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Mt Kilimanjaro Cycling Tour – Kilema via Marangu Route 6 Days

Trip Introduction

Experience the ultimate thrill as a seasoned biker by cycling your way to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. This challenge requires a high level of fitness due to the rocky slopes at over 15000 ft and the overall height of 19000 ft. It can be done individually or as a group and is perfect for those who dream of conquering Mount Kilimanjaro in a unique way. The goal is to reach Uhuru Peak at 19340 ft, which will be a tough challenge but a rewarding accomplishment once achieved.

The Kilema Mountain bike trail runs parallel with the Marangu route, which is mostly used as an access road by cars to bring supplies to Horombo Hut and evacuate medical emergencies. The route from Kilema Gate to Horombo Hut is a 4 x 4 gravel road that is usually in fair condition.

The biggest factor in reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro is acclimatization. The itinerary is designed to prepare for summit day, which involves a climb of 1200m. Riding the bikes may not be possible at times, as it would use too much energy. Therefore, some pushing may be required to conserve energy for the summit day.

As a reward for reaching the summit, a souvenir photo and a nearly 5000m descent awaits. This adventure is sure to be a memorable experience that bikers will talk about for a long time.

 

Itinerary

Duration:

Day 0: Arrive in Moshi- Pre trekking briefing 

You will be picked up at the Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) and transferred to Moshi town situated at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Today you will meet your guide who will brief you about your upcoming tour and together you will do the bike fitting. For those arriving in the morning or afternoon flight, you will have ample time to go for a quick test ride through the nearby Sugar cane plantation and surrounding villages.

 

 Day 1: Kilema Gate to Half way to Horombo hut to Kilema Campsite

  • Elevation: 1950m/6397 ft to 3450m/11,319 ft to 2950m/9678 ft
  • Cycling time: 3 to 3.5 hours up and 20 minutes down
  • Distance: 13 km up and 3.5 km down
  • Habitat: Montane Forest &Moorland

Meet your guide and embark on your transfer to the Marangu gate, which takes about 45 minutes. The journey passes through the village of Marangu, which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain. Once you reach the park gate, all hikers are required to register at the Park office. After signing-in and registering at the Marangu gate, we drive to the Kilema gate.

Upon arrival you will ensure that you have all your daypack items (containing at least drinking water, your lunch pack and extra clothing) and do a final check on your mountain bike. You will then start the first route section of 13km, (with your guide also on a mountain bike) from the Kilema gate (1950m/6397 ft) to the halfway point to Horombo hut (3450m/11,319 ft) on a 4×4 track. Bikers with good fitness levels, mountain biking skills and subject to road conditions, will be able to cycle to half way point to Horombo hut. It is important to remember that the biggest cause of altitude sickness is ascending too high too quickly. We will be stopping regularly and to give your body the maximum time to adjust to the higher altitudes. We will aim to reach half way point to Horombo hut at around 16:00pm.

We will stop at half way point to Horombo Hut for a short break, before commencing on a downhill cycle to Kilema camp. Descending approximately 500m/ 1640 ft over 3.5km, the track has a lot of loose rocks and it is important to control your speed and avoid unnecessary risks!

Upon arrival your porters will have your tent set up at camp and in the evening bring a small bowl of washing water to your tent. The cook will prepare dinner, before you retire to your tent for the night. Night temperatures can already drop to freezing point at this camp.

 

Day 2: Kilema camp to Horombo hut

  • Elevation: 2950m/9678 ft to 3705m/12,162 ft
  • Cycling time: 3 to 3.5 hours
  • Distance: 7 km
  • Habitat:Moorland

 

After breakfast, make sure your duffel bag is packed and we cycle from the Kilema camp to Horombo hut. The trail is steep and has a lot of loose rocks at certain areas. Horombo hut is a village of huts perched on a small plateau, with a total capacity of 120 climbers! Normally bustling with hikers, guides, porters and with an atmosphere of adventure and excitement. You will meet both ascending and descending hikers here.

