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The extinct volcano of Kilimanjaro is one of the world’s most recognizable peaks. It rises dramatically above the dusty East African plains with the impressive snow-capped summit awarding awe-inspiring views of this magnificent landscape. The expedition travels through one of Africa’s best-known game reserves and climbs through five ecosystems, offering a full mountain experience with the ascent of the continent’s highest peak.

Of the Seven Summits, Kilimanjaro is the least difficult to climb. However, at over 19,000ft high, it is still a tough ascent and trekkers will need to be in good physical condition.

Located in Tanzania Kilimanjaro is the highest free-standing mountain in the world at 5,895 m (19,341ft) above sea level. Kilimanjaro has three volcanic cones: Kibo 5,895 m (19,341 ft); Mawenzi 5,149 m (16,893 ft); and Shira 3,962 m (13,000 ft). Uhuru Peak is the highest summit on Kibo’s crater rim. Mawenzi and Shira cones are extinct and the Kibo cone is dormant. This freestanding peak is awe-inspiring and offers a true cultural experience.

 

History: The First Ascent

In 1889 Hans Meyer, a German geology professor returned to Kilimanjaro for his third summit attempt with the celebrated Austrian mountaineer Ludwig Purtscheller. They took two local headmen, nine porters, a cook, and a guide. They set many camps and took ample food to set themselves up for success. Their first attempt was thwarted due to exhaustion from cutting many icy steps. Their next try they reached the highest summit on Purtscheller’s 40th birthday, October 6, 1889. At that time the crater of Kibo was filled with ice. Twelve days later they went back up to enter and study the crater spending 16 days above 4200 m. The peak was not climbed again for another 20 years.

 

About The Expedition

Among the seven trekking routes, Machame is considered the most scenic though steeper routes. Kilimanjaro is one of the most accessible high mountain peaks and does not require technical equipment. This climb is not as technically challenging as many of the other seven summits, though it is not to be underestimated. The high elevation, low temperature, and occasional high winds make this a difficult and dangerous trek. Acclimatization is essential, and even the most experienced trekkers suffer some degree of acute mountain sickness. It is important to be in good physical condition, stay hydrated, and be prepared.

The summit is rewarding but not the only reward of this trip. You will travel from the lush jungle forest down low where there are elephants, leopard, and buffalo. Then into the moorland zone with large labellia and heather. And up into high desert and onto alpine snowy conditions on top. It is a magical ascent through a variety of ecosystems and climates to a breathtaking beauty on the roof of this continent.

Some of the advantages of the Machame Route over some of the other routes are that on day 3 you ascend from 3847m (12,900ft) to only 3984m (13,300ft), after climbing to 4642m (15,200ft) at the base of a volcanic rocky outcrop known as the Lava Tower. The 600m (200ft) height differential ensures that Machame exploits the ‘climb high, sleep low’ principle to maximum effect. On summit day the climb is via a ridge rather than a loose scree slope and is therefore considerably less difficult than the other routes. These two points alone make the Machame Route boast one of the best summit success rates of all the routes.

INCLUDES

  • Pick up at Kilimanjaro Airport and transfer to your hotel in Machame Village
  • A night’s accommodation both before and after your climb
  • All climbing costs, including salaries, food, fees, etc (please note that this does not include tips for the crew or guides)
  • All transfers to the mountain and back to your hotel.
  • 7 days on the mountain including 3 meals/day, porters, cooks, and guide
  • 3 da Safari if purchased
  • Transfers back to Kilimanjaro Airport for your return flights
  • ITCOG guide with 18 years plus experience including Wilderness First Responder Medical training.
  • Accommodation includes bed and breakfast in standard range hotels

 

EXCLUDES

  • Flight and overland transfers from anywhere other than Kilimanjaro International Airport.
  • Visas, which can be obtained upon arrival and costs $50
  • Tips for your mountain staff
  • Additional nights beyond the standard two hotel nights included
  • Hotel upgrade costs if you request an alternative hotel outside of the standard hotels
  • Items considered to be non-essential, such as soft drink, snacks, etc.
  • Trip Insurance
  • International Travel fees
  • Alcohol

Mt. Kilimanjaro Gear List

Head

  • Beanie: You might want to bring 2 just in case.  We recommend one light and one medium weight Beanie.
  • Buff/Neck Gaiter: We recommend a lightweight buff as it has many uses.
  • Sun Glasses:  Protection from the sun and wind.  You will want wrap around coverage.  sun glasses

Hands

  • Mitts:  At 19,000’ it is cold and you will want a warm mitts for protection.  Mitts
  • Medium Gloves: How warm depends on you. We recommend a durable well fitting ski glove that is easy to get on and off.
  • Liner Gloves: liner gloves are recommended for hiking up to reduce sweating.
  • Hand Warmers: 4-5 sets if your hands run cold

Upper Body

  • T-shirts:  2 non-cotton lightweight T-shirts 
  • Top Base-Layer: Non-cotton. 1-2 of these.  We really like sun hoodies or a zip-neck top.  
  • Hard-Shell Jacket: Waterproof/breathable jacket with ventilation.
  • Light Insulating Jacket: Breathable light insulating jacket.
  • Mid-Heavy Insulating Jacket: Temps can be cold and windy on summit day, dropping as low as -5 F (-20C) and with wind chill can feel like -40C/F.  You will be happy for a nice warm jacket.

