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Tanzania: Kilimanjaro Trek

22nd Sep 2021 - 1st Oct 2022

10 days/Tanzania /Challenging to Extreme

Overview

Enjoy one of the world’s most iconic treks by hiking to the summit of the highest mountain on the African continent, Mount Kilimanjaro. This beautiful trek will take you through five distinct ecological zones, making each day a new visual feast; from the lush rainforest, to strange semi-desert landscapes and right up into the Arctic zone where you will see enormous blue-tinged glaciers and the famous Kilimanjaro summit sign!
We will take the stunning Machame Route to the top which is considered one of the most stunning on the mountain but also one of the best for acclimatisation. This incredible journey will take you up to altitudes of 5895m and while it is achievable by anyone with a good level of fitness, the Kilimanjaro challenge is not to be underestimated! At 7 days, this trek is one day longer than most which offers you the greatest chance of reaching the summit because of the all-important acclimatisation opportunities.

Porter Protection – KPAP
Anyone who has trekked Kilimanjaro will tell you that the porters, cooks and guides are the lifeblood of the mountain and that they couldn’t have made the summit without their support. Despite their incredible efforts, local staff are not always treated well by trekking companies. We are really proud to be one of a small number of UK tour operators who are official partners of the International Mountain Explorers Connection (IMEC) which works closely with the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP) to improve conditions for porters and mountain crew on Kilimanjaro. Our membership means that our local team of staff are provided with good quality trekking kit, good quality tents, hearty meals (and other necessities you yourself would expect to be provided as a trekker), as well as fair wages and more.

A challenging to extreme trip. You will be trekking on challenging terrain which is steep at times, you will be exposed to altitudes up to 5895m and will camp in basic campsites. Each day you will trek up to 8 hours per day.

This trek is accompanied by professional English-speaking local guides who have an excellent knowledge of hiking in the region and have summited Kilimanjaro hundreds of times on various routes around the mountain. The guides are first aid trained and will support you throughout your journey. You will also be supported by an excellent team of assistant guides, cooks and porters who together make your journey possible. You will be accompanied throughout your challenge by a Different Travel Company UK tour manager.

The terrain will vary each day but in general you will experience undulating terrain with an uphill gradient as you approach the summit, and a downhill gradient on the way down from the summit. It is essential that your training includes hill walking to include trekking up and down gradients; training on flat terrain will not adequately prepare you. Underfoot the terrain will vary from muddy forests, rocky and dry trails, barren gravelly tracks, scree and possibly even snow.

Half way through the trek you reach the Barranco wall which is a vertical rock wall with a narrow winding path with a drop on your right hand side. No technical climbing skills are required but scrambling over large rocks is necessary. Your guides and support staff will help you every step of the way and most people say that this is a highlight of the trek.

Temperatures will depend on the altitude, the weather and wind chill. For the days between 1800-3500m you can expect day time temperatures to range between 5-25°C, and night time temperatures to drop to -10°C. From 4000-5000m day time temperatures will range from 0-10°C during the day and sub-zero night time temperatures (down to -15°C on average). Wind chill may make these temperatures feel colder.The summit night will be extremely cold, with cold high winds having an enormous impact on the temperature. Temperatures can range from a relatively balmy -5°C to an Arctic -30°C with wind chill.

Weather conditions will vary as the mountain has its own unpredictable weather system. Conditions include bright sunny days with clear skies, overcast days with high humidity, cold dry windy days, rain, snow etc. It’s important to be prepared for all weather conditions and temperatures by packing technical non-cotton layers and waterproofs.

Meals are provided throughout and will be a combination of Western meals and traditional Tanzanian food. Dishes may include, but are not limited to:
Breakfast: porridge, fresh fruit, toast, sausages, eggs etc.
Lunch: If you have a packed lunch it may be sandwiches, boiled egg and cake, a carton of juice, biscuits and fruit. If it is a hot lunch it may be soup and bread, toasted sandwiches, eggs, cakes, fresh fruit, salad, stew, pasta etc. Snacks: Popcorn and biscuits.
Dinner: Soup and bread, salad, coleslaw, potatoes, vegetables, pasta, rice, meat or vegetable stew, fish, eggs etc.
All your meals are freshly prepared by the trek chef. A mess tent with tables, chairs, plates, mugs and cutlery is provided.

At camp you will stay in 3-man tents (two to a tent). You will need to bring your own sleeping bag and sleeping mat, or these can be hired locally if you prefer. Meals will be taken in a mess tent where a table, chairs, plates, mugs, cutlery and other equipment is provided for you. Meals are cooked by your own dedicated trek chef who will prepare hearty, delicious Tanzanian and Western meals.

