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Journey Snapshot

Activity level: Physically demanding Involves a very high level of physical activity over an extended period. The activity will be at high altitude on terrain that will be uneven, slippery and steep. You would be expected to carry your own backpack and equipment. These activities require a high level of fitness and are not suitable if you have limited mobility.
Duration: 11 days, 10 nights
Flight information: Arrive at Kilimanjaro Airport [JRO] on Day 1 and depart on Day 11
Pickup location: Kilimanjaro Airport [JRO]


Choose your own departure date for your group

An awesome challenge - Climb the world’s tallest freestanding mountain, the only place on land where you can clearly see the curvature of the Earth!

Whether you want to join this adventure yourself, or perhaps you may know a friend or family member who would love to accept the challenge, or even use this as an opportunity for fundraising for a charity, reaching the top of Africa’s highest mountain is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to savour, enjoy and remember for years to come. This route offers climbers the best acclimatisation of all routes and also is considered a quieter route, especially the summit assault from School Hut, the quietest camp from which to launch the summit bid. An experience that creates memories to last a lifetime - with a great chance for summit success!


Itinerary summary: DAY 1 - Welcome to Tanzania
DAY 2 - Acclimatisation Day
DAY 3 - Arusha to Forest Camp
DAY 4 - Forest Camp to Shira 1 Camp
DAY 5 - Shira 1 Camp to Moir Hut
DAY 6 - Moir Hut to Pofu Camp
DAY 7 - Pofu Camp to 3rd Caves Camp
DAY 8 - 3rd Caves Camp to School Hut
DAY 9 - Summit Day! School Hut to Uhuru Peak
DAY 10 - Millennium Camp or Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate
DAY 11 - Arusha and home
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Full Itinerary

DAY 1 - Welcome to Tanzania

On arrival in Kilimanjaro International Airport you will be met and transferred to the hotel where you will met up with your Big Journey Company Tour Director and fellow team members.

Included meals: Dinner 
Accommodation: Ngare Sero Mountain Lodge 

DAY 2 - Acclimatisation Day

In preparation for the climb ahead, we take a day today to acclimatise. You may wish to visit nearby Arusha National Park, take an easy canoe ride around the crater of Lake Duluti or simply enjoy the hotel and spa facilities (all payable locally). Today is dedicated to ensuring your final preparations are in place and you're ready to set off tomorrow!
This evening we will sit down to a welcome dinner with fellow guests.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: Ngare Sero Mountain Lodge 

DAY 3 - Arusha to Forest Camp

Your driver will collect you from the hotel by 8am and transfer you 111 km (approx 2 hrs) to Londorossi Gate where we complete registration formalities. Climbers should have their passport numbers for their registry entries. Following registration we continue a further 12km by vehicle to the route’s start point. This final drive can take anywhere between 45 minutes and 1 hour 30, depending on road conditions.

From Lemosho Start Point (2424m) to Forest Camp (2821m) the distance is 5.4km, over 400m of elevation gain. You are advised to stop regularly today and to move quietly in the hope of sighting wildlife near to the trail. Sightings of small antelope are virtually unique to the Lemosho route.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 
Accommodation: Forest Camp (2821m) 

DAY 4 - Forest Camp to Shira 1 Camp

Today we trek from Forest Camp (2821m) to Shira 1 Camp (3508m) on the western edge of Shira Plateau. It is normal to experience mild headaches on this day which should be alleviated with paracetamol. Those choosing to take Diamox should begin their course this morning with half a tablet (125mg) in the morning and the other half with supper in the evening. The distance to Shira 1 is 7.7km.
For those who are really fit and looking for an optional afternoon acclimatisation ascent you can trek up to Shira Ridge 3959m (Kilimanjaro’s 3rd volcanic summit) for arguably the best views of Kibo when the weather is clear (Excursion distance = 7.6km).

Everyone will sleep low at Shira 1 Camp

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 
Accommodation: Shira 1 Camp (3508m)  

DAY 5 - Shira 1 Camp to Moir Hut

We'll trek from Shira 1 Camp (3508m) to Moir Hut (4166m) today, across Shira Plateau, before rising along the flank of a re-entrant. Height gain 658m. Distance = 9.4km.
We'll embark on a sunset acclimatisation into the Lent Group of outcrops above Moir Hut before dinner. Ordinarily we aim to reach 4305m on the ridge, however, if you are feeling strong and experiencing no symptoms of headache or nausea, please express your wish to your guide to proceed higher. Altitude gained on this acclimatisation excursion is critical to making comfortable and safe progress over the next two days, and is one of the peculiar advantages of this route. Typical excursion distance = 1.9km.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 
Accommodation: Moir Hut (4166m) 

