Day 1: Machame Gate to Machame Hut Camp

Drive from Arusha or Moshi to machame gate it might take 1 from Moshi or 2 hours from Arusha. The journey passes through the village of Machame which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain.

We depart the park gate and walk through the rain forest on a winding trail up a ridge. At lower elevations the trail can be muddy and slippery. Gaiters and trekking poles are a good idea here. We continue a short distance until we reach the Machame Camp.

Machame Gate to Machame  Hut (3,000 m): 5-7 hours walking.

  • 6,000 ft / 1,830 m to 10,200 ft / 3,100 m.
  • Distance: 11 km.
  • Hiking Time: 5-7 hours.
  • Habitat: Montane Forest.
  • Full Board at Machame Hut Camp.

Day 2: Machame Camp to Shira Camp

After breakfast we leave the glades of the rain forest and continue on an ascending path, crossing the valley along a steep rocky ridge. The route now turns west onto a river gorge until we arrive at the Shira campsite.

Machame Hut to Shira Camp (3,840m): 4-6 hours walking.

  • 10,200 ft / 3,100 m to 12,600 ft / 3,840 m.
  • Distance: 9 km.
  • Walking Time: 4-6 hours.
  • Habitat: Moorland.
  • Full Board Shira Cave Camp

Day 3: Shira Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Valley.

Today we walk on a gentle ascent and panoramic views.  We traverse the southwest side of Kilimanjaro, passing underneath the Lava Tower and the final section of the Western Breach and after hot lunch the bottom of the Lava Tower (4,600 m.) we descend to the bottom of the Great Barranco valley (3,950 m.).

Shira Camp to Barranco Camp (3,950 m.): 5-7 hours walking.

  • 12,600 ft / 3,840 m to 12,700 ft / 3,860 m.
  • Distance: 15 km.
  • Walking Time: 5-7 hours
  • Habitat: Semi-desert.
  • Full Board Barranco Camp.

Day 4: Barranco Camp to Barafu Camp

After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge up the Barranco Wall (elev 4250m/13,900ft), through the Karanga Valley (elev 4050m/13,250ft) to the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to the Barafu Camp. You have completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp with views of the summit in the distance.

Barranco Camp to Barafu Hut Camp {4600m} 6-8 hours.

  • 4000m/13,000ft to 4700m/15,350ft
  • Distance: 9km/
  • Walking Time: 6-8 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert
  • Full Board at Barafu Camp.

Day 5 : Barafu Camp to Summit, down to Mweka Camp

Very early in the morning (midnight to 2 am), we continue our way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers. You head in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. At Stella Point you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see. Faster hikers may view the sunrise from the summit.

From Stella Point, you may encounter snow all the way on your 1-hour ascent to the summit. Once at Uhuru Peak you have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa!

From the summit we begin our descent by continuing straight down to the Mweka Camp, stopping at Barafu for lunch. You may want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. We arrive at Mweka Camp and enjoy our last evening on the mountain.

4700m/15,350ft to 5895m/19,343ft

  • Down to 3090m/10,150ft
  • Distance: 6km up / 13km down
  • Hiking Time: 5-7 hours up / 5-6 hours down
  • Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
  • Full Board at Mweka Camp.

Day 6: Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate, drive to Arusha or Moshi.

After breakfast we continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy).

Kilimanjaro Nature Tours vehicle will be waiting for you at Mweka gate to drive you back to your hotel in Arusha or Moshi.

3090m/10,150ft to 1680m/5500ft

  • Distance: 10km/6mi
  • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Forest
  • Meals: B

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