Program Details

Mount Kilimanjaro Climb & Serengeti Safari Extension
July 5 - 19, 2014

TanzaniaKilimanjaro’s mystique beckons adventure seekers from around the world. The 19,341-foot high summit is a serious altitude challenge, yet a non-technical trail to the top presents one of the most attainable of the “seven summits”—the highest point in Africa. Our route, Lemosho Glades, is the most scenic to the summit. This not only lets us take in more of the mountain’s ecology and geology, we also have more time to acclimatize to the altitude.

Lemosho Glades, is the most scenic to the summit.

During your climb, guide Tim Scharks will fill you in on intriguing details of the mountain’s climate, geography and distinctive ecology.

The trek is complemented by the optional five day safari extension visiting some of the most renowned wild areas in the world, including Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater.

Social and environmental responsibility: While on our Kilimanjaro trek and safari extension we keep social and environmental sustainability in mind throughout our program. Some of the ways we work to minimize our social and ecological impact are to:

  • Support the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (www.kiliporters.org) to improve porter welfare on the mountain.
  • Partner with Tanzanian-owned businesses.
  • Practice renewable and responsible camping on Kilimanjaro, including opportunities for cleanup and restoration of camps.

Camping in style: In addition to your WWU trip leader, we hire a full team of Tanzanian mountain guides, cooks, and porters to assist us. This brings a level of luxury to our trek that many backpacking campers are not accustomed to: Think folding chairs and plate service in our dining tent! Most importantly for our success, we carry only day packs on each stage of the treks while our tents, sleeping bags, and excess gear are carried ahead to await us in the next camp.

Qualifications: Participants should be in excellent physical condition with hiking experience. This trek does not require technical equipment like ropes or ice axes but the summit is 19,341 feet above sea level and reaching it is extremely strenuous. To acclimatize to the summit elevation we spend many days hiking and sleeping at elevations above 10,000 feet. Thus, you should be trained for this climb by being trained to hike up and down 2,000 to 4,000 vertical feet without complete exhaustion. This level of fitness makes it more likely that your body will be able to recover and acclimatize each day we spend at altitude on the way to the summit. Please consult with a physician before deciding whether to undertake this trek.

    Cost

    TanzaniaTotal climb itinerary 11 days (8 days, 7 nights spent on Kilimanjaro) or 16 days with five-day safari including Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti.

    Lemosho Glades Kilimanjaro Trek
    $4,600
    Single supplement in Moshi
    (not available on the trek)    
    $250
    Five day Serengeti Safari Extension
    $2,500
    Single supplement
    $500

    Included with program costs for Kilimanjaro trek:

    • Airport transfers
    • Transport to and from trailheads
    • All Kilimanjaro National Park camping, climing, and rescue fees
    • All meals on the mountain; breakfasts in Moshi.
    • Hotel stays two nights before and one night after trek
    • Camping and cooking equipment including expedition tents and group camping gear

    Not included in Kilimanjaro trek:

    • Personal clothing and sleeping bag (ask us for a gear list)
    • Lunches and dinners in Moshi (budget $5-$10 per meal)
    • Items of a personal nature (including shopping and alcoholic beverages)
    • Flights and Visas
    • Immunizations or medication
    • Tips for porters and crew
    • Travel/trip insurance

    Included with program costs for Serengeti Safari Extension:

    • 4WD vehicles with custom modified roof openings for game viewing
    • All nights full-board lodging (double occupancy)
    • Regional flight Seronera Airstrip (Serengeti) to Arusha
    • Airport transfers

    Not included with program costs for Serengeti Safari Extension:

    • Items of a personal nature (including shopping)
    • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage purchases including during meals
    • Tips for drivers and staff

Itinerary

10-day Kilimanjaro Trek with optional 5-day Safari Tour Itinerary
July 5-15, 2014
(Optional Serengenti Safari; July 15-19, 2014)

*Note that events outside of our control, including the scheduling of campsites and routes by National Park authorities, may necessitate the modification of the itinerary.

Please note that this itinerary starts with your first day in Tanzania, so you may need to arrange your flights a day or more in advance of the first day of the itinerary.

Day 1: Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) and transfer to our Moshi hotel.

Day 2: After a briefing and gear check at our hotel we will venture into town for lunch. We can visit local markets and sightsee in Moshi town, a quaint East African town located at the base of Kilimanjaro.

Day 3: We drive to the Lemosho Glades trailhead where we meet our porters and they take our overnight bags, leaving us with daypacks for the moderate hike through the forest to Mti Mkubwa (Big Tee) campsite. We relax around camp in the afternoon and have the option of a short hike above camp to look for black and white Colobus monkeys in the forest canopy.
Elevation gain 1,200’, camp at 8,700’; 3 hours walking.

Day 4: We ascend out of the rain forest, through the zone of giant heather and into the alpine moorland, seeing three of the mountain’s five ecological zones in one day. We camp in the center of the Shira Plateau, ringed by the ancient volcanic peaks of Shira Ridge with the bulk of Kibo, the main summit of Kilimanjaro, just a few miles to the east.
Elevation gain 3,000’, camp at 11,700’; 6-8 hours walking.

