Kili Trekking

Kilimanjaro Mountain, ranked 4th in the world, is the highest point in Africa with an elevation of 5,895 meters, above the sea level. The mountain is the only largest free standing mountain in the world. The Kilimanjaro mountain with snow capped at the top  is located just after the Equator line about 3º75′ South of Equator and 37º20′ East at the boarder with Kenya see the map
It is among 20 volcanic mountains near the south end of Great Rift Valley in East Africa, which also include Ol Doinyo Lengai, Ngorongoro Crater, Mount Meru, and Rungwe Mountain.
Kilimanjaro4-150x132Kilimanjaro Mountain is composed of 3 volcanoes peaks: Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira; two of these peaks, Mawenzi and Shira, are extinct while Kibo is dormant. Although Kilimanjaro is inactive, the mountain has fumaroles that emit gas in the crater of Kibo Peak.
Kibo is the highest peak reaching 5,895 meters above the sea level. At the top of Kibo peak is a 2.25 kilometers wide ice caped crater. The second summit is Mawenzi which rises to 5,149 meters above the sea level.
Kilimanjaro Mountain is supporting 5 major ecological zones: lower slopes, rainforest, heath and moorland, alpine/highlandKilimanjaro3-150x150
d desert and glaciers/summit. Within each zone there is an association between altitude, rainfall, temperature, plants and animals
The mountain is part of the Kilimanjaro National Park, which covers an area of 755 sq. kilometers. The slopes of the mountain contains considerable number of bird species, some are endemic/rarer associated with the older forests of the Eastern Arc mountains. Permanent and seasonal swamps fed by the Kilimanjaro Mountain provide breeding habitat for several uncommon bird species.
Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain that does not need ropes or expertise to climb. It is regarded to be the most visited mountain in the world. Nearly 5000 people attempt to climb Kilimanjaro each year



Itinerary:Rongai Route

DAY 1: To Simba Camp (First Cave)

1950m to 2880m, 6400ft to 9450ft

About 3-4 hours / 4 miles

Temperatures: high 70’s to mid 80’s F

Transfer  about 4-5 hours  to the attractive wooden village of Nale Muru. After signing in and preparing the porters, you will begin the hike on a wide path that winds through fields of maize and potatoes before entering pine forest.

The track then starts to climb consistently, but gently through attractive forest that shelters a variety of wildlife. The forest begins to thin out and the first camp is at the edge of the moorland zone with extensive views over the Kenyan plains.

DAY 2: To Second Cave

2880m to 3450m, 9450ft to 11,320ft

About 3-4 hours / 4 miles

Temperatures: low 40’s to high 60’s F

The morning walk is a steady ascent up to the Second Cave with superb views of Kibo and the Eastern ice fields on the crater rim.

DAY 3: To Third Cave

3450m to 3870m, 11,319ft to 12,700ft

About 4 hours

A short but steep climb is rewarded by superb all-around views and a tangible sense of wilderness. We leave vegetation behind shortly before reaching the next camp at Mawenzi Tarn (4330m.), spectacularly situated in a cirque directly beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi. The afternoon will be free to rest or explore the surrounding area as an aid to acclimatization. (3-4 hours walking)

DAY 4: To Kibo Camp

3870m to 4750m, 12,713ft to 15,600ft

About 5 hours

Hike to Kibo campsite at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent before a very early night!

DAY 5: To Summit and Horombo Hut

4750m to 5895m, 15,600ft to 19,340ft

About 11-13 hours / 5 miles

Temperatures: mid teens to mid 20’s F

(and down to 3720m) and down to 12,200ft)

About 3-4 hours / 6 miles , temperatures: low 50’s to high 60’s F

Begin the final, and by far the steepest and most demanding, part of the climb by torchlight around 1 a.m. Proceed very slowly in the darkness on a switchback trail through loose volcanic scree to reach the crater rim at Gillman’s Point (5685m,18,650ft) Rest there for a short time to enjoy the spectacular sunrise over Mawenzi. Those who are still feeling strong can make the three hour round trip to Uhuru Peak, passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. The descent to Kibo is surprisingly fast and, after some refreshment, continue the descent to reach the final campsite at Horombo.

DAY 6: To Arusha

3720m to 1700m, 12,200ft to 5500ft

About 5-6 hours / 11 miles

Temperatures: high 40’s to mid 70’s F

After breakfast, A steady descent takes us down through moorland to Mandara Hut (2700m / 8858 ft), the first stopping place at the Marangu route. Continue descending through lovely lush forest on a good path to the National Park gate at Marangu. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy).

A vehicle will meet you at Marangu village to drive you back to your hotel in Arusha.




Itinerary: Umbwe route

Why Umbwe?

For the experienced mountaineer

The Umbwe Route is the hardest you can choose if you wish to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. The first 2 days are very steep, so steep that in places you use tree roots to haul yourself from one ledge on the forest trail to the next.

Those adventurous climbers that climb the Umbwe Route reach the Barranco Camp in 2 days, something that takes 3 days on the Machame Route and 4 days on the Lemosho Route. So if it’s so steep, why on earth would you want to climb it?

