Climb Kilimanjaro

9 Days in Tanzania / (Skill level: Introductory)

Price per person

$5,350 Safari Extension - $2,200
  • Next Available: Dec 05, 2020 - Dec 13, 2020
    Optional Extension Through Dec 16, 2020
  • Upcoming: Jun 12, 2021 - Jun 20, 2021
    Optional Extension Through Jun 21, 2021
  • Jul 10, 2021 - Jul 18, 2021
    Optional Extension Through Jul 21, 2021

About this trip

Extend your adventure to include the extraordinary Safari for just $2,200. The combination of Alpenglow's internationally certified guides and the premier Tanzanian logistics coordinator give you the highest possibility of safety and success. Experience every ecological zone in the region and minimal crowds on the Rongai Route.

Overview

  • skill level

    Introductory

  • Duration

    9 Days

The summit of Kilimanjaro stands at 19,341 feet (5,895 meters), the highest point in all of Africa and one of the famed Seven Summits. Our expedition travels away from the crowds by climbing the Rongai Route. While somewhat longer than the busier routes, the trek is stunning. As it climbs from the trailhead at 6,000 feet (1,829 meters) to the summit, it passes through every ecological zone found in this area of East Africa. You begin in rainforest, pass through alpine pines, then into grassland, alpine tundra, and eventually the barren world of the crater itself. And over the first 5 days on the mountain, you will see few other climbers or camps.

The Perfect First High Altitude Peak

Kilimanjaro is the perfect place to experience climbing a high-altitude peak without needing years of experience or training. While the days can be strenuous, our route is non-technical (there is no rock climbing, ice, snow, or ropes). We will also be assisted on our climb by a stellar team of local Tanzanians acting as porters, kitchen staff, and local guides. Their experience and local knowledge will not only make your trip more comfortable (each day you carry only a light day pack, and the food is hearty and tasty), they will also add to your understanding of this mountain and the local people.

Safari Extension

Summiting Kilimanjaro is a proud and attainable accomplishment (our teams have over a 90% success rate on this mountain). The climb and summit are only half the fun of this expedition. After descending the Marangu Route on Kilimanjaro (on the other side of the mountain from our ascent), we say goodbye to our Tanzanian mountain staff and meet our safari guides and Landcruisers. Safaris in East Africa are unparalleled in the world for seeing big game and huge herds. For us, it is the perfect way to pamper ourselves after the hard work on the mountain. We spend three full days exploring two of Tanzania’s most famous game parks –Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti. Nights are spent in luxury eco-lodges inside the parks, while during the day our local guides will help us to find and better understand the incredible wealth of big game. We will see huge herds of zebra and wildebeests and also spot more solitary animals like giraffes and cheetahs. With three days of safari we will experience most or all of the “big five” animals – lions, leopards, rhinoceros, cape buffalo and elephants.

Choosing a Certified Guide Service

While many tour companies take groups on Kilimanjaro, it is important for you to understand the difference you are choosing by climbing with a mountaineering guide service and with certified guides. Our itinerary allows ample time to acclimatize so that you can actually enjoy this peak (we take seven days when many companies take only five). Our guides are full-time mountain professionals which means they understand the hazards involved in climbing a peak this big. While the route itself is not technical, Kilimanjaro is still a very serious undertaking. Accidents do occur each year on the mountain, and generally they are on teams without experienced western mountain guides. Choosing to travel with Alpenglow Expeditions will increase both your safety and your enjoyment of Africa’s tallest peak.

Our Kilimanjaro Expeditions will be led by one of Alpenglow’s AMGA certified lead guides. AMGA (American Mountain Guides Association) certification is the highest possible training available to guides, and only the most experienced and dedicated attain it. Our lead guides have been climbing and guiding around the world for at least a decade, including multiple trips to Kilimanjaro. We combine our North American guides’ experience with the local expertise of one of Tanzania’s best climbing and safari logistics operators. This ensures we have the best in private transportation, food, naturalist guides, and lodging and that your experience will be one you will never forget!

