Real Life Adventure Travel

Climbing Adventures

Mt. Kilimanjaro Itinerary:  Kibo Circuit - West Start

9 Day Kibo Circuit Route– West Start & Luxury Walking Safari Itinerary

Highlights include:

  • Spend the day enjoying a Hemmingway style camp and exploring the wildlife and Maasai of West Kilimanjaro
  • Enjoy the most remote route up the mountain, where you’ll likely not encounter many other trekkers for several days of your journey.

Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro is for many a travel dream; something for the bucket list! The Kilimanjaro Kibo Circuit route follows little used paths around the 4300 metre contour line that shows the real solitude and wilderness of the mountain, the real Kilimanjaro.  This itinerary also includes a luxury walking safari to help you acclimate prior to your climb and get your trip started off right.

Day 1: Moshi After arrival into Kilimanjaro airport in the evening, head to your hotel for overnight in Moshi.

Day 2: West Kili Walking Safari Following a gear check this morning, drive to West Kilimanjari. Enjoy spectacular landscapes including views of Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru, Ol Doinyo Longido and Ol Doinyo Orok. Maasai “bomas” are scattered throughout the area.  After lunch and a brief climbing orientation, enjoy a walking safari in the conservation area in preparation for the start of the climb tomorrow. Overnight Ndarakwai Camp or Kambi ya Tembo.

Day 3: Shira 1 Camp (3500m) After breakfast drive to the Londorossi Gate for check in with park and mountain officials and continue by Land Rover through the dense rain forest under the tangled canopy of moss coated vines, home to the black and white colobus monkey, blue monkey and a vibrant array of exotic birds. Enjoy lunch at the trail head and then begin the 1-2 hour walk to camp on the west side of the Shira Plateau. Tonight’s camp provides a dramatic view of Kilimanjaro and its glaciers. The Shira 1 area is not crowded and the views of the mountain here are spectacular. Overnight mountain camping.

Day 4: Shira 2 Camp (3990m) Today is an easy paced acclimatization day, enjoying a gentle walk across the Shira Plateau into the moorland of Kilimanjaro. Hiking time is 4-5 hours.

Day 5: Moir Camp (4175m)You will continue steadily upward today on a step ridge off the main trail. Moir camp is a seldom used yet very scenic camp with view so the Shira Plateau and upward to the lava plugs. Hiking time is 2-3 hours.

Day 6: Pofu (4100m) Today we head north through the barren mountain desert where you will enjoy the vast untraveled mountain wilderness. Continue the exploration into an area where other trekkers are rarely seen and you will enjoy magnificent scenery. Hiking time is 5-7 hours.  

Day 7: Third Cave (3935m) Continue the circuit to the east where you’ll enjoy the vast, untraveled mountain wilderness.  Hiking time is 4-6 hours.

Day 8: School Hut (4715m) Trek across the impressive saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo, admiring the spectacularly stark landscape. The temperature turns cold as you near the foot of Kibo, reaching Outward Bound Camp after a relatively easy hike. Hiking time today is 3-4 hours.

Day 9: Crater Camp (5730m) Depart after breakfast along a steep slope with switchbacks over loose rock, scree, and boulders as you near Gilman’s Point. You will descend into the crater. The high altitude of Crater Camp makes it a physically demanding experience, but the reward of the glaciers makes it all worthwhile. Hiking time is 7-9 hours.

Day 10: Uhuru Peak (5895m)/ Mweka High Camp (3790m) After an early breakfast make the 1.5 hour hike to Uhuru peak, reaching the summit of Kili around 8am. At this early hour, before the clouds set in, enjoy 360 degree views of Africa.

Descend via the Mweka route, then to the edge of a rainforest area to tonight’s camp. Congratulations, you made it to the Roof of Africa!

Day 11: Moshi This morning leave camp and descend the remaining 3500 feet to the trailhead at Mweka gate. The hike is steep in places and may be slippery if wet.  Here you will will bid farewell to your mountain crew, enjoy a picnic lunch and transfer back to the hotel in Moshi for a well deserved shower and dinner. Overnight Bristol Cottages or similar.

Day 12: This morning you’ll have a chance to sleep in and relax, before transferring to the airport for your international departure or continuing on your safari in Africa.