ADVENTURE-PULSE
(The Adventure Management Consultants)

Africa
Kilimanjaro Expedition

Overview

Rising from the savannah of East Africa to the staggering height of 5895m, not only is Kilimanjaro the highest mountain in Africa but it is also the tallest free-standing mountain on earth. Conquering its unmistakable snowcapped peak has been the dream of keen trekkers as well as seasoned mountaineers for decades.

And rightly so, as Mount Kilimanjaro showcases some truly unique features. Its lower slopes are dense with lush forest yet the mountain is surrounded by vast expanses of dry savannah; its caldera is covered with ice yet this dormant volcano is situated near the Equator. There is no doubt that the views from its top are the greatest reward of all. From Kilimanjaro's summit it is possible to observe the curvature of the planet and on a clear day the views stretch as far as the plains of the Masai Mara.

However, Kilimanjaro has much more to offer than just its awe inspiring views. Embarking to an expedition to the roof of Africa is the equivalent of travelling on a trip from the Equator to the Arctic as the landscape varies from bushland to tropical forest, from moorland to heath and alpine desert.

Based upon our experience with high altitude trekking and acclimatization, we strongly recommend the 7 Day / 6 Night Macchame route as it not only allows you to acclimatize better to the sudden increase in altitude but also increases your chances of successfully summiting Kilimanjaro and reaching the fabled Uhuru Peak.

Quick Facts

Best Time : January to March and June to August

Duration : 10 Days

Max. Altitude : 5895 m

Commences At : Arusha

Ends At : Arusha

  • Arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport.
  • Extra day in Arusha for acclimatization; Rest and recovery from jet lag.
  • Drive to Machame gate and enter Kilimanjaro national park. Complete registrations and trek to Machame camp.
  • Machame to Shira camp (3810 m)
  • Shira Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp (3976 m)
  • Barranco camp to Karanga camp (4995 m)
  • Karanga camp to Barafu camp (4673 m)
  • Barafu camp to Uhuru peak (5895 m) - Descend to Mweka camp (3068 m)
  • Final descend; Transfer to Arusha
  • Departure from Kilimanjaro International Airport.

Contact

Elevation: 2866mtrs or 9,400ft
Distance: 11 km
Hiking Time: 5-7 hours

Habitat: Rain Forest

The drive from Moshi to the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park Gate takes about 90 minutes. The journey passes through the village of Machame which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain. We now leave the park gate and walk through the rain forest on a winding trail up a ridge. Lower down, the trail can be muddy and slippery. Gaiters and trekking poles are a good idea here. We continue a short distance until we reach the Machame Camp.
Elevation: 3811 mtrs or 12,500ft
Distance: 5 km
Hiking Time: 4-6 hours

Habitat: Moorland

After breakfast, we leave the glades of the rain forest and continue on an ascending path, crossing the little valley walking along a steep rocky ridge, covered with heather, until the ridge ends. The route now turns west onto a river gorge. Dinner and overnight at the Shira campsite.

Elevation: 3963mtrs or 13,000ft
Distance: 10 km
Hiking Time: 6-8 hours

Habitat: Semi Desert

From the Shira Plateau, we continue to the east up a ridge, passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo. As we continue, our direction changes to the South East towards the Lava Tower, called the "Shark's Tooth". Shortly after the tower, we come to the second junction which brings us up to the Arrow Glacier at an altitude of 16,000ft. We now continue down to the Barranco Hut at an altitude of 13,000ft. Here we rest, enjoy dinner, and stay overnight. Although you end the day at the same elevation as when you started, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day.

Elevation: 3994mtrs or 13,100ft
Distance: 5 km
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours

Habitat: Alpine Desert

After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge passing the Barranco Wall, to the Karanga Valley campsite. This is a short day meant for acclimatization.

Elevation: 4665mtrs or 15,300ft
Distance: 4 km
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours

Habitat: Alpine Desert

After breakfast, we leave Karanga and hit the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to the Barafu Hut. At this point, you have completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are to be seen from this position.

