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LUXURY KILIMANJARO View Full Screen Itinerary

9 NIGHTS TOTAL, 7 KILIMANJARO NIGHTS, GRAND TRAVERSE ROUTE - MOST REMOTE ROUTE ON KILI, 2 LODGE NIGHTS IN ARUSHA

Join us on a legendary trek of Africa’s highest and most famous mountain. This special route is the least-used route on Kilimanjaro and is regarded as the 'sacred-route' up this special mountain.

Sandgrouse Travel & Expeditions' Luxury Kilimanjaro treks offer you the chance to scale this world famous giant in total comfort. This is a trek, no technical skill is required to reach the summit of Africa's highest mountain beyond the ability to put one foot in front of another. All you need to carry on this luxury trek is a small day sack which offers you the best chance to reach the summit. Each day you will benefit from camps that have been professionally set up prior to your arrival by your private team of local porters. All amenities from dining tents, mess tents, to your own private tents will be at your disposal. Our luxury camps also feature a chemical 'toilet' tent unlike many other operators on the mountain.

YOUR TREK: 8 DAYS IN TOTAL, 7 NIGHTS ON THE MOUNTAIN

This Grand Traverse Route trek takes you up one of the most diverse routes on Kilimanjaro; a mixture of varying terrain, habitat and eco-systems, taking in forest, heather, moorland, alpine desert, and summit. Some guide books may refer to these zones differently but they should all be similar terminology. 

The Grand Traverse Route covers almost the whole circumference of the mountain and takes in parts of other famous routes, Lomosho Route, Rongai Route, Coca-Cola Route/Marangu, Mweka Route.

ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Stand on the 'Roof of Africa' 
  • Enjoy the most remote route up Kilimanjaro
  • Savour the spectacular views of Kenya to the north
  • The trek includes parts all the famous routes
  • Experience the mountain's diverse eco-systems: forest, heather, moorland, apline desert and glaciers
  • Become part of a multi-day expedition giving you a real sense of real adventure
  • You will have a great chance of success following our tried and tested formula
  • Thorough acclimatisation process giving you the best chance to succeed
  • Professional team of guides and porters with numbers in excess of 30 taking care of all your needs
  • Arusha tasteful and comfortable accommodation both before and after your climb
  • Complete privacy with you and your guides and porters

SHORT FILM: 

 

Day 1

Day 1: Arrive in Arusha

Today you will be arriving in Arusha at Kilimanjaro International Airport. Here you will be met by your driver/guide who will personally drive you to your luxury Arusha lodge on the outskirts of the city. On checking-in you will be shown to your wonderful room where you can relax and make...

Today you will be arriving in Arusha at Kilimanjaro International Airport. Here you will be met by your driver/guide who will personally drive you to your luxury Arusha lodge on the outskirts of the city. On checking-in you will be shown to your wonderful room where you can relax and make sure you are all sorted for the beginning of your Kilimanjaro trek which starts tomorrow. 

This afternoon you will also have the opportunity to meet your head guide for the trek. He will come to your lodge and give you a briefing on the trek and make sure you have all the correct gear and answer any questions you may have. If you do not have all necessary items for your trek, some items can be hired for the duration of the trek. 

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Day 2

Day 2: Morum Barrier Gate to Shira Camp 1

Departure from Arusha will be at approximately 7:30am for Londorossi gate, a journey duration of roughly 4 hours. At Londorossi gate you will complete entry formalities. Then you continue by car to Morum Barrier Gate (another hour to reach the trailhead start point). Upon arrival at trailhead, eat lunch, then start your trek through...

Departure from Arusha will be at approximately 7:30am for Londorossi gate, a journey duration of roughly 4 hours. At Londorossi gate you will complete entry formalities. Then you continue by car to Morum Barrier Gate (another hour to reach the trailhead start point). Upon arrival at trailhead, eat lunch, then start your trek through heather and moorland which lead to the first camp, only about 1-2 hours of trekking. The view of Kibo from across the plateau is absolutely stunning. A wonderful view to end your first day on the mountain!

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Day 3

Day 3: Shira Camp 1 to Shira Camp 2

Full day exploration of the Shira plateau; Shira is one of the highest plateaus on earth, averaging 12,500 feet. Trek east toward Kibo’s glaciered peak, with the option to visit the ancient collapsed Shira cone and to scramble atop the ‘Shira Cathedral’ to overlook the oldest of Kilimanjaro’s three volcanoes....

Full day exploration of the Shira plateau; Shira is one of the highest plateaus on earth, averaging 12,500 feet. Trek east toward Kibo’s glaciered peak, with the option to visit the ancient collapsed Shira cone and to scramble atop the ‘Shira Cathedral’ to overlook the oldest of Kilimanjaro’s three volcanoes. Arrive at Shira 2 camp at 12,600 ft. Trekking time without the optional excursion is about 3 hours.

