hour hike if the road is too muddy for vehicles. In the Mweka Village you will be served a delicious hot lunch after which you are driven back to Moshi for an overdue hot shower and comfortable night at your hotel in Moshi.