General information about Kilimanjaro Mountain

Mount Kilimanjaro is the top of Africa. The mountain is located in Kilimanjaro Region in Tanzania. Raised as the result of volcano action, the mountain has the height of about 5,895 meters. Its crown is capped by snow and frequently fringed by clouds. Mt Kilimanjaro is one of Africa’s classic structures which attract number of tourists across nations globally.

At the height of 19,344 feet, Mt. Kilimanjaro it is the highest mountains in Africa and the highest summit in the world that can be reached by walking and overhand climbing. This gives travellers the mind-blowing experience. Deciding to trek Mount Kilimanjaro, you will make your travel to Tanzania a pleasing experience ever expect to see it again in life.

GVTS guides and porters will lead amazing high-quality service as you will be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Apart from just climbing the mountain, with us expect to go on a wildlife safari and enjoy a beach vacation on the paradise island Zanzibar. GVTS operations office is located at Arusha and Kilimanjaro, so we will be always in full command for your hiking and safari adventures.

Mountain Kilimanjaro is a free standing mountain in the world. The mount is a dormant volcano mountain but not an extinct one. Ominous grumbles can sometimes be heard – and volcanic gases emerge from fume holes at the crater. Although just three degrees south of the Equator, the temperature being higher because of the geographical location,  the peaks of the mountain have caps of snow and ice coverage all the year round. As Kilimanjaro Mountain possesses different environmental zone, climbers will normally pass from a tropical to an attic environment in just a few days. Being among climbers, you will pass through lush rain-forest before reaching heather and open moorland where giant lobelia and huge, cactus – like plants grow. The two peaks of the mountain, KIBO and Mawenzi are separated by lunar landscape, the saddle that stretches between the two ends. The highest point on Kibo, and indeed the whole of Africa, is Uhuru Peak, with spectacular glaciers and stupendous views of the plains, five kilometers below. One of the main reasons people travel to Tanzania just to experience these unique features. The pinnacle – shaped peak of Mawenzi are for mountaineers only.

With the help of porters and a guide, it is possible to walk all the way to the summit of Kibo without holding specialized mountaineering equipment – or experience – and Kilimanjaro can be captured by any reasonably fit person. The whole climb normally takes five or six days depending on the route chosen and involves four or five overnights stays in mountain huts or tents.

Kilimanjaro Trek via Machame Route – 8 Days/7 Nights

Snapshot of the Route

    1. Arusha or Moshi/Machame        –         Day 1
    2. Machame/Shira                             –         Day 2
    3. Shira/Barranco                              –         Day 3
    4. Barranco/Barafu                           –         Day 4
    5. Uhuru peak/Mweka                     –         Day 5
    6. Mweka                                            –          Day 6

Machame route is the second most popular option for the climbers and it has bet summit rates. This route is also known as “the Whiskey Route”. It offers a wide-ranging of views, landscapes and experiences to climbers. The starting point of the route is at Machame Gate which is only a 40 minute driving from Moshi. Located on the southern slope of Mt Kilimanjaro, Machame Gate a the starting point will lead you to the top of the mountain along the exciting trail which starts at the tropical forest, then runs through all the climate zones and finishes with the Arctic desert in the summit area.

Machame route offer the best acclimatization as it enables climber to walk in higher attitude and get sleep in low attitudes in the evening. This scenario course many trekkers to enjoy the summit day. It is recommended to trek for at least 7 days, though you can also execute the trail in 6 days depending on how strong you are and your capacity. Camps along the trek are well constructed and located in areas which allows smooth and gradual acclimatization transition process. On the 3rd day Machame Route meets with Lemosho and Umbwe routes at Barranco camp.

Upon your Arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), you will meet GVTS Travel representative who will take you to the hotel in Moshi town – Kilimanjaro Region. The hotel will provide to you all the essentials for a comfortable accommodation (rooms with hot water, well-mannered staff, a swimming pool as well as Internet access among others). In the evening before supper, you will receive your tour briefing from our managers who will also make sure you are ready to begin the climb on the other day.

A guide and mountain support crews / porters will arrive at your hotel in the morning of day 2 in order to meet you and hold a quick briefing about your trekking safari before starting trekking. After the briefing, you will be picked by GVTS’s vehicle and travel to Kilimanjaro National Park’s entrance, the Machame Gate at the height of 1,800 m. This trekking will take you not more than 30 minutes. After the quick formality of acquiring climbing permits and registering processes with the search and rescue service, you will start the trekking up to Machame Camp (3,010 m). The trekking route passes through rainforests where tropical showers are highly likely to occur. GVTS recommends you to take not only spare clothes but also your raincoats.

For those who will be the first time being at such altitude, GVTS is intensely recommended you to adhere to the following instructions:

  • Refrain from consuming alcohol and caffeine at all.
  • Compel to drink over 4 liters of bottled water daily little by little frequently
  • Take a Diamox pill such as Acetazolamide in the morning before start ascending in order to help you alleviate symptoms of altitude sickness.

