Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest peak and one of the world’s greatest natural wonders. Imagine beautiful snow covered mountain amidst an ocean of green acacia forest, surrounded by dry savannah and blankets of clouds. The routes are truly spectacular. It’s like trekking through a nature documentary. Find out exactly what its like to climb Kilimanjaro, what you need to pack and what you need to prepare.
Prepare to have your breath taken away as you summit the roof of Africa, with views that stretch as far as the plains of the Masai Mara. Develop life long friendships and a real sense of community as you share stories with your guide and fellow travellers beneath the stars. We can guarantee you’ll have many stories to tell upon your return!
“I started this unbelievable adventure thinking that I would not last more than 2 or 3 days on the mountain, but I made it! The organisation was amazing, people were outstanding. I have a very restricted diet and guides took care of me like as if I was their daughter, preparing me special plates. It was a day by day team work and was the most beautiful trip of my life. When we reached the top I could not believe myself, the feeling was a mixture of astonishment and happiness. I felt in peace with the world.”
Francesca Torrigiani, Milan
Trip Mix: 10% History & Culture | 80% Activity & Sport | 10% Wildlife & Nature
Focus Themes: Hiking, climbing
Physical Rating: High
Accommodation: Upper scale lodge before/after climb, tents on the mountain
✓ Summit the tallest mountain in Africa, one of the ‘Seven Summits’
✓ Sleep under the stars
✓ Conquer the Great Barranco Wall
✓ Relax in a traditional luxury lodge amid the African rainforest
✓ Walk above the clouds
✓ Hike through four different climatic zones
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Chris has been working on the mountain for over 16 years. He has made it to the summit over 200 times. He is ranked #6 out of 261 guides on Kilimanjaro by clients. Chris is an incredibly knowledgeable and experienced leader who always puts safety first. Learn more about Chris in this interview.
Our lead guide Chris was amazing, looking after us really well and helping us to overcome difficulties. He is incredibly experienced and professional and we wouldn’t have reached our goal without him!
You’re already in Tanzania, so why not make the most out of it and enjoy an African safari? Tanzania is arguably the ultimate safari destination for wildlife lovers. With sixteen beautiful national parks, it offers some of Africa’s best game viewing. These include elephants, lions, zebras, giraffes, buffaloes, hippos, wildebeests, dik-diks, antelopes, gazelles, elands and kudus. The country dedicates more of its land to these national parks than any other wildlife destination in the world, spanning an incredible 42,000km. It means that going on a Tanzania safari is a real once in life-time experience.
You could add this once in a lifetime experience to the beginning or end of your climb. Its completely up to you. Take a look at our Tanzania safari tour options or chat to us now about what we can organise together.
The right itinerary is essential to successfully summiting Mount Kilimanjaro. Our carefully planned Kilimanjaro itinerary below uses the Lemosho route. This is the newest route up the mountain and is favoured because of its beauty, remoteness and success rate. Think beautiful scenery, panoramic vistas, remote landscapes and varied terrain. The route approaches from the Western side of the mountain at the Londorossi Gate and has a great acclimatisation profile. It features repeated ‘climb high sleep low’ opportunities, maximising the chances that a climber will reach the summit and have an amazing overall experience.
You will be picked up at the airport and taken to Kigongoni Lodge. This luxurious lodge is located beautifully on an historic 70-acre coffee farm near Arusha amid natural forest. Sitting on a hilltop with lush gardens, the lodge offers breathtaking views of Mt Kilimanjaro and Mt Meru. Tucked between the trees are eighteen cottages, built in traditional African styles and materials. The rooms, cocktail lounge, and restaurant – all with fireplaces – are furnished in an intimate and comfortable manner. At the lodge, you will meet the rest of the group, gather with our guide for a pre-climb briefing and enjoy a delicious dinner before getting some sleep.
After an early breakfast, our driver will take you in 2-3h to Londorossi Park Gate. Here we get recorded and enter the national park. We then drive another hour to Lemosho trailhead where we have lunch and begin our adventure through undisturbed rainforest on a 3h hike up to Mti Mkubwa ‘Big Tree’ Campsite. This will be your first night sleeping under the stars in tents!
After an early morning breakfast, you will begin your ascent out of the rainforest and into the heather and moorland zone. You will cross many streams and walk over a plateau that leads to Shira 2 Campsite. At this campsite, you will have a spectacular view of the Western Breach and its glaciers in the East. We hike about 5-6h in total today.
Today, we do our first acclimatisation walk up to an impressive rock formation called Lava Tower at 4,630m (15,419ft). It takes 5h to get there and is a first highlight on the way to the summit. After lunch at Lava Tower, we head down and reach Barranco Campsite in about 2h. The camp is located in a valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Wall (“Breakfast Wall”).
This is a short 4-5h hiking day meant for acclimatisation. After an early morning breakfast, it’s time for us to conquer the Great Barranco Wall. Although it may look intimating at first, our travellers usually state it was much easier than they anticipated. At the top of the wall, you will be above the clouds with superb views of the southern ice-fields and the summit. The trail then winds up and down until we arrive at Karanga Campsite where we spend the night.
It’s getting real! We’re now very close to the summit and will have some amazing views of the mountain during our short 2-3h ascent to the last base, Barafu Campsite, at 4,600m (15,091ft). An early dinner will be served so you can get some rest before attempting the summit that same night. Before you go to bed, our guide will brief you in detail on how best to prepare for summit night. Don’t worry, you’ll be in great hands!
Our guide will wake you up around midnight for tea and biscuits. You then begin your summit attempt which many describe as the most mentally and physically challenging part of the whole Kilimanjaro climb. The route heads northwest into the dark night ascending over stone scree. In about 6h, we’ll reach Stella Point (5,685m/18,651ft), located on the crater rim. After enjoying the magnificent sunrise, we continue for an hour or so on a snow-covered trail before reaching Uhuru Peak (5,895m / 19,341ft), the very top of Africa and a life-time accomplishment! Be prepared to be overwhelmed and don’t forget to take your pictures before we descend down to Mweka Campsite at 3,110m (10,204ft). Here, we’ll spend our final night on the mountain after having hiked for about 12-15h. You’ll fall asleep immediately, trust us!
We wake up at our last campsite down in the rainforest. After breakfast, we’ll say goodbye to all of our helpers that have been working so hard throughout the week to get us successfully to the summit. Helpers that have become friends during our days on the mountain. We do the last bit of hiking down to the foot of the mountain, where our driver will be waiting for us to bring us back to Kigongoni Lodge. Time for a beer and great celebration dinner!
After breakfast at the lodge, our driver will take you back to the airport (or wherever else you need to go). By now, you slowly realise what you just accomplished and will be equipped with memories you won’t forget so soon!
We look forward to summiting the ‘roof of Africa’ with you!
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Alice is one of you: young, curious and always looking for an opportunity to break out of the daily routine. A journey is best measured in friends and memories, not miles. It’s the unforgettable memories and the people you meet on your way that make travel the rich, vibrant experience that it is.
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