Day 1: Marangu Gate (1970m) to Mandara Hut (2700m).
After having your breakfast you will be briefed about what should be expected and the secrets of conquering the highest point of Africa. Once you reach the park gate, all hikers are requested to sign in at the park office and make their final preparations start to hike. Porters will be seen arranging and loading their packs, containing food, water, cooking gas as well as most of your equipment. Make sure that you have in hand all your pack items (containing at least drinking water, your lunch box, and extra clothes) with you as the porters ascend a lot faster than hikers. Our guides will at your reach if you need any assistance or information. You will then leave the park gate and start ascending using a well maintained walking trail which will make you absorbed in the spectacular montane forest and hiking time is 4 to 5 hours to Mandara Hut. The montane forest, is packed with mist and wetness, with beards of moss, and you can get chance to see varieties of birds, primates i.e. Black and White Colobus Monkey and varieties of beautiful flowers. Mandara Hut will be your first stop over (first night), is a group of A shaped wooden huts in montane forest. Each hut featured 6 to 8 sleeping bunks with solar generated lighting. The total capacity of the camp is accommodate 80 hikers with all facilities including water and toilets.
Day 2: Mandara Hut (2700m) to Horombo Hut (3720m).
Hiking time is 6 hours, from Mandara hut to Horombo hut (second stop over) and the trail passes through a short stretch of forest, then skirts the base of the Maundi crater and then emerges into the transition from montane forest to Moorland vegetation zone. It is worth taking a short deviation to the rim of Maundi Crater for your first really impressive view of the Kibo Crater. On a clear day, Kibo will shine at a distance, showing off her majestic glaciers in the morning sun. Once you are in the open moorland you will get a chance to see some flora which are endemic in Mountain Kilimanjaro i.e. Giant lobelia, Protea kilimandsharica, Senecio kilimanjari, Lobelia deckenii etc. After six (6) hours from Mandara you will reach the Horombo hut, where you will have hot washing water, rest an evening meal and overnight at the Hut.
Day 3: Horombo Hut (3720m) Acclimatization day.
Horombo hut is a village of huts balanced on a small plateau, with buildings similar to Mandara, but with a capacity of 160 hikers. Normally bustling with hikers, guides, porters and with an atmosphere of adventure and pleasure, you will meet both ascending and descending hikers here. This extra day and night at Horombo is for additional acclimatization. Hike towards the Mawenzi Saddle, passing the Zebra Rocks on the way, is strongly recommended. This hike will further assist with the process of acclimatization. Remember to drink enough water and move slowly ('pole pole') . Retreat to bed early and get a good night's rest.
Day 4: Horombo Hut (3720m) to Kibo Hut (4700m).
Hiking time; 6 hours
After full breakfast you now continue your ascend into the alpine desert habitat. From Horombo there two trails to the saddle (which refers to the area located between the peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo). There is upper route (right hand fork) and lower route (left hand fork) to choose from. The upper route (right fork) will be very familiar, as you will have climbed most of it the previous day towards Mawenzi Hut. The suggested lower route (left hand fork) is much easier and nearly an hour shorter and it also passes the last water point at 4130m. You will have to fill your water bottles with all the water you will need until you return to Horombo hut in two night's time (unless you're willing to buy mineral water at Kibo Hut).