"African getaways are about as diverse as the continent's geography. But for the serious outdoor enthusiast, a trek to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro tops the all-time wish list. You'll always remember standing on top of the world—gazing down on the sun as it breaks through the pillowy clouds—but your experience along the way will stay with you just as long. Begin by traversing the low-lying jungles, crossing through alpine scrub, and eventually reaching desolate terrain that looks more like a view through the Hubble telescope than anything you've seen in real life.
The balmy atmosphere will thin out to crisp, cool air as you ascend, taking a toll on your body and challenging you to summit Uhuru Peak, the highest point in Africa. If the trip up feels like the deepest breath you've ever taken, the descent from Mt. Kilimanjaro will be the most satisfying exhale you've ever known."
Day 1: Take off on your flight from the US to the Kilimanjaro (JRO) or Nairobi (NBO) airport (depending on departure dates).
Day 2: Some flights will arrive at the airport today, where a friendly tour guide will pick you up and take you to your lodge in Arusha.
Overnight at Ilboru Safari Lodge.
Day 3: Other flights will get in today. Second-day arrivals will be escorted to the lodge, while those who checked in the day before rest or explore Arusha at their leisure. In late afternoon, your group will meet with your team of mountain guides to be sure you have all the necessary personal gear. Missing items will be available for rent.
Overnight at Ilboru Safari Lodge. Dinner provided.
Day 4: Depart for Mt. Kilimanjaro and drive to Machame Gate, where you'll take a five- to six-hour walk through the picturesque forest before reaching the Machame campsite. You'll be treated to dinner before hitting the sack.
Overnight at the Machame hut campsite (Altitude: 3,050 meters). Breakfast, lunch, and dinner provided.
Day 5: After breakfast, trek over one of Kilimanjaro's most scenic points, the Shira Plateau. Take in views of the Great Rift Valley and the active volcano, Mount Meru, before setting up tents at the Shira campsite.
Overnight at the Shira hut campsite (Altitude: 3,800 meters). Breakfast, lunch, and dinner provided.
Day 6: Ascend toward the Kibo Dome, crossing the desert zone until you reach Lava Tower, a mount of solidified lava and the highest point of the day. From there, descend slightly to your next campsite.
Overnight at the Baranco hut campsite (Altitude: 3,955 meters). Breakfast, lunch, and dinner provided.
Day 7: Cross the Great Barranco Valley, climb up the Barranco Wall, and trek through Karanga Valley to the Barafu campsite for excellent views of Kibo and Mawenzi peaks. You'll hit the sack early as your next day starts well before sunrise.
Overnight at the Barafu hut campsite (4,610 meters). Breakfast, lunch, and dinner provided.
Day 8: Depart between midnight and 1 a.m. to make your six-hour summit climb by moonlight. Enjoy a stunning sunrise at Uhuru Peak (5,895 meters) as rays creep over floating clouds and snowcapped mountains. Take in the sights before descending another six hours to your next campsite.
Overnight at the Mweka hut campsite (3,100 meters). Breakfast, lunch, and dinner provided.
Day 9: Finish your trek with an easy walk to Mweka gate, where you will be awarded your certificate and climbing medal as you toast your accomplishment over champagne or another libation. Transportation will be waiting to take you to your lodge in Arusha. You'll enjoy a celebratory meal at the mountain gate or lodge.
Overnight at Ilboru Safari Lodge. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner provided.
Day 10: After breakfast at your hotel, depart for a visit to the local charity or cultural program your trip has supported. Spend time visiting the school, orphanage, community or health center, or remote village that a portion of your trek has funded. Return to the hotel for baggage pickup and head to the Kilimanjaro or Nairobi airport for your late-night flight back home.
Day 11: Arrive back home late in the afternoon.
COST INCLUSIVE OF:
1. Accommodation as stipulated in the itinerary.
2. Transportation in a chauffeur driven minivan with a pop-up roof.
3. Services of an English-speaking driver-guide and parks entrance fees as indicated in the itinerary.
4. All Government taxes and levies.
5. Farewell dinner at the Carnivore Restaurant.
6. 3 litres of free mineral water per person per day.
7. All meet and greet services.
8. All arrival and departure transfers.
9. 24 hours stand-by contact number.
10. Meals as indicated in the itinerary.
11. Guaranteed window seat in each vehicle .
12. Two-way long-range high frequency radio communication in each vehicle.
13. Climbing gear (mats, sleeping bags, harnesses etc.)
- The prices below do not include international airfare.
- The price for this trip is $1,499 per person double occupancy, $1,999 single occupancy. If you would like to use our roommate matching service, we will match you up with a roommate as long as you're a non-smoker. You must book at least 20 days prior to the trip to take advantage of this. Don't let not having a roommate keep you from going on this amazing trip!
- Deposit is a non-refundable $1,000 double occupancy, $1,500 single occupancy. This covers the non-refundable hotel / campsites cost. The deposit for the trip should be made as soon as you reserve a place for the trip and the remaining amount should be paid up 21 days prior to the trip.
- Payments for this trip can be made via Paypal or credit card.
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Flight is NOT included. I find that flight is very easy to book on your own and some people want to do side trips, so it gets really unpractical to include flight. Besides many of you can use miles or other ways of making your flight free or saving money if you book it by yourself. So instead of including air, I will suggest the flights so you can go to Kayak.com, Expedia.com, Orbitz.com, or any booking website and book your own. The best time to book a flight is usually 2-3 months before (the best day is Tuesday and the best time is between 12:00 and 3:00 PM). I will book mine at that point and then will email the group telling you what I got. If you do book the flight from LA, we can meet at LAX. If not, I’ll just meet you in Kenya/Tanzania, depending on the airport that you'll fly into. Shuttle to the hotel is included provided you provide me with your flight details.
- It is cheaper to buy a round trip flight to Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (J.K.I.A) and ride a bus to Arusha than to to fly straight into Kilimanjaro International Airport (K.I.A) in Tanzania but the choice is yours to make.
SOME OTHER IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW
- Passport is required, of course. If you don't have a valid passport, make sure to get started on it ASAP. Here's the link for the Department of State Passport section:
-American citizens don’t need to get a visa in advance. You will be issued a visa when you arrive in Kenya/Tanzania.
All bookings made before 15th November, 2016 receive a 15% discount.