Elevation: 5898 mtrs or 19,345ft (and down to 10,000ft)
Distance: 5 km ascent / 12 km descent
Hiking Time: 7-8 hours ascent / 4-6 hours descent

Habitat: Arctic

Very early in the morning (midnight to 2 am), we continue our way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers. You head in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. From Stella Point, you may encounter snow all the way on your 1-hour ascent to the summit. At Uhuru Peak, you have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa. Faster hikers will see the sunrise from the summit. From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon.

Elevation: 1646 mtrs or 5,400ft
Distance: 10 km
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours

Habitat: Rain Forest

After breakfast, we continue the descend down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy). From the gate, you continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet you at Mweka village to drive you back to hotel in Moshi.

Package Details

TRIP COST INCLUDES

  1. Airport pick up and drops on arrival.
  2. Hotel Stay on a Bed & Breakfast plan.
  3. All transportation arrangements.
  4. Kilimanjaro National Park Permit
  5. 03 person Dome mountain Tent, Double occupancy.
  6. Staff Inclusions:- One Guide & Assistant Guide, One Cook and Assistant
  7. Cook, Two Porters per client
  8. Crisis management apparatus – VHF 2-way radio, basic first aid kit and anon call vehicle.
  9. Weight Restriction per trekker – 12kgs

TRIP COST EXCLUDES

  1. Lunch and Dinner while in the town/city.
  2. Tips to porters and staff.
  3. Airfare to and fro.
  4. Any Kind of Personal Expenses or Optional Tours / Extra Meals Ordered
  5. Tips, Insurance, Laundry, Phone Calls
  6. Any Kind of Drinks (Alcoholic, Mineral, Aerated)
  7. Soft or hard drinks, starters.
  8. Anything not specifically mentioned under the head "Prices included".

1. What are the staying arrangements for this trek?

This format is an ‘Expedition- Style’ format of trekking prevalent in Africa. The entire expedition will be completely self-sufficient with a separate Kitchen Tent and Staff, Dining Tent, Toilet Tent and 3- Man Dome shaped tents in which trekkers will be accommodated on double occupancy. For the 7 Days / 6 Nights, life will be simple as you follow the trail, and nights will be beautiful, as you fall asleep listening to the sounds of Africa. On landing at Kilimanjaro International Airport, you will be transferred to the hotel in Moshi Town. We will be spending two nights here to ensure that you completely recover from your travel journey before we head to Kilimanjaro and enter the national park at the Machame Gate. Feel free to leave any additional luggage at this hotel, as we will be coming back here after the trek for one night, before you continue onward with the rest of your journey either back home or to a Safari adventure.

2. What kind of physical shape do I need to be to undertake this trek?

You need to be in good physical shape to trek especially on Kilimanjaro. Though distances are not much, it is important to understand that on Kilimanjaro, every day involves substantial height gain. It’s a challenging trek and does demand good physical fitness and some bit of prior trekking experience. Please refer to our physical fitness document for more details on this topic.

3. What are the entry and exit points for this trek?

One needs to fly into Tanzania and reach the Kilimanjaro International Airport located between the city of Arusha and Moshi Town. There are regular International connections flights from Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. On your arrival at the airport, you will be picked up and driven directly to the hotel in Moshi Town where an Adventure Pulse representative will greet you. We plan to spend two days at Moshi Town, before we move on to Machame Gate on Day 3 for the actual leg of the trekking expedition. After the 7 Day / 6 night Trek, we exit from the Mweka Gate and make our way back to the hotel in Moshi. The next day, you will be transferred back to Kilimanjaro International Airport where you can catch your International flight back home.

4. Do I need any special equipment / climbing gear for this trek?

Any kind of climbing equipment or gears are not required for this trek. For list of other things and warm clothing to carry, please refer to our link - List of things to carry for the trek. You do need to make sure you have adequate warm clothes and very good Rain Gear as we do expect rainfall on this trail.

5. What is the communication system available on the way?

While on the trail, most days there is no network but at each of the Campsites, there are specific points where one can access network especially if you have your international network and roaming activated. Please check with your service provider for roaming availability in Tanzania.

