Reach life-changing elevations and climb Africa’s most magnificent and storied summit, Mount Kilimanjaro. This incredible, fully supported trek will have you climbing the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, at 19,300 ft, via the Machame Route. Hiking through the five temperate zones of this amazing landscape you will summit at sunrise to awe-inspiring views of this amazing continent.
Following your mountain experience, you have the option to continue your adventure by going on safari! Traveling by land rover you will visit with Maasai villagers and take in the sites at 3 world-renown National Parks: Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, and Tarangire. As elephants, leopards, black rhinos, and lions appear, you will be amazed by their beauty and inspired by the amazing treasures Africa holds.
- Mount Kilimanjaro, with its three volcanic cones, Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira, is an extinct volcano in North Eastern Tanzania. Rising 4,600 meters (15,092 feet) from its base, it is one of the world’s highest free standing mountains and is additionally the highest peak in Africa. It lies 205 miles south of the equator and stands on Tanzania/Kenya border. Kilimanjaro supports 5 major eco-zones: rainforest, heath, moorland, alpine desert and glaciers.
- The top of Mount Kilimanjaro has seen a significant retreat of the newest glaciers, with the most recent ice cap volume dropping by more than 80%. Scientist speculate that the shrinking of Kilimanjaro’s ice cap is not directly due to rising temperatures, but rather to decreased precipitation..
- Given the grandeur of Mount Kilimanjaro, there is relatively little recorded history of the peak. Even the origins of the name are unknown, although there are several theories. European explorers had adopted the name by 1860 and reported it was Swahili Kilima meaning hill or little mountain and Njaro meaning white or shining. However, it is not understood why the diminutive kilima is used rather than the proper word for mountain, mlima. The name may be a sarcastic joke, referring to the “little hill of the Njaro.” Another theory is that it comes from the Kichagga “kilmanare” or “kileajao” meaning “which defeats the bird/leopard/caravan,” although this doesn’t explain why the name Kilimanjaro was never used in Kichagga before in it was used in Europe.
- There are several routes by which to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, but Machame is by far the most scenic, albeit steeper route.
- Fastest ascent: Bruno Brunod, 5 hours 38 minutes 40 seconds.
- Youngest person to summit: Keats Boyd, 7 years old.
- Oldest person to summit: Valtee Daniel, 87 years old.
Day 1: Arrive in Moshi. Welcome and transfer to Springlands hotel. Overnight in Moshi.
Day 2: Free day in Moshi. Relax by the pool, shop in the local market, or take advantage of a jungle walk with a local guide. Evening pre-trip briefing with a local guide in the lobby of the hotel.
Day 3: An early morning departure will take us to the base of the mountain to begin our journey. After traveling through the village of Machame to the trail head at Mt. Kilimanjaro National Park, we will meet our porters and begin our climb. We will begin our day by hiking through a rain forest toward the Machame Hut at 10,200 feet where we will make camp and spend the night. (Hiking time: 5-6 hours)
Day 4: We leave the gates of the rainforest and continue upwards through a field of heather and onto a river gorge. After hiking along a steep ridge we will arrive at Shira Camp at 12,600 ft. This day is a bit shorter providing time for rest and acclimatization. (Hiking time: 4-5 hours)
Day 5: From the Shira Plateau, we continue east towards the peak of Kibo and Lava Tower. Our campsite, Barranco Camp, at an altitude of 12,700 ft. Although you end the day at the same elevation as where you started, this day is a very important acclimatization day and will help your body prepare for summit day. (Hiking time: 6-7 hours)
Day 6: We leave Barranco Camp making our way up to the Barranco Wall, a steep climb of around 900 ft. After ascending this steep path, we travel towards the Karanga Valley. After a short ascent, we will arrive at Karanga Camp at 14,000 ft. (Hiking time: 5-6 hours)
Day 7: From Karanga Camp we continue through the Karanga Valley. It is here that our route intersects with the Mweka trail. From the intersection in the valley, we make our way up to Barafu Hut at 15,100 ft by mid-afternoon. At this point, you will have officially completed the South Circuit which offers views of the summit from many different angles. We will make camp early, enjoy dinner, and prepare for our summit effort which will likely start at about 11pm. (Hiking time: 4-5 hours (trek to Barafu Hut)
Day 8: Having started our summit push around 11pm (day 7), we’ll continue our ascent northwesterly toward Stella Point located on the crater rim. This is one of the most mentally and physically challenging portions of the trek. At Stella Point (18,651 ft), you will stop for a short rest and snack. From Stella Point, you will hike on snowpack during your 2-hour ascent to the summit at 19,341 ft, and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see (weather permitting). Your guides will then take you down as quickly as possible to prevent any altitude issues from arising. From the summit, we will stop at Barafu Camp for lunch and to gather all our belongings. We will then continue trekking out to Mweka Camp which is situated in the upper forest at 10,000 ft. It is here we make camp and spend the night. (Hiking time: ascent is approx. 6-8 hours; descent and trek out to Mweka Camp approx. 9-10 hours)
Day 9: We descend down to Mweka Village from Mweka Camp and meet our transportation for travel back to Springlands hotel in Moshi. The days hike is approximately ten miles and descends 4,000 feet. After a hot shower and some time to relax around the pool, we’ll meet our local guides for dinner and an evening celebration!
