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Kilimanjaro one day Hikes

  • Price: From $225 per person (5 hikers in a private 1 day Marangu rain forest trek without add-ons),* see all prices
  • Age restriction: No age restriction (below 3700m) and a great experience for families, groups, couples and solo hikers.
  • Difficulty level: Suitable for beginner to intermediate hikers with no technical climbing or experience required. Advanced hikes also available for strong hikers.
  • Scenery: Superb views on the Shira Plateau or an exiting hike through the Marangu or Machame rain forest zone.
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Kilimanjaro one day forest hike

Overview

Kilimanjaro Day Hike

Embark on an unforgettable Kilimanjaro day hike, a unique adventure that immerses you in the majesty of Africa's tallest peak without the need to summit. Our day tours are designed to cater to all levels of fitness, offering routes through the lush Marangu or Machame Rainforest, or across the expansive Shira Plateau.

Each path is curated to showcase the diverse landscapes and ecosystems of Kilimanjaro National Park. Led by expert mountain guides, our hikes provide a safe and insightful experience into the heart of this iconic mountain. Whether you're seeking a leisurely walk or a more challenging trek, our tours are tailored to ensure an enriching journey amidst the breathtaking beauty of Kilimanjaro. Join us for a day to remember, exploring the natural wonders and capturing the essence of Kilimanjaro.

Route itinerary options

Click to expand the various itinerary options for this route. Itineraries indicated as * Recommended * are chosen for their duration, acclimatization and good route profile.

Day 1 - Moshi to Kilimanjaro (Marangu Forest) to Moshi

Kilimanjaro rainforest

Transfer from Moshi (08:00am to 10:00am) to Marangu. Enter the park and complete your registration. Hike (medium fitness) through the rainforest for estimated 3-5 hours, till Mandara Hut (picnic lunch either in route or at Mandara Hut depending on walking pace). A side trip to Maundi Crater is a good way to see the surroundings (time and weather permitting). Descend through the forest trail back to the park gates (estimated 3-4 hours) where your driver will be waiting to transfer you back to Moshi.

  • Approx driving distance: 1 hour to gate / 1 hour back to Moshi
  • Approx trekking time: 6-9 hours
  • Approx trekking distance: 14 km / 8.5mi
  • Start Altitude: 1860m or 6100ft
  • End Altitude: 1860m or 6100ft
  • Highest Altitude reached: 2775m or 9105ft
  • Altitude +gain / -loss: +915m or 3005ft / -915m or 3005ft
  • Meals included: Picnic lunch

Overnight (Optional)

(Speak to a tour consultant for your specific options)

Day 1 - Moshi to Kilimanjaro (Shira Plateau) to Moshi

Kilimanjaro Heather Moorland

Transfer from Moshi (06:00-08:00 am) to Londrossi (West Kilimanjaro). You complete your registration at Londrossi gate before driving into the 4x4 access road to the Morrum Barrier where you start your hike (low fitness / medium or high fitness) through the upper heather / moorland and into the Alpine desert. You hike around 2-4 hours to the Shira Plateau and is not an extremely steep ascent. You always have the option to hike longer / further (all time and pace permitting). After a picnic lunch you descend through the same trail back to the Morrum barrier where your driver will be waiting to transfer you back to Moshi.

  • Approx driving distance: 3 hours to gate / 3 hours back to Moshi
  • Approx trekking time: 2-4+ hours
  • Approx trekking distance: 8 km / 5mi
  • Start Altitude: 3405m or 11170ft
  • End Altitude: 3405m or 11170ft
  • Highest Altitude reached: 3505m or 11500ft and above
  • Altitude +gain / -loss: +100m or +330ft / -100m or -330ft
  • Meals included: Picnic lunch

Overnight (Optional)

(Speak to a tour consultant for your specific options)

Day 1 - Moshi to Kilimanjaro (Machame Forest) to Moshi

Kilimanjaro rainforest

Transfer from Moshi (07:00am to 08:00am) to Machame. Enter the park and complete your registration and begin your steep hike (high fitness) through the rainforest for estimated 4-5 hours, till Machame (picnic lunch along the route). Later you descend back through the forest trail back to the park gate (estimated 3-4 hours) where your driver will be waiting to transfer you back to Moshi.

