Upon arrival, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your overnight accommodation in Moshi. Please make sure to advise us or your local Tour Operator directly your flight details as soon as you've booked your flight.
Even though we include the airport transfer on the first day of your itinerary, it can be arranged flexibly. We recommend that you arrive at least two nights before the start of your climb.
Please make sure to book any required accommodation not included in your Tour directly, or advice us your requirements before you book your Tour so we can include it in your personal offer and itinerary.
Your guide or local Tour Operator staff will meet you at your accommodation for your pre-climb briefing and gear check, usually in the late afternoon or evening prior to the start of your climb. Your Tour Operator will advice the exact time of the briefing once they know your arrival time (as well as the arrival times of any other climbers in your group).
Please make sure to arrive at least by mid-afternoon on the day before your climb to leave enough time for your briefing. If you only arrive in the evening or overnight, your Tour Operator will make every effort to arrange the briefing early the next morning for you.
The start of your journey on the Machame Route begins from your hotel in Moshi (or Arusha) where you will be picked up early morning and driven straight to Machame Gate, situated on the south-western side of the Kilimanjaro National Park. The drive passes through the lively village of Machame, which is located on the lower slopes of Kilimanjaro.
At the gate, you will be registering with the park authorities. Expect to linger around for approximately an hour to two while all equipment and supplies get distributed amongst your porters and weighed to ensure fair porter treatment practices. After all is settled and ready-to-go, it’s off to your first stop on the mountain: the Machame Camp.
The first hour of your climb will lead you on a wide 4×4 drive track into a lush montane rainforest, before the track narrows down into a footpath. You will walk through an authentic jungle with dense growth and up to 25 meter high trees. With increasing elevation, you will observe a change in vegetation as more flowers such as the Impatiens Kilimanjari will add some bright colors towards the later part of your climb. The sound of exotic birds will accompany you during your first climbing day. Your guide will help you spot the black-and-white Colobus Monkey and Blue Monkeys as they jump amidst the trees or play in the thick grass.
As clouds tend to hang in this part of the mountain, it is usually misty during the first hours of your climb – an area hence also known as Cloud Forest.
Please beware that this part of the mountain receives the most precipitation, leading to muddy and slippery paths. Even during dry seasons, showers are common in the afternoon. Please be prepared with proper hiking boots and rain gear from your very first day. Gaiters are also recommended to help protect your shoes and trousers from the mud.
On this first climbing day, you will have a picnic lunch once you reach a clearing near a stream about two to three hours into your climb. You will then continue your climb through much of the same jungle-like scenery until the forest starts to thin out only shortly before reaching Machame Camp. Your first camp on the mountain is situated just above the tree line in the heather zone. Clear skies permitting, you will enjoy your first views of glacier-capped Kibo cone.
Today you will start to notice your surroundings changing. Having spent the previous day trekking through the montane rainforests, you start to enter a low-alpine zone as trees become taller vegetation, to grass, to eventually looking barren and mountain-like. Muddy trails turn into dusty ones. Weather permitting, blue skies open to the admired sights of the mountain, with Kibo and Mt. Meru in the distance.
The day is relatively short and little distance is covered as you approach the Shira Cave Camp, but the trail will be steeper as you climb from 2,800 meters to 3,800 meters; and you may begin to feel the effects.
The days can be hot, with temperatures during the day reaching over 40˚C and the nights become chilly dropping below 0˚C. While you may not have noticed the sun on the first day in the rainforest, the clouds can open up to strong UV rays, so be sure to apply sunscreen.
Once you reach your camp on the Shira plateau by early afternoon, you’ll be treated to views of Kibo, the Western Breach, Shira Cathedral and the Needle. Make sure to get your camera out for those perfect sunset shots.
The morning climb brings you to the majestic Lava Tower, an ancient plug that was left by the active-volcanic days. Although the walk is not as steep as it has been in the previous days, it is nonetheless a long and strenuous one due to the high altitude. Your body will begin to notice the decrease in oxygen.
On this part of the journey, the landscape becomes more barren and even the heather disappears, only to be replaced by rocks and lava ridges. At the peak of your journey, you will have climbed 4,600 metres to the Lava Tower, also known as the Shark’s tooth. This covers an altitude distance of approximately 850 metres from Shira Cave Camp.
