This route is the hardest but most spectacular and direct way to reach Uhuru Peak. It follows a forested ridge to the moorlands, then traverses below the Southern Ice-fields to reach the Barafu Route which is followed to the summit. An early start is made on the summit day to reach Stella Point, on the Crater Rim at dawn. Uhuru Peak lies a further 40 min. along the rim. The Mweka Route is used for the descent. Accommodation on the mountain is in tents which our team will pitch for you. This is a steep, tough and in places slightly exposed trek within the limits of a fit individual used to walking in mountain areas.
• On days 1 and 2 enter a dense rain forest to a steep climb on a narrow ridge which follows the route used by all record-setting speed ascents.
• A challenging and exhilarating rock scramble up the Great Barranco Wall.
• From Barafu incredible views of Mawenzi Peak, Kilimanjaro’s remnant volcanic cone.
• Satisfaction of an accomplishment few have achieved in the short timeframe.
Your trip leader will pick you up upon arrival at the Kilimanjaro International Airport and bring you to Mbahe Village, located in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, approximately 2 hours from the airport. Accommodations are in SENE ’s private cottages at Simon Mtuy’s Mbahe Village farm.
Overnight: Mbahe Farm Cottages.
You have the morning to rest and relax. Enjoy delicious “homebrew” coffee, grown and roasted on the farm, and meals made with fruits and vegetables from the garden. Your trip leader will provide a climb orientation and equipment check. This is also a day to take a guided tour around Mbahe Village, the Mtuy family farm, and to swim in the river and waterfall running through Simon’s land.
Overnight: Mbahe Farm Cottages.
After breakfast and obtaining climb permits from the Marangu Gate nearby Mbahe, we drive to the Umbwe Gate, just a few kilometers west of Mbahe as the crow flies, but a two-hour drive by road off the mountain, through Moshi Town and back up the mountain. Here you will meet your other guides and mountain crew and enter the Kilimanjaro National Park. We begin our climb by walking through a stunning rainforest on a steep and rugged trail, using the many tree roots across the path as steps up the slope. Eventually, we reach a ridge and begin hiking along it before coming to the cave where our first night’s camp is located.
Overnight: Umbwe Cave Camp.
Another steep uphill climb along several ridges, including a rock scramble over Jiwe Kamba. We move from the forest, through a beautiful stretch of lichen-laden heather, and into the moorland zone, where you encounter the giant groundsels and senecios, two of the more unusual species of flora on Kilimanjaro.
Overnight: Barranco Camp.
Today we start by climbing the Great Barranco Wall – not too steep but still an exhilarating challenge – which our guides make safe and accessible for everyone by ascending pole pole (meaning “slowly” in Kiswahili). You will be able to see the remarkable Heim Glacier from the top of the Wall. Descend into the Karanga Valley and then climb again to our camp on a ridge above the Valley, where you will enjoy a well-deserved rest and your daily afternoon tea and snacks.
Overnight: Karanga Camp.
As we begin hiking today the trail turns steadily uphill. Temperatures are noticeably colder and the landscape more sparse as we work our way to Barafu camp. Barafu means “ice” in Kiswahili. Hiking time is 4 to 5 hours. The camp is set on an exposed ridge and is the staging point for our push to the summit. After an early dinner, we have a summit briefing and prepare our equipment before resting.
Overnight: Barafu Camp.
Rise at midnight for a warm and hearty early breakfast in preparation for the long day ahead. We ascend pole pole under the stars on the steep switchback trail, drinking plenty of water and refueling with small snacks, and enjoying the trek to Uhuru, the summit of Kilimanjaro, which we expect to reach shortly after daybreak. At this early hour, before the clouds close in, you will have spectacular views of Africa in all directions. After a brief stay for photos, hugs, and high fives, we descend 2 to 3 hours to Barafu Camp for lunch, rest, and to pick up belongings. Continuing downhill 3 to 4 hours to the edge of the Mweka Forest, we reach the final night’s camp – 7,000 feet below the summit! Eat, share your experiences of the climb, and sleep soundly. Congratulations, you touched the Roof of Africa!
Overnight: Millennium Camp.
Our last day is another descent of 7,000 feet with 4 to 5 hours of hiking to the exit at Mweka Gate. The trail is steep in places and within the forest may be slippery if wet. After a hearty celebration lunch with the whole team on private SENE land near the exit gate to say goodbye to the mountain crew, the trip leaders bring you to your hotel in Moshi Town to relax, have dinner, and enjoy its spacious garden and swimming pool. (Those going on safari tomorrow will overnight at a hotel in Arusha, closer to the wildlife parks.)
Overnight: Ameg Lodge or Pink Flamingo Hotel.
Those heading out on safari or to Zanzibar will depart after breakfast to continue your African adventure. For those returning home, we offer you a guided tour of Moshi Town with its colorful market and curio shops. You may eat lunch in town or back at the lodge (lunch not included). Transfer by SENE to the Kilimanjaro Airport.
Included in the price
- All accommodations for 9 days / 8 nights.
- All meals as indicated (B,L,D).
- On climb, filtered water (by Equator to Arctic Safaris ® filter) and coffee, teas, cocoa.
- Services of trip leader, climbing guides, and mountain crew.
- Kilimanjaro National Park entrance, camping, and rescue fees.
- All camping and dining equipment (excluding sleeping bag and pad).
- Portable private toilet with bio-degradable waste system (Cleanwaste®) at all camps.
- Gamow bag (portable hyperbaric chamber) and supplemental oxygen for emergency descents.
- Transfers to/from Kilimanjaro International Airport and to/from park entrance/exit gates.
- Guided Mbahe Village walking tour.
- Guided Moshi Town walking tour.
Excluded from the price
- International and local flight from to back home
- Tips and gratuities to leaders, guides, crew, or other staff; cold drinks and alcohol; additional accommodations and meals made necessary by airline schedule changes, inability to complete the climb, finishing the climb before the scheduled completion date, or other factors; pre‐trip expenses such as immunizations, travel insurance, passports, and visas; international airfare; airport departure taxes; and any expenses of a personal nature such as souvenirs and laundry.