DAY 6 - Moir Hut to Pofu Camp

Trek from Moir Hut (4166m) to Pofu Camp (3998m). A very gradual day, with views to the North-West. Distance = 10.3km.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 
Accommodation: Pofu Camp (3998m) 

DAY 7 - Pofu Camp to 3rd Caves Camp

We continue trekking in a clockwise direction around the northern flanks of Kilimanjaro from Pofu Camp (3998m) to
3rd Caves Camp (3971m). Distance = 6.7km. In the afternoon you can have some time at leisure or have the option of taking in an excursion to the Saddle, at the discretion of the guide.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 
Accommodation: 3rd Caves Camp (3971m) 

DAY 8 - 3rd Caves Camp to School Hut

After gently traversing the northern slopes of Kilimanjaro yesterday, today we trek upwards from 3rd Caves Camp (3971m) to School Hut (4722m) - a shorter distance than the previous 2 days, but a very respectable 751m of height gain. Note however, that on your evening acclimatisation excursion on Day 3, you came within some 400 metres of School Hut’s altitude, so your body will be very well prepared to install you into position to assault the summit tonight. Distance = 4.9km.

Aim to get to sleep as soon as possible as you will be woken at around 2300-0000 to begin your assault. Don’t worry about waking yourself for meals - your staff will wake you for these. You probably won’t feel like eating but please endeavour to do so as you’ll need the energy reserves. Relaxing your breathing and calming your mind are important as you prepare your body and mind for the summit attach. The previous 4 days have prepared you extremely well for tonight’s challenge, so there is nothing to worry about it. Being relaxed and having packed your gear ahead of time, not needing to be in a rush or worry about whether you may be forgetting anything, will aid your appetite - essential to fuel this long day’s activities.
When you have done your final kit checks and have all your gear ready it's time to get some sleep before you are woken for the assault on the summit.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 
Accommodation: School Hut (4722m) 

DAY 9 - Summit Day! School Hut to Uhuru Peak

Avoiding the energy-sapping loose scree slopes above Kibo Hut, we ascend from School Hut (4722m) via Hans Meyer Cave (5243m) and Gilman’s Point (5708m), to Uhuru Peak (5895m). For the quietest summit assault on Kilimanjaro we recommend the summit bid to begin at 0400 - 0500, however for a greater likelihood of clear summit views or for a dawn summit, we leave camp at around 2330 – 0100. Ultimately your guide will determine the start time according to their perception of the group’s pace.

Tonight is very difficult - particularly the final 550m - and you’ll need to commit to fight for the summit. You will inevitably feel like giving up and going to sleep. This is normal and can be overcome with perseverance. When resting please ensure you only stand or sit and do not lie down or close your eyes. Please trust your guide; they are very adept at judging whether your condition will allow safe progress or whether you have succumbed to a potentially dangerous condition and to proceed will not be safe.
Nausea and headaches and vomitting are normal and while very uncomfortable, these are not symptoms that are indicative of being at risk, per se. When you reach Gilman’s Point you will sit and rest. At this point the body and mind often think you have finished your uphill fight and will be trying to coerce you into giving up and turning around. While you may genuinely believe that you have already exhausted your reserves in reaching this point, this is actually very unlikely to be so. Remember that you are only 187 vertical metres short of the summit (via Stella Point), the journey from here is much less steep, and you have plenty of time for further pauses.
If you do feel the need to give up at Gilman’s Point please proceed towards the summit for just two minutes before making your final decision. In most cases this act of re-establishing momentum is enough to persuade the mind and body to cooperate with your intentions and you will ordinarily find hidden reserves for a final push, reserves that you were not aware you still had.

The summit

On the summit your guide will advise how much time you can spend there in consideration of your condition, your timings, and the weather. The brain does not function very intelligently at this altitude so please remember to take many photographs in all directions or you will probably regret not having done so at a later stage. Also, please consider in advance asking a companion to be ready to shoot a video of you, and likewise you of them, at the summit, to record your impressions of getting to the highest point of Africa and for achieving what for many will have
been the most difficult feat of endurance in their lives - but what a story to be able to tell everyone for the rest of your lives!

The descent - Uhuru Peak to Millennium Camp (3820m) or Mweka Camp (3090m)

From the summit you will turn around and descend to Stella Point. When you reach Stella Point your guide may opt to switch left onto the loose scree, a departure from the ridge up which climbers assaulting from Barafu ascend. On arrival at Barafu you would usually have time to rest an hour or so before continuing the descent after some refreshments.
From Barafu you will usually descend to Mweka Camp (3090m) for overnight. If your guide judges that a shorter day will benefit you and preserve sore knees and ankles, he may decide to stop short at Millennium Camp (3820m) instead.

