Kilimanjaro Trek with Optional Safari Add-On

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Some of us are yogis, others are boot camp junkies. Some of us appreciate the solace of laps in the pool, while others need a personal trainer to keep them on track. Regardless of how you utilize the services and programs at your club one thing is for sure: when it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle, setting goals keeps us motivated.

 

This journey sets the ultimate goal: trek to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Join expert African guides and professional trainers as we travel to Tanzania for a 7-day trek to the summit of the tallest mountain on the African continent. The climb isn't technical (no crampons needed), however, great physical shape surely helps as you navigate rocks and narrow pathways, and acclimate to the altitude.

 

For those interested in taking in all that East Africa has to offer, consider adding on our safari experience after the climb.

Itinerary

DAYS 1 and 2: U.S./Tanzania – River Trees Country Inn

On arrival into Arusha-Kilimanjaro in the evening and after clearing customs and immigration, you will be met and transferred to River Trees Country Inn for dinner and overnight. (D)

 

DAY 3: Machame Camp (9,850 ft.)

After breakfast, you will meet with your mountain professional guide for a climb briefing. You will depart from the hotel around 9:00am for the Machame Gate, and begin walking through the mist on a 4x4 track for about an hour into the forest. The track ends, and the trail continues up through the dripping, verdant forest. Trekkers will likely hear the many exotic birds in the canopy above, and many even see black & white colobus monkeys and sykes monkeys as they hike along the forest floor. This first days’ trek is approximately 12 miles, and though it’s not very steep, it will take 5-7 hours to reach the first camp. Machame Camp is just above the forest zone, in the heather zone. When it is clear, there are views of jagged Shira ridge and the summit itself. (B,L,D)

 

DAY 4: Shira 2 Camp (12,600 ft.)

Wake early to a steaming cup of tea of coffee served in your tent, and then after breakfast, begin up the steep track through a savannah of tall grasses, and trees of giant Heather and Erica. The clouds should clear for a beautiful view of the Western Breach and the glaciers atop which mark the summit; Uhuru Peak. Scramble around large boulders as you enter the moorland zone, marked by the bizarre lobelia and senecio plants, and volcanic rocks draped with lichen beards which protect wild alpine flowers growing at their bases. You’ll reach camp after descending a small valley and crossing a brook, then ascending up onto the Shira Ridge, after a total of 4-5 hours of trekking. (B,L,D)

 

DAY 5: Barranco Camp (12,950 ft.)

Proceed steadily upward over long ridgelines of high desert about 4 hours, and break for lunch at about 14,500 ft. After lunch, continue to Lava Tower, a 300 foot-tall volcanic plug which marks an exposed pass at 15,000 ft. In the afternoon, descend the steep track into the Great Barranco Valley. Barranco Camp is set on a col (flat area) enclosed on three sides with steep valley walls and the Kibo massif itself. Hanging glaciers glint in the sunshine above, amidst the eerie landscape of plants such as the giant groundsels (Senecio Kilimanjari), and the uniquely endemic Giant Lobelia. Trekking time is 6-7 hours. (B,L,D)

 

DAY 6: Karanga Camp (13,100 ft.)

Today we trek to Karanga Valley Camp, at 13,000 ft. between Barranco and Barafu Camps. This day has proven to be very important for acclimatization. The day begins with a scramble up the steep ‘Barranco Wall’, then traversing up and down the slopes of valleys which have carved their way into the mountain’s southern face. Kibo’s glaciers loom above to your left and the jagged peaks of Mawenzi jut into the African sky at just under 17,000 ft.  straight ahead. We reach the Karanga Valley after 3-4 hours of trekking for a hot lunch. Afternoon to relax or to take excursions from camp. (B,L,D)

 

DAY 7: Barafu Camp (15,200 ft.)

From here the trail turns steadily uphill. The temperature will grow colder and the landscape more sparse as we near Barafu Camp. Barafu Camp is set on a small, exposed flat area on a ridge, acting a base camp from which you will make your summit attempt at midnight tonight. Total trekking time is 4-5 hours, with a hot lunch upon reaching camp. The afternoon is yours to rest and prepare for the long night ahead. Eat and drink as much as possible before retiring early to your tent for rest and sleep. (B,L,D)

 

DAY 8: Mweka Camp (10,200 ft.)