Your new surroundings at Lava Tower will consist of a high altitude desert, with no vegetation and pools of rocks, scree and dust as far as the eye can see. You’ll need a few warm layers on this part of the journey as it can be prone to cold winds, ice and mist.
Symptoms of altitude sickness are common here, but don’t worry because this is one of the reasons why you have come here: to allow for proper altitude acclimatization.
After a break at Lava Tower to get the full benefit of your efforts and acclimatize to the thin air, you’ll being your descent into the beautiful Barranco valley. The valley was formed by a mudslide 100,000 years ago, and the climb down offers picturesque views of the Barranco Wall (which you will climb tomorrow). The descent into the valley will feel like a step backwards, after having worked hard all day to reach higher altitudes.
It is important to take it easy as you descend as parts of the journey can be a little slippery, with a lot of scree as you make your way down. For much of the journey, the alpine desert will seem to stretch into infinity until you get to the Great Barranco Valley. As you get nearer and nearer to Barranco Camp, the landscape gradually gets greener as you revisit the mystical Dendrosenecio forest.
Barranco Camp hosts views of Kibo, the Western Breach, and the beginning of the southern glaciers – a well deserved treat after the hard work you’ve done that day.
Waking up, you may feel anxious about climbing the famous Barranco Wall today. However, do not fret, as it is less of a climb and more of a scramble!
You will arrive at the wall soon after breakfast, and as you follow the zig-zagged path to the top, you may need to use your hands as you steady yourself up the wall. The climb takes approximately 1 hour and a half, but don’t forget to look back and enjoy the views as you ascend the wall.
Once you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the Heim Glacier and Kibo. Snap a photo, take a break, and then it’s back down again as you descend into the narrow Karanga Valley. This windy, and cold gully is also lush and green; a nice switch from the previously barren and rocky landscape.
After descending through the valley, it’s a small ascend up to the Karanga Camp. You’ll navigate through another series of zig-zags and rocky terrain, but at this point you will be well-trained from the morning.
Arriving at Karanga Camp, the afternoon is yours to relax, explore, and take in the surroundings. If lucky, you can catch a glimpse of the malachite sunbird, a dazzling sight to see!
Today you will be climbing up to your base camp for the final summit push. You may start to be feeling butterflies in anticipation of your big summit night. Within less than 24 hours, you’ll be standing on the top of Africa!
On this part of the adventure, you will make your way through the strange and mystical alpine desert as you slowly ascend upwards. Here you will be surrounded by rocks, dust and stones in a bleak and barren landscape, surrounded by glaciers. Extra care and attention as well as sturdy footwear is advisable because of the loose, flat stones and chunky rocks that you will encounter on your way up.
Barafu Camp is perched upon an exposed ridge at an altitude of 4,673 metres. From Karanga, this represents an altitude difference of 678 metres. You will pass through the desolate desert landscape with the Decken and Kersten glaciers visible after you leave Karanga and slowly make your way to the coveted Barafu Camp. After a while you will descend into a valley and get a glimpse of the Rebmann glacier – a small remnant of an enormous icecap which once enthroned the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Temperatures can be chilly in this part of the mountain, so be sure to wrap up warm and drink plenty of hot drinks where possible.
Once you reach your destination, you will need plenty of rest – because tonight is the big summit night. Even though you may not be feeling hungry due to the altitude, try to eat as much as possible to gain strength for your summit push. After an early dinner, it’s time to get your gear ready for your early wake up, and to catch as much sleep as you can.
Today is an early start for the moment you’ve been waiting for – summit day. You’ll be woken up around 11:30 to complete your final summit push from Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak by sunrise. After your breakfast, you will have all your gear ready for the day. Be sure to bring extra water (dehydration is painful at such high altitudes), headlamps, thick gloves, sunscreen and sunglasses for the summit (the sun is intense once up) and of course, your camera. Snacks are encouraged as well to maintain energy throughout the long day.
