Kilimanjaro Health Issues

Mount Kilimanjaro climbing climbers might encounter some challenges during climbing on health issues. On your arrival it is recommended that you have a day in Moshi or Arusha town for the acclimatization of weather as well as resting from jet lag before attempting Kilimanjaro. There are numerous health issues while climbing Kilimanjaro as listed below and majority of them are due to the change of altitude and weather:

Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)

Mountain Kilimanjaro Altitude Sickness normally occurs on the high altitude such as Gilman’s Point, Stella Point or on the Summit of Kilimanjaro. The record shows that more than 80% of Mount Kilimanjaro climber suffers from this illness but they recover and make it to the top. For those who get serious illness the only proper cure is to descent to at least 600 m from the point you are. The symptoms of the illness include reduced urine output, nausea, anorexia, headaches, rapid pulse, insomnia, swelling of the hands and feet.

Regularly the avoidance of this situation is by far to reduce the pace of your trekking from the first day, eating as much as you can since altitude change tend to reduce appetite completely as well as drinking much water 3 to 4 liters per day including hot drinks such as chocolate, coffee or tea. While trekking with us we feed you much to make sure that you have enough energy.

Along with all the natural precaution also preventative medicine (such as Diamox) is available and you should consult your physician for specialist advice. Fluid build-up may cause a situation known as edema, which can affect the lungs, preventing effective oxygen exchange, or affect the brain (cerebral) which will result in the swelling of the brain tissue. When this situation occurs immediately ask for assistance from our guide as we always trek with oxygen kit to take care of such circumstance.

Hypothermia

The hypothermia illness is a situation whereby your body fails to generate a proper temperature during climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Regularly Mount Kilimanjaro weather change and covering of mist and rain is a common thing. If it happens that a climber’s clothes get wet his/her body is likely to be unstable on temperature stability. As mountaineers we are aware of this and before trekking we always countercheck your climbing gear to avoid inconveniences like this. Common gear like raincoat is a mandate to have it even if isn’t a rain season as on Kilimanjaro it rains anytime.

Treatment of this illness is simple but should not be undermined. Remove all the wet clothes and wear dry warm clothes. If the fire is light up for cooking then you can stay around for some few minutes for stabilization and thereafter retire as it might ruin your acclimatization of climbing weather. The other more proper solution but takes time is by sleeping in a sleeping bag with your colleague who hasn’t experience the same problem.

Sun related injuries

About 55% of the earth’s protective atmosphere is below an altitude of 5000m. Far less ultraviolet light is being filtered out, making the sun’s rays much more powerful, which could result in severe sun burning of the skin. It is strongly recommended to use a 20+ sun protection cream at lower altitudes, and a total block cream above an altitude of 3000m.Wearing sun glass when in Kilimanjaro especially places with snow or ice is highly recommended. Basically the sunshine at the top of Kilimanjaro in the morning makes the Kili ice shinning much and will bring to snow blindness. Snow blindness is a painful thing and might require your eyes to be bandaged for sometime.

Kilimanjaro Meals Menu

You will be provided with fresh breakfast, lunch and dinner each day spent on the Mount Kilimanjaro. The food, specifically selected to help your climb, are good tasting, high carbohydrate (energy) foods that are easily digestible. Drinking water (boiled and cooled) is also provided throughout the day to keep you hydrated. There is no need for further treatment of water, but you can use chemical water treatment pills if you have a sensitive stomach. However the room is available for bringing something of your wish.

If you are a vegetarian please inform us while booking so we can be prepared as well as those with special diet should do so.

Breakfast: Fruit Juice, Fruit, Cereal / Porridge, Eggs bread / French-toast / Plain-toast / Pancakes, Sausages, Margarine, Jam / Honey, Tea / Coffee / Drinking chocolate.

Snacks: Peanuts / Crisps / Popcorn / Cookies.

Lunch: Sliced Carrot and Cucumber stripes, Avocado slices, Boiled egg, Vegetable / Meat cutlets, Sandwiches (Egg / Cheese / Tomato/ Tuna / Meat / Peanut butter), Fruit.

