IBD Adventures Kilimanjaro Itinerary
Aug 23 and 24: Fly into Kilimanjaro Airport, transportation to Marnagu Hotel, please arrive on the 23rd or early 24th, this will give you some down time before the trek. During this time we will review your equipment, review the route and trek ahead, and take some time for the team to get to know each other.
Aug 25: Marangu to Rongai by car. This takes about 3 hours. Register at the Naremoru Ranger post (2000 meters), then hike to Simba camp at 2650 meters. The trek takes about 4 hours. The first hour is through cultivated fields, and then the path branches right into the rain forest. This is a very short section of forest and one soon emerges onto the alpine zone where Simba camp is located. Beautiful views of Kibo and Mawenzi may be had.
Aug 26: Simba camp to Kikelewa camp, via Second cave. The path rises continuously through the moorland for about 3 or 4 hours to Second Cave at 3500 metres. This is where people have their lunch, and then the path branches towards Mawenzi. After another 3 hours over a much rockier path Kikelewa camp is reached at 3690 meters. There are lovely views downhill towards the Kenyan town of Loitokitok and the Amboseli plains.
Aug 27: Kikelewa to Mawenzi Tarn. The path rises quite steeply up the north west ridge of Mawenzi until Mawenzi Tarn camp is reached at 4320 metres. This is quite a short day, around 4 hours, and climbers have their lunch at Mawenzi Tarn camp. The Tarn is a small glacial lake, fed from underground, and it is directly beneath the huge cliffs of Mawenzi. In the afternoon, climbers can walk uphill into the heart of the old crater of Mawenzi. This is probably one of the most dramatic camps on the whole of Kilimanjaro.
Aug 28: Second day at Mawenzi Tarn. Acclimation and rest day.
Aug 29 Mawenzi Tarn to Kibo Hut 15,500 feet. After breakfast start the climb to Kibo Hut. Until you reach the saddle the terrain is high altitude desert but you have to cover a number of ridges until you reach the main part of the saddle when you will see clearly across to Kibo Hut which seems scarcely any distance away but is in fact some few hours walk. Again, take this slowly in order to acclimatize. The last half hour to the hut can be very tiring as the hut is some way up the peak, and the sight of the next day’s path can be pretty daunting, but most people recover some strength after a few hours rest.
Aug 30: Kibo Hut to Summit, Descent to Horombo Hut. You will be woken shortly after midnight with a hot drink, and then you put on all your warm clothing. The first part of the ascent to the Hans Meyer cave is quite indirect, going around large rock outcrops and it is not as steep as the latter part. The surface is loose and hard going and it is very important to pace yourself. After the cave the scree slope becomes extremely steep and you have to climb in a zig-zag fashion. It takes an average of 6 hours to cover the 4 miles from Kibo Hut to Gillman’s Point on the crater rim. If you are lucky you will see a fiery sunrise from behind Mawenzi. Gillman’s Point, at 18,635 feet is acknowledged to be the top and you will receive a certificate from the Park authorities for reaching it. From here, there are splendid views of the ice cliffs across the crater. After a rest, if you feel able, if weather and time permit, and, most importantly, if your guide says it is possible, you can attempt to reach Uhuru Peak around the crater rim. This is about another one and a half to two hours’ walk. If you reach Uhuru you will get a different, gold, certificate, and the satisfaction of having reached the roof of Africa! The descent that follows is, in some ways, as difficult as the ascent. You will be tired, and the slope has lost none of its steepness. Back at Kibo Hut you will have a rest, take off a lot of your warm clothing which will be packed into your kit bags. The you will continue to Horombo Hut, this time by the more direct route. This is a long and tiring day and you will be sure to sleep well.