Kilimanjaro is fondly referred to as “everyman’s Everest.” With no technical climbing required, summiting the mountain is a feat that anyone fit and…
Kilimanjaro is fondly referred to as “everyman’s Everest.” With no technical climbing required, summiting the mountain is a feat that anyone fit and able can accomplish simply by walking – walking, that is, with respect for the mountain and knowledge of altitude. Kilimanjaro, at 19,340ft, is the world’s highest freestanding mountain.
Our climb up Kilimanjaro is a 7-day, 55 km walk on the Machame-Mweka route. This scenic route takes us through four different ecosystems: rainforest, heath, moorland, and glacier. The trek includes an overnight at the picturesque Karanga Valley. This extra night aids acclimatization and allows our climbers extra time to recover and prepare for the final push to the top.
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Arrive at Moshi at 10pmWe will stay at the Kilemakyaro Mountain Lodge in Moshi, Tanzania
Visit the Amani Children's HomeSpending the day with the children and volunteers, we will see how this incredible organization helps the lives of street kids in Tanzania every day. We will also do our final preparations for the trek ahead.
Moshi to Machame Camp (5,942 ft to 9,911 ft)The Machame Route is a 55 km trek, and is considered the most beautiful route up Kilimanjaro. There are no mountain huts on this route, and we will sleep in mountain tents. After registering with the park authority at the Machame Park Gate, we start at an altitude of 5,942 ft and climb for 6 hours to a height of 9,911ft. We’ll hear the many exotic birds in the canopy above, and may even see black & white colobus monkeys as we hike among the knotted roots and mud of the forest floor. We will spend the night at the Machame Camp, just above the forest.
Machame Camp to Shira Camp (9,911ft to 12,595ft)Today’s segment of the ascent continues across the beautiful heath and alpine moorland with magnificent views of Kilimanjaro Peak. We will begin up a steep ridge through a savannah of tall grasses and tree-like shrubs – the Giant Heather and Erica. As the day goes on, we’ll enter another ecosystem, the moorland zone, marked by the Lobelia and Senecio plants as well as volcanic rocks. Today’s climb will take about 6 hours. It is not as steep as the previous day, but the night is likely to be colder – probably a little below freezing. We will overnight at Shira Camp.
Shira Camp to Barranco Camp (12,595 ft to 14,741 ft to 13,077 ft)Day 3 on Kilimanjaro is all about acclimatization. We start the day at 12,595ft and spend the morning climbing to an altitude of 14,741ft before descending again on the scenic route to Barranco Camp at 13,077ft. This is a great example of the “climb high, sleep low” rule that helps people acclimatize safely. Our campsite will be set on a flat area enclosed on three sides with steep valley walls. Hanging glaciers glint in the sunshine above, amidst the eerie landscape of plants such as the giant groundsels (Senecio Kilimanjari) and the uniquely endemic Giant Lobelia. Barranco Camp stares at a 1000+ foot rock face that we’ll be scrambling up the next morning.
Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp (13,077ft to 13,235ft)Today is a second day of acclimatization where we will finish the day at a similar elevation to which we started. The day starts with an exciting scramble up the Great Barranco Wall, an enormous cliff with a switch back trail and very steep inclines. Although it looks intimidating, the hike up is fun and exhilarating – often considered by climbers to be their favourite day of all! We will walk very slowly, or, as the porters say in Swahili, “POLE POLE”. Once on top, the view of the valley down below is absolutely magnificent. The hike for the rest of the day is up and down and crosses many small streams, the last one being the Karanja River. We will camp just above the Karanga Valley.
Karanga Valley Camp to Barafu (13,235 ft to 15,295 ft)Today’s hike will take us 3 to 4 hours. The temperatures will drop and the landscape will get sparse as we approach our final camp site. Barafu Camp is set on a small, exposed flat ridge that acts as a base camp from which we will begin our summit attempt at midnight. We will sleep for a few hours waking up at 11:30pm to don our 5 layers of clothing and commence our summit climb to the top.
Barafu to Summit to Millennium (15,295 ft to 19,341 ft to 12,556 ft)Today kicks off at midnight with by far the most challenging and rewarding 14-16 hour section of the entire trek. It will take about 8 hours to climb to the top of Africa, then 6 – 8 hours to climb all the way down to the final campsite, Millennium Camp. The trail snakes beside a glacier and ends at Stella Point, the rim of the Kibo crater. If we time it right, the sun will be rising just as we crest the top. Although arriving at Stella Point is exhilarating, we’re only at 18,848ft and have another 45+ minutes to get to the highest point in Africa, Uhuru Peak, at 19,341ft. After enjoying the moment, we begin our descent back to Barafu Camp and then onto Millennium camp. We end the day at 12,556ft feeling tired but pretty happy!
Millennium to Park Gate, transfer to Moshi (12,556 ft to 5,358 ft)Wake up in the morning knowing that a shower is close at hand. The walk out of the park will take 5 to 6 hours. We walk our way down a winding path that takes us back into the rainforest and finally to the park gate. This is our last day to enjoy the beauty of the mountains’ flora and fauna. After bidding farewell to our guides and porters, we’ll drive to Moshi where we’ll shower and enjoy a celebration dinner.
Depart Kilemakyaro Lodge and drive to the Ngorongora CraterToday we head off to the Ngorongora Crater – a geographical wonder, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the world’s largest caldera. Be prepared for a 4-hour drive, but one that is well worth it. We will overnight at the Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge. **Safari is optional. Your LOLA guides will leave for Toronto on this day and those who would like to go to Ngorongora Crater will carry on with Bushmen Expeditions.
Full day of wildlife viewing at Ngorongora CraterEnjoy a hot bush lunch in the crater. Overnight at Serena Safari Lodge.
Half day of wildlife viewing then depart Kilimanjaro for Amsterdam
Travel from Amsterdam to Toronto
- All meals
- All local transportation
- All accommodation
- An experienced WAFA certified guide
- Knowledgeable local porters and guides
- Comprehensive pre-trip support including a fitness plan and gear list
- Travel to/from Moshi
- Travel insurance
- Safari in Ngorongora Crater
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