Day 5: We move out of the alpine moorland and into the alpine desert as we cross the tell-tale deposits of Ice Age glaciers. The ground becomes rocky and vegetation very scarce as we start climbing into thinner air. We set camp at the ruins of the Moir Hut, an elaborate and now abandoned structure high on the mountain. The Moir Hut camp is away from the most popular routes along the southern side of the mountain and so gives us a chance to enjoy the mountain in relative quiet.
Elevation gain 1,900’, camp at 13,600’; 4-5 hours walking.

Day 6: starts with a long upward traverse from the mountain’s west flank to its southern side, joining the Machame and Umbwe routes at our day’s final destination, Barranco Camp. Along the way we ascend to the Lava Tower, an impressive rock formation beneath the Western Breach, before descending into the impressive Barranco Valley. The valley is famous for its views of Kilimanjaro’s icicle-clad Breach Wall towering thousands of feet overhead as well as the forest of giant groundsels lining the valley. Elevation gain 1,400’, loss 2,000’, camp at 13,000’; 6-8 hours walking.

Day 7: Today starts with “breakfast,” a tongue-in-cheek reference the locals use to describe the daunting climb out of camp up the Barranco “Wall.” While rocky and steep, the path only sometimes requires the use of hands for balance, and your guide and assistants will help you place your hands and feet as needed. Once over the top of the wall, our path crosses valleys and ridges before reaching Karanga Camp.
Elevation gain 1,200’, loss 1,000’, camp at 13,200’; 4-5 hours walking.

Day 8: A very short day hiking slowly to Barafu Camp. Barafu is Kiswahili for “ice” as this camp can be quite cold. We arrive early afternoon, eat lunch and then rest before dinner. Tonight we go to bed before dusk as we need to rest our bodies for the big day ahead.
Elevation gain 2,000’, camp at 15,200’; 2-3 hours walking.

Day 9: Summit Day! We arise before midnight and are warmed by hot tea and biscuits before setting off into the dark of night. We climb at night to maximize the clear weather, as clouds frequently engulf the upper mountain by mid-morning. Our pace will be timed to reach the final summit ridge around sunrise to savor the views from the roof of Africa. We don’t linger on the top long as the air at 19,341 feet is extremely thin and we have a long day of descending ahead of us. We pause briefly in Barafu Camp before continuing down to the thick air of Mweka Camp, back in the Giant Heather zone.
Elevation gain 4,100’, loss 9,300’, camp at 10,000’; 12-18 hours walking.

Day 10: We awake for our final day on the mountain, spent descending through the thick rain forest to Mweka Gate. We sign out at the ranger station and are met by private transport to return us to the Moshi hotel for showers, cold drinks, celebration and real beds! Overnight and breakfast at our hotel before continuing on the safari extension or spending the day on your own in Moshi before an afternoon airport transfer for your flight home.
Elevation loss 5,000’; 4-5 hours walking.


You may fly out on the evening of Day 11 if you do not wish to continue with the safari extension.


5-day Safari Extension itinerary

Day 11: Breakfast and early departure for Tarangire National Park.
We’ll stop for lunch en route and then have an afternoon game drive in Tarangire, which is famous for its baobab trees (“upside down” trees) and large herds of elephants. A plenitude of other herbivores, like wildebeest and zebra, trek hundreds of kilometers from their wet season habitats to spend the dry season at the Tarangire River. We depart late afternoon to drive closer to Ngorongoro Crater, with dinner and an overnight stay at a small lodge just outside Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

Day 12: 6-hour tour of Ngorongoro Crater
We arise early to enter the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site of massive proportions. The 100-square-mile caldera floor is ringed by steep walls and is home to an impressive variety of large wildlife, including our best chance of spotting a rhino. Ngorongoro is beautiful for its scenery as well as wildlife so we enjoy lunch at a spring inside the crater walls before ascending back to dinner and overnight at our intimate camp on the crater rim.

Day 13: Serengeti Plains-Halisi Camp
We drive onwards to the vast Serengeti (literally, “endless plain”). The southern Serengeti is a flat grassland with lots of grazers and the predators that feed on them. After lunch we drive into the central Serengeti, viewing wildlife along the way until we arrive at our sustainability-focused tented for dinner and overnight.

Day 14: Serengeti Plains
We spend a full day exploring the habitats of the Central Serengeti. While grasslands famously dominate the plains, a variety of different habitats occur in the central Serengeti, including watering holes along the rivers and forested regions near rocky outcrops called “kopjes.” We return to our camp for lunch with a morning and afternoon game drive. Dinner and overnight in the Serengeti.

Day 16: Early morning drive and flight out
We awake before dawn to have one final view of the Serengeti on a short game drive from Halisi Camp to Seronera Airfield, where a small plane takes us to Arusha. After lunch an airport transfer to JRO completes the Tanzanian leg of our journey for flights home; 9-day safari participants remain in the Serengeti to continue the journey.

**Note that events outside of our control, including the scheduling of campsites and routes by National Park authorities, may necessitate the modification of the itinerary.

Sign Up

sign up box

A non-refundable deposit of $750 per person is due on or before March 1, 2014.

Additional payments will be due on the following schedule:
$2,000 on or before April 15, 2014
$2,000 or program balance whichever is less on or before May 15, 2014

Final balance on or before June 30, 2014

You will receive an email communication approximately 30 days before the deposit is due with details on how to make these payments.

Meet the Trip Leader


Tim Scharks - Faculty

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Page Updated 01.23.2014