Via GoogleMaps you can get a nice aerial view of Kilimanjaro already. For convenience, I have already zoomed in on Barafu Camp, the last stop before the climb to the summit. Use the navigation buttons to zoom in and out.
Mount Kilimanjaro from above
Expedition Kilimamanjaro follows the Machame route
I chose the Machame Route for this trek because it is the most relaxed route where a lot of time is also taken to allow your body to acclamatize with the altitude.
By following the 7-day Machame route, you further increase your chances of actually reaching the summit.
The image below shows the route taken in the Machame route:
Expedition Kilimanjaro: day by day
Below is the day-by-day program of the adventure of a lifetime.
Extensively, you will experience the following adventure:
Day 1: Arrival in Arusha, Tanzania
You land by plane at Kilimanjaro International Airport at any time of the day (see page on fying). The hotel driver will pick you up at your time of arrival and take you to the hotel. You will have dinner at the hotel.
Day 2: Arusha
This is a free day, which you can spend at the hotel or in the streets of the pleasant town of Arusha. I’ve put in this extra day for unforeseen circumstances (your luggage might have been delayed or your flight was delayed) and so that everyone can start the expedition well on the next day.
On this second day, you will also meet your guide (or guides in case of a larger group) who will lead the whole expedition. He will prepare you for the week ahead with a necessary briefing and answer all your questions you may have at that time.
Day 3: From Machame Gate (1634m) to Machame Camp (2834m):
Today the expedition really begins. The driver will drive you to the entrance of Kilimanjaro National Park at Machame Gate. Here everyone has to register and the guide selects the porters who will carry all supplies (tents, kitchen, food and drink as well as your luggage) up the mountain.
It starts with a nice leisurely walk through the tropical rainforest. Along the way, you may already see colobus monkeys and wild birds. In the late afternoon you arrive at Machame camp, where the tents are already set up and snacks and hot drinks are already waiting for you. In the evening, dinner will be prepared. For the next six nights, you will spend the night in a double tent.
Day 4: From Machame Camp (2834m) to Shira camp (3749m):
From Machame camp, after a hearty breakfast, you will depart over Kilimanjaro’s many ridges to the rim of the former Shira volcano. On this day, you will enjoy the views as, in fine weather, you will not only see Kilimanjaro shining in the sun, but also the cloud cover around the tropical rainforest òn below you. You will arrive at Shira camp in the late afternoon.
Day 5: From Shira camp (3749m) to Barranco camp (3901m):
From Shira Camp today you will hike to the Lava Tower (all the way to 4572m!) to get used to the altitude and then slowly descend again to Barranco Camp with the Great Barranco Wall in the background. This way, your body acclimatises to the altitude. Today will involve a lot of walking for the senses and you will be glad when you reach the tented camp at the end of the afternoon.
Day 6: From Barranco camp (3900m) to Karanga camp (3963m):
From Barranco Camp you climb up the Barranco Wall. At first glance, an impossible undertaking when you see that 300-metre-high root wall, but up close and once clambering, it’s all not too bad. Once at the top, the views are unparalleled and a few more hours of hiking over rolling hillsides to Karanga camp follow. By the end of the afternoon day, you’ll already be there!
Day 7: From Karanga camp (3963m) to Barafu camp (4600m):
Today follows a shorter hike than the previous days. You have arrived on the east side of Kilimanjaro where you will reach the last camp by early afternoon. Today is the best day to rest and relax a lot as the day is not over yet. After an early dinner, you should already go to sleep and you will have to start hiking again early the next morning, or even around midnight (!).
Day 8: From Barafu Camp (4600m) to the summit (5896m) and then descend to Mweka Camp (3100m):
The last major mountain hike starts early today, probably even after midnight, in the very early morning. The final 1100m climb in elevation in just over 3km of hiking will take you about 6-8 hours, to reach the summit and look out for the sunrise over the Great Rift Valley! Woohoo! After watching the sunrise and taking lots of photos, a tough descent follows, first back to Barafu camp (have lunch and be sure to rest for a few more hours) and then down again to Mweka camp, right below the tree line. You will walk about 10 to 14 hours today, but… it will all be worth it!
Day 9: From Mweka Camp (3100 m/10170 ft) to Mweka Gate (1828 m/6000 m):
On your last day, you will again hike through the lush forest and eventually back through the sometimes misty rainforests. On this 3-4-hour hike, you will eat lunch along the way before reaching the ‘exit’. Here each participant must sign out when leaving the Kilimanjaro National Park. The hotel driver will wait for everyone and drive you from Mweka Gate back to the hotel in Arusha.
The expedition is over and you can take a nice hot shower at the hotel, visit a normal toilet, get your clothes washed and have a full recovery from a mighty fine experience.
Day 10: Arusha
On this last day in Arusha, you will still feel your muscles quite a bit and hence a long journey by bus or plane is not recommended for everyone for a while. You have a buffet breakfast at the hotel. Enjoy Arusha one more time, go souvenir hunting in or go on another safari, or go for a cultural day trip past traditional villages and visit some school projects.
Day 11: Departure
Today is the day it has to happen. Wave to that huge mountain before the driver takes you to the airport, or to the departure gates for the shuttle buses to Dar Es Salaam or Nairobi. Before you know it, you’ll be back home!