Day 1: Pre-Climb Orientation
This day is designed to give you plenty of time to relax, pack and recoup from the long journey. We will meet you late in the morning for a short climbing orientation. We will give you a climb briefing and answer any questions you may have. We will also do an equipment check with each person to be sure that you are fully prepared. We have designed this day to allow for walking or cultural exchange with indigenous people.
Day 2: Montane Forest (9,000')
After breakfast in the morning we will drive approximately one hour and half to the Kilimanjaro National Park gate. We will checking in and register at the gate then, meet the rest of the climbing crew, assistant guides, porters and the cook. From the entrance gate we will hike about 4 hours through the undisturbed forest to our camp for the night. With luck we will be able to see Colobus monkeys and signs of elephants or buffaloes and other forest wildlife on our hike to camp.
Day 3: Shira Plateau West Side (11,300')
Today's hike, we will be taking our time hiking through the forest which will help us spot some of the plentiful game and bird life. The day's hike will take us up through the Montane Forest and the Hagenia forest zones. We will see the unique environmental differences that characterize these equatorial zones.
Day 4: Shira Plateau East Side -Fischer's Camp (12,950')
Our hike today will be about 4 hours across the Shira Plateau, a World Heritage Site, and one hour up the western slope of the Kibo Massif. We will spend the time admiring and exploring the plateau, before we get to our picnic lunch site. Our overnight camp will be in the upper heath and moorland zone in full view of the Western Breach.
Day 5: Lava Tower (14,300')
Today we will hike approximately 6 hours to our overnight camp just under Lava Tower, a 300 foot high volcanic lava plug that juts out of the side of the mountain. For those interested, later after lunch we will climb to the top of Lava tower to enjoy the scenery of the surrounding areas and descend down to the camp before dinner. Adequately, this will increase your performance by acclimatizing high on top of the tower. This will be our first introduction to the alpine zone, with the only plant life being the hardiest of grasses and lichens. We will have a spectacular view of our final ascent route up the Western Breach wall and the Breach Icicle.
Day 6: Arrow Glacier (16,000')
With the Western Breach ascent route in full view, we will spend 3 hours climbing to the base of the route where we will camp near Arrow Glacier. The day will be spent mostly resting and conserving strength, but there will also be an afternoon hike partway along the climbing ascent route. This will get us to higher elevations for better acclimatization and give us a chance to familiarize ourselves with the beginning of the longest hiking day of the whole climb.
Day 7: Summit Crater Camp (18,500')
We will wind our way up the Western Breach non-technical climbing route for about six hours to the crater rim of the main Kilimanjaro summit massif. Those who still have the energy on top can explore the inner crater and the ash pit before moving to our highest camp on the crater floor. This spectacular high camp is next to the Furtwrangler Glaciers, with stunning views westward towards Mount Meru and the setting African sun. The high altitude of crater camp makes it a physically demanding experience, but the reward is a radical scene of towering glaciers rising from the harsh rock landscapes.
Day 8: Summit Day And Mweka Camp (10,500')
We will start our ascent to the summit (19,340') early enough in the morning to be on the summit by 9:00am. This final ascent is only 800 feet and can be undertaken after sunrise and a leisurely breakfast or just early enough to be at the summit during sunrise. This is quite a contrast to the 3,000 feet slog required to summit via all the other ascent routes on Kilimanjaro. The rewards of seeing the summit crater glaciers and standing on Africa's highest peak are well worth the efforts. After taking in the view from Uhuru Peak we will begin the long descend through Barafu Hut and down to our final camp near Mweka Hut.
Day 9: Arusha
Today's hike will take us about 4 to 5 hours to make the 4,500 feet descend to the park gate. We will check out and receive Kilimanjaro climbing certificate at the park gate office, then eat our lunch and say goodbye to your Destination Tanzania Safaris mountain staff. After lunch we will drive through very beautiful coffee plantations and small villages of the Chagga people back to Arusha, for a nice hot shower or swimming at the lodge and relax, looking forward to departing or going on safari the following day.