Each morning you will be provided with a bowl of hot water and soap to freshen up for the day ahead. There are no showers so please bring a pack of baby wipes to keep as clean as possible. Toilet facilities at camp will be long drop toilet huts which are often extremely smelly; it may be possible for the group to hire a private use portable toilet.
Toilet paper is not provided so you will need to bring your own. During the trek you will need to pack up any toilet paper you use to dispose of properly at camp. NEVER leave toilet paper or other litter on the trail.

The trek can be undertaken by anyone aged 18 upwards as long as you have a good level of fitness and you are healthy and determined. (It may be possible for you to participate if you are aged 16 or 17 years old if you are accompanied by a parent or guardian – please contact us for advice). There is no upper age limit. It is advised that you are of a good fitness level before departure to ensure fast recovery from each day’s exertions. An ideal candidate for the trek would be someone who enjoys being out of their comfort zone and trying something new.

Physical preparation is crucial for this challenge, to ensure your best chance of success and enjoyment during the trek. Your training should replicate the trek as closely as possible so plenty of walking on hilly terrain is the optimal training ground. Walks should be supplemented with strength training and cardiovascular exercises such as gym workouts, running, swimming, cycling, team sports, boot camps etc. You can download a number of free apps, which will help you train and track your progress. E.g. MyFitnessPal, MapMyWalk, C25K (couch to 5k run) etc. Attempting to complete the trek without training will make each day more challenging, and your failure to adequately prepare may hinder your experience, and the experience of your teammates. The ascent does not require technical climbing skills but it is a vast mountain at high altitude so it is important to take your training seriously and not to underestimate the scale of the challenge.

This trek is graded challenging to extreme. You will be trekking on challenging terrain which is steep at times, you will be exposed to altitudes up to 5895m and will camp in basic campsites. Each day you will trek up to 8 hours per day.

Summit night is the most challenging part of the trek because it starts at 11pm or 12am after only a few hours’ sleep. You trek through the cold and dark of the night up to the summit on a loose scree path until you reach the top of the crater at Stella Point, around 6-7 hours later. You then take around an hour to trek around the crater rim to the true summit, Uhuru Peak. It is an incredibly arduous night. You need to stay positive, remember your goal, and keep a very slow, steady pace. The hard work pays off after you reach the summit and have taken your photos at the famous signpost! You then take an almost immediate descent of 5-6 hours to a much lower altitude campsite where you will have a well-deserved rest. It could be a 14-hour trek day.

The highest altitude on the trek is 5895m, the summit of Kilimanjaro. For the majority of the trek you will ‘trek high, sleep low’ which means you trek to high elevations each day to expose your body to a higher altitude environment, then descend to a lower altitude to rest allowing your body time to recover and acclimatise. The first four nights of the trek are spent at campsites no higher than 3963m.

It is generally considered that altitudes above 3000m are ‘high altitude’ and from this point it is possible for individuals to experience altitude related symptoms. The susceptibility of an individual to experience altitude related symptoms is not clear-cut and can happen to those who have visited areas of high altitude many times before. Your local guides are very experienced in spotting the signs of altitude sickness but you must also take responsibility for reading up on the effects of altitude exposure so you can recognise the signs. A great source of information can be found at the NHS pages on altitude sickness or on the Travel Doctor website.

We require a medical form to be completed by everyone upon registering, and any pre-existing conditions, medications used and other medical issues must be specified. All your medical details are treated in the strictest confidence.

The information will be securely screened by a qualified medical professional, and details provided to your tour manager and local guides so our staff are adequately informed and prepared to support you during the trip. By completing this booking form you are giving consent for us to contact you confidentially with any follow up questions regarding your health.

If you declare any medical conditions you may be asked to provide more information, or we may request to contact your GP. We must be informed if any conditions or medication change, or if new conditions develop. If necessary confirmation of fitness to travel from your GP or specialist may be required.

In the event that your medical issues represent a concern for your safety and wellbeing, or the safety and wellbeing of others in the group, you may be recommended not to take part. If this happens your deposit will be refunded. Please note that we will never unreasonably deny participation on a trip nor contravene the Equality Act 2010.

