If, like us, you have a spirit for adventure, then climbing Kilimanjaro in Africa should be on your bucket list. Standing at 5,895m, this is the highest mountain in Africa and one of the Seven Summits, the highest mountains on each of Earths seven continents. It is the easiest of these mountains to climb and no technical skills are required, making it accessible for most people. And at Active Mountaineering, our philosophy is to guide people of all ages and abilities to help them achieve their dreams. Standing on the rooftop of Africa as the Sun rises over the plains is truly one of the most exhilarating experiences you can enjoy.
We run open challenges suitable for anyone to join, be it on your own, with your partner or as part of a group of friends, travelling with us will be one of lifes finest experiences. The comradery that we build on these events will leave you with friends for life. Our challenges are designed to provide you with the best guides, accommodation, food and preparation. This is why we limit the number of challenges that we run each year, we focus on the quality and not the quantity. That said, we can also provide private challenges for those who wish to complete their own personal challenge. Please contact us for further details.
Each challenge is escorted by Chris Littlehales, owner of Active Mountaineering, or one of our hugely experienced UK based mountain guides who will look after you every step of the way.
Our open challenges use 2 routes to the summit, the Machame 6 day challenge and the Lemosho 7 day challenge. The popular Machame route is ideal for those who are looking to climb Kilimanjaro in the quickest time. We still allow lots of time in the itinerary for acclimatisation. Our Lemosho route allows for more acclimatisation and will improve your chances of summitting. On your challenge, you will be given the best possible hot meals and plenty of water. Combining this with your acclimatisation is the key to your success on the mountain and we will monitor you every step of the way.
6 Day Machame Route
Machame Route - Day 1
You will be transported, with your lead guide, from your hotel to the start of your challenge at Machame Gate where you will meet your local guides and porters. You will then set off from the Gate to walk to your first overnight camp at Machame Camp. Walking through lush Rainforest, we will stop for lunch before continuing on to the camp. After reaching camp, you will be provided with hot drinks and hot water for washing before settling down for dinner prepared by your camp chef.
Camp elevation: 2,980m
Elevation gain: 1,490m
Distance trekked: 18km
Trekking time: 5-7 hours
Machame Route - Day 2
We will wake you up with hot water to wash with before breakfast. After you have eaten, we will leave Machame Camp to make our way to Shira Camp. You will again walk through some Rainforest before crossing a valley along a steep rocky ridge, stopping for lunch along the way. You then continue along a river gorge until you reach your overnight stay at Shira Camp. You will again be given hot water to wash with before settling down to a hot dinner.
Camp elevation: 3850m
Elevation gain: 870m
Distance trekked: 9km
Trekking time: 4-6 hours
Machame Route - Day 3
We again wake you up to hot water followed by breakfast. Today is an acclimatisation day. As well as making progress, we use today to take you to Lava Tower at an elevation of 4,650m for lunch, before returning to a lower elevation at Barranco Camp. Although you will not gain much height today, it is important for your acclimatisation to altitude which will help you on your summit day. Todays trek will be through a rocky, vegetation filled landscape. After reaching Barranco Camp, you will again be given hot water to wash with before dinner.
Camp Elevation: 3950m
Elevation gain: 100m
Distance trekked: 15km
Treking time: 6-7 hours
Machame Route - Day 4
After breakfast, we set off to the Barranco Wall and then through the Karanga Valley before before stopping for lunch. We then make our way up to Barafu Camp for your next overnight stay. You will again have hot water to wash with before dinner and then a very early night as you will be woken very early to start your summit attempt.
Camp Elevation: 4,700m
Elevation gain: 750m
Distance trekked: 13km
Trekking time: 7-8 hours
Machame Route - Day 5
Today is summit day! You will be woken at midnight with a hot drink and a quick breakfast before setting off up the scree slopes to the summit. We will zig zag in darkness using our head torches. Our aim is to reach Stella Point for the amazing Sunrise over Africa. This is one of the most stunning sights you will see on your whole adventure. After a short stop, we will continue on along the rim of the volcano to Uhuru Peak, the summit of Africa at 5,895m. After your photos by the summit sign, we will descend back to Barafu Camp for food and a short rest. We will then contine down to Mweka Camp for your last overnight camp on the mountain. You will again have hot water before dinner.
Camp elevation: 3,100m
Elevation gain: 1,295m ascent, 2,795m descent
Distance trekked: 30km (7km up and 23km down)
Trekking time: 15-16 hours
Machame Route - Day 6
After a well deserved good nights sleep, you will awake to hot water for washing and then breakfast. We then set off to complete the challenge at Machame Gate. We will have a celebration and say goodbye to our guides and porters before being transported back to our hotel. You can now have a hot shower and relax before our celebratory dinner where you will be presented with your certificates.
