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Journey Snapshot

Activity level: Physically demanding Involves a very high level of physical activity over an extended period. The activity will be at high altitude on terrain that will be uneven, slippery and steep. You would be expected to carry your own backpack and equipment. These activities require a high level of fitness and are not suitable if you have limited mobility.
Duration: 10 days, 9 nights
Flight information: Please arrange your flights into Kilimanjaro Airport [JRO] on Day 1 and to depart Kilimanjaro Airport [JRO] on Day 10
Pickup location: Kilimanjaro Airport [JRO]


2021 Coming Soon

An awesome challenge - Climb the world’s tallest freestanding mountain, the only place on land where you can clearly see the curvature of the Earth!

Whether you want to join this adventure yourself, or perhaps you may know a friend or family member who would love to accept the challenge, or even use this as an opportunity for fundraising for a charity, reaching the top of Africa’s highest mountain is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to savour, enjoy and remember for years to come.


PRE-JOURNEY - You may need to depart from home the day before to arrive into Tanzania on Day 1.

Itinerary summary:

Day 1 - Arrive in Tanzania and transfer to the hotel. Meet the team
Day 2 - Day at Leisure
Day 3 - Begin the trek from Machame Gate to Machame Camp
Day 4 - Trek to Shira Plateau and onwards to Shira Camp
Day 5 - Lava Tower and Barranco Camp
Day 6 - Hike to Karanga Camp and rest
Day 7 - Climb to Barafu. Early to bed
Day 8 - Ascent to Summit and Descent to Mweka Camp
Day 9 - Mweka to Gate
Day 10 - Depart from Kilimanjaro Airport

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Full Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive In Kilimanjaro International Airport

On arrival in Tanzania you will be met and transferred to the hotel where you will met up with your fellow team members.

Meals Included: none
AccommodationLake Duluti Lodge

Day 2 - Day at Leisure

In preparation for the climb ahead, we'll take a day to acclimatize. You may wish to visit nearby Arusha National Park, take an easy canoe ride around the crater of Lake Duluti or simply enjoy the hotel and spa facilities (all payable locally). Today is dedicated to ensuring your final preparations are in place and you're ready to set off tomorrow!
This evening, sit down to a welcome dinner with fellow guests.

Meals Included: Breakfast and Welcome Dinner
Accommodation: Lake Duluti Lodge

Day 3 - Trek to Machame camp

After breakfast, we depart from our hotel at approximately 8:00am with a boxed lunch, heading for Machame village where we will begin the trek. From the park entrance gate (Machame), we will walk for about two to three hours, trekking through a dense forest of fig and rubber trees, begonia flowers, and other tropical vegetation. A stop for lunch will be made halfway to this evening's campsite. As you continue your ascent, you will find that the tropical forest has given way to tall grasses and giant heather. You will be walking on a ridge, to the left of which is the Semira stream, and on the right, the Weru.  This initial stage of the climb is tranquil and relatively easy. There is no point in rushing to get to the camp, as there is little to do there. Guides tend to recommend a slow ascent, even at this point, for gradual acclimatisation. Do not try to keep up with your porters, who will usually bound ahead. Instead, take time to admire the beauty of the afro mountain forest. As you make your way up through the forested terrain, keep an eye out for elephants! Depending on the pace of our group members, arrival at Machame Camp is usually between 5:00pm and 6:00pm. Your luxury tents will be set up near huts that were once used for shelter.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Accommodation: Machame Camp (10, 000 ft)

Day 4 - Trek to Shira Plateau and onwards to Shira Camp

On this and subsequent mornings, our wake-up call is at around 6:00am. You will be greeted with a steaming cup of tea or coffee, and weather permitting, by a fabulous view of Uhuru peak. Today's trek takes you up a steep track through a savannah of tall grasses, volcanic rock, and bearded heather. You will encounter giant groundsels as you hike through a ghostly landscape of volcanic lava, caves, and foamy streams. Lunch will be taken just below the Shira Plateau, about three to four hours from Shira Camp. The hike to the next campsite takes approximately six hours and you should arrive between 2:00pm and 3:00pm. Most climbers tend to pace themselves, walking slowly and resting about every half-hour. On arrival in camp, there is time to relax and even for an acclimatisation hike with your guides before dinner.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Accommodation: Shira Camp (12,500 ft)

Day 5 - Lava Tower and Barranco Camp

The entire Shira Plateau greets us this morning with sweeping vistas across to Meru and the Shira Needles. A steady walk takes us up to the pass at Lava Tower (15,000 ft), where we stop to have lunch. Crossing the Bastain stream, we will begin to descend towards Barranco Camp. The descent takes us along an immense canyon called the Great Barranco. Along the way, we will see numerous waterfalls, which are fed, by streams coming from the mountain, converging here to form the Umbwe River. Our camp is set at almost the same altitude as the night before. Today is a full day trek and you may be feeling weary. Arrival at camp is between 4:30pm and 5:30pm.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Accommodation: Barranco Camp (13,000 ft)

Day 6 - Hike to Karanga Camp

This morning we begin our hike to Karanga Camp, which is on the same altitude as Barranco Camp. We will encounter a bit of a climb at Barranco wall and spend the rest of the trek climbing up and down the slopes of the mountain most of the way to camp. The climbing is not considered difficult and we should arrive in time for lunch (approximately 1:00pm) having trekked for about four – five hours. In the afternoon we have the opportunity to hike in the Karanga Valley where giant senecios and lobelia grow; however, you are well advised to rest as much as you possibly can to prepare you for the climb ahead.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Accommodation: Karanga Camp (13,000 ft)

