KILIMANJARO THE HARD WAY
Climb Kilimanjaro via the famous and technical Western Breach
Kilimanjaro via the Western Breach is a legendary route to the Roof of Africa. Ascending in an almost straight line from the Umbwe Route, the climb takes a steep slope directly above the Lava Tower, before breaching the main difficulty of the climb and traversing to the peak.
We strongly recommend climbing nearby Mount Meru first in order to acclimatise.
Due to the technical nature of the terrain, all trips are led by a fully qualified European Guide.
Accommodation & Service
Pre & Post climb accommodation :
We work with a number of beautiful lodges and hotels around Kilimanjaro to make sure that the experience is a high standard throughout.
On the mountain we offer three levels of service: Lightline, Highline and Skyline. We can say with confidence that our Lightline offering is better equipped than 90% of other expeditions on the mountain. Our Highline climb includes several refinements to enhance the comfort, and our Skyline spec is the only service of it’s kind. Safety remains the key focus regardless of specification chosen.
A high quality 3 person mountain tent is provided for 2, with a foam pad to sleep on. Dining tent with lightweight table and stalls, toilet tent, and transfers in private buses.
A large mess tent is provided for dining, with high-backed chairs. A larger sleeping tent with a 3 inch foam mattress, pillow and -18 Celcius rated sleeping bag with liner. There is a private portable toilet. 3 course evening meals and fresh pressed coffee available. Transfers in private 4x4 safari vehicles.
With our Skyline specification the team will be sure to be staying in the best accommodation on the mountain. You will be sleeping in a large standing height tent, with full size sleeping cot, 3 inch foam mattress, pillow and -18 celsius sleeping bag for the best nights sleep. Private toilet and shower tents will also be provided.
A large mess tent is provided for dining and socialising which has comfortable backed chairs and large tables for enjoying the 3 course meals in comfort. Tea & Pressed coffee available. Transfers in private 4x4 safari vehicles.
We offer every route on Kilimanjaro, including the Machame, Rongai, Lemosho and technical Western breach. Please contact us for details.
Day 1: Arrive Tanzania
Most clients land early in the morning and will have the luxury of a full day getting used to our new surroundings. After breakfast and a quick clean up, we can relax by the pool and a full briefing and welcome will be given.
Day 2: Momella Park Gate. Walk to Miriakamba Hut (2,470m)
After breakfast at the hotel, we meet our local guides, who will come with us for both Meru and Kilimanjaro. It’s a 1.5 hour drive to the Momella Park Gate, at the foot of Mount Meru. We register at the Gate to enter the Park, and meet our armed ranger who will accompany us for the trek. If we walk quietly it is likely we will see many animals, including buffalo, elephants, birds, and Colobus monkeys overhead on this peaceful path. We should reach our overnight hut in the forest at Miriakamba after approximately 3-4hrs.
Day 3: Miriakamba Hut to Saddle Hut (11,480ft / 3,500m)
Today we continue our hike through the jungle, gaining altitude and cooler air as we approach Saddle Hut, where we will spend the night. It is possible to take an acclimatization walk up to Little Meru in the afternoon, then early to bed ready for the summit day.
Day 4: Saddle Hut to Summit of Mount Meru (4,566m)
Leaving the hut around 2am, we will climb through the darkness up the rocky flanks of Meru towards Rhino Point. From here upwards, the ground steepens and the final approach to the peak is an enjoyable and exciting scramble. After watching the sun rise across the horizon behind Kilimanjaro, we will make our descent first to Miriakamba for lunch, and then onwards to the Park Gate and back to the Hotel
Day 5: Rest Day
A full day to rest after our climb of Mount Meru. Time to recharge the batteries, have a hot shower and sort equipment ready for our climb of Kilimanjaro.
Day 6: Umbwe Park Gate to Umbwe Cave Camp (2,850m)
Leaving the hotel in the morning, we will drive along the Kibosho road to Umbwe Park Gate. Passing through mountain rain forest. We should arrive at our camp near Umbwe Caves after around four hours of walking. Height gain: 1,200m.
Day 7: Umbwe Caves to Barranco Camp (3,900m)
Today’s trek takes us up steep crags above the rainforest and into the heathland, where we will ultimately meet the “normal” routes at camp in the Barranco Valley, nestled underneath the imposing Barranco Wall. Height gain: 1,050m.
Day 8: Barranco Camp to Lava Tower Camp (4,600m)
A three to four hour climb takes us to Lava Tower where we will spend the night. There will also be a chance for us to climb to the top of the tower itself to take in the impressive views (and exposure) and to further aid our acclimatization. Height gain: 700m.
Day 9: Lava Tower to Arrow Glacier Camp (4,900m)
The approach to our High Camp will take around three hours and we will be walking over steep scree, rock and gravel. After a hot lunch, we may take a short acclimatization walk. Alternatively, the long afternoon will provide important time to rest and hydrate before our early night ready for summit day. Height gain: 300m.
Day 10: Barafu Hut to Uhuru Peak (19,340 ft / 5,895m) to Mweka Camp
Despite our proximity to the Equator, on summit night it can be brutally cold. We will leave camp around 1am to climb through the darkness. It is important to remember at this point that every step made, no matter how small, is a step closer to the summit. The terrain steepens until we cross the Breach itself, and arrive on the crater area of the peak. Shortly the large green sign will appear in our line of sight, and energised by seeing the summit we will all huddle together on top for around half an hour to take photos, congratulate each other and enjoy the spectacular views from the “Roof of Africa”. Soon enough though, it will be time to start our long descent. We will speed down the scree slopes towards Camp Barafu (4,600m) where we will have lunch before heading even further down the mountain, all the way to Mweka Camp at 3,100m. We can stop en route for a quick rest at Millenium Camp before getting back on the trail for the last couple of hours of descent. We will arrive in Mweka at dusk, for a big dinner and sleep. Bearing in mind we will have been on the go since around midnight, this is a very long day, especially as we will have climbed to 5895m in the morning! (17-19hours).
Day 11: Mweka Hut to Mweka Gate to Arusha, leave Africa.
In the morning, we take the easy walk down to Mweka Gate, with the prospect of hot showers quickening our step. At the Park Gate we will say goodbye to our porters and tip them in return for all their help throughout the expedition. We will be transferred back to the hotel, and it will be the first non-human powered transport we’ll have made for more than a week! Lunch and celebration at the hotel before transfers to the airport.
Trained Kilimanjaro Guides
All relevant Park fees & rescue fees
Emergency medical evacuation to KCMC/ Arusha
Supplemental oxygen & pulse oximeters
All accommodation and meals as described in final itinerary
Transfers as described in final itinerary
Drinks on the hike (potable water, tea, coffee & hot chocolate)
Items of a personal nature
Alterations to this itinerary
Airport departure taxes (unless stated)
Beverages in hotels (except those in your personal safari vehicle)
Hospital bills and international evacuation in the event of an emergency
Kilimanjaro can be climbed year round. The best times to travel are the summer season (June - early October), as these months often enjoy long dry spells and milder temperatures. December and January can also see stable weather and cooler temperatures.
You will be climbing two mountains in a relatively short space of time. This will be a physically arduous trip. Summit day on Mount Meru involves some scrambling and participants should be confident and proficient.
The Western Breach on Kilimanjaro is the hardest ascent on the mountain. You will be climbing to almost 6,000m and back in 6 days.
Summit day, and some of the days preceding it, involve scrambling and walking over loose rock and scree. Participants should be confident on steep ground with a proven logbook showing some scrambling experience.
A full kit list will be sent to you at time of booking.
We are proud to be partnered with The Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project & International Mountain Explorers Connection.