Day 1: Meet trip leader in lobby of Sarova Stanley Hotel at 9 am for a brief orientation, followed by transfer to the Flying Kites School in Njabini, Kenya. Participants also choose to stay in the Tune Hotel the night before, and your trip leader can help make a reservation for you. Today you’ll have the opportunity to see what it is we do at Flying Kites, meet the kids 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 kids. 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 we’ll depart for Arusha, TZ. This trip is often times a mini safari in itself, keep a look out for zebra, gazelle and giraffe! Once we arrive at our hotel in Arusha, we’ll have a brief meeting with our guides and have plenty of time to relax and unwind in the swimming pool.
Day 4: Kilimanjaro: Machame Hut (3,000 m) 6-8 hours walking. 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. We 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. We 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.) we 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 us 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 we 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 our midnight summit attempt (3-4 hours walking throughout the day).
Day 9: Summit day: Mweka forest camp (3100 m) We will start our ascent by headlamp at about 12 a.m. so that we 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 us to Stella Point (5,735 m) in about five or six hours. We will rest there for a short time to enjoy the sunrise over Mawenzi. From here we’ll 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, we continue to descend to reach our 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 will be transferred to our hotel in Arusha where we’ll 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....