A very small percentage of climbers that climb Mount Kilimanjaro can say that they have climbed the Umbwe route. The route sees very little traffic each year and for the majority of your climb you will mostly have the route to yourself, something that’s hard to come by during the climbing season. Also the scenery on this route is spectacular, offering the most stunning views on the whole mountain, save for the summit itself. If you climb the Umbwe Route, you can join the Southern Circuit along with the Machame route, Shira route and Lemosho Route in the Barranco Valley and climb northeast, summiting via Barafu Camp.

For those that are seeking the ultimate climb of Mount Kilimanjaro, summiting via the Western Breach is for you. This is still not technical but is very tough. For those that dream of pushing on beyond what they thought imaginable and completing a truly amazing physical feat, this is the climb for you. Think you’re up to the greatest challenge Mount Kilimanjaro has to offer?

Day 2 – Umbwe Gate to Bivouac No.1 Camp

Time (average): 5-7 hours
Altitude gained: 1190 metres (3900 feet)
Distance: 11km

Pick-up from the hotel at 8.00am then drive to the Machame park gates for necessary registration formalities. From here you will descend to Umbwe Park Gate taking a further 45 minutes. At the Park Gate, Your climb starts on a 4-wheel drive track that rises with a constant gradient for the first 2 hours of your climb. The 4-wheel drive track now comes to an end, marked by a sign and an obvious change in the trail. From here the path continues to rise with a constant gradient for approximately 1.5 hours of climbing. For the majority of today’s climb from here on in you will be climbing not on soil but over tree roots. A small clearing provides a handy place to grab lunch before heading off again.

After lunch the trail gets noticeably steeper but to compensate, the views are amazing. You’re now climbing along a knife-edge ridge with a deep ravine on each side, the one to the right carved by the River Umbwe far below. After 2 hours of climbing you reach Umbwe Camp You have now climbed the steepest section on the route. Tonight’s camp is one of the nicest on the mountain and one of few actually situated in the forest. Camp will have been set up for you by the porters and when you arrive you’ll get hot drinks, popcorn and warm water for washing followed by Dinner. The evening views of Kibo from the camp are breath-taking.

Day 3 – Bivouac No.1 to Barranco Camp

Time (average): 4-6 hours
Altitude gained: 1135 metres (3720 feet)
Distance: 6km

NOTE: Tonight the Umbwe Route merges with the Lemosho Route, Shira Route and the Machame Route as all 4 join the Southern Circuit

A 7.30am start for breakfast and your days preparations.

Today’s climb is of average length but you will be gaining almost 4000ft in altitude as you reach the Barranco Valley, a serious amount considering you climbed a similar height yesterday. Leaving Camp you climb up a short, steep section of the trail before coming to the clear dividing line between forest and heather. The trail continues to follow the narrow ridge you climbed yesterday and as the heather thins you get some impressive views of the Tanzanian plains below and Mount Meru in the distance. After approximately 2 hours of steady uphill climbing, you stop for lunch on a vantage point with a good view of Moshi. Continuing your climb north, the terrain becomes noticeably rockier as you climb and after approximately 2 hours of climbing the Barranco Wall and Barranco Camp come into view.

Arriving in camp you will have time to do some exploring of the local area. The Barranco Valley has some great views of Kibo to the North and Moshi to the South as well as a beautiful starry sky if the cloud holds off.

Day 4 – Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp

Time (average): 3-4 hours
Altitude gained: 55 metres (180 feet)
Distance: 5 km

NOTE: Today’s itinerary for the Umbwe Route is the same as the Lemosho Route, Shira Route and the Machame Route

Today’s climb is short and beautiful, a favourite of many who climb the Umbwe route. Before leaving camp look south from camp down a deep gorge in the mountain. You should just be able to see Moshi town on the plains.

Today’s main obstacle is the near vertical Barranco Wall. A path zigzags up to the top and while you will need both hands at times, it’s a scramble not a rock climb. There is no rush and there are plenty of great photo opportunities on the Barranco Wall. It will take about 1 hour 30 minutes to reach the top, your highest point of the day at 13,890ft / 4233m.

From the top of the Barranco Wall Kibo rises in front of you, an amazing sight. From here it’s an hour’s walk to the Karanga Valley. You begin a gentle descent of about 1km into a small valley before a short ascent out the other side. Then it’s another shallow downhill for 1.5km. A steep scramble down a slope takes you to the floor of a gorge (12,925ft / 3940m) and steep switchback path of about 330ft/100m, taking about 20 minutes, brings you to the Karanga Camp. The afternoon’s your own.

Day 5 – Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp

Time (average): 3-4 hours
Altitude gained: 640 metres (2110 feet)
Distance: 4 km

NOTE: Today’s itinerary for the Umbwe Route is the same as the Lemosho Route, Shira Route and the Machame Route

The penultimate day of the ascent and a short one. Leaving camp the path begins to rise and does so most of the way to Barafu Camp. The landscape is desolate and the Southern Ice fields on the slopes of Kibo to your left add to the surreal surroundings. After a steady climb of 1 hour 30 minutes you enter a long, shallow valley. If you turn north and face Kibo, you are about in line with the summit, Uhuru Peak. A walk of 1 hour 15 minutes followed by a short steep scramble brings you out of the valley. Turning north you begin the last leg to Barafu, taking about 30 minutes and with no serious incline.

