Overview of Guided Climbing of Kilimanjaro
At 19,341 feet, Kilimanjaro is the highest freestanding mountain and the fourth highest of the sought-after Seven Summits. Climbing to Africa's highest point presents a physical adventure and a journey through many diverse ecosystems. We begin our expedition in the tropical lowlands before ascending into the barren alpine desert and, finally, the ice cliffs that lead to a snow-capped summit cone.
Standing at Uhuru peak, far above the clouds, one understands precisely what continues to draw climbers and adventurers from around the world to Kilimanjaro's snow-capped crests. But it's genuinely the personal reward of getting to the summit and the feeling of solidarity with fellow adventurers that keep this climb at the top of many bucket lists.
Our journey follows the less-traveled Rongai Route, an approach from Kilimanjaro's northern side. This trail is a wilder and quieter way to trek across the area's distinctive ecological zones. The route passes through forests, moorlands, alpine deserts, and beautiful arctic zones. Along the way, our top guides provide unmatched knowledge and support. Enjoy evenings spent under the night sky in large, comfortable tents, weary but more alive than ever. It is a deeply rejuvenating experience that is second to none.
We are also able to include a safari program after the climb. We welcome family and friends to join our team during the Safari if they are not keen on climbing Kilimanjaro but are still interested in experiencing this section of our adventure.
Experience the BBE Camping Style on our wild northern Rongai Route, a 7-day climb of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Duration: 10 days
Location: Tanzania, Africa
Pricing: $5850 per person + $2,200 for Safari Extension.
Minimum of 5 people to commence expedition.
Key: B, L, D = Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included.
Day 1: Welcome to Moshi, Tanzania, the gateway to the roof of Africa!
Our trip begins at Kilimanjaro Airport, Tanzania. We are met by our Benegas Brothers Expeditions representative and assisted through customs and immigration. After our gear is loaded in the vehicles, we set off for our hotel in the bustling mountain town of Moshi. All meals on your own.
Transfer: 1 hour.
Day 2: Morning trekking orientation followed by a coffee tour and warm-up walk.
We'll start our climbing orientation after breakfast this morning, clearing the rest of the day for exploration and adventure. A short drive takes us to a nearby Wachagga village, where we learn the process of coffee cultivation. Kilimanjaro's rich soil and temperate climate make it prodigious for agriculture and result in delicious coffee. After lunch in the village, we'll return to the hotel and pack our bags for the mountain. We are free the rest of the afternoon to relax poolside or explore the town. All meals included.
Day 3: Hike through the forest to Simba Camp.
This morning we drive to the Marangu gate for registration before continuing north to the start of the Rongai route (6,400'). Passing through a patchwork of maize and potato farms, the trail soon dives into a mixed forest. We may even see the long-haired, black-and-white colobus monkeys bounding in the treetops. At Simba Camp (8,645'), we have our first night at BBE Clamping Camp on Kilimanjaro. Each spacious standing-height tent has cots, sleeping pads, pillows, and floor mats. Outside is a private veranda with chairs for taking off your boots after a day of hiking. A hot dinner is served in our expansive high-alpine base camp tent. After we dine, our guides perform their nightly safety check and give us the following day's hike details.
Driving and park formalities: 4 hours; Hiking: 4 miles, 3.5 hours; elevation gain: 2,245'.
Day 4: Pass through moorlands to Second Cave, then east towards Mawenzi.
Today is one of the longer trekking days. We aim to gain altitude and reach Kikelewa Camp (11,810') en route to Mawenzi Tarn. The trail winds through moorlands of golden heather and has excellent views of Kilimanjaro's eastern icefield. We break for lunch at the second cave camp before one final push, another two miles on to Kikelewa Camp. All meals included.
Hiking: 6 miles, 7 to 8 hours; elevation gain: 3,165'.
Day 5: Hike from heath to the alpine desert and the jagged peaks of Mawenzi.
Prepare for a steady but steep ascent today to the base of Mawenzi. We take our time hiking and pace ourselves on this shorter section. We watch as the vegetation dramatically shifts from tussocks of wild grasses and giant groundsels to the sparsely vegetated alpine desert zone. Our camp (14,155') for the next two days rests aside a high alpine lake in a beautiful cirque below the towering spires of Mawenzi peak. Enjoy a hot lunch and take the rest of the afternoon to relax and recuperate. All meals included.
Hiking: 4 miles, 3 to 4 hours; elevation gain: 2,345'.
Day 6: Acclimatization day, hike to Mawenzi Ridge.
Acclimatization is key to a successful summit of Kilimanjaro. Today, we enjoyed an extra day hiking around the scenic Mawenzi Tarn area. Mawenzi is the third highest mountain in Africa and the second cinder cone, after Shira, in Kilimanjaro's geologic evolution. Today's short hike to the Mawenzi Ridge offers excellent vistas of Kilimanjaro's highest peak. All meals included.
Hiking: 2 miles; 2 to 3 hours; elevation gain: 240'.
Day 7: Cross "the saddle" to Kibo Hut at the base of the eastern summit route.
Fully rested, today we set off across the lunar-like landscape known as "the saddle," which spans the distance between the Mawenzi and Kibo peaks. Arriving at Kibo Camp (15,520'), we enjoy dinner, relax and prepare for the final ascent, which begins shortly after midnight.
Hiking: 5.5 miles; 4 to 5 hours; elevation gain: 1,375'.
Day 8: Summit Day! Enjoy one of the best sunrises in Africa.
