This is one of the "easiest" and most popular Kilimanjaro Climbs and is perfect for novice hikers, it is also known as the "Coca Cola route". The route starts at Marangu Gate, passing through tropical rain forest to the Mandara Hut, which is located close to the Maundi Crater. From here onwards the landscape changes to rolling alpine meadows and giant heather trees and the altitude is felt at Horombo Hut. After Horombo the landscape becomes more rocky and rugged and you will see giant groundsels in lobelias in the spare moor. The paths will skirt Mawenzi and cross the saddle desert before reaching Kibo Hut. The final ascent is definitely the most difficult and tiring part and it can take up to five hours to summit Gillman's Point. The highest point is in fact Uhuru Peak, which is another two-hour walk further. Luckily the descent is much less tiring!
Day 1 - Moshi, Tanzania
On arrival at Kilimanjaro Airport you will be met and transferred to the Keys Hotel.
Day 2 - Mandara Hut (2700 m)
The National Park Gate (1,830 meters) lies at the edge of Marangu, which is an attractive village with many small coffee and banana plantations. After completing entrance formalities, we climb up through and unspoiled forest to Mandara Hut (2,700 meters), a group of comfortable 'A' Frame wooden huts. The volcanic remains of Maundi Crater are nearby and make a good afternoon excursion. (3-5 hours hiking)
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 - Horombo Hut (3700 m)
Today you have a steep walk; this part of the mountain has frequent rainfall- so the path can be wet and slippery. You head into moorland and walk beneath the rocky southern face of Mawenzi, one of the three volcanoes of which Mt. Kilimanjaro comprises. Vegetation consists of stunted clumps of heather, "everlasting" flowers and short tussock grasses. (4-6 hours walking)
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 - Kibo Hut (4700 m)
Today we climb gradually towards the lunar desert of the Saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo. The terrain changes and there is a palpable sense of high altitude wilderness. We should reach Kibo Hut about mid-day. Spend the rest of the day resting and eating in preparation for the final climb. (4-5 hours hiking)
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 - Kibo Hut (4700 m)
Acclimatization day to prepare for your ascent to the summit tomorrow!
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 - Uhuru Peak (5896 m)
Summit day - heading for the highest point in Africa, Uhuru Peak (19 341 feet)! You are woken at midnight with tea and cookies and then start the 5-hour hike to Gillman's Point (18 655 feet). Remember you are hiking in the dark and it will be below freezing point, however the frozen ground makes it much easier to ascent this steep section. You reach the crater rim, just in time to enjoy the sunrise - overlooking the glorious plains of Africa. If you wish, you can continue the hike along the wide crater-rim paths all the way up to Uhuru Peak (about 1 - 2 hours). Everyone descents back to Horombo after their summit of either Gillman's Point or Uhuru.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 - Horombo Hut- Moshi
We retrace our steps with a pleasant moorland hike to Mandara and then a lovely forest walk to the National Park gates. The greenness and lushness of the forest is quite a stunning contrast to summit day and it really makes you realize how varied the scenery on Kilimanjaro really is. (5-6 hours walking). When you finish your descent, there will be a vehicle waiting to take you back to the Springlands Hotel for overnight.
Day 8 - Depart Moshi
After breakfast you will be transferred to Kilimanjaro Airport for your departure flight.
Departures can be done any day of the week and are on a private basis. Please note this climb is based on pick up and drop off at Kilimanjaro Airport.
$2189 USD for 2-5 people
$2775 USD solo traveler
· Meet & greet services.
· Assistance at the airport.
· Mountain guide and porters.
· Transfers as specified.
· All pre and post climb accommodations as per the itinerary.
· All meals included at the huts; breakfast only at the hotels.
· All park fees, hut fees and rescue fees
· Government taxes.
· International flights & taxes.
· Visa fee & related costs.
· Health, travel and personal accident insurance.
· Meals not listed in the itinerary.
· Excursions & activities not listed in the itinerary.
· Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, tips/gratuities, laundry, telephone calls and other items of a personal nature.
· Border taxes.
· Holiday Surcharges.
· Climbing gear
The routes are not strenuous technical climbs, and no mountain-climbing experience is necessary. But there's no avoiding the steep ascents and high altitudes that make robust physical fitness (and a minimum age of 16 years) a prerequisite for this trip. You'll want to consult your physician before undertaking this unforgettable adventure.
All prices are in US dollars and do not include international airfare, unless otherwise noted.
Prices displayed are based on the lowest season base price and assume double occupancy. Prices are shown in U.S. dollars and may or may not include administrative fees, taxes, meals, airfare (where applicable) and Single Supplements. Cancellation penalties, blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.