Once you’ve strapped on your boots, you will head out of Barafu Camp. These small cliffs will cause you to scramble around a bit, but you will soon reach the bottom of your next challenge: the climb to Stella Point. Stella Point rests at the top of Kibo, and to hike up to it will be hard work. A series of switchbacks through volcanic scree will test you. Be sure to find YOUR appropriate momentum, and focus on taking it one step at a time.
The air will become thinner, and altitude sickness may begin to hit you. Frigid temperatures and icy winds will require an iron determination to keep going. Each step will take all your focus and energy. Your final push to the top may seem endless and time seeming to work against you, but rest assured that it will come to an end. What satisfaction as you reach Stella Point at the top of Kibo! Congratulations! You’ve already conquered an impressive feat and will receive your climbing certificate for making it to this point. No matter what happens next, you can be proud that you’ve climbed Mount Kilimanjaro!
From here, you only have approximately 150 meters of altitude to go for your final trek to Uhuru Peak. You can do it. It is important to prepare yourself for what might become the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trip, so rest and eat to gain energy for the final haul. The walk is a gentle incline, but the thin air will make it difficult to predict how you feel in this last stretch. Those who react well to the altitude may find it easier than others, with adrenaline rushing through their body. Some don’t react as well as others, and will find this to be the most challenging, despite the gentle incline. However, everyone will feel the pride that you’ve come that far as you make it to the summit.
The end is near, and you push yourself to the highest point. A stunning landscape overlooking the icefields and glaciers is waiting for you. Dawn is approaching as you push yourself to the highest point of Mt. Kilimanjaro and of Africa – Uhuru Peak. You’ve made it! Take some pictures, pat yourself on the back, hug your companions and enjoy the glistening pink and orange sunrise hues overlooking the ice fields and glaciers. The rolling clouds splash against the noble beauty of Kibo – it’s a sight you won’t soon forget.
Make sure to take lots of photos and soak in the views as you won’t be staying up long at Uhuru Peak. Your guide will make sure to bring you back down to thicker air soon after you’ve reached the peak of your journey. While climbing thus far may have seemed to be the hardest part, you’re day has only just begun.
After making it all the way up to the summit of Uhuru Peak, you will still feel that lingering sense of euphoria that comes with such a magnificent achievement. Now the challenge is to make your way down to Mweka Camp, which sits at 3,100 metres – an an altitude drop of almost 2,800 metres. As you make your way down, you will find that the descent is tough on your knees, which will by now be feeling the impact of your climb up this formidable mountain. To ease the strain on your knees, make good use of your walking poles.
For the initial part of your journey down from Stella Point, you will encounter fields of sand and scree, which can be particularly challenging to navigate your way through. Gaiters are once again essential here, to prevent some of the glacial scree making its way into your boots! There are different ways you can tackle the scree. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can simply slide or ski down the scree slopes, which is a fun and quick way of conquering it! If you’re not comfortable with that, simply walk slowly down the scree, although this will add additional time onto your journey.
Your slope then turns into rocks before you reach Barafu Camp. Rest and eat to regain some energy. However, don’t rest too long. You still have over 3 hours to go. As you descend, you’ll notice that some of the plants and greenery starts to reappear and the surroundings are not as barren as it has been in recent days. You’ll pass by Millennium Camp which is located just above the tree line. Sometimes, you may camp here if the descent further down is just too challenging to handle – discuss this with your guide beforehand to see if it’s possible.
But Mweka Camp is only two hours further, located in the upper part of the rainforest zone, which brings with it a very welcome increase in oxygen and moisture in the air. You will be feeling tired and worn from the journey by the time you reach your camp for the night, but this is normal. Conquering Kilimanjaro is far from easy and you can take solace from the fact that you have completed a challenge that you’ll remember for a lifetime. Finally, you’ll be able to get some well earned rest and relaxation, and celebrate the completion of this important milestone of your journey.
