From an older climbers point of view (At Eco Travel Africa over 50s doesn’t really mean only over 50s, but older climbers in general with an interest in a slower pace, an easier approach and plenty of time to get to know the terrain, history and culture of this fascinating region) Kilimanjaro offers an opportunity to challenge one of the world’s principal peaks with a surprising level of comfort and without too many technical challenges.
Eco Travel Africa works with established local operators to establish a compatible route structure and a time frame suitable for a gradual altitude adjustment. We also emphasize maximum level of individual support to assist you in preparation and planning of your trip. Our route of choice is Lemosho Route (Route Map). Entering the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park from the east, the ascent is gradual, moving first through the cloud forest belt before reaching the high plains. From there were follow a slow ambulation along the Southern Circuit, approaching the Summit via Barafu Camp.
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This trip will be personally guided by Peter Baxter. Assisting Pete will be Bob Holdsworth who will manage all logistics. Pete has a long experience of guiding in East Africa, with a particular emphasis on mountaineering and Mount Kilimanjaro. Pete is a premier guide, naturalist, and historian. Born in Kenya and raised in Rhodesia, his knowledge of African history, wildlife, ecology, culture, folk lore, and mountaineering is wide and deep. Having published six books, Pete weaves the history of colonization and conflict to give you a better understanding of the rich history of the region along with the unique challenges still facing these emerging nations. As you walk with Pete, his enthusiasm and love of the land is engaging and infectious. This trip is for the travel enthusiast who wants an African experience and not for someone who just wants to “bag” a peak.
What’s included in my trip?
- 2 nights lodging in Moshi (1 before and 1 night after trek) – includes breakfast
- Airport pickup and departure from Kilimanjaro International Airport
- All park fees
- Fully equipped team – Head Guide, Assistant Guide(s), Cooks, & Porters
- Tent and sleeping pad
- Dining Tent with chairs and a table
- Chemical Toilets on the mountain
- All food on the mountain
- Drinking water on the mountain (boiled and filtered)
- Other meals in Moshi
- Airfare (ask about recommendations on airports and travel)
- Tips for the porters
- Sleeping bags (although they can be rented)
- Visa’s to enter Tanzania
- Shots and vaccinations (see list in equipment list)
- Travel Insurance
Arrive Saturday August 24, 2013 – Depart Tuesday September 3, 2013
Day 1 – Aug 24: Evening arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport and proceed to our hotel.
Day 2 – Aug 25: Orientation and flight recovery with the option of a day excrusion
Day 3 – Aug 26: Londorossi Gate to Mti Mkubuwa
Hike time: 3hrs – 4 hrs
Elevation Change: + 650 meters/2100 ft
Estimated distance: 10 km
Final Elevation: 2650 M/8900 feet
A three-hour drive from Moshi brings us to the Londorossi Park Gate located on the western side of Kilimanjaro. At the gate, we pick up our game ranger who will accompany us, as we might encounter elephants and buffaloes during our trek. We drive to the trailhead at Lemosho Glades and start our trek through the rain forest. Today we will hike to Mti Mbubwa, which means Big Tree in Swahili. The camp sits at 9,200 ft.
Day 4 – Aug 27: Mti Mkubwa to Shira One
Hike time: 5 – 6 hrs
Elevation change: + 950 M/3100 feet
Estimated distance: 12 km
Final Elevation: 3,610 M/11,800 feet
After breakfast, we start the climb across the remaining rain forest toward the giant moorland zone. Today is a full day trek with an altitude gain of 2,000 ft. A great lunch stop is at a beautiful valley just outside the Shira Crater at around 10,000 ft. Today you will get your first close views of Kibo – the dramatic summit of Kilimanjaro.The Lemosho trail gradually enters the giant heather moorlands zone.
Day 5 – Aug 28: Shira One Camp to Shira Two Camp
Hike time: 5 to 6 hrs
Elevation change: +240 M/800 feet
Eesitimated distance: 5 km
Final elevation: 3,850 M/12,600 feet
After breakfast, we continue to hike east across the Shira Plateau past the Shira Cathedral toward Shira Two camp. We only gain 700 feet in elevation – this allows us to acclimatize slowly to the altitude. The views of the plateau are nothing less than spectacular.
Day 6 – Aug 29: – Shira Two Camp to Lava Tower
Hike time: 5 hrs
Elevation change: +700 M/2300 feet
Estimated distance: 6 km
Final elevation: 4650 M/15,200 feet
Today is the last of the ‘easy days’. It is about a 7-hour hike. We head to Lava Tower, around the southern flank of Kibo. This is one of our most valuable days for acclimatization, as we will sleep at Lava Tower.
Day 7 – Aug 30: Lava Tower to Karanga Valley
Hike time: 6.5 hrs
Elevation change: -650 M/-2000 ft
Estimated distance: 8 KM
Maximum elevation: 4190 M/13700 feet
Final elevation: 4000 M
Leaving Lava Tower, we slowly descend into the spectacular Barranco Valley, interspersed with giant lobelia and senecia plants. You will stand in awe at the foot of Kibo Peak on our left. After the Barannco Wall we descend down into the Karanga Valley where we rest up for the night before the tough climb up to Barafu Hut.
Day 8 – Aug 31: Karanga to Barafu Camp
Hike time: 3.5 hrs
Elevation changes: +600 M/1900 feet
Estimated distance: 4 km
Final elevation: 4600 M/15000 feet
This is a tough, steep, but rewarding uphill to the rocky, craggy slopes at the camp. Barafu means, ice in Swahili, and it is extremely cold at this altitude. This is the route where most climbers prepare for climbing Kilimanjaro. You will get a half day rest before you begin the summit climb at midnight.
Day 9 – Sept 1: Summit Day: Barafu to Uhuru Peak (Summit) to Mweka Camp
Summit time: 7 hrs
Elevation change: +1300 m/+ 4,265 ft
Estimated distance: 5km/3.2 miles
Final elevation: 5896 m/19343 ft
Descent time: 5 hrs
Elevation change: -2800 m/-9186 ft
Estimated distance: 12km/7.5 miles
Final elevation: 3100 m, 10,170 ft
This is a tough 15 to 17 hour day, starting at midnight and hiking until the following afternoon. We begin the summit attempt around midnight, and will arrive at the Uhuru Point summit before sunrise. This is the toughest part of the journey as you will be climbing more than 4000 ft in five to seven hours.
After the sunrise, you will head back down the mountain, stopping at Barafu Camp to rest, and heading onward to Mweka Camp, just a few hours outside the gate. This is a tough power day, but rewarding at the end.
Day 10 – Sept 2: Mweka Camp to Moshi
Descent time: 4 hrs
Elevation change: -1250M/ -4000 ft
Estimated distance: 10km
Final elevation: 1828 M/ 6000 ft
In the morning we have about 3 hour hike to the gate. After a welcome lunch, you will get your climb certificate and say goodbye to your crew and porters. We then shuttle you back to the hotel in Moshi.
Day 11 – Sept 3: Depart Kilimanjaro