Options and Extras
Additional Health Information
Only travelers in excellent physical condition should attempt to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. As a guideline, you should be able to run or jog for half an hour or more without feeling short of breath.
Each prospective climber should consult a doctor about high-altitude travel. After a brief period of acclimatization, most people do not suffer from altitude sickness; but elderly travelers or those with high blood pressure or heart conditions need to exercise extreme caution at high altitudes (see section of information on acclimatization for travelers for areas of high altitude.)
The best advice to climbers is not to hurry and to proceed at a steady, comfortable pace that will facilitate your acclimatization to the altitude. Having the right mental state is also important. Do not push yourself to go on if your body is exhausted. Take it slowly, and do not force your body to exert itself.
Although the park has a reliable, equipped rescue team on the Machame route (guides are also trained in rescue procedures,) please keep in mind that professional medical attention is NOT readily available in the remote areas visited during a climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Additional Information on Weather
Although Mt. Kilimanjaro can be climbed at any time of year, January, February and September are considered the best months. July, August, November, and December are also good months.
During the rainy period of March to May, clouds tend to pile up and over the summit, dropping snow on top and rain at the base. Visibility can be limited by cloud cover even when no rain falls. The temperature at this time of year is relatively warm.
The dry season, beginning in late June and extending through July, can be very cold at night; but is usually clear. August and September are also cool and may have completely clear days -- however, it is not unusual for a dripping cloud belt to girdle the mountain above the forest and moorland.
The summit can be totally clear, but the successful climber may look down on a vast sea of clouds with distant mountain peaks poking through like islands.
The shorter rainy period of October to December often has thunderstorms that pass over the mountain, dropping rain as they go. Typically, the clouds disappear in the evening; so the nights and mornings are clear with excellent visibility.
January and February are usually dry, warm, and clear with brief showers that make for good climbing conditions.
Additional information on clothing and accessories
Here is a suggested list of clothing and accessories for a climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro:
· Insulated, waterproof hiking boots with rigid uppers and thick soles (well broken in)
· 3 pair of warm socks
· 3 pair of lightweight socks (to wear under warm socks)
· 1 or 2 pair of lightweight walking or running shoes for walking around camp
· 1 warm hat (or balaclava) with brim to keep the sun off face and neck and a sun hat (you will need both types)
· 1 pair of insulated hiking or ski gloves
· 1 down-filled, hooded parka or Gore-Tex anorak
· 2 sets of thermal underwear (preferably a lightweight pair to wear next to the skin and a heavier second pair for extra warmth)
· 1 pair of warm, windproof slacks
· 1 pair of lightweight slacks
· 1 pair of shorts
· 2 woolen or flannel shirts with long sleeves
· 1 or 2 warm sweaters (fleece-type)
· 2 lighter-weight shirts (or tee shirts)
· 3 or 4 sets of underwear
· Lightweight rain gear with hood (rain can occur at any time on the lower slopes)
· Lightweight personal water container
· A water purification kit and/or iodine pills
· A lightweight daypack for carrying your own water, lunch, camera, film, etc. (a pack that has a hydration system with an insulated water bladder is suggested)
· A medium-size, sturdy duffel bag to contain all your gear and clothing (porters will carry this for you, but they will NOT carry framed backpacks)
· Well-insulated sleeping bag suitable for temperatures of 20-degrees Fahrenheit (sleeping bag should fit in your duffel bag)
· Camping pillow (if desired)
· Emergency foil blanket (optional)
· Flashlight (with extra batteries) - a head lamp will be especially useful for the last part of the climb, which is done at night
· 1 or 2 walking sticks
· Pair of mud gaiters
· Dark sunglasses with high UV ray protection or snow goggles (polarizing glasses are not sufficient to prevent snow blindness)
· Sunscreen with high SPF
· Lip balm containing a sun block
· Small hand towel, soap, and 2 rolls of toilet paper
· Tissue and "wash and dry" wipes
· UV filter for your camera (which is necessary for high-altitude photography)
· High-energy snacks (such as muesli bars, chocolate, or instant hot drinks)
· A small reference book on plants (if you are interested in botany), as guides are not especially knowledgeable about this aspect of the climb
In addition, it is suggested that you assemble a basic medical kit. Your doctor can advise you on specific items to include. The following items may be useful:
· A good supply of aspirin (for altitude headaches)
· Altitude medication -- as prescribed by your doctor
· An antibiotic to use if needed (such as Septra DS) as prescribed by your doctor
· Anti-biotic cream (for cuts and scrapes)
· Band-aids and bandages
· Scissors, tweezers, and a thermometer
· Cold/flu tablets and throat lozenges
· Medicine for stomach ailments and re-hydration salts
Clothing of various weights is suggested, because you will want to dress in layers (removing layers as you heat up from walking, adding layers as you cool down from resting.) During the first two days, climbers may find it comfortable to wear shorts and tee shirts. However, temperatures will change at higher altitudes. By the third day of your climb (Shira Camp to Barranco,) it can be very windy and the temperature can fall to freezing at night.