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Day 4

Day 4: Shira Camp 2 to Moir Camp

Head steadily up the mountain passing through moorland and enter the barren high altitude desert section reaching Moir Camp. The surrounding landscape of bizarre plants, rock formations and caves mark this area. The trek is about 2-3 hours. Moir Camp is an isolated and seldom used camp with views over the Shira Plateau,...

Head steadily up the mountain passing through moorland and enter the barren high altitude desert section reaching Moir Camp. The surrounding landscape of bizarre plants, rock formations and caves mark this area. The trek is about 2-3 hours. Moir Camp is an isolated and seldom used camp with views over the Shira Plateau, and looks up to the rugged volcanic plugs called “the Lent Group”.

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Day 5

Day 5: Moir Camp to Pofu Camp

Begin the morning trek heading out of the moorland and into the stark alpine desert on a steep ridge off the main trail. You will start the ascent of the Northern Circuit Route. The total trekking time is about 5-7 hours. From the Pofu Campsite you will enjoy a magnificent view into Kenya’s...

Begin the morning trek heading out of the moorland and into the stark alpine desert on a steep ridge off the main trail. You will start the ascent of the Northern Circuit Route. The total trekking time is about 5-7 hours. From the Pofu Campsite you will enjoy a magnificent view into Kenya’s wild lands to the north.

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Day 6

Day 6: Pofu Camp to Rongai 3 Caves Camp

Carry on through impressive valleys and walk over ridges through the alpine desert and moorland terrain, continuing the sweeping circuit to the east. Your party will enjoy a vast mountain wilderness with fantastic views. You arrive at the intersection with the Rongai Route after 4-6 hours trekking. Overnight at Rongai 3 Caves for the...

Carry on through impressive valleys and walk over ridges through the alpine desert and moorland terrain, continuing the sweeping circuit to the east. Your party will enjoy a vast mountain wilderness with fantastic views. You arrive at the intersection with the Rongai Route after 4-6 hours trekking. Overnight at Rongai 3 Caves for the night.

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Day 7

Day 7: Rongai 3 Caves Camp to Outward Bound Camp

This morning when exiting your tent, Mawenzi should be in plain view: a stunning sight. Once you leave camp, the moorland gives way slowly to the stark highland desert as you near the massive saddle, where the landscape becomes spectacularly stark. The temperatures turn cold as you near the...

This morning when exiting your tent, Mawenzi should be in plain view: a stunning sight. Once you leave camp, the moorland gives way slowly to the stark highland desert as you near the massive saddle, where the landscape becomes spectacularly stark. The temperatures turn cold as you near the foot of Kibo, reaching Outward Bound Camp after 4-5 hours of trekking. Prepare all your gear for the day ahead and try to get as much rest as possible.  Fresh food supplies will reach camp today. Tomorrow is your summit bid!

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Day 8

Day 8: Summit Day

A midnight wake up call is the start of a long trek. You begin trekking at 01:00 up the winding path of endless switchbacks. From your camp to the rim of the crater (Gillman’s Point (18,750 ft./5,712 m) to Uhuru Peak, the trekking time is about 7 – 8 hours....

A midnight wake up call is the start of a long trek. You begin trekking at 01:00 up the winding path of endless switchbacks. From your camp to the rim of the crater (Gillman’s Point (18,750 ft./5,712 m) to Uhuru Peak, the trekking time is about 7 – 8 hours. The slope is steep, with switchbacks over loose rock and scree with some boulders as you near Gilman’s Point. You will stop at Hans Meyer cave on the way, the famous place where Kilimanjaro’s first western climber described in his journals. Once you arrive at Gilman’s Point at the edge of the crater, the trail to the summit is less demanding, and is reached after a further 2 hours along the snowy crater rim (depending on the season). After a short time at the summit where you will have photograph opportunities, retrace your steps back to Gilman’s Point, then summon your strength again for further descent to Mweka Camp for the night.

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Day 9

Day 9: Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate

Descend straight to the gate (2 – 3 hours), where you’ll have lunch and will be awarded your well earned climbing certificates. Private transfer back to Arusha, and be droped at the hotel of your choice for the day room, or should you wish to depart immediately be...

Descend straight to the gate (2 – 3 hours), where you’ll have lunch and will be awarded your well earned climbing certificates. Private transfer back to Arusha, and be droped at the hotel of your choice for the day room, or should you wish to depart immediately be transferred directly to the airport.

