Short on time, big on motivation — here’s the faster way to the top
The Kilimanjaro Express spends two fewer days on the mountain than our standard climb. Climbers must be in excellent physical condition in order to successfully acclimatize within the shorter trip duration. Add a quick safari and you have a complete African adventure.
Spending one night at our private luxury camp in Arusha National Park before your climb gives you a mini-safari without all the time commitment of a regular safari — it’s built into the itinerary. You’ll enjoy game viewing, fine dining, and exclusive access to camp facilities as you prepare for the ascent.
Utilizing most of the camps from our standard climb on a route we pioneered more than 30 years ago, this express itinerary allows climbers with limited time to challenge themselves on a Seven Summit. You will still enjoy all the Mountain Madness-style services, but not be staying the night in the crater. The benefits and beauty of the route, pioneered by company founders Scott Fischer and Wes Krause, is still there, it’s just climbed at a faster rate.
Your route, Kilimanjaro Lemosho-Shira Plateau-Western Breach, passes through five different environmental zones, from the tropical mountain forests on the lower slopes to the barren scree of the summit. At 19,341 feet / 5895-meters, Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and the largest freestanding mountain in the world. Surrounding the base of this huge dormant volcano is tropical montane forest rich with unique flora and fauna. Further up, heath forest opens into moorland dotted with giant senecio and lobelia. A magnificent zone of rock and ice leads to the summit crater where sulfur gas still emits from the ash pit. Just above the crater floor is Uhuru Peak, the mountain’s true summit.
Along the way to the summit you will enjoy fine mountain dining and comfortable camps throughout the climb. Porters carry your equipment, set up your tent and assure your comfort. And along with your camping equipment we carry oxygen, a gamov bag, and radios for emergencies. Our local Tanzanian guides are also with you each step of the way — we’ve found that nothing beats local knowledge, which allows our visitors unsurpassed insight into local culture, and all trip leaders are trained as Wilderness First Responder, the U.S. guide standard for first-aid training. Your guides speak Swahili and English fluently, and also a native tribal language that has been passed on to them depending on which of the 140 tribes into which they were born.
After the climb, we stay at the Moivaro Lodge where you can relax, swim in the pool, and enjoy a celebratory dinner with your guides.
If you have more time to dedicate to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, join us on our extended Mount Kilimanjaro trip, which reaches the summit in 12 days.
$5,275 – 10 Days / Includes travel time
Minimum 4 participants
Single Supplement (I want my own room) – $600
- Guide(s) and camp staff
- One night in the KIA hotel and one night in private luxury camp in Arusha National Park before the climb; includes game viewing and hiking
- Park Fees
- Mountain orientation and equipment check the afternoon before the climb
- Scheduled accommodations, day room lodge accommodation after the climb, quality expedition camps on the mountain
- All meals while staying in camps or lodges
- All group camping and cooking equipment
- All land transportation and airport transfers on scheduled arrival and departure dates and times
Price does not Include
- International airfare
- Tanzania entry visa and airport fees
- Personal equipment and clothing
- Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, room service, extra hotel nights, extra meals, etc.)
- Travel insurance with trip cancellation, medical and evacuation policy
- All expenses associated with non-scheduled departure
- Alcoholic and bottled beverages
- Guide/Staff gratuities
- Airport transfers for independent arrival or departure
- $700 deposit at time of registration, which includes a $300 non-refundable registration fee
- Balance due 120 days prior to departure
- The balance may be paid by check, wire transfer, ACH or credit card with a 3% convenience fee
Kilimanjaro Express 2020
- Jul 20, 2020 — Jul 29, 2020
- Oct 9, 2020 — Oct 18, 2020
Kilimanjaro Express 2021
- Mar 5, 2021 — Mar 14, 2021
- Jul 17, 2021 — Jul 26, 2021
- Oct 8, 2021 — Oct 17, 2021
Custom Dates Available — Contact Us
Cancellation / Refund Policy
- MMI strongly recommends trip cancellation/interruption and evacuation insurance for all trips. Our insurance partner, Ripcord, offers comprehensive travel insurance including trip cancellation, as well as rescue/evacuation policies and can assist in answering any questions. In addition, Participant is expected to have sufficient medical insurance as prescribed by their country of origin. Participant understands that MMI does not include any type of insurance with the cost of the trip.
