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.

Rongai Route – 6 Days/5 Nights

Snapshot of the Route

    1. Arusha/Rongai Gate                                              –           Day 1
    2. Simba/Kikelewa                                                     –           Day 2
    3. Kikelewa/Mawenzi Tarn                                      –           Day 3
    4. Mawenzi Tarn/Kibo                                              –           Day 4
    5. Kibo/Summit and Horombo Hut                       –           Day 5
    6. Horombo/Moshi or Arusha                                 –           Day 6

The Umbwe route is the most reputable challenging route of Mount Kilimanjaro trekking. Due to the fast ascent to high altitude right from the beginning of mountain, this route does not provide the necessary stages for clear acclimatization. Although the number of people on this trail is very low time to time, similarly, the chances of success are also low as well. Umbwe is considered to be very difficult, taxing route of which one that plan to use the way should only be strong hikers who are really confident on their ability to climb difficult areas as well as able to acclimatize quickly because of sharp altitude changing.

Impending from the south, the Umbwe route is shorter, steeper and directly climbs. After reaching Barranco Camp, the trail turns east and traverses underneath Kilimanjaro’s Southern Ice Field on a path known as the Southern Circuit before summiting from Barafu. Normally, Descent is made via the Mweka route

Trekking Interventions in Days

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 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 your climb on the other day. Expect to start your check-in around 2:00 PM depending on your flight time.

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 northern entrance, the Nalemuru Gate situated at the height of 2,020 m. The transfer will take about 4-5 hours to the attractive wooden village of Nalemuru. This trekking will take you not more than 40 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 Simba Camp (2,625 m) by passing through fields of maize and potatoes and gently through attractive forest that shelters wide variety of wildlife before entering pine forest. Your trek for this day will be little bit reasonable as it will take you through coniferous forest up Kilimanjaro’s northern slope. You should not be hurry and always keep and or maintain comfortable pace. When reaching the camp, GVTS’s mountain crew will prepare everything necessary for you – put tents and cook dinner for you.  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             2,020 m to 2,625 m
      • HIKING TIME                                            3-4 hours
      • DISTANCE                                                   8 km
      • DIFFICULTY                                               Low
      • HABITAT                                                      Rainforest

Your day three trekking will start early in the morning. You will be hiking from Simba camp up towards Kibo at a height of about 3 482m. Having leaching and see Kibo volcano at its finest (barring cloudy weather), you will be served with lunch at second Caves and this will take you through a distance of 5.8km. Trekking from Simba Camp upwards is very short distance but to steeper. Climbing up grassy slopes offers superb views of the wilderness regions. The vegetation zone will end shortly before reaching your next camp at Mawenzi Camp.  You will spend your afternoon acclimatizing while exploring the area.

After lunch you will continue trekking until reaching Kikelewa Camp at about an altitude of 3,679 metres above mean sea level. The views of the mountain peak will start to be open and you will begin to feel the taste of really big mountain. Water will be found in obvious streams below the cave, although you might have to wander downhill. You will enjoy your dinner and overnight at Kikelewa camp. Expect to experience trekking which will be more physically demanding than the previous one, this means that, once you are in the camp, full rest is recommended.


      • THE CHANGE OF ELEVATION             2,625 m to 3,630 m
      • HIKING TIME:                                           5-6 hours
      • DISTANCE:                                                 10 km
      • DIFFICULTY:                                            Medium
      • HABITAT     :                                              Woorland

You will be required to wake up early in the morning and having a breakfast.  After a breakfast you will start trekking to Mawenzi Tarn Camp, which is situated at the foot of Mawenzi Volcano. This is the Kilimanjaro’s second summit. When you reach the camp, you will have lunch and a two hours rest after which there will be an acclimatization hike towards Mawenzi Volcano with a 200-meter gain in altitude, followed by a hike back down to Mawenzi Tarn Camp where you will have dinner in the evening.

The acclimatization hike will be offered in order to easier trekking task. The process will offer a slight gain in altitude done in order to speed up the acclimatization process. GVTS advices you to take the acclimatization hike very seriously. This will help you increase your chances of successfully summiting Kilimanjaro and save you from the consequences of altitude sickness or discomfort.

