The Snows of Kilimanjaro

Luxury Small Group Journeys: The finest small-group travel experience


Day 1: Arrive Arusha, Tanzania

Arrive in Arusha, and transfer to your lodge.

Lake Duluti Serena Hotel
Day 2: Arusha | Scenic Parkland

In preparation for the climb ahead, acclimatize as you walk through Arusha National Park. Situated between the peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru, this scenic park houses a wide range of habitats, from its string of crater lakes populated by water fowl to its highland montane forest and imposing summit views. The forest harbors a wealth of wildlife, including frolicking black-and-white colobus monkeys and regal bushbucks, sometimes glimpsed in the glades between the ancient cedar trees. This evening, sit down to a welcome dinner with fellow guests.

Lake Duluti Serena Hotel   |   Meals: B L D
Day 3: Mount Kilimanjaro | 10,000 feet

Drive from Arusha to the Machame village on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro to begin your climb. Hike for about six hours through dense rubber tree and giant fig forests to your camp, set up near huts once used for shelter on the mountain. As you make your way up through the forested terrain, keep an eye out for elephants. Settle in to your first camp, poised at an altitude of 10,000 feet.

Machame Camp   |   Meals: B L D
Day 4: Mount Kilimanjaro | 12,500 feet

Awake early to a piping-hot cup of coffee or tea. As you leave camp, absorb the commanding view of Uhuru Peak. Trek out of the forest up to the Hagenia zone through a savanna of tall grasses and haunting volcanic lava landscapes. After a six-hour hike, arrive at the Shira Plateau and your camp. At 12,500 feet, it boasts sweeping views across the Masai Steppe to distant Mount Meru and the Shira Needles.

Shira Camp   |   Meals: B L D
Day 5: Mount Kilimanjaro | 13,000 feet

During a six-hour hike, skirt the Shira Plateau toward the Kibo Massif, continuing upward to the pass at Lava Tower (15,000 feet). Descend toward Barranco Camp through the immense, waterfall-punctuated Grand Barranco canyon, which is fed by streams from the Umbwe River. Today’s camp is situated at an elevation of 13,000 feet.

Barranco Camp   |   Meals: B L D
Day 6: Mount Kilimanjaro | Acclimatization Day

Hike for about four hours along the Barranco Cliff with no increase in elevation. This allows you time to rest and adjust to the increasingly higher altitudes. In the afternoon, you may hike in the Karanga Valley. Set beneath the icefalls of the Heim, Decken, and Kersten Glaciers, giant senecio and lobelia thrive amid this picturesque backdrop.

Karanga Camp   |   Meals: B L D
Day 7: Mount Kilimanjaro | Preparing for the Summit

Take another short, four- to five-hour trek and a day of acclimatization as you near the mountain’s peak, stopping at Barafu Camp (15,200 feet) on a moraine with views of majestic Mawenzi Peak to the right and looming Kibo Peak overhead. The surrounding, scenic alpine desert terrain is largely mineral and features some lichens and moss. Turn in early this evening — tomorrow, you make an early start for the summit.

Barafu Camp   |   Meals: B L D
Day 8: Mount Kilimanjaro | Summit Day

Rise very early. After a warming cup of coffee or tea, begin the final ascent to soaring Stella Point, at 18,630 feet on the rim of Kibo Crater. Make your way up a winding path flanked by the towering, glistening Ratzel and Rebmann glaciers. As the sun rises, continue around the rim to Uhuru Peak (19,341 feet), where the air is rarefied. Should all go as planned, you will stand at the highest point in Africa in about seven hours’ time. Pause to savor your achievement, and begin the descent to your last campsite, at an elevation of 10,200 feet. Trek for about 13 hours today.

Mweka Camp   |   Meals: B L D
Day 9: Depart Arusha

Continue your descent to the base of the mountain, where your Abercrombie & Kent driver greets and transports you back to Arusha. During a farewell lunch, swap stories and bask in your accomplishments with fellow guests. Comfortable dayrooms are provided until your departure flight.

Lake Duluti Serena Hotel (dayroom)   |   Meals: B L
Tanzania Safari Post-Tour Extension

6 days, priced from $5,295; internal air priced from $265
DAY 1: Drive to Gibb’s Farm. Gibb’s Farm | Meals: D
DAY 2: Witness lions, elephants and, perhaps, the endangered black rhino in Ngorongoro Crater. Gibb’s Farm | Meals: B L D
DAY 3: Continue to Serengeti National Park, pausing for a private archaeological tour of Olduvai Gorge en route. After settling in to your tented accommodations with sweeping views, take to the plains in search of elephants, lions and hippos foraging for food. Serengeti Pioneer Camp | Meals: B L D
DAYS 4-5: Spend two days on game drives in the Serengeti, amid resident hyenas, leopards, giraffes and cheetahs. Serengeti Pioneer Camp | Meals: B L D
DAY 6: Fly to Arusha, where a dayroom awaits until your homebound flight. Lake Duluti Serena Hotel (dayroom) | B