Accommodation on the mountain is in tents; you will need a sleeping bag but a sleeping mat is provided. The porters do not pitch the tents for you but will help if you wish.
This is a strenuous walking trip but within the limits of a fit individual used to walking in mountain areas. Ski sticks or ice-axe are useful when ascending the scree to the summit.
Day 1 Arrive at the hotel.
Day 2 Drive from Moshi or Arusha to Londorossi Park Gate (2250m, 2 hours). From here a forest track requiring a 4WD vehicle leads to Lemosho Glades (2100m, 11km, 45 minutes) and a possible campsite (park fees are not paid to camp here). Walk along forest trails to Mti Mkubwa (big tree) campsite, (2750m, 3 hours).
Day 3 The trail gradually steepens and enters the giant heather moorland zone. Several streams are crossed then it gains the Shira Ridge at about 3600m and drops gently down to Shira 1 camp located by a stream on the Shira Plateau (3500m, 5 hours). This campsite could be omitted.
Day 4 A gentle walk across the plateau leads to Shira 2 camp on moorland meadows by a stream (3850m, 1.5 hours). A variety of walks are available on the Plateau making this an excellent acclimatisation day.
Day 5 Continue east towards Kibo passing the junction, then east towards the Lava Tower. Shortly after this, you descend to Barranco hut (3940m, 4 hours).
Day 6 A short scramble to the top of the Great Barranco and then a traverse over scree and ridges to the Karanga Valley (4000m, 3 hours), beneath the icefalls of the Heim, Kersten and Decken Glaciers. After climbing out of the Karanga Valley the trail ascends a ridge to the Barafu Hut, a bleak location with little vegetation at 4600m, (3 hours walking).
Day 7 An early start for the ascent to the rim of the Kibo Crater between the Rebmann and Ratzel Glaciers, (4 hours); the last section before the rim can sometimes be snow-covered and an ice-axe or ski stick is useful for balance. From here a further hour leads to Uhuru Peak, from where there are often fine views of Meru to the west and the jagged peak of Mawenzi to the east.
Descend to the Barafu Hut for a rest and lunch before continuing on down to camp at Mweka Hut in the giant heather zone on the forest edge. Those with energy on the summit may wish to descend to the Reutsh Crater and visit the dramatic ice pinnacles of the Eastern Icefields.
Day 8 A 3-4 hour descent through beautiful forest brings you to the Park gate and your waiting transport. Drive back to the hotel.
Day 9 Depart hotel after breakfast.