  • Approx driving distance: 1 hour to gate / 1 hour back to Moshi
  • Approx trekking time: 7-9 hours
  • Approx trekking distance: 18km / 11mi
  • Start Altitude: 1790m or 5870ft
  • End Altitude: 1790m or 5870ft
  • Highest Altitude reached: 3010m or 9875ft
  • Altitude +gain / -loss: +1220m or +4005ft / -1220m or -4005ft
  • Meals included: Picnic lunch

Overnight (Optional)

(Speak to a tour consultant for your specific options)

Price, includes & add-ons

Click to see price indication for the various group options and group sizes avaialble. You can always request a custom quote: contact us.

Price per person (USD $)

  • 1 passenger (from/to Moshi)

    from $325 per person*
  • 2 passengers (from/to Moshi)

    from $255 per person*
  • 3 passengers (from/to Moshi)

    from $240 per person*
  • 4 passengers (from/to Moshi)

    from $225 per person*
  • 5 passengers (from/to Moshi)

    from $225 per person*
  • 6+ passengers (from/to Moshi)

    from $205 per person*
  • Start and/or end the tour in Arusha

    from $100 per vehicle*
  • Start and/or end the tour at Kilimanjaro Airport

    from $50 per vehicle*
  • Scheduled group (shared departure)

    Not available
  • * All prices are in USD ($) and serve as indications only for a standard package excluding pre/post accommodation, add-ons and comfort upgrades.

    Private treks are with their own dedicated crew, equipment and transfers not shared with other hikers.
  • 1 passenger (from/to Moshi)

    from $490 per person*
  • 2 passengers (from/to Moshi)

    from $375 per person*
  • 3 passengers (from/to Moshi)

    from $305 per person*
  • 4 passengers (from/to Moshi)

    from $275 per person*
  • 5 passengers (from/to Moshi)

    from $270 per person*
  • 6+ passengers (from/to Moshi)

    from $245 per person*
  • Start and/or end the tour in Arusha

    from $100 per vehicle*
  • Start and/or end the tour at Kilimanjaro Airport

    from $50 per vehicle*
  • Scheduled group (shared departure)

    Not available
  • * All prices are in USD ($) and serve as indications only for a standard package excluding pre/post accommodation, add-ons and comfort upgrades.

    Private treks are with their own dedicated crew, equipment and transfers not shared with other hikers.
  • 1 passenger (from/to Moshi)

    from $325 per person*
  • 2 passengers (from/to Moshi)

    from $255 per person*
  • 3 passengers (from/to Moshi)

    from $240 per person*
  • 4 passengers (from/to Moshi)

    from $225 per person*
  • 5 passengers (from/to Moshi)

    from $225 per person*
  • 6+ passengers (from/to Moshi)

    from $205 per person*
  • Start and/or end the tour in Arusha

    from $100 per vehicle*
  • Start and/or end the tour at Kilimanjaro Airport

    from $50 per vehicle*
  • Scheduled group (shared departure)

    Not available
  • * All prices are in USD ($) and serve as indications only for a standard package excluding pre/post accommodation, add-ons and comfort upgrades.

    Private treks are with their own dedicated crew, equipment and transfers not shared with other hikers.
  • Green season discount

    10% off*
    For day hikes starting from 15 March 2024 to 31 May 2024 and 01 November 2024 to 15 December 2024.
  • * Special offers are only applicable to new bookings and valid only at the time of confirming an itinerary. All numbers after discounts will be rounded to the nearest whole number. Please check with your sales consultant if offers can be combined.