Gate elevation: 1,490m
Elevation loss: 1,610m
Distance trekked: 15km
Trekking time: 4-5 hours
7 Day Lemosho Route
Lemosho Route - Day 1
A two and a half hour’s drive to Londorossi Gate where you will be registered by the national park authorities. Then you drive another 15 km into the dense rainforest to where you will start. A moderately steep path leads to the Big Tree Camp (2780m). Look out for monkeys and interesting birds along the way. The tents will be already set up and hot tea and washing water will be waiting followed by dinner.
Camp elevation: 2780m
Elevation gain: 520m
Lemosho Route - Day 2
Today’s long trek starts on a small trail which continues through the trees and gradually ascends to reach the Shira plateau. Enjoy the views of the mountain and plains below. The path continues to cross the Shira Ridge (ca. 3600m) and you will stop for lunch at the Shira Camp 1 after another few hours. The last section (approximately 3 hrs), you will climb another 250 meters in altitude and pass the surreal Senecia-plants growing to over 8m in height. Reaching the camp after the long day, you will relax with coffee and tea and be nourished with a 3-course meal tonight. As the sun sets you might see the summit glowing in the afternoon sun.
Camp elevation: 3900m
Elevation gain: 1120m
Lemosho Route - Day 3
You will gain 700m in altitude but descend to sleep at Barranco – 60m higher than last night’s camp. This will help with acclimatisation as you will go up to 4600m before descending again. Today begins with a long uphill in the direction of the Lava Tower Hut (4640m) and you will notice how the landscape changes to a rocky alpine desert. Later, the path descends again to the Barranco Valley with its giant Senecias and Lobelias. After six to seven hours you should arrive at the most beautiful camp on the mountain – the Barranco Camp.
Camp elevation: 3960m
Elevation gain: 60m
Lemosho Route - Day 4
Today will start with the daunting Barranco Wall. Soon you will realize it looks worse than it actually is, but there are tricky sections where you will need to hold on tight. Admire the views from the top. The rest of the route follows along the mountain ridge into the Karanga valley and out. You reach Karanga Camp after lunch and you will have fantastic views of the southern glacier of Kibo as well as of the Kibo summit.
Camp elevation: 4035m
Elevation gain: 75m
Lemosho Route - Day 5
A few hours hiking through desolate and rocky moon-like landscape lies ahead. It will be a relatively easy day leading steadily uphill. The goal for today is the Barafu campsite on a narrow ridge in full view of Mawenzi peak. You will walk along a trail that passes through the afro-alpine dessert until you reach your destination for today –Barafu Camp at 4640m. Use the rest of the day to relax and pack your daypack for tonight’s summit attempt. Supper will be served early; drink and eat enough if you can and try to sleep. You will be woken up around midnight to start your walk to the summit.
Camp elevation: 4640m
Elevation gain: 605m
Lemosho Route - Day 6
It is dark and cold as you set off just after midnight. You will climb the frozen volcanic dust by headlamp going towards Stella Point on the crater rim – about six hours. The sun should be rising when you arrive here. Just an hour or two more and you will be standing on the highest point of the crater: Uhuru peak. On top of the world! Take a short break for pictures and celebratory hugs before you tackle the steep and dusty descent. By now the volcanic ash will have thawed… You will stop for a short tea break at Barafu and then continue downhill for about three hours to Mweka camp (3080m). This is your overnight stop. Refuel by drinking lots of fluids and have a good helping at supper time.
Camp elevation: 3080m
Elevation gain: 1255m
Elevation loss: 2815m
Lemosho Route - Day 7
A traditional farewell ceremony from the porters begins the day. After about three hours, comfortably descending through the greenness of the forest, you should reach Mweka gate where the driver will be waiting. Back to Kindoroko Hotel for a hot shower, a cold drink, a debrief and your certificate of achievement are waiting. Well done!
Gate elevation: 1630m
Elevation loss: 1450m
What is included
All of our Kilimanjaro challenges include the following:
-Transfers to and from the Airport
-Hotel accommodation on your first and last night
-All park fees
-All fees for guides, porters and support staff
-All food on the mountain including breakfast, lunch and dinner
-All camping equipment, excluding personal kit
Whats NOT included
-Flights to and from Tanzania International Airport
-Visa fees, payable on arrival
After you have conquered the highest peak in Africa, why not stay on for a 2 day safari in Lake Manyara National Park. We will take you to Arusha for an overnight stay before embarking on our 2 day safari with overnight camp. Afterwards, we will take you to a hotel before your transfer to the airport on the next day.
Pick up at 9:00am from your Hotel in Arusha then depart for Lake Manyara National Park, picnic lunch and game drive in Lake Manyara National Park, dinner and overnight at Jambo Campsite, Rhotia Valley or Kudu Camp in Karatu.
Early breakfast and depart for Ngorongoro Crater and descend down the Crater floor for a game drive, lunch at hippo pool picnic site, ascend to the rim and drive back to Arusha and drop off at your Arusha hotel