WHOA PLUS: KILIMANJARO 2020
7 DAY BODY POSITIVE TREK ON THE RONGAI ROUTE + SUMMIT ON VALENTINE’S DAY + CELEBRATE SELF LOVE
FEB 8 - 16, 2020
FEB 8 - 18, 2020 with 2 DAY SAFARI
max group size: 20
Climbing Africa's tallest mountain is a once in a lifetime journey, and embarking on this trek with other like-bodied women on this specially crafted WHOA+ Adventure makes it that much more memorable and meaningful. This Valentine’s Day hike is all about personal summits, self love and appreciating how strong we are in the skin we’re in now! Experience the support, safety and smiles that make all WHOA Adventures such a success. Expect to be challenged, changed, inspired...and to partake in some awesome high altitude dance parties!
*Putting down a $500 deposit ($600 with SAFARI) will reserve your spot on this adventure (which is a good idea because it will fill up fast)! You'll be invoiced and must pay in full at least 3 months before the adventure start date. All deposits are non-refundable.
KILIMANJARO SOUNDS KILLER...TELL ME MORE!
Arrive at Kilimanjaro airport (JRO) in Moshi by noon at the latest (we’ll meet you there to give you a warm Tanzanian welcome)! After everyone arrives, we'll have a welcome lunch and briefing where we'll meet one another and get briefed on all that lies ahead! After that, we'll pack up and head out to spend the evening Snowcap Cottages which is near the starting place for our trek, the Rongai Gate.
PLEASE NOTE: We highly recommend our adventurers arrive at least one day early if possible! This will give you time to settle in, do your gear check, and have a buffer in case of flight delays. If you plan on arriving early or staying late, it’s your responsibility to book extra nights at the lodge. There will be detailed information on how to do this in the Prep Emails you will get upon booking.
TWENDE! (aka LET’S GO!)
RONGAI GATE to SIMBA CAMP
Elevation: 2,364 - 2,671 m
Hiking Time: 4 - 5 hours
Distance: 7 km
Rise and shine! After breakfast, we’ll ride to the Rongai gate, where the Rongai route and our epic journey begins! We’ll start our trek in the morning going pole pole on a winding trail through the lush montane forest. The forest begins to thin out as we approach our first camp at the edge of the Moorland zone with extensive views over the Kenyan plains. In the evening, we’ll have time to relax, enjoy the sunset, and calm our minds after our first full day of trekking.
SIMBA CAMP to SECOND CAVE
Elevation: 2,671 - 3,450 m
Hiking Time: 6 - 7 hours
Distance: 8 km
After breakfast, we’ll start a slow and steady ascent through the Moorland up to the Second Cave for some incredible views of Kibo and the Eastern ice fields on the crater rim. The Moorland is characterized by its everlasting flowers and mossy low trees, which you’ll be able to enjoy from several beautiful overlooks. In the evening, we'll settle in at the Second Cave Camp and have a relaxing dinner with beautiful views surrounding us!
SECOND CAVE to THIRD CAVE
Elevation: 3,450 - 3,800 m
Hiking Time: 4 - 5 hours
Distance: 3 km
After breakfast, we'll head out across the Moorland on a smaller path towards the Third Cave, as we take our time trekking through this beautiful climate zone. Once at camp, you can get settled in, because we’ll be calling Third Cave home for two nights!
TAKE IT EASY
THIRD CAVE ACCLIMATIZATION DAY
Elevation: 3,800 - 4,330 - 3,800 m
Hiking Time: 4 - 5 hours
Distance: 6 km
We’ll get to sleep in a little later today, as we’re staying overnight again at Third Cave. We’ll take this day to help us acclimatize as we trek up to 4,300 meters (or more!), and we’ll get to practice the commonly practiced acclimatizing technique of hiking high sleeping low. After acclimatizing and a hot lunch, we’ll have some down time for resting and maybe a dance party or two!
UP WE GO
THIRD CAVE to KIBO HUT
Elevation: 3,800 - 4,720 m
Hiking Time: 5 - 6 hours
Distance: 10 km
We'll start our day at a nice and slow pace by trekking up through the barren lunar looking Alpine Desert. We’ll get to camp in the early afternoon, after a gradual approach to Kibo Hut, just in time to eat, rest up, and gather our collective courage...because tonight is the big night we’ve been preparing for!
