Day 1: Arusha, Tanzania
Whenever you arrive, you'll be personally met and transferred to a lovely resort in the foothills of Mt. Meru, Africa's 5th highest mountain. Those arriving especially early can book optional activities. Then, spend the afternoon with your mountain guide preparing for the climb.
Day 2: Forest, Tanzania
Morning transfer to the Machame climb where the track begins. The day is spent walking to Machame Hut through the mountain's lush lower rain forest. Depending upon weather conditions, this can be a moderate to demanding day's work. Camp is pitched near the old huts at around 3000m.
Day 3: Shira
Rising early you cross a valley and a stream and then climb up a steep ridge for 3-4 hours. The path then drops into a river gorge before ascending more gently onto the moorland of the Shira Plateau, one of the most fascinating areas of the Mountain. Camp is placed near the Shira Hut at 3840m.
Day 4: Kilimanjaro - Barranco
Today you walk for 5-6 hours enjoying sightings of the typical Kilimanjaro mountain vegetation (Senecios, Lobelia, Helichrysum) and reaching a high point of around 4600m before descending for the rest of the day. On clear days the Lava Tower can be seen as well as some distinct glaciers. These glaciers are shrinking as world temperatures increase.
It is speculated that in a mere 15 years many of these glaciers will disappear, forever. The path down to the Barranco Valley can be particularly rewarding and the view of Kibo peak is truly spectacular. In the evening the blanket of cloud often hangs just below the valley, pulsating in the dying light. Camp is pitched in the Barranco Valley at around 3950m.
Day 5: Karanga
Today you ascend the Barranco wall, then walk across scree and ridges into the Karanga valley (4100m) with breathtaking views of the Western Breach and the southern glacier. You arrive in time for lunch in camp and then have plenty of time to relax and even go for a short acclimatisation walk.
Day 6: Barafu
From Karanga the tour heads up a morraine ridge taking your time and going slowly. The views here can be spectacular on the southern glaciers and of the glacial valleys that snake their way down the mountain. The final stage to Barafu is quite steep, and as always it's taken it very slowly. As with the day before you reach camp by around lunch time leaving lots of time to prepare and relax. In the evening your guide briefs you for the final ascent.