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17 days Mount Kilimanjaro itinerary

17-day itinerary for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is not a common or recommended duration. Most itineraries range from 6 to 9 days, with the 7-day trek being a popular choice.  it’s possible to create a customized 17 days Mount Kilimanjaro itinerary that includes additional days for acclimatization, rest, and exploration. is a common length for a Kilimanjaro climb, allowing enough time for proper acclimatization to the high altitude as you make your way up from the lowlands around the mountain to the summit. 

The general rule of thumb on really big mountains like this is that you should not generally ascend more than 300 meters per day and for every 1000 meters that you do ascend you should take a rest day. Although the main routes on Kilimanjaro are designed to follow the same basic principles, ultimately they all fail to meet these criteria. To fulfill these guidelines you would have to spend 17 night itinerary for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, which is just not something anyone would ever do. So we are obliged to operate under significantly compromised circumstances, hence the importance of altitude on your trek.

What makes Mount Kilimanjaro unique is that despite its close proximity to the equator, it is crowned with ice. The glaciers have existed here for more than 11,000 years. They used to be more than 300 feet (100 m) deep and extended 6,500 feet (2,000 m) from the mountain top. However, due global warming and long term climactic cycles, the ice has been vaporizing at an alarming rate. Some scientists estimate that Mount Kilimanjaro’s ice cap will be completely gone by 2050. So if you are contemplating the climb, do yourself a favor and do it sooner rather than later. The glaciers are something you do not want to miss

17 days Mount Kilimanjaro itinerary17 Days Mount Kilimanjaro  itinerary

Days 1-2: Arrive in Tanzania, transfer to hotel near the mountain, preparations

Days 3-5: Trek from Lemosho Glades trailhead (8,530 ft/2,600 m) to Shira Camp 2 (12,595 ft/3,840 m) via Shira 1 Camp.

Days 6-8: Trek across the Shira Plateau to the Lava Tower (15,190 ft/4,630 m) and then descend to Barranco Camp (13,025 ft/3,970 m). Rest and acclimatization day at Barranco.

Days 9-10: Trek to Karanga Camp (13,106 ft/3,995 m). Rest and acclimatization day at Karanga.

Days 11-12: Trek to Barafu Camp (15,331 ft/4,670 m), summit attempt leaving around midnight. Summit Uhuru Peak (19,341 ft/5,895 m) at sunrise then descend to Millennium Camp (12,540 ft/3,825 m).

Days 13-15: Descend to Mweka Gate (5,380 ft/1,640 m) for return transport to hotel. Extra rest days in Moshi.

Days 16-17: Transport back to Arusha, depart Tanzania.

This itinerary takes the longer Lemosho route up Kilimanjaro and maximizes acclimatization by building in many rest and acclimatization days to adapt to the altitude. With 17 days, there is plenty of extra time allowing for flexible pacing and dealing with any delays

17 days Mount Kilimanjaro itineraryChoose the best way to Summit Kilimanjaro 

This 17 days Mount Kilimanjaro itinerary is flexible and can be adjusted based on your fitness level, chosen summit route, and weather conditions. There are different ways to summit Kilimanjaro, each with its own advantages and challenges.

Barafu Camp:

Route: This is the most popular route, known for its well-established infrastructure and gradual acclimatization profile.

Ascent: You’ll trek through diverse landscapes, starting in the rainforest and passing through moorland and alpine desert before reaching Barafu Camp (4,600m). The final summit push is a challenging overnight hike of about 6-8 hours on loose scree.

Descent: After reaching the summit (Uhuru Peak at 5,895m), you’ll descend back to Barafu Camp and then continue down to lower camps.

Pros: Well-established, good acclimatization profile, scenic route.

Cons: Can be crowded, final summit push is challenging.

Kibo:

Route: This option involves camping higher on the mountain at Kibo Camp (4,700m) before the summit bid.

Ascent: Similar to Barafu Camp, but with an additional acclimatization day at Kibo Camp. The summit push is still tough, but starting at a higher altitude can give you an advantage.

Descent: Same as Barafu Camp.

Pros: Potentially better acclimatization, slightly less crowded than Barafu Camp.

Cons: Requires an extra day and camp, adds to the cost.

Crater Camp:

Route: This is the most challenging and expensive option, but it also offers the most unique experience. You’ll camp inside the Kilimanjaro crater at Crater Camp (5,700m) before attempting the summit.

Ascent: You’ll trek through the same landscapes as the other routes, but then climb up to Crater Camp. The summit push is a daytime hike from there.

Descent: You can descend back to Crater Camp or continue down to lower camps.

Pros: Unique experience, avoid the crowded summit night push, potentially better acclimatization at high altitude.