Preparation

  • Fitness

    Trekkers must be in great physical shape to join this expedition. This is perhaps the most important aspect of high altitude trekking, and cannot be stressed enough. Regular, challenging exercise for many months in advance of departure is the only way to gain the necessary level of fitness that is needed. Please contact us for more information on physical training.

  • Altitude Experience

    No prior experience at altitude required.

    • Day 1 — Arrive in Tanzania

      Arrive into Kilimanjaro International Airport in the evening, where you will meet your guides. Transfer to our hotel in Arusha, at the base of Kilimanjaro, where we have a team dinner.

    • Day 2 — Explore Local Villages

      In the morning we explore the local villages that surround the base of Kilimanjaro. In the afternoon we hold our first team meeting, and organize our gear for the climb.

    • Day 3 — Head to our First Camp

      Drive to the Rongai trailhead, with stunning views of the mountain along the way. Once there, we meet our Tanzanian porters and staff, organize loads, and then begin our climb through lush forests. Four hours of walking will take us to our first camp, at 9,500 feet (2,696 meters).

    • Day 4 — Move to Camp at 12,000 feet

      Our 6 hour hike takes us out of the humid forest and onto a stunning ridge with our first views of the upper crater walls of Kilimanjaro. The trail continues climbing on this ridge to our camp at 12,000 feet (3,658 meters).

    • Day 5 — Hike to Mwenzi Tarn

      Today is a five hour hike to the Mwenzi Tarn. This camp is a favorite with our groups. The camp at 13,000 feet (3,962 meters) is next to a small lake and below the Mwenzi Towers, with unbelievable views of the entire summit cone and our route to the top.

    • Day 6 — Hike to Kibo Hut

      Today’s hike takes us through the last of Kilimanjaro’s vegetated zones and into the barren alpine world of the upper mountain. A four hour hike takes us past species of plants found only here on Kilimanjaro’s upper flanks, and ends at our camp at the Kibo Hut, at 15,500 feet (4,724 meters). This camp is the staging point for many teams’ summit push. With so many other climbers here, the camp has a true international feel.

    • Day 7 — Acclimatization Day

      Today is an important additional acclimatization day. We wake up, eat a good breakfast, and go for a 2-3 hour hike to a bit over 16,000 feet (4,877 meters). This dramatically aids in our acclimatization, and gives us a perfect view of our summit route. We get back to camp early, and spend the afternoon resting and preparing for our summit attempt.

    • Day 8 — Summit Day

      Summit Day! We wake around midnight for a hot drink and snack and then begin our climb. The first 5-6 hours are steep and we occasionally scramble over rocky sections (no ropes or technical experience are necessary) as we ascend the crater wall. Around sunrise we top out on the wall at Gilman’s Point and step onto the crater. The route from there crosses the small crater glacier and then ascends easily to the true summit, the highest point in Africa at 19,341 feet (5,895 meters)! Our descent is via the Marangu route. After at least a 12 hour day we will set camp at 12,000 feet (3,658 meters).

    • Day 9 — Head down to our Hotel

      Six hours of easy descent take us through the Marangu’s lush rainforests (a completely different ecological zone than we saw on our ascent) to the end of the trail (6,000 feet/1,829 meters) and our van. We return to our hotel for much needed showers and a celebration dinner. Those who only have time for the climb fly home after dinner however, we highly recommend our safari, an unforgettable East African experience.

    • Extended Itinerary Below

    • Day 10 — Head to Ngorongoro Crater

      A 3 hour drive in the morning takes us to the Ngorongoro Crater. Ngorongoro holds the highest concentration of big game anywhere in Africa. It is an unbeatable place to see herds of wildebeest, zebras, antelope, and buffalo, along with the predators that feed on these herds – lions, cheetahs, and leopards. It is also one of the better places to spot rhinoceros. We will return to our hotel on the rim of the crater that evening.

    • Day 11 — Drive to Central Serengeti

      Today we drive to the central Serengeti to continue our Safari. We end our day at a luxury tented camp in the central Serengeti.

    • Day 12 — Final Safari Day and Departure

      An early morning wake up call for a half day game drive allows us to explore at best time of the day when animals feed. An afternoon bush plane flight brings us back to Arusha in time for evening flight out.

