Kilimanjaro trek
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Climbing Kilimanjaro

Located just 200 miles south of the equator in Tanzania, Kilimanjaro is the highest free-standing mountain in the world and the highest mountain on the African continent.  Rising to 5895m above sea level and roughly 4900m above it’s base Kilimanjaro is iconic and rightly deserves its place on many people’s bucket list.

Climbing Kilimanjaro is truly memorable, not only does it provide you with awesome views from the roof of Africa, the journey to get there is also truly special, taking you through various climatic zones from lush green rainforest on the lower slopes up through alpine desert and into the arctic towards the summit.

The mountain itself is actually a dormant stratovolcano with three separate cones or summits; Mawenzi, Shira and the highest, Kibo.  Making an ascent of Kilimanjaro doesn’t require any technical skills and there are seven main trekking routes to the summit.

Lemosho Route.  The best route to the summit, in our opinion, is the Lemosho Route.  Starting down in the rainforest, this route crosses the Shira Plateau and climbs the awesome Barranco Wall.  Taking 8 days in total it gives provides the best chance of acclimatisation.  Read more about our 8-day Lemosho Route.

Machame Route.  Often referred to as the Whiskey route, this 7-day route also crosses the Shira Plateau and climbs the Barranco Wall.  Read more about our 7-day Machame Route.

Rongai Route.  The Rongai route is the only route that climbs Kili from the north.  It feels remote and wild and is a great choice if you want to avoid the crowds.  Read more about our 6-day Rongai Route.

Marangu Route.  Also known as the Coca-Cola route.  This is the only route on Kilimanjaro where you don’t need to sleep in a tent as there are a series of small huts at the end of each day’s trek.  Considered by many to be the easiest way to the summit.

Shira Route.  Starting at 3600m the Shira Route joins the Lemosho at the end of the second day and then follows it to the summit.  The starting height doesn’t help with acclimatisation and as such we do not recommend this route.

Umbwe Route.  This is the shortest and most direct route to the summit.  It is steep and difficult and due to it’s profile this route does not lend itself to good acclimatisation.  It is a very quiet route with a very low success rate.

Northern Circuit.  A relatively new route, the Northern Circuit starts as per the Lemosho before heading around the northern flanks of Kili and finishing up the Rongai route.  A good option and much quieter than the Lemosho and Machame routes.

The best time to trek to the summit of Kilimanjaro is in one of the two dry seasons.  June through to October and December through to February are the main trekking seasons with the first tending to be dry and cooler than the latter.  Our favourite month for climbing Kilimanjaro is June, the weather is generally good and its just before the peak season begins so tends to be quieter.

Kilimanjaro Trekking Routes

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Machame Route

The Machame route is often considered to be the most beautiful route up Kilimanjaro.  With views of the national parks, our 7 day Machame route is an excellent choice for the adventurous trekker.  The route incorporates a high lunch on day 3 at Lava Tower (4600m) which is a great aid to acclimatisation.

You will need 9 days in total for this trip, 7 days trekking and a day either side for travel (additional acclimatisation days available on request - supplement applies)

Prices starting from £2050 per person.



What You Need To Know

Difficulty Rating

The Mountain

First climbed in 1889 by the German Geography Professor Hans Meyer and Austrian Mountaineer Ludwig Purtscheller, Kilimanjaro is a complex mountain located just south of the equator.

The Route

The Machame route is one of the more popular routes on Kilimanjaro and is often considered by many to be the most beautiful route up the mountain.  Monkey mountaineering's 7 day Machame route is an excellent choice for the adventurous trekker.  The route incorporates a high lunch on day 3 at Lava Tower (4600m) which is a great aid to acclimatisation.

Monkey Mountaineering's Approach

Maximise Chances of Success, Minimise Environmental Impact...

At Monkey Mountaineering we recognise the difficulties involved in completing an ascent of Kilimanjaro, that's why we do everything we can to help you achieve your goal. To improve your chances of success our groups on Kilimanjaro are never more than 8 people. We use local guides who are professional, fully qualified, experienced and have in-depth knowledge of the mountain.

In keeping with our core values of sustainable adventure travel we take steps to ensure our impact on the environment is kept to a minimum. We always respect the environment we operate in and we plan all our Kilimanjaro trips with this in mind.

Our 7 day Machame route allows plenty of time for acclimatisation and we trek the section from Barranco to Barafu over two days, allowing for a short day just prior to the summit attempt.  This allows for the maximum amount of rest before making the summit attempt.

This trip is run on a bespoke basis with dates that suit you and your group best.  If you are interested in this trip or would like to discuss alternative itineraries or routes, please contact us by email or by phone on 01765 773015.

