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TUSKER SPIRAL ROUTE

TUSKER SPIRAL - 14 Days

If you’re only going to climb Kilimanjaro once in your life, the Tusker Spiral Route guarantees an unforgettable bucket-list adventure. This 14-day trek starts in the north and spirals around the picturesque, seldom-hiked western slopes before reaching Uhuru Peak. Founder Eddie Frank scouted and created this signature trek by combining four scenic routes, each offering something different and memorable.

Take in the fantastic views as you wind your way around the mountain, hiking in warmer temperatures to the summit in full daylight instead of at midnight. Stay curious as you enjoy acclimatizing to the high altitude, navigating unique terrain, and savoring delicious, regionally inspired meals. Trekking with Kilimanjaro’s most elite team of medically trained High Altitude First Responder guides provides peace of mind, and our almost 50 years of experience climbing Kilimanjaro empowers you to act on your dreams. Keep reading to learn what makes the Tusker Spiral Route so special.

Kilimanjaro Tusker Spiral Route Map

ROUTE STATS

        • Distance: 47.1 miles or 75.3 km gate to gate
        • Duration: 14 days total, 11 days climbing gate to gate
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  • Daily trekking time: 4 to 12 hours (plus 5 on summit day)
  • Tusker's Spiral route success rate: 99%
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CRATER CAMP – On the Tusker Spiral Route you experience the enchantment of Kilimanjaro’s crater, where you camp just beneath Uhuru Peak, with no one else around.  You can also hike to the seldom visited Ashpit, and summit twice (if you like) - once on the ascent and again before descending the next day. And if you prefer not to camp in the crater, then you can hike back down to Barafu camp for the night and join up with the group the next day.

"Tusker Trail exceeded all expectations and delivered us to the summit safely."  --  "You need a good crew of porters who are paid and treated well. You cannot succeed on Kili without happy porters. Please do your homework and proceed with a company who treats their porters ethically and gives them all the tips from clients.  Our crew had been working together for over 10 years"  --  "Leigh O"

DAILY ITINERARY

Open All Days Close All Days
DAY 1 ~ MOSHI

3,000-ft/914-m

Tusker Spiral Climbing Route Day 1 After arriving at Kilimanjaro Airport, you meet your driver after clearing immigration, and then drive to our hotel, the Bristol Cottages hotel in Moshi.

You stay two nights here to get fully relaxed and focused before your ultimate challenge on Kilimanjaro. A delicious meal, a hot shower and a warm bed are all you need at this moment.

Meals Included:  Dinner

Lodging:  Bristol Cottages Hotel

DAY 2 ~ MOSHI

3,000-ft/914-m

After breakfast, you meet your Tusker guides for your climb orientation and a final equipment check. This is a great opportunity to get to know your team leaders, pick their brains for advice, and gather any extra gear or supplies you might need for your climb.

Afterwards the group heads out for lunch in Moshi. This is a nice chance to wander around town getting a sense of Moshi, the bustling Tanzanian town of the north. Your guide also shows you around the colorful Moshi market at the foot of Kilimanjaro.

Meals Included:  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Lodging:  Bristol Cottages Hotel

DAY 3 ~ SIMBA CAMP

8,760-ft/2,670-m • 4.3 miles/6.9 km • 2.5 - 3 hours

After breakfast, you depart Moshi for the 2-hour drive to the starting point on the northern side of Kilimanjaro, Nalemuru Gate. Here you meet the full crew, and check into the park.

The winding trail crosses some village fields and enters the rainforest for an easy hike. You arrive at Simba Camp, located at the edge of the heath and moorland zone, with fantastic views of Kenya's plains below you. After freshening up, you sit down to enjoy your first magnificent, well-earned Kilimanjaro dinner.

Meals Included:  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Lodging:  Signature Mountain Camp

DAY 4 ~ SECOND CAVE

11,320-ft/3,450-m • 4.35 miles/7 km • 3-4 hours

Tusker Spiral Climbing Route Day 4 Awakening to the lyrical birdsong of the early morning, you begin your day with a good solid breakfast and medical check-up. The group then heads out, hiking through the shorter vegetation of heather. The views of Kibo Peak and the Eastern Icefield on the rim of the crater are magnificent.

You are now at an important elevation to get your body accustomed to the lower oxygen pressure. This is important for later acclimatization to higher altitude. So, we take an afternoon hike up to a higher elevation to get you used to the thinner air coming your way in the days ahead.

Meals Included:  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Lodging:  Signature Mountain Camp

DAY 5 ~ THIRD CAVE

12,912-ft/3,936-m • 2.6 miles/4.2 km • 3 hours

On today's trek you experience one of the most beautiful views on Kilimanjaro's northwest slopes.