Dinner: Soup ( Mushroom /Asparagus / Chicken / Tomato / Vegetable), Bread, Salad, Rice / Pasta / Potatoes, Chicken / Meat, Mixed Vegetables ( Zucchini / Carrot / French -Beans / Cabbage), Lentils, Fruit Salad, Fruit with custard, Tea / Coffee / Milo / Drinking chocolate.

Kilimanjaro FAQs

1: How difficult is it to climb Kilimanjaro? 
Climbing Kilimanjaro requires no technical climbing experience and any moderately fit person can summit the mountain. However, one should not undermine this Mountain due to the fact that gradually change of weather and altitude makes most of the alpine to fall altitude sickness. For this reason mark Kilimanjaro as the most difficult thing they have ever done in life time of which isn’t.

2: When should I go? 
Kilimanjaro can be climbed at any time throughout the year. The best months to climb are December through March, and September through October, due to the reason that they are warmest and driest months.

3: What is the weather like on Mt. Kilimanjaro? 
The Kilimanjaro temperature range from 25oc to 30oc at the foot of the mountain and 0oc and below on top, plus wind and for more information please see weather page.

4: Which route should I take? 
Mount Kilimanjaro climbing consists of six official routes to the top which are Marangu, Machame, Lemosho, Rongai, Umbwe and Shira. The Mweka route is left for descending from other route with exceptional of Rongai (which uses Marangu to descent) and Marangu which you can ascend and descent on the same path.

Marangu and Machame are the commonly used routes but it doesn’t mean that they are the beautiful more than other routes to the top of Kilimanjaro. Basic decision can be made will choosing kind of route to climb they include available time you have, budget, type of accommodation and kind of challenge you are looking for as well as view points.

5: How long does it take to reach the summit?
This depends much on the nature of the person you are? Mount Kilimanjaro has lots of records for the former climbers. For example there some people who have climb for 5 hours to the top, other 1 day and others 2 days but basically their history goes back to experience obtained to Mountain Everest.
Kilimanjaro is officially trekked for a minimum of five (5) days for Marangu route, Six days (6) for Machame route and this is what you will be paying to the park authority. Other parks spend from five days (5) to eight days (8) including the acclimatization days. Yet it will be the decision of the climber which route should they use as per their wishes.

6: How do I cope with the change of altitude? 
Always remember to maintain a slow and steady pace from beginning to end. Going slowly allows the body to acclimatize while hiking. Those who start out too quickly will have troubles higher up the mountain as the body will be overexerted. This still holds true if you are spending an extra day on the mountain. Drink plenty of water and get lots of sleep.

7: What kind of climbing gear do I need? 
See the Kilimanjaro Packing List.

8: Can children climb Kilimanjaro? 
The minimum age set by the National Park Authorities for summiting Mountain Kilimanjaro is 12 years old. However children can climb up to 3700 m and thereafter waiting for their elders to trek down or they can trek down to the gate and meet our tour guide with a vehicle and transfer them to the designated hotel or lodge in Arusha or Moshi.

9: How many guides, porters, and cooks will we have? 
Please see our porters’ link for more information.

10: Are the guides trained in first aid and altitude sickness? 
Kilimanjaro guides are trained in acute mountain sickness (AMS) and basic mountain first aid.  However, they are not doctors or paramedics. Climbers are responsible for bringing their own first aid kit and medical supplies. Under any unlikely event guides or assistants guides are responsible to assist you to trek down at least 3000 m to see if the illness gets better. If the situation is serious they have to quickly call the office for the arrangement of evacuation by helicopter which is an Air Ambulance. See the requirements for the Kilimanjaro Rescue.

11: Are the guides licensed / certified? 
Kilimanjaro guides are trained and certified by the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority. They start out as porters and work their way up to assistant guide. When they are ready (after about 2-4 years), they go through the national park certification process. This certification isn’t cheap to acquire as one has to be really competent.

12: What’s the food like during the climb? 
We are among the best companies which offer reputable and palatable dishes in Mountains climbing as well as camping safaris. See our climbing and safaris menu.