Day 1:            Arrive in Tanzania

Touch down at Kilimanjaro International airport in Tanzania and after passing through immigration and customs you will be met by one of Monkey Mountaineering’s local representatives with a board bearing your name.  Private transfer to your hotel in Arusha (approximately 40 minutes).

Day 2:            Kilimanjaro - Machame Gate to Machame Camp

Elevation:     1640m to 2850m                  Habitat:          Rain Forest

We pick you up from your hotel after breakfast and make the journey to the Machame Gate where you will complete all park entrance formalities.  Once we start the trek, the route climbs steadily up through the rain forest.  You’ll have lunch on the way before arriving at Machame Camp.

DAY 3:           Kilimanjaro - Machame Camp to Shira 2 Camp

Elevation:     2850m to 3850m                  Habitat:          Moorland

The initial section from Machame camp is fairly steep and you will gain altitude quite quickly so it is important to take your time to allow the acclimatisation process to start working.  Lunch is provided on the trail before you cross the Shira plateau and arrive at Shira 2, your overnight camp.

DAY 4:           Kilimanjaro – Shira 2 Camp to Barranco Camp

Elevation:     3850m to 3900m                  Habitat:          Semi Desert

From the Shira Plateau, the route continues east up a ridge before turning south east towards the Lava Tower.  At 4600m the journey to Lava Tower contributes significantly to the acclimatisation process. We stop for lunch here before descending to the Barranco camp site at an altitude of 3900m.  Perched below the Barranco wall, this campsite provides great views out over the plain and back towards Kibo.

DAY 5:           Kilimanjaro - Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp

Elevation:     3900m to 3995m                  Habitat: Alpine Desert

After breakfast, the route drops down to cross a stream before climbing steeply up the Barranco Wall before continuing across to the Karanga Valley campsite.  This is a relatively short day.

DAY 6:           Kilimanjaro - Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp

Elevation:     3995m to 4640m                  Habitat:          Alpine Desert

From Karanga we follow the trail to the junction with the Mweka route before continuing up to the Barafu Hut.  At this point, you have completed the Southern Circuit of Kilimanjaro.  Camping at this high campsite gives great views of Mawenzi.

DAY 7:           Kilimanjaro - Barafu Camp to Summit to Mweka Hut

Elevation:                 4640m to 5895m (and down to 3105m)

Habitat:                      Arctic

We give you a wakeup call at around 11pm and aim to set off for the summit at around mid-night.  The route takes us up to Stella Point via a series of zig zags and steep scree.  We stop here for a short break and watch the sunrise before the final hour to Uhuru Peak, the summit of Kilimanjaro, the highest point on the African continent.

From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu Camp for a short rest and some lunch.  Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon.

DAY 8:           Kilimanjaro - Mweka Camp to Arusha

Elevation:     3105m to 1645m                  Habitat:          Rain Forest

After a good night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast, we finish our descent down to the Mweka Park Gate.  Here you will have the final meal on the mountain with all your crew before transport takes you back to your hotel in Arusha.

DAY 9:           Depart

Depending on your time of departure, you will be collected from your hotel and transferred to the Airport for your flight back to the UK.

Our Kilimanjaro Machame route is a bespoke 7 day trek available on dates available to suit your needs.  Minimum groups size is two people sharing accommodation in Moshi and tent on the mountain (single accommodation/tent is available for a supplement).

Prices from £2050.

If you would like to trek our 7 day Machame route or any other route on Kilimanjaro then please contact us or get in touch by email or by phone on 01765 773015.

Included in the price of this trip:

  • Arrival and departure transfers to and from Kilimanjaro International Airport.
  • Pre & Post climb accommodation in Arusha on bed & Breakfast basis.
  • Transport to the trailhead and back to Arusha after the climb.
  • A fully supported camping trek which includes 4 seasons Mountain hardware tents and sleeping mats, kitchen tent, dining tent with table and chairs, toilet tent with chemical toilet.
  • Professional guiding and support team including porters, chef and kitchen staff.
  • Emergency equipment such as medical oxygen and emergency evacuation services.
  • Three meals per day whilst on the mountain.
  • Purified drinking water provided as required.
  • All fees (Park entrance fees, camping fees, rescue fees).
  • Portage of 20 kg per client

The following are not Included:

  • International Flights from/to UK.
  • Personal clothing and equipment (see our clothing and equipment section for guidance about what to bring).
  • Additional accommodation in Arusha before or after the climb (one night pre climb and one night post climb is included).
  • Tips for your mountain crew (see for guidance on tipping whilst on Kilimanjaro).
  • Personal travel insurance (to cover you for cancellation, accident, health, emergency evacuation and loss, theft of or damage to baggage and personal effects etc.  You must ensure you have cover for trekking up to 6000m for this trip).
  • Lunch, dinner and drinks etc. whilst in Arusha (hotel accommodation is B&B).
  • Additional expenses incurred should there be a need to curtail your climb early and transfer you from the mountain back to a medical facility or hotel (it is essential that you have personal travel insurance that includes cover for trekking up to 6000m).