- If you decide to cancel your trip or change your itinerary, MMI must be notified in writing. Your trip will be cancelled from the date written notice is received. If proper written cancellation notice is not received, amounts paid and reservations made will be forfeited.
- Non-refundable fees may apply for certain trips in order to secure permits and other services. MMI must strictly adhere to cancellation policies outside MMI’s control.
- Due to the personalized service we offer on our trips, MMI reserves the right to waive any fees. We will attempt to accommodate changes and cancellations, waiving certain fees when feasible.
- Full refund, less the non-refundable registration fee, will be provided 121 days or more before the departure date
- No refunds will be provided 120 days or less before the departure date
We strongly recommend the purchase of travel cancellation insurance to protect you from the unexpected. You aren’t likely to think of it now, but people do get ill, break a bone, have a family emergency or get assigned to a last-minute business trip. If you are in remote areas, please note that emergency rescue & evacuation can be very expensive.
We also strongly urge you to consider rescue and evacuation insurance if your own policy does not provide the coverage needed. Services available may include, but are not limited to, helicopter evacuation, medical care, etc.
If you choose not to purchase insurance, you assume full responsibility for any expenses incurred in the event of a medical emergency and/or evacuation, as well as for trip cancellation, interruption, lost luggage, etc. We are not the experts and therefore ask that you please consult our travel insurance partner directly with any specific questions.
To protect against losses due to illness, accident, or other unforeseen circumstances, Mountain Madness strongly recommends the purchase of travel insurance as soon as possible after making a deposit. Mountain Madness has partnered with Redpoint Resolutions as our preferred travel insurance provider. Redpoint’s Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance™ is designed for adventurers.
For a quote, or to purchase travel insurance, please click this link Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance™ or call +1 – 415-481‑0600. Pricing varies based on age, trip cost, trip length, and level of coverage.
Critical benefits of Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance include:
- A completely integrated program with a single point of contact for emergency services, travel assistance, and insurance claims
- Evacuation and rescue services from your point of injury or illness to your hospital of choice
- Comprehensive travel insurance for trip cancellation/interruption, primary medical expense coverage, baggage loss or delay, emergency accident and emergency sickness medical expense, emergency dental, accidental death and dismemberment, and more
- Optional security evacuation coverage in case of an unplanned natural disaster or other security events
- Waiver for pre-existing conditions (must be purchased within 14 days of tour deposit)
- Optional “Cancel for Any Reason” coverage (must be purchased within 14 days of tour deposit)
The total number of days for your trip includes all travel to and from your destination, with some exceptions. Dates listed on the website start with a departure date from the U.S. and include the day you arrive home. For this trip you will need to arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) in Arusha, Tanzania on Day 2, which in most cases will have arrival times in the afternoon or late evening. You will be met at the airport by a Mountain Madness representative and transferred to your hotel.
Your return flight home will be the last date listed on the dates and prices page. The trip itinerary assumes that this will be a one-day return flight home. Your return flight home will be an overnight flight departing from Arusha, Tanzania in the late evening for a night flight back to the US or your final destination.
Please contact our office for any help needed with your flight schedule.
Kilimanjaro Express Day by Day
Depart from home and travel to Arusha, Tanzania.
KIA Hotel, Arusha
A Mountain Madness representative meets you at the airport and transports you to the KIA Lodge where you can rest from your travels.
Itakoni Private Camp, Arusha National Park
Elevation: 6,500 ft / 1981 m
Transfer to our private camp in Arusha National Park. Here, at about 6,500 feet / 1981 meters, you begin to acclimate. With only your climbing team here, you are able to ease your way into your African adventure, enjoy some game viewing, relax from your travels, and prepare for your climb. Our private camp is, for all, a welcome departure from the hustle-and-bustle of standard lodge-based stays and unique to Mountain Madness trips.