Once in camp you will get a solid meal and your guide will brief you on the plan for the summit bid. The views of the summit and also of Mawenzi are great from Barafu. It can be hard to sleep at this altitude and it’s still going to be bright outside, with porters and climbers about, so an eye mask and ear plugs can be useful.

Day 6a – Barafu Camp to the summit

Time (average): 6-10 hours
Altitude lost: 1195/1295 metres (3920/4250 feet) to Stella Point/ Uhuru peak
Terrain: a steep, rough ascent on lose scree and rocks to the crater rim; more gradual thereafter
As on the Marangu route, you will be woken around midnight to walk through the night, and you need the early start to try to reach the summit and still have time to descend in daylight. To reach your next night’s accommodation via Uhuru, you need not only to gain 1295 m of vertical height, but also to lose 2795m.

The climb to Stella Point is the most daunting section of the Umbwe route, mainly because of the altitude and darkness, but there are no technical difficulties. It is a long steep slog, very steep in places, but if you’re determined and escape altitude sickness, you will get there in the end. If your feet slip back on the scree, try pushing harder on those poles and edge with your boots; watch the guides. As you near or reach Stella Point, the sunrise will raise your morale and body temperature.

From Stella Point it takes another 45 minutes or so to Uhuru Peak, although the gradients are much gentler and the terrain easier. There’s no point in making a super-human effor to reach the summit unless you’re also still capable of getting yourself down. However, you may find that the achievement of reaching the summit gives you a rush of energy that sees you through this, perhaps the longest day of your life.

You will now start your descent of the mountain and reach Mweka for the night.

Day 6b – Summit to Mweka camp

Time (average): 7-8 hours
Altitude lost: 2795 metres (9170 feet)
Terrain: gradual descent around crater rim, then steep, lose scree followed by rough path

The descent from Uhuru begins immediately after the all-night climb. From the summit, you will lose 2795 m to reach Mweka. These are massive descents, much further than you would attempt anywhere else. You have to perform this immediately after a night of enormous effort at high altitude, without a proper rest, let alone sleep.

Then there’s terrain: descending the steep scree is tricky, although using two poles helps. The guides have a nifty technique of half-running, half-sliding down the scree on their heels. Some people find it easy to follow suit, others fall a lot. If you fall, try to relax on the way down and watch out for rocks.

Don’t be pressurised into descending faster than you feel safe. The dust may create a serious problem for your eyes, nose and throat, so protect your face. Hold back: it’s much worse when you follow another hiker closely.

Your knees and toes take the brunt of the descent. Start by lacing your boots tightly over the instep, to prevent your toes from hitting the end of the boot. This can cause lasting numbness, especially in the big toe, and may lead to loss of toenails. If your boots were too short in the first place, you will find this out to your cost.

Once you reach your overnight camp. Get a well-earned nights rest.

Day 7 – Mweka camp to Moshi

Time (average): 3-4 hours
Altitude lost: 2550 metres (8370 feet)
Terrain: mainly through the forest

Before leaving camp, take a few minutes to look north at the snow-covered cone of Kilimanjaro. It’s a beautiful sight and one you will never forget.

A steady descent of about 1 hour 30 minutes brings you 3.5km downhill to Mweka Camp. There are some nice places to grab a few last pictures of the summit on this trail. 5 minutes from Mweka Camp you reach a very clear divide with the forest. From the boundary of the forest to the park gate is 10km of downhill. For a lot of today’s hike, you’re walking on a ridge between 2 huge gorges, giving some impressive views through gaps in the trees. After about 2 hours of hiking you come to the start of the 4-wheel drive track and from here to the gate is only a 40-minute walk. This last section of the forest has an abundance of elusive monkeys but if you’re lucky you may come across a few foraging in the trees. You will also pass young children allowed in by the park rangers in order to collect dead wood for the fire. They are fascinated by digital photography and showing a photograph you just took of them always gets a good reception. Any sweets or chocolate you still have is a welcome treat for these kids.

At the park office you are presented with your certificate if you reached Stella Point (green) or better yet, the summit (gold). Then it is back to the hotel for a hot shower and big feed. All that’s left to do now is get a good night’s rest before your transfer onwards or to the airport tomorrow.

Extra day for Acclimatisation

Day 3 Barranco Camp (2985m) – Acclimatisation day

Today you rest, simple as that. In the last 2 days you have climbed to an altitude that Machame Route climbers take 3 days to do and Lemosho Route climbers take 4. It is vital that you take it easy to let your body get used to the thinner air. The chances are you will have a headache by this stage and so the rest day will be a welcome change from day 1 and 2.

Take some time to walk through the valley, snap a few pictures but most important of all, relax. You will want a good book or 2 to keep you amused until other climbers start filtering into the valley in the mid afternoon. If you have a pair of binoculars, you can watch the poor sods that have to climb the Barranco wall today as well. Just remember it’s all ahead of you tomorrow assuming your summiting from Barafu Camp.