Starting near midnight, we follow a switchback path up a volcanic scree slope. Our guides set a comfortable pace, and we often stop to catch our breath in the starlit air. This is the steepest and most demanding section of the climb, taking about five hours to reach Gillman's Point (18,650'). From Gillman's Point, we can see the sunrise above the cloud line illuminating the plains below—an incredible sight to behold. A bit further around the crater, we reach our goal, Uhuru Peak (19,340'), the roof of Africa. Here we celebrate our success and marvel at the surrounding views. Afterward, we return to Kibo Camp (15,580') for a short rest before continuing to Horombo Camp (12,205') for the evening. All meals included.
Hiking: 3.5 miles ascending; 9.5 miles descending, 10 to 16 hours; elevation gain: 3,820'; elevation loss: 7,135'.
Day 9: Descend to the Marangu gate; return to Moshi for a celebration dinner.
The final descent today is a long and gentle downhill grade. With our spirits lifted from the satisfaction of yesterday's climb, we pass through the moorlands and rainforest before reaching the end at Marangu gate. After receiving our completion certificates from the national park, we bid our climbing team farewell and returned to our hotel in Moshi. It's a welcome treat to take a hot shower, sip a cold drink and commemorate the climb with our fellow travelers over a celebratory dinner. Those who only have time for Kilimanjaro will fly home (after 9pm). We highly suggest our Safari Extension, an unforgettable East African experience. All meals included.
Hiking: 12.5 miles, 5 hours; elevation loss: 6,040'.
Day 10: Moshi tour and departure—or join our Safari Extension!
After checking out of the hotel at 11 am, we take a tour of the vibrant mountain town of Moshi. This is a great time to buy souvenirs or pick up the latest Afropop tunes sold by an impassioned corner shop. After a late lunch, we head to the airport for evening departures. If you're continuing on the Kilimanjaro Safari Extension, join the town tour or simply let your legs relax poolside at the hotel. Tomorrow brings another adventure, this time in the grasslands of the Serengeti, so it's best to get some rest. Breakfast and lunch included; dinner on your own.
Although we do our best to adhere to the schedule listed above, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control.
Day 10: First Day of Safari.
A 3-hour drive in the morning takes us to the Ngorongoro Crater. Ngorongoro holds the highest concentration of big game anywhere in Africa. It is an unbeatable place to see herds of wildebeest, zebras, antelope, and buffalo, along with the predators that feed on these herds – lions, cheetahs, and leopards. It is also one of the better places to spot rhinoceros. We will return to our hotel on the crater's rim that evening.
Day 11: Today we move to the central Serengeti to continue our Safari. We end our day at a luxury-tented camp in central Serengeti.
Day 12: An early morning wake-up call for a half-day game drive allows us to explore at the best time of the day when animals feed. An afternoon bush plane flight brings us back to Arusha in time for the evening flight out.
Would you consider doing a custom Kilimanjaro expedition?
We always welcome custom inquiries. Nearly 80% of Benegas Brothers Expeditions are customized.
What fitness is required to climb Kilimanjaro?
Trekkers must be in great physical shape to join this expedition. This is perhaps the most important aspect of high altitude trekking, and cannot be stressed enough. Regular, challenging exercise for many months in advance of departure is the only way to gain the necessary level of fitness that is needed. Please contact us for more information on physical training.
What altitude experience is required to climb Kilimanjaro?
No prior experience at altitude required.
Do I really need to purchase trip and rescue insurance?
We require trip insurance and rescue insurance on all expeditions. Trip insurance covers issues that would cause you to cancel your trip in advance. Rescue insurance can help cover costs in the event that you decide to end your expedition early. We recommend Global Rescue for both types of insurance.
Are Covid vaccinations required?
Yes. Our leadership has made the decision to require all participants to be vaccinated for international travel. This is a safety measure that we have made to not only protect our clients, but also to protect our guide team and the local people in which we interact with during our expeditions. We want to do our utmost to mitigate the risk of Covid disrupting our expeditions, and having our teams vaccinated has become an important part of our risk management system with international travel. Please reach out to us if you have any questions or issues regarding this decision, we’d be happy to hop on a call and discuss this further.
"In my experience, few provide a more complete, safe and rewarding expedition experience than the Benegas Brothers. When it comes to expedition judgement, safety and climbing ethics, Willie and Damian set the bar as high as the mountains they climb.
There’s a lot more to high altitude climbing expeditions than just getting to the top. Team dynamics, the opportunities to learn skills, making life long friends, enjoying new cultures and cuisine are some of the important elements of an expedition. In my experience, few provide a more complete, safe and rewarding expedition experience than the Benegas Brothers. When it comes to expedition judgement, safety and climbing ethics, Willie and Damian set the bar as high as the mountains they climb. My son Matt and I have 100% trust and confidence in Willie and Damian and when I’m not climbing with Matt, it’s reassuring to know he’s with Benegas Brothers." Mike Moniz, 2014
Expedition Price Includes:
- All Tanzania transportation on scheduled dates
- All land costs are per person, based on double occupancy.
- All Hotels on scheduled itinerary. Single room available for an additional charge; you may be charged single-room fee if we cannot find a pairing for you.
- All group equipment, such as tents, stoves, etc.
- Certain personal items such as closed-cell foam pads, inflatable sleeping pads, Boundary Bags, etc.
- All meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) during the climb and safari
- Porters, drivers, guides, park fees, and climbing permits
Expedition Price Does Not Include:
- $25 wire transfer fee (if applicable)
- International round-trip airfare Tanzania
- Tanzanian visas
- Meals, transport, and lodging outside the regular itinerary.
- Alcoholic beverages and bottled drinks
- Excess baggage charges and airport taxes
- All expenses incurred in the event of early departure (evacuation fees, transport, extra hotel nights, etc.)
- Personal gear (see Gear List)
- International vaccinations
- Optional single room supplement (hotels only)
- Charges incurred as a result of delays beyond the control of Benegas Brothers Expeditions
- Tips and gratuities
- All prices and dates subject to change