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6 Day Kilimanjaro (Mountain bike Tour)
– Kilema Route

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

Whether you reach the summit depends almost exclusively upon one factor: Your acclimatization. Our whole itinerary is geared towards one single day, that is to say, summit day.

There will be many occasions on which we will need to manually push the bikes. Riding them the entire way would theoretically be possible, but would use far too much energy. We need to save most of this for the day of the summit, and our climb of 1200m. There is more than enough time for this, as we will set off shortly after midnight. As a reward for reaching the summit, we have a complimentary souvenir photo in store for you as well as a nearly 5000m descent. You’re guaranteed to be talking about this for a long time afterward.

The Kilema route (with the first night at the Kilema camp) option is shorter, less strenuous, and involves more mountain biking, compared to the Kilema route option with the first night at Horombo hut. However, it is more expensive, as the first night is spent camping in tents and the rest of the nights are spent in the Marangu route’s A-frame huts.

Tour Plan

01

Day 1-8 | Tanzania

Arrived in Tanzania and transferred to the Lodge

A KAT - Moshi team member will be waiting for you at your arrival time. You will be picked up at the Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) and transferred to your Lodge in Moshi town situated on the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Today you will meet your tour guides, who will brief you about your upcoming tour and guide you through the bike fitting.

02

Kilema Gate (1950m) – Kilema Camp (2900m)

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 at the Marangu gate all hikers are required to register at the client’s registration book. 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 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 9km, (with your guide also on a mountain bike) from the Kilema gate (1950m) to the Kilema camp (2900m) on a 4×4 track. Bikers with good fitness levels, mountain biking skills, and versatility will be able to cycle 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 Kilema camp in 3hrs. 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 and retire to your tent for the night. Night temperatures can drop to freezing points at this camp, so it will be important to pack accordingly.

  • Kilema Gate (1950m) – Kilema Camp (2900m)
  • Cycling time: Approximately 3 to 4 hours
  • Distance: Approximately 9km
  • Habitat: Moorland
03

Kilema Camp (2900m) – Horombo Hut (3705m) 9km-7km

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 in 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

  • Kilema Camp (2900m) – Horombo Hut (3705m)
  • Cycling time: 2 to 3 hours
  • Distance: Approximately 7 km
  • Habitat: Moorland
04

ACCLIMATIZATION DAY: Cycle High and Sleep Low | Horombo Hut (3705m) – Zebra rocks (4040m) – Horombo Hut (3705m)

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 going to the zebra rocks. but after zebra rocks 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. With good fitness levels your guide will advice that you can proceed to the saddle area. The final 3km descent to Horombo Hut is very technical and challenging, followed by dinner and overnight at Horombo Hut.

  • Horombo Hut (3705m) – zebra rocks (4040m) – Horombo Hut (3705m)
  • Cycling time: 2 to 3 hours up and 1 hour down
  • Distance: 4km up and 4km down
  • Habitat: Alpine desert
05

Horombo Hut (3705m) – Kibo Hut (4730m)

We’ll wake early and make sure our duffel bags are packed and ready to go. After breakfast, you’ll meet your guide and we’ll head back up to Kibo Hut. Again, the first 3km will require you pushing and carrying your bike a lot, with the final 6km to Kibo hut offering a better biking trail. We will enjoy lunch and then aim to rest. At around 16h00, depending on how you feel, it is possible to hike partially up for like 200mto 300m high to the summit path to orientate yourself for the summit attempt later that night. Situated in the barren Alpine desert is Kibo hut, a stone-built block house that has bunk beds for 60 climbers, but no streams with water nearby. There are platform toilets behind the hut. The summit night 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 about 19h00 and try to get as much rest and sleep as possible, until 24h00.

  • Horombo Hut (3705m) – Kibo Hut (4730m)
  • Cycling time: 4 to 5 hours
  • Distance: Approximately 9.6 km
  • Habitat: Alpine desert
06

The Summit Night: Kibo Hut (4730m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Kibo Hut (4730m)

You will rise around 24h00, and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the night, and this is where the going 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, and boulders requiring a great physical and mental effort. From Kibo hut up to Gillman’s point the trail cannot be cycled and you will have to push your bike up to Gillman’s point. From Gillman’s Point, the trail can be cycled again and you will normally encounter snow 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 Gillman’s’ 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 1 to 2 km before reaching Kibo hut. Upon arrival at Kibo Hut, enjoy a late breakfast and then pack your gear in your duffel bag for the porter to carry down. Kibo Hut (4730m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Kibo Hut (4730m)

  • Cycling time: 7 to 8 hours to reach Uhuru Peak, 3 to 4 hours to descend to Kibo hut,
  • Distance: Approximately 5.4km ascent and 31 km descent
  • Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
07

Kibo Hut (4730m) – Kilema Gate (1950m)

You will embark on the world’s ultimate downhill mountain bike rollercoaster ride: Starting at Kibo hut at 4730m you will descend to the Kilema gate 1950m – distance approximately 31km, descend approximately 3000m in only 3 hours!

  • Kilema Gate (1950m)
  • Cycling time: 3 hours
  • Distance: 25 km.
  • Riding Level: Challenging
  • Path: Gravel road
  • Highlights: Cycling on Mt Kilimanjaro
08

DAY 8: Departure

Wake up and prepare to board your flight home! Your guide will be with you up until we drop you off at the airport.