KIBO HUT to UHURU PEAK to HOROMBO HUT
Elevation: 4,720 - 5,895 - 3,700 m
Hiking Time: ~10 hrs ascent / ~7 decent
Distance: 6 km ascent / 15 decent
Around midnight, for those who wish to summit, we’ll put on our head lamps and pole pole start our summit attempt 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! This is the time when we will all dig deep and remember why we are doing this together on such a symbolic day, International Women's Day. After walking on the skree field for a few hours, we will reach Gilman's Point and head towards Stella Point just as the sun is rising over Mawenzi Peak. From there, it’s a slight incline and a 1.5 hour ascent along the extraordinary Furtwängler Glacier to the highest point in Africa- UHURU PEAK! After taking in the views (and getting your picture in front of the iconic summit sign), we’ll make our way back down the skree to our camp for lunch. In the afternoon, after some rest, we’ll head back through the Alpine Desert and Moorland to our camp nestled in the Heath.
HOROMBO HUT to MARANGU GATE to MOSHI
Elevation: 3,700 - 1,700 m
Hiking Time: 7 - 8 hrs
Distance: 19 km
After our last breakfast (and dance party) with our new mountain family, we’ll start our long and final descent down through lush Rainforest to the Marangu Gate. At the Gate, we’ll have a special lunch, complete with some celebratory food and drinks, before taking the 1 hour drive 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)!
At WHOA, we believe an important part of taking adventures is giving back, and that every travel experience is more special and meaningful if you immerse yourself and connect with locals and their culture. It's something that we weave into every aspect of our trips, but especially on this last morning, as we wrap up our time together. Today, we'll take time to reflect on our epic shared journey and celebrate how special and powerful women coming together is. We'll spend time with one of our local partners, a women-run social enterprise that empowers and changes the lives of disenfranchised women in the community. Connecting in this way is always heart warming and eye opening, and gives more depth to our entire Tanzanian adventure!**
In the evening, you can catch your plane back home if you need to go, OR get ready for a once in a lifetime safari to the region's stunning national parks! Our safari car will depart in the afternoon for Arusha (~2 hour drive), where we'll stay at another one of our favorite lodges and enjoy dinner together.
THE ELEPHANT OF SURPRISE
ARUSHA to TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK
We'll set off bright and early on a ~3 hour drive from Arusha to Tarangire National Park, a beautiful reserve that is famous for its vast herds of elephants roaming around giant baobab trees. After a full day of game viewing in the park, we'll head to our exotic safari lodge for dinner and some much deserved R&R.
NGORONGORO CRATER to MOSHI
Be ready for an early wake up call as we head to the grand finale of our safari, the Ngorongoro Crater. This natural wonder is a cradle for wildlife, and is home to zebras, lions, elephants, flamingos, hippos, cheetahs, antelopes, ostriches, warthogs, hyenas...you get the idea! After another beautiful day of game viewing, we'll head out on the 5-6 hour drive back to Moshi. If you're flying this evening, it's important that you DO NOT schedule a flight before 8:30pm, in fact, it's common for people to book their flights out the next day to enjoy a little more down time in town before getting on a plane. After safari, we recommend continuing on to Zanzibar for some sun, sand and turquoise blue waters if you can! We don't have a group itinerary for this special, historic Tanzanian island, but are happy to help make recommendations so that you can put together exactly what you are looking for, so just ask.
*Itinerary subject to change based on availability and unforeseen conditions, but that's part of the adventure! Even when things change, trust you'll be well taken care of with WHOA quality, professionalism, and TLC!
** It’s of the utmost importance to us that any giving back we do is sustainable and fills a need that is of value to our partners. For that reason, our visits and partnerships can and do vary depending on the season, the organization's needs, and the abilities and desires of our group. Bottom line, in each case, we do due diligence to seek out local partners that are doing great, sustainable work, and we work closely with them to understand their needs to create an experience that will truly be of value to them and you!