the Roof of Africa


Arusha National Park-warm up hike Lesser travelled Machame Route: trek high, camp low Northern Tanzania, Mt Meru, Kibo volcano-amazing views] Rest day-greatly increases chance of success Standing atop the 'Roof of Africa'

Full Itinerary

Day 1 Arrival in Tanzania
You are met on arrival at Kilimanjaro Airport and transferred to our hotel in Moshi.

PLEASE NOTE: The hotels indicated in this itinerary reflect our preferred properties in each location. We list these hotels primarily to provide a general sense of overall standard; the final hotel list (which supersedes this itinerary) is not 100% confirmed until approximately 30-45 days prior to departure. We reserve the right to make substitutions of a similar standard if necessary.

Overnight in Moshi. Protea Aishi Machame Hotel or similar.
Meal plan: dinner

Day 2 Arusha National Park
This morning we will meet the driver/guide who will take us on our day's excursion up Mt. Meru, to Arusha National Park. His specially outfitted Landrover has a poptop roof for ease of game viewing and seats 4 comfortably with guaranteed window seating. We begin our big game viewing in a beautiful highland rain forest park that wraps around the top of Mt Meru. Arusha National Park is the only place you'll be able to see a number of rare birds and the rare colobus monkey, but you're also likely to find zebra, giraffe, buffalo and much more. The scenery is spectacular. We will spend some time trekking on trails up Mt Meru; this is the perfect way to acclimate to the high altitudes of northern Tanzania before beginning our Kili climb tomorrow.

Return to Arusha. This evening we will have a briefing about the climb.

Overnight in Moshi. Protea Aishi Machame Hotel or similar.
Meal plan: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 3 Moshi - Kilimanjaro National Park
This morning we depart for the Machame Gate of Kilimanjaro National Park (30 min) via 4-wheel drive vehicle (elevation approx 1818 M / 6,000 ft). We unpack and begin the first day of hiking (approx 4hrs of hiking/climbing). Reach the Machame Hut Campsite around 2.00 pm, stopping for lunch. Set up camp, rest and eat dinner during the early evening. This hike traverses the lush rainforest that belts Kilimanjaro. Elevation 2985 m / 9,850 feet.

Machame Route: We trek high and camp low, allowing you to acclimatize to the altitude and thus increasing your chances of success. This includes an overnight trek from 15,000' to the summit. This route is more "common", though still a world away from the heavily-touristed Marangu ("Coca-Cola") Route.

Overnight at Machame Hut Campsite.
Meal plan: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 4 Machame Hut - Shire Hut
Wake to breakfast, break camp and begin the second day of hiking/climbing. This is a 5 to 6 hour hike, traversing the lower moorland and heath land. The rainforest gives way to large shrubs that decrease in size with increasing elevation. We stop for lunch, then continue on to Shire Hut Campsite. We set up camp, rest and eat dinner during early evening. The west face of the Kibo volcano (usually referred to as Kilimanjaro) looms above the campsite. Elevation 3788 m / 12,500 feet.

Overnight Shire Hut Campsite.
Meal plan: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 5 Shire Hut - Barranco Hut
Wake to breakfast, break camp and begin the third day of hiking/climbing. This 5 to 6 hour hike continues through the lower moorland sometimes climbing steeply and sometimes descending just as steeply to reach Barranco Hut Campsite directly below the south face of Kibo (stopping halfway for lunch). Elevation 3879 m / 12,800 feet. The view of Northern Tanzania and Mt. Meru to the west are amazing, not to mention the view of Kibo itself. Set up camp, rest and eat dinner during early evening.

Overnight Barranco Hut Campsite.
Meal plan: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 6 Rest Day
Today is a leisurely day of acclimatization and easy exploration of the terrain and unique flora of this rare African sub-Alpine bio-zone. Taking a day off en route to the summit greatly increases your chances of overcoming the affects of altitude and achieving the summit more comfortably.

NOTE: This day may occur earlier or later in our programme depending on local conditions and group inclination. The decision as to when the rest day wiill occur will be made by your Tanzanian Head Guide.

Overnight Barranco Hut Campsite.
Meal plan: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 7 Barranco - Barafu Hut
Wake to breakfast, break camp and begin the fourth and final day of hiking/climbing before the summit day. Climb to the Barafu Hut Campsite on the southeast side of Kibo to meet the summit trail, stopping there for lunch. This 4 to 5 hour hike traverses the alpine desert where the sheer ruggedness of Kilimanjaro is breathtaking. Barafu Hut Campsite is situated at an elevation of 4576 m / 15,100 feet. Set up camp, eat a very early dinner and get some rest. The summit day starts early next day.

Overnight Barafu Hut Campsite.
Meal plan: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 8 Barafu Hut - Summit - Mweka Hut
Wake at about 12:30 am to a light snack and begin the summit climb. The winding switchbacks climb slowly toward the crater rim and Stella Point (approx 5606 m / 18,500 feet elevation). From Stella Point one can see the inner crater and ash cone and the amazing glaciers covering the south face of Kilimanjaro. Continue another half-hour to the roof of Africa--Uhuru Peak at 5860 m / 19,340 feet. Stop for a bit of rest and photo opportunity. Views of Mawenzi to the east and Mt. Meru to the west as well as the Rift Valley, northern Tanzania, and southern Kenya are breathtaking. At this range Kilimanjaro's glaciers are as awe-inspiring as they are pristine. After a rest, descend back to Barafu Hut Campsite, break camp and descend to Mweka Hut Campsite at 2985 m / 9,850 feet elevation. Set up camp, eat dinner and get some well-deserved rest. A long day of hiking totaling approx 12 - 14 hours, depending on the fitness of the climber. We reach the peaks in the early morning light, and descend during the day.

Overnight Mweka Camp.
Meal plan: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 9 Mweka Hut - Moshi - Arusha
Wake to breakfast, break camp and begin the short hike down to the park gates at Mweka at approx 1667 m / 5,500 feet elevation. Drive from park gates back to Arusha via Moshi.

Overnight Arusha. Mountain Village Lodge.
Meal plan: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 10 Departure
Today we depart from Kilimanjaro International Airport.

Meal plan: breakfast