Upon arrival, please make your way to the group hotel for overnight accommodation. The rest of the day is at leisure in Nairobi.
This morning we head to Chogoria Village (approx 4-5 hours drive). In the afternoon you will ascend the steep and rutted track to the Bandas (cottages) in woodland near the Chogoria gate (3,017m) of the Mt Kenya National Park. We will stay here overnight. Our gear will be transported by Land Rovers while we acclimatise with our first walk at altitude (approx. 1 hour).
The flora and fauna surrounding the Bandas is prolific, with the possibility of seeing game in the surrounding forest (Elephant, Buffalo, Antelope, Colobus Monkey, Augur Buzzard & Verreaux's Eagle). As we walk, the forest gradually drops away and we enter a high moorland zone. En route we ascend nearby Mugi Hill (3600m) to help with acclimatisation before arriving to camp. Lake Ellis (3500m), where we camp tonight, is a peaceful spot with good views of the main peaks and we arrive in time for lunch. (approx. 6 hrs)
The initial trek away from the lake ascends gentle moorland to attain a ridge that eventually joins the main Chogoria route at its best viewpoint. After enjoying views of Vivienne Falls and the Gorges Valley we descend to the little visited Lake Michaelson (3,830m) and possibly the most beautiful campsite on the walk. Overhead tower the cliffs of the Temple while Tacazze Sunbirds flit amongst the giant Groundsel and Lobelia and Hyraxes hop around in the rocks.
(approx. 6 - 8 hrs)
The trek now enters the Alpine Zone - after quite a boggy start to the walk the walking surface soon becomes scree. You will soon reach Simba Tarn at 4560m, in time for a late lunch. An afternoon walk will assist with acclimatisation.
(approx. 4-6 hrs)
After a hot drink you will leave at 3:30 am for the steep ascent (2 - 2.5 hrs) of Point Lenana (4,985m) in time for sunrise. Although the climb is straightforward, the final section is hard work at this altitude. From the summit it is often possible to see Mt Kilimanjaro 320km away as well as the nearby climbing peaks of Mt Kenya; Nelion and Batian which should be bathed in golden sunlight at this time of the morning. We descend back to Simba Tarn for a well-earned cooked breakfast, and continue our descent via the Mackinder Valley to Shipton's Camp before joining the Sirimon Route to Old Moses Camp. The walk today is long and exhausting and will challenge even the fittest of walkers. However the thrill of standing on the roof of Kenya, will be sure to make the effort worthwhile. (approx 11-12 hours walking)
After breakfast we head through the Sirimon Valley and down through the lush forest belt to the Park Gate where our transport will be waiting to take us back to Nairobi at around 10:00am (approx. 2 hours walking). We drive on to Nairobi where we farewell our Kenyan crew. Arrival at the hotel in Nairobi is around 16:00hrs. The remainder of the day is at leisure for showers, laundry and relaxing.
This morning we are transferred by bus to our Lodge in Arusha. We will cross the Kenya - Tanzania border at Namanga and arrive early afternoon. After an afternoon at leisure we will have a pre Kilimanjaro briefing in the early evening and prepare for our ascent.
After completing the necessary registration formalities at Londorossi National Park gate, we drive a short distance on a steep track through farmland and plantations (2,800 m), and continue climbing steadily on foot through shrub forest and stands of giant heather to reach the rim of Shira Plateau (3,350 m). The views across the surrounding plains open out as we climb and our first camp is in the centre of the plateau at "Shira One" (3,550 m)
(approx. 4 - 5 hrs)
A shorter day that begins by climbing up a steep ridge to reach a small semicircular cliff known as Picnic Rock. There are excellent views of Kibo and the jagged rim of Shira Plateau from here, and it is a good rest point too! The trail continues less steeply to reach the Shira Plateau. We camp near Shira Hut (3,840 m) which has some of the most stunning views on Kilimanjaro. Close to the huge volcanic cone of Kibo, the spectacular rock formations of Shira Plateau and looking across to Mt. Meru floating on the clouds, will complement the day's trekking.
(approx. 4-6 hours walking)
A morning of gentle ascent and panoramic views, leaving the moorland plateau behind to walk on lava ridges beneath the glaciers of the Western Breach. After lunch near the Lava Tower junction (4,550 m) we descend to the bottom of the Great Barranco valley (3,900 m), sheltered by towering cliffs and with extensive views of the plains far below.
(approx 5-7 hrs walking)
A steep climb up the Barranco Wall leads us to an undulating trail on the south-eastern flank of Kibo, with superb vistas of the Southern Icefields. Lunch is usually taken at Karanga, the last water point, in a steep valley. After lunch, the terrain changes to scree and we climb steeply to reach the Barafu campsite (4,600 m) by mid afternoon. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent before a very early night.
(approx 6-8 hrs walking)
We will start our ascent by torchlight at about midnight. so that we can be up on the Crater rim by sunrise. The steep climb over loose volcanic scree has some well-graded zig-zags and a slow but steady pace will take us to Stella Point (5,735 m), in about five or six hours. We will rest there for a short time to enjoy the sunrise over Mawenzi. Those who are still feeling strong can make the two hour round trip from here 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. The descent to Barafu is surprisingly fast, and after some refreshment, we continue descending to reach our final overnight at Millennium Camp (3,800 m). Today's trekking involves from 10 to 14 hours walking which is made to feel more strenuous by the effects of altitude and extreme cold. This section of the trek is one of the steepest and most demanding and should not be taken lightly. It is a great idea to have your own head torch so that your hands are free for balance. Most people are surprised by the extreme cold and the best advice is to follow the clothing list and pack your warm clothes - you will need them!
(approx 11-14 hours)
A sustained descent through lovely forest with lush undergrowth takes us to the National Park gate at Mweka (1,650 m) then on through coffee and banana farms to Mweka village. We will be transferred from here to our comfortable hotel in Arusha for a well-earnt shower and overnight.
(4-6 hours walking)
After breakfast we make our return journey by private bus (for groups of 10 -12 people) or shuttle bus (groups of 2 - 9 people) to Nairobi via Arusha. The exact return schedule and connections through Arusha will be confirmed in the process of trip finalisation. You can be dropped off at any of the main city hotels in Nairobi (booked in advance) if travelling by private bus, otherwise the trip concludes at the group hotel from where the trip commenced.