We will meet you on your arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport and transfer you to your nearby hotel for dinner. A hearty meal is in order before beginning day one of the Kilimanjaro challenge in the morning.
Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa at 19,341 feet and is the tallest freestanding mountain in the world. It is not a mountain in the traditional sense, but actually a giant volcano.
There are seven approach routes and three routes to the summit. We are taking the Shira route. Taking a longer time to climb is advised because it allows you to acclimatise more easily to the altitude – 8 days is a good amount of time.
Following an early breakfast and briefing from our guide we will be taken to the western side of Kilimanjaro where we begin our trek from 11,800 feet. This will be a gentle hike as we don’t begin ascending yet, maintaining the height of 11,800 feet. We spend the first night at Simba Camp.
This trek will take between 2 and 4 hours.
Day 2 of our climb will be another fairly gentle day as we ascend only slightly higher than the previous day, allowing our bodies to begin acclimatising to the increase in height. We hike from Simba Camp to Shira Camp 2.
This hike will take approximately 4 to 5 hours.
After an early breakfast we embark on our longest walking day yet. From Shira Camp 2 we will spend 5 or 6 hours ascending to Lava Tower where we stop for lunch and a chance to acclimatise to the rising height of 15,190 feet. Following this we will descend for 2 hours to reach Barranco Camp.
This is a great day for photo opportunities, especially if there are sheets of ice covering the great Barranco Wall, and of course, a stunning sunset. It is also a day where you need to pay attention to your body and notify your guide if you notice signs of altitude sickness.
Today’s climbing (without breaks) will take approximately 8 hours.
We spend today at Barranco Camp for some much-needed altitude acclimatisation. You can explore the area and make memories taking photos amongst the spectacular scenery.
On day 5 of the climb we reach Karanga Camp which stands at 13,780 feet, but not before we’ve got over the hurdle of the Barranco Wall – don’t worry, it’s not as difficult as it may at first appear. This will take a 1 – 2 hour scramble.
The Karanga Valley is the last place for the porters to collect water and they will gather it here for the rest of the ascent. After lunch you can spend time relaxing or doing some exploring.
The hike to Karanga Camp will take approximately 4 hours.
Today we climb from Karanga Camp at 13,780 feet to Barafu Camp at 14,930 feet. Travelling over ridges and valleys, we head in an easterly direction.
You will want to get a good few hours’ sleep when you reach camp as later this evening/very early tomorrow will see us attempting the final push to the summit of Kilimanjaro.
Today’s hiking will take us approximately 4 hours.
Day 7 of the climb will prove to be our most challenging as we ascend further than we have on any other single day – over 4,000 feet higher, to the summit.
Rising before the new day begins we climb for 6 hours through thick scree, until we reach Stella Point, as the sun is rising. We cannot rest for too long though, and after a short time we move on again – this is important as it is extremely cold at this height. We continue along the rim for another 1 to 2 hours, eventually reaching Uhuru Peak – our ultimate goal, the top of Kilimanjaro.
There is time to take pictures to savour this, your glorious moment of achievement – reaching the pinnacle of Africa.
Following this we will begin our 3 hour descent back to Barafu Camp and then after a short rest, we descend again to Mweka Camp where we stay for the night.
There is a 66% success rate for reaching the summit. Those who reach Stella Point and don’t go any further up still receive a certificate and should be equally proud.
Today’s ascent to the peak of Kilimanjaro is likely to take around 8 hours and the descent will take around 6.
Our last section of descent will take us on a scenic hike to Mweka Gate which stands at a comparatively low 6,500 feet. Receive your summit certificate here and, if the roads are too muddy for vehicles, you will continue hiking for another hour into Mweka Village in the south. Here you can enjoy a hot lunch and finally, with a sense of immense and justifiable pride, be transferred to Kilimanjaro International Airport for your flights home.
Onsea House Country Inn and Guest Cottage is a true oasis only 30 minutes from Kilimanjaro Airport and just a few minutes from the heart of Arusha.
This boutique hotel situated on Namasi Hill will leave you feeling relaxed and at home. Onsea is owned and managed by delightful Belgian couple Dirk and Inneke. Fine french brasserie style dining awaits you from Michelin trained chef Axel Janssens. At Onsea you really are spoilt for choice; laze by the pool in the African sun, enjoy the lawn bar and banda, or unwind in the hippo pool jacuzzi. Relaxing massages and aromatherapy can be arranged for an additional cost.
The manicured palm garden provides unparalleled views across the Maasai steppe, the Monduli Mountains and the unrivalled spectacle of Mount Meru. If you are staying for a longer period of time you can indulge in the many activities that Onsea has to offer, including hiking, bird watching, ballooning, mountain biking, canoeing and horse riding.
You don’t need to worry about a thing when it comes to camping on Kilimanjaro – our team of porters will always have your next camp ready for you before you arrive.
Our quality sleeping tents are triple tents used as doubles to give you enough space to get the sleep you need on the trek. You will need to bring your own trekking gear and sleeping bags or rent them from us. For an extra cost there is the option to upgrade and have aluminium frame beds with soft mattresses, allowing you to sleep off the ground, hot showers, a triple tent used as a single, and a dinner tent heater.
A dining tent, toilet tent and wash basins are perhaps not what you would imagine to constitute camping on Kilimanjaro but this tour is sure to surpass your wildest imagination. You will enjoy three hearty meals a day to keep your energy levels up, as well as delicious homemade treats such as cookies, cakes and bread. The menus have been developed by a professional Italian cook who has trained staff in prestigious safari camps.