This is one of the most popular routes to take when climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. This is because it is a very scenic route while also being more budget friendly than some of the longer hikes. As such, the traffic on this route is denser than others. Known as the whisky route, the journey is a little harder than other routes (such as the Marangu Route) however the success rate is higher!
The Route: This route takes you through dense rainforest to Shira Plateau, past the lava tower and Barranco Hut then onto Barafu before you summit. You will descend via a different route, the Mweka Route.
Accommodation: On the mountain you will be staying overnight at tented campsites. Mauly Tours can organise accommodation for you the night before and after as well as transport to and from your accommodation both days.
Hiking Time: 9 km taking 5-7 hours
Terrain: Mountain forest, heather and moorland zone
Your trek to the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro will start at the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park Gates. Here you will meet you guide and porters, who will be your family for the next week!
When your registers, packed and ready to go, your guide will lead you through a winding trail through the rainforest to your first camp, Machame Camp, where you will have dinner and spend the night.
Hiking Time: 7 km taking 7 hours
Terrain: Heather and moorland
In the morning you will leave the glades of the rainforest and make your way passed a valley along a rocky ridge to the end of the ridge. Your path leads you to a river gorge where you will make camp for the night.
Here at Shira Camp some groups will stay an extra night to acclimatise, you however, will press on in the morning to the next camp.
Hiking Time: 10 km taking 6-8 hours
Terrain: Heather and moorland
Today you will see many different things on your hike upwards! From the Shira Plateau you will make your way towards Kibo Peak. On your way you will pass the Lava Tower followed by the Arrow Glacier at an altitude of 4,876 meters. You will then descend to the Barraco Camp where you will have dinner and camp for the night.
This day is important for acclimatisation. Even though you camp at a similar elevation to your previous night, you will have reached a great height today!
Hiking Time: 8 km taking 8 hours
Terrain: Heather, moorland and alpine desert zone
Today is a day full of breathtaking views. In the morning you will ascend the Barranco Wall before trekking across rock and ridges to the Karanga Valley. Here you will be met with breathtaking views of the Western Breach and southern glacier. From there, having completed the Southern Circuit and seen every angle of the summit, you will continue to your next campsite, the Barafu Camp.
Some choose to spend an extra day in the Karanga valley area to further acclimatise.
Hiking Time: 19 km taking 13-15 hours
Terrain: Alpine desert, snow, heather and moorland
Today is the day! You’ll awake before midnight to start your 6 hour assent. The climb will take you past the final waypoint, Hans Meyer point (5,888 m/19,318 ft) after which you will reach the summit of Uhuru Peak. You have finally done it! You have reached the highest point on in Africa at 5,895m/19,341 ft. This achievement will be tough to top, that’s for sure.
After a moment of basking in your triumph you will start your descent down past Barafu Camp to to Mweka Camp. Here you will enjoy your last dinner on the mountain and some well-earned sleep.
Hiking Time: 10 km taking 3-4 hours
Terrain: Heather, moorland and montane forest
After breakfast, we continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy). A vehicle will meet you at Mweka village to drive you back to hotel in Moshi.