13: Is it better to do a safari first….then the trek?  Or do the trek first? 
Most people start with the trek and end with the safari, since they finish the hardest part of their trip and are able to relax on their safari.  However, depending with the itinerary we can accommodate either way. Due to the schedule some clients starts safari and then join their counterpart arriving from their home for Kilimanjaro only and climb as a team.

14: Can we bring something for the porters? 
Please do the needs of donating of anything you wish from the Kilimanjaro climbing gears to anything of their assistance to lifetime.

Kilimanjaro Gears

Mountain Kilimanjaro climbing is a breathtaking activity  and should be clear that clothing well, slow pace as well as determination are the key to a successful climber. While climbing Kilimanjaro you have to observe the below gears facilities for your successful attempt. However it should be in mind that only Marangu route offers accommodation in huts leaving the rest of the route been using mobile tents which will be carried by your porters.

Apart from mobile tents other amenities such as water and cooking utensils are provided by us. Below are your important belongings and if you don’t have some of them you can simple rent from us as stipulated below.

Sleeping bag (length 220 cm) Rucksack / Daypack Duffel bag Gaiters
High altitude down mitts (gloves) Raincoat Rain pants Water bottle
Fleece pants Fleece jacket Summit jacket (Shell jacket) Balaclavas
Waterproof jacket Waterproof trousers Pair of walking poles Torch

Sizes available: Large and Extra-large.

Rental terms and conditions applicable in Tanzania: To avoid disappointment it is strongly recommended that all your rental equipment is booked well in advance of your planned trip.

Important! Please note that NO equipment must be washed by the clients under any circumstances.

Kilimanjaro Medication

Mount Kilimanjaro been the highest point in Africa and the second in the World after the range of mountain Himalayas which makes the eight thousands high of Mountain Everest, Kilimanjaro is also the highest free standing mountain in the World (no range of mountains to support rather it has a forty {40} kilometers long base). While travelling to a foreign country one should expect to have an easy situation due to the following facts:-

1: The weather condition of your mother country in some degrees differs to the destination you will be.

2: The food and water you will be using will differ from home.

3: Jet lag

All these and others might raise some illness or headache. Having your medication is another stepping stone for a successful attempt to the top of Kilimanjaro. We highly recommend private insurance before living your country should anything happens it will protect you to hire flying doctors. As well most of the countries physician and doctors have experience with tropical climate countries so they will recommend according to your explanations the kind of medicine to take. Some of our clients have been with these medications as follows:-

Ambien
Amoxicillin
Antihistamine

Calamine lotion
Chapstick
Cipro

First aid kit
Imitrex
Inhalers

Moleskin
Nasal spray
Needles, syringes, sterile dressings

Tea bags/sweet n low
Toilet paper
Topical ointments

Advil
Ativan
Bandaids

Claritin
Decadron
Diamox

Lotrimin
Mobic
Moisturizer

Prilosec
Sunscreen
Suture kit

Tweezers with magnifying glass
Tylenol
Urine catch AND container

Ben gay/ache reliever pads
Benadryl
Botox

Donnatol
Epi pen
Eye drops

Larium
Laxative
Lortab

Norflaxin
Pepto bismol tablets
Prescription and other meds

Vitamins
Zithromax

Weather Condition

Due to Tanzania’s proximity to the equator (between 1 and 11.45 degrees latitude south of the Equator and 29.20 and 40.35 degrees longitudes east), this region does not experience the extremes of winter and summer weather, but rather dry and wet seasons. The local Weather conditions on Kilimanjaro can be somewhat unpredictable to say the very least. Rainfall varies from 2100 mm per year in the rainforest belt to less than 120 mm per year in the summit zone. Similarly, daily temperature changes are unexpected when compared to normal weather cycles, and are largely dependent on Altitude.

