2017 - 2018
KILIMANJARO NEW YEAR'S EVE
TREK THE 7 DAY MACHAME ROUTE + RING IN 2018 ON THE ROOF OF AFRICA
DEC 26, 2017 - JAN 3, 2018
DEC 26, 2016 - JAN 5, 2018 WITH 2 DAY SAFARI
DECEMBER 26 // JAMBO and GET READY
Arrive at Kilimanjaro airport (JRO) in Moshi. We’ll be there to give you a warm Tanzanian welcome and bring you to our lodge, the Stella Maris, a guesthouse that is also home to a nonprofit primary school for local children. Your rental equipment will be delivered to the hotel, and we’ll do a gear check to make sure everyone is fully equipped and ready to go. At night, we’ll all get together for a WHOA welcome dinner to meet the guides and get briefed on what lies ahead!
DECEMBER 27 // TWENDE - LET’S GO
Machame Gate to Machame Camp (Elevation: 1,800 - 3,000 m)
Hiking Time: 5 - 7 hours (Distance: 11 km)
Rise and shine! After breakfast, we’ll ride to the gate where the Machame route and our epic journey begins! We’ll start the trek in the early afternoon on a winding trail through the lush rainforest. It tends to be misty and foggy here (it is a rainforest after all)! Be sure to keep an eye out for the colorful Impatiens Kilimanjari flowers and Colobus Monkeys as we make our way to our first Camp. In the evening, we’ll have time to relax, watch the sunset, and calm our minds after our first full day of trekking.
DECEMBER 28 // POLE, POLE...
Machame Camp to Shira Camp (3,000 - 3,840 m)
Hiking Time: 4 - 6 hours (Distance: 5 km)
After breakfast, we’ll leave the glades of the rainforest and enter a completely new climate zone: the heath. It’s characterized by its everlasting flowers and mossy low trees, which you’ll be able to take in from several beautiful overlooks. After a little scrambling above the tree line, we’ll make our way to Shira camp just in time to enjoy the beautiful view of the sun setting over Mount Meru!
DECEMBER 29 // IT’S ALL ABOUT ACCLIMATIZING
Shira Camp to Barranco Camp via Lava Tower (3,840 - 4,600 - 3,950 m)
Hiking Time: 6 - 8 hours (Distance: 10 km)
From the Shira Plateau, we’ll head upwards through a barren surreal landscape to Lava Tower, which is our highest elevation so far at 4,600 m. After resting there for a snack and some acclimatization, we’ll head down through a forest of towering Senecio Kilimanjari trees that look like they came straight out of Dr. Seuss’ imagination! Our home for the night will be in a beautiful valley beside the Barranco Wall overlooking Moshi.
DECEMBER 30 // TAKE IT EASY
Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp (3,950 - 4,000 m)
Hiking Time: 4 - 5 hours (Distance: 5 km)
In the morning, we’ll pack up our hiking poles and tackle the famous (and fun!) challenge of steep scrambling that is the Barranco Wall! At the top, you’ll be rewarded with some of the most amazing views and photo ops on Kili! It’s a short hiking day, that again helps us acclimatize and give our bodies some rest. We’ll spend the afternoon and evening at Karanga camp where we will take in a beautiful view of the summit and reflect on what is to come!
DECEMBER 31 // ALPINE DESERT, HERE WE COME
Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp (4,000 - 4,600 m)
Hiking Time: 4 - 5 hours (Distance: 4 km)
After breakfast and taking in some more great views of the summit in the early morning light, we’ll make our way up to Barafu Camp through the barren Alpine Desert. We’ll get there in the early afternoon to eat, rest up, and gather our collective courage...because tonight is the big night we’ve been preparing for!
JANUARY 1 // SUMMIT OR BUST!
Barafu Camp to Summit to Mweka Hut (4,600 - 5,895 - 3,100 m)
Hiking Time: 7 - 8hours ascent / 4 - 6 hours descent (Distance: 5 km ascent / 12 km descent)
Around midnight, during the last minutes of 2017, we’ll put on our head lamps and start our ascent to the summit under thousands of twinkling stars. It’s a steep, long night, and the most mentally and physically challenging part of the trek, however, the energy of our group, and the rhythm of our guides’ Swahili chants will help you keep going! We should get to Stella Point (5,670 m) as the first sunrise of 2018 begins shines over Mawenzi peak. From there, it’s a slight incline and 1-hour ascent along the impressive Furtwängler Glacier to the highest point in Africa- UHURU PEAK! After taking in the views and celebrating the new year, we’ll make our way back down the skree to Barafu for lunch. In the late afternoon, after some rest, we’ll head back through the alpine desert and moorland to our camp nestled in the heath.
JANUARY 2 // BACK TO SEA LEVEL
Mweka Camp to Moshi (3,100 - 1,800 m)
Hiking Time: 4 - 5 hours (Distance: 13 km)
After our last breakfast (and dance party) with our new mountain family, we’ll start our final descent down through the rainforest and off Kilimanjaro. At Mweka Gate, we’ll have a special lunch, complete with some celebratory food and drinks, before driving back to our hotel in Moshi for much deserved warm showers. At night, we’ll continue the celebration at dinner and reflect on the amazing experience we shared together (and what great things are to come in the future)!
JANUARY 3 // SHARE THE LOVE
The fun isn’t over yet! On our last day together we’ll spend the morning visiting and playing with the students at the Stella Maris primary school adjacent to our lodge. The school is dedicated to providing education to underprivileged children in nearby local villages. In fact, the income for teacher salaries and the children’s food comes from travelers like us staying at the Stella Maris lodge. Connecting with these children is always very special, and gives more meaning to our entire Tanzanian experience! In the evening, you can catch your plane back home, or get ready for a much deserved safari...
january 4-5 // LIONS AND ZEBRAS AND ELEPHANTS! OH MY!
The best way to wrap up an epic Kilimanjaro climb is with a safari in Tanzania's amazing national parks! Over 2 days we'll explore the Tarangire National Park and the world famous Ngorongoro Crater. You'll get up close and personal with zebras, lions, elephants, flamingos, hippos, cheetahs, antelopes, ostriches, warthogs, hyenas...we could go on and on and on! In the evening you'll get to relax at a world class safari lodge right near the parks so you'll be ready for your early wake up calls - that's when you get the best animal sightings! After a beautiful day of game viewing you will be dropped off at JRO between 6:00-7:00pm, so you'll want to schedule your departure flights after 8:30pm. If you aren't heading out quite yet, your safari guide will take you back to Moshi.