Standard packages usually include

  • All taxes, VAT and National Park conservation, park entry fees as applicable.
  • Trained, certified, and experienced English-speaking Mountain guide/s at KINAPA minimum ratios.
  • 1 x transfer from a Moshi (or Arusha with a supplement) based lodge to park gates per group / 1 x transfer from park gates to Moshi (or Arusha with a supplement) per group.
  • A picnic lunchbox with a choice of standard non-vegetarian or vegetarian or gluten-free or vegan or Hindu or Jain or Halal menu.
  • Pre-climb briefing / equipment check with the guide / tour consultant in Moshi (or optionally Arusha with a supplement).
  • Shared public toilet facilities at campsites.
  • A guaranteed participation medal and certificate from Shah Tours

Optional extras, add-ons and comfort upgrades

Although our standard package can be more than enough for most, we appreciate many desire certain comfort upgrades and add-ons and our tours can be customized to include as much or as little as you need.

A comfortable mid-range pre and post climb lodge just outside of Moshi town, especially convenient for the Rongai and Marangu routes.

A comfortable and budget friendly mid-range lodge in Moshi town center, convenient for all ascent and descent routes.

A convenient mid range pre-climb option for the Western routes (Lemosho, Shira, Northern Circuit) in Sanya Juu (near West Kilimanjaro).

A beautiful mid to high range post climb coffee lodge when descending via Mweka (Machame, Lemosho, Shira, Umbwe).

A western style high range lodge just outside of Moshi town centre and convenient for all ascent and descent hiking routes.

A superbly comfortable high range lodge near Arusha city center, for a luxury pre and post climb experience with a view of Mount Meru.

You can easily include your arrival and departure airport transfers from Kilimanjaro International Airport, Arusha Airport or Moshi Airport with our reliable fleet.

If you are celebrating a birthday, anniversary, honeymoon or other special occasion you can let us know in advance to prepare something special for your day.

A more premium hiking menu to include more fruit, meat, vegetables and complex dishes. A customized premium menu can be included for your hike.

We appreciate those without experience may need a personal mountain guide or a ratio of 1 guide to 1 client.

A personal assistance porter can help you carry your personal day pack (max 10kg) for your days hike to help with your days load.

  • Boots - walking / trekking

    USD $20 per trip
    Mixed brands
  • Hat

    USD $5 per trip
    Mixed brands
  • Gaiters

    USD $10 per trip
    Mixed brands
  • Gloves / warm mits

    USD $5 per trip
    Mixed brands
  • Glove liners

    USD $5 per trip
    Mixed brands
  • Raincoat / poncho

    USD $10 per trip
    Mixed brands
  • Rain / wind / waterproof trousers

    USD $10 per trip
    Mixed brands
  • Ruck sack / day pack

    USD $10 per trip
    Mixed brands
  • Scarf

    USD $5 per trip
    Mixed brands
  • Sunglasses

    USD $5 per trip
    Mixed brands
  • Sweater / fleece / jumper

    USD $5 per trip
    Mixed brands
  • Walking poles (pair)

    USD $5 per trip
    Mixed brands
  • Water bladder / Water hydration system

    USD $15 per trip
    Mixed brands

Standard packages usually exclude

FAQ's

Frequently asked questions about this route

Yes, it's possible to hike Kilimanjaro for a day. You can explore the Shira Plateau or alternatively the Marangu or Machame rain forest zones on this World Heritage Site, without reaching the summit. This allows for a unique experience on Africa's highest mountain with manageable altitudes and duration suitable for various fitness levels as well as great possibilities to add to your safari or other Tanzania travel itinerary.

One of the shortest hikes to Kilimanjaro is the day trip to the Shira Plateau. It offers an insight into the mountain's natural beauty without the commitment to a multi-day trek. The journey involves a hike through stunning landscapes, including forests and the plateau itself​. This however does not take you to the summit and it is extremely dangerous to ascend to a summit the height of Kilimanjaro in one day.

While a full ascent to the summit of Kilimanjaro typically takes 5 to 9 days depending on the route, the minimum time for a taste of Kilimanjaro's magnificence is a day hike. This will not take you to the summit but offers a rewarding experience of the mountain's lower slopes and features like the Shira Plateau or the mountain rain forest at Marangu or Machame.