The euphoria from yesterday’s achievement will linger today and give you a high that will last for some time to come. Conquering Mount Kilimanjaro is not easy and the challenge associated with climbing it is legendary. Today’s walk is a pleasant one and it will take you through the beautiful greenery of the rainforest as you steadily continue your downward descent. The atmosphere will resemble prehistoric times as you make your way through the 20 foot fern trees in the rainforest. You will venture through the moorlands and the montane rainforest, which bears similarities to the first stop on Kilimanjaro and you will once again greet the different bird species and monkeys that you encountered on your way up. At this point tiredness and bruised knees may drain your enthusiasm little, but you will still feel the pride in your accomplishments. The temperature will be a little warmer and more humid by this point, in contrast to the ice caps and the glaciers experienced over the last few days.
Soon even the jungle will gradually start to fade in favour of dirt tracks and the return of civilisation, which signals your arrival at Mweka Gate – the exit of Mount Kilimanjaro National Park. Once you have reached this point, your journey across Kilimanjaro will have concluded and you will be satisfied in the knowledge that you have reached the summit and finally conquered this tough but beautiful mountain.
Once you arrive at Mweka Gate and you have completed your walk, it will be time to bid farewell to your crew. It is customary to tip your guides, cook and porters for their assistance during your trip before you are transported back to your hotel. Please check the tipping procedure and tipping ranges recommended by your tour company before the start of your climb.
After your exciting conclusion at Mweka Gate, you surely can’t wait to get back to your hotel for a well-deserved shower. The scenic drive back to Moshi (or Arusha) takes you through coffee and banana plantations, and is serene as you reflect on your adventure.
Arriving at your hotel, you’ve finished the magical journey, and it’s time to sift through photos, brag to your friends, and reminisce fondly on those life-long memories that you’ve just made.
To conclude your Tour, you will be transferred to the airport for your journey home or to your next destination. Please make sure to advise your guide or Tour Operator locally the time of your departure flight.
If you have also booked a safari or other Tour with us, no worries—we won't let you go yet! Your next Tour starts and replaces this final step in your Kilimanjaro itinerary . . .
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DRINKS & MEALS
TRANSFERS & PORTERAGE
FEES & OTHER
We aim to offer you the full range of climbing offers from low-budget no-frills to luxurious VIP tours. Being committed to responsible travel, however, means that we insist on and strictly vet all tours against minimum standards of quality and safety. Therefore, different from industry average, all our tours include:
The following items are normally excluded from your Tour as per industry standards, unless specifically stated otherwise:
It is customary to tip your crew for their assistance and hard work during your climb. While tipping is not mandatory, we strongly advocate paying recommended tips to ensure a fair total compensation for your crew, especially your porters, who rely on gratuities as a substantial component of their income. Learn more about fair porter treatment.
The total recommended tip depends on the length of your climb, group size, amount of camping and safety equipment included in your climb, and the base wages paid by your Tour Operator. For specific tipping guidelines for this Tour by your local Operator, please see the Tour Operator Information section on this page. If missing or in doubt, please check with us.
In the absence of more specific guidelines by your Operator, we recommend that you budget an additional minimum cost for tipping of between $250-500 per climber. Click here to calculate tip depending on climb length and group size. Please also make sure to bring lots of smaller US dollar notes to make it easier to tip crew members individually.
In your host country, tipping is commonly expected in the tourism industry by everyone who delivers a service to you. This includes guides, drivers, porters, personal cooks and waiters, hotel staff and other staff. While tipping is not mandatory, we strongly advocate paying recommended tips to ensure a fair total compensation for your service personnel who rely on tips as a substantial component of their income.
In guided Tours, especially if it involves several crew members, tipping can become a substantial additional cost for you. It is never included in Tour prices – no matter whether on Fair Voyage or elsewhere (except for few niche Operators, in which case it is explicitly stated). Please review the tipping recommendations for your Tour so that you understand your recommended total budget.
Of course, if you are not satisfied with the services of your crew, you may choose not to tip. However, please consider that individual crew members may not be in control of your overall service delivery or your initial expectations about their service standards. Lastly, we expect that in most cases your crew will meet or exceed your expectations. Therefore, please make sure to leave a sufficient buffer for recommended tips within your overall budget.
While it is customary to tip your crew for their assistance and hard work during your Kilimanjaro climb, the way tips are being paid and distributed to each crew member varies from company to company:
Some guide companies hold the tipping ceremony on the mountain on your last evening or morning, others ask you to pay the tips after completing your climb at the park gate. Some companies ask you to tip each crew member individually, others have a list for you to record the tip intended for each crew member, while yet others will allocate your total tip for you.