Day 7 - Climb to Barafu

The scenic climb to Barafu is mostly on a moraine and lava ridge with a view of Mawenzi peak towering majestically to the right, and overhead, Kibo peak seemingly just out of reach. The alpine desert terrain encountered at this point is mostly a mineral environment with few lichens and mosses. Lunch is taken in camp and in the afternoon there is a summit clothing check. Climbers who choose to ascend the peak will go to bed very early this night, as tomorrow will be the longest day.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Accommodation: Barafu Camp (15,200 ft)

Day 8 - Ascent to Summit and Descent to Mweka Camp

We will be awakened at midnight and after a light breakfast, start climbing soon afterwards. It is at this stage that the climb becomes much more difficult. Climbers should carry as little as possible on this portion of the climb. Temperatures will range from -4° to 5° Fahrenheit. You will climb for about six hours before reaching the edge of the crater, Stella points. Another hour of climbing brings you to the summit. Uhuru stands at 19,340 feet and is the highest point on the continent of Africa. The track around the edge of the crater is rocky and often icy. Concentrate on your feet, and follow your guide very closely for this portion of the journey. The descent is no easier than the ascent. You will reach Barafu camp after about three hours (around 11:30am). Climbers will be given the opportunity to rest and have some refreshments before continuing on to Mweka Camp for the night. Arriving into camp at around 5:00pm, you will have trekked a total of thirteen to seventeen hours today.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Mweka Camp (10,200ft)

Day 9 - Mweka to the Gate

On the final day of the journey, climbers descend from Mweka camp to the base. The descent to the gate will take approximately 5 hours and we usually arrive before noon. Upon arrival at the gate climbers will be rewarded with certificates attesting their success at climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
AccommodationLake Duluti Lodge

Day 10 - Depart from Kilimanjaro Airport

After breakfast we have time to reflect on our Kilimanjaro adventure and our time shared together before saying farewell to Tanzania as we are transferred to Kilimanjaro Airport for our onward flights.

Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: None


More information

What's includedWhat's not includedImportant information

What's included

  • Meet & Greet at the airport on arrival
  • Return Kilimanjaro Airport - Arusha hotel transfers
  • Meals and accommodation as indicated in the itinerary.
  • All food for the duration of the climb, top quality food specially considered for maximum nutrition needs with a dedicated cook.
  • Portage of 2 bags (maximum 20kgs) per person.
  • All Kilimanjaro fees– including park fees, Hut fees and rescue fees.
  • Safety communication equipment.
  • Safety equipment – Emergency oxygen, pulse oximeter, first aid kit, emergency stretcher, Ams scorecards.
  • Top quality mountain tents.
  • Filtered water throughout the climb.
  • Government taxes and levies.
  • All camping equipment (excludes personal kit).
  • Local English-speaking guides who are certified Wilderness First Responders and trekking staff to assist (cook and porters).
  • Big Journey Company group leader

What's not included

  • International return flights to Kilimanjaro Airport [JRO] on Day 1 and departing on Day 10
  • Transfers on arrival or departure, to/from the airport(s), outside of the tour dates
  • Gratuities
  • Personal equipment
  • Travel and medical Insurance
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Meals or transfers other than those included on the cost of the climb
  • Drinks (other than water)
  • Personal spending
  • Visas
  • Any optional activities offered
  • Increases in government taxes or fuel surcharges
  • Any personal items and anything not mentioned under included in price above

Important information

  • Maximum number of 12 guests per group.
  • This adventure is intended for those people in good health. You will be required to have a medical form completed by your personal physician showing that you are sufficiently fit and well to partake in this adventure. Your health and safety are of upmost importance to us.
  • Club Solo members are able to join this adventure without paying the single supplement, subject to availability
  • Payments and Cancellations: A non-refundable deposit of $600 per person is due at the time of booking. Full balance will be due 14 weeks prior to departure.
  • Prices are quoted in US Dollars, and based on two people sharing and do not include increases in government taxes, fuel surcharges.
  • Cancellation 90 – 0 days prior to departure cancellation fee is 100%. It is your responsibility to ensure the correct travel insurance in place to protect you against the need to cancel your holiday. Further terms and conditions apply and will be provided upon request or at the time of booking.
  • The Big Journey Company reserves the right to withdraw any offer prior to accepting a reservation request. This does not affect your statutory rights. This offer is subject to availability and space is limited.

The big journey promise

The big journey company was set up with one goal in mind, to share our passion for inspirational cultures, destinations and experiences. Over the last 10 years we have had the privilege to escort thousands of travellers on awe inspiring and sometimes life changing journeys. Our promise to every guest who joins us is that we will do everything possible to make sure your journey not only exceeds expectations but delivers at least one moment of true amazement.

talk to our well travelled team of experts

Call us on:Toll Free US and Canada: 1.855.624.4386

Monday to Thursday 09:00am - 8:00pm. Friday 09:00am - 05:30pm. (London time)

or Send us a message

Anytime, day or night

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Holiday tours are operated by The Big Journey Company Limited. Registered in England. Registered office: Marron Bank, Branthwaite, Cumbria, CA14 4SZ. Registered number: 6532140. VAT number: 290797457. The Big Journey Company Limited is a member of The Travel Trust Association member number U5675 and holds an Air Travel Organiser’s License number T7282.

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