Summit Sunrise on Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro, situated in Tanzania, is the highest peak in Africa with a summit elevation of 5,895 meters above sea level. It is a dormant volcano and a popular trekking destination for adventure-seekers around the world.

Among the different experiences that the mountain offers, summiting at sunrise is undoubtedly the most beautiful and cherished one. The breathtaking view of the sunrise from the top of Mount Kilimanjaro is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that should not be missed. In this article, we will discuss the experience of summiting at sunrise at Mount Kilimanjaro and the necessary preparations for it.


Preparations for the summit

Summiting at sunrise is considered the most challenging part of the Mount Kilimanjaro trek. It requires physical stamina, mental determination, and proper preparation. Before attempting to summit at sunrise, it is essential to have a good night’s rest at the last base camp located at Barafu Hut, situated at an altitude of 4,673 meters. A good night’s sleep is crucial to conserve energy and prepare the body for the strenuous climb ahead.

The night before the summit, trekkers are advised to have an early dinner and go to bed by 7 pm. This will give them enough rest before waking up in the early hours of the morning for the summit. It is also essential to ensure that all the necessary equipment, including warm clothes, headlamp, and hiking poles, are readily available and in good condition.

The Kilimanjaro summit climb

The Kilimanjaro summit climb begins around midnight, and the first stretch is a steep and rocky trail that leads to the crater rim. The trail is well-marked with rocks and has a steep incline, which requires a considerable amount of effort. As trekkers make their way up the mountain, the temperature drops significantly, and the wind starts to pick up, making it essential to have proper warm clothing.

As the climb continues, the sky starts to change colors, and the stars gradually disappear, leaving behind an alluring darkness. The only source of light at this hour is the moon and the headlamps of the trekkers. As the trekkers move closer to the summit, the anticipation of witnessing the sunrise from the top builds up excitement and determination.

The Kilimanjaro sunrise experience

As trekkers reach the Stella Point, located at an altitude of 5,685 meters, they are greeted with a stunning view of the glaciers and the surrounding landscape. From here, it takes about 45 minutes to an hour to reach the summit, Uhuru Peak. The final stretch to the summit is a gradual incline, and as trekkers make their way up, the sun slowly starts to rise.

The view from the summit is simply breathtaking, with the sky turning from dark blue to shades of orange, yellow, and pink. The sun gradually rises behind the clouds, creating a surreal and majestic view. As the sun fully rises, it illuminates the surrounding landscape, making it glow with vibrant colors. This is a moment that cannot be described in words, but can only be experienced and cherished for a lifetime.

Tips for summiting at sunrise

1. Train and prepare your body before attempting the summit.

2. Pack warm clothes and essential hiking equipment.

3. Stay hydrated throughout the climb.

4. Use a headlamp and hiking poles for support.

5. Take breaks when needed and move at a steady pace.

6. Find a good guide or join a group trek for safety.

7. Be mentally prepared for the challenging climb.


Summiting at sunrise at Mount Kilimanjaro is not an easy feat, but the experience is truly rewarding and unforgettable. It requires physical and mental strength, proper preparation, and determination to make it to the top. The breathtaking view of the sunrise from the highest peak in Africa is a must-see for anyone seeking a unique and thrilling adventure. With proper training and preparation, summiting at sunrise can be a life-changing experience and a significant achievement for any trekker. So, pack your bags, prepare yourself, and get ready to witness the most beautiful sunrise from the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.