The itinerary of the 7 days / 6 nights version is identical to the normal 6days/5nights version, but the route done in seven days includes an extra day at Karanga Valley Camp, at 13,000 feet (3,950 mt.), between Barranco and Barafu Camps. This helps to split the long day in half and adds an important day for acclimatization.
Itinerary (7 days / 6 nights on Kili):
Briefing Your guides will meet you at your hotel in Arusha or Moshi for a detailed briefing of the climb. Accommodation: hotel in Arusha or Moshi (D)
Transfer to gate - hike to Machame camp (2850 m) Departure from Arusha will be at around 7:30 am for Machame gate (ca. 4 hrs transfer), where you will complete the entry formalities and have lunch. You start trekking through dense mountain rain forest to Machame camp, located just above the forest zone, in the heather zone, with views of the summit. 5-7 hrs trekking.
Accommodation: Machame camp (B, L, D)
Machame - Shira camp (3810 m) Trek up a steep path leading into the more arid moorland, passing tall grass, rocks and bearded heather. Continue through an eery landscape of lava rocks, caves and foamy streams framed by exotic plants until you reach the Shira plateau, where camp is set. 5-6 hrs trekking.
Accommodation: Shira 2 camp (B, L, D)
Shira 2 - Lava Tower - Barranco camp (3976 m) You proceed steadily upwards over vast rigdes to "Lava Tower" for lunch (ca. 4 hrs). Lava Tower, a 300 ft volcanic plug, marks an exposed pass at 15,000 ft. In the afternoon, you descend the steep trail into the Great Barranco Valley. Barranco Camp is set in a valley enclosed on 3 sides with the massive walls of the valley itself and the massif of Kibo. Hanging glaciers glint in the sunshine above,- an eerie landscape known for its rare plants such as the Giant Groundsels (Seneciao Kilimanjari) and the uniquely endemic Giant Lobelia. Total trekking time: 6-7 hrs.
Accommodation: Barranco camp (B, L, D)
Barranco camp - Karanga camp (4995 m) Today we trek to Karanga Valley Camp, at 13,000 feet (3,950 mt.), between Barranco and Barafu Camps. This day has proven to be very important for acclimatization. The day begins with a scramble up the steep 'Barranco Wall', then traversing up and down the slopes of valleys which have carved their way into the mountain's southern face. Kibo's glaciers loom above to your left and the jagged peaks of Mawenzi jut into the African sky at just under 17,000 feet straight ahead. We reach the Karanga Valley after 3-4 hours of trekking for a hot lunch. Afternoon to relax or to take excursions from camp.
Accommodation: Karanga camp (B, L, D)
Karanga camp - Barafu camp (4673 m) From here the trail turns steadily uphill. The temperature will grow colder and the landscape more sparse as we near Barafu Camp. Barafu Camp is set on a small, exposed flat area on a ridge, acting a base camp from which you will make your summit attempt at midnight tonight. Total trekking time is 4-5 hours, with a hot lunch upon reaching camp. The afternoon is yours to rest and prepare for the long night ahead. Eat and drink as much as possible before retiring early to your tent for rest and sleep.
Accommodation: Barafu camp (B, L, D)
Barafu camp - Uhuru Peak (5895 m) - descend to Mweka camp (3068 m) A hot drink will arrive very early this morning. A midmight wake-up call will be the start of a juggernaut (12-17 hrs of trekking). At around 1 am, you start trekking; temperatures usually range from just below freezing at midnight to seomwhere between -12 deg. C (10 deg. F) to -23 deg. C (-10 F.) on the summit just before dawn. The winding path of endless switchbacks will slowly take form and shape in the shadows of the Ratzel and Rebman glaciers at early dawn, and behind you the spires of Mawenzi are silouhetted against the red glow of the sun rising behind the clouds. After about 6 hrs of slowly walking uphill, you arrive at the edge of the crater: Stella Point, at 19,000 ft (5790 m) on the crater rim, is the end of the steep part of the hike. From here, it's a gentle slope to Uhuru Peak (ca. 1 hr), the true summit of Kili at 19,340 ft (5896 m). The strength it takes to ascend this final piece is for many monumental. After a short time at the summit, we start descending. The path goes down a steep scree slope back to Barafu Camp for some rest, before you have to summon your strength again to descend further to Mweka Camp for the last night on the mountain.
Accommodation: Mweka camp (B, L, D)
Final descend - Transfer to Arusha It's an easy 2-3 hours trek through rain forest to go down the final parts of the trail back to the Mweka Gate. After receiving your certificates, lunch and saying goodby to many of your crew, we'll bring you to the KIA lodge, where you can use day rooms for a shower, change cloths etc. In the afternoon, return to Arusha (or Moshi).
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