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. Read Testimonials
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 camp in two-man tents; these are usually expedition-style (ie sleeping room only). Camps are usually simple, in remote locations with great views! We have communal dining areas (usually with tables and chairs/stools) and toilet tents, and the local crew look after us very well. We stay in hotels (of a 2-3* standard or equivalent) at the start and end of the trip; standards may vary between different hotels, but they are generally clean and comfortable with good facilities.
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.
Entry requirements vary depending on your destination and nationality. It is your responsibility to ensure your passport is valid, and any visas are obtained in good time. Check the FCO’s advice on entry requirements for your destination to be sure. To find out if you need a visa you can check your requirements using our partner, Visa Machine, website here; please ensure you allow plenty of time.
Your routine UK schedule of vaccinations should be up-to-date (especially tetanus). We recommend you check Fit For Travel for further details. You should always check with a GP or travel clinic for up-to-date travel health advice as it does change.
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 15% off any purchases you make with them. Please ask us for the code if you do not have this already.
Travel Insurance is compulsory on our challenges; we strongly suggest that you arrange insurance cover as soon as your booking with us is confirmed. Should you need to cancel on medical grounds, you will need insurance to cover the costs involved (registration fee and any trip costs depending on cancellation date).
You should also ensure that you have adequate cover for the type of challenge you are taking part in as well as medical emergencies, evacuation and repatriation.
You can obtain a quote with Insure to Travel from our website here, or you may choose to take out your own travel insurance, just remember to let us know the policy number and emergency phone number!
For more information about travel insurance, please click here.
For most people, the main attraction of travelling to a different country is to see new sights and enjoy new experiences. Sometimes those new experiences can make life harder or more inconvenient than you may like, such as toilet hygiene or different food, or simply a different attitude to solving problems. This is all part of the challenge you are signing up for! We are very privileged to live in a country with a high standard of living, and travelling exposes us to different challenges – all of which help broaden our horizons. We can guarantee that coming face-to-face with experiences outside your normal ‘comfort zone’ will help you bond with your fellow participants and provide you with plenty of things to laugh about! A sense of humour and sense of adventure are two of the most important things to bring with you!