Lower Body

  • Bottom Base Layers: You will want at least two pair of bottoms.  One light and one medium/thick, that can be worn together, is a great combo for best warmth.  
  • Hiking Pants/Shorts:  For the warmer days these are nice.  You can use the zip-off type if you like or bring a pair of trekking shorts along with pants.  You can use any non-cotton light-weight trekking pant that you like.   Pants  Hiking tights are fin as well. 
  • Soft-shell pants:  Find a stretchy, comfortable pant that you can wear with or without your base layers.  
  • Hard Shell: Full-zip non-insulated waterproof pants are the best.  You will want to be able to wear these over all your other layers.  Light is right. 
  • Insulated synthetic pants:  Full side-zip or 3/4 side zip is nice. Something like this BD stance pant. 
  • Underwear:  Non-cotton, 2-3 pairs of comfortable underwear that you like. 

Feet

  • Hiking Boots:  It is cold on summit day so the boots can keep you warmer than your trekking shoes.  It is a long day so you want something comfortable as well.  Here is an option for boots. 
  • Trail running shoes:  Wear what is most comfortable for you.  We like the Hokas.
  • Hiking Socks: At least 3 pair of whatever you normally use non-cotton.  
  • Gaiters:  These will increase warmth and keep your feet dry and free of rocks in your shoes. 

Personal Items

  • Sunscreen: 50 spf or greater. Make sure your tube is not old as sunscreen can loose it’s effectiveness over time.  Zinc is the safest ingredient so read your ingredients carefully avoiding Avobenzone, Oxybenzone, or UV chemical absorbers.
  • Lip Screen: Make sure it has 15+spf.  Have several tubes on this in case you lose one.  
  • Small First Aid Kit:  This should contain blister repair material, over the counter pain killers and a few bandaids.  We will have a med kit as well, though you should carry any medications - over the counter, herbal, or prescription that you think you may need.  You may want something for stomach upset, headaches, GI problems like diarrhea or constipation, infections, and high altitude medications like Diamox (125mg pills).  Consult your doctor for prescriptions.  
  • Personal toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, floss - bring just what you need for the duration of the trip.  Keep it simple, small, and light. 
  • Bug Spray:  Bug spray for lower on the mountain is key.  Clothing coverage is essential as well.  
  • Smartphone/Camera/Charger:  You will want to take some photos.  Bringing a battery pack or solar charger is helpful for extending your battery life.  
  • Water purification:  You will need a system to purify water like iodine or a steripen
  • Ear plugs:  This can help with sleeping up there with the wind and other people snoring.  
  • Pee Funnel:  These can be nice for women so you don’t have to pull your pants down when it is cold and windy.  Practice at home first!  Optional. 
  • Pee Bottle:  1-1.5 liter bottle  / collapsable designated for peeing only is really nice so that you do not have to get out of the tent at night.  Make sure it is a wide mouth.  
  • Water Bottles:  1-2 liter bottle  / hydrapak collapsable - you will want to carry 2-3L total of water.  Water bladders tend to freeze or leak so bring bottles.   
  • Trash Compactor Bags:  Bring 3 large trash compactor bags (thick and durable) for water-proofing your pack.  You can also use a reusable water-proof backpack liner if it is big enough for everything in your pack.  

Other gear

  • Large Duffle Bag:  100L + duffle bag  for carrying all of your gear on the mountain.  No wheels on this one.  
  • Sleeping Bag:  0 degree F is the approximate temperature rating you will want.  Your tendencies and the weather may determine whether you go a bit warmer.  Down is lighter.  Make sure it has a hood and bring a compression stuff sack.  
  • Trekking poles:   3 section poles are much easier to travel with and provide the greatest options for lengths.  2 sections are fine as well.  If you want to go ultra light get the carbon fiber. 

Travel and Safari Gear

  • Duffle/Travel/Casual Clothing:  You can leave travel clothes behind.  Have a small duffle for this. 
  • Clothes for the lodge and Safari:  Bring whatever comfortable clothing you prefer for traveling and light hiking in the safari.  Nicer clothes can be used for dinner.  You can bring a swimsuit for the hotels.  
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