      • Headwear and Eyewear

      • Hat

        Bring your favorite baseball hat for shelter from the sun. No white under the brim - the reflection off of it from the sun is blinding. Recommended: Alpenglow 5-Panel

        $25.00
      • Beanie

        A comfortable, warm well-fitting hat that covers your ears. Make sure that one of your hats fits under a helmet. Recommended: Eddie Bauer First Ascent Beanie

      • Neck Gaiter (Buff)

        A multi purpose neck gator that can also be worn under your hat. Make sure that it covers as much skin as possible and yet is still comfy. Recommended: Alpenglow Expeditions Buff

      • Balaclava

        We recommend a tight-fitting balaclava that is worn under your hat. Make sure that it covers as much skin as possible, but is comfortable enough to wear for hours. Recommended: Patagonia Balaclava

      • Sunglasses

        Must have dark lenses. Minimal light should come in below, above, or around the sides of the lenses.“Wrap” style is best. Ventilation is important and a retainer strap is very useful (Chums or Croakies). Recommended: Revoi Guide II

      • Hands and Feet

      • Lightweight Gloves

        All-around gloves for mountaineering, backcountry skiing, and hiking. These gloves (and similar options) are warm, wind-resistant, durable and have a sure grip. You will rarely take these gloves off. They should be snug-fitting, and have some sort of reinforced palm. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Mountain Glove

      • Midweight Gloves

        These gloves should be full GORE-TEX®, and insulated. These will be your main glove for the trip until summit days, or when it gets especially cold. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Guide Glove

      • Heavyweight Gloves

        These gloves should be full GORE-TEX®, with a removable fleece liner (so you can take the liner out and dry it at night). These gloves are used at higher altitude and are need to keep your hands dry, and warm. Over the cuff style is desired. Recommended: Black Diamond Guide Glove

      • Liner Socks (optional)

        A super-thin wicking sock that repels moisture. Liner socks help to reduce the likelihood of blisters. The socks should be thin wool, nylon, or Capilene®. NO COTTON. Recommended: Ice Breaker Hike Liner Crew

      • Hiking Socks

        Your everyday sock, good for day hikes, trekking, and in- town. NO COTTON. Recommended: Patagonia Lightweight Merino Performance Crew Socks

      • Warm Socks

        A wool synthetic blend. Pure rag wool socks are not nearly as effective in wicking moisture or retaining their shape and reducing blisters. NO COTTON. Recommended: Smartwool Mountaineering Extra Heavy Crew Socks

      • Hiking Shoes

        These light to mid-weight shoes are for every day use. The ideal shoe is comfortable to wear for multiple days and scrambles decently on rock. A Gore-tex lined shoe stays drier when hiking in rain or snow. Recommended: La Sportiva Bushido Hiking Shoes

      • Hiking Boots

        Light to mid- weight boots for everyday use. The ideal boot is comfortable enough to wear for days and scrambles decently on rock. A Gore-tex lined boot often stays drier when hiking in rain or snow. Recommended: La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX

      • Waterproof Gaiters

        GORE-TEX® or Schoeller® calf- high gaiters, insulated supergaiters recommended. *Gaiters not needed if your pants and/or boots have built-in gaiters. Recommended: Outdoor Research Expedition Crocodile Gaiters (required if your boots do not have integrated gaiters)

      • Upper Body Apparel

      • Lightweight Top

        Ultra-light base layer that effectively wicks moisture away from your body and is breathable. Quick-dry is important as well. One light colored shirt is recommended for extremely sunny days. The new wool blends are also an option. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Resolution Short-Sleeve T-Shirt

      • Long Sleeve Base Layer

        A poly-pro mid-layer that you will never take off. Fitted, light- weight and quick drying. Make sure it is long enough to tuck-in and we recommend zipper collars for more ventilation. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Resolution IR 1/4 Zip

      • Warm Layer

        A polarguard or fleece jacket. This is your mid layer that will be worn over your baselayer most of the trip. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Cloud Layer Pro 1/4 Zip or Patagonia R1 Jacket

      • Synthetic Top

        A simple, lightweight synthetic jacket. This item is good for layering systems and the Primaloft keeps you warm when wet. Recommended: Eddie Bauer IgniteLite Stretch Reversible

