Mount Kilimanjaro

(19,340ft/5,895m) Tanzania

Alpine Ascents Kilimanjaro Expedition Itinerary (Via Nairobi)

Itinerary Overview
The following itinerary is for those who are traveling to Arusha, Tanzania through Nairobi Kenya. For Travel Arrangements call Charles Mulvehill at Scan East West Travel: 1-800-727-2157 or 206-623 2157. charles@scaneastwest.com

Day-to-day Itinerary for Travel via Nairobi, Kenya. (Updated)
Day 1: Arrive Nairobi. Airport pick up and shuttle to Nairobi Serena Hotel, O/N.

Day 2: Shuttle pick up at Nairobi Serena. Shuttle to Arusha, Tanzania. O/N New Arusha Hotel.

Day 3: Rest Day. We spend the day relaxing after our international flights. Sightseeing and shopping at the Cultural Heritage Center. Upon return we have a thorough equipment check and orientation including principles of Leave No Trace environmental ethics. O/N New Arusha.

Kilimanjaro looms behind Giant SenecioDay 4: We travel by Land Cruiser to the Machame trailhead, winding through coffee fields and small forests of ferns and flowers. After registering with the park service, we meet our porters from the Chagga Tribe, indigenous to the slopes of Kilimanjaro. They are an integral part of our African journey and become friends and provide insight into their culture and society. Our climb begins on the edge of a rain forest (elevation 5,800’). Below the watchful eyes of the monkeys, we trek seven hours to the Machame Camp (10,000’) and set camp for the night.

Day 5: Leave the Machame Hut, cross a small valley and begin our ascent. The environment changes from heath forest to moor lands. These moor lands are littered with two species of giant groundsel, Senecios and Lobelia. Halfway up the trail we meet a river gorge and ascend across the Shira Plateau (12,300’). We sleep at Shira Camp.

Day 6: Today we climb to 14,800’ while crossing a ridge and view the plains far below. Here we eat lunch and admire the ancient glacier ice of the Breach Wall before dropping to our 12,800’ campsite at Great Barranco.

Day 7: We climb up and over the Great Barranco, topping out at about 14,500’ before dropping to our camp at the Karanga River at about 13,000’. This completes another day of acclimatization as we pass below the famous Breach Wall, the largest ice and rock face in Africa. The Breach Wall climbing route, known as ‘The Icicle’, was first climbed in the early 1970’s by Reinhold Messner. Daytime temperatures can reach (80°F), while evening temperatures often drop below freezing.

Kilimanjaro's receding glaciersDay 8: From the Karanga River we climb about 5-6 hours to our high camp at Barafu (14,650’). As we wind through beautiful and rarely traveled regions, we enter a high desert plateau, littered with volcanic boulders. Looking south we view the desert plains as the pinnacles of Mowenzi Peak tower before us. At Barafu we prepare for the summit attempt. While our cook staff prepares the food, we spend our time packing and preparing for the early morning, 2:00am departure.

Day 9: Summit day! Awake at midnight and prepare gear for the ascent. We climb wearing headlamps until the predawn light is reflected off the African plains. Following a distinct ridge we approach the crater’s rim, then traverse northwest along the rim to the main summit, Uhuru Peak (19,340’). From here we view the Bismarck Towers, rock pinnacles along the rim and the hanging Rebman Glaciers. Kilimanjaro's summit!

As the sun rises over Africa, we are privy to a panorama of incredible views. To the north stands the second highest mountain on the continent, Mt. Kenya (17,056’/5199m), with its unique twin summits. The southern exposure reveals the sprawling plains of Tanzania and East Africa and Mowenzi Peak.

After enjoying the view from the top, we descend to Barafu, pack camp, and begin our traverse down the Mweka route on the southern side of the mountain.

Day 10: The sunrises are exquisite as we awaken below the towering mountain. We descend through the lush green landscape of the Mweka route into the thickest jungle we have yet encountered. The environment becomes primordial, with 20 foot-tall fern trees creating a prehistoric atmosphere. After reaching the Mweka Gate we drive to Arusha and enjoy a celebratory dinner. O/N New Arusha.

Safari in Lake Manyara  NPDay 11: (Safari itinerary subject to change. Based on team size and availability, travel order of safari parks may be reversed). Begin the safari to Tarangire National Park. This beautiful valley overlooks African grassland, sprinkled with acacia and baobab trees and is known for its variety of large mammals. Here we overnight comfortably in a deluxe safari lodge.

Day 12: We drive on to Lake Manyara National Park and observe antelopes, baboons and gazelles as they are stalked by lions, cheetahs and hyenas. Lake Manyara is world renowned for its ornithology and vast game reserves. After lunch we may visit a Masai village where we observe the tribal dance and local life-styles of the nomadic herders of the region. We then travel to Ngorongoro Crater and overnight comfortably in a deluxe safari lodge perched on the rim of the crater.

Day 13: We spend the morning in Ngorongoro Crater, one of the world’s most incredible natural wonders. Here we encounter herds of zebra, antelope, buffalo, elephant, rhino, cheetah and hippo. After lunch we proceed with a game drive through Serengeti National Park en route to a deluxe safari lodge and dinner.

Masai traditional danceDay 14: There is an option for a spectacular sunrise balloon ride. We fly back to Arusha for a farewell lunch at the lodge. O/N New Arusha.

Day 15: Scheduled shuttle return to Nairobi airport for evening international departures.

 Return to Top of Page