Day 1 -Arrive & Transfer to Hotel

Fly into Kilimanjaro airport & transfer to our hotel on the outskirts of Moshi. You'll be greeted by our representative holding an Inspire Alpine® sign outside the airport arrivals hall. We'll transfer by bus or minivan (45 minutes) to the Weru Weru River Lodge where we'll have a briefing, met our local guides, complete a kit check and have dinner together. Expedition Leader & Everest summiteer Ricky Munday will deliver an inspirational talk about his failure and success on Everest.

Day 2 -Rongai Gate to Simba Camp

After breakfast, we'll transfer from our hotel to Rongai Gate (2,364m) close to Nale Moru on the north side of the mountain, where we'll register with the National Park and meet our porters & cook team. We can stop en route at a supermarket for snacks & we'll have a short toilet stop in Tarakea.

We'll be provided with a packed lunch when we arrive, which we can eat before we start our trek. We'll begin our trek on this unspoilt wilderness route on a small path that winds through forest and into the moorland zone.

It's a consistent but gentle climb through attractive forest that shelters a variety of wildlife. We reach our first overnight stop at sheltered Simba Camp (2,671m) by late afternoon at the edge of the moorland zone, and we'll have our first glimpses of mighty Mawenzi. We'll have an afternoon snack of popcorn or hot nuts before we eat dinner in the mess tent and spend our first night under canvas.

View interactive Route - Day 2

Trek distance & time: 6 km, 3hours

Day 3 -Simba Camp to Kikilewa Cave

The morning walk is a steady ascent up to 'Second Cave' (3,450m), where we'll eat a freshly cooked lunch, with superb views of the Eastern icefields on the rim of Kibo, the highest of the three volcanic cones that form the entire mountain. After lunch, we leave the main trail leading up to Third Cave & beyond to School Hut, and instead we dogleg left to stride out across moorland on a smaller path towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi, the second highest of Kilimanjaro's three volcanic cones and the second highest peak in Africa.

Mawenzi continues to dominate the horizon as we continue on the undulating path until we drop down slightly to reach our next camp in a sheltered valley near Kikelewa Caves (3,600m) in the late afternoon.

If we're lucky and the weather is clear we'll have magnificent views north towards the Kenyan hills. It has been a long day and we'll sleep well tonight.

View interactive Route - Day 3

Trek distance & time: 11.5 km, 9 hours

Day 4 -Kikilewa Cave to Mawenzi Tarn Camp

A steep climb up grassy slopes is rewarded by more superb panoramas of the Kenyan plains to the north. We leave the vegetation behind as we approach Mawenzi Tarn (lake) at 4,330m, spectacularly situated in a cirque beneath the towering cliffs of Mawenzi.

At this altitude, the oxygen level is only 59% compared to sea level, so you will likely be feeling some of the effects of altitude.

View interactive Route - Day 4

Trek distance & time: 2.5 km, 3 hours

The afternoon will be free to either rest or to explore the surrounding area as an aid to acclimatisation.

We recommend you use this time to gain height on Mawenzi ridge (to 4,500m) as climbing high & sleeping low will help you acclimatise you may also be rewarded with incredible 360-degree views of Kibo and Mawenzi!

View interactive Route - Mawenzi Ridge

Trek distance & time: 1.0 km, 1.5 hours

 Day 5 -Mawenzi Ridge acclimatisation

We will spend a full day at and around Mawenzi Tarn as part of the acclimatisation process. There will be plenty to do and our guide team will help arrange short excursions to explore the area.

We'll likely ascend another 2-300m to a viewpoint to support the acclimatisation process and drop back down to Mawenzi Tarn Camp to spend a second night.

View interactive Route - Mawenzi Ridge acclimatisation

Trek distance & time: 2.4 km, 2.5 hours

Day 6 -Mawenzi Tarn Camp to Kibo Camp

We hit the trail early on day six and leave our attractive campsite to cross the lunar desert of the 'Saddle' between Mawenzi and Kibo before making camp at the bottom of the wall of Kibo Crater (4,750m) by early afternoon. The landscape of the Saddle is like nothing you've ever seen before, so take time to look around as you're trekking!

The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent before a very early night - we'll wake well before midnight to begin our preparations for the summit bid! We rest up and prepare our gear tonight and try to get a few hours' sleep.

View interactive Route - Day 6

Trek distance & time: 7.5 km, 4.0 hours

Day 7 -Summit Day!

This is your big day! We'll wake before midnight for a hot drink and a snack, then start our summit bid. The summit attempt is by far the steepest, coldest and most demanding part of the part of the trek, both mentally and physically. We'll climb by torchlight and the route takes us along rocky terrain to Hans Meyer Cave then zigzags through loose volcanic scree towards Gilman's Point on the very rim of the top crater, 5,685m above sea level.

We'll rest at Gilman's point for a short time to enjoy the spectacular sunrise over Mawenzi. We'll then trek round the crater rim, passing Stella Point at 5,756m, where our path meets those routes that use Barafu Hut for ascent (e.g. Machame).

Those who are still feeling strong can complete the last hour of trekking along the snow-covered crater rim to the true summit of Uhuru Peak (5,895m). Along the way you'll pass close to the spectacular and fast-receding tropical glaciers that crown the summit area. 

After our celebratory summit photos, we'll descend first back to Kibo Hut for some well-earned food and a short rest, then on to Horombo Camp (3,720m), some 2,000 metres below the summit, to spend the night. This is an extremely long and hard day, with between 11 and 15 hours walking at high altitude. However, the feeling of standing on the Roof of Africa will live long in your memory and will be well worth all the aches and pains. Congratulations!

Day 8 -Horombo Camp to Marangu Gate

With stunning sunrise views, this is our last day on the mountain. A sustained descent (trekking poles will help) with wide views across the moorland takes us into the delightful forests around Mandara (2,700m), the first stopping place on the Marangu route. This last leg of the trek can be muddy, so wear gaiters if you brought them. The trail continues through semi-tropical vegetation to the national park gate at Marangu (1,830m). We'll buy our first soft drinks or beers for a week, sign out of the National Park and eat a hot lunch while the porters finish unpacking. 

We'll hold a short ceremony to thank our porters and distribute tips, then leave the local staff to return to our hotel in Moshi by mid-afternoon for a well-earned rest and a much-needed shower! You can also leave any unwanted clothing with the porters at this ceremony.

In the evening, we'll be joined by our local guides for a celebration dinner at the hotel where you'll receive your summit certificate.

View interactive Route - Day 8

Trek distance & time: 21.2 km, 6.0 hours

Day 9 -Departure

After a good night's sleep, we'll transfer you from the hotel to the airport. Depending on the time of your return flight the day can be spent resting in the hotel garden or swimming pool. The memories you've created and the friendships you've made will last a lifetime.