NOTE:     Pay attention to your own body and tell your guide if you start feeling any symptoms of altitude sickness or any kind of discomfort.


      • THE CHANGE OF ELEVATION                      1,800 m to 3,010 m
      • HIKING TIME                                                     5-6 hours
      • DISTANCE:                                                          5 km
      • DIFFICULTY:                                                      Medium
      • HABITAT                                                             Rainforest

After a breakfast taken early in the morning, you will start trekking up to the second high-altitude camp called Shira Camp (3,845 m). As you will be ascending to Shila Camp, expect to across several valley and streams and then climbing up a steep ridge for about 3-5 hours.  You will be then required to descend to a gorge before you will be climbing more gently onto the moorland of the Shira Plateau. A good experience you should expect to gain will be coming up from the rainforest and for the first time you will be able to see stunning views of the Shira Plateau laid out in front of you. Shila plateau is one of the most fascinating areas of the Mountain. Trekking to Shila plateau will not be very difficult, but you may feel body changes as altitude increases, so pay attention to your body and remember that choosing the proper walking speed is extremely important for a good trekking. Expect to get your lunch after reach the camp as well as slight resting after which you will go on an acclimatization hike towards Lava Tower Camp with a 300-meter gain in altitude. When you will be back down at Shira Camp you will be served a hot dinner.

The acclimatization hike is an easy trek with a slight gain in altitude done in order to speed up the acclimatization process – balancing your heat bit sand breathing. Please take the acclimatization hikes very seriously. This will help you increasing your chances of successfully summiting Kilimanjaro and save you from the consequences of altitude sickness and discomforts.

The following are very important Acclimatization hike hints for you to note when trekking from Machame Camp to Shira: Change in Elevation from Shira Camp to Destination point through a route to a Lava Tower will be from 3,845 m to 4,120 m, hiking distance will be 2 km and the hiking time will be from 1–2 hours


      • THE CHANGE OF ELEVATION                3,010 m to 3,845 m
      • HIKING TIME:                                              5-6 hours
      • DISTANCE:                                                     5 km
      • DIFFICULTY:                                                 Low
      • HABITAT        :                                               Moonlan

Morning after breakfast, you will leave Shira Camp and start your way ascending to the key point of the route: Lava Tower, a Wedge Buttress with the height of 4,630 m. Expect to meet lots of ascents and descents that ending at a camp located at the height of 4,600 meters. This part of the climb might be difficult so you may feel some discomfort, but in order to successfully acclimate the environment at that altitude, you have to spend at least 1–2 hours at this point while served with your lunch there.

Having a good resting just after a lunch, you will then start descending to Barranco Camp (3,960 m). Here you will see the well-known Barranco Wall with impressive attractions called ‘the breakfast wall in both sides which have massive size and steepness. It is called ‘the breakfast wall because you will climb it right after breakfast on the following day. Expect to climb it on a next day. Worry not because its features a very simple to hike.

As you will be experiencing higher altitudes gain as days goes on trekking, it might be possible that you may be feel sick. If that happens, you may be refraining from passing the Lava Tower and adjust the route and follows the road for porters. In this case you will not reach an altitude of 4,630 meters but getting up only to a maximum of 4,400 meters.


      • THE CHANGE OF ELEVATION                      3,845 m to 4,630 m
      • HIKING TIME                                                     6-8 hours
      • DISTANCE                                                           11 km
      • DIFFICULTY                                                       Medium
      • HABITAT                                                             Moorland

After early wakeup and breakfast service, you will start summiting to Barranco Wall. GVTS is recommending to you to leave the camp as early as possible in order to avoid crowds from other groups of people. Hiking up the gorge wall will not be difficult. It will take you around an hour. After the climb you will be given a resting time and chances for taking photos in front of the amazing Kibo volcano.

Immediately after enough resting time, you will then start a more difficult hike to Karanga Camp. A route to Karanga Camp has numerous features while ascents and descents. Worry note: GVTS guides will help you choosing an ideal pace for you to move smoothly. After reaching the camp you will be offered warm lunch and after a couple of hours you will be required to complete ascend to Barafu Camp (4,640 m) where you will be served a hot dinner. It is advised to spend the remained hours of the day resting and sleeping before night summiting.


      • THE CHANGE OF ELEVATION                      3,960 m to 4,640 m
      • HIKING TIME                                      8 – 10 hours
      • DISTANCE                                           11 km
      • DIFFICULTY                                         High
      • HABITAT                                           Alpine desert

From prior preparation, departing from Barafu Camp (4,640 m) to Millenium Camp will take place at night around 2:00PM – summiting Kilimanjaro, the Roof of Africa – Uhuru Peak (5,895 m). Precisely, the climb is relatively simple; though, the most challenging part is at the high altitude. Worry not; you will get a personal guide for the entire ascent to monitor your physical and mental conditions. There will an opportunity for descend to the nearest glacier if desired just after your successful ascent to Uhuru Peak. You will then return to Barafu Camp and after a 2-hour rest you will start your descent to Millennium Camp (3,820 m).

