ITINERARY: MT KILIMANJARO
Day 1 - Marangu Gate to Mandara Hut
Leave Marangu Gate (1980 m) and trek on a wide track to our first night through rain forest and giant heathers. If we are lucky we may spot families of Columbus monkeys in the trees. We walk for 6 hours ascending 700m to Mandara Huts at 2700m. Dinner and over-night at the hut.
Day 2 - Mandara Hut to Horombo Hut
We continue our trek through the forest eventually reaching an area of heather, which then turns into moorland. When you get to this stage you will get your first good view of snow capped Kibo and its jagged sister Mawenzi. Camp is at Horombo Hut (3700m). During the day we will have walked about 11 km which will take 5-7 hours and we will have ascended 1000m.
Day 3 - Horombo Hut - acclimatization day
Today is a rest day for acclimatization purposes however for those who wish we can walk up to The Saddle which is the strip of land between Mawenzi and Kibo with good views.
Day 4 - Horombo Hut to Kibo Hut
We carry on up and cross the Saddle to Kibo Hut (4700m), which is more basic than the two huts we've stayed in up till now. The walk is over a fairly barren moonscape though the views of Kibo ahead and Mawenzi behind can be stunning when set against a crystal blue sky. The walk is about 10 km will take 5-7 hrs and we will ascend 1000m.
Day 5 - Kibo Hut - Uhuru Peak - Horombo Hut
This is an extremely long and challenging day, walking up to 16 hrs. We get up shortly after midnight and climb Kibo for about 6 hrs to Oilman's point (5680m) on the rim of the volcanic crater for sunrise. If the day is clear there are spectacular views over the savannah plains with the possibility of seeing Mt Kenya some 360km away. We then continue across the snow around the rim for a further 2 hrs for the final push to Uhuru Peak (5895m) - Africa's highest point. It is a hard hike, but is well worth it to see the glaciers and have your photo taken with a sign confirming your achievement. If you reach Uhuru you will have walked about 4 km for about 7 - 81/2 hours and ascended 1200m. We go down the way we came back to Gillman's then onto Kibo and then all the way back to Horombo Huts where we will spend another night. This will be another 14km, which will take 41/2 to 7 hrs and will have descended 2200m.
Day 6 - Horombo to Marangu Gate
We retrace our steps with Mandara Hut being a good place to break for lunch. Transport will be waiting at Marangu gate for the journey back to Arusha, connecting with tourist shuttle back to Nairobi.