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Day 10

Day 10: Departure

Here ends your African adventure. Transfer to the airport and depart.

Please speak with Sandgrouse Travel & Expeditions if you wish to extend your trip further. Perhaps a bolt-on safari with luxury accommodation is the perfect way to recover after your trek?

Here ends your African adventure. Transfer to the airport and depart.

Please speak with Sandgrouse Travel & Expeditions if you wish to extend your trip further. Perhaps a bolt-on safari with luxury accommodation is the perfect way to recover after your trek?

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Kilimanjaro Climb Camping

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Rivertrees Country Inn

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Accommodation Options

This itinerary includes the cost of two nights stay in Arusha. You will liaise with Sandgrouse Travel & Expeditions to finalise your accommodation. Accommodation will be subject to availability.

Trail Overview

The trailhead (start of the trek) is at high elevation and thus we start slow and easy on this route. The trail begins on the Shira Plateau and the hike across the plateau is said to be one of the most stunningly beautiful hikes in Africa. 

After crossing the plateau, we leave the tourist trails and head off across the north side of the mountain, facing Kenya and the famous Amboselli National Park. The spectacular hike along the northern circuit provides opportunities to see some animals; possibly elephant. You will follow cairns which signal the route, there is no path. For the first five days we traverse the plateau valleys and ridges of mountain between 12,000 ft (3,650 m) to 14,000 ft (4,265 m) and on day 6 the trail reaches the northeast side of the mountain, cresting the saddle between Mawenzi, the second highest peak of Kilimanjaro (16,893 ft, 5,149 m) and Kibo. From here we trek to the Outward Bound camp before departing for the summit.

This trek is designed for you to be close to nature and to benefit from plenty of acclimatisation time early on in the trip. It’s the most diverse and complete ‘grand traverse’ of Kilimanjaro and runs from west to east following by far the most remote trails.

The accommodation is in mountain tents and dining is in a mess tent. Toilet tents with convenient sanitary portable flush toilets are set up at all camps.

Starting relatively high on the mountain at about 10,500 ft to 11,000 ft, this route option is great for those who are worried about acclimatisation because you spend more time at altitude. 

Summit bid day is anywhere between 13 and 16 hours of walking and can be a considerable challenge. Average trekking duration per day is only 4 hours.

Fully Licensed Kilimanjaro Guides

In 1991, the park authorities at Kilimanjaro made it compulsory for all trekkers to arrange their walk through a licensed agency. Furthermore, they insist that all trekkers must be accompanied throughout their walk by a guide supplied by the agency. Sandgrouse Travel & Expeditions are partnered with a fully licenced agency and guiding service company regarded as one of the most respected guiding companies on the mountain. Your team of 30 or more guides and porters will be at your disposal no matter what size of group you climb in.

Visas

Almost everyone needs a visa. A single-entry visa valid for up to three months costs approximately $50, depending on nationality. Your visa can be purchased on arrival at JRO International Airport.

Difficulties to overcome on your trek: 

Fitness

The obvious: a general good level of fitness. It’s hard to quantify someone’s level of fitness, and each sport is very different. The best form of training and gauging weather you’re capable of this is to actually walk/trek. A few weekends training with walking in the hills trekking would be suitable. This will also serve people very well trying out their kit prior to the expedition a few times. No doubt many people will be popping out and accruing new items, perhaps new boots even. It is important to have well worn in boots for this trip.

Positive Mental Attitude

Keeping a Positive Mental Attitude. Hugely important on any challenge, especially physical challenges. If you have the general level of fitness mentioned above, coupled with the mental grit and determination you will likely succeed in this sort of event – especially taking a well thought and planned out route I’ve suggested earlier. A good sense of humour will help too.

Dealing with the altitude

The main difficulty is the altitude. The walking is not hugely strenuous, with an average of about 3 to 4 maybe 5 hours a day (not including the Summit Day which is a BIG day at nearly 13 to 16 hours). It’s recommended that clients take Diamox a prescription based drug that helps the body realise it’s at altitude and start acclimatizing soon. 

Keeping yourself together on the mountain. It may sound silly, but as you start to physically and mentally crack around the edges it’s easy to let things slip a little. You have to remember to keep drinking, keep washing your hands, applying your lip balm, suncreams etc. As you go on throughout the trek these things play a vital role in wheather you’re successful or not. It would be a great shame to be beaten by sunstroke or dehydration. However, your Guides are pretty good at reminding you of these things. 