6. What about high altitude acclimatization?

We at Adventure-Pulse consider acclimatization as one of the most important aspects of trekking / climbing a mountain and spend enough time to do that. We move up the mountain slowly giving enough time to our bodies to acclimatize. Each day, we monitor each trekkers SPO2, Blood Oxygen Saturation, with a portable Oximeter, to ensure they are acclimatizing well. Our senior guide will keep monitoring the team on a daily basis to ensure that there are no problems along the way. Kilimanjaro is notorious for steep trails and fast altitude jumps often leaving climbers exhausted.

7. What are the food arrangements?

Meals will be as close to home cooked food as possible with both Vegetarian & Non Vegetarian options available. Breakfasts will consist of bread, honey, jams, tea and coffee along with eggs, etc. For lunch there will be sandwiches, fruits, pancakes, boiled potato or boiled eggs as part of your full packed lunch. Dinner will usually be a soup followed by lentils, vegetable curry, with pasta, spaghetti etc... Our endeavour will be to try ensuring a daily variety in the food that we prepare so we keep the group's appetite up along with their morale.

8. Will I be able to take a shower or bath during the course of the climb?

Regular shower facilities will be available in the hotel, but while we are higher up on the trek, shower facility is not available for the trekking period.

9. What are the emergency medical precautions available for this trek?

The Adventure-Pulse staff and guides carry a fully equipped medical kit with necessary medicines and an Oxygen meter. As a standard practice, we check oxygen levels of all our clients twice a day and take necessary precautions if any irregularity is found in the oxygen reading. In case the problem persists, the client is sent down with a qualified guide. In case of an Injury where the trekker is not in a position to walk down, our staff will guide and if necessary carry you down. Each campsite has an exit out of the national park to the closest road head where a vehicle and a doctor visit can be organized in Moshi town.

10. What happens in case of bad weather on the mountain?

Adventure-Pulse usually plans all it treks during the most favorable season on the mountain, but having said that, weather is always an unpredictable factor. We usually look at weather reports before leaving for the trek. In case the weather is unfavorable, we could delay it to the next day depending upon the Itinerary. A buffer day/s is always built in the itinerary as contingency if we get hit by unfavorable weather conditions. In the worse situation, we may have to turn back midway, but safety is always a priority which cannot be compromised on.

Extreme temperature variations, high altitude, snow glare & proximity to sun are certain factors which necessitate the need to for proper mountaineering equipment. In order to enjoy your experience in the mountains, we have recommended that you carry the following with you.

Apparels

  1. Trekking Boots / Shoes (Preferably up to ankle length & water resistant)
  2. Multiple pairs of Cotton / Woollen socks (at least 4-5 pairs of each)
  3. Track Pants for comfortable trekking, Denims to be avoided. (At least 2-3).
  4. Thermal inners and Sweater/Warm sweat shirt (1 each)
  5. Cotton or Dry fit T-shirts (5 to 6 minimum)
  6. Water proof Jacket/ Wind-Cheater. (As a precaution against possible rain)
  7. Warm thermal or Goose Down jacket.
  8. 01 Peak Cap + at least 01 Woollen Cap
  9. 01 pair of warm gloves with windproof outer layer.
  10. 01 pair floaters

