Day 1: Meet your trip leader in the lobby of Sarova Stanley Hotel at 10 am for a brief orientation, followed by transfer to Flying Kites School in Njabini, Kenya. Participants can also choose to stay at a more budget option like ibis Styles Hotel the night before, and your trip leader can help make a reservation. At Flying Kites, you’ll have the opportunity to see what we do, meet the students and team in Kenya, and explore our community.
Day 2: Flying Kites: After a gentle hike in the Aberdares National Park, you’ll have the afternoon to spend time with the students. Take your time to get to know these remarkable children and see the impact your fundraising has had on their lives.
Day 3: Depart Flying Kites: This morning you will depart for Arusha, TZ. This trip is often times a mini safari in itself; keep a look out for zebra, gazelle and giraffe! Once you arrive at your hotel in Arusha, you'll have a brief meeting with the guides and have time to relax and unwind before your climb begins the next day.
Day 4: Kilimanjaro: Machame Hut (3,000 m) The climb starts from Machame gate (1800m) after a short walk through the colorful banana and coffee farms of Machame village. The path follows a ridge through dense montane forest. This is a rich, forested area on the mountain and where 98% of the water on Kilimanjaro originates. You may get our first closer look at the glaciated dome of Kibo if the evening clouds permit (6-7 hours walking throughout the day).
Day 5: Shira Hut (3,840m);. A shorter day that begins by climbing up a steep ridge to reach a small semicircular cliff known as Picnic Rock. There are excellent views of Kibo and the jagged rim of Shira Plateau from here, and it is a good rest point too! The trail continues less steeply to reach the Shira Plateau. Camp near Shira Hut (3,840m.) which has some of the most stunning views on Kilimanjaro; close to the huge volcanic cone of Kibo, the spectacular rock formations of Shira Plateau, and looking across to Mt. Meru floating on the clouds (4-6 hours walking throughout the day).
Day 6: Great Barranco valley (3,900 m.) A morning of gentle ascent and panoramic views, leaving the moorland plateau behind to walk on lava ridges beneath the glaciers of the Western Breach. After lunch near the Lava Tower junction (4,550 m.) descend to the bottom of the Great Barranco valley (3,900 m.), sheltered by towering cliffs and with extensive views of the plains far below (5-7 hours walking throughout the day).
Day 7: Karanga camp (4,000 m) A steep climb up the Barranco Wall leads you to an undulating trail on the southeastern flank of Kibo, with superb views of the Southern Icefields. From here the trail gradually ascends and descends until you reach Karanga camp. Here there is plenty of time to rest, or take a short acclimatization walk above the camp (4-5 hours walking throughout the day).
Day 8: Barafu campsite (4,600 m.) A short but steep climb out of Karanga up to the Barafu Campsite. The remainder of the day is spent resting and preparing for your midnight summit attempt (3-4 hours walking throughout the day).
Day 9: Summit day: Mweka forest camp (3100 m) You will start your ascent by headlamp at about 12 a.m. so that you can be up on the Crater rim by sunrise. The climb over volcanic scree has some well-graded zig zags and a slow but steady pace will take you to Stella Point (5,735 m) in about five or six hours. You will rest there for a short time to enjoy the sunrise over Mawenzi. From here, continue along the crater rim to Uhuru Peak (5,896 m), passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. The descent to Barafu is surprisingly fast, and after some refreshment, you continue to descend to reach your final Mweka forest camp (12 hours walking throughout the day).
Day 10: Mweka forest camp to Mweka Gate (1,650 m); A sustained descent through lovely forest with lush undergrowth takes us to Mweka National Park gate. From here you will be transferred to your hotel in Arusha where you can spend the afternoon resting poolside! (3-4 hours walking throughout the day) Group celebratory dinner in Arusha.
Day 11: Depart Kilimanjaro (JRO) for home, proud at having successfully topped out on one the world’s seven summits! Time to start planning your next adventure....