If in doubt, it's best that you bring lots of smaller US dollar notes to make it easier to tip crew members individually. This will also ensure that your tips will reach the very people whom you intended to tip. If you only hand your tips to your guide and trust that he will allocate the money fairly amongst all crew members, chances are high that your porters will not receive their fair share.
That's why all ethical climb companies have transparent tipping procedures and will ask you to either record your tip on paper, announce it in front of each crew member, or hand it directly to each crew member. If you book your climb with Fair Voyage, no matter what tipping procedure your company follows, rest assured that your local Operator is being monitored independently by the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP) to ensure that tips are being allocated fairly, as intended by you.
However, it is important that you check the tipping procedure and tipping ranges recommended by your Tour company before the start of your climb and follow their guidelines in order to ensure a fair total compensation for your crew.
If you notice any irregularities or deviations in the way your guide asks you to tip, please report those to us, your local Tour Operator and through the KPAP Climber Survey.
Please note that prices are indicative and may be subject to change. We are happy to confirm prices upon request.
|Heavy fleece jacket||$10|
|Summit pants (ski pants)||$20|
|Walking poles (pair) (various brands)||$10|
|Sleeping bag (Mountain Hardware Lamina™ Z Bonfire -30°F / -34°C)||$50|
Recommended tipping per crew member per day (USD):
For Kilimanjaro climbs, you can expect to have 1 Lead Guide and 1 Assistant Guide for every 4 climbers, 1 chef for the group, and an average of 4 porters per climber.
On that basis, the recommended tipping by per climber depending on the duration of your climb and your group size can be calculated as follows:
For example, for a 7-day trek with 3 climbers, the minimum tipping recommendation is ca. US$ 340 per climber.
Please note that this is calculated for standard climbs based on an average of 4 porters per climber. Climbs with more equipment (e.g. toilet tent) require more porters, and therefore will have a higher tipping recommendation.
Please note that the single traveller supplement is mandatory for single travellers joining a group tour. This is because your tent on the mountain is a very small and intimate space, and most travellers would not want to share a tent with a stranger.
The single traveller supplement covers your pre/post climb accommodation in a single room as well as a single tent on the mountain.
Sleeping bags can be rented and paid for locally. The price is currently US$50 per sleeping bag per climb. Prices might be subject to change – please confirm with us if you'd like to be sure. Please take into consideration that the weight of rental equipment counts towards your bag weight limit, and kindly note the specifications below:
Brand: Mountain Hardwear
Weight: 5 lb 14.5 oz / 2680 g
You might have seen cheaper offers elsewhere. Please beware: When adding up all the costs, it is not possible for a tour operator to operate profitably and legally when offering much cheaper prices than you'll find on Fair Voyage. Such operators are not duly licensed and operate illegally, and – most likely – they exploit the porters who carry your gear and supplies. We only promote duly licensed companies that are partners of the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project and adhere to minimum fair porter treatment standards. This is the very reason for our existence – to promote responsible tourism and ethical climbs.
Most of the 15,000 porters who work on Mount Kilimanjaro are not treated fairly. They risk their lives to carry heavy loads for tourists yet often do not even get their due minimum salary of less than US $10 per day. They sometimes only get one meal per day and have inappropriate gear. In extreme cases, porters have been found dead, left behind by their guides when they had accidents or fallen sick. Although KPAP and its Partner companies have been able to achieve significant improvements for their porters and the industry overall, the situation is still far from satisfactory for the majority of porters on Kilimanjaro.
We believe that responsible companies who treat your porters fairly are also more likely to offer you as a client higher quality standards, and that porters who are treated fairly by their companies are also more likely to have your best interest in mind. That means first and foremost not your summit success, but your health and safety.
Amongst others, you rely on your porters for your water and food to be treated properly. In the worst case, you might have to rely on them for a safe descent. Will your porters be able to do a good job if they are hungry, cold and get paid significantly less than their colleagues camping right next to your group?