Accessories

  1. Air bag / Duffel bag (No Suitcases)
  2. Day Back Pack in case you do not want to carry your own rucksack
  3. Sleeping Bag (Withstand temp of 0 to -10 Degrees)
  4. Sleeping Mat (Either foam or inflatable)
  5. Drinking Water Bottle 1 Litre (Atleast 2 bottles)
  6. Torch + Batteries
  7. Camera + Batteries
  8. Knee / Ankle / Wrist Guards (if required)
  9. Cold cream
  10. Hand sanitizer
  11. Bug / Insect repellent
  12. Chap-stick / Vaseline
  13. Personal toiletries (Tooth Paste / Toilet Paper / Wet Wipes or Baby Wipes etc.)
  14. Medical kit (With basic medicines for headache, upset stomach, sour throat, band aids, painkillers & Moov / Iodex, Vics Vaporub, D-Cold)
  15. Any personal medication (Individual specific)
  16. One strip of DIAMOX (250mg) a.k.a Acetazolamide for Acute Mountaineering Sickness.
  17. High energy snacks like Dry fruits, Bars of chocolate, Tang, Glucose etc.
  18. Good Quality Sun shades.
  19. Sun block. (SPF40+)
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is a physical undertaking, so you should prepare yourself accordingly with a good 3 - 4 months training program. Being in good shape is important in many respects. Obviously, strong, conditioned legs make it easier to walk uphill and downhill for sustained periods of time. General aerobic fitness allows the body to function efficiently with less oxygen. And a fit body is more likely to withstand the stress of consecutive days of hiking and camping. Finally, a positive mental attitude can work wonders for you when fatigue and doubts arise. How hard is it to climb Kilimanjaro? That's a difficult question to answer because some people don't train much and fare very well, while others engage in a disciplined training program and succumb to the altitude in a few days. We've heard marathon runners tell us that climbing Kilimanjaro is the hardest thing they've ever done. The best advice we can give you is to train adequately, as described below, and get yourself in the best possible hiking shape. Our goal is to climb to the Summit at 19,340 feet and walk on broken glacial moraine all the way into Base Camp at 15,748 feet. You will spend 6-7 days in a land where life is simple, trails are steep and the air is thin. We recommend the following schedule to the participants.
We recommend the following schedule to the participants
  1. Week One/Two: The participants should develop the habit of being able to get up in the morning and run/brisk walk for a minimum of 3-4 Km atleast 4-5 days a week. This would represent at least 20-25 minutes of cardio exercise. Though difficult at first, keep at it. You can stop and take breaks as well.  During the day, you should get into the habit of avoiding elevators and taking the steps. You should be able to climb at least 4/5 flights of steps daily. (Avoid going down steps too fast as this could result in some knee injuries). If you don’t enjoy running and are into some other sport like cycling or swimming, spend about 45 mins cycling or about 600 – 800 mts of swimming for atleast 4 days a week.
  2. Week Three/Four: Assuming you have successfully survived week one and are consistent with your exercise, you can take up the pace a notch. Increase your distance to 5/6 kms per day and 5 times a week, you can additionally go to a gym.  Avoid heavy weight training.  Focus more on a core workout. These are your muscle groups that run along the length of your body and helps maintain your posture and sustains you during your long hours of working.
  3. Week Five/Six: In addition to the previous week’s exercises, one additional feature you should add is walking for half an hour during the evenings with a backpack while carrying 3-4 kgs.  This could be 2lts of water, some snacks, a jacket etc.  This will help strengthen your back and shoulders thus preparing you for the long hours of trekking. If you don’t want to just simply walk, also try increasing your time on climbing flight of steps. As compared to week one, you should aim to be able to climb 10-12 flight of stairs comfortably.
  4. Week Seven/Eight: Sustenance. Keep up the tempo, sustain the workout. Try avoiding doing anything very rigorous but be consistent with morning and evening walks / runs and climbing flight of stairs.
  5. Week Nine: Sustain the workout. Increase only if you feel comfortable.  Start doing an additional 10-15 mins of climbing stairs in the morning /evening with a daypack of 2-3 Kg, about 30-35 floors once a day should help increase the stamina and Endurance considerably.

One of the best exercises that you can do to prepare for Mount Kilimanjaro is hiking. You should start with shorter time intervals, a slower pace, and no weight (in your day pack) and then gradually increase all of the above as your fitness level improves. Remember that on Mount Kilimanjaro, you will walk slowly for prolonged periods and carry probably no more than 2-3nkgs in your day pack. Therefore, in your training, it is better to increase the time interval/distance and keep a slow pace than to shorten the time interval/distance and increase the pace. Try to train three times a week, for at least one hour per session, at a minimum. Please remember, Consistency is the Key here. Do not do anything to exert yourself or something that will increase chances of Injury. Running / brisk walking 4-5 kms for 5 days in a week is far better than running a 20 km on one day of the week and injuring your Knee / Ligaments in the process . If you can be consistent with above mentioned schedule, The Kilimanjaro climb though physically challenging, will become a pleasant and enjoyable experience for you. Feel free to call us or mail us in case you want more details on how to prepare for this trek!

Contact: info@adventure-pulse.com

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