A limited selection of equipment is available for rental at the base of the mountain; however, we cannot guarantee the quality or condition of any items rented locally. It is, therefore, suggested that climbers bring all of their own equipment.
Additional Baggage Information
During a climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro, travelers should plan to travel with only what is required for the climb. (Excess luggage can be left behind in Arusha and claimed after the climb.)
As previously mentioned, porters will carry only duffel-type bags during the climb (no framed backpacks or suitcases.) You need only carry a daypack with the personal items you will require during the day (your personal supply of water, your lunch, your camera and film, and any clothes you may want to put on or discard). Your passport, money, and permit papers should be kept with you at all times during the climb and also carried in your daypack.
Please be advised that luggage carried by porters is available to travelers only while in camp and is NOT accessible during the day.
Additional Information on Laundry
Laundry service is NOT available during a climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro and it is necessary to take a sufficient amount of clean clothing for the duration of the climb.
Additional Information on Food and Drink
On most days of the climb, camp breakfasts are served at approximately 6:00 AM. Breakfast is usually a hearty meal consisting of porridge, fruit, hard-boiled eggs, and toast with jam. Lunches generally consist of sandwiches and fruit; occasionally soup may be served as well. Tea and biscuits or cake are served on arrival in camp at the end of the day's climb. Dinner, which is served in the early evening, usually consists of soup, meat, potatoes, a vegetable, and fruit.
At all stages of the climb, it is important to drink as much liquid (water and tea) as possible to help your body acclimatize.
Additional Information on Gratuities
Many travelers view tipping as a difficult subject, though this need not be the case. The first thing to remember is that tipping is not compulsory, nor is there any fixed amounts. The bottom line in determining whether and how much to tip is to ask yourself how much the individual did to make your travels more enjoyable. It is with this in mind that we offer the following information.
On a climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro, many travelers choose to tip their guides and porters and the following amounts are suggested:
· Head Guide: US-$50 - $100 for the entire trip
· Assistant Guide: US-$40-60 for the entire trip
· Porters (per porter): US-$15-US-$20 for the entire trip
PLEASE NOTE that your gratuity should be presented at the end of the climb and should be given to the head guide, who will distribute it amongst those who have assisted you during the climb.
Description of the Climb
The awesome site of the Kilimanjaro Mountain is breathtaking. With its glittering peaks rising from the high Tanzanian plateau, this immense dormant volcano seems to watch over the fauna of East Africa. "Kili" is actually made up of three different craters; the little Shira in the west, Mawenzi, in the east, and in the center, the enormous cone of Kibo, whose summit, Uhuru Peak, set in a spectacular background of hanging glaciers, is the climber's goal. The less frequented Machame route includes six days of actual climbing, allowing additional time for altitude acclimatization. Climbers ascend and descend by a different route, encountering more wild and varied scenery along the way. Additionally, climbing the route does not present any particular technical difficulty.
Accommodation is in huts. As mentioned previously in the section on additional information on clothing and accessories, you will need to bring your own sleeping bag, although a sleeping pad will be provided. Toilet facilities are not available in all campsites; you are advised not to use sites near your camp or streams as a waste disposal area.
Avoiding Altitude Sickness
Sensible precautionary measures include:
· Sticking to a schedule of mild activity;
· Drinking plenty of non-alcoholic fluids (one to five liters per day are recommended);
· Not smoking; and avoiding sedatives (such as sleeping pills or tranquillizers), which tend to depress respiration and limit oxygen intake.
You might also consult your personal physician about taking the prescription drug Diamox (acetazolamide), a mild diuretic that stimulates oxygen intake. (It is used by the Himalayan Rescue Association.)
WE strongly advise all travelers to high altitudes to consult with their doctor prior to travel.
Please Note: All the information contained in these pages is intended for guidance only and is believed to be correct at the time of printing. As circumstances may change at any time you are strongly recommended to check with us or the appropriate authority prior to travel for up-to date information, especially health and insurance requirements. All prices quoted are subject to change without notice.