Distances on summit day:
School Hut to Summit via Gillman’s Point: 5.4km
Summit to Barafu: 4.5km
Barafu to Mweka Camp: 6.3km
Total = 16.2km

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 
Accommodation: Mweka Camp (3090m) or Millennium Camp (3820m) 

DAY 10 - Millennium Camp or Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate

This morning we descend from Mweka Camp/Millennium Camp to Mweka Gate (1641m) where we sign the summit register and climbers will be rewarded with certificates attesting their success at climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. After signing we descend a further 15 minutes on foot to Mweka Village to meet our transport and then heading back to Arusha. You should return back to Arusha between 2 and 5pm, depending on the descent pace. Distance from Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate is 8.5km.

Mweka Gate is where you will say farewell to your mountain crew. Typically tips for mountain crew tend to average 10-15% of the climb costs, with all climber's contributions usually added together and presented to the chief guide to divide fairly amongst the crew.

Congratulations on reaching for the top of the highest freestanding mountain in the world! Typical total trek distance = 78.6km or 48.8 miles.

After the luxury of a shower and the joy of putting on clean clothes, tonight's dinner will be at the lodge for one final get together with your group.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 
Accommodation: Ngare Sero Mountain Lodge  

DAY 11 - Arusha and home

After breakfast you'll likely have some time at leisure to reflect on your Kilimanjaro adventure before you are transferred to Kilimajaro Airport for your onward flights. You may not be ready to say farewell to Tanzania just yet and there are a variety of safari options that we can tailormake to suit your requirements and the time of year that you are visiting. Please ask at the time of booking your trek and we can tailor a post trek itinerary to suit you.

Included meals: Breakfast 


More information

What's includedWhat's not includedImportant information

What's included

  • For UK guests, return economy flights to/from LHR are included in the cost of the journey. For US/International guests, international flights are not included - please arrange your own international flights. Regional UK airport departures may be available - please ask at the time of booking. Supplements may apply.
  • Meet & Greet at the airport on arrival
  • Return Kilimanjaro Airport - Arusha hotel transfers
  • Meals and accommodation as indicated in the itinerary.
  • All food for the duration of the climb, top quality food specially considered for maximum nutrition needs with a dedicated cook.
  • Portage of 2 bags (maximum 20kgs) per person.
  • All Kilimanjaro fees– including park fees, hut fees and rescue fees.
  • Safety communication equipment.
  • Safety equipment – Emergency oxygen, pulse oximeter, first aid kit, emergency stretcher, Ams scorecards.
  • Top quality mountain tents (Vango Equinox 350 tunnel-design sleeping tents are spacious 3 man tents)
  • Filtered water throughout the climb.
  • Government taxes and levies.
  • All camping equipment (excludes personal kit).
  • Local English-speaking guides who are certified Wilderness First Responders and trekking staff to assist (cook and porters).

What's not included

  • Transfers on arrival or departure, to/from the airport(s), outside of the tour dates
  • Covid testing on arrival/departure or related entry/exit requirements
  • Gratuities
  • Personal equipment
  • Travel and medical Insurance
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Meals or transfers other than those included on the cost of the climb
  • Drinks (other than water)
  • Personal spending
  • Visas
  • Any optional activities offered
  • Increases in government taxes or fuel surcharges
  • Any personal items and anything not mentioned under included in price above

Important information

  • Maximum number of 12 guests per group.
  • This adventure is intended for those people in good health. You will be required to have a medical form completed by your personal physician showing that you are sufficiently fit and well to partake in this adventure. Your health and safety are of upmost importance to us.
  • Payments and Cancellations: A non-refundable deposit is due at the time of booking. Full balance will be due 14 weeks prior to departure.
  • Prices are quoted in USD, and based on two people sharing and do not include increases in government taxes, fuel surcharges.
  • Cancellation 90 – 0 days prior to departure cancellation fee is 100%. It is your responsibility to ensure the correct travel insurance in place to protect you against the need to cancel your holiday. Further terms and conditions apply and will be provided upon request or at the time of booking.
  • The Big Journey Company reserves the right to withdraw any offer prior to accepting a reservation request. This does not affect your statutory rights. This offer is subject to availability and space is limited.

The big journey promise

The big journey company was set up with one goal in mind, to share our passion for inspirational cultures, destinations and experiences. Over the last 10 years we have had the privilege to escort thousands of travellers on awe inspiring and sometimes life changing journeys. Our promise to every guest who joins us is that we will do everything possible to make sure your journey not only exceeds expectations but delivers at least one moment of true amazement.

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Holiday tours are operated by The Big Journey Company Limited. Registered in England. Registered office: Marron Bank, Branthwaite, Cumbria, CA14 4SZ. Registered number: 6532140. The Big Journey Company Limited is a member of The Travel Trust Association member number U5675 and holds an Air Travel Organiser’s License number T7282.

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