A Journey to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro





A Journey to Climb
Mount Kilimanjaro






P O Box 844, Halfway House 1685, South Africa

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Telephone: +27 87 941 3892 or +27 72 927 7529   Fax: +27 86 689 6759









Travel Insurance Day 1: 22 October 2012


When flying, we strongly suggest you wear / carry on your boots, wet weather gear and cameras – these are crucial for your climb, and you do not want to risk losing them in the hold. Make sure you have your yellow fever certificate with you as it will be asked for on arrival in Tanzania, and may be requested when you return home.




On arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport off flight KQ 420 at 09h50, you will be met by a representative from Keys Hotel and transferred to the Keys Hotel, Moshi (approx 1 - 1 ½ hour's drive), where you will overnight including an English breakfast.




There are two sister hotels – Keys Mbokomo and Keys Uru Road – your stay will be in Uru Road. Both of these hotels have good views of Mount Kilimanjaro and are classified as modern "tourist" standard hotels. They are of medium size, and rooms are all en-suite. Some have air-conditioning, television and mini-bar. Meals consist of buffet English breakfast, full restaurant meals, bar snacks served all day and occasional barbecues. A bar with a full range of drinks including beers, bottled water and soft drinks is available. Amenities include room service, full laundry service, swimming pool, international telephone, facsimile and internet services, car parking and security.




Leave any excess clothing and valuables at the hotel - they will lock them up for you. Pack your bag carefully for the climb – remember the weight limit of 12kg.



Liaise with staff at reception, and leave them your air tickets to be reconfirmed during your climb. It is your responsibility to ensure that flights are reconfirmed, as any schedule changes will be advised at that time.




Day 2: 23 October 2012

After an early breakfast a senior guide will do your climb briefing, after which you will depart for the National Park Gate (approx 3-4 hours, depending on local conditions) on the western side of the mountain, where you will meet your guide and porters. Drive to the trailhead at Lemosho Glades and start your trek through the rain forest. In places the vegetation is so untouched that it grows right across the narrow track. The flora and fauna are richer here than on the other more popular routes through the rain forest. Your trek today will be along a little used track known as Chamber's Route. In about 3-4 hours you will reach your camp in the rain forest at Mti Mkubwa (Big Tree – 2 650m AMSL).





Take it SLOWLY today; your climb is made in the first two days, so you need to get a slow, steady pace going. You will encounter some steep parts on the climb – but generally it’s not too strenuous. The porters walk ahead and sometimes with you – make sure every day that you have all your personal gear needed with you in your daypack, as you will not have access to the bag that the porter will be carrying.




The porters will set up camp and the crew will prepare your meals. Conditions are difficult on this route, and your guide and the rest of the crew will do everything they can to make your climb pleasant and as comfortable as possible. Eat well – at higher levels your appetite could diminish.




Day 3: 24 October 2012


After breakfast, start the climb across the remaining rain forest towards the giant moorland zone. Today is a full day trek with an altitude gain of 2,000 ft. A great lunch stop is at Gane & Marshall One, a beautiful valley just outside the Shira Crater at around 10,000 ft. After lunch you cross into the Shira Caldera, a high altitude desert plateau that is rarely visited. Shira is the third of Kilimanjaro's volcanic cones, and is filled with lava flow from Kibo Peak. The crater rim has been decimated by weather and volcanic action. Today you’ll get your first close views of Kibo – the dramatic summit of Kilimanjaro.




Drink plenty of water, it is vitally important to keep your fluid intake high, as it aids the acclimatisation process.




Camp at Shira 1 (3 610m AMSL) – it’s a pretty exposed and cold campsite, you may get rain or sleet, and in the morning the ground and tents could be frozen over. You do, however, get to see some of the most spectacular sunrises and sunsets as your reward for camping here!




Day 4: 25 October 2012


After breakfast, continue the hike eastwards across the Shira Plateau – past the Shira Cathedral – towards Shira Two camp (3 840m AMSL). You only gain 230 m in elevation – this allows you to acclimatize slowly to the altitude. The views of the plateau are nothing less than spectacular.




Day 5: 26 October 2012

From Shira you will set off to Barranco (3 900m), skirting just below Lava Tower – you are now walking at an approximate altitude of 4 500m, while traversing around the southern side of the mountain. A few steep sections of uphill & valleys, some parts that looks like a 'moon landscape' and quite a steep descent to Barranco – it’s a long and fairly tiring day.