Mount Kilimanjaro has five major ecological zones, each approximately 3,280 feet (1,000 m) in altitude. Each zone is subject to a corresponding decrease in rainfall, temperature and life as the altitude increases. At the beginning of the climb, at the base of the mountain, the average temperature is around 70°F to 80°F (27°C to 32°C). From there, the temperatures will decrease as you move through Mount Kilimanjaro’s ecological zones. At the summit, Uruhu Peak, the night time temperatures can range between 0°F to -15F (-18°C to -26°C). This make Kilimanjaro weather very dynamic and you should always be prepared for wet days and cold nights.

We recommend to our clients who wants to climb Kilimanjaro that the long rains typically occur from February to May, and basically it is at this time when visibility is bad and the mountain becomes slippery and treacherous. The shorter rains occur during November and December while June though October it is a summer time and conducive for climbing the Mountain.

NB: Provided that February through May is long rain season mountaineers climb this mountain to the top without any problem so long as they have all required climbing gears.

Weather Conditions near the base of the mountain tend to be tropical to semi-temperate and are relatively stable all year round. The lower plains are hot and dry with average temperatures of around 90 degrees Fahrenheit. As one heads away from the Lower Plains towards the Rain Forest, conditions become increasingly warm and humid.

Mount Kilimanjaro is divided into five distinct zones: Cultivated farmlands on the lowest levels, next is the rainforest zone , followed by heath and moorland with alpine vegetation, and just before the barren, snowy summit is lunar-like desert. The climate and animal life is dependent on the zone.

Trekking Preparation

It doesn’t matter if it is a picnic or a long journey preparation is a crucial step. Basically preparation container check how successfully will be your occasion. Travel to Africa Tanzania especially for the attempt of the Mount Kilimanjaro which stands at 5895 meters above the sea level or any Mountain it demands physical, mental and equipment preparation for successful start and finish.

The renowned Mount Kilimanjaro isn’t a technical for those wishing to climb or having any mountaineering experience needed, yet the importance of preparing sufficiently for the journey should nevertheless not be undermined. The Cardio Vascular fitness is important role particularly at higher altitudes where the body will be placed under enormous pressure due to lack of oxygen levels in the atmosphere. Morning jogging put your heart and lungs in prime condition for the climb.

One day acclimatization during the climb especially the Kilimanjaro is strongly recommended. Provided that you will do a lot of exercise prior the climb it is very important to consult your doctor before travel. Mountain sicknesses is something that arises with time or abruptly please tell your guide about how you feel and will recommend to go on or back to the camp or hut, don’t force since it might put you in a dangerous situation. We also recommend obtaining your private insurance for luggage and health.

The food which we provide at the Mountain is tasty and palatable which contain more of protein and enough drinking bottle water. While in the high altitude the body normally develops a tendency of losing appetite. It’s important to eat sufficient quantities even if not feeling particularly hungry as stamina fatigues quickly during the climb, especially at higher altitudes.

The first step towards a pleasant climb is to ensure that one has a comfortable pair of hiking boots that have been broken in far in advance to the trip. Equipment such as trekking poles and gaiters can make both ascending and descending notably less strenuous. Other essentials include warm gloves with glove liners,camera, suitable clothing, a kit bag and rucksack, toiletries, sunscreen and good quality sunglasses.

Passport and Entry Requirements: A valid passport is required and can be obtained from governmental agencies or a consulate in your own country. The passport expiring no less than six months after your return to the country is required. Provided that there are countries Tanzania has sign visa abolition please check with your embassies and high commissioner located to you countries or contact ministry of home affairs Tanzania Dar es Salaam before departure. An alternative is done by obtain visa to Tanzania in all entry points such as airports and borders with the present of valid passport as stipulated above.

Currency: U.S. cash or traveler’s cheques can be changed into local currency (Tanzania shillings) easily by local bureau de change and banks. It is important to remember exchange your money back to U.S. dollars or any of your country’s currency when you depart since it’s forbidden to leave with Tanzania currency.

Credit Cards: Credit cards are only accepted by the major airline companies and the larger hotels and lodges. Tanzania as any of developing countries doesn’t rely much on settle bills by credit card most of places accept cash. As an individual having a credit card in Tanzania can help you withdraw cash in any nearest bank ATM machine. It also suggested that you take sufficient funds in traveler’s cheques and/or cash.

