Moshi town to Marangu Gate (1980m) – Mandara hut (2700m)
Early in the morning after breakfast you will be getting a briefing of your hiking from Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro guides before been transfer to Marangu gate around 9:00 am in the morning which takes about 45 minutes to reach there. On your arrival to Marangu gate which is located at the Marangu village normal formality of registration for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro will take place. A backpack is important for you to carry few things which will be useful for the particularly day trekking such as camera, extra cloth, skin oil, rain jacket and other things which you will be directed. Porters will carry other things for your climbing Mount Kilimanjaro such as food, drinking water, clothes and cooking gas and normally they walk faster than you so they can be in a position of preparing of dinner for you on time.
After all the formality our guide will show you a clear trail and assist you with any additional information or needs you might have. You now leave the park office and ascend on a cleared ridge route through the rain forest. The forest covered with mist and saturated with beards of moss. This trail follows the edge of a stream through the undergrowth and offers you the option to rejoin the main trail either, after one and half hours hiking, you will reach Mandara hut.
The weather at Mandara hut isn’t much cold and normal dressing and a jacket is enough. With an exception of Kibo hut the other huts have a group of wooden A-framed huts in a forest clearing. Each hut features 6-8 sleeping bunks with solar generated lighting. The total capacity of the camp is 60 climbers. Water is piped into the camp from springs above and there are flush toilets behind the main hut.
Mandara hut (2700m) – Horombo hut (3720m)
Early in the morning after your breakfast you will starts climbing towards Horombo hut with your picnic lunch. From Mandara hut the trail passes through a short stretch of forest, and then heads around the base of the Maundi Crater where you will leave the forest and enter the moorland.
We recommend you take a short detour up to the rim of the Maundi Crater – from here you see the impressive Kibo Crater, and on a clear day you will also be able to see the glaciers of Kibo. This is a great photographic opportunity. In the moorlands you will also encounter some of Kilimanjaro most spectacular and strange plants in the open moorland – with giant lobelia and groundsel growing to heights of 3 and 5 metres respectively! Later in the afternoon you reach Horombo Hut to stay for hot dinner and an overnight. Your hut will be comfortable enough to ensure a good nights rest. Temperatures during the night will be around freezing point.
Horombo hut (3720m) - Kibo hut (4700m)
The climb is becoming more difficult as the oxygen at these altitudes begins to thin out considerably. To begin today you can take one of the two trails to the “Saddle”, located between the peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo. Stick to the lower route, which is much easier and has the added benefit of taking you past the last watering point. You should stock up with all the water you will need – the next watering point will be at Horombo hut when you return there on your descent the night after next. Once again remember to take it slowly and drink enough water. It will take from 5 to 7 hours to reach Kibo Hut where you will rest and have dinner. This is a barren area of extreme conditions, with temperatures at night sometimes dropping to below freezing point and daytime temperatures being relatively high. Kibo is a large stone house that can comfortably sleep 60 hikers in bunk beds – remember there is no water supply at this hut. There are toilet facilities behind the hut.
Spend time this afternoon preparing your equipment as you will be making your final ascent tonight–you will need your ski-stick and extra thermal clothing for your summit bid – also ensure that your headlamp and camera batteries are in order and make sure you have spare sets of batteries available as well. Carry your water in a thermal flask otherwise it will freeze later. Make sure you are in bed by 7:00 pm – you will need all the sleep you can get before your very early wake up call in only four and half hours time.
Kibo hut - Uhuru Peak - Horombo hut
Today will by far be your toughest day, you will be woken just before midnight and soon head off into the cold night up a rocky path towards to the Hans Meyer Cave at 5150 metres – you may take a short rest here before continuing your ascent up to Gillman’s point at 5680 metres. Probably the most demanding section of the entire route as it is very steep and stony – go slowly and carefully here. From Gillman’s Point, you will more than likely be walking through snow for the next 2 hours, when you will finally reach the summit of Uhuru Peak at 5895 metres.
Cold and fatigue will set in quickly here and you may find it very difficult to get started again. So spend a little time to enjoy the fact that you have conquered Kilimanjaro, get the camera out and take some pictures, then it will be best that you get moving again – it’s a long way down! The first part of your descent to Kibo hut will take almost another 3 hours. After a short rest you which will be accompanied with heavy breakfast, you will begin the next part of your descent – it will take another 3 hours of hiking to get to Horombo hut. Arriving Horombo hut at afternoon for hot hut lunch and rest as well as dinner and spend overnight there. You will no doubt have a good sleep, feeling exhilarated and proud of your achievement.
Horombo hut – Mandara hut - Marangu Gate