This is part of your acclimatisation – walking in height from 3 800m up to 4 500m, and then overnighting at 3 900m. Once again, pace yourself to gain altitude slowly. The night temperature at camp could be cold (night frosts).


Day 6: 27 October 2012

Continue from Barranco across and up towards Karanga Valley (3 960m AMSL). The first obstacle this morning is the Barranco (Western Breach) Wall – it’s a climb over rock & it looks like a sheer rock face, but it is a hike & there is no technical climbing involved. It is rather tiring and hard/long though. There’s a relatively steep descent down into Karanga valley, with a short, steep ascent out of the valley to the campsite on the other side of the valley where you will camp tonight. You should arrive around lunchtime, with the afternoon to relax and gain some more acclimatisation time.




Learn to pace yourself with your breathing - do not try to rush to catch up with anyone, go at your own, most comfortable speed and you will arrive relatively comfortably. Listen to your guide(s) they will help you. It could be very cold today – dress warmly, you could be walking through the cloud.




As on any of the days – drink plenty of fluids, as you are in a 'desert' area where you lose a lot of fluid without realising it.




Day 7: 28 October 2012


From Karanga Valley you continue the climb to Barafu (4 600m AMSL), from where you will start your final ascent to the peak tonight. Along the way there is a lot of shale rock – some of it paper-thin! Nice views of Kibo along the way if the weather is clear. You should arrive around lunchtime, which gives you a good few hours to rest before the midnight ascent.


After supper, drink as much fluid as possible & settle down for an early night.  


Drink plenty of fluids, as tomorrow will be a long hard day.




Day 8: 29 October 2012 – SUMMIT DAY!!  


Today is a very long and strenuous day. Drink lots of fluid before you start, you will be very thirsty by the end of it – if can you manage, carry 3 litres of fluid with you.


You will be woken at about 23:30 or 00:00 with tea and biscuits. Put on all your clothing ready for the final ascent.




You will be climbing up scree for approximately 4-5 hours. The guide will stop frequently to rest and check on his group. It is very important to listen to your body and breathing and try to get into a rhythm. Because of the slowness of your walk, your fingers and toes are likely to get extremely cold – suitable socks should be worn and two pairs of gloves (inner and warm outer). The views from the mountain (on the way up) are spectacular – you gain incredible height over a short distance.



You arrive at Stella Point (5 750m) on the crater rim & have a quick rest – the sun should be shining! From here continue around the crater rim to Uhuru peak (5 895m), the highest point in Africa.



After taking your picture and enjoying the view you descend along the crater rim to Stella Point, from where you descend further to Barafu. You will travel down quickly on the scree gasping in more oxygen, step by step. The porters do not travel to the summit with you – the guides and assistant guides do & the tents stay up at camp, so depending on the timing of your summit, you will be able to have some rest here (maybe a short sleep) and something to eat. After a good rest & some nourishment you can pack your thick outer clothing items in the bag that the porter carries before you continue down the Mweka Route.

This is a long descent, and Mweka always seems to be on the 'next hill' - never arriving. Arrive Mweka (3 100m), late afternoon, on the edge of the rainforest, overnight camping. Time to reflect on the day’s achievements.


Day 9: 30 October 2012

A three to four hour pretty descent through the rainforest to the Park Gate at Mweka, where the vehicle will meet you. There are generally beers and coke for sale at the park gate. Transfer by vehicle to the hotel (approximately 45 minutes drive).




Your certificates are generally handed out by the guides (either at the gate or on occasion they may join you at the hotel).




Spend 1 night at the Keys Hotel on a bed and English breakfast basis.




A note on the tipping:


The tip is an additional way of thanking your crew for the hard work that they put in to make your climb a success. We recommend an amount of USD 190-210 per climber for an 8-day.


In accordance with the KPAP (Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project) guidelines, we’ve introduced a system where every climber, on completion of the climb, completes a form with the amount that you are giving as a tip.    


We also supply an example of what the general breakdown would be per member of the crew. If you decide to give more / less (which is completely up to you) – the general amounts get adjusted.

If you only have large denomination notes, please ask our local representative, Edita Mboya for assistance.


The guides have to complete the form with the names of all the crewmembers that accompanied you on the mountain & you are more than entitled to see what the allocations are. This system was introduced due to some of the fly-by-night operators’ guides that did not distribute the tip money fairly, and this is one way to make the distribution effort more transparent & fair.





Day 10: 31 October 2012

Transfer to the airport in time for your departure flight out of Kilimanjaro at 06h00 on KQ 6723.







We wish you all the best for your Kili climb
Thank you for booking with Wild Frontiers.