Trekkers take a snowy trail towards the clouds

Kilimanjaro Route: The Grand Traverse

Photo Credit: Helen Irving


Thomson’s Grand Traverse route is hands down the most luxurious way to experience Kilimanjaro. Featured in Travel + Leisure, Outside, and Amex Centurion magazines, the added amenities and acclimatization time on the Grand Traverse give you the best chance of summit success.


  • Maximum acclimatization time (the biggest contributor to summit success)
  • Upgraded tents
  • Cot beds with foam mattresses
  • Smaller group sizes
  • Upgraded accommodations before your trek
  • Least-traveled route on Kilimanjaro
  • Spectacular views into Kenya (only possible on this route)
  • Two opportunities for daytime summit
  • Personal porters available to all trekkers*
  • 10 days trekking, 12 days in Tanzania
  • A chance to camp in the crater near Kili’s famed glaciers
    • An exclusive opportunity for the most adventurous trekkers
    • Weather and strength of the group permitting for this overnight; your highly experienced guide will make the best decisions based on your safety
    • It can be very cold and windy but our packing list will help keep you comfortable
    • Plenty of acclimatization time is built in to the route to best prepare you
*Personal porter hire available for an additional fee.


Extend your trip with a safari!

Visit the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater on a 5-day or 7-day safari; call us for custom safari options.

Unsure which Kilimanjaro route best fits your needs? See how they stack up on our Route Comparison page.


Arrival Day

Arrive Tanzania

A staff member will escort you from the airport to your scenic lodge in the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Overnight: Ndarakwai Ranch (4,200')

Acclimatization Day

Ndarakwai Ranch

Spend an acclimatization day shaking off the jet lag at Ndarakwai Ranch. Look for wildlife on leisurely hikes through the ranch's extensive grounds.

Overnight: Ndarakwai Ranch (4,200')

Trek Day 1

Begin Trek to Shira 1 Camp

Drive through dense rainforest to the trailhead, then hike to your night's camp. Be on the lookout for rare black-and-white Colobus monkeys swinging in the canopy overhead.

Overnight: Shira 1 Camp (11,499')

Hours trekking: 1-2

Trek Day 2

Shira 1 to Moir Camp

Hike through misty, cloud-covered terrain into the sparser moorlands.

Overnight: Moir Camp (13,700')

Hours trekking: 4-5

Trek Day 3

Moir to Pofu Camp

Vegetation begins to thin as you climb higher. Look for one of Kilimanjaro's best-known lava formations, the Shark's Tooth.

Overnight: Pofu Camp (13,200')

Hours trekking: 5-7

Trek Day 4

Pofu to Rongai Caves 2 Camp

Enjoy extraordinary views of massive volcanic formations and strange, alien-looking plant life. Camp above this lunar landscape in a remote location overlooking Kenya's vast badlands.

Overnight: Rongai Caves 2 Camp (11,450')

Hours trekking: 5-7

Trek Day 5

Rongai 2 Caves to Kikelewa Caves Camp

Cross the alpine desert, where volcanic towers, rocky overhangs, and large boulder formations dot the trail.

Overnight: Kikelewa Caves Camp (11,850')

Hours trekking: 3-5

Trek Day 6

Kikelewa Caves to Mawenzi Tarn Camp

Located next to a placid lake at the foot of Mawenzi (Kilimanjaro's second-highest volcanic cone), today's camp offers spectacular views of Mawenzi's many spires.

Overnight: Mawenzi Tarn Camp (14,210')

Hours trekking: 4-6

Trek Day 7

Mawenzi Tarn to Outward Bound Camp

Trek across the stark Saddle to the foot of Kibo (Kilimanjaro's highest cone). Rest up in preparation for tomorrow's daytime summit bid.

Overnight: Outward Bound Camp (15,450')

Hours trekking: 5-7

Trek Day 8

Outward Bound to Summit / Crater Camp

Wake before dawn to start your summit approach. You'll reach Uhuru Peak in the early afternoon, when few groups are around. A short descent brings you to Crater Camp, set in soft sands near the famed Furtwangler Glacier.

Overnight: Crater Camp (18,802')

Hours trekking: 7-10 to Summit / 1-2 to Crater Camp

Trek Day 9

Crater to Mweka Millennium Camp

See the famous Ash Pit during a morning hike to Reusch Crater, or summit for a second time as the sun rises. A steep descent brings you to your final Kilimanjaro camp.

Overnight: Mweka Millennium Camp (12,500')

Hours trekking: 6-8

Trek Day 10 / Departure Day

Complete Trek / Return to North America

Celebrate with a farewell lunch at the gate with your group, guides, and porters. Transfer to a day room in Arusha for a hot shower and rest before your evening flight home.

Day room: Rivertrees Country Inn

Hours trekking: 4-6


Ndarakwai Ranch

Ndarakwai Ranch

This 11,000-acre private conservation refuge is a perfect place to acclimatize before your trek. Hike, view local wildlife, and sleep under the stars in thatched-roof huts. Private en suite bathrooms and a dining tent offer a comfortable wilderness experience.

Kilimanjaro Luxury Camp

Kilimanjaro Luxury Camp

All Grand Traverse treks include customized solar-lit, elevated tents, outfitted with a sturdy mountaineering bed and foam mattress. Private toilet tents, solar-lit dining tents with tables and chairs, and hot basins of water are all provided daily.

Rivertrees Country Inn

Rivertrees Country Inn

This former coffee plantation blends simple elegance and modern convenience. Farmhouse-style rooms overlook the Usa River. Enjoy hearty meals in a beautiful open-air thatched-roof dining area.

Dates & Prices

10 days

International airfare not included

Single accommodations: $1,350
Personal Porter: $550

Can’t find a date that works for you? Call us to set up a private trek!

Please note: We can’t guarantee departures with only one guest. A small group supplement of $500 per person will be applied to departures with two or three participants.

All prices are subject to change without notice. Every effort has been made to produce this information accurately. We reserve the right to correct errors.

See more of what Tanzania has to offer with a post-trek safari

River crossing on the Crater to Plains safari extension


Crater & Plains Safari

See the Great Migration and hundreds more species in breathtaking locations like the Serengeti and the lush Ngorongoro Crater. It’s the perfect complement to your Kilimanjaro climb!

A pride of lions on the Highlights of Tanzania safari extension


Highlights Safari

Our premiere safari extension features visits to remote Maasai communities, world-class wildlife viewing in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, and a stay in an exclusive private nature refuge.