There will be a trip briefing this afternoon/evening. Please bring with you your passport and insurance details, and your air ticket details. The briefing will cover all aspects of your trip and will include the distribution of any hired equipment you have booked.
In the morning we transfer by 4WD vehicles to Londorossi (2250 m), passing between the slopes of Kilimanjaro and the horseshoe-shaped volcanic crater of Mt. Meru (a distance of about 120km). After completing the necessary registration formalities, we drive on for a short distance through farmland and plantations to reach the Lemosho roadhead. The last 5km of the road to the park gate is of poor quality, particularly after rain, and the drive there should be considered part of the adventure. We often have our lunch in the glades before starting to walk. It is an easy day of walking up a small path through beautiful and lush forest, this area has a variety of game including buffalo. We camp at Lemosho Forest camp (2650m). Approx 2-3 hours walking.
The trail starts out in the lush rich montane forest before ascending into the moorland zone of giant heather. The trail climbs steadily with views across the plains opening out as we reach the rim of the Shira Plateau. There is a tangible sense of wilderness, especially if the afternoon mists come in. We camp in the centre of the plateau at Shira One (3550m). Approx 6-7 hours walking.
An easy day to help acclimatisation and to explore the grassy moorland and the volcanic rock formations of the plateau. We walk to the summit of Shira Cathedral, a huge buttress of rock surrounded by steep spires and pinnacles. The views from our camp near Shira Hut (3840m) of Mt. Meru floating on the clouds are simply unforgettable. The afternoon is free to relax. Approx 4-5 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 4800m). We then continue from Lava Tower to reach our campsite at Moir Hut (4,200m). Approx 5-7 hours walking.
We climb out of the Moir Valley and take a short detour to reach the summit of the Little Lent hill at 4375m. 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 todays walk undulates until reaching the location of Buffalo Camp (4150m). At the camp there is a huge feeling of space as the Kenyan plains stretch out far below to the north. Approx 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, where there 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 (3900m). Approx 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 (4700m) in the early afternoon. The remainder of the afternoon is spent resting and preparing for the summit day. Approx 4-6 hours walking.
We will start the final, and by far the steepest and most demanding, part of the climb by torchlight at around 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 Gilmans Point (5685m) 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 (5895m), 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 descend down through Barafu Camp to reach Millenium Camp (3800m). This is an extremely long and hard day, with between 11 and 15 hours walking at high altitude.
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 (1650m); and on through coffee and banana farms to Mweka village. The shower, the beer, and the swimming pool are tantalisingly close! We return by bus to Arusha (a distance of about 100km). Approx 4-6 hours walking.
The morning can be spent resting in the hotel garden by the pool or exploring Arusha for souvenirs for those on group flights. Those not flying back to UK with the group will leave us in Arusha.