MT. KILIMANJARO – NORTH & SOUTH CIRCUIT
10 DAYS / 9 NIGHTS ITINERARY ON KILI
This route enables someone to have a view of Mt. Kilimanjaro from virtually all directions; starting North, from west, then while at Barranco camp (south) and later from Kibo hut on descend to Horombo camp. Trek commence from the north side of the mountain on the Rongai route. The Rongai route is the only route that approaches Kilimanjaro from the north, close to the Kenyan border. Though gaining popularity amongst climbers, Rongai has low traffic. Through the midst of the moorland and heather precinct; trekkers enjoy a spectacular rear view of Kibo peak and Mawenzi peak from different perspective. From the Third cave continue trekking toward west to join the western approaches route. Besides the spectacular views of different land formations and vegetation on different altitudes one will be well acclimatized hence great chance to summit highest point on Africa on Kibo, Uhuru Peak.
Daily Itinerary on Mt. Kilimanjaro:
HOURS: 2 – 3
TERRAIN: Gentle up hill flatter ground.
ZONE: Timber and Natural Forest
RONGAI GATE (6,600 ft. / 2,000 m) ~ SIMBA CAVES CAMP (9,285FT / 2,830M)
Departure from Moshi / Arusha at 8am, about 5 hours drive to the Rongai gate. After administrative formalities and meeting with porters and guides, begin the walk to the first camp. The walk is at a leisurely pace through timber forest, maize and potatoes fields and then into the natural forest. Arrive at your camp (Simba Cave Camp) for overnight and a hot meal. This camp is set in the heather and has magnificent view of Mawenzi peak towards East.
HOURS: 5 – 7
TERRAIN: Gentle up hill
SIMBA CAVES CAMP ~ 3rd CAVES CAMP (12,930FT / 3,940M)
The hike to the third camp begins through heather zone; then slowly the scene around change into the short heather. After 2 to 3 hours of hike stop at Second cave camp for lunch then continue on to the Third cave camp. On the rest of hike you continue to enjoy the magnificent view of Kibo. Enjoy stopping to see the exotic heather-zone flowers and plants which grow alongside the trail.
HOURS: 2 – 3
TERRAIN: Up and Down through ridges, rocky path, dry streams to cross.
ZONE: Heather and Alpine desert
3rd CAVES CAMP ~ POFU CAMP (13,300FT. / 4,050M)
Begin trekking in the morning toward west heading out of the moorland and into the stark highland desert, up and down on ridges off the main trail, and begin our venture on the Northern Circuit Route. This is a rare explored tail so take your time to enjoy scene around and take lots of photos. You will arrive at the camp right for hot lunch. At Pofu camp there a dramatic view of Kibo; Kibo peak (your main goal) is on the raise towards north.
HOURS: 5 – 7
TERRAIN: Continue up and down through rocky path
ZONE: Alpine desert and moorland
POFU CAMP ~ MOUR HUT (13,100FT / 4,000M)
After breakfast head out further west to Moir hut. Hike through ridges while relishing low and high land views. Great chance to spot different animal foot prints along the way. Lunch will be served somewhere on the trail. After lunch advance to Moir camp. From Moir camp there is a very scenic view of the Shira Plateau.
HOURS: 3 – 4
TERRAIN: Steadily up hill
ZONE: Highland / alpine desert
MOIR CAMP – LAVA TOWER (15,185FT / 4,610M)
After a delight breakfast head out toward east to Lava Tower camp. By reaching Lava Tower one will have reach highest point before summit for the first time on Kilimanjaro. You will be at the same elevation in two days at Barafu camp. Hike through alpine desert and enjoy spectacular view of Kibo from the western side. You will be served hot lunch at Lava Tower upon arrival.
TOTAL HOURS: 6 – 8
TERRAIN: Steep slope and rocky path
ZONE: Alpine / Moorland / Heather
LAVA TOWER ~ KARANGA (13,1850FT. /3,965M)
In the morning after you have fuel-up with breakfast starting out cold and steep downhill on rocky path. The trail to Karanga is full of flora. There are lots of downhill on this day so use of poles is highly recommended plus observe your stepping. There lots of Giant Scinecio and Lobelia Deckenii, they mainly grow on this area because of water availability and conducive temperature. Lunch will be served after the wall, “Great Barranco Wall” (“breakfast”)
HOURS: 2 – 3
TERRAIN: Gentile up hill
ZONE: Alpine zone
KARANGA CAMP ~ BARAFU CAMP (15,200FT. / 4,600M)
This is a base-camp day; Barafu camp acts as a base-camp for all who attempt the summit during the night and morning. Short hike on this day is meant to get us to the camp early, have lunch and have a discussion on what will happen the next day to the crater camp.
HOURS: 5– 8
TERRAIN: Up Hill few rocks and scree
ZONE: Alpine desert and arctic
BARAFU CAMP ~ UHURU PEAK (19,340 ft. / 5,895 m) ~ CRATER CAMP (18,880 ft. / 5,755m)
Very early morning wake up depending on the group. Dress up for very cold weather and pack very basic things that you will need on this particular day. After breakfast start trekking pole pole up hill on scree and rocks path to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Ask your guide to provide you with lukewarm water before start. The temperatures range from just below freezing at early in the morning, to between 48 deg. F (9 deg. C) to 18 F. (-8 deg. C) during the day at the summit. After about 6 hours of walking, you will come to the edge of the crater; Stella Point, at 19,000ft (5,795M) on the crater rim is the end of the steep track. It takes about 45min to Uhuru Peak from Stella point on a less step up hill. The trek to Uhuru peak from Stella point involves lots of sightseeing; huge glaciers on the left and deep smooth crater on your right. At distance on the north one will be able to see northern ice field (biggest ice field on Mt. Kilimanjaro). After great momentous at the summit descend down to crater camp for rest and possible option excursion around crater camp.
HOURS: 6– 8 (3 to barafu, 4 to Mweka camp)
TERRAIN: Down Hill few rocks and scree
ZONE: Alpine desert, moorland, and heather
CRATER CAMP ~ HOROMBO HUT (13,200FT. /3,950M)
If capable wake up early, after breakfast start descending to Kibo hut while enjoying sunrise from the crate camp; a stunning photo of shadow of night trekkers at Stella point with sunrise behind them. Stop at Kibo hut for a major break / lunch then continue down to Horombo hut through The Saddle. Make sure you have reworked your shoe lace for proper adjustment to avoid toe injuries.
HOURS: 5 – 6
TERRAIN: Well-maintained path neither so steeply nor rocky
ZONE: Heather / Natural Forest
HOROMBO CAMP ~ MARANGU GATE (5,900FT. / 1,800M)
This is a day out, a day for the shower. Begin hike around 08H00 to Marangu gate through Mandara Hut for Lunch. Upon arrival at the get perform administrative formalities then you will be awarded climbing certificates; this goes along with singing and dancing. Transfer back to you hotel in Moshi / Arusha for a much-welcomed shower!