  • Buy a good Kilimanjaro Guide Book or go to the library and rent one – read it thoroughly if you can many weeks before your trip. The extra knowledge on flora and fauna on the mountain will be enjoyable and add to your experience whilst there. Finding out the geological history, its history with human interaction will add depth to your overall experience.
  • Remember lip balm. The air is thin and very dry and your lips will start to crack in this desert environment. Breathe through your nose so as to conserve body moisture and keep lips from drying out for longer.
  • Pack a wide brimmed sun hat.
  • Bring a buff or Arabic head scarf
  • Sun cream on your ears.
  • Drinking lots of water.
  • Taking enough clean socks – this is an amazing morale boost whilst on the mountain
  • Well-worn in boots.
  • Tried and tested kit before leaving for trip
  • Good organisation – planning and preparation well before departure date
  • Pack tissues or a roll of loo roll. 
  • Try and learn a few Swahili phrases before you go – it helps break down barriers with your guides and porters and is fun.
  • Personal medical kit including Imodium pills, pain killers, aspirin. Diamox for altitude.
  • Alcohol based anti-bacterial hand wash
  • Good packing – familiarise yourself with packing your bag, good organisation.
  • A quality head torch is essential.
  • Walking poles/sticks. These act as third and fourth legs and as you tire are a real Godsend.
  • It is a good idea to lay out all your kit before travel and make sure you tick off the items you think you will need.

Sample Food Menu:

BREAKFAST: Eggs made to order, sausages, toast, hash browned potatoes, banana bread / muffins, granola with cold milk, fresh fruits, fruit juice, hot coffee, lemongrass tea, cocoa.

LUNCH: Chicken breast sandwiches, pasta salad, crudites, salami, fresh fruits.

AFTERNOON TEA: Hot coffee, Lemongrass tea, cocoa, cookies with cheese, popcorn, roasted nuts.

DINNER: Different soups, Chinese rice / Italian-style lasagna, green bean salad, fresh fruit salad served in a watermelon.

TRAIL SNACKS: Mixed nuts or fresh-roasted peanuts, mixed dried organic fruits, fresh locally grown fruit, home-made cookies, candy bars, popcorn. We advise bringing a small selection of your favourite snack bars from home too. 

Vegetarian, Vegan, Dairy-free, Gluten –free and other special dietary needs can be accommodated with advance notice. 

For further information on Mount Kilimanjaro nutrition, search our articles within our magazine and blog: Sandgrouse Traveller. 

Read our recent food article: Mountain food is the source of success

What's Included:

2 nights hotel in Arusha (x1 before trek, x1 after trek)

All park fees

All land transport in a schedule

Huts / Camping fees

Rescue fees

Porters salaries

Tanzanian English speaking guides

Camping crew salaries

Safety equipments including oxygen cylinders and caisson (hyperbolic chamber)

All meals on the mountain

All camping equipments

Guide briefing and gears check-up before the trek

Supply vehicles. Please note we are not carrying mountain/ camping equipments with clients. Supplies will be transported in separate vehicles

Pulse oxymeter readings on the mountain

Not Included:

International Flight (you will need to get to Kilimanjaro International Airport KIA/JRO)

Any transfers not included as part of the trek schedule

Laundry before and after the trek

Alcoholic drinks and soft drinks at the hotel

Visas

Airport Tax

Tips for the hotel services

Departure out of the schedule

Personal hiking gear

On Day two at camp, in the evening you will have a full safety briefing with your head guide and also the medic who is with you almost like your silent shadow the whole trek. The medic is also a trained first aid responder. The head guide is also a trained first aid responder. The medic is trained to a very high standard and carries all the medical gear you will need in the event of an emergency. The briefing consists of a gear demonstration. The safety briefing is hugely important and puts your mind at rest.

Oxygen for emergency use - For groups of 6+, 2 kits (2 x 100L medical oxygen bottle, regulators & masks) are provided.

* Pulse-oximeter - The head guide checks and charts these numbers daily at dinner time, for each climber.

* Hyperbolic Chamber  - a portable altitude chamber, for emergency use

* Automated External Defibrillator (optional) - Included on treks with a night in the Crater Camp

* Stretcher - Converts into a rigid steel-framed litter

* First-aid & medicine kit, comprehensively stocked and kept as per WFR guidelines

* VHF handheld radios - Carried for quick communication between head and assistant guides. An extra battery accompanies each radio.

* Mobile phones - carried by all guides, for daily communications with our base in Arusha.

* Satellite phone - carried by the head guide for emergencies (in areas with no mobile network)

* Medical equipment porter – to stay with the group at all times, to ensure that the safety gear is always nearby and ready to employ.

We interviewed the top guide on Mount Kilimanjaro and discussed a wide range of topics relating to 'Kili', including how best to get you to the summit of Africa's highest mountain. 

Click the link in red to see why you can do this! Can I climb Kilimanjaro?

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