After breakfast and briefing, drive to the Kilimanjaro National Park Gate (about 1 hour), register and commence the climb. Walk through the rain forest to the Mandara encampment. A side trip to Maundi Crater is a good way to see the surroundings including Northern Tanzania and Kenya. In the rain forest, look for towering Eucalyptus trees, bird life, and Colo-bus monkeys.
You leave the glades of the rainforest and follow an ascending path on the open moorlands to the Horombo encampment. Views of Mawenzi and the summit of Kibo are amazing. Look for giant lobelias and grounsels. You may begin to feel the effects of the altitude.
This is acclimatization day, you may rest or familiarize yourself with higher attitude by hiking to Zebra rock
Ascending, we now pass the last watering point, walking onto the saddle of Kilimanjaro between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi. Vegetation begins with upper heathland but then disappears into “moonscape”. Dinner, rest, and prepare for summit climb.
Very early in the morning (midnight to 2am), commence the climb to the summit on steep and heavy scree or snow up to Gilman’s point located on the crater rim. Continuing, we now ascend to Uhuru Peak, which is the highest point in Africa. There are unbelievable views at every turn. Have your picture taken at the summit to show your friends and family. From here we descend, stopping for lunch and a rest at Kibo before continuing on to the Horombo encampment. The beginning of this climb is done in the dark and requires headlamps or flashlights. It will be very cold until you start descending, so you will need all of your warm layers. This is by far the most difficult part of the trek with many switchbacks. Going slowly “polepole” and an optimistic attitude will get you there!
After breakfast, a steady descent takes us down through moorland to the Mandara Hut. Continue descending through lush forest 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 Moshi (about 1 hour). Don’t forget to tip your guides and porters. It is time for celebration!