Trek Overview

Acclimatize well. Most climbers on Kilimanjaro experience symptoms of altitude sickness to some degree, but to prevent deterioration, they descend as soon as possible after summiting. When trekkers sleep in the Crater Camp, this often causes problems as you stay high for a full 24 hours.

We provide accommodation options at the crater camp for tourists on the Machame, Lemosho, Umbwe and Northern Circuit routes. You will also spend more time at the summit itself before descending into the crater to sleep, following the golden rule of acclimatization – ‘climb high, sleep low’.

You should know that some climbers who have booked the Crater Camp option have changed their minds while on the mountain, having decided that they have not acclimatized enough to make the overnight stay safe and comfortable. Remember always that sleeping in Crater Camp is optional; getting down safely is mandatory.


Trekking Itinerary

Arrive in Tanzania.

Arrive in Tanzania at Kilimanjaro International. Picked up and transferred to the hotel in Moshi town, where the trek begins in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. The hotel is a short walk from the town’s bustling market and some excellent coffee shops and restaurants. Meet with an experienced Kilimanjaro guide at the hotel for a briefing and equipment inspection to make sure you have all the necessary mountain gear. After the briefing meeting, you will get a chance to explore the town of Moshi. It is possible to rent/hire all the missing gear in Moshi.

Day 1

Londorossi Gate (7,742ft/2,346) to Mti Mkubwa (9,498ft/2,878m)

Distance: 7 km/4 miles
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours.
Habitat: Rain Forest

Starting in the morning after breakfast, drive to Londrossi gate from the hotel in Moshi. The drive takes about 4 hours. Do all registration at Londrossi gate, and then transfer to the Lemosho starting point where the trek begins through the rain forest until Mti Mkubwa (Big Tree) camp for dinner and overnight.

Day 2

Mti Mkubwa (9,498 ft/2,878) to Shira 1 Camp (11,500 ft/3,485)

Distance: 7 km/4.3miles
Hiking Time 4-5 hours
Habitat: Health

From the Big Tree camp, the trail leads out of the rain forest and into a savannah of tall grasses, heather and volcanic rock draped with lichen beards. Ascend through the lush rolling hills and cross several streams, reach the Shira Ridge before continuing down to Shira 1 Camp.

Day 3

Shira 1 Camp (11,500 ft/3,485m) to Moir Hut (13,800 ft/4,182m)

Distance: 10 km/6.3 miles
Hiking Time: 5-7 hours.
Habitat: Heath

On this day, spend a full day exploring the Shira Plateaus, one of the highest plateaus on earth. The walk goes east on moorland meadow towards Shira 2 Camp. Then divert from the main trail to Moir Hut, arrive at the camp for lunch, then dinner and overnight.

Day 4

Moir Hut (13,800 ft/4182m) to Lava Tower (15,190 ft/4,785m)

Distance: 7 km/4.3 miles
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours.
Habitat: Alpine Desert

Lava Tower (15,190 ft/4,785m) to Barranco Camp (13,044 ft/4,182m)

Distance: 4 km/2.4 miles
Hiking Time: 2-3 hours.
Habitat: Alpine Desert

After breakfast, continue to the east up a ridge and then head southeast towards the Lava Tower camp (15,190ft/4,785m), a 300ft tall volcanic rock formation. After lunch, we descended to Barranco Camp (3953m/13,000ft) through the strange but beautiful Senecio Forest to an altitude of 13,000 ft. Beginning and end of the day at the same elevation is not a problem. The time spent at higher altitude (Lava Tower) is very beneficial for acclimatization.

Day 5

Barranco Camp (13,044 ft/3,953) to Karanga Camp (13,106 ft/3,972m)

Distance: 6 km/3.7 miles
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours.
Habitat: Alpine Desert

The day starts by descending to the base of the Great Barranco Wall. Then, from the base, started to climb the non-technical but steep, nearly 900 ft cliff. From the top of the Barranco Wall, the trail crosses hills and valleys until it descends sharply into Karanga Valley (Karanga River), the last water point. Then started climbing up to Karanga Camp, arriving there for lunch. Later in the afternoon, followed by a shorter acclimatization walk, then dinner and overnight.

Day 6

Karanga Camp (13,106 ft/3,972m) to Barafu Camp (4,646m/15,331 ft)

Distance: 4 km/2.4 miles
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours.
Habitat: Alpine Desert

From Karanga Camp, the route continues up to the rocky section until Barafu Camp. At this point, the Southern Circuit is completed, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Arrive at the camp, rest, followed by an early dinner, and prepare for the summit. When the weather gets clear, the view of the two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo can be seen.

Day 7

Barafu Camp (15,310ft/4,640m) – Crater Camp (18,900ft/5730m)

Distance: 8km/4.6miles
Environment: Alpine desert/stone scree/ice-capped summit
Time: 6 to 7 hours

Start early in the morning to ascent to Stella Point (5750m), which is at the edge of the crater. The way is steep, winding and the landscape rocky and desert and lasts for about 5-6 hours. From Stella Point, trek for about 30 minutes to 1 hour and get to Crater camp where inner crater can be explored followed by lunch and a short rest.

Day 8

Crater Camp (18,900ft/5730m) – Uhuru Peak (19,450ft/5,895m) – Mweka Camp (10230ft/3,100m)

Distance: 12 km/7.4miles
Environment: Alpine desert/stone scree/ice-capped summit/Montane forest
Time: 6 to 8 hours

Start trekking early from camp 1 ½ hours, watch sunrise from the summit. Spend a short time on the summit before start descending. After passing Stella Point, arrive Barafu camp for a branch lunch and a short rest then continue down to Mweka Camp for dinner and overnight.

Day 9

Mweka Camp (10,065 ft/3,100m) to Mweka Gate (5,380 ft/1,630m)

Distance: 10 km/6.2 miles
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours.
Habitat: Rain Forest

On the final day, after breakfast and celebrations at the camp, then continue the three-hour descent to Mweka Gate, arrive at the gate and sign out to the national park authority and collect the summit certificates. A vehicle will be waiting at Mweka Gate and will be transferred back to the hotel in Moshi.

Depart Tanzania

Day On this day, depending on flight details, go and explore Moshi town by visiting some souvenir shops before heading to the airport for the flight back home. Additional Safaris, Zanzibar, and other extension tours can be booked. Contact us to continue with more tours after the Kilimanjaro Trek.

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