Montane Forest — Lomosho Approach
Elevation: 9,000 ft / 2743 m
Hiking Time: 3 – 6 hours (3.2 miles / 5.2 km)
After a short drive through the beautiful grasslands and scattered Maasai villages we will arrive at the forest edge of the National Park. From here we will walk a few hours through the undisturbed lush jungle to our camp for the night. Our Tanzanian guides will share their knowledge of the local ecology as you walk through the fantastic plants and trees, hear birds, and see other exotic wildlife. With luck you will be able to see Colobus monkeys and signs of elephants on your walk to camp. Upon arriving at camp, you will find your tent set up as well as hot tea and snacks waiting for you in the dining tent. You may relax or go on a short hike before dinner.
Shira Plateau — West Side
Elevation: 11,400 ft / 3474 m
Hiking Time: 6 – 8 hours (4.8 miles / 7.7 km)
Upon waking, your Tanzanian guides will greet you at your tent with tea and hot water to wash with before enjoying breakfast. We will take our time walking through the forest, which enables us to acclimatize comfortably and spot the plentiful game and bird life while enjoying the views down canyon through breaks in the jungle. Today’s hike will take us through the Montane Forest and the Hagenia Zone. We will point out the unique environmental differences that characterize these separate equatorial zones.
Elevation: 13,500 ft / 4115 m
Hiking Time: 3 – 6 hours (4 miles / 6.4 km)
It will take us roughly three hours to hike across the Shira Plateau and then one hour up the western slope of the Kibo Massif. Our Camp will be in the upper Heath Zone. We pass the Fischer Camp, which has a plaque dedicated to Scott Fischer, friend and founder of Mountain Madness. In the 1980’s, Wes Krause and Scott Fischer pioneered the Shira Plateau route on Kilimanjaro which we travel. The views of the mountain at sunset and sunrise are truly spectacular.
Elevation: 16,000 ft / 4877 m
Hiking Time: 6+ hours (5.2 miles / 8.4 km)
The Western Breach ascent route is now in full view. We spend a few hours climbing to the base of the route and make camp near the Arrow Glacier at 15,300 feet / 4663 meters. To further our acclimatization, we take an afternoon hike up a spectacular ridge further up the route before relaxing in camp. This camp is famous for the absolutely magnificent sunsets, which illuminate the African sky.
Elevation: 19,341 ft / 5895 m
Hiking Time: 6 hours to summit (3.7 miles / 6 km)
After breakfast, we will leave camp for our summit push. We will climb up the Western Breach to the summit crater and hike to the top of the crater rim. From there it is just a ten-minute hike to Uhuru Summit, the highest point in Africa at 19,341 feet / 5985 ft. We arrive at the summit and are rewarded with clear views before the mid-morning clouds roll in. We will bask in the glory of our accomplishment, grab a bite to eat, enjoy the views and take lots of photographs.
Descend to Mweka Camp
Elevation: 10,500 ft / 3200 m
Hiking Time: 6 – 8 hours to camp (6.8 miles / 11 km)
After summit celebrations we will begin our descent past Barafu Hut and down to our camp near Mweka Hut, where our porters will have prepared a special celebratory feast! We will have descended almost 9,000 feet / 2743 feet today and you will feel intoxicated by the oxygen rich air.
Moivaro Hotel, Arusha / Fly home
Hiking Time: 4 – 7 hours (5.2 miles / 8.4 km)
Hiking time will vary depending on the trail conditions while traveling through the lush vegetation at this elevation. Rain can occur any time of year at this location and can make the trail muddy requiring a slower pace. Once we have descended the 4,500 feet to the road head we will have our lunch and say good-bye to our mountain staff before heading off to the hotel. At the Moivaro Hotel you can relax, swim in the pool and enjoy the serene setting overlooking the Tanzanian Coffee Plantation. A celebratory dinner at the Moivaro will follow! Climb only members transfer to the airport for a night flight home.
