Summit Kilimanjaro for New Year
Bring in the New Year on top of the world's highest freestanding mountain!
Standing at a majestic height of 5896m Kilimanjaro’s snow-capped summit rises high above the dusty African plains; huge permanent glaciers flow down from the summit, spectacular views and beautiful ice formations are the reward for pushing your limits both physically and mentally. Our trek takes the Machame route, over 5 days towards the summit. We pass through thick forest, moorland and scree en-route to Uhuru Peak, the highest point. Our challenge will be to see the first dawn of 2017 on top of this impressive peak. What better way to start the New Year.
Day 1:Depart London
Day 2: Arrive Moshi
Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport; transfer to Moshi town, where we can admire the views of Kibo, the crater at the summit and the youngest of Kilimanjaro’s three volcanic cones. We check in and relax, with time to sort out our kit for tomorrow before dinner and a briefing. Night hotel.
Day 3: Machame Gate – Machame Camp
One hour’s drive from Moshi lies the gate to the Machame route, where we complete park formalities, meet our crew of porters and start to climb! The first section of the route climbs steadily and passes through magnificent, dense rainforest. This path is less well-trodden so it can get somewhat overgrown in places and it is often wet and muddy underfoot. Night camp: Machame Camp (3100m). Trek approx 18km / 5-7 hours
Day 4: Machame Camp – Shira Caves
Our route continues on up through the forest until we reach the steep ascent onto the Shira Plateau, where there are rewarding views of the mountain. Looking back, you will be able to see Mt Meru rising high above Arusha town in the distance. Night camp: Shira Caves (3840m). Trek approx 9km / 4-6 hours
Day 5: Shira Caves – Barranco Hut
Walking now on high moorland, the landscape changes the entire character of the trek. We traverse the southwest side of Kilimanjaro, passing underneath the Lava Tower and the final section of the Western Breach and finally reach camp at Barranco Hut (3900m), a tin shack where we pitch our tents. The day has been spent at altitude (up to 4600m), but we have followed the mountaineering code of ‘walk high, sleep low’ to aid your body’s acclimatisation to altitude. Night camp: Barranco Hut (3900m). Trek approx 15km / 8-10 hours
Day 6: Barranco Hut – Barafu Camp
Our day starts by descending into the Great Barranco, a huge ravine. We then exit steeply, up the Great Barranco Wall, which divides us from the southeastern slopes of Kibo. It’s a climb over rock, not technical, but long and tiring. Passing underneath the Heim and Kersten glaciers, we head towards the Karanga valley, which is our last stop for fresh water before the summit. Scree now forms the terrain as we walk through arid and desolate land towards camp. Night camp: Barafu Camp (4600m). Trek approx 18km / 7-9 hours
Day 7: Barafu Camp – New Year's Eve Summit Climb – Millennium Camp
We avoid walking too long in the heat of the sun today by starting while it’s dark, and walk steeply upwards to the summit glaciers. We will be climbing scree for 4 to 5 hours but gain incredible height over a short distance. The views are spectacular. We should be on the crater rim at Stella Point (5739m) as the first rays of the sun hit us and the first dawn of 2017 awakes. Spectacular ice cliffs within the crater surround us and the views to jagged Mawenzi – Kilimanjaro’s secondary but more technical peak – and beyond are breathtaking. Another hour’s walking takes us to the summit, Uhuru Peak (5896m); Uhuru means freedom in Swahili. We begin our descent by returning to Stella Point and then descending on scree slope and track back to Barafu Camp for breakfast, before finally heading down to camp for a long wellearned rest. On our descent we have fabulous views of the plains and Mawenzi.
Night camp: Millennium Camp (3720m).
Day 8: Millennium Camp – Mweka Gate – Moshi
A gentle trek takes us down through the rainforest to Mweka Gate, where we complete park formalities and receive certificates, which you can hang up with pride! We are then met by our vehicles and return to the hotel in Moshi, where you can treat yourself to a welcome shower (and a cold beer or two!) before our big celebration. Night hotel. Trek approx 10km; 5 hours
Day 9: Free time Moshi – Flight
Free day, allowing you to explore Moshi, where there are some good markets, and relax with your fellow achievers. You can also opt to visit a Community Project we support on a long-term basis – a children’s home on the outskirts of Moshi. We return to the hotel mid-afternoon in time to transfer to the airport for our international flight home.
