Nights: Hotel: 2; Tents: 6
Kilimanjaro Bliss: 7 days hiking
Minimum days on trek: 6
Recommended days on trek: 7 – 8 days
Scenery: Very Good
Traffic: Low – Medium
Stating point: North
DAY 1: You will be met at Kilimanjaro airport, if flying direct, and transported to your hotel. We recommended that you try to arrange your flight so you arrive 1.5 – 2 days before your hike. This is to allow your body time to rest and begin to acclimatisation to the new time zone and altitude. It also allows for any flight delays and baggage issues (always wear or carry you hiking boots in flight with you, and let us know as soon as possible if your luggage does not arrive with you). We recognise that some people have limited vacation time and may arrive as late as the afternoon prior to starting their hike.
Your guide will arrange to meet with you during the afternoon / evening for a pre-trip briefing. Please make sure you bring your passport and insurance details, as well as your return flight details.
DAY 2: Transportation to Rongai gate – Simba camp
Elevation: 2000m – 2650m
Time: 3- 4 hours walking
Habitat: Rain forest
We will pick you up from your hotel around 8:30am, where you will meet the team of guides, cook and porters, who will load your luggage so that we can leave around 9:00am. We first drive for about 3 hours to Marangu gate to obtain our permit. We then have a further 2 hours drive to the Rongai gate, which is located 15 minutes from the Kenyan border. Here hikers register at the office (you will need your passport number for this) and eat lunch while the porter’s loads are weighed. Once this is complete we begin our hike up through the tropical rain forest. Here there is a high chance that we will hear and see wildlife, such as monkeys and birds, as the trail continues upward to our first overnight at the Simba camp.
Day 3: Simba camp –2nd Cave camp
Distance: 5.5 km
Time: 3 – 4 hours
This is a short day we begin hiking through the moorland, where the habitat supports colourful wild flowers along the side of the trail as well as stunning views of the eastern icefields on the rim of Kibo. We stop for hot lunch at the second cave, and make our camp close by.
Day 4: 2nd Cave camp – Kikelelwa
Elevation: 3450m – 3675 m
Distance: 6 km
Time: 3 – 4 hours
Habitat: Alpine desert
Following a hearty breakfast the hike continue anti- clockwise from 2nd cave to Kikelelwa camp up steep grass sloped terrain. The views from here include the vast expanse of the Masai Mara, in Kenya to the North. We reaching camp for lunch, and spend the afternoon acclimatizing to the altitude. Report any signs of altitude sickness to you guides.
Day 5: Kikelelwa – Mawenzi Tarn hut –
We hike up to the middle of the Mawenzi peak to assist acclimatization, and return to camp. From the top of we will enjoy the stunning views of Mawenzi, Kibo and the little Lake at our camp.
Day 6: Mawenzi Tarn hut – Kibo hut campsite
Elevation: 4300 me- 4700 m
Time: 4- 5 hours
Habitat: “Lunar” landscape
The hike to Kibo campsite crosses the lunar-like landscape of the Mawenzi / Kibo saddle and takes between 4 – 5 hours. A hot lunch will be waiting for us at Kibo, where we will relax before eating an early dinner, so we can retire to our tents early to sleep, in preparation for the summit hike which starts around midnight.
Day 7: Kibo Hut – Uhuru Summit – decent to Horombo hut
Elevation: 4700m – 5895m and down to 3700m
Time: 12 hours
Our final assent to Uhuru Peak the “roof of Africa” begins at midnight. There are three sections to this day’s hike. The first from base camp to Gillman’s point at 5681m is the most challenging section due to its steepness and increasing altitude. It is a slow shuffle up the volcanic scree switchbacks, requiring both physical and mental determination. As we reach Giliman’s Point we enjoy the magnificent sunrise lighting up the mountain and valley below. From Gillman’s to Stella point and on to Uhuru Peak at 5895m takes just over an hour and is a gentle hike along the crater rim, with magnificent views of Kilimanjaro’s famous glacier and ice cliffs. We spend a maximum of 15 minutes at Uhuru Summit due to the high altitude. This gives us time to congratulate each other, enjoy the euphoria of our achievement, photograph and breath-in the magnificence of our surroundings. We begin our descent, first back to Kibo for brunch, then continuing down to Horombo camp (3700m) for dinner and overnight camp.
Day 8: Horombo hut – Marangu gate
Elevation: 3700m 1800m
Time: 6 hours
Habitat: Rain forest
After breakfast the whole team (clients, guides, cooks and porters) celebrate and share their thanks with each other before making the final descent to Marangu gate. You sign out of the Park, board our vehicle, which will be waiting at Marangu gate and are transported first to Moshi for lunch, and later back to your hotel in Arusha.
Day 9: Arusha
Depending on what your chosen itinerary is:
If you are scheduled to fly out of Kilimanjaro International airport we will arrange your transport from your hotel to the airport.
If you are heading out on Safari: Your safari guide will pick you up from your hotel in the morning between 8 – 9am.
If you are taking a day or two to rest up and see Arusha, we can arrange a visit to the Paradiso orphanage we support, and /or to other local attractions that interest you. Ask Us for list of recommended attractions.
Note: Seven and eight-day hiking options usually spend an additional day at Mawenzi Tarn (4,300 meters) to acclimatise. Eight day trekkers also stop on day two at Rongai Second Cave (3,450 meters) before proceeding to Kikelewa Camp (3,600 meters).
I was impressed by Aristarick, one of our guides. He was very helpful, motivating and knows a lot. Thanks to him we made it to the top.
It was clear from the start of the expedition that Ari was very professional indeed. Above all though was his passion for Tanzania. If you are planning a trip to Tanzania for a trek up Kilimanjaro or a Safari, then I highly recommend this guy. He will look after you very well indeed.
Ari of Kilimanjaro Bliss was an amazing host. We had signed up to do our climb to the top of Kilimanjaro with Kilimanjaro Bliss and got so much more than we expected. Ari and his crew took great care of us on the seven days that we took to get to the top and back down again. The food was incredibly delicious and the crew were awesome. It was an amazing adventure and we made it back a day early, so we decided to do a safari to Tarangire National Park.
We were blown away with the great lengths the team went through to, not only make us comfortable, but make us feel like royalty. Meals were better than I have had in 5-star restaurants. Although summit day was tough, the journey getting there will be what I remember best. I miss the team already!