Kilimanjaro is a big mountain and you may experience all forms of climatic conditions during your ascent.  Low down in the forest zone it can be hot and humid.  Temperatures will drop as you climb higher and it is not uncommon for it to rain in the afternoon (this will fall as snow higher up depending on where the freezing level is).  Mornings can be cold and frosty even though the sun is out.  Night time temperatures can drop below freezing and there is often a chilly breeze at night.  In summary, we need to be prepared for everything that the weather can throw at us when on Kilimanjaro.

With this in mind it is important that we set out wearing the right clothing and carrying the right equipment.  Listed below are all the items of clothing that you will need to successfully and safely climb Kilimanjaro.  We have annotated some items as essential so please make sure you read this section and if you are unsure about anything, please give us a call or email us at

Essential Clothing (to be worn/carried)

  • Walking boots. A good pair of walking boots which provide ankle support and are well broken-in.  Boots are essential - Please do not bring trail shoes or trainers.
  • Hiking socks. We recommend a good pair of proper hiking/trekking socks.  You should have a pair for each day (8 pairs in total).
  • Shorts.  These are optional but can be worn in the initial stages of the trek and again at the end if you want.
  • Lightweight walking trousers. Jeans or tracksuit bottoms are not suitable.  These items will be worn for most of the trek.
  • Insulated or fleece walking trousers. (or thermal long johns)  It will be cold on summit day and it is essential that you can keep your legs warm.
  • Long-sleeved thermal top.  Take at least 2 of these.
  • Long Sleeved shirt.  Should be lightweight and quick drying.
  • Tee-shirt. Should be a technical fabric – avoid cotton as it is slow to dry.  You will need 2 or 3 of these.
  • Fleece or Soft Shell Layer.  This can be a fleece jumper or fleece jacket or a soft shell jacket.
  • Insulated Jacket.  Can be down or synthetic.
  • Waterproof Jacket.  Ideally this will be made from a waterproof, breathable material and it will have a hood.
  • Waterproof trousers.
  • Sun Hat.
  • Wooly hat.
  • Buff.
  • Gloves or mittens.  A thin pair and a big waterproof pair that will go on over the thin pair.  A pair of mittens would also be very useful.
  • Underwear.  Ideally these will be quick drying and moisture wicking.  Take 3 pairs as a minimum.
  • Sports Bra.  Ladies only, take 2.

Essential Equipment

  • Small Rucksack.  20 to 30l is adequate.
  • Large Holdall.  For the porters to carry your equipment.  Should be 50-100 litres and fit all your equipment in it.
  • Sleeping Bag.  This should be a minimum of three seasons and able to keep you warm down to at least minus 10 (we recommend taking as warm a sleeping bag as possible).
  • Head torch.  This is essential for summit day and you might want it for reading in your tent (bring spare batteries).
  • Personal First Aid Kit.  Our guides carry a group first aid kits but we recommend you carry a personal first aid kit which includes suncream, lip balm, blister plasters (compeed), plasters, painkillers and any prescription medicines, insect repellant etc.
  • Water Bladder.  It is essential that you have the means to carry at least 2 litres of drinking water.  The best solution is a bladder type water carrier such as a camelbak as this then allows you to drink whilst walking with no need to stop to get out a water bottle.
  • Water Bottle.  Nalgene type, 1 litre.  Bladders can freeze on summit day so you should also take a robust bottle capable of holding at least 1 litre.
  • Toiletries.  Include wet wipes and hand sanitizer and toilet tissues.

Optional Equipment

  • Walking poles.  Not essential but extremely useful, especially when descending.
  • Camera.  Make sure you have spare batteries or the means to re-charge whilst on the trek.
  • Mobile Phone.  The signal is limited on the Lemosho route but there are places where you will be able to send and receive text and make calls.  There is no mobile data.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Rucksack rain cover.
  • Pee Bottle.  These can be useful at night so you don’t need to get out of the tent – make sure it is clearly marked as you wouldn’t want to drink from it!
  • Travel Towel.

Other Clothing & Equipment

  • Travel clothing.  Clothing that you will not wear whilst on the trek.  This can be packed in your porter load or left in a small bag at the hotel.
  • Sports Sandals/Trainers.  Comfortable footwear for use in the evening whilst in camp.
  • Stuff Sacks/Dry Bags.  Various sizes to keep kit dry and separate.