Essentials

E-tickets + pre-departure info
Passport & copy
Visa or $50 for visa on arrival
Insurance policy details
Pen for immigration forms
Cash (£) / ATM card(s)
LED head torch + spare batteries
Camera + spare batteries
Sunglasses (preferably polarized)
Mobile phone + charger

Clothing

Casual shoes for Moshi
Trainers for camp (optional)
Waterproof walking boots*
Long / convertible trek trousers
Under and trek socks
Breathable waterproof jacket
Breathable waterproof trousers
Non-cotton t-shirt
Long sleeve base layer top
Warm fleece
Thermal long sleeve top
Thermal bottoms
Warm insulated jacket (e.g.down)
Warm hat which covers ears
Sun hat
Buff (www.buffwear.co.uk)
Heavy gloves or mitts + liner gloves
Balaclava (optional)

Hygiene

Shampoo + conditioner*
Toothbrush + toothpaste*
Antiperspirant deodorant*
Shower gel/ shave kit / loofah*
Large pack of baby wipes*
Toilet paper (1-2 rolls)*
Nappy bags for used toilet paper*
Sun cream (SPF 30+)*
Moisturiser lotion*
Hand sanitizer
Nail brush
Feminine hygiene products*

First Aid Kit

Prescription medicine
Anti-malaria medication
50% DEET insect repellent
Ibuprofen and Paracetamol
Plasters
Blister plasters (e.g. Compeed)
Imodium (Loperamide)
Rehydration (e.g. Dioralyte)
Muscle rub (tiger balm/Deep Heat)
Anti-histamine tablets/cream
Antiseptic cream (e.g. Savlon)
Indigestion remedy (e.g. Gaviscon)
Lip balm with SPF protection
Decongestant (optional)
Throat lozenges (optional)
Scissors/tweezers
Zinc oxide tape
Spare glasses/contact lenses

Optional

Books/playing cards
Video Camera + batteries
Portable battery pack/power bank
iPod/MP3 player
Trekking pole(s)
Gaiters
Dry bags
Sewing kit

Luggage

Suitcase/rucksack for luggage
Trek kit bag
Daypack/backpack (30-35 litres)
Combination Padlocks

Eating and Drinking

Energy snacks
2-litre water bottle (e.g. CamelBak)
2x 1-litre bottle with thermal cover
Water purification (optional)
Electrolyte tablets (e.g. NUUN)

Sleeping

Ear plugs
Sleeping bag with comfort rating -10°C to -15°C)
Sleeping bag liner (silk or thermal)
Sleeping mat (e.g. Thermarest)

Please note: This list is just a guideline and is not exhaustive. The items on this list do not take into account your personal preferences based on your previous trekking experience, or individual requirements. For information about items on this list please refer to the trip dossier or contact The Different Travel Company on info@different-travel.com

*Please ensure you pack your hiking boots into your hand baggage in the unlikely event your checked luggage goes missing or is delayed.

*Please consider eco-friendly or biodegradable options. Consider shopping at Little Footprint Gifts.

Itinerary

Day 1 (Thursday 22 September 2022):

London – Kilimanjaro
Depart London for Kilimanjaro International Airport on an indirect flight. (Overnight: Flight)

Day 2 (Friday 23 September 2022):

Moshi
On arrival you will be met by your local guide and transfer to your hotel in Moshi where you have free time to freshen up before a briefing and welcome dinner tonight.
Meals: Dinner
Overnight: Hotel in Moshi

Day 3 (Saturday 24 September 2022):

Machame Gate – Machame Huts (3,000m)
After a hearty breakfast we set off for the 45 minute drive to Machame Gate where we will be officially registered for the trek and meet your assistant guides, cooks and porters. After registration is complete and your porters have been allocated their loads, you will start the trek at a slow and gentle pace on a gentle uphill incline trail through the beautiful rainforest. Keep your eyes peeled for monkeys who make this area their home, and see if you can spot the beautiful seahorse-shaped red flower impatiens kilimanjari which only grows on the mountain. The trek day typically takes 7–8 hours, ending at a clearing in the forest and the welcome sight of your tents, hot tea and dinner.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Overnight: Campsite

Day 4 (Sunday 25 September 2022):

Machame Huts – Shira Plateau (3,840m)
After a hot breakfast you will start the trek through the remaining rainforest towards the giant moorland zone. The trek today is shorter but steeper and the environment changes rapidly as you leave the rainforest. Depending on the group pace, it is a 5-6 hour trek, during which you gain approximately 800 metres in altitude. You will arrive at Shira Camp at around lunchtime and enjoy the stunning view over the Shira Plateau. Weather permitting you should also get your first close views of Kibo, the iconic peak of Kilimanjaro.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Overnight: Campsite