The acclimatization hike will involve Change in Elevation from Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4,310 m) to Destination point en route to Mawenzi Volcano (4,510 m) at a Hiking distance of 2 km and Hiking time of 1–2 hours.


      • THE CHANGE OF ELEVATION             3,630 m to 4,310 m
      • HIKING TIME:                                           4-5 hours
      • DISTANCE:                                                  6 km
      • DIFFICULTY:                                              Medium
      • HABITAT     :                                                Woorland

This day will be spent trekking towards School Hut Camp (4,715 m). The landscape will change significantly to give way to a rocky semidesert. The actual trekking is not very difficult; just remember to stick with an appropriate pace to keep up your strength for the trekking to Kilimanjaro’s summit. When you reach the camp, we recommend you sleep well, avoid strenuous activity, and drink as much as you can, because that very night you will be ascending Uhuru Peak (5,895 m)


      • THE CHANGE OF ELEVATION            4,310 m to 4,715 m
      • HIKING TIME                                            5-6 hours
      • DISTANCE                                                  9 km
      • DIFFICULTY                                              Medium
      • HABITAT                                                    Alpine desert

On this summiting day, you will be required to have a night departure from School Hut Camp located at an altitude of 4,715 m above sea level and start your trekking to Kilimanjaro’s summit. The trekking will start around 23h20 after your tea and biscuits. This is place where you will experience really tough section ever experienced since you started trekking Kilimanjaro Mountain. The trekking will be moderate from a physical perspective, but the altitude will presents a much more serious problem. The first section of the trail will consist rocky and volcanic stones path to the Hans Meyer Cave situated at the height of 5150m. this place has good resting spot. For the entire distance of your trekking each pair of climbers will be escorted by GVTS guides. The role of guide will focus at monitoring your stamina and mental resolve.

While ascending, expect to see a zigzags path when you reach Gillman’s point (5 681m). This point is located near a crater rim. Gillman’s point has very steep structures with a lot of stone scree which requires climbers to have great physical and mental effort. This is perhaps the most demanding section of the entire route. You are advised to do the Kili shuffle while move slowly. Starting from Gillmans Point, you will generally encounter snow all the way up to Uhuru peak (5895m), the highest point – the roof of Africa.


The time you will spend to complete your summiting will depend on the weather conditions of a such specific summiting day.  Being at this point you will be given chances for taking photos before the 3 hour descent back to Kibo hut. Immediately After a short rest at Kibo hot, you will be required to gather all your gear you left behind during ascent and head down direct to Horombo hut. This move will take you around 3 hours’ time overnight descending. You will experience a wonder thing because; “The return to Horombo hut will seem to be surprisingly fast compared to the ascending but keep remembering that 90% of all accidents occur during the descent, including all broken arms and leg. The total time spent walking on this day is estimated to be around 14 hours, so you are advised to be prepared for a very tough day. You will enjoy your last dinner later in the evening and this will include soft drinks and beer for sale at the camp and a well-earned sleep, filled with memories and inspiring feelings.


  • THE CHANGE OF ELEVATION                     4,715 m to 5,895 m and 5,895 m to 3,720 m
  • HIKING TIME                                                        12-14 hours
  • DISTANCE                                                               21 km
  • DIFFICULTY                                                           High
  • HABITAT                                                                 Arctic

In a very early morning of day 6, you will be offered a warm breakfast after which you will start descending to Kilimanjaro National Park’s by just passing through Mandara hut down to Marangu Gate which is situated at 1,860 m above sea level. After your descent, the whole group will gather to receive congratulations after successful trekking, summiting and descending down the mountain. During the congratulation ceremony, you will be offered Certificate. Certificates offered will be of two kinds: Green Certificates for those who reached Gillman’s Point (5685m) and gold certificates to those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m).

In such gathering, you will be given chances to share your opinions on the trip in the guestbook. Lastly, GVTS will present you commemorative certificates and provide you a transfer back to the hotel in Moshi or Arusha depend on next itinerary.  GVTS is strongly recommended not to pay your porters any tips until you and all your trekking gear reaches the gate safely.


    • THE CHANGE OF ELEVATION             3,720 m to 1,860 m
    • HIKING TIME:                              5 -6 hours
    • DISTANCE:                                  18 km
    • DIFFICULTY:                               Medium
    • HABITAT      :                                     Rain forest
  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,