Western Breach Route 9 Days
Walking Time: 3,5 hours
Distance: 5.4 km
Altitude Gain: 397m
Our trek begins on the wilder, western side of Kilimanjaro so you’ll spend part of Day 2 admiring the patchwork fields of the coffee and banana plantations as you’re driven along the south boundary of majestic Kilimanjaro to the Londorossi Gate. After we’ve completed the park entrance formalities, you’ll be driven 12k further through cyprus plantations into breathtaking natural wilderness, resplendent with pristine rainforest where you’ll spot colobus and blue monkeys. There’s even a chance of seeing antelope, elephant and buffalo, which prefer this quieter side of the mountain. You’ll hike through dreamy, misty moss-clad forest, through a soundscape of birdcalls, monkeys tripping across branches overhead, and your own footfalls. The flora can be breathtaking – the glowing orange of the Fireball lily, the pink and white impatiens, and varieties of hibiscus. You’ll camp at Forest Camp – also known as Big Tree Camp or Mti Mkubwa – among the African yellow-wood, hypericum and hanging flowers of the hagenia. After a tasty dinner you’ll fall asleep to the sound of the night birds.
Walking Time: 5-6 hours
Distance: 9 km
Altitude Gain: 529m
It’s an early start today as, after a filling breakfast, you’ll leave the density and closeness of montaine forest. The trees thin out as your vista opens up to big skies and high heath on your way up towards the Shira Plateau. The moorland you’ll hike through is an almost prehistoric landscape of giant heathers interspersed with groundsel and lobelia. You’ll pick your way over bubbling mountain streams, steep ridges and rocky outcrops and we’ll rest for lunch on the western edge of the Shira Plateau, where you’ll see the Kibo Massif sweeping up to the summit. It may seem so far away now but you’ll get there! After lunch we’ll continue the trek under the glorious African skies with plenty of opportunity for photography. We’ll rest overnight at Shira 1 Camp where you’ll get the chance to relax, gazing as the sun sinks into the clouds below you while you enjoy a scrumptious dinner before a well-earned rest.
Walking Time: 5-7 hours
Altitude Gain: 850m
Today you’ll wake to azure blue skies – hopefully! – as you’ll seem to be floating above cloud level. After a hearty breakfast you’ll continue your adventure northwards, as the scenery becomes more rocky and barren. You’re heading to the little-used and lonely Moir Camp, definitely and literally off the beaten track, so it will seem that you have the mountain to yourself. You’ll stop to rest and have lunch which will give you the opportunity to listen to the soundscape this side of the mountain – a still hush, or, more likely, the wind whipping round the rocks. After further climbing you’ll enjoy a well-earned rest and hearty dinner at Moir Camp.
Walking Time: 4-5 hours
Altitude Gain: 138m
After a restful sleep and sustaining breakfast you’ll head off through an obvious volcanic landscape, so rocky and barren that you’ll feel like you’re on the moon. You’ll see the black, glassy obsidian rocks and pebbles, hurled out during eruptions. All the evidence of its violent past is there for you to climb over, around and through. We’ll camp tonight at Sheffield Camp, where you’ll enjoy a warming, filling dinner and the thought of a lie in tomorrow!
Although you’ve climbed high, there’s more climbing to do and it’s important that you become acclimatized to the rarer atmosphere – especially as you’ll be sleeping high in Crater Camp tomorrow night. So you’ve the opportunity to spend the day at Sheffield Camp where you can chill out in your cozy sleeping bag, take in the enormous views, the big skies and the rolling clouds below you; make friends with the friendly chats that skip around the tents or spot a white-necked raven or the soaring elegance of a bearded vulture high above you. But to really get the measure of this amazing place, take a guided walk to one of Kilimanjaro’s most famous features, the 300-foot Lava Tower, a breath-taking lava plug – a geological “cork” over a volcanic vent – formed when Kilimanjaro was an active volcano. Didn’t we tell you Kilimanjaro is a volcano? Don’t worry, it’s dormant. And of course, it’s important you rest your legs and your lungs for the efforts to come. Spend the day with a well-earned break, eating, snacking, taking photos, making videos and reading. It’s also a great opportunity to take stock of what you’ve achieved so far, and gather your strength for the climb ahead – it’s a tough one.
