From Arusha/Moshi drive to the Machame Park gate, then a gentle climb up through the original montane forest carpeted with unique “busy lizzie” flowers, begonias and ferms. Your first camp will be amongst the giant heather at 3,000m/10,000ft at Machame Camp. The ascent will be 1,200m/3,600 ft and 5-6 hours of walking. Overnight at Machame Camp
Emerge from the giant heather zone and hike through fine open moorland to camp by the Shira Cave at 3,840m/12,650ft. Herds of eland up here (& occasional lion!) Also, there are fascinating geological features in the old volcanic caldera which can be viewed during a half-hour optional walk in the afternoon. The ascent will be 840m/2,500ft and 4-5 hours walking. Overnight at Shira Camp
From Shira then climb towards the main peak, with the western glaciers clearly visible across the rugged high-altitude desert to volcanic rocks and boulders. Skirting around its base and under the imposing Western Breach, descend into the sheltered Barranco Valley for mid – way camp at 3,950m/12,900ft. This will be 5-7 hours walking and only 110m total ascent – after having climbed high and dropping down low to sleep and assist acclimatization. Overnight at Barranco Camp
Climb the steep Barranco Wall, which includes some sections of very easy scrambling, and drop down again to the Karanga Valley at 3,800m/12,700ft. This is a short walking day, 3-4 hours, with an optional acclimatization hike in afternoon up onto the scree below the glaciers. Overnight at Karanga Camp
Up to Barafu camp perched high on a rocky bluff at 4,750m/ 15,200ft. Fantastic views across to Mawenzi peak and a bit less to climb tomorrow morning! This is another short walking day, about 4 hours, 950m, with less exertion and a good rest in afternoon immediately before the hard summit day. Overnight at Barafu Camp
Around midnight, enjoy breakfast and start to climb the steep frozen snow. This is unavoidable on any route but we aim to reach Stella Point on the crater rim for sunrise – another 40mins and you’re at the highest point on the continent 5,895m/19,340ft, usually in warm sunshine. Return on the Mweka descent route. Ascent of 1,300m/4,000ft over the seven hours treks to the summit. Enjoy standing at the highest point in the African Continent and then descend over 2-3 hours back to Barafu camp for lunch. After lunch continue trek descent 1,750m/ 5,000ft over 3-5 hours to the Mweka camp at 3,000m/10,000ft. This is a long hard day but you will feel absolutely ecstatic when you have finished! Enjoy dinner and a good night’s rest. Overnight at Mweka Camp
A morning descent of 4-5 hours through the forest brings us to Mweka Gate where you collect your certificate and meet the vehicle. We return to the Hotel in Moshi or Arusha for a hot shower and overnight after the climb at hotel.