DAY 1 RONGAI GATE (6,550 ft.) ~ RONGAI 1 CAVES CAMP (9,285 ft.)
Departure from Arusha at 8am, about 5 hours drive (2 on rough roads) to the Rongai gate. After completion of administrative formalities and meeting with porters and guides, begin the 3 to 4 hour walk to the first camp. The walk is at a leisurely pace through fields and then into the rain forest. Arrive at your camp set in the heather, to your mess tent and a hot meal.
DAY 2 RONGAI 1 CAVES CAMP ~ RONGAI 2 CAVES CAMP (11,300 ft.)
About 4-5 hours trek through the heather will bring you to second caves. If the weather is clear, Mawenzi will be in plain view; a stunning sight. Enjoy stopping to see the exotic heather-zone flowers and plants which grow alongside the trail.
DAY 3 RONGAI 2 CAVES CAMP ~ RONGAI 3 CAVES CAMP (12,415 ft.)
Today is a short trek designed to help you acclimatize. The track leads through the moorland and towards Kibo’s steeply rising slopes. The trekking time is about 2 – 3 hours. From the campsite you will enjoy a magnificent views towards Mawenzi anf Kibo; your final target.
DAY 4 RONGAI 3 CAVES CAMP ~ OUTWARD BOUND CAMP (15,585 ft./ 4,750 m)
Trek from the moorland and eventually into the stark highland desert. The temperatures turn cold as you near the foot of Kibo, at Outward Bound Hut, after 4-6 hours of trekking. Prepare all your gear for the night ahead, and turn in early to rest.
DAY 5 OUTWARD BOUND CAMP ~ UHURU PEAK (19,340 ft.) ~ HOROMBO CAMP (10,200 ft.)
You are awoken at midnight, and depart the camp at about 1am. From your camp to the rim of the crater (Gillman’s Point (18,750 ft.)) to Uhuru Peak, the trekking time is about 7 - 8 hours. The following descent to Mweka Camp is about 5 – 6 hours. Total trekking time is 12 – 14 hours. Upon your 1am departure, the temperatures will be between -0 to -10° C, and then from 4am to 6am (just before sunrise), you can expect temperatures from -10° to -20° C. The slope is steep, with switchbacks, over loose rock and scree with some boulders as you near Gilman’s Point. You will stop at Hans Meyer cave on the way, the famous place where Kilimanjaro’s first western climber described in his journals. Once you arrive at Gilman’s Point (after about 5 - 6 hours) at the edge of the crater, the trail to the summit is less demanding, and is reached after a further 1½-2 hours along the snowy crater rim (depending on the season). After 3 hours of descending to Kibo hut, there is a pause for rest & food, then another 3 to 4 hours to reach Horombo Camp.
DAY 6 HOROMBO CAMP ~ MARANGU GATE (5,900 ft.)
Descend straight to the gate (5 - 6 hours), where you’ll have lunch and will be awarded climbing certificates. Transfer back to Arusha for a much-welcomed shower!