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Kilimanjaro Summit Uhuru Peak and Daily Schedule

For the camp staff, the day begins well before sun-up. The team prepares hot water for your washbasin, tea, and other hot beverages and breakfast. Your day will start bright and early, with a friendly wake-up call as the sun peeks over the horizon.

A team member will bring you a basin of warm water to wash your face and brush your teeth, and a hot beverage, to warm you up before breakfast.

You’ll need to re-pack your duffel bag and daypack, taking only what you’ll need for the day’s hiking. Roll up your sleeping bag, (make sure you’ve packed any loose bits and pieces) before you leave your tent, dressed and ready for the day’s trek.

Breakfast is served in the mess tent, and we’ll all gather here for the day’s briefing, followed by a hearty breakfast, and daily medical checks. Take this opportunity to refill your water bottles or hydration reservoirs.

Once everyone’s pronounced fit and healthy, we’ll hit the trail, usually at around 8 am. Trekking poles in hand, we’ll be hiking at a slow-to-moderate pace, with plenty of rest stops for you to catch your breath, eat a snack, and appreciate the dramatic scenery of this unique mountain.

The team will stay behind to break camp, and will most likely overtake you during the course of the morning, moving quickly to establish our next camp.

Your guides will hike with you, making sure the group stays together, giving frequent reminders of “pole pole” (slowly, slowly). Keeping the pace slow helps with acclimatization and prevents anyone from getting unnecessarily fatigued.

Be sure to let your guide know if you have a headache, nausea, disorientation, or any other unusual symptoms.

We’ll stop for lunch along the way, some days this will be a hot lunch served in a mess tent; on other days we’ll have a picnic lunch, depending on the weather conditions, route or schedule. We aim to do most of the hiking in the morning so that after lunch it’s a shorter trek to our campsite.

On arrival at camp, you’ll find your tent ready for you, and your duffel bag inside. It’s important to change out of any damp clothing (whether from rain or perspiration), roll out your sleeping bag so it has a chance to “fluff up” (a compressed sleeping bag doesn’t insulate well), before heading over to the mess tent for a tea time snack and hot beverage.

Some afternoons we’ll do an acclimatization hike, up to a higher elevation, as part of the “hike high, sleep low” protocol, others we’ll rest and relax in preparation for the following day.

An early dinner will be served, after another medical check and briefing. Most trekkers crawl into their sleeping bag for an early night, others prefer to stay up talking. The mess tent is comfortable and well-lit, a good place to catch up on your diary or a bit of reading.

Kilimanjaro Summit Night – Trekking to Uhuru Peak

When you arrive at Barafu Camp, you’ll need to get as much rest as possible. Prepare your daypack as soon as you arrive, as you’ll be woken at around 11 pm to start your summit trek.

After an early dinner, we retire to our tents, though sleep can be hard to come by at this altitude and the excitement of what’s ahead.

At 11 pm, your team will bring a hot drink, there will be some snacks in the mess tent before we start our climb at around midnight. You’ll need your head torch, water, snacks and any other essentials in your daypack.

Dress warm, with all your layers as it’s bitterly cold. You’ll need to dig deep as you’re hiking above 15,000 ft, over volcanic scree and rocks. Sometimes there’s ice or snow on the trail. We’ll be going slowly, very slowly. We pause regularly for water or snacks, but stopping for too long can cause you to get icy cold.

One foot in front of the other. By daybreak, we reach the crater rim. You’ll see the sun rising over Mawenzi and spectacular, 360-degree views. Looking down into the crater you’ll see the glacial icefields, the famous “snows of Kilimanjaro”.

From the crater rim, it’s another 1-2 hour hike to Uhuru Peak, the Roof of Africa, the highest free-standing mountain in the world: 19,341ft above sea level.

How cold is the summit of Kilimanjaro Uhuru Peak?

The temperatures decreases as you move through Mount Kilimanjaro’s ecological zones. At the Mount Kilimanjaro summit, Uhuru Peak, the night time temperatures can range between 20 and -20 degrees Fahrenheit (-7 to -29 degrees Celsius). Due to Mount Kilimanjaro’s great height, the mountain creates it’s own weather patterns.

It’s Not Over Yet: the Descent From The Summit Uhuru Peak

After we’ve taken our photos and congratulated each other on our achievement, it’s time to head back down to Barafu Camp. Descending can be tough. If you’ve got knee problems, this is a good time to put on your knee brace. Use your poles for balance, and take it slowly. The extra oxygen in the atmosphere as you get to lower elevations will be a welcome relief from the thin air at the summit.

We’ll have lunch at Barafu Camp before descending to our final camp on the mountain. Tired and exhilarated, you should get a good night’s sleep.

The following morning, you’ll have a 3-4 hour trek, mostly downhill through the forest and back to the trailhead where you’ll be transported to your post-climb hotel accommodation. 

 

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