Climb the highest freestanding mountain in the world! Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain on the African continent at 5895m. Its 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. Dates & Prices
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.
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).
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).
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).
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).
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. 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 (5895m); 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 well-earned rest. On our descent we have fabulous views of the plains and Mawenzi. Night camp: Millennium Camp (3720m).
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.
Free day, allowing you to explore Moshi, where there are some good markets, or relax with your fellow achievers. We re-group at the hotel mid-afternoon in time to transfer to the airport for our international flight home.
Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with communication devices (eg phones, radios and/or emergency satellite phones), medical kit and other safety apparatus appropriate to the destination. Our leaders always have access to our 24-hour emergency UK back-up. They are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary, should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration - such as medical questionnaires and travel insurance as appropriate - is all done with your safety in mind.
We have a Passenger Portal which will give you more details of the challenge itself. It also enables you to see any outstanding information we need, the countdown to your challenge departure, see your outstanding balance, make payments and update your contact details. You can access this via the following link - Passenger Portal Log in.
We plan our trips around the optimal weather conditions, but could still be exposed to bad weather at any time. It is vital you are prepared for all conditions. We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice.
If you are still to buy some kit don’t forget that Cotswold Outdoor, Snow and Rock, Cycle Surgery and Runners Need offer all Discover Adventure participants 10% off any purchases you make with them. Please ask us for the code if you do not have this already.