Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest peak and one of the world’s greatest natural wonders. Located in Tanzania, you’ll pass through beautiful snow covered mountains amidst an ocean of green acacia forest, surrounded by dry savannah and blankets of clouds. There are 7 different official Kilimanjaro routes that you can choose from, each with their own pros and cons. Find out exactly what its like to climb Kilimanjaro, what you need to pack for Kilimanjaro and more about Kilimanjaro preparation.
✓ Summit the tallest mountain in Africa, one of the ‘Seven Summits’
✓ Sleep under the stars at each camp
✓ Conquer the Great Barranco Wall
✓ Relax in a traditional luxury lodge amid the African rainforest
✓ Walk above the clouds
✓ Hike through five different climatic zones
Chris is our friend and has been working on the mountain for over 16 years. He has made it to the summit over 300 times. He is ranked #6 out of 261 guides on Kilimanjaro by clients. Chris is an incredibly knowledgeable and experienced leader who always puts Kilimanjaro 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!” Robert Jensen
There are many routes that lead to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Each of them has it’s own pros and cons and should therefore be thoroughly researched in order to make an informed and educated choice. Take a look at each of the Kilimanjaro routes in detail here:
The right itinerary is essential to successfully summiting Mount Kilimanjaro. Our carefully planned Kilimanjaro itinerary below uses the 7 day 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.
Remember, deciding on a Kilimanjaro route is a personal choice.
“I climbed Kilimanjaro last year with Follow Alice and it was an unforgettable experience!! All the planning was made at their side and I just enjoyed the beautiful climb – so simple and well delivered.” Silvia Coimbra
You will be picked up at the airport and taken to your climb lodge in Moshi. 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. The adventure begins tomorrow!
After an early breakfast, our driver will take you in 2-3h to Londorossi Park Gate. Here we get registered, and all of the bags carried by your mountain crew are checked and weighed. You will have your packed lunch here whilst you wait for the logistics to be sorted out. We then drive another hour to the Lemosho route trailhead where we have lunch and begin our adventure. Today we will pass through undisturbed rainforest on a 3h hike up to Mti Mkubwa aka ‘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. 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 team 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 our lodge. Time for a beer and great celebration dinner!
After breakfast at the lodge, transfer to the airport, or on to your next activities such as a Tanzania Safari. By now, you will slowly realise what you have just accomplished and will be equipped with memories you won’t forget any time soon!
“I asked our great guide Chris for his opinion on why Follow Alice climbers were more successful than other companies. He had a very clear answer: we are all one team – guides, porters, climbers. It‘s a community goal that requires taking care of each other” Jenny Handl
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.