4 people up to 6
Jul 1, 2023 - Mar 31, 2024
$1,780 Per Person
$1,605 Per Person
$1,410 Per Person
Whatever your arrival time at Kilimanjaro International Airport, your Ilmaasai Expedition driver-guide will be waiting for you with a warm welcoming smile. Kick back and relax in your comfortable vehicle as he takes you to your hotel in Arusha.
After an early breakfast (07.00), we leave the hotel one hour later to arrive at the Londorossi Gate (2360 meters) for registration around 12.00, and in time to have our picnic lunch. After Londorossi, we have a short drive to the start-point of today’s walk. Today our walking time will be less than 6km, but with an expected 3 to 4 hours of walking time.
Our approach to the mountain using the Lemosho Route is from the west and some people say this provides the very best views of Kilimanjaro. At the start of our walk, we may be lucky enough to spy some colobus or blue monkeys, though an encounter with buffalo, elephant or leopard – while possible – would be rare nowadays. Our walk, steadily upwards, is a wonderful experience, with fantastic forest and some really colourful flowers. Mti Mkubwa Camp 2895 meters (‘Big Tree Camp’) is normally reached by 18.00 and dinner is served at 19.30.
You will soon become used to the early, 07.00 breakfast. Our departure time today is at 08.00. Although our walking distance is only slightly longer than yesterday, today we will be ascending from 2895 metres to over 3505 metres and we can expect a longer walking time of between 5 and 6 hours. Indeed, we start climbing straightaway, to the top of a ridge as we head eastwards and upwards. Today, the trees of our first day’s walk thin out, and we eventually leave the forest environment behind as we move onto the moorland. From here, we are able to get our first view of both the Shira Plateau and mighty Kibo itself.
As ever, you should concentrate on walking pole pole (slowly) to reduce the chances of feeling unwell. Our direction is largely eastwards, and picnic lunch is taken around 13.00. Walking is steep at first after lunch, but then flattens and with the snow-topped Kibo ahead of you, you actually descend slightly to the Shira 1 Camp 3505 meters. Arriving at around 16.00, there will be some welcome resting time before dinner, which will be served at 18.30.
Today we potentially have less climbing to do than yesterday, so we celebrate (!) with a later breakfast, at the leisurely hour of 08.00 and a departure about one hour later. We say ‘potentially’ as your guide will explain that today we have the option of trekking via the Shira Cathedral, depending on how you are feeling (see below).
The standard walking distance we cover today will be about 11km/7 miles. It is a steady, uphill climb and you should expect about 5 to 6 hours of walk time in total. We set off first in a south-eastern direction across the moor and heathland of the Shira Plateau. Buffalo, dik-dik and klipspringer graze here and can occasionally be seen. By this standard route, we intend to reach Shira 2 Camp 3804 meters – which is also known as Shira Huts – by 13.00, in time to be served a cooked lunch. Dinner tonight will be 18.00
(As we mentioned above, you will be given the option today of diverting via the Shira Cathedral (3862 meters, or 12670 feet). This involves more walking, but your extra hours of trekking will be rewarded with stunning panoramic views of the plateau and beyond. Your guide will discuss this option with you in detail.).
Today we are back to our early, 07.00 breakfast time, ready for 08.30 departure. We have around 10km/6 miles to cover, but although we will finish our day only 90 metres higher than we started it, in between we have to climb to the foot of the Lava Tower (4630 metres) before we then descend once more, down to Barranco Camp 3950 meters for our overnight stop.
You can expect a total of around 6 to 8 hours of walking, during which time you leave the Shira Ridge. The Lemosho Route joins up with the more popular Machame trail, which will make it more crowded! The scenery today changes to predominantly Alpine desert. Your picnic lunch will be at 13.00, arrival at Barranco 3950 meters around 16.00 and dinner at about 19.00.
Today we breakfast slightly later (07.30hrs) with a departure time from camp scheduled for 08.30hrs. Today’s walk is actually quite short, being only about 6km/3miles but it will still take between 4 to 5 hours of trekking time. We will break for lunch at around at 13.00hrs on reaching Karanga and have the afternoon to enjoy the views before eating our dinner at 18.00hrs.
At the beginning of the day, we encounter the hardest part of the stage as we have to scramble up the near-vertical face of the Barranco Wall (also commonly referred to as the ‘Breakfast Wall’ as you tackle it right after your breakfast!). At the top of this climb, you will be rewarded with views of the Heim Glacier. After this, the rest of today’s walk becomes a bit easier as we first gradually descend to the gully below, and into the cold but beautiful Karanga Valley. We then continue and finally climb up a steep series of zig-zags until reaching the Karanga Camp (4033 meters). Our overall altitude gain today is only 160 metres.
Another short day -in terms of distance – begins with our breakfast at the camp at 07.30hrs and another 08.30hrs departure. Today we will ascend about 523 metres in a distance of around 4km/2miles and walking time once again is between 4 and 5 hours
We will be aiming to arrive at the Barafu Camp 4556 meters by 13.00, when we will be rewarded with a cooked lunch. (With tomorrow being the summit day, it will be important to relax and prepare for the hard work ahead.) Dinner tonight is served at 17.30hrs, giving you time to get to bed early. After leaving Karanga, today’s stage climbs steadily, passing through barren, rocky landscape, with the Decken and Kersten glaciers visible away to your left. At the top of the climb, the landscape remains bleak as you descend into a valley and you get your first sight of another glacier, Rebmann. At the end of this valley is today’s goal, the Barafu Camp 4556 meters, at which you arrive after a short, steep scramble and a walk
If there is one certainty on Kilimanjaro, it is that ‘summit day’ will be the toughest! But although hugely challenging, hopefully it will be matched with the great sense of achievement of reaching your goal – the summit of Kilimanjaro!
Our schedule for our ‘Summit Day’ is of course very different. Rising at 23.00hrs, we take our tea and biscuits (23.30hrs) before a midnight departure. We begin with a long, tough climb from Barafu at 4556 metres to Stella Point at 5756 meters; for some of this you will be walking on scree, making your trek more difficult.
From Stella Point, there is still another 139 meters of ascent and 45 minutes’ walk to the summit. Our goal is to reach the top (5895 meters) by around 07.00hrs then celebrate (of course!) take our precious photos and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience. After the summit (5895 meters), we return to Barafu (4556 meters), where we rest for a couple of hours, take a Brunch and then leave again at 13.30hrs to continue to descend to Mweka Camp (3100 metres) where we spend the night. We would expect to arrive there at 17.00hrs and take our dinner at 19.00hrs. (In total, we cover around 17km/10miles today with about 11-14 hours of walking – tough going, but with our objective hopefully achieved!)
Still thrilled by your achievement, breakfast is taken at 07.00hrs and at 08.00hrs you can take the chance to reward your trekking team at the ‘Tipping Celebration.’
Although we still have 9km to walk, departure is at a leisurely 09.00hrs and you descend down to the Mweka Gate which sits at an altitude of 1640 metres. There, you will be served a cooked lunch at midday and be presented with your hard-earned certificate.
Your vehicle transport will be waiting to return you back to your Hotel in Arusha, where you can choose to relax – or, if you have any energy left, to celebrate!.
Please note that the Tanzania Experience safari ends at Kilimanjaro International Airport at 17.30 hours. Your departure can only take place today if you have pre-booked a domestic flight which leaves from Kilimanjaro International Airport at 19.40 hours or after, or an international flight which leaves at 21.00 hours or after. Otherwise, you will need to book an extra night’s accommodation (not included in the tour price unless you need to) and take a flight the following day.