Note on Itinerary: Although we do our very best to follow the schedule listed, this itinerary is subject to change due to inclement weather, unsafe route conditions, or other reasons beyond our control and in the guide’s best judgement.
Equipment for Kilimanjaro Express
Day pack (30-45L)
With padded shoulder straps and waist belt; used for carrying personal gear such as water bottle, extra clothing, snacks, camera, etc. Individual loads will be between 10 and 20 pounds. A climbing pack with a volume between 1800-2500 cu. in. (30-45 liters) serves most people’s needs well
Large duffel bag (22Lbs Max)
Your mountain gear will be kept in it and the entire duffel will go into the group mountain bag that will be carried by the porters. Limit loads to items on the equipment list. Your large duffel cannot exceed 22 lbs (10 kg) Approximate size: 28”x16”x16” No wheels or hard sides, please
Patagonia Black Hole
Medium duffel bag
To store your non-mountain gear; this will be stored at the hotel or vans, to be used after the climb
Patagonia Black Hole
Small padlock for duffel bags
Makes identifying your bags easy at airports or hotels
Expedition quality sleeping bag (0F)
Zero-degree F (Minus eighteen-degree C) sleeping bag and stuff sack. Night-time temperatures can be as low as 0°F (-18°C) so bring a warm enough bag
Marmot Never Summer, Feathered Friends Snow Bunting
Sleeping pad (inflatable)
Full length inflatable. When sleeping on snow make sure to purchase pad rated to do so
Adjustable trekking poles
Three piece poles recommended
Black Diamond Trail Back Pole
Head and Face
Fleece or wool hat
It must cover the ears
Shade hat or baseball cap
A visor hat with a good brim is essential for protection from the sun
Mountain Madness trucker hat
Bandanas or neck gaiter
Various uses, i.e. cleaning glasses, sun protection when tied around the neck, etc. We have our own Mountain Madness neck gaiter available for purchase!
Mountain Madness neck gaiter
A thin balaclava will add significant warmth on that cold summit day
Outdoor Research, Marmot
Sunglasses or Glacier glasses (w/hard case)
Essential eye protection whether in the tropics, at high altitudes or by the water. Sun glare off the snow can be intense so polarized 100% UVA/UVB glasses work best. Consider bringing a spare pair
Lightweight gloves to use while trekking and hanging around camp
A shell system of a fleece liner and waterproof shell that handles cold
Outdoor Research Arete
Thin socks (2 pair)
Two pairs of synthetic or wool socks to wear under heavy wool socks to help prevent blisters and keep feet dry
Smartwool or Cool Max
Thick socks (3 pair)
Three pairs of synthetic or wool socks, medium to heavyweight. Check boot fit with thin and thick socks on
Smartwool or Thorlo
One pair of gaiters made of breathable material; keeps dirt and snow out of boots. Make sure they fit over your boots
Outdoor Research Verglas or Crocodiles
One pair light to medium-weight hiking/backpacking boots, waterproof, large enough to be comfortable with one thin and one thick sock
Salomon Quest 4D
Tennis shoes or sandals
Lightweight to wear in camp after a long day of hiking
Two synthetic or merino wool t-shirts. No cotton!
Long-sleeved Base Layer
Two lightweight to mediumweight, pull-over is best
Two, synthetic, no cotton!
