What does the program fee cover?

You can find a breakdown of the program fee and all associated costs here.

What does the trip itinerary look like?

Your trip will be 11 days in length. It begins in Nairobi, Kenya, where you will be transported to Flying Kites’ campus in the Aberdares Mountains. On-campus activities will vary depending on what time of year you’re visiting and what’s happening at school while there. Your time on campus offers a fantastic opportunity to witness the on-the-ground impact of your fundraising dollars!

Campus is also located at 8,000 ft above sea level which offers climbers the opportunity to begin their acclimatization process prior to heading to Tanzania for their climb. In addition to acclimatization, it allows for a few days to rest, unwind, and adjust to the time-change rather than jumping right into your climb!

Following your two days on campus, you’ll head to your hotel in Arusha, Tanzania. On your fourth day, you’ll begin your 7-day climb of Kilimanjaro. Your climb follows the Machame Route which offers stunning, 360-degree views and allows for maximal acclimatization. Accompanied by a world-class guide team, your chances of reaching Uhuru Peak have never been better.

On the 10th day, you’ll return to your hotel in Arusha for the night and enjoy a (much needed) shower. The following morning you will depart from Arusha for your post-trip destination.

Why Kilimanjaro?

People choose to hike Kilimanjaro for a wide range of reasons. For some it offers a thrilling mental or physical challenge, for others, it’s been a lifelong dream. For all, it offers unparalleled exposure to the beauty and extravagance of our natural world.  

Kilimanjaro is technically the highest freestanding mountain in the world. Visibly, it is quite dramatic — as you’re driving up you see massive, picturesque African plains and then a huge piece of earth that starts to rise up from these plains.

While on the mountain, the Machame route offers expansive views of the landscape. On your final night you leave camp around midnight and summit with the sunrise -- seeing the sunrise over the plains and neighboring Mount Mawenzi makes the physical and mental work beyond worthwhile.

What sort of hiking experience do I need to have prior to climbing?

Overall, Kilimanjaro is a really accessible mountain. With an altitude of approx. 19,300 ft, it’s the tallest peak on the African continent, but there is minimal technical climbing involved.

When it comes to altitude, prior experience doesn’t necessarily help with future experience -- The process of acclimatization needs to happen slowly every time you go back into the mountains, regardless of your previous experience. We have an exceptional team of guides who will help make sure you’re working through the acclimatization process at a healthy and optimal pace.

How should I prepare for this climb?

There is not a whole lot that can be done in terms of training for altitude prior to your climb.

Your commitment to physical training can shape your experience on the mountain but is by no means a deal-breaker. We’ve had people from all different backgrounds summit successfully! That being said, the more time you can spend on your feet prior to the climb -- hiking, running or walking -- the better you’ll likely feel on the mountain! Ideally, you need to be comfortable spending 6-8 hours on your feet, hiking at a gradual pace.

If you don’t have access to the outdoors, using a stair master or treadmill on an incline is a great way to prepare. Biking and/or trail running are great ways to cross-train as well!

Will I be responsible for carrying all of my equipment?

You will be responsible for your day pack (snacks, water, extra layers, sunscreen, etc.) but you will be accompanied by a team of porters on your climb who will help with carrying the rest of the group gear and most of your personal gear.

The guide team that helps you up the mountain are truly exceptional. Some of the guides have been up the mountain hundreds of times and they have taken the full range of climbers up. You’re in great hands with this team!

What can I expect for food on the trip?

While on the mountain you’ll be eating a lot! The food is all very safe and prepared by a chef who accompanies you on the climb.

Breakfast standardly consists of some combination of fruit, oatmeal, eggs, coffee, tea, etc. Lunch is typically a packed sandwich. Dinner often features pasta, rice, soup, etc. You definitely won’t go hungry and there are options to accommodate all different dietary needs!

What gear should I anticipate needing?

You can find an extensive packing list on our website, here. You can also rent camping and climbing gear (sleeping bag, mat, poles, etc.) from the guide company.

I’m worried about meeting the required fundraising goal. Are there any fundraising ideas you can share?

We recognize that fundraising can be a daunting task for just about anyone -- people who have been fundraising for years and those that are brand new to the experience. We have tons of helpful fundraising ideas on our website and would be more than happy to talk through a fundraising strategy with you prior to or after sign up!

What differentiates Flying Kites’ Kilimanjaro experience from one with another climbing group?

Our trips are designed for people who value philanthropy as much as adventure, for those who believe in the philosophy of living life to the fullest while helping others do the same.

We believe in the model of finding a way to make your travel more impactful and meaningful on both a personal level and for the communities you visit! People travel and go on adventures for a wide range of reason, often to satiate a personal goal or dream of some form. We believe that there is no better way to travel than with the knowledge in the back of your mind that you’re also helping someone else — fundraising for an on-the-ground cause only enhances your travel experience.

Who can I contact with questions or for more information?

Feel free to shoot an email to Marley at marley@flyingkites.org. We look forward to hearing from you!