Today is an arrival day. If you choose to fly into Kilimanjaro Airport we recommend a private transfer to Arusha where the rest of the day is at your leisure. (With prior arrangement, airport pick up and private transfers to the hotel are available from Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), or simply make your own way by taxi. Note that taxis are scarce after about 18:00hrs. We stay at Moivaro Coffee Lodge or similar (or Ilboru Safari Lodge in 2018) which has spacious rooms, a pool, and restaurant. This afternoon at 16:30, you will meet the rest of the group and your guide for a trip briefing.
After completing the necessary registration formalities at Londorossi National Park gate, we drive through varied farmland with open views over the plains to reach the Lemosho roadhead. The last section of the road is of poor quality and difficult to drive after rain, sometimes we start walking a kilometre or two below the roadhead. We often have our lunch at the roadhead before starting to walk. It is an easy day of walking up a small path through beautiful and lush forest. We camp at Lemosho Big Tree Camp (2,650 m); [2-3 hours walking]
We soon leave the forest behind and enter the moorland zone of giant heather. The trail climbs steadily with wide views to reach the rim of the Shira Plateau. There is a tangible sense of wilderness, especially if afternoon mists come in! We camp in the centre of the plateau at “Shira One” (3,550 m). [6-7 hours walking]
We walk to the summit of Shira Cathedral before reaching the next camp at Shira Hut (3,840 m). This campsite has stunning views, close to the glaciated dome of Kibo and the jagged rim of Shira Plateau. The views from here of Mt. Meru floating on the clouds are simply unforgettable. [5-7 hours walking]
In the morning we follow the main trail up to Lava Tower, and for those feeling strong there is a possibility to climb up to the ruined hut at Arrow Glacier around 4,800m. We then continue from Lava Tower to reach our campsite at Moir Hut (4,200m). [5-7 hours walking]
We climb out of the Moir Valley and take a short detour to reach the summit of Little Lent hill at 4,375 metres. After admiring the views we return to the trail and head eastwards around the northern circuit trail. Here the trail passes through a field of rock slabs that clink as they are walked on. The final section of today's walk undulates until reaching the location of Buffalo Camp (4,150m). At the camp there is a huge feeling of space as the Kenyan plains stretch out far below to the north. [4-7 hours walking]
From Buffalo Camp we climb up to the top of 'Buffalo Ridge' and drop down the other side to reach Pofu, nearby the is a small spring and some vegetation. The trail continues eastwards through a landscape that has increasingly sparse vegetation to eventually reach Third Cave Camp (3,900m). [5-7 hours walking]
There is a steady ascent to reach The Saddle, a lunar landscape between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi. From here we continue upwards and reach School Hut Campsite (4,700m) in the early afternoon. The remainder of the afternoon is spent resting and preparing for the summit day. [4-5 hours walking]
We will start our ascent by torchlight at about midnight so that we can be up on the Crater rim by sunrise. On selected Non-Exclusive departure dates each month, the climb will be particularly beautiful as we ascend in the light of the Full Moon. The steep climb over loose volcanic scree has some well-graded zig-zags and a slow but steady pace will take us to Gilmans Point (5,685 m) in about five or six hours. We will rest there for a short time to enjoy the sunrise over Mawenzi. The trail leads west along the crater rim to Uhuru Peak (5,896 m), passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. We retrace our steps along the crater rim to Stella Point and then descends down through Barafu Camp to reach Millenium Camp (3,800 m). [11-15 hours walking]
A sustained descent on a well constructed path through lovely tropical forest alive with birdsong and boasting lush undergrowth with considerable botanical interest. Our route winds down to the National Park gate at Mweka (1,650 m). Here we sign out from the national park before walking on for a further 15 minutes through coffee and banana farms to Mweka village where our vehicle awaits. The shower, the beer, and the swimming pool are tantalizingly close! [4-6 hours walking]
Overnight: Moivaro Coffee Lodge (or Ilboru Safari Lodge in 2018) or similar.
In Arusha, after breakfast at your hotel, the trip arrangements end.