We arrive in time for a late lunch at Horombo hut. After lunch collect our bikes and go for an 1-2hours acclimatization cycle up to Zebra rocks (4040m/13,255 ft) and back. Enjoy dinner and overnight at Horombo hut.

 

Day 3: (Acclimatization day – cycle high and sleep low) Horombo hut to Kibo hut to Horombo hut

  • Elevation:3705m/12,155 to 4725m/15,502 ft to 3705m/12,155 ft
  • Distance:5 km up and 9.5 km Down
  • Cycling Time:5 hours up and 1 hour down
  • Habitat:Alpine Desert

After an early breakfast, meet your guide and start your ascent into the Alpine desert habitat. The first 3 km of the trail is very rocky and cycling will be very difficult as this section is very stony and eroded. You will be forced to push and carry your bike for some sections, but after about 3km the trail improves and cycling will once again be possible. The “Saddle” (which refers to the area located between the peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo) is relatively flat and cycling is much easier. However high altitudes, low oxygen levels and cold conditions make the 7km section towards Kibo hut strenuous and challenging.

The final km before reaching Kibo hut is especially strenuous. You will once again be reminded to slow down and drink enough water! Upon arrival to at Kibo hut lunch will be served.

After lunch we will embark on an awesome Kilimanjaro Mt downhill, descending nearly 800m over 7km. The final 3km descend down to Horombo hut is very technical and challenging.

 

Day 4: Horombo hut to Kibo hut

  • Elevation:3705m/12,155 to 4730m/15,518 ft
  • Distance:5 km up and 9.5 km Down
  • Cycling Time:5 hours
  • Habitat:Alpine Desert

Early wake and make sure your duffel bags are packed and ready to go. After breakfast, meet your guide and we head back up to Kibo hut. Again, the first 3km would require you pushing and carrying your bike a lot, with the final 7km to Kibo hut offering a good biking trail.

We will enjoy lunch and then aim to rest. At around 15h30 depending on how you feel it is possible to hike partially up the summit path to orientate yourself for the summit attempt later that night.

The summit (Uhuru Peak) is now a further 1200m up and you will make your final ascent the same night. Prepare your equipment, thermal clothing etc for your summit bid. This should include the replacement of your headlamp and camera batteries and make sure you have a spare set available as well. To prevent freezing it will be wise to carry your water in a thermal flask. Go to bed at round about 18h30 and try to get as much rest and sleep as possible, until 22h00.

Day 5: Summit Day Kibo Hut To Uhuru Peak To Kibo Hut

  • Elevation:4,730m/15,518 ft to 5,895m/19,340 ft to 4,730m/15,518 ft
  • Distance:5km ascent & 30km descent.
  • Cycling Time:7-9 hours to reach Uhuru Peak, 3.5 to 4 hours descend to Kibo Hut
  • Habitat:

You will rise around 22h00, and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the night, and this is where the going really gets tough. The first section of the trail consists of a rocky path to the Hans Meyer Cave (5150m), also a good resting spot. The path then zigzags up to Gillman’s point (5 681m), which is located on the crater rim. The section just before Gillman’s point known as “Jamaica rocks” is very steep with a lot of stone scree, boulders requiring a great physical and mental effort. From Horombo hut up to Gillmans point the trail cannot be cycled and you will have to push your bike up to the Jamaica rocks, however from Jamaica rocks to Gillmans point, you will have to carry your bike (or if you are not up to it – arrange for a porter to carry your bike). With oxygen levels close to 9.5%, this is probably the most demanding section of the entire route. You will be doing the Kilimanjaro shuffle and move very slowly.

From Gillman’s Point the trail can be cycled again and you will normally encounter snow all the way up to Uhuru peak (5895m), the highest point in Africa. Depending on snowfall, mountain bikers with high fitness levels and expert technical Mountain biking skills will be able to cycle most of the trail from Gillman’s Point to Uhuru peak.

