This fitness adventure takes you to Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro National Park, home of the famed Mount Kilimanjaro, a dormant volcano that soars 19,340 feet (5,895 meters) above sea level. The tallest freestanding mountain on Earth, it rises above all other mountains on the African continent, making it one of the giant Seven Summits. There’s nothing quite like Kilimanjaro and once you’ve conquered it, your sense of achievement touches every aspect of your life.
The trip takes you along the breathtakingly beautiful Lemosho Route, approaching Kilimanjaro through forest and moorland from the south-west and joining the Shira route before traversing beneath the southern ice fields of Kibo. Along the way you’ll take in the transcendent beauty of lush rainforests, incredible mountain views, glaciers, ice cliffs and ethereal peaks that seem to float in the clouds.
Trekking through this rich ecosystem, you’ll see blue monkeys and black-and-white colobus monkeys, among other wildlife. An armed ranger will accompany the group, in case you encounter elephants, buffalo or other big game.
The people you’ll meet on this trip are often as central to the experience as the climb itself. In addition to climbers from all over the world, you’ll get to know many local Tanzanians and to experience their warm, hospitable culture, friendliness and infectious sense of humor. For many, learning from the local people, living among them and sharing this incredible experience with them is a highlight of the trip — often even more significant than the summit itself.
While challenging enough to provide an excellent workout, your seven-night itinerary provides optimum time for acclimatization and gives you plenty of opportunity to savor the magnificent scenery.
Not in peak physical condition? No problem. Our Fitness Adventure Travel personal trainers are available to get you into shape before the climb, no matter what state you’re in. Summiting Kilimanjaro can provide you with the perfect motivation to improve your fitness right now.
The tents used are called Mountain Hardware Trango 4; they are specially designed to brace against the mountain elements. The porters go ahead and build the camp before you get there. When you arrive their are hot drinks and snacks awaiting to revitalise your tired body.
Arrival Karibu (welcome)
You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel
A guide will brief you on the trip ahead and you will have time to prepare your bags, which will be carried by porters throughout the climb. Your personal belongings, camera, passport and anything else you need while hiking will go into your small waterproof daypack
Day 1 – Moshi to Londorossi Park Gate to Mti Mkubwa Camp (2,750m)
Drive to Londorossi Park Gate (2,250 m)
Transfer in a 4X4 to conquer the rough terrain to Lemosho Glades (2,390 m, 11km, 45 minutes)
Walk along forest trails to Mti Mkubwa (Big Tree) campsite
Black-and-white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys and elephants inhabit this area, so keep your eyes peeled
The first day is an easy walk to Mti Mkubwa Camp, named after the Podocarpus Milanjianus trees around the camp. These trees are very tall evergreen conifers found in the mountain cloud forests of East Africa
Day 2 – Mti Mkubwa Camp to Shira 1 Camp (3,500m)
Continue as the trail gradually gets steeper and enters the giant heather moorland zone
Cross several streams
Continue over the Shira Ridge (3,600 m) then gently downwards to Shira 1 camp, which is located by a stream on the Shira Plateau
About 5 to 6 hours of steady hiking
Relish a hot lunch prepared by your team, delivered en route to camp
Overnight at Shira 1 camp
Day 3 – Shira 1 Camp to Moir Camp (3,950m)
A gentle hike across the plateau leads to Moir camp (3,950m) on moorland meadows by a beautiful clear stream
The Shira Plateau is a World Heritage site. Here, the camp is set in a stunning upland moorland landscape with rough vegetation of senecons (giant groundsel). There is also a fine view of Kilimanjaro’s upper slopes
5 to 6 hours walking
Day 4 – Moir Camp to Barranco Camp via the Lava Tower (4,600m)
You continue to the east, passing the junction near the peak of Kibo
As you continue, your direction changes towards the Lava Tower, which you will walk to for acclimatization
Shortly after the tower, you come to the second junction, bringing you up to the Arrow Glacier (4,876 m)
You continue down to the Barranco Camp (3,950 m)
You end the day at the same elevation as when you began, but this day is important for the purposes of acclimatization
7 to 8 hours of walking
Day 5 – Barranco Camp to Karanga camp (3,963m)
Continue up the steep ridge to the spectacular Barranco Wall to the Karanga Valley campsite (3,963m)
By varying the altitude on this route, you are helping your body to acclimatize
Today is a short day — about 4 hours walking
Day 6 – Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp (4,600m)
Pass the junction connecting with the Mweka Trail
Continue to the Barafu Hut (4,600m)
You have now completed the South Circuit, which offers extraordinary views of the summit from many different angles
Make camp at Barafu Hut, rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for summit day
The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo can be seen from the campsite. Again, about 4 hours walking in very sparse vegetation
Day 7 – Barafu Camp to the Summit (5,985m)
Waking up very early (midnight), quick snack and we continue our way to the summit of Uhuru Peak (5,985m)
This part of the climb takes about 7 hours
It can be very cold at night at these elevations, but it will be quite warm by the end of the hiking day
Arrive at Uhuru Peak — we have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the African continent. Breath deeply and marvel at this awe-inspiring, mystical place
Faster hikers will be able to see the sunrise from the summit
Day 7, Continued – Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp
Continue straight down to the Mweka camp site (3,100 m)
Stop at Barafu for lunch and a short rest
This part of the descent takes about 6-7 hours
Later in the evening, you will enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned rest
Day 8 – Mweka Camp to Moshi
Breakfast at Mweka
Continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate
A vehicle will meet you at Mweka village to drive you back to your hotel
Receive your certificate (hopefully). Celebration time!
5 hours walking
Day 9 – Departure
Transfer to the airport for your flight home — or leave on one of our safaris or fly onwards to the island paradise of Zanzibar
Fitness Adventure Travel combines successful fitness with exotic, intriguing destinations. Whether you request a specifically tailored itinerary, or choose one of our set departures, you can look forward to a completely exhilarating and bespoke experience.