(Lunch not included.)
Day 10: Arrive UK
Discover adventure reserves the right to change the route or itinerary for safety reasons should local conditions dictate.
For details of our amazing Ngorongoro Safari extension (adds 3 extra days) please contact us.
Our treks are graded from 1 (Moderate) to 5 (Extreme). This trek is Grade 5. Terrain is very varied as we pass through different eco-systems as we ascend the mountain. We trek on overgrown forest paths, moorland, rocky trail and scree. Much of the walking is rough underfoot. Lower down it can be wet and muddy; higher up barren and arid. This trek is challenging in itself, but the main challenge lies in the altitude. The Machame Route allows for excellent acclimatisation to the altitude as it contours around the mountain, rather than going straight up, and allows you to trek higher than you sleep at important points on the ascent. Symptoms of being at altitude include tiredness, shortness of breath, headaches and nausea. Altitude affects people differently and being super-fit is no guarantee of being less likely to feel the effects. Where a participant is suffering from the effects of altitude, it may be necessary to walk them back down the mountain. You will trek approximately 90km on this trip overall, though it’s much more useful when training to think about the hours you need to walk for, and the terrain!
All accommodation is included as well as all flights, transfers, camping equipment (other than sleeping bag and mat); all meals except two as specified in the itinerary, and National Park entry fees.
Experienced Discover Adventure leaders and doctor (depending on final group size) are also included, along with a local support crew of porters, guides, cooks and drivers. It does not include personal travel insurance, airline fuel supplement if charged by the airline (capped by Discover Adventure), two meals as specified, tip for local crew, Tanzanian entry visa or international airport tax. It also does not include any optional sites you may wish to visit on your free day. We strongly recommend you carry a credit card in case of personal emergency.
Accommodation and Food
We camp for 5 nights during the trek in two-man tents; you will be sharing with someone else on your trek. Camp facilities include tables, chairs and dining-tents. The hotel in Moshi is a comfortable, clean hotel with private facilities. All food is included when camping. The food is great, will give you plenty of energy, and there is plenty of it. Two meals as specified are not included. Please let us know any dietary requirements well in advance.
Crew & Trip Support
Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders. Our leaders are selected for their experience in harsh wilderness environments, knowledge of travel in remote areas, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises. They are also trained in expedition first-aid. You are in very safe hands with a Discover Adventure leader.
Depending on group size, an expedition doctor or medic will also accompany the group. The crew will have radios and emergency satellite phones, extensive medical kit and other safety apparatus where necessary.
Our local support crew is made up of local guides, drivers, cooks and porters. Local guides know the area well, and are a great source of knowledge about local customs and lifestyles. The Discover Adventure crew work closely with the local crew to ensure your trip runs smoothly and safely.
Vehicles take the group to the start of the trek and pick us up at the end. Porters carry all luggage, food, water and camping equipment. There are strict rules restricting the weight of the load a Kilimanjaro porter is permitted to carry.
Preparing for the challenge
Passport and Vaccinations
A ten-year passport is essential and must be valid for at least 6 months after departure from Tanzania Most nationalities, including UK citizens, require a visa for entry into Tanzania.
You must have had a Tetanus injection in the last ten years, and highly recommend protection against Polio, Hepatitis A and Typhoid. A Yellow Fever certificate is necessary if arriving from an infected country (being in transit at an airport for less than 12 hours doesn’t count). Although you are unlikely to encounter any mosquitoes while you are above 1000m, protection against malaria is recommended as there is a risk at lower elevations.
Late March to early June and November are Tanzania’s rainy seasons. For the rest of the year the weather is equatorial and very pleasant, with often a cool breeze on the mountains. Although warm by day, and hot on the valley floor, altitude has a great effect on temperatures and it will get cooler as you climb higher. It will also be cold at night, sometimes below freezing, and extremely cold at the summit. Average min/max temperatures for Moshi range between 16-33°C.