Day 1: Keys Hotels Limited Uru Road, Moshi (Sat, 22 February)
You will be met on arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport and transferred to Keys Hotel/K’s Lodge in Moshi.
For basic, clean and affordable accommodation in the mountaineering town of Moshi, we recommend two sister hotels – Keys Uru and K’s Lodge (Keys Mbokomo). Both hotels offer views of Mount Kilimanjaro and are classified as basic 2 star budget hotels. Guests may be accommodated at either hotel.
Overnight: Keys Hotels
Day 2: Machame Camp, Mount Kilimanjaro (Sun, 23 February)
After an early breakfast, a senior guide will do your climb briefing after which you will depart for the National Park Gate (approximately 1 hour), where you will meet your guide and porters. There is a lot that happens behind the scenes, e.g. porter loads being distributed, etc., so relax – it takes quite a bit of time. Sign into the National Park.
After the formalities at the gate have been completed, you will start your walk through the spectacular tropical rainforest, generally in the company of the assistant guides. The head guide will stay behind and sort out the balance of the arrangements and catch up with you later. The guides will stop at a designated spot for you to have your lunch pack that the hotel has provided. The entire day is spent in equatorial rainforest and you won’t have good views of Kibo. Towards the end of the day, you will break out of the forest and arrive at Machame Hut (3,000m). This section of the climb should take you in the region of 5 hours to complete.
Wear your hiking boots today and ensure you keep your wet weather gear with you. Shorts and t-shirt should be sufficient. There are patches on the route where it is VERY wet and muddy, and you may end up with wet boots this evening. Ensure your boots are waterproofed and that you have spare lightweight (closed) shoes to wear in camp this evening. Gaiters are also advised to help you keep the mud and dampness out.
Take it SLOWLY today – your climb is made in the first two days so you need to get a slow, steady pace going. You will encounter some steep parts on the climb, but generally it is not too strenuous. The porters walk ahead so make sure, every day, that you have all your personal gear needed with you in your daypack as you will not have access to the bag that the porter will be carrying.
The porters will set up camp and the crew will prepare your meals. Conditions are difficult on this route and your guide and the rest of the crew will do everything they can to make your climb pleasant and as comfortable as possible. Eat well – at higher levels your appetite will diminish.
Overnight: Machame Camp
The Machame Camp is the first pit stop along the Machame Route of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Day 3: Shira Camp, Mount Kilimanjaro (Mon, 24 February)
Ascend to Shira Hut at 3,800m. When you depart from Machame Hut, you will be in the heather zone and you will be climbing up one of the ridges on the mountain. It is a fairly steep start, followed by an hour or so of hard uphill, then 2 hours at a gentler angle through the lower moorland, which brings you to the top of a rocky bluff. Lunch is normally taken here.
From the lunch stop, you will start traversing westwards up towards Shira Cathedral. The last sections of this route are relatively flat and easy but, once again, take it very slowly.
Take a jersey with you today as it cools down considerably during and after lunch. Again, keep your wet weather gear handy and some snacks for the route. Drink plenty of water – it is vitally important to keep your fluid intake high as it aids the acclimatisation process.
Camp at Shira – it’s a pretty exposed and cold campsite and you may get rain or sleet. In the morning, the ground and tents could be frozen over. You do, however, get to see some of the most spectacular sunrises and sunsets as your reward for camping here!
Overnight: Shira Camp
Shira Camp forms part of the second leg of the journey up Mount Kilimanjaro. There are 2 camps – Shira Camp 1 on west side and Shira Camp 2 on the east. The Shira Plateau landscape features a tropical rainforest and shrubland where a range of flora and fauna species are found. Climbers might also spot the White Naped Raven.
Day 4: Barranco Camp, Mount Kilimanjaro (Tue, 25 February)
From Shira, you will set off to Barranco (3,900m), skirting just below Lava Tower. You are now walking at an approximate altitude of 4,500m while traversing around the southern side of the mountain. A few steep sections of uphill and valleys, some parts that look like a “moon landscape”, and quite a steep descent to Barranco – it’s a long and fairly tiring day.
This is part of your acclimatisation – walking in height from 3,800m up to 4,500m and then overnighting at 3,900m. Once again, pace yourself to gain altitude slowly. The night temperature at camp could be cold (night frosts).
