It has always been a dream of mine to hike Mount Kilimanjaro. So, when I made plans to be in East Africa in May, I knew I had to do it finally. Since we had little time, we just went on a Mt. Kilimanjaro day hike.
The hike was different from what I had expected, but it was a fantastic experience all around. Here is what the day was like.
This article is part of my Trip Report: Starting Summer in East Africa including:
Mt. Kilimanjaro Hike
Let me start by getting it out of the way. We did a Mt. Kilimanjaro day hike, not hiking to the summit. We booked a tour a few weeks in advance with Shah Tours, which was all-inclusive for our adventure.
After getting picked up at our hotel, bright and early at 7 am, we headed to the tour company’s office to pick up lunches and switch vehicles. After the swap, it was about an hour’s drive from rainy Moshi to the Marangu Gate.
Here we parked and filled out some paperwork for the hike. After the paperwork, a park ranger inspected our bags, and we were off on our way.
It took three hours of hiking to reach the camp. There were not only beautiful flowers and trees, but we passed streams and waterfalls. It was truly incredible. Just watch out for the ants, which seem to be everywhere.
At the camp, we saw monkeys and had lunch, which I found tasty (maybe I was just too hungry). They were able to get me a gluten-free meal, which was nice.
After taking in the view (of clouds), we started our hike back down, which took less time than going up. While we could never see the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro during our hike, we got lucky on the drive back. I noticed out of the corner of my eye that she had peaked from behind the clouds.
About three or four weeks before our hike, we reached out to Shah Tours to see if we could make a day hike happen. They are less common than a trek to the summit, but it was also more of the rainy season.
We were able to book our hike for $220 per person. While it was the most expensive excursion we did, given that it included all park fees, lunch, transportation, and our guide, it was worth it. It was also one of the cheaper options we saw.
We could pay by card for the total amount when we booked.
I loved the Mt. Kilimanjaro day hike. It was a great experience, and I would highly recommend it. The issue is that now I really would love to try and summit Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Please note that it is not an easy hike and does require walking up some steep stairs and paths. However, most people should be able to do it, though, especially as you can set your own pace and take your time.
I hiked in sneakers since I did not want to bring hiking books all the way from the U.S. for one hike. A park ranger pretty much integrated me for not wearing books but ultimately let me hike because it was only a one-day adventure.
I have to give credit where credit is due and thank our fantastic guide Stan (he’s the man). He was professionally great and a funny hiking guide with great stories to share. Definitely request him if you are planning on hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro to the summit or for the day.
The Last Point
The Mt. Kilimanjaro day hike was one of my best experiences in Africa. I loved the opportunity to hike through the rainforest, see monkeys, and say I hiked Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Our guide was great, and I had an all-around great time.