Tanzania: Mount Kilimanjaro Trekking
Lodging: Planet Lodge
Location: Mti Mkubwa Camp Site
Activities: We drive to the Londorossi Gate entrance of Kilimanjaro National Park and then onto Lemosho Glades for the start of our trek.
Location: Shira Camp I
Activities: We hike through the remaining rain forest towards the giant moorland zone, an area with grasses and cactus-like plants.
Location: Shira II Camp
Activities: We'll hike east across the Shira Plateau. This is a relatively easy day designed to allow us to adjust to the altitude.
Location: Barranco Camp
Activities: We make our way up to Lava Tower, gaining quite a bit of altitude. We then descend steeply down to Barranco Camp. This idea of “hike high and sleep low” helps us with acclimatization as our bodies adjust to the higher elevation.
Location: Barafu Camp
Activities: We start the morning with a climb up the great Barranco wall. Then walk down to the Karanga Valley and continue to Barafu camp.
Location: Barafu Camp
Activities: We have added a rest day. You are free to take a short hike higher up the mountain, further helping you acclimatize, or to hang out in camp.
Day 8 Summit
Location: Millennium Camp
Activities: At 2 AM, we will begin our summit attempt to Uhuru Peak, under the light of the full moon. After a few victorious photos and a glorious morning view, we to head back down for a short rest before making our way down to Millennium Camp for the night.
Lodging: Planet Lodge
Activities: Enjoy your last views of the mountain as you descend through the moorland and rain forest zones on your way to Mweka Gate. Then it's back to Arusha for a long hot shower and a celebratory dinner.
Activities: This is a free day to rest or explore Arusha. You will either depart back home in the evening, or if you choose to join our safari (which we highly recommend), we will depart this morning for the bush.
Dates: August 3 - 12, 2014
Trip Length: 10 Days & 9 Nights
Mount Kilimanjaro Trekking Tour
Mount Kilimanjaro (The Roof of Africa) – At 19,330 feet, Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in Africa, a lone sentinel rising above the plains below.
Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro is one of the most accessible and extraordinary adventures in the world. Coupled with a safari, you will have two of the most awe-inspiring vacations in a lifetime (all rolled into one trip)!
For over 100 years the mountain has attracted all kinds of adventurers, each hoping to reach the mountain’s summit. Our small group of travelers will attempt the same, hiking to the top during the full moon of early August.
There are seven separate hiking routes leading up and down the mountain; choosing the correct route is extremely important.
For example, the short and steep Marangu Route is the most popular with travelers wishing to save time and money, it also provides hut accommodations. Honestly, we think that’s a bit crazy. If you travel to Africa, rather than worrying about saving a day and a few dollars, you might as well pick a route that is beautiful, less traveled, and offers a greater chance of reaching the summit. The clear winner, for us, is the Lemosho Route.
“Great experience, good physical challenge, doable by anyone with determination and reasonable physical condition.” (Rick O.)
Mt. Kilimanjaro Tour Via the Lemosho Route
Starting from the Western side of Kilimanjaro, the Lemosho route allows us to spend eight days on the mountain (six up and two returning). This extra time is crucial for acclimatizing to the high altitude. In 2010, we took seven days on this route and had nine of ten participants summit. In 2012, we have added an extra rest day before our summit attempt, making the summit even more attainable. Early in the morning of the seventh day of trekking, we will rise to climb to the summit and enjoy an incredible view of the surrounding countryside.
We start and end our hike with a hotel stay in Arusha, one of the gateway towns for climbers. (For a photo tour of our February 2010 Mount Kilimanjaro climb, see Liz Miller’s and Dan Kibler’s photo gallery.) We have local guides to lead us, porters to carry our gear, and cooks to keep us nourished.
If the Kilimanjaro climb wasn’t enough, you can choose to join us on a five-day safari through the national parks of Tanzania.You can read more about the safari here.
Zephyr and our Local Guides
We have partnered with a local outfitter to make our trip outstanding. There are hundreds of local operators in the area and finding the right one is a daunting task. However, we have done the research for you! And, let us say that it is this local company (working in conjunction with Zephyr Adventures) that will help to make this tour a memorable experience.
Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the classic mountaineering climbs in the world, famous in part because it is one of the Seven Summits, the highest peaks on each continent. However, it is equally popular because it is accessible to the standard traveler.
Our trek up Kilimanjaro doesn’t require any mountaineering or rock climbing experience, and, other than a good pair of boots, proper clothing, and perhaps trekking poles – no high altitude gear such as ice axes or crampons will be required. (Your tent and group camping equipment is provided and you can bring your own sleeping bag, or rent one for 75.)
That being said, seven days of hiking and six nights of camping are strenuous no matter what the circumstances. Reaching altitudes over 19,000 feet is extremely demanding for many trekkers. Average travelers in decent shape can summit the mountain. However, please don’t underestimate the climb; this is one tour you should prepare for in advance. If you sign up, we’ll send you information in the Pre-Departure Packet on the best methods you can use to train and prepare.
Because we must provide a deposit to our local outfitters, the 500 deposit for this trip is not refundable or transferable to another trip, starting seven days after you receive your tour confirmation email and Pre-Departure Packet. Please strongly consider trip insurance!
On our Kilimanjaro climb, we spend the first and last night at Planet Lodge comfortable hotel in Arusha. We camp the seven nights of the climb.
For More Information
See our Tanzania Frequently Asked Questions page.