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 expanded height 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 daytime summit opportunities
  • Personal porters available to all trekkers*
*Personal porter hire available for an additional fee.


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See how they stack up on our Route Comparison page.

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  • Days 1-2 | Depart North America / Arrive Arusha, 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')

  • Day 3 | Acclimatization Day at 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')

  • Day 4 | 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

  • Day 5 | Shira 1 to Moir Camp

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

    Overnight: Moir Camp (13,700')

    Hours trekking: 4-5

  • Day 6 | 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

  • Day 7 | 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

  • Day 8 | 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

  • Day 9 | 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

  • Day 10 | 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

  • Day 11 | 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

  • Day 12 | 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

  • Days 13-14 | 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, expanded height 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.


14 days door-to-door

International airfare not included
Ask us about our competitive Business Class fares

Single accommodations: $1,100
Personal Porter: $550

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

Please note: 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.

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The trek itself was incredibly special and I can’t say enough about the wonderful work the porters, waiter, cook and guides do.

The trek was absolutely awesome. Everything went as planned in terms of the logistics. The trek itself was incredibly special and I can’t say enough about the wonderful work the porters, waiter/cook, and guides do. The sales consultants are excellent, knowledgeable and always followed up. The website and information is very informative.  I had also…

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Dan and Vicki N. with their porters and guides at the peak

Our health and safety was of paramount importance to all members of your company which was very comforting.

We could not believe the efficiency and thoughtfulness of each and every member of your firm. Our health and safety was of paramount importance to all members of your company which was very comforting. Everything worked like clockwork throughout the trip and we were blown away by the accommodations at Ndarakwai Camp and Gibbs Farm!

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Julianna F. at Uhuru Peak

We truly enjoyed the trip of a lifetime with Thomson Safaris.

Our head guide, Gabriel, was very professional and thorough. We immediately knew we were in good, competent hands. We also has an amazing crew of 23 unbelievable and hard working men who were there to support us and help us get to the top of this mountain. Gabriel was our head guide and his assistant

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A Thomson trekker hikes beside glaciers

The most incredible experience of my life!!

Any chance hiking that mountain can be my life’s work?! The guides and staff were incredible and went the extra mile every chance they could. I love those guys. Without a doubt, Thomson Safaris’ Grand Traverse expedition on Mt. Kilimanjaro was the most incredible experience of my life!!

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Kelly W. with guides and friends at Uhuru peak

Thomson took excellent care of each traveler.

Having traveled to Kilimanjaro on two occasions, I would not recommend any company other than Thomson Safaris. Thomson took excellent care of each traveler throughout each part of the trip. We had great information ahead of time, we had amazing support as we climbed and if evacuation is needed – you want Thomson taking care of you!

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Iris B. and John M. pose with a glacier

We were treated royally!

We had the incredible experience of climbing to the rooftop of Africa with Thomson Safaris and summited at daytime, when we could fully take in the grandeur of the views and glaciers, in picture perfect weather conditions

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Robert B. celebrates a successful summit

This vacation was the best that I’ve ever had.

Thanks goes out to Thomson Safaris and all its personnel that made this a trip of a lifetime. Everyone I encountered was friendly, courteous, and knowledgeable. My expectations were met and then exceeded, and the quality of service was top rated. Kilimanjaro was the ultimate physical and mental test to challenge myself with. Being exposed

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Gibbs Farm on the R&R safari extension


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