Live the legend as you plant your feet in the snows of Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest mountain at 19,443 feet – one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences Africa has to offer. For this Kilimanjaro adventure, we’ve chosen the lightly used Rongai Route, which approaches the mountain from the north. Experienced guides consider the Rongai Route an easier and more beautiful climb than the heavily trafficked Marangu Trail.
The Mt. Kilimanjaro climb takes you through diverse habitats: forests, alpine moorlands and a high-altitude desert in the saddle between the two snow-blanketed peaks. See wildlife such as the beautiful Kilimanjaro colubus monkey and eland. Wake to magnificent sunrises that make glaciers luminescent and grant the peak an alpine glow.
Although the climb does not require technical skills, it is a serious undertaking; however, anyone accustomed to strenuous exercise can reach the summit.
What is Custom Travel? The itinerary below is only a small sample of options in East Africa. Every traveler can envision their ideal way to see the world. International Expeditions’ experienced Custom Travel Planners create individually tailored tours that match your style of travel, budget and timeline. Tell us the dates you wish to travel, and we’ll take care of the details.
Arrive in Arusha, Tanzania. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Get a good night’s sleep before your adventure begins tomorrow!
Arusha/Mt. Kilimanjaro Climb Briefing/Kibo Hotel
Your guide will provide an orientation for the Kilimanjaro climb and assist you in preparing your clothes and gear, as well as storing any excess luggage or items. Experienced guides and porters carry your food and equipment. (B,D)
Mt. Kilimanjaro Climb: Rongai One Camp
Rongai One Camp (8,500 ft): After completing the necessary registration formalities at the National Park gate, transfer to the start of the Rongai Route. The climb begins from the attractive wooden village of Nale Moru on a small path winding 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, including the beautiful Kilimanjaro colobus monkey. These monkeys are black with a long “cape” of white hair and a flowing white tail. The forest begins to thin out and the first camp is at the edge of the moorland zone with extensive views over Kenya’s plains. (3-4 hours walking). (B,L,D)
Mt. Kilimanjaro Climb: Kikelewa Caves
Kikelewa Caves (11,000 feet). The morning walk is a steady ascent to the “Second Cave” with superb views of Kibo and the Eastern icefields on the crater rim. After lunch, leave the main trail and strike out across the moorland on a smaller path towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi. Your campsite is in a sheltered valley with giant senecios near Kikelewa Caves. (6-7 hours walking) (B,L,D)
Mt. Kilimanjaro Climb: Mawnzi Tarn
Mawenzi Tarn (14,200 feet). A short but steep climb up grassy slopes is rewarded by superb views and a tangible sense of total wilderness. Leave vegetation behind shortly before reaching the next camp at Mawenzi Tarn, spectacularly situated beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi. The afternoon will be free to rest or explore the surrounding area as an aid to acclimatisation. (3-4 hours walking) (B,L,D)
Mt. Kilimanjaro Climb: Kibo Camp
Full day acclimatization. Trek to Kibo Camp. Cross the lunar desert of the “Saddle” between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach 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! (5-6 hours walking) (B,L,D)
Mt. Kilimanjaro Climb: Gilman's Point/Summit/Horombo Hut
Climb to Gillman's Point (18,700 feet) and Summit! Start the final day by torchlight around 1 am. This is by far the steepest and most demanding part of the climb. Plodding very slowly in the darkness along a switchback trail through loose volcanic scree, head for the crater rim and Gillman’s Point. 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 refreshments, continue the descent to reach your final campsite at Horombo. (11-15 hours walking) (B,L,D)
Mt. Kilimanjaro Climb: Arusha
A steady descent takes you down through moorland to Mandara Hut, 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. (5-6 hours walking). When you finish the climb, there will be a vehicle waiting to transfer you back to Kibo Hotel. Continue to the main gate and onward to Mountain Village. Arriving Arusha, you have the remainder of the afternoon and evening at leisure to relish your accomplishment! (B)
The morning is free to rest or enjoy shopping. This evening you will depart on your international flight home.
Your flight arrives back into the U.S.