Softshell Jacket w/ hood
This is what you will be wearing while hiking at higher altitudes or while kicking around camps at lower altitude. This jacket should be full-zip
Outdoor Research Ferrosi
Hardshell jacket w/ hood
A good jacket made of Gore-Tex (recommended) or waterproof nylon, roomy enough to fit over multiple layers
Outdoor Research Foray, Patagonia Triolet
Down or synthetic jacket w/hood
This is your most important piece of warm gear and will mean the difference between an enjoyable climb or a miserable one. A warm, full zip jacket with hood is recommended and ideal
Helly Hansen Vanir, Feathered Friends Volant, Marmot Guide’s Down Hoody, Outdoor Research Virtuoso Hoody
Sun hoody (optional)
This piece with a high SPF rating and lightweight fabric offers protection from high altitude sun
Adequate supply for the entire climb
Bathing suit (optional)
lightweight and packable
One pair of quick-drying shorts. Good for hiking at lower elevations on the mountain
Long base layer
Two pairs light or mediumweight
Softshell pants are water resistant, yet highly breathable and durable. Great for colder conditions over a pair of long underwear or tights higher on the mountain or summit day
Outdoor Research Voodoo, Mountain Hardwear Touren, Patagonia Guide
waterproof and breathable with side zips (minimum of ¾ zips recommended) Gore-Tex or equivalent
Outdoor Research Furio, Arcteryx Beta AR
Stuff sacks/ditty bags/plastic bags
To organize gear in your duffle and pack. All clothing should be kept dry using waterproof stuff sacks or large heavyweight plastic bags (trash compactor bags work great)
Toothbrush and paste, comb, tampons, biodegradable soap (small amount), etc. Bring enough for the entire trip
1 – 2 rolls stored in a plastic bag
Bring plenty of sun block with SPF of 40 or more. It's easy to underestimate the amount necessary for your trip!
Must have SPF rating of 20 or more. Bring two just in case!
To block out snoring and other noise to ensure a good night's sleep
Water Bottles/Water System (Trekking)
Two one-liter, wide-mouthed plastic bottles. If you use a collapsible water bottle or hydration system you are welcome to bring it along for drinking water. However, bring at least one hard plastic bottle.
Steri Pen, Potable Aqua, Polar Pure crystal iodine. Purifies drinking water while on the climb. this will only be necessary as a back-up.
Powdered additives like Gatorade or NUUN tablets make treated water taste better
Bring extra batteries!
Pocket knife or multitool
Simple Swiss Army type with scissors. Make sure you transport in checked bag, not carry-on!
Personal first aid and drug kit
See Health and Medical Information
Pepto Bismol tablets; Maalox, Gelusil M or Mylanta antacid tablets. Donnatal for stomach cramps. Probiotic capsules taken daily may help keep your gastro-intestinal system working smoothly
For wash up in camp
A small pack or two anti-bacterial are great for general hygiene
Spare contacts and glasses
Contacts can be a problem in dusty conditions, so make sure you have your back-up glasses with you. Glasses wearers should have a spare set
Protection from rain and sun; compact and light weight
A poncho is great for lower down on the mountain when it is raining. Rather than having to wear your hard-shell jacket and overheat, just throw the poncho over yourself and your pack and you will stay dry as a bone
Trail snacks are important, and an assortment of candy bars are available at teahouses along the way. Bring some power/energy bars or if there is something else you particularly like to eat while hiking. You will be fed well throughout the trek, so this is just something extra
Spare bottle for a pee bottle, and a pee funnel (Lady J or Freshette) for women
It can be a cold walk to the toilet at night
Phone with camera, and/or separate camera. Bring extra batteries and memory!
If you want to charge your electronics along the way, a small, lightweight solar panel to charge batteries or portable charging device may be a good addition
Travel power adapter
Most come in kits with all the plugs you need. Double-check to make sure you’re taking the correct adapter/plugs
Comfortable clothing for travel before and after the expedition
10 Days / Includes travel time
Minimum 4 participants
19,341 ft / 5895 m
Lemosho Route via the Shira Plateau-Western Breach
Trekking involves 4 – 5 hours of walking per day with an elevation gain of
up to 1,000 feet / 305 meters. You should be in good physical shape and
participating in 3 – 4, 1‑hour minimum cardiovascular workouts per week
before the trek. Participants are encouraged to walk several hours or
more a week leading up to the trek.