Day 10: After boarding our photo safari converted landrovers, we drive from Moshi to Lake Manyara. Lake Manyara covers 330 square kilometers, 230 of which are the lake. Along its western boundaries is the Rift Valley’s western wall. The park is famous for the birdlife — almost 400 different species. It is also famous for the elephant population and the tree-climbing lions. After our afternoon game drive, we’ll then travel to Highview Hotel for our dinner and overnight.
Day 11: We will spend the morning in a Maasai Village interacting with the local people and learning more about their way of life. Following, we’ll drive to Ngorongoro Crater, one of nature’s wonders and a photographer’s paradise! Ngorongoro is the largest intact crater in the world, covering 265 square kilometers. From the rim to the crater floor is 2,000 feet. The Crater is home to an abundance of wild game including elephants, rhinos, cheetahs, lions, leopards, hyenas, jackals, bushbucks, elands, waterbucks, wildebeest, many antelope, and a large variety of birds. This is a sight that you will always remember! We’ll then enjoy dinner with a cultural dance exhibition. Overnight at Highview Hotel.
Day 11: Following breakfast, we’ll travel to Tarangire National Park for a game drive followed by lunch in the park. We will then make our way back to Moshi via Mto Wa Mbu to shop for souvenirs and Tanzanite, a gemstone that is extremely rare and found only in the Mererani Hills near Mount Kilimanjaro. Overnight in Moshi.
Day 12: Transfer to Kilimanjaro International airport. Depart for home.
The best way to stay comfortable on any active adventure is going lightweight. Wearing the right versatile layers will insure a system with great ventilation and maximum protection in any conditions. The items on this list are just suggestions, however traveling with these items will give you the best chance for comfort and protection while in Tanzania against any and all conditions. Your local Backwoods employee would be glad to help determine which product is right for you!
As with many high altitude mountain trips, the weather can change very quickly. During the night on the Machame route, temperatures can be quite cold (10-30 degrees) with daytime temperatures ranging between 45-80 degrees. Most days will be clear and enjoyable, however, cool and misty conditions are possible. It’s not uncommon to encounter snow-covered ground near the summit.
Duffle bags carried by porters during the trek can be no more than 15 kilograms (33 lbs.). This is a national park policy. This would be a great time to update your gear with some really lightweight equipment. Travel/city clothing may be stored at the hotel in Moshi during the trek.
✓ Day pack – 2,000-3,000 cu. in
✓ Large duffle bag
✓ Luggage tags and luggage locks
✓ Passport pouch or money pouch
✓ Casual Clothing and lightweight, comfortable items for travel
✓ Valid passport
✓ Airline tickets
✓ Electrical adapter plug
✓ Travel pillow
✓ Hiking shorts
✓ Hiking pants – zip offs are great
✓ Long-sleeved shirts
✓ Long underwear
✓ Fleece jacket or wool sweater
✓ Fleece pants
✓ Down / synthetic insulated jacket
✓ Waterproof / breathable jacket and pants
Cold Weather Accessories
✓ Gloves – warm and waterproof
✓ Gloves – midweight windstopper
✓ Gloves liners
✓ Ski hat
✓ Hiking boots – waterproof, lightweight, broken-in and with ankle support
✓ Tennis shoes or sandals
✓ Hiking socks
✓ Warm socks
✓ Sock liners
Sleeping bag (rated 0 degrees).
✓ Tents are supplied
✓ Foam sleeping pads are provided (However, a Thermarest is highly recommended for optimal comfort)
✓ Water bottles and / or Hydration Resevoir (2-3)
✓ Sun hat with brim
✓ Money ($800-$1,000 in cash including some small US or Tanzanian bills)
✓ Ski or trekking poles
✓ Pack cover
✓ Headlamp or flashlight
✓ Camera, film, tripod
✓ Batteries – extra for headlamp and camera
✓ Notebook, journal, pencil and pen
✓ Pocket knife or multi-tool
✓ Energy bars, hard candy, snacks and comfort foods
✓ Personal first-aid kit
✓ Insect repellent
✓ Several Ziploc plastic bags
✓ Heavy duty trash bag
✓ Toilet paper (and baggie to put used paper while on trail)
✓ Small towel
✓ Toothbrush and toothpaste
✓ Handi-wipes (moist towels for cleaning)
✓ Hand sanitizer
✓ Personal toiletry items
✓ Sun block and lip balm
ALL LAND COSTS INCLUDED!
- 7 day/6 night climb of the Machame Route or 5 day/4 night climb of Marangu route on Mt. Kilimanjaro
- 1 cultural/rest day in and around Moshi prior to climb
- Expert local guide and Backwoods Adventures Trip Host.