While there is no guarantee, we believe that booking your climb with a responsible tour operator who treats your porters fairly will be the safer choice for you.
We have selected this tour operator/itinerary for you on the basis of:
Please click on the above criteria for more information.
Changes can be made easily until you've booked and paid for the Tour. Thereafter, while we will do our best to meet your change requirements, please note that any changes will subject to our Change Policy and Cancellation and Refund Policy, and we will need to charge an administrative Change Fee of US$50 to help us process your change request. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you review your Tour Inclusions carefully and let us know if you require any changes before you make your booking.
Please carefully read our Terms & Conditions, as well as any additional terms & conditions of your Tour Operator which you will find on this page or on request.
You will receive all payment details as part of our reservation confirmation. If you wish to then proceed and book this Tour, payment of the Deposit (usually 30%) or full Tour price (within 60 days of Tour start) will be required.
You can make the payment by bank transfer or credit card, and it will also be possible for you to pay the balance in parts over time. To keep your transfer fees to a minimum, we recommend you to use TransferWise.
For your security and peace of mind, all payments for bookings made to us are protected against default or non-delivery of services by the Swiss Travel Security (STS) traveller deposit insurance.
Once you've booked your Kilimanjaro climb, if not sooner, it is important that you take these steps:
Travel insurance is mandatory to participate in climbs booked via Fair Voyage (read more here). To protect your financial investment in case of cancellation due to illness or other unforeseen changes, it is best to take out your insurance (that should cover cancellations) as soon as you've booked your Tour. We recommend the travel insurance by World Nomads which has good coverage at affordable prices. You can easily apply for it online within few minutes (get it now).
To maximize your chances of finding a convenient & affordable flight, it's best to book your flight as soon as you've booked your climb. Kilimanjaro International Airport is conveniently located within 20-60 minutes drive of most hotels in Moshi and Arusha that are commonly used as a base to climb Kilimanjaro. It is best to arrive at least 2 nights before the start of your climb and to depart a day after you finish your climb. If constrained by time, it is also possible – but not recommendable – to arrive on the evening prior to the start of your climb, and to depart on the evening of your last climbing day.
Visas can be obtained upon arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport and must be paid for in cash (US$100 for US citizens and US$50 for most other nationals). However, your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the data your entry to Tanzania.
It is important that you are in good physical health. If you are at increased risk due to age, level of fitness, or health condition, you must get a medical check and confirm with your doctor that strenuous exercise in high altitude is permissible for your condition. Please also check all required & recommended vaccinations and medications for travelling to Tanzania. As some vaccinations may need to be administered over longer periods of time to become effective, it is best to consult your medical expert well in advance of travelling to Tanzania.
Please fill in the Traveller Details Form for each person in your booking and send it back to us and your local Tour Operator as soon as possible prior to the start of your Tour. This allows your local Operator to prepare your Tour (including your arrival and departure arrangements; as well as any dietary, medical or other requirements they should be a aware of), and to ensure that we have all your details for emergencies.
It is never too soon to start your training.
The best training you can do to prepare for your Kilimanjaro climb is hiking. Running, swimming and cycling are all very good exercise but what you will be doing on Kilimanjaro is hiking. You will need to condition your body to walk in ascension, over uneven terrain for long periods. If you live in an area with hiking trails and mountains, this is a great opportunity to practice. If you live in a city or somewhere flat, taking stairs instead of elevators and targeted muscle exercises are excellent practice.
Organizing your gear can be a very time-consuming process. It is best to review our recommended packing list and start thinking about how to organize any missing items as soon as you've booked your climb. Most gear can be rented locally, which is a cost-effective and environmentally friendlier alternative to buying new gear. Please check with us for a full list of items available locally.
It is important that you familiarize yourself with all risks involved with your tour and travels to Tanzania. The biggest risk for Kilimanjaro climbers is altitude sickness. Another risk when travelling to Tanzania is malaria. Please familiarize yourself thoroughly with all risks involved so that you can take adequate precautions.
Please carefully read our pre-climb briefing. Your local Tour Operator may also provide you with their own pre-climb briefing. Please carefully also read their documents. If in doubt about any information, please don't hesitate to contact us.
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