Day 5 (Monday 26 September 2022):

Shira Plateau – Barranco Camp (3,950m)
Today isn’t as steep as yesterday but it is a challenging trek which sees us gradually gain 660m of altitude as we leave the moorland zone and enter the dry, rocky alpine desert to the Lava Tower, a volcanic plug at an altitude of 4,500 metres. Although it’s a challenging day, reaching the Lava Tower it is very important for acclimatisation and will give you a better chance of reaching the summit. After lunch and a rest at the Lava Tower, we descend to Barranco Camp (3950m) for a hot meal and a good rest.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Overnight: Campsite

Day 6 (Tuesday 27 September 2022):

Barranco Camp – Karanga Camp (3,963m)
The first obstacle today is to breach the Barranco Wall, a 200m rock face with a winding trail to the top. To ascend the wall will take around two hours, using your hands and feet to help you clamber up some of the large boulders. No technical skill or rock climbing experience is required – it is still classified as a trek. This section is often the part people enjoy the most! Once over the wall you find yourself on a large flat plateau with breath-taking views. As you trek down towards the Karanga Valley you will enjoy dramatic views of the jagged crags and see some of the giant lobelias dotting the landscape. As you reach camp you will be treated to magnificent views of Kibo (clouds permitting) and a hearty meal. This is a long day but highly rewarding.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Overnight: Campsite

Day 7 (Wednesday 28 September 2022):

Karanga Camp – Barafu Camp (4,700m)
Today’s trek is slow and steady as you ascend to Barafu camp, with the splendid summit peak of Kibo dominating the horizon all morning. As you progress the terrain becomes drier and almost moon-like with very little flora or fauna to be seen. The trail is steep in places so it is important to follow the gentle pace of the guide, one step at a time. Today will feel much colder than previous days as the area is quite exposed and can experience high winds. You will arrive into Barafu camp this afternoon where you will rest and relax before an early dinner and early night to bed. At 11pm you will start the final ascent to the summit, Uhuru Peak.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Overnight: Campsite

Day 8 (Thursday 29 September 2022):

Barafu Camp – Uhuru Peak (5,895m) to Millennium Camp
After snacks and hot drinks, we start the most demanding part of the trek. Light is provided by your head torches and the moon on a clear night. As you ascend on zigzagging trails, keeping a steady pace, you will gradually wind your way up the mountain. As you approach Stella Point, the rim of the volcano, the sun will climb spectacularly behind you, staining the horizon with vibrant reds, pinks and oranges. After a short rest at Stella Point you will continue around the crater rim for an hour until you reach the summit of Kilimanjaro, Uhuru Peak; the highest point in Africa and the world’s highest solitary peak (5895m/19,340ft). After taking your summit photos you will descend to Barafu Camp for lunch, pack away your kit and continue trekking for 5-6 hours down to Millennium Camp (2800m) where you will have a well-deserved rest. This could be the toughest day that you have ever experienced. You will have ascended 1295m and descended 3095m in 14-18 hours. Although exhausting, you will have just achieved something extraordinary.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Overnight: Campsite

Day 9 (Friday 30 September 2021):

Millennium Camp – Mweka Gate – Moshi
This morning you will say thank you and farewell to your team of porters in a joyful Kilimanjaro-style celebration. From camp you will trek to Mweka Gate through the rainforest (approx. 6 hours) where you will sign out from the national park and transfer back to the hotel (approx. 1 hour) for a rest and a hot shower. Tonight you will enjoy a farewell dinner together at your hotel and can celebrate your achievements.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Overnight: Hotel in Moshi

Day 10 (Saturday 1 October 2022):

Moshi – Kilimanjaro – London
Today we will transfer to the airport for your indirect flight back to London, possibly arriving the next morning depending on flight schedules.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 11 (Sunday 2 October 2022):

London
Depending on flight schedules you may arrive into London early this morning.