- 3 nights at Springlands Hotel
- All transfers to and from Kilimanjaro International Airport
- Marmot 4 season tents on climb
- Minimum 3 pre-departure information conference calls with Backwoods Adventures host.
- All meals, park fees, and all guide and porter fees
- All airfare to and from Tanzania (Inquire to learn more about our flight booking service)
- Personal gear and clothing
- Alcoholic drinks, extra drinks and snacks
- Extras; laundry, massage, internet
At Backwoods Adventures we know that well fed travelers are happy travelers! We aim to please your palate. These examples may not be the exact fare of the day and may change from day to day, but following are a few examples of our daily meals:
Breakfast: Breakfasts are typically eggs, toast, meat, and fruit along with a selection of hot drinks.
Lunch: Lunches will be some combination of bread, cheese, cucumbers and tomatoes, fried potatoes, fried bread, fruit, biscuits, and hot drinks. “Tea” is served mid-to late afternoon with peanuts, popcorn, and/or biscuits.
Dinner: Dinners will be served with soup and bread first, followed by pasta, potatoes, or rice with different sauces, which are often tomato-based with meat, beans, and vegetables.
Note: Vegetarian and other special diets can be accommodated. Because of the exercise and high altitude, you should drink 3-4 liters of water a day. The porters will boil water along the route for you.
Our accommodations will vary based upon our location. However, all hotels are among the highest ranked in the nation for both location and amenities. We make every effort to deliver high quality, unique experiences in any country we may find ourselves! The Springlands Hotel received the” “Award of Districts”, “Award for Tidiness” and the Moshi Municipal Council granted Springlands the” “2004 CUP” for maintaining cleanliness in the environment. The Springlands Resort will be your home base for our Mt. Kilimanjaro trek and Tanzanian photo safari. It’s located just over a mile from the center of Moshi (800m/2600). The rooms are remarkably clean and relaxing; with twin beds, mosquito netting, and bath rooms with hot showers. This is a private hotel located inside its own peaceful enclosure to ensure the best security and privacy. The resort personnel are very friendly and helpful individuals. Their huge smiles and outgoing personalities will delight you! During the course of the trek we will be staying in large 4-person tents. All rooms are on a twin-sharing basis, unless otherwise arranged.
Amenities and services include: dining establishment as well as garden bar, massage, pedicure or manicure, swimming pool and sauna, television area, exercise area, guided jungle strolls, gift shop for sundries and tokens, telephone solutions and net accessibility, locked storage containers (while on trek or trip), washing machines, bike rental (to community and back), rental equipment (for the trek), safe deposit box ($ 1/day)
Altitude – Our trip to Mt. Kilimajaro will take us to remote regions at high altitude. We always take our time to acclimatize properly by allowing for additional rest days. When gaining in altitude above 10,000 feet, we have included sufficient rest or “layover” days to ensure that you acclimatize properly. While many people may experience minor ill effects from high altitudes, there are some who have persistent symptoms that require returning to a lower altitude or, in extreme cases, emergency evacuation. We do our best to allow a pace for everyone to acclimatize. Listening to your guide will help a great deal. We cannot determine how you will do at altitude, but being in the best shape possible and having a lower body fat percentage will help greatly.
The ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro is a strenuous adventure and should not be undertaken if you have any health conditions which may put you at risk. You are strongly advised to consult your physician for a thorough medical check-up and clearance before attempting the mountain. If you are over 50 years old, talk to your doctor about doing a “stress EKG”. Should you require any medication whatsoever, you must provide your own and be able to administer it yourself. Medical supplies in Tanzania are not reliable or guaranteed though we will have a fully stocked medical kit on the trip.
Talk to your doctor about the following vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, Tetanus, Polio, MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), Malaria pills, prescriptions you are currently taking, or should take in case you get sick.
U.S. Citizens need a visa for Tanzania. You can get the visa application from the Tanzania Embassy website or call them in Washington D.C. at 202-939-6125, and ask for a visa application. You will need to send:
Valid passport (must be valid for at least 6 months beyond entry)
- One application per traveler
- One passport-size photo
- $100 money order for each person (no checks)
- Prepaid return envelope to the embassy
Allow 30 days for processing. You might want to consider sending it certified mail or Federal Express both directions to ensure the safety of your passport. You can also get a visa at the Kilimanjaro International Airport once you arrive. You should carry a photocopy of your passport, insurance information and emergency contact numbers with you at all times. You should leave a copy of this information with a friend or relative at home.
FROM OUR TRAVELERS
“Thanks for being the best guide ever. Your encouragement, concern, and professionalism has made this trip a truly wonderful experience. I wish you all he very best in all that you do and hope to see you soon. “
“I hope this weekend goes as well as last week. You, Joe and Billy were excellent hosts and instructors. I had a wonderful time. Thanks again for all your patient coaching and kind words. “
“Thank you for offering such an amazing life experience. From the beginning with Joe and Mike’s emails, to the store’s support on outfitting, to the actual trip, it was an overall very positive experience. I highly recommend this trip to those with a passion for wanting the challenge of this mountain.”