Start 2021 on a high, quite literally, and reach the summit of Kilimanjaro on New Year's Day.
At a whopping 5896m, Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain on the African continent. The snow-capped summit rises high above 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.
This trek takes the Machame route, allowing gradual acclimatisation to the altitude and an excellent chance of reaching the summit. Pass through thick, forest, moorland and scree en route to Uhuru Peak, the highest point. This is a challenging trek at altitude, climbing one of the most impressive mountains in the world.
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 is often wet and muddy underfoot. Night camp: Machame Camp (3100m)
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)
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)
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)
Day 7: Barafu Camp - Summit - 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. 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 well-earned 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.
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.
Day 10: Arrive UK
There is a £499 registration fee for this challenge and then a minimum sponsorship target of £4,900. This includes the tour cost which we are invoiced for from Discover Adventure. We have lots of ideas, hints and tips to help you reach your target and enjoy fundraising for your challenge.
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