The views of the glaciers on Kibo are breath-taking from camp and, when you turn around, you have the most beautiful Umbwe Valley below you – one of the most scenic campsites on the mountain.
Overnight: Barranco Camp
Barranco Camp is the third pitstop along the Machame Route climbing up Mount Kilimanjaro. This area of the mountain is semi-desert and the camp is set in a valley close to the Great Barranco Wall.
Day 5: Barafu Camp, Mount Kilimanjaro (Wed, 26 February)
Continue from Barranco, across and up towards Barafu Hut (4,600m). Today, you will cross the Barranco Wall – it’s a climb over rock and it looks like a sheer rock face, but it is still a hike and there is no technical climbing involved. It is rather tiring and hard / long though, and the guides might use rope on some sections for peace of mind. There’s a steep descent down into Karanga Valley where you will have lunch on the other side. After lunch, you start to ascend to Barafu. It’s a long day – your guide(s) will set the pace.
Learn to pace yourself with your breathing – do not try to rush to catch up with anyone, go at your own most comfortable speed and you will arrive relatively comfortably. Listen to your guide(s). It will be very cold today, especially when you stop for lunch and rest. Dress warmly as you can expect some sleet on this day. You will be walking through the cloud. After supper, drink as much tea as possible and settle down for an early night.
Overnight: Barafu Camp
Mount Kilimanjaro climbers would approach Barafu camp at about the 5th day of the journey. The word ‘barafu’ is the Swahili word for ‘ice’, which refers to the cold climate at this altitude.
Day 6: Mweka Camp, Mount Kilimanjaro (Thu, 27 February)
Today is a very long and strenuous day. Drink lots of fluid before you start – you will be very thirsty by the end of it. If you can manage, carry 3 litres of fluid with you. You will be woken at about 23:00 or 00:00 with tea and biscuits. Put on all your clothing, ready for the final ascent.
You will be climbing up scree for approximately 4 – 5 hours. The guide(s) will stop frequently to rest and check on the group. It is very important to listen to your body and breathing, and try to get into a rhythm. Because of the slowness of your walk, your fingers and toes are likely to get extremely cold. Three pairs of socks should be considered for today and two pairs of gloves (inner and warm outer). The views from the mountain (on the way up) are spectacular – you gain incredible height over a short distance.
You arrive at Stella Point (5,750m) on the crater rim and have a quick rest – the sun should be shining! From here, continue around the crater rim to Uhuru Peak (5,895m), the highest point in Africa.
After taking pictures and enjoying the view, you descend along the crater rim to Stella Point, from where you descend further to Barafu. You will travel down quickly on the scree, gasping in more oxygen step by step. The porters do not travel to the summit with you and the tents stay up at camp so, depending on the timing of your summit, you will be able to have some rest here (maybe a short sleep) and something to eat. After a good rest and some nourishment, you can pack your outer clothing items in the bag the porter carries before you continue down the Mweka Route.
This is a long descent, and Mweka always seems to be on the “next hill”, never arriving. Arrive at Mweka (3,100m), on the edge of the rainforest, in the late afternoon for overnight camping. You will have time to reflect on the day’s achievement.
Overnight: Mweka Camp
Mweka Camp is the final campsite on the journey up Mount Kilimanjaro. Climbers would arrive here after a 7 hour hike from Summit Uhuru Peak.
Day 7: Keys Hotels Limited Uru Road, Moshi (Fri, 28 February)
It is a 3 – 4 hour descent through the pretty rainforest to the Park Gate at Mweka where the vehicle will meet you. You will then be transferred by vehicle back to Keys Hotel (approximately 45 minutes’ drive.)
Overnight: Keys Hotel
Day 8: Keys Hotels Limited Uru Road, Moshi (Sat, 29 February)
Day at leisure to explore the town of Moshi. Be sure to collect your race number from registration at Keys Hotel.
Overnight: Keys Hotel
Day 9: Keys Hotels Limited Uru Road, Moshi (Sun, 1 March)
KILIMANJARO PREMIUM LAGER MARATHON – RACE DAY !
Transfers to/ from the stadium will be provided, as well as entry into the exclusive Wild Frontiers Hospitality tent.
Good luck with the race!
Overnight: Keys Hotel
Day 10: End of Itinerary (Mon, 2 March)
Transfer from Keys Hotel to Kilimanjaro Airport.
End of services.