Walking Time: 3 hours
Altitude Loss: 462m
We hope you feel rested and rejuvenated after your acclimatisation day at the camp, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get an easy day today! An early start and a filling breakfast then you’ll say goodbye to your home for the day. Today’s hike is tough but it makes up for that with its beauty and the opportunity to dig deep into your own character. After negotiating frozen streams you’ll be climbing up the ridgeline which has amazing views – but watch your feet as you’ll be on loose scree. You’ll be directly below the Western Breach itself, with cliffs and steep drops all around you. It’s an exhilarating landscape and you’ll start to feel that the summit is really within reach. Arrow Glacier Camp has indescribable views and is known for luminescent, astounding sunsets. Kick back, relax, and enjoy the sunset and a filling dinner because it’s early to bed as the temperature drops
Walking Time: 6 – 7
hours Distance: 2km
Altitude Gain: 950m
Today’s the day you face the Western Breach – the most difficult of the three summit routes. You’ll start before dawn, strengthened by breakfast, and the climb is easy at first. As the sun rises over the Breach, temperatures will rise and you’ll feel good with the sun warming your muscles. You’ll meet some challenging rocky areas where you’ll have to scramble using your hands, and you’ll be well within the snowline. There are no paths through the Western Breach as the landscape changes all the time, but your guides will select the safest routes. The views are incredible. The Great Barranco Valley spreads out before you with stunning views of the Lava Tower and you’ll be able to look back across the Shira Plateau – remember that? You’ll be invigorated by a feeling of progress which will give you wings. You’ll ascend through a breach (hence the name!) in the crater rim with magnificent views of the isolated Furtwangler Glacier, the last remnant of an ice cap that once covered the summit, and the Northern Icefield. The crater floor is soft volcanic sand, softer on your feet but tougher on your calves than the rocky outcrops before. If you’re feeling strong, our guides might lead you to the Reusch Ash Pit, a 400-foot wide hole in the centre of the crater. You’ll know you’re near a dormant volcano by the sulphurous fumes which you can smell as you approach. Otherwise, it’s bed early at Crater Camp – the highest camp in Africa – as you’ve a big day ahead of you tomorrow; the push for the summit itself!
Walking Time: 2 hours up, 7 hours down
Altitude Gain: 145m
Altitude Loss: 2805m
It’s a big day today – the highlight of your adventure! It’s a shorter climb than other summit routes which means you won’t have to rise at midnight to start your climb, so you’ll be well-rested. It’s the steepest route, well-marked but tough. You’ll be making some of your ascent to Uhuru Peak in darkness and silence, so after a light breakfast it’ll be single file with head torches, taking it slowly and deliberately as you push up the crater rim towards Uhuru Peak. It’s a totally different atmosphere from anything you’ve felt before and as the early dawn lightens the sky to the east imperceptibly, you’ll understand the enormity of what you’re achieving. With the pink and gold of the African sunrise lighting your way, the sky becoming bolder and bluer and you’ll take in the vastness of the views around you. At last you reach the summit of Uhuru Peak itself and you’ll rest there for a short time for photo opportunities and the awesomeness of climbing up on the rooftop of Africa itself. Say goodbye to Uhuru to continue down the trail towards Barafu and the Mweka Camp, traversing almost all the landscape zones in one day – from snowy alpine ridges through moorland and into forest. You’ll still be high and excited from your successful climb and this will get your through today’s tiring downhill trek. But a hot dinner awaits you at the Mweka Camp as you celebrate what you’ve just achieved.
Walking Time: 4 – 6 hours
Altitude Loss: 1450m
Your final hiking day will take you down through sultry rainforest on a 4 to 6 hour hike, so we’ll make sure you have a good breakfast to fuel the journey. After the windswept silence of the high plains and dusty crater, you’ll enjoy the rustling of the trees and the birdsong and the colour of the blossoms are a contrast to the monochrome landscape of the icefields you’ve just left. It’s a great transition from the other-worldliness of the summit and it might feel strange being back in civilisation – as far as rainforest is civilisation! It’s time to hold your climbing certificates proudly – and of course, there’s a T-shirt opportunity, too. We’ll drive you back to Moshi where you can unwind and treat your body to a beer and a swim before your first night in a comfortable bed in over a week.
The departure dates for all our Trekking activities and tour packages are totally flexible according to your own personal needs. Please contact us for further and more detailed information.
- Professional mountain guides, cooks and porters
- Pre & Post Trek accommodation
- Pick up and drop off at Kilimanjaro international airport.
- Transportation to & from the mountain gate
- Park fees, camping fees & rescue fees
- 18% VAT on tour fees & services
- Double layered Sleeping Mats
- 3 meals daily while on the mountain
- Filtered water throughout the trek
- Fair wages for the mountain crew as approved by the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority (KINAPA), Kilimanjaro Association of Tour Operators (KIATO)
- Portable toilets and toilets tents.
- Hot Water For Wash
- International flights.
- Expenses belong to person nature e.g Drinks not included on the meal plans, personal purchases, Laundry etc.
- Cost of Visas.
- Bank transfer charges & card payments processing fee.
- Tips to mountain crew