It's a fairly easy and short trek to Third Cave today, on the western slopes. Elevation gain is a mere 1,600-ft/488-m and is part of our well-planned climbing strategy to get you acclimatized for the higher elevation ahead. You're free to wander around the slopes for superb views, or just relax around camp in the beautiful, tranquil mountain environment.

Meals Included:  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Lodging:  Signature Mountain Camp

DAY 6 ~ POFU CAMP

13,180-ft/4,017-m • 4.2 miles/6.7 km • 5-6 hours

Today's a full-day trek as we traverse the rarely used western slope toward Moir Camp. Slowly gaining just 260-ft/80-m, you trek through the giant heather with Kibo Peak just up ahead on the left and the vast Shira Caldera down to your right.

Shira used to be one of Kilimanjaro's peaks until it erupted for the last time 500,000 years ago and collapsed in on itself. It has transformed over the millennia from a deep caldera to a vast plateau, filled with centuries of sediment.

Meals Included:  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Lodging:  Signature Mountain Camp

DAY 7 ~ MOIR CAMP

13,650-ft/4,160-m • 6.2 miles/10 km • 6-7 hours

Tusker Spiral Climbing Route Day 7 You'll notice that we do not gain much altitude these early days on the climb. This will make it a lot easier later on as you adjust to the elevation. After a full day, we climb the Lent Group, and drop down into Moir Camp, tucked away at the foot of a giant lava flow at the head of a deep canyon carved by ancient glaciers.

You will notice the alternate layers of lava and sediment towering over the lateral moraine on the edge of the valley. Evenings are spectacular with heat lightning flaring over the plateau.

Meals Included:  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Lodging:  Signature Mountain Camp

DAY 8 ~ BARRANCO

12,950-ft/3,950-m • 6.2 miles/9.9 km • 6-7 hours

First thing we start the uphill trek into the alpine zone toward Lava Tower at 15,200-ft/4,633-m. At the foot of the 320-ft/98-m tower we stop for lunch, giving our bodies a short time to acclimatize.

Making the steep descent, we hike past the uniquely beautiful plant life in this unusual habitat, such as the giant lobelias and senecios. Camp is situated at the foot of the Barranco Wall. There’s a buzz of excitement as climbers from around the world anticipate the next morning’s climb up this massive, imposing structure.

Meals Included:  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Lodging:  Signature Mountain Camp

DAY 9 ~ KARANGA

13,200-ft/4,033-m • 3.6 miles/5.8 km • 4-5 hours

Emerging from your tent you can’t help focusing on the wall, contemplating its fortress-like structure. The Barranco Wall stands like a sentinel, blocking your highest goal, Uhuru Peak. Right after breakfast, we start our scramble up the wall. It takes about two hours, as we ascend about 500-ft/152-m out of the valley, surrounded by dazzling views of ancient lava flows and towering peaks.

Then we take a steep, meandering hike with Kibo Peak over your left shoulder, down into Karanga Valley, and up the other side to camp.

Meals Included:  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Lodging:  Signature Mountain Camp

DAY 10 ~ BARAFU HIGH CAMP

15,790-ft/4,813-m • 2.6 miles/4.18 km • 5 hours

It's a tough, but a rewarding climb up the rocky, craggy slopes to Barafu High Camp, sometimes called Kosovo. Tusker has special permission to camp here. Because the camp is at high elevation, it is quite cold and windy at night. The air starts getting quite thin, and you find yourself breathing hard.

There is a buzz of excitement in the air, as your climbing team anticipates the toughest day just ahead. The clouds move quickly in and out, revealing the eroded Mawenzi Peak, rising from the plains below. In the afternoon, you gather around your guides for a detailed briefing of our climbing strategy for the next day to the summit.

Meals Included:  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Lodging:  Signature Mountain Camp

DAY 11 ~ UHURU PEAK - CRATER CAMP

Summit: 19,341-ft/5,895-m • 2.55 miles/4.1 km • 6-7 hour

Crater Camp: 18,810-ft/5,733-m • 1.5 miles/2.4 km • 1 hour

Tusker Spiral Climbing Route Day 11 Our climb to the summit starts a couple of hours before sunrise. Most of ascent is in daylight as we have found that our climbers prefer the warmer temperatures and spectacular views on the most demanding part of the climb. At mid-day, we reach the rim of the crater. Behind you is Mawenzi Peak - a thrilling sight, while the crater's ice-walls loom ahead above you.

We now continue to Uhuru Peak (1-2 hours) - the highest point in Africa (19,341-ft/5,895-m). Your feeling of euphoria is intense, as the culmination of your challenge approaches. Reaching the summit, you celebrate with your fellow climbers then trek down into our camp in the awe-inspiring crater, beneath the summit. After settling in we hike up to the seldom visited Ashpit, where fumaroles and the smell of sulfur are signs that Kilimanjaro is still a dormant volcano.

