This is a path from the north-eastern side of the mountain along the Kenya Tanzania boarder. This is a route only used for ascending giving climbers a big room to explore mount Kilimanjaro as they descend through Marangu route. It is possible for the climbers via this route to summit and back in 6 days successfully but an extra acclimatization day is important.
Day 1: Rongai Starting Point (1996m) – Simba camp (2626m)
Habitat: Forest (Montane)
Distance: Approximately 6.7 km
Hiking time: 4 hours
Depart from any hotel at Moshi town or Marangu and drive to Marangu gate for registration and signing up. From the gate, we shall travel East to the near boarders of Kenya Tanzania where we shall follow a dirt road through farms to the starting point (Naro Moru 1996masl). At this point is where you shall have a chance to meet the entire crew and do the final preparation. Then a four hours walk through the motane forest inhabiting wildlife species in abundant level should make you reach the camp at the edges of the forest. Dinner and overnight at Simba camp.
Day 2: Simba camp (2626masl) – Kikelewa Camp (3679masl)
Distance: Approximately 11.8 km
Hiking time: 6 – 7 hours
The forest has opened up with heather and heather like shrubs exposing the beauty of the landscape ahead. The path through the moorlands will take you to the first caves at 3482masl where you shall have lunch and proceed to Kikelewa (3639masl). Dinner and overnight at Kikelewa.
Day 3: Kikelewa Cave (3679m) – Mawenzi Tarn camp (4303m)
Distance: Approximately 3.7 km
Hiking time: 3 hours
The beauty of the land is more conspicuous, Hills at both sides of the path decorated by shrubs and rock outcrops form part of the scenic beauty. Now as you climb the vegetation grows shorter and the bare land is more exposed welcoming the desert lands. Mawenzi Tarn camp is at the base of Mawenzi volcanic cone. Here temperatures can get low to an extreme level at certain times and at those times you can begin hiking through the snow lands from this point. Enjoy your dinner and overnight at Mawenzi Tarn hut.
Day 4: Mawenzi Tarn camp (4303m) – Kibo hut (4730m)
Habitat: Alpine desert
Distance: Approximately 9 km
Hiking time: 5 hours
After breakfast, begin to Kibo hut through saddle. The region is now a definite desert characterised by high temperatures and strong wind. Remember to drink a lot of water and cover yourself well to eliminate any chances of dehydration and skin breakage. I always imagine myself in a different planet at this region with lands so beautiful only to be brought back to reality by some sound of a crow calling near the camp. Crows, buzzards, turtle doves and rats are common animals at all camps in Kilimanjaro. Kibo hut at 4730masl is the last camp where you shall have lunch, rest and prepare to summit. It is a common practise for people to start to the summit at midnight but sometimes people do that during the day mainly to dodge hush weather. You will probably be at this camp at 2:00pm and have your lunch about the same time. The remaining time you should spend resting as the night is short with extreme activities. Evening meals are going to be served early too giving you enough time to rest and get prepared and at 11:30pm, you shall be waked up for tea with biscuits. The journey to Uhuru peak begins at midnight.
Day 5: Kibo hut (4730m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Horombo hut (3705m)
Habitat: Rocks, stone scree and ice-cap summit,
Distance: Approximately 5.4km ascent and 15 km descent,
Hiking time: At least 8 hours to Uhuru Peak and 6 hours to Horombo,
It is always exiting for most people who take this little expedition to Uhuru peak as their main event. So it is a common thing to see tourist at almost midnight putting on outfits, flash lights and other gears ambitiously waiting to commence to Uhuru. The journey should begin at exactly midnight. The steep and zigzag path is meant to take you to Uhuru and the trick to conquer this gradient is to walk slowly. At Gilmans point (5681masl), the land is beautifully crown white with snow covering the rest of the journey. Freezing is common at this lands and atleast from Kibo to Uhuru we are going to be available and serving hot water during resting periods. When the day is perfect and the hiking amazing, you shall be at Uhuru peak with the rising sun or at least earlier but you will have a chance to watch the sun rising with it’s beautiful rays on everything at the slope of the great mountain. How long you will spend here is on you but take your time and take photos if the weather tolerate. Coming down from Uhuru to Kibo hut is always easy to most travellers and it takes few hours. At Kibo hut, you shall be given an hour to rest and after resting gather your gears and begin to Horombo hut. Your journey to Horombo should be interesting as the route now changes and descend through Marangu route. Dinner and overnight at Horombo hut.
Day 6: Horombo hut (3705m) – Marangu Gate (1860m)
Habitat: Moorland & Montane Forest
Distance: Approximately 19.7 km
Hiking time: 6 hours
After breakfast, continue the descent to the gate via Mandara hut. By now you should have come into contact with most of the supporting crew. Tipping is recommended at the last minute as you shake hands for goodbye after ensuring you have all your gears. You shall be given a certificate as a token of your effort a green certificate for those who made it to the Gilman’s point and a golden one for those from Uhuru peak. After lunch and the shaking of hands you shall drive back to the hotel and make the end of the journey with a nice long hot water shower.
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