DAY 1: MARANGU GATE (5,900 ft/ 1,800 m) ~ MANDARA HUT (8,860 ft/ 2,700 m)
Depart Arusha at 8:00 am about 2 hours to Marangu village. Once you arrive at the gate, and after completing the paperwork and meeting the porters and guides, begin the 4-5 hour walk to Mandara Hut. The walk is at a leisurely pace through dense, wet forest to the hut. If you feel up to it at the end of the day, walk to the nearby Maundi Crater for a long view of the plains and Lake Jipe, and in the distance; the Paré and Usambara Mountains. The night is spent inside one of the huts.
DAY 2: MANDARA HUT ~ HOROMBO HUT (12 200 ft/ 3 720 m)
After about 45 minutes in the forest, you will suddenly come upon an area of tall grass in the heath belt, which as the hike continues becomes more and more deserted, into the moor. Approximately 5-6 hours of walking brings you to Horombo Hut and a stunning view of Mawenzi Peak. The night will be spent in one of the huts.
DAY 3: HOROMBO HUT ~ KIBO HUT (15 430 ft/ 4 703 m)
The day's trek will take approximately 6-7 hours. You will cross the arid and exposed alpine desert of the saddle between Kibo and Mawenzi. The last fresh water point is at 14,100 ft (4,300 m), where it will be necessary to fill your water bottles. Porters will carry the rest of the water needed for food and hot drinks. The saddle crossing is impressive and the scenery spectacular. Overnight stay at Kibo Hut.
DAY 4: KIBO HUT ~ PIC UHURU (19,340 ft/ 5,895 m) ~ HOROMBO HUT (12,200 ft/ 3,720 m)
You will be woken up early with a steaming cup of coffee or tea, and depart between 12:30 and 1 am. Temperatures range from just below freezing at midnight, to between 10 deg. F (-12 deg. C) to -10 F. (-
23 deg. C) just before dawn at Gillman's Point, about 18,652 ft (5,685 m) on the crater rim. The winding scree path of the endless switchbacks will carry you through the night and at dawn, the spires of Mawenzi will stand out against the sun’s red glow beneath the clouds. After about 6 hours of walking, you will arrive at the crater rim near the Ratzel glacier. Once you reach Gillman's Point, gather your strength for another 1.5-hour hike on a gentle slope around the crater rim to the highest point;
Uhuru Peak, at 19,340 feet (5,895m). After a short time at the summit, descend the steep scree path to Kibo Hut for a rest, and descend further to Horombo Hut for the night.
Day 5: HOROMBO HUT ~ MARANGU GATE (5,900 ft/ 1,800 m) ~ ARUSHA
Walk straight down to the Marangu Gate, which will take about 6 hours to complete. On arrival at the gate, you will have lunch and then be transferred to Arusha as per your schedule.