The steaming hot drink will arrive very early on this momentous day.  A midnight wake-up call is the start of a juggernaut (12-17 hours of trekking). You begin trekking at 12:30am. The temperatures range from just below freezing at midnight, to between 10°F and -10°F just before dawn at the summit. The winding path of endless switchbacks will take form and shape in the shadows of the Ratzel and Rebmann glaciers at early dawn, and behind you the spires of Mawenzi will be silhouetted against the red glow of the sun from beneath the clouds.  After 6 hours of walking, you will come to the edge of the crater, at Stella Point, at 19,000 ft. which is the end of the steep track. From here, there is a gentle slope upward about 1 hour to Uhuru Peak. After a short time at the summit, descend the steep scree trail back to Barafu Camp for some rest, then again summon your strength for further descent to Mweka Camp for the night. (B,L,D)

 

DAY 9: River Trees County Inn

This morning at 7:00am you will start descending straight to the gate (2-3 hours), where you’ll have lunch and will be awarded climbing certificates. You will be transferred back to River Trees Country Inn where you can take the afternoon and evening to relax. (B,L,D)

 

DAY 10: Return Flight Home

This afternoon you will be transferred to Kilimanjaro Airport for your flight back to the USA. (B)

Pricing:

Kilimanjaro Trek: Starting at $5,500 per person (pricing & availability subject to change)

Trip Inclusions

  • Airport meet/greet at Kilimanjaro

  • Private Transfer from Kilimanjaro Airport to River Trees Country Inn

  • River Trees Country Inn – 1 night inclusive of Dinner and Breakfast and double occupancy accommodation

  • Kilimanjaro Trek – 7 day Machame Route inclusive of all meals and double occupancy tent accommodation

  • River Trees Country Inn – 1 night inclusive of Dinner and Breakfast and double occupancy accommodation

  • Private Transfer from River Trees Country Inn to Kilimanjaro Airport

Trip Exclusions

  • International air

  • Gratuity

  • Meals not indicated above

  • Visa

Safari Extension

If you choose to extend your trip, you will depart Arusha with your local driver-guide and head west passing through wide open landscape, small villages, bomas and the Great Rift Valley escarpment. Spend the morning exploring Tarangire National Park, famous for its large elephant and lion populations as well as being the only place in Tanzania where you can find the native Baobab Tree. After lunch at Tarangire Safari Lodge, you will get to know the local people with a Mto Wa Mbu cultural tour before heading to the Ngorongoro Crater Area where you will stay for two nights at Neptune Ngorongoro Luxury Lodge. 

 

Set in 50 acres of virgin Tanzanian bush in the Ngorongoro volcanic landscape, Neptune Ngorongoro Luxury Lodge is considered the closest property to the Crater Gate thus allowing unparalleled access to the Crater and the most dense concentration of wildlife in Africa! 

 

Wake the following morning to a fragrant cup of Tanzanian coffee before spending a full day on the Ngorongoro Crater floor. Due to the enclosed nature of the Crater, a self sustaining ecosystem has been formed. The water-rich southern regions of the Crater are home to yellow fever tree dominated Lerai Forest, Lake Magadi and the Gorigor Swamp where spectacular colored birds and great pods of hippo can be found wallowing and grunting. As you travel north inside the Crater, you will begin to enter the open grasslands where the majority of the resident game resides including herds of buffalo, Thomson's gazelle, Grant's gazelle and topi. Here you will also find East Africa's best population of black rhino as well as some of the biggest tusked elephants anywhere in Africa. The high numbers of animals help support the dense populations of predators including lion, leopard, cheetah and hyena.

 

The following morning you will return back to Arusha for your international flight back to the USA.

Safari Extension Pricing

$2,075 per person (pricing & availability subject to change)

Inclusions

  • 2 nights lodging at Neptune Ngorongoro

  • Game Drive in Tarangire National Park

  • Mto Wa Mbu Cultural Tour

  • Full Day Game Drive in Ngorongoro Crater

  • All taxes and fees

  • Signature Vehicle

 

Solo Travelers:

Accommodations are based on double occupancy. If you prefer single accommodations, and if such are available, you can pay a single supplement fee. If you are traveling alone and wish to share accommodations, we can assign a roommate of the same gender. If there is no one with whom you can share, a single supplement fee will apply.