Sometimes called the Whisky Route. This is a popular route up steep paths through magnificent forests to gain a ridge leading through the moorland zones to the Shira Plateau. It then traverses beneath the glaciated precipices of the Southern Icefields to join the Barafu Route to the summit. An extra day could be added to the itinerary, best spent on the Shira Plateau, where you could walk to the Shira Needles. Strong groups could omit camping at Karanga River. The Mweka Route is used for the descent.
Accommodation on the mountain is in tents, which the porters will pitch for you. You will need a sleeping bag, warm clothes and walking poles. This is a steep, tough trek within the limits of a fit individual used to walking in mountain areas.
|Day 1||KILIMANJARO AIRPORT | MOSHI|
Arrive at the Kilimanjaro International Airport, pick up, and transferred to the Springlands Hotel or similar for overnight bed and breakfast.
|Day 2||MOSHI | MACHAME PARK GATE | MACHAME CAMP|
Altitude: 1,800 m – 3,010 m
Hiking distance: 11 km
Your day starts early with a briefing, followed by breakfast and a 45-minute drive from Moshi (910m) to the Machame Park Gate. After registering at the gate office, you start your ascent and enter the rainforest. You will receive a lunch pack at the gate and you can also drink the bottled water you bought at Springlands Hotel in Moshi. There is a possibility of rain in the forest, which will transform the trail into a very soggy, muddy, and slippery experience. In the evening the porters will boil drinking and washing water and the cook will prepare dinner before you retire to your tent for the night. Night temperatures can already drop to freezing point at Machame camp.
|Day 3||MACHAME CAMP | SHIRA CAMP|
Altitude: 3,010 m – 3,840 m
Hiking distance: 5 km
You rise early at Machame camp and after breakfast, you climb an hour or so to the top of the forest and then for 2 hours at a gentler gradient through the moorland zone. After a short lunch and rest, you continue up a rocky ridge onto the Shira plateau. By now you will be able to see in an easterly direction, the Western Breach with its stunning glaciers. You are now due west of Kibo and after a short hike, you will reach the Shira camp at 3,840m. The porters will boil drinking and washing water, before serving dinner. The night at this exposed camp will even be colder than the previous night, with temperatures dropping to well below freezing.
|Day 4||SHIRA CAMP | LAVA TOWER | BARRANCO CAMP|
Altitude: 3,840 m – 3,960 m
Hiking distance: 11 km
The route now turns east into a semi-desert and rocky landscape surrounding Lava Tower, where you reach an altitude of 4630m after about a 5 hours walk. Lunch is served in a designated area before ascending the rocky scree path to Lava Tower (4630m). Definitely the toughest day so far. It is normally around this point, where for the first time, some climbers will start to feel symptoms of breathlessness, irritability, and headaches. After lunch, you descend again by almost 680m to the Barranco camping area and after reaching the high altitude of 4600m at Lava Tower, the true acclimatization benefit of this day becomes clear. This descent to Barranco camp takes about 2 hours and offers great opportunities to take some beautiful photographs of the Western Breach and Breach Wall. The camp is situated in a valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Wall, which should provide you with a memorable sunset while you wait for the preparation of your dinner and overnight at Barranco Camp.
|Day 5||BARRANCO CAMP | BARAFU CAMP|
Altitude: 3,960 m – 4,640 m
Hiking distance: 11 km
Totally exposed to the ever-present gales the tents are pitched on a narrow, stony, and dangerous ridge. Make sure that you familiarise yourself with the terrain before dark to avoid any accidents. The summit is now a further 1345m up and you will make the final ascent the same night. Prepare your equipment, ski stick, and thermal clothing for your summit attempt. This should include the replacement of your headlamp and camera batteries and make sure you have a spare set available as well. To prevent freezing it will be wise to carry your water in a thermal flask. Go to bed at around about 19h00 and try to get some precious rest and sleep for not more than 5-hours.
|Day 6||BARAFU CAMP | SUMMIT | MWEKA CAMP|
Altitude: 4,640 m – 5, 895 m – 3,090 m
Hiking distance: 17 km
You will rise around 23h30, and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the night. You will head in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This 6-hour walk to Stella point is for many climbers, mentally and physically the most challenging on the route. At Stella Point (5685m) you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see (weather permitting). From Stella Point, you will normally encounter snow all the way on your 2-hour ascent to Uhuru Peak. The time you will spend on the summit will depend on the weather conditions. Do not stop here for too long, as it will be extremely difficult to start again due to cold and fatigue. Enjoy your accomplishment and a day to remember for the rest of your life. The walk back to Barafu from the summit takes about 3 hours. Here you will have a well-earned but short rest and collect the rest of your gear, before heading down to Mweka Camp for dinner and overnight.
|Day 7||MWEKA CAMP | MWEKA PARK GATE | MOSHI|
Altitude: 3,090 m – 1,650 m
Hiking distance: 10 km
After Breakfast, From the Mweka Gate, you will continue down into the Mweka village, normally a muddy and long hour walk. In the Mweka village drive to Springlands Hotel and you will be served a delicious hot lunch and a long overdue hot shower. Overnight in Springlands hotel. It is recommended and tips are highly appreciated at the end of their trip. Tips can be given to the guide at Springlands Hotel. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Those climbers who reached Stella Point (5685m) are issued green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates.
|Day 8||MOSHI | KILIMANJARO AIRPORT|
After an early breakfast, transfer to Kilimanjaro airport for your departure flight back home.
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