This is a remote route, which starts on the northern side of the mountain close to the Kenyan border. It expands on the dry northeast side of Kilimanjaro. This is also a drier route than most routes if you hike during the rainy season. The acclimatization profile is fair because the days are shorter, giving you a higher chance of summiting without much struggle.
This route is less crowded, moderately steep, crosses a beautiful alpine desert zone and allows for good views towards Kenya and the Kibo summit.
DAY 1 — To First Cave 1950m to 2600m 6400ft to 8500ft About 4 hours Transfer by Land Rover/Land cruiser (about 3 hours) to the attractive wooden village of Nale Muru (1950 m). After signing in and preparing the porters, you will begin the hike on a wide path that winds through fields of maize and potatoes before entering pine forest. The track then starts to climb consistently, but gently through attractive forest that shelters a variety of wildlife. The forest begins to thin out and the first camp is at the edge of the moorland zone (2600 m) with extensive views over the Kenyan plains.
DAY 2 — To Kikelewa Camp 2600m to 3600m 8500ft to 11,800ft About 7 hours The morning walk is a steady ascent up to the Second Cave (3450 m) with superb views of Kibo and the Eastern ice fields on the crater rim. After lunch, leave the main trail and strike out across the moorland on a smaller path towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi. The campsite is in a sheltered valley with giant Senecios near Kikelewa Camp (3600 m).
DAY 3 — To Mawenzi Tarn 3600m to 4330m 11,800ft to 14,200ft About 4 hours A short but steep climb up grassy slopes is rewarded by superb all-round views and a tangible sense of wilderness. Leave the vegetation behind shortly before reaching the next camp at Mawenzi Tarn (4330 m), spectacularly situated in a cirque directly beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi. The afternoon will be free to rest or explore the surrounding area as an aid to acclimatization.
DAY 4 — To Kibo Camp 4330m to 4750m 14,200ft to 15,600ft About 5 hours Cross the lunar desert of the ‘Saddle’ between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach Kibo campsite (4750 m) at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent before a very early night!
DAY 5 — To Summit and Horombo Hut 4750m to 5895m (and down to 3720m) 15,600ft to 19,300ft (and down to 12,200ft) About 11 hours Begin the final, and by far the steepest and most demanding, part of the climb by torchlight around 1 a.m. Proceed very slowly in the darkness on a switchback trail through loose volcanic scree to reach the crater rim at Gillman’s Point (5685 m) Rest there for a short time to enjoy the spectacular sunrise over Mawenzi. Those who are still feeling strong can make the three hour round trip to Uhuru Peak (5895 m), passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. The descent to Kibo (4700 m) is surprisingly fast and, after some refreshment, continue the descent to reach the final campsite at Horombo (3720 m).
DAY 6 –Moshi Elevation (ft): 12,200ft to 5500ft Elevation (m): 3720m to 1700m, Hiking Time: 5-7 hours After breakfast, A steady descent takes us down through moorland to Mandara Hut (2700m), the first stopping place at the Marangu route. Continue descending through lovely lush forest on a good path to the National Park gate at Marangu (1830 m). 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). Transfer to Moshi.
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