Shira Route

Climbing duration: Shira Route – 6 Days / 5 Nights

The Shira Route is a relatively gentle and incredibly scenic route to the Roof of Africa (“Uhuru Peak” Uhuru a Swahili word which mean Liberation). Encompassing the Shira Plateau, this route provides breathtaking views of the African landscape below. Finally, the Western Breach Summit path is a more difficult route to the summit which incorporates some serious scrambling and climbing. It is thus generally favored by those individuals looking to add a bit of an extra challenge to their climbing experience.

Day 1: Shira Gate (2300m) to Shira Camp (3,840m) – (7,550ft to 12,600ft) 

Early in the morning after breakfast you will be briefed about the Mount Kilimanjaro with the guide before the departure to the Londorossi gate by our 4WD land cruiser (or any jeep) about three and half hours. After all park registration formalities we proceed driving to near Simba campsite. Then lunch afterwards you start trekking through heather and moorland to the first camp (about 1-2 hrs) to Shira 1 camp (3505 m) for dinner and overnight in tents.

Day 2: Shira Camp (3,840m) – Lava Tower (4,600m) – Barranco Camp (3950m) – (12,600ft to 12,700ft)

Early in the morning after breakfast you have a full day to explore the Shira plateau, trekking slowly eastward towards Kibo’s glaciered peak. The Shira plateau is one of the highest plateaus on earth, averaging 12,500 ft. The total trekking time is approximately three hours. Dinner and overnight at the Shira 2 (Fischer’s) camp (3900 m). 

Day 3: Barranco Camp (3,950m)-Karanga Camp (4,010m) – (12,700ft to 13,800ft) 

The pace should always be slow when in Kilimanjaro for the success. After breakfast in the morning proceed steadily upwards over vast ridges to “Lava Tower “for lunch take approximately 4 hours. In the afternoon, you descend the steep trail into the Great Barranco Valley. Barranco Camp is set in a valley enclosed on 3 sides with the massive walls of the valley itself and the massif of Kibo. For about 6 to 7 hours thereafter dinner and overnight at the Barranco camp (3976 m).

Day 4: Barranco Camp (3,950m)-Barafu Camp (4,600m) – (12,700ft to 15,100ft) 

Early morning breakfast then afterward start trekking for about 3 to 4 hours to Karanga Valley for a hot lunch and then proceed in the afternoon to Barafu Camp (4673 m). You will have dinner and a sleep before working up at the midnight for the Uhuru Peak attempt.

Day 5: Barafu Camp (4,600m)-Summit (5,895m) – Mweka Hut (down to 3,100m) – (15,100ft to 19,300ft)-(down to 10,200ft) 

During the midnight walking up call for the Uhuru Peak followed with a cup of hot chocolate, Tanzania coffee or tea. Don’t be nervous and taking it slowly as the trekking will start around 1 a.m. At this stage the weather range from somewhat 0 to -12 degree isn’t it lovely in the tropical climate to find this. Always the target is to reach the Roof top of Africa (5895 m) before dawn. After taking some pictures you will descend to Barafu Camp for a rest and then en route to Millennium camp for dinner and overnight.

Day 6: Mweka Camp (3,100m) to Mwekq Gate (1,650m) – (10,200ft to 6,000ft) 

After breakfast descends slowly to Mweka gate via Mweka Campsite which is about four hours walk. At the gate you will be awarded a certificate of competence from the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority office for the successful attempt of Uhuru Peak. At Mweka gate you will meet our 4WD vehicle waiting for you for a transfer at the hotel in Moshi for hot lunch, dinner and overnight. It also depend with the itinerary you might be proceeding to the Tanzania wildlife and birdlife parks, to the beach or giving a goodbye hand back home.