Total exhilaration and satisfaction – you made it. Weather conditions on the summit will determine how long you will be able to spend, taking photographs, before the 3-hour descent back to Kibo hut.

Again, mountain bikers with expert technical cycling skills, should be able to cycle from Uhuru peak to Gillmans’ point. It is impossible to ride the first section from Gillman’s point down to Kibo hut. Cycling will only be possible for the final 2 to 2.5 km before reaching Kibo hut.

Upon arrival to Kibo Hut enjoy a late breakfast and then pack your gear in your duffel bag for the porter to carry down.

 

Day 5: After lunch, Kibo hut to Kilema gate

  • Elevation:4,730m/15,518 ft to 1950m/6397 ft
  • Distance:
  • Cycling Time:5 to 4 hours
  • Habitat:Alpine desert, Moorland & Montane forest

You will then embark on the world’s ultimate downhill mountain bike rollercoaster ride:

Starting at Kibo hut at 4730m you will descend down to the Kilema gate 1950m/6397 ft distance approximately 30km, descend approximately 3000m/9842 in only 3.5 hours! After the gate sign out, a vehicle will take you back to the hotel where it is definitely time for your certificate presentation and celebration!

 

Day 6: Departure – Tanzania

The day is left free to wind down after the trek before your flight home. After a good night’s rest at your hotel, you will take breakfast ready for the scheduled check-out by 10.00. (If you wish to remain in the hotel during the day, please advise us of this when you book your trip and we will inform you of the cost for day room which ends at 18:00hrs, and then make the booking on your behalf.)

If you have booked a transfer to the airport, you will be collected from your hotel and dropped off at the airport. For those travelers who have booked to go on safari, our Kilele Climb guide will be meeting you in the evening to provide you with a pre-safari briefing.

*Safari, Zanzibar and other add-ons are available if you wish to continue exploring Tanzania

 

Include

  • Private transport to & from Kilimanjaro International airport to the hotel in Moshi/Arusha.
  • 2 nights of accommodation in Moshi/Arusha (before and after the climb bed and breakfast)
  • Return transportation from Moshi/from the starting/finishing point on the mountain.
  • Qualified guides with mountain crew
  • All national park fees
  • Mountain Bikes & Helmets
  • Hut/camping fees
  • 4 Season mountain tents
  • Double layered Sleeping Mats
  • Mess tent (for dining) Mini camping chairs/Tables/Candles
  • Rescue fees
  • Pulse oximeters & Portable oxygen tanks
  • First aid kit
  • 3 hot meals daily while on the mountain
  • Enough treated &filtered drinking water throughout the trek
  • Fair wages for the mountain crew as approved by the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority (KINAPA), Kilimanjaro Association of Tour Operators (KIATO)
  • Government taxes
  • Guides, porters, waiter, cook accommodation and entry fees on the mountain.

Exclude

  • Meals and drinks not specified
  • Gear for your climb
  • Items of personal nature
  • Additional nights beyond the two standard hotel nights included
  • Visas
  • Portable flush toilet with a toilet tent is available for extra charge $90$ for entire trek.
  • Flights
  • Tips for guides, porters and cook (this is a guide to tipping on the mountain htt://www.kiliporters.org/ tipping_recommendations.php
  • Tipping on Kilimanjaro from the trekking group (not per climber)
  • Guides: 20$-30$ /day/guide

 

Standard Package Pricing

  • Price Rates Per Person in US$. The prices in other currencies are given for comparison only.

 5 Days Kilema Route Cycling + 2 nights in hotel

Hiking Route/Days

1 Pax

2 Pax

3 Pax

4 Pax

5 Pax

6 Pax

7 Pax

8 Pax

9+ Pax

6 Days Kilema Route

$ 2,805

$ 2,520   

$ 2,510   

$ 2,490

$ 2,330

$ 2,310

$ 2,260

$ 2,230

$ 2,225

Tanzanian Residents pay 80% of rates & East African Citizens pay 60% of rates.