OPTIONAL EXTENSION

Day 10 (Saturday 1 October 2021):

Moshi – Karatu Forest Camp
Enjoy a morning at leisure before transferring from Moshi to Karatu Forest Camp this afternoon via Lake Manyara and the rift valley. Enjoy dinner and an overnight stay at a tented camp.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Overnight: Campsite

Day 11 (Sunday 2 October 2022):

Karatu Forest Camp – Ngorongoro Crater – Olmoti Crater
With an early morning start, drive to Ngorongoro Crater via Henry Fosb Rooke Road for a wildlife game drive including picnic lunch. This afternoon transfer to the rim of Olmoti Crater for dinner and overnight at a local campsite.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Overnight: Campsite

Day 12 (Monday 3 October 2022):

Olmoti Crater – Empakai Crater
This morning, trek to the Olmoti Crater which at 3000m has stunning views. After your trek, transfer to Empakai Crater crossing the Mbulbul depression to Bulati village for lunch. Wild animals can often be seen
here such as Thompson and Grants gazelle, zebras and wildebeest. Continue to Empakai Crater at 300m high and 2650m above sea level, for dinner and your overnight stay in a local campsite.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Overnight: Campsite

Day 13 (Tuesday 4 October 2022):

Empakai Crater – Lake Natron
Today, you can enjoy hiking in the crater. A well maintained track goes to the crater bottom of which one third is covered by the Empakaai Lake. The lake is an important source for flamingos which can be observed throughout the year. The crater floor is also home to a variety of antelope and water birds. The trek continues through the large village of Nayobi and as you leave the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation area, you will notice the landscape become drier and warmer as you head towards Acacia Camp. Here you will be able to see the Ol Doinyo L’Enngai Volcano before joining with your vehicles to continue to Lake Natron. This evening you can enjoy a sunset visit to Lake Natron to view the flamingos. Dinner and overnight at a local campsite.
Your trek today will take approx. 5-6 hours (approx. 11km)
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Overnight: Campsite

Day 14 (Wednesday 5 October 2022):

Lake Natron – Moshi
Enjoy an early morning visit to the beautiful Engare Sero waterfalls nearby before driving back to Kilimanjaro airport, arriving late afternoon for your flight home.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 15 (Thursday 6 October 2021):

Land back into the UK.

N.B. This itinerary may change due to unusual weather patterns, wildlife movements, the ability of the group and so on. We will do our best to keep to the set itinerary however we cannot be held responsible for changes that might occur outside of our control. In all such circumstances your guide and tour leader will have the final say in the interest of the health and safety of the group.

Costs & How to pay

Registration fee: £699
and then either…

Self-funded: £2495

or

Sponsorship: £4900

or 

Flexi: £2495 trip costs and £2495 sponsorship for a charity of your choice

SELF-FUNDED

This option is for those who choose to pay the trip costs (flights, accommodation, food, guides etc.) themselves. There is no sponsorship required although if you wish to raise sponsorship for a charity you are welcome to do so.

  • A registration fee is payable at the time of booking.
  • Trip cost balance is payable to Different Travel 10 weeks prior to departure.
  • You are welcome to fundraise separately for any charity of your choice but this is not mandatory. Any fundraising undertaken cannot be used for your trip costs.

SPONSORSHIP

This option is for those who wish to raise sponsorship to cover both the costs of the trip (flights, accommodation, food, guides etc.) and a donation to their chosen charity. There is a minimum sponsorship amount for each trip that you are required to raise in order to participate.

  • A registration fee is payable at the time of booking.
  • The minimum sponsorship must be paid to the charity 12 weeks prior to departure.
  • The amount the charity receives is at least 50% of the minimum sponsorship total.

FLEXI

This option is for those who choose to pay the trip costs (flights, accommodation, food, guides etc.) themselves while still raising some funds for the charity.

  • A registration fee is payable at the time of booking.
  • Trip cost balance is payable to the charity 12 weeks prior to departure.
  • Any fundraising undertaken cannot be used for your trip costs.

OPTIONAL SAFARI EXTENSION

  • £1,115 per person in a twin room based on a minimum of 4 people.
  • Includes all transfers and transport, 4 nights accomodation (with 3 nights basic camping, all camping equipment (including tent and sleeping bags), all meals, all conservation and park permits, fees and taxes, English-speaking guide, ranger and cook.

What's included

  • Return flights from the UK
  • Airport taxes and charges
  • Local transfers and transport
  • 3* hotel in Moshi and tents on trek
  • All meals as specified on itinerary
  • English-speaking local guides
  • Porters, cooks and support crew
  • Current National Park entrance fees
  • Trekking permits
  • Different Travel UK tour manager

What's not included

  • Any necessary vaccinations or medication
  • Tanzanian visa (current cost US$50)
  • Drinks, laundry, souvenirs and personal expenses
  • Tips and gratuities (approx US$250pp depending on group size)
  • Transport to/from UK airports
  • Personal trek kit
  • Travel insurance
  • Any increases in Kilimanjaro National Park fees between time of writing (Dec 2018) and time of departure

Got a Question?

If you’ve a question about this challenge that you can’t find the answer to within the given information then complete this quick form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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