Meals Included:  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Lodging:  Signature Mountain Camp

DAY 12 ~ MILLENNIUM CAMP

Millennium: 12,590-ft/3,837-m • 6.3 miles/10.1 km • 5-6 hours

Still high from the summit, the crater dawn light tops off your magical experience. Before the invigorating descent, you can take another hike to Uhuru Peak. We then start a slow 3-hour descent through the scree to Barafu Camp for a short break and a snack. Then a further two hours brings us down to the edge of the rainforest at Millennium Camp.

Once at camp, it's time to relax and enjoy our last dinner followed by a deep and restful sleep on Mount Kilimanjaro, before the final descent to the national park gate tomorrow.

Meals Included:  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Lodging:  Signature Mountain Camp

DAY 13 ~ MOSHI

Mweka Gate: 5,500-ft/1,676-m • 7.5 miles/12 km • 6 hours

Drive to Moshi:  30 mins


Tusker Spiral Climbing Route Day 13 It's a 6-hour hike from Millennium Camp to Mweka Gate where we sign the book, enjoy a final lunch and say goodbye to your porters. Your guides accompany you on a short drive back to the hotel in Moshi where a hot shower and a cold drink await your arrival.

We all enjoy a celebratory meal in the evening.

Meals Included:  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Lodging: Bristol Cottages Hotel

DAY 14 ~ WILDLIFE SAFARI or FLY HOME

WILDLIFE SAFARI

Tusker-African-Safari

Continue on an incredible Wildlife Safari through some of the most spectacular animal reserves on the planet, such as Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara and Tarangire National Parks.










ZANZIBAR

Zanzibar - Tanzania

After your climb immerse yourself in a fascinating journey back in time to the magical island of Zanzibar in the Indian ocean.

Get lost in the historical maze of ancient alleyways, and enjoy the most beautiful beaches on earth.

KILIMANJARO DATES & PRICES

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Question?  Ask Us Anything  •  +1.775.833.9700  •  1.800.231.1919

AFTER-CLIMB ADVENTURES

Once you're down off your climb, extend your adventure with a mind blowing Safari, exploring the epic wildlife parks of East Africa. If you're craving a beach experience, opt for a total cultural immersion as you travel back in time to mystical Zanzibar, an island just off Tanzania’s coast.

For more information about our world class safari's and our Zanzibar trip visit our Tusker's After Climb Trips Page.

WILDLIFE SAFARI or ZANZIBAR

Here on our 5-day safari, you discover an incredible array of wildlife. And if you time it right, you might even find yourself surrounded by millions of animals during the great migration, which occurs twice a year.  You will marvel at the incredible feeling you experience as you immerse yourself in the spectacle and the magic of the African savannah.

For more information about our world class safari's visit Tusker's Safari Trip Page.

Open All Days Close All Days
DAY 1 ~ LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK


African Safari Trip Day 1Rise early to connect with your safari flight from the Moshi Airport to the Manyara Airstrip, where you meet your safari guide. Lake Manyara National Park is very different from the other parks with a huge diversity of habitats. It is home to the unusual tree-bound lions and the elusive forest primate, the blue monkey, along with many other species of animals.

The Lake supports a large array of bird life, such as yellow-billed storks, white-necked cormorants, pelicans, and Egyptian geese. We overnight at Kirurumu Manyara Tented Camp.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Lodging: Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge

DAY 2 ~ NGORONGORO CRATER


African Safari Trip Day 2The awe-inspiring Ngorongoro Crater is a 110 square-mile volcanic caldera, which collapsed two million years ago. It is encircled by 2000-ft. sheer walls. We drive down the narrow track to the crater floor, for a full day exploring this lush animal paradise.

The crater swarms with 30,000 head of wild game, stalked by great prides of lion, jackal, hyena and leopard. Ngorongoro is one of the few places left on earth where you can see the almost extinct black rhinos in their natural habitat.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Lodging: Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge

DAY 3 ~ SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK


African Safari Serengeti Adventure The Serengeti National Park is the world’s oldest ecosystem, It is a sanctuary with the highest concentration of large mammals, containing over 1.5 million wildebeest, 200,000 zebras, 300,000 Thomson’s gazelles, and over 2,500 lions.

Every year, the Serengeti hosts one of the most dramatic spectacles on earth:  The Great Migration. During this time, millions of wildebeests, zebra, and Thomson’s gazelle migrate non-stop through the Grumeti and Mara Rivers in search of fresh grazing, following an ancient pattern of survival.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Lodging varies depending on the migratory season.

DAY 4 ~ SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK


African Safari Trip Day 4In the morning, wake to the call of amazing birdlife, or the first sunrays splaying across the endless plains. These timeless sights and sounds signal the dawn of a new exciting day on safari.