Beginners can participate in a day hike on Kilimanjaro, such as the trips to the Shira Plateau or Marangu rain forest. These hikes are designed to accommodate a range of fitness levels, from low to high, making them accessible for people with varying degrees of hiking experience. However, some level of fitness is advisable for a more enjoyable and comfortable hike​​​​​.

For a successful day hike on Kilimanjaro, it's recommended to wear closed shoes due to uneven terrain, and because of the altitude, carrying warm clothing and waterproofs is also advisable. The experience includes hiking through different habitats, such as rain forests and moorlands, and offers the chance to see wildlife and stunning views of Kilimanjaro's peaks and glaciers​.

Preparing for a Kilimanjaro day hike involves selecting the right clothing and gear to handle the mountain's variable weather conditions. Start with well-worn walking or hiking boots, or a sturdy pair of trainers for adequate support on uneven terrain. Weather on Kilimanjaro can change rapidly, so a waterproof raincoat and trousers or a long rain poncho are crucial for staying dry. Enhance your stability and ease strain on your knees with a pair of walking poles, especially useful on steep descents.

Carry a waterproof day pack to protect your lunchbox, water, and valuables. Hydration is key, so include a 1-3 liter water bladder or a durable water bottle—note that soft plastic bottles are not allowed in the park. Don't forget toilet paper, and wear comfortable hiking trousers paired with a fleece or hoodie to manage the cold. A sun hat, cap, sunglasses, and high SPF sun protection cream will shield you from the sun's intensity at high altitudes.

For capturing memories, bring a camera or mobile phone; some areas of the mountain offer signal reception. Pack high-energy snacks like cereal bars, dried fruits, and nuts for quick fuel. Depending on your sensitivity to cold, gloves or mittens are advisable. Those with knee or ankle issues should consider braces to provide additional support. This comprehensive preparation will enhance your Kilimanjaro hiking experience, ensuring you're well-equipped to enjoy the majestic scenery in comfort.

People with serious medical conditions like heart disease, severe asthma, or uncontrolled diabetes should avoid climbing Kilimanjaro. Pregnant women and individuals with altitude sickness susceptibility should also consider other options. It's crucial to consult with a healthcare provider before planning a climb.

Weather plays a pivotal role in deciding when to climb Kilimanjaro. Dry conditions ensure easier hikes and dry gear, while wet weather can turn your trek into a muddy challenge. However, Kilimanjaro's weather patterns have become unpredictable recently. You might encounter unexpected rainfalls even during what's traditionally considered a dry season or vice versa. Moreover, the dry seasons often see a surge in trekkers, leading to crowded routes. Read more about weather here.

Why book with Shah Tours?

Some of the reasons why you should book your hike with Shah Tours.

We are proud to operate hikes on Mount Kilimanjaro for 40+ years and with this comes a highly skilled and experienced team of mountain guides who have led 100's of expeditions and are some of the most experienced on Kilimanjaro.

All participants on our Kilimanjaro treks will receive a participation certificate and unique achievement medal. You will also get a climb certificate from the National Park if you reach Stella point, Gilman's point or Uhuru peak.

We have been a licensed operator of Kilimanjaro climbs since 1984 and have guided tens of thousands to Africa's highest peak. Booking with us means you are booking directly with the operator without any middle man.

Kilimanjaro Preparation Guide

Need some help planning a Kilimanjaro trek?

Please visit our dedicated section below to find out more about private or group treks, when to climb, getting to Kilimanjaro / Tanzania, visas, documents, choosing a route, training for your climb, health and vaccines, Kilimanjaro packing list, hiking boots, rental equipment, tipping, insurance, money:

Other routes

If this isn't the right tour for you, some of the below are alternative routes to consider.

Combine with

This package is usually combined with one of the below. We can also tailor a custom itinerary combining any of our packages for you.

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