Origin of the name ‘Kilimanjaro’
There are many explanations for how the mountain got its name and no one can agree what is the truth. “Mountain of Greatness”, Mountain of Whiteness”, “Mountain of Caravans”, are all names derived from the Swahili and Chagga dialects.
From what little we know on the subject, it is thought it might have something to do with the swahili word ‘kilima’, which means ‘top of the hill’. There is also a claim that the word “kilemakyaro” exists in the Chagga language, meaning “impossible journey”. But the truth is that no one really knows and is a good discussion point over a couple of beers
Day 1: Arrival Kilimanjaro and Transfer to Arusha
On arrival at Kilimanjaro Airport, our guide will meet you and assist with your baggage then transfer to SG Resort for an overnight rest on bed and breakfast
Day 2: Arusha to Londorossi Gate onward to Mti Mkubwa camp
After breakfast you driver will a brief you regarding your day by day trekking, followed by breakfast and a 2-hour drive from Arusha to Londorossi Park Gate (2100m). The guides and porters prepare and pack the supplies and your equipment in the village. You will receive a lunch pack and you can also buy mineral water in the village. From here a forest track requiring a 4WD vehicle leads to Lemosho Glades (2100m, 11km, 45 minutes). You will have a lunch stop about half way and will reach the Machame camping area in the late afternoon. Walk along forest trails to Mti Mkubwa campsite, (2750m).
Day 3: Mti Mkubwa camp to Shira 2 camp
Today wake up early in the morning at Mti Mkubwa camp and, after breakfast you trek for an hour or so to the top of the forest and then the trail gradually steepens and enters the giant heather moorland zone. Several streams are crossed. A gentle walk across the plateau leads to Shira 2-camp on moorland meadows next to a stream (3840m). By now you will be able to see, in an easterly direction, the Western Breach with its stunning glaciers. The porters will boil drinking and washing water, before serving dinner. The night at this bare camp will even be colder than the previous night, with temperatures dropping to well below freezing. Enjoy dinner and overnight. (B-L-D) at the height of (3840m) – Shira 2 camp, trekking time is approximately 6.5 hours and the habitat is Moorland
Day 4: Shira to Lava Tower then to Barranco camp
The route now turns east into a semi desert and rocky landscape surrounding Lava Tower, where you reach an altitude of 4630m after about a 5 hours walk. Lunch is served in a designated area before ascending the rocky scree path to Lava Tower (4630m). Today is a definitely, the toughest day. It is normally around this point, where for the first time, some climbers will start to feel symptoms of breathlessness, irritability and headaches. After lunch you descent again by almost 680m to the Barranco camping area and after reaching the high altitude of 4600m at Lava Tower, the true acclimatization benefit of this day becomes clear.
Day 5: Barranco camp to Barafu camp
After spending a night at the Great Barranco Wall (a very imposing sight at first), you make your way up this awesome looking obstacle, which in the end normally turns out easier than what you anticipated. Topping out just below the Heim Glacier, you now appreciate just how beautiful Kilimanjaro really is. The route then heads down through the Karanga Valley over intervening ridges and valleys, and then joins up with the Mweka route. This is the preferred route down from the summit, so remember it. Turn left up the ridge and after another hour or so, you reach Barafu Hut.
Day 6: Barafu camp to Uhuru Peak
You will rise around 23h30, and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the night. You will head in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This 6-hour walk to Stella point is for many climbers, mentally and physically the most challenging on the route. At Stella Point (5685m) you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see (weather permitting). From Stella Point you will normally encounter snow all the way on your 2-hour ascent to Uhuru Peak. The time you will spend on the summit will depend on the weather conditions. Do not stop here for too long, as it will be extremely difficult to start again due to cold and fatigue. Enjoy your accomplishment and a day to remember for the rest of your life. The walk back to Barafu from the summit, takes about 3 hours.
Day 7: Mweka camp to Mweka Gate
After an early and well-deserved breakfast, it is a short 3-hour and scenic hike back to the Park gate. At Mweka gate you sign your name and details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Those climbers who reached Stella Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates. Height (1980m) – Mweka Gate, trekking time is approximately 3 hours and the distance is about 15 km’s while Habitats are Forest.
Day 8: Arusha to Kilimanjaro International Airport for your departure
Today after breakfast we provide a private transfer to Kilimanjaro Airport for your flight back home or continue with your safari schedule. This trekking is suitable and recommended for extension safari to Serengeti, Ngorongoro, and Manyara or Beach holidays to the Spice Island of Zanzibar.
We highly recommend after your Mount Kilimanjaro trekking, an adventure not to be missed to explore the Tanzanian wilderness safari and Zanzibar beach holiday. Contact our safari consultant who will help you to design your Tanzania safari and Zanzibar beach to fit with your trekking holiday.