Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Safari Itinerary

Explore Africa's highest mountain with our Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Safari Itinerary. View hiking times and distances, details about the journey and what to expect.

Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Safari Itinerary


On the first day of the Mount Kilimanjaro climbing safari itinerary, fly into Arusha and check into the Mt. Meru Hotel. Shake off the jet lag, enjoy fine food and drinks, and prepare for the amazing adventure that we have in store for you. Make sure you have all your hiking supplies and get some good rest, you are going to need it.

Arusha - Mt. Kilimanjaro

Head out with your guide to the Marangu Gate at the base of Kilimanjaro. Meet your porters and start your uphill trek through the rainforest. Today’s hike spans over 12 kilometers which should take about five hours of hiking. At the end of your hike will arrive at the Mandara Hut, consisting of a group of wooden A-framed huts in a forest clearing. Each hut features 6-8 sleeping bunks with solar generated lighting.

Hiking Time – 5 Hours
Distance – 8.1km
Habitat – Montane Forest
Mt. Kilimanjaro

From Mandara Hut the trail passes through a short stretch of forest, skirts the base of the Maundi Crater and then emerges into the transition from rainforest to moorland. It is well worth a short detour to climb up the rim of the Maundi Crater for an impressive view of the Kibo Crater. On a clear day, Kibo will glimmer in the distance, showing off its majestic glaciers in the morning sun. After about 6 hours of hiking you will reach the Horombo Hut perched on a small plateau above the rainforest below.

Hiking Time – 6 Hours
Distane – 11.6km
Habitat – Moorland
Mt. Kilimanjaro

This extra night at the Horombo Hut is for additional acclimatisation. A hike towards the Mawenzi hut, passing the Zebra Rocks on the way, is strongly recommended. This hike will further assist with the process of acclimatisation. Remember to drink enough water and move slowly. All meals for the day are provided at the hut. Retire to bed early and get a good night’s rest.

Mt. Kilimanjaro

From the Horombo Hut, there are two trails to the “Saddle”, the area located between the peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo. There is an upper route (right hand fork) and lower route (left hand fork) to choose from. The recommended lower route is much easier and nearly an hour shorter, and it also passes the last watering point, so make sure to take enough water to last you until you return to Horombo in two days. At the end of your hike you will arrive at Kibo Hut, do a final gear check and get some rest before your attempt at the summit in the early morning.


Hiking Time – 6 Hours
Distance – 9.6km
Habitat – Alpine Desert
Mt. Kilimanjaro

This is the day you will reach the summit, all that lies between you and the peak is a hike of about 5 kilometers. Typically you will rise just after midnight to embark on your ascent to the summit. This is the most difficult segment of your journey, but is well worth the hard work when you find yourself at the highest point in Africa. Make sure to get some pictures before your descent back to Kibo Hut to pack the gear you left behind. Get something to eat and rest a moment before heading down to Horombo Hut for your overnight stay.

Hiking Time – 7 Hours to summit – 6 Hours to Horombo Hut
Distance – 5.4km ascent – 15km descent
Habitat – Stone Scree and ice capped summit
Mt. Kilimanjaro

After breakfast you continue your descent, passing the Mandara Hut, down to the Marangu Gate. At the gate you sign your name and details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Those climbers who reached Gillman’s Point are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak, receive gold certificates. You now drive back to Arusha for a long overdue hot shower, dinner and celebrations!! Overnight stay at the Mt. Meru Hotel.

Hiking Time – 6 Hours
Distance – 19.7km
Mt. Kilimanjaro - Depart

Today is your last day in Africa. If time allows, visit some shops to buy gifts for loved ones or grab a coffee and a bite to eat. Head to the airport on time for your flight home. Asante.

Ombeni African Safaris