Note: When descending, kindly take a note that; “90% of all accidents occur during the descent, including all broken arms as well as legs. Kindly pay attention to your body as there is a high risk of heavy falling down.


      • THE CHANGE OF ELEVATION              4,640 m to 5,895 m and 5,895 m to 3,820 m
      • HIKING TIME                                             8 – 12 hours
      • DISTANCE                                                   15 km
      • DIFFICULTY                                               High
      • HABITAT                                                     Arctic

As the Millennium camp being situated in a tropical rainforest, you will start ascending from Uhuru peak by 1215am after 5 – 6 hours of a steady climb on substantial scree downward. This will be done after you wake up from a nice sleep. After a warm breakfast, you will head for the park’s exit to Mweka Gate a t the height of 1,640 m.

After your successful descent, you will gather together with other to be congratulated for successful journey and followed by offering you a chance to share your opinions on the climb in our guestbook and then offered the certificates. After the certification you will proceed to a lowest elevation with wet and muddy conditions. Gaiters and trekking poles will help you moving safely.  Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear while kept rain gear and warmer clothing handy.


      • THE CHANGE ELEVATION                3,820 m to 1,640 m
      • HIKING TIME                                         4 – 5 hours
      • DISTANCE                                               12 km
      • DIFFICULTY                                           Low
      • HABITAT                                                 Rainforest

From the gate, you will take almost a descending way to Mweka Village where you will meet a GVTS vehicle which will drive you back to hotel in Kilimanjaro or Arusha depending on your itinerary. You will rest in the hotel for tomorrow departure or transfer to the airport for a direct departure. This will be the end of your Mt. Kilimanjaro safari/ trekking.

    1. All Park fees, Rescue fees, Camping fees and Picnic lunches.
    2. All transfers as Indicated in the itinerary for this package,
    3. Hotel overnight after trek in Arusha.
    4. Accommodations based on double occupancy – Sleeping in the dome tents.
    5. Meals as per the above itinerary – 3 Meals a day for both Vegetarians and Non vegetarians.
    6. Services of GVTS staff throughout. The cook will be responsible for your 3 delicious meals a day.
    7. Services of a Senior GVTS Trekking Guides and assistance guide.
    8. All baggage handling – Recommended weight for clients’ backpack to be carried up the mountain is 15kgs. Kindly allow 5 kg for personal daypacks including Cameras.
    9. We will provide you 1 licensed guide and 1 assistant guides who have received training from Mt. Kilimanjaro National Park Instructors for this trekking.
    10. Transfers to the gate before and After Trek to Arusha.
    11. Services of Nature Safaris Camping equipment. These are Tents, Sleeping mattress, camping table and chairs etc.
    1. Soft drinks, beer, wine and spirits (as well as gifts like local crafts etc)
    2. Any local and international flights tickets (airline).
    3. Tips for staff such as guides, porters and the cook staff
    4. Fees for passport, visas, immunizations and insurance
    5. Meals and expenses en route to Tanzania
    6. Laundry, phone and other items of a personal nature
    7. We advices our clients to bring their own first Aid Kit.

For Budget Camping Safari:      food supplied (Menu)

Breakfast package will include: 

Fruit, Fruit juice, eggs, bread/French toast/plain toast/pancakes.margarine/jam/honey/peanut-butter,cereals/porridge,Milo Pancakes, Oats, Omelette’s, tea/coffee

Picnic lunches:  

Sliced carrot & cucumber strips, seasonal fruits, boiled eggs, vegetable/meat cutlets, sandwiches (egg/cheese/tuna/tomato)


Soup (Mushroom/cucumber soup, Pumpkin soup/chicken/vegetable) bread, a meat dish, rice/pasta/potatoes, Fish curry/Noodles, vegetable dishes(Vegetable Kish etc, fruit, some local dishes which we are sure they will be more interested to you.

Desserts:    Bush made cake accompanied with local Brewed Tanzanian coffee, Tea, Cup of hot Chocolate, Milo’s etc.



Below is the list of the gears that you should bring with you for trekking.



Mt. Boots, Socks – at least 4/5 pairs (This must be thin and thick ones) 1 pair of gaiters, Sandal/open shoes,(optional)


1 thermal (warm) trousers, 1 thermal (warm) long underwear, 1 wind/water proof trousers.


2 or 1 long sleeved thermal shirts, 1 thermal T-shits, 1 thermal jacket or sweater, 1 down jacket, preferable wool attached one.


1 pc of roll foam or air mattress and 1 warm sleeping bag.


1 head lump and spare batteries, 1 pair or 1 pc of walking sticks, 1 pair of sunglasses or ice goggles, Sun block cream or Lotion, Lipstick cream, First Aid Kit, Camera + films with its spare batteries, passport book, a day pack, a rucksack or safari bag.


Drinking water bottle (NALGEN) or any other brand like SIGG or optional, camel pack.

Note: These Items can be also hired here in Arusha or Kilimanjaro before your Trek,