Day 8:School Hut to Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp
- Elevation: 15,600 ft to 19,341 ft
- Distance: 6 km/4 miles
- Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp
- Elevation: 19,341 ft to 10,065
- Distance: 12 km/7 miles
- Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
- Habitat: Artic
Very early in the morning (around midnight), we begin our push to the summit. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. The wind and cold at this elevation and time of day can be extreme. We ascend in the darkness for several hours while taking frequent, but short, breaks. At Gilman's point (18,600 ft), you will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see coming over Mawenzi Peak. Finally, we arrive at Uhuru Peak- the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa.
From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. The trail is very rocky and can be quite hard on the knees; trekking poles are helpful. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.