Umbwe Route

Climbing duration: Umbwe Route – 6 Days / 5 Nights

The Umbwe route is one of the shortest routes to the Southern Glaciers and the Western Breach. It is probably the most scenic, non-technical route on Kilimanjaro. It is quite taxing, primarily due to the relatively fast ascent to higher altitude, but the rewards are plentiful. Fewer people, pristine forest and shorter walking distances make it a great option for fit hikers. Add to your experience – overnight on the crater floor!! Be one of a few fortunate people to spend a night in Africa’s largest volcano. This option is highly recommended, as this will be the only opportunity to get close to the beautiful and fascinating glaciers of Kilimanjaro and to be able to visit the ash pit.

Day 1: Umbwe Gate (1,650m) – Bivouac (first) camp (2,950m) – (5,900ft to 9,200ft)

After breakfast you will be driven to the Umbwe Gate at 1800m, passing through villages with coffee and banana plantations. On arrival at the Parks Gate your guide and porters will meet you. Sign the register before you entre the park for your first step to accomplishing a life-long dream. The air is thick with moisture and the path is usually muddy. The route initially follows a forestry track winding up through the natural rain forest. It then narrows and steepens to climb the ridge between the Lonzo and Umbwe rivers, with huge trees surrounding you. The path offers some spectacular views of deep gorges and if you are lucky, glimpses of Kilimanjaro towering above you in the distance. The camp is perched between huge trees and thick undergrowth.

Day 2: Bivouac (first) camp (2,950m – Barranco Camp (3950m) – (9,200ft to 12,800ft)

Shortly after leaving the camp the forest starts thinning and is replaced by rockier terrain, sparser undergrowth and straggly, moss-covered trees. The path continues along a narrow, but spectacular ridge. As you gain higher altitude, catch glimpses of Kilimanjaro rising majestically ahead of you – etched against the blue sky. The path flattens as you approach Barranco Valley. From the Umbwe ridge the route descends slightly to the Barranco camp. The camp is situated in the valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Wall, which should provide you with a memorable sunset while your dinner is being prepared.

Day 3: Barranco Camp (3950m) – Lava Tower (4600m) | Arrow Glacier Camp (4900m) – (12,700ft to 13,800ft)

After breakfast you will start your hike towards Lava Tower, a famous landmark on Kilimanjaro. The path is steep and rocky, with views of Mt. Meru, Kilimanjaro’s little sister, punching her peak through the clouds. From Lava Tower you turn towards the Western Breach, a steep climb to Arrow Glacier camp (4800m). This is taxing and symptoms of altitude sickness might become noticeable. The campsite is spectacular. Vegetation has now all but disappeared, leaving only rock and scree in varying shades of brown and black. The campsite is very cold and you need to be prepared.

Day 4: Arrow Glacier (4900m) – Crater (5700m) 

From the Arrow Glacier camp steep scree and rocky outcrops requiring a scramble lead up the Western Breach to the crater floor (5700m). This day will be the toughest challenge by far. After snowfalls the route can become icy and in these conditions an ice axe or ski stick may be required. When reaching the crater rim, you will be astonished by the view of snow and glaciers. Visible to you left is the Northern Ice fields of Kilimanjaro with the Furtwangler Glacier in front of you. Walk past this glacier to the Crater camp, situated at the crater rim. If time permits, you can climb to the Ash Pit (1 ½ hour). The Ash Pit is 340m across, 120m deep and is one of the most perfect-formed examples in the world. The campsite is very cold as snow might occur. Be one of a fortunate few to spend a night in the inner crater of Kilimanjaro.

Day 5: SUMMIT ATTEMPT Crater (5700m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Mweka (3100m)

You will rise around 04:00, and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the early morning darkness. From the crater floor you will probably encounter snow all the way on your 2-hour ascent to Uhuru Peak. Time spend on the summit will depend on the weather conditions. Do not stop here for too long, as it will be extremely difficult to start again due to cold and fatigue. Enjoy your accomplishment and a day to remember for the rest of your live. The walk to Barafu camp from the summit, takes about 3 hours. Here you will have a well earned but short rest, before heading down to Millennium camp (3100m). The route is not difficult and will take you down the rock and scree path into the moorland and eventually into the forest. The camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Dinner and washing water will be provided as well as drinking water.