The Serengeti is famous for its predators. On our daily game-runs with expert safari guides, you can expect excellent lion and cheetah sightings, and exciting lion hunts.  You can also spot leopards regularly. Other predators include serval cats, golden and black-backed jackal, African wild dog and spotted hyena.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Lodging varies depending on the migratory season.

DAY 5 ~ SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK / DEPART


African Safari Trip Day 5After breakfast, we head out for our final game-run in the park. Afterwards, you drive to the the airstrip to connect with your flight to Kilimanjaro airport.

At Kilimanjaro International a Tusker Trail representative will meet you with your climbing gear that you stored in Moshi. Depart Kilimanjaro Airport.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Fly home

SAFARI & ZANZIBAR PRICES

WILDLIFE SAFARI

 Tailored to the Season

Trip Length

3-5 Days

Land Cost

$2,300 to $4,700 (plus local flights)
Trip cost depends on season and duration.

ZANZIBAR

 Custom Duration

Trip Length

3-5 Days

Land Cost

$1,100 to $3,200 (plus local flights)
Trip cost depends on duration and activities.

BOOKING YOUR SAFARI & ZANZIBAR JOURNEY

We've been planning and coordinating our Wildlife Safaris and Zanzibar trips for over four decades.  Our trek coordinators will help you celebrate your success on Kilimanjaro with the most amazing experience you can imagine. For your after-climb adventure just give us a call when you book your Kilimanjaro Climb.

SAFARI
When we plan your Wildlife Safari, we factor in important variables to maximize your adventure experience.  We plan for the best locations based on the season, the amount of time you wish to spend in the bush, and the type of accommodation you’d like to use. 

ZANZIBAR
Zanzibar is always amazing, regardless of when you visit. But if you want some tips the greatest food, the best place for snorkeling a coral reef, or where to go to enjoy the most incredible sunset, give us a call.

TO BOOK YOUR ADVENTURE CALL US  +1.775.833.9700    1.800.231.1919

YOUR EXPERT GUIDE

Your guides are the heart and soul of your successful Kilimanjaro summit challenge. EDDIE FRANK, founder, built Tusker's elite team of guides using the same techniques he used when training the US Army’s Special Forces. Our elite team has led over 10,000 triumphant Tusker climbers to the summit over the decades.

Tusker Spiral Route Kilimanjaro Guide
Tusker Spiral Route Kilimanjaro Guide
Tusker Spiral Route Kilimanjaro Guide

EDDIE TALKS... 

Kilimanjaro Climb Company Founding Guide Eddie Frank

"A couple years ago, as part of the Discovery Gene I inherited from my dad, I felt the need to explore Kilimanjaro and develop a new route for Tusker’s adventurers. As there were 50,000 climbers a year going up the standard routes, I felt this would be a great challenge. I carved out the Tusker Spiral Route, a combination of some remote trails. You circumvent the entire mountain in an extended climb, which allows you to soak up the full adventure, and face your challenge in the most rewarding way. It is the climb of all climbs. It’s life-changing."

YOUR CLIMBING CREW


One of the keys to the success of your climb is your climbing crew. They are the backbone of your adventure and ensure that your camp and gear is set up at each new location on the climbing route. The team is made up of porters and chefs that are fiercely loyal to Tusker Trail and who have been part of our family for the past 15-23 years.

Your porters and chefs also provide an incredible window into Tanzanian culture. They introduce you to the inspiring music of Kilimanjaro which will inspire you to put one foot in front of the other. All in all, you and your team are part of one big family, on a trek to the top of Africa.

Tusker Spiral Route Kilimanjaro Crew
Kilimanjaro Guides and Porters
Tusker Spiral Route Kilimanjaro Crew
Kilimanjaro Guides and Porters
Tusker Spiral Route Kilimanjaro Crew

WHAT'S INCLUDED

        • Professional guides & dedicated crew
        • Transfers on arrival and departure
        • Lodging & Meals as per daily itinerary
        • Ripcord evacuation membership
        • Activities as per itinerary
        • National Park Fees
        • 4-season WALK-IN all weather tents
  • 2-inch air/foam mattresses
  • 4-season base-camp dining tents
  • Dining tables & comfy chairs
  • Gas lighting in dining tents
  • Purified water
  • Private toilet tents
  • Drybag (to protect your duffel)

PHOTO GALLERY

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CLIMB REVIEWS

tusker trail 5 star reviews

"Safety and attention to detail"  --  "We couldn't be more impressed with Tusker. First of all, They did an excellent job preparing us for the trip providing extensive info, answering all our questions and giving recommendations for equipment, training, medicine, etc. If anything, we felt over-prepared on the climb. That's is a good thing when taking the trip of this kind for the first time."   --   "DmitrySF"

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+1.775.833.9700  •  1.800.231.1919