      • Soft Shell Jacket

        While this item isn’t required, we know that those who don’t have one wish they did! More breathable than Gore-tex, these jackets block wind and light precipitation. A windshirt is an option for this layer. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Sandstone

      • Hard Shell Jacket

        A lightweight, waterproof and breathable jacket WITH A HOOD that can withstand extreme weather conditions. Make sure you have pit-zips and if you are using an old jacket, re-waterproof it. Recommended: Eddie Bauer BC Freshline Jacket

      • Down Parka (5-6k Peaks)

        A puffy jacket with a hood that will keep you warm during the coldest of conditions. The higher the quality down, the better (800-fill is best). However, be sure the jacket is still lightweight. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Downlight Hooded Jacket

      • Lower Body Apparel

      • Quick Dry Shorts

        Throw these on under other layers for when the sun begins to beat, or you have a sudden urge to jump in a glacial lake. Lightweight, durable and comfortable. NO COTTON. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Guide Pro Short

      • Trekking Pants

        You will spend most of your days in these pants. Choose a breathable and water resistant pant. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Guide Pro

      • Base Layer Bottoms

        Fitted and quick drying. This piece will be a base-layer that will get you through a wide range of temperatures. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Midweight FreeDry Merino Hybrid Baselayer Pants

      • Hard Shell Pants

        Your waterproof bottom layer for extreme weather days. Make sure you have water-resistant zippers, crampon patches + good pockets. Recommended: Black Diamond Sharp End Pants

      • Insulated Pants (optional)

        Full-length side zippers are recommended, for throwing on top of all of your layers. This layer is required. Recommended: Black Diamond Stance Belay Pants

      • Expedition Equipment

      • Duffle Bags

        2 Duffle Bags - At least one bag should be extremely durable, waterproof, and big - between 90L and 120L. You should feel comfortable leaving it in a puddle for several hours. Remember dry clothes are hot commodities in the mountains! Large enough to fit everything you own, plus what you anticipate buying. Two duffel bags are necessary to fit all your equipment for travel (we don't recommend checking your backpack, best is to put all gear and backpack into your duffle). Once in country, you can consolidate your gear into one duffel and your backpack. It's common to leave the second duffel with city clothes and other non-necessary items behind in a locked and secure location that your guide will arrange for you. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Maximus Duffel

      • Sleeping Bag (0°)

        Rated to 0º F. Choose an 800+ Fill Premium Goose Down bag. Make certain that the sleeping bag is the right length. DON’T FORGET A COMPRESSION SACK FOR THE SLEEPING BAG. Many climbers also like a silk liner. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Kara Koram with Compression Sack

      • Inflatable Sleeping Pad

        72 inch long inflatable pad required. Make sure you also purchase and bring a repair kit + bag for the sleeping pad. Recommended: NeoAir Xtherm

      • Day Pack

        Mid-size pack for city days and trekking. Streamlined, neat and lightweight (10-20 liters). Recommended: Eddie Bauer Bacon 2.0 Pack

      • Climbing Pack

        Internal frame pack that is between 50 and 60 liters. Either purchase a matching pack cover, or use garbage bags as liners. Make sure the pack is fitted to YOUR body. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Alpine Sisu 50L Pack or Black Diamond Mission 50 Pack

      • Hydration System (optional)

        Should carry 70-100 ounces. Must be durable and have a reliable closure system. Recommended: MSR Dromlite 2L with Hydration Tube

      • Headlamp

        L.E.D. headlamps are required. Make sure they have 3+ bulbs. Bring extra batteries. We highly recommend a tilting lamp. Recommended: Black Diamond Spot Headlamp

      • Trekking Pole(s)

        Make sure that they are durable, lightweight + easily adjustable. Recommended: Black Diamond Trail Explorer 3 Trekking Poles

      • 1L Nalgene (2)

        Two 1 Liter Wide Mouth Nalgene bottles. Recommended: Nalgene 1 L wide mouth

      • Compressible 1-1.5L Bottle

        Wide mouth compressible 1-1.5 liter bottle. Recommended: Nalgene Flexible Cantene