Day 6: Mweka camp (3100m) – Mweka Gate (1650m) 

After an early and well-deserved breakfast, it is a 5-hour, scenic hike back to the Park gate. It is strongly recommended to pay your porters any tips after you and all your gear have reached the gate safely. Click here for more info on tips. At Mweka gate you sign your name and details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Those climbers who reached Stella Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates. From the Mweka Gate you will continue down into the Mweka village, normally a muddy 3 km (1 hour) hike. In the Mweka village you will be served a delicious hot lunch!! You will then drive back to Moshi for a long overdue hot shower and celebrations!! Overnight hotel in Moshi or Arusha.

The above itinerary is a guide only and extra days can be added according to your preferences. With the above route you can summit via Barafu camp or via Arrow Glacier.

Rongai Route

Climbing duration: Rongai Route – 6 Days / 5 Nights

The Rongai Route is one of the easiest routes and the success rate is very high. The route starts on the north side of the mountain just south of the Kenyan border. The descent is down the Marangu Route on the south side of the mountain, so climbers see the mountain from many view points. The drive to the trailhead takes 4-5 hours through many villages and coffee plantations. Therefore an early preparation on the hiking day is very important so as to reach at the trekking point before noon.

Day 1: Rongai gate – (1,950m) – Simba camp (First Cave) (2,450m) – (6,400ft – 9,450ft)

Transfer by our vehicle – Land cruiser (about 4-5 hours) to the attractive wooden village of Nale Muru. After the park formalities you will begin hiking on a wide path that wind through fields of maize and potatoes before entering pine forest. The forest begins to thin out and the first camp is at the edge of the moorland zone.

Day 2: First cave (2,450m) – Second cave (3450m) – (9,450ft to 11,320ft)

The trail continues up towards Kibo, passing Second Cave (3450m) en-route, and reaching Kikelwa Cave at about 3600 metres. The views start to open up and you begin to feel you’re on a really big mountain! Water is in the obvious stream below the cave, although you might have to wander downhill a way to find some. Overnight at 3rd Cave camp (Kikelewa Caves).

Day 3: Second cave (3450m) – Third cave (3950m) – (11,319ft to 12,700ft) 

A short but steep climb up grassy slopes offers superb views of this wilderness area. The vegetation zone ends shortly before you reach your next camp at Mawenzi Tarn spectacularly situated beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi. Spend the afternoon acclimatizing and exploring the area.

Day 4: Third cave (3950m) – Kibo hut – camp (4700m) – (12,713ft to 15,600ft)

Continue ascending on the east side of Kibo crossing the saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo taking 4 to 5 hours to reach Kibo Hut. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent, which begins around midnight. Overnight at Kibo Camp.

Day 5: Kibo hut – camp (4,700m) – Summit (5,895m) & Horombo Hut (3720m) – (15,600ft to 19,340ft) (down 12,200ft)

In the midnight you will be awaken by your guide for a cup of coffee/tea/hot chocolate with a piece of bread and biscuit. After warm up you will stand the most demanding part of the Kilimanjaro around 1 a.m. With your flash light, sun glass, walking stick, camera, drinking water, warm layers the trail will take you to Gilman’s point (5,685m/18,650ft). Rest there for a short time to enjoy the spectacular sunrise over Mawenzi. Don’t rest for to long as it will ruin your ability to finalize to the summit the Uhuru peak at (5895m). After taking some pictures you will descend to Kibo hut have some breakfast and a rest before proceeding to Horombo Hut – camping for dinner and overnight.

Day 6: Horombo Hut – Camping (3,720m) – Marangu gate (1,800m) (12,200ft to 5,500ft) To Moshi/Arusha

After breakfast, a steady descent takes us down through moorland to Mandara Hut (2,700m / 8,858 ft), the first stopping place at the Marangu route. Continue descending through lush forest on a good path to the National Park gate at Marangu. A vehicle will meet you at Marangu village to drive you back to your hotel in Moshi or Arusha.