Cons: Most challenging and expensive option, requires good fitness and acclimatization, limited availability of Crater Camp.

Mt Kilimanjaro: How to Prepare for High Altitude Trekking

Getting your body in great shape through physical training certainly helps prepare you for altitude. However, the ability to adjust quickly to the changing oxygen content is largely genetic. As the Kilimanjaro climbing success rates show, some people can climb Kilimanjaro in as little as 5 days (not recommended), while some still fail with 8 days. It is impossible to tell how well a prospective climber may fare in an oxygen deprived atmosphere until he or she is actually in it.

High altitude training systems enable climbers to pre-acclimatize at home, drastically improving the success rate, safety and enjoyment of the climb.

Altitude training systems simulate high altitudes to induce beneficial biological adaptations in the body. Besides going to (and staying in) high altitude places, using a high altitude training system is only way to pre-acclimatize to high altitude before your trip.

Is Climbing Kilimanjaro Safe?

Climbing Kilimanjaro is probably one of the most dangerous things you will ever do. Every year, approximately 1,000 people are evacuated from the mountain, and approximately 10 deaths are reported. The actual number of deaths is believed to be two to three times higher. The main cause of death is altitude sickness. Everyone climbing Mount Kilimanjaro should be familiar with the symptoms of altitude sickness. 

When is the Best Time to Climb Kilimanjaro?

Due to Mount Kilimanjaro’s proximity to the equator, this region does not experience the extremes of winter and summer weather, but rather dry and wet seasons. Therefore, the best time to climb Kilimanjaro tends to be the warmest and driest months. The primary issue is safety, as the risks associated with climbing increase significantly when the weather is foul. The effects of rain, mud, snow, ice and cold can be very strenuous on the body. Correspondingly, your chances of a successful summit also increases significantly with nice weather. Of course, the mountain gets more foot traffic during these periods as well.

It is possible to climb Kilimanjaro year round, however it is best to climb when there is a lower possibility of precipitation. The dry seasons are from the beginning of December through the beginning of March, and then from late June through the end of October. These are considered to be the best times to climb in terms of weather, and correspondingly are the busiest months (high season).

From January through mid-March are the warmest months, with clear skies in the mornings and evenings. During the day, clouds may appear along with brief showers. The long rainy season spans from the end of March to early June. We do not recommend climbing during this time unless you are an experienced backpacker who has trekked in similar conditions. It can be very wet, and visibility may be low due to heavy clouds. The crowds are gone, however. From mid June to the end of October, the mountain is generally a bit colder, but also drier. The short rainy season spans from the beginning of November to the beginning of December. Afternoon rains are common, but skies are clear in mornings and evenings.

Note that the rains are unpredictable and may come early or extend beyond their typical time frames. It is possible to experience mostly dry weather conditions during the rainy season, just as it is possible to have heavy rain during the dry season.

Some climbers prefer to summit during a full moon.

When the peak of Kilimanjaro and magnificent glaciers are lit up by the full moon, the view is absolutely stunning. For this reason alone, some climbers schedule their trek to coincide with this celestial event, occurring once a month. However, a practical reason for climbing at these times is that a bright moon along with a clear sky will improve your visibility throughout your climb, and most importantly, during the summit attempt.

17 day Mount Kilimanjaro itinerary

Price Per Person

US$15,300

All quotations are based on double or triple occupancy. If a traveller wishes to stay as single occupancy, a single supplement charge will apply, which varies with the different accommodation categories.

Typical food menu for Kilimanjaro climbs

Here’s a typical food menu. We can cater for vegetarian, vegan or other special dietary requirements. Please get in touch with us for a menu according to your requirements.

INCLUDED

  • 2 nights hotel accommodation in Moshi (before & after climb)
  • Group transport to and from Moshi to the trail head
  • Kilimanjaro National Park permits, camping/hut fees, rescue fees and Value Added Tax (VAT)
  • Expert guide, assistant guides, cook and porters
  • Bottled oxygen, for emergency rescue only
  • Private toilet
  • Four season, 3 person mountain tents, double occupancy
  • Sleeping pad, foam, 1.5 inches thick
  • Fresh, nutritious meals on the mountain
  • Breakfast at hotel

EXCLUDED

  • Airfare
  • Lunch or dinner at hotel
  • Beverages at hotel
  • Personal gear and equipment
  • Tips
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Josephat Mashehe is a seasoned Kilimanjaro guide who offers his expertise to those looking to conquer Africa's highest peak. With years of experience under his belt, Josephat provides comprehensive guidance, ensuring a safe and memorable journey for adventurers. His services include detailed planning, safety measures, and on-site assistance, making him an invaluable asset for anyone aiming to tackle the challenging climb of Mount Kilimanjaro.
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