      • Plastic Bowl, Mug and Spoon

        A lightweight and compact cookware setup. You'll want a plastic bowl, mug and spoon. Recommended Kit: MSR 2 Person Mess Kit

      • Coffee

        While Alpenglow provides hot drink options every morning, it can be nice to have your own on hand any time you need a boost. With hot water always readily available, having instant coffee packets can give you the energy you need after a long day in the mountains! Recommended: Alpine Start Original Blend Instant Coffee

      • Miscellaneous Items

      • Miscellaneous Items

        -Passport (with visa, if necessary

        -2 luggage locks (TSA compliant)

        -Non-cotton underwear

        -Wag bags, 1 per night camping as to leave no trace

        -Heavy duty garbage bags (at least 4)

        -Stuffsacks: assorted sizes, for organizing your clothes and gear

        -Sunscreen: SPF 30 (or higher)

        -Lip balm with SPF 15 (or higher)

        -Personal first-aid kit (Band-aids, Ibuprofen, Cough Drops, Moleskin, Pepto-bismol, Imodium, Personal Medications)

        -Toiletries

        -3-4lbs of Snack food (a variety of snack food, some whole food, some bars, some gels)

        -Hand Warmers

      • In Town Items

        - External Battery Packs for phones, and other electronics. Recommended: Anker PowerCore Speed 10000.

        - Ear Plugs

        - Journal/Cards/Games for personal entertainment

        - Language Phrase Book

        - Camera - Full size DSLRs not recommended as your summit camera.  Sony RX100 is a guide’s favorite. Remember extra SD cards and batteries.

        - Compact Binoculars

        - Sandals (Flip-Flops, Chacos or Tevas)

      • Packing Note

        For your international flights we recommend that you pack all of your equipment in your two duffle bags. Do not simply pack your backpack (since its straps can be damaged by baggage handling machines). It is important to lock these bags for their trip. Depending on airport, you may be able to put your travel locks on after they have been searched. If not, lock the bag with zip ties. If the TSA cuts off the zip tie to search your bag, they will replace it. You will still need travel locks to lock your bags in the hotel and in Basecamp. Generally, you will take one duffle to Basecamp, and leave one in the hotel with your belongings for town.

    • Would you consider doing a custom Kilimanjaro expedition?

      We always welcome custom inquiries. Nearly 50% of Alpenglow’s expeditions are customized.

    • What level of fitness is required?

      Climbers must be in excellent physical shape to join this expedition. This is perhaps the most important aspect of high altitude climbing, and cannot be stressed enough. Regular, challenging exercise for many months in advance of departure is the only way to gain the necessary level of fitness that is needed on big peaks. We highly recommend a structured training regime with a gym or personal trainer to assist you in preparing for climbing at altitude. Please contact us for more information on physical training.

    • Do I really need to purchase trip and rescue insurance?

      We strongly recommend purchasing trip insurance, and we require rescue insurance on all expeditions. Trip insurance covers issues that would cause you to cancel your trip in advance. Rescue insurance can help cover costs in the event that you decide to end your expedition early. We recommend Global Rescue for both types of insurance .

Logan Talbott

co-owner / chief guide

Logan has been guiding professionally for over a decade in the disciplines of Rock, Alpine and Ski Mountaineering. When not out guiding, Logan spends time in the office helping the team with the day-to-day operations of the business. From one day ascents of El Capitan to big Alpine climbs in the Himalaya, from ski descents on Denali to backyard ski tours in Lake Tahoe, he can’t help but smile when out running around the hills. Logan is an AMGA/IFMGA mountain guide, an Avalanche course leader with AIARE, as well as a wilderness EMT. In addition to guiding, Logan has extensive experience in mountain rescue, having worked for rescue teams in both Yosemite and Denali National Parks, and volunteering locally for Tahoe Nordic SAR. When not out in the hills, he lives in Truckee, CA with his lovely wife Lynette and daughter Maggie.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA - American Mountain Guide
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Adrian Ballinger

Adrian Ballinger is one of the USA’s premier high-altitude mountain guides, and the only American guide to have both AMGA/IFMGA guide’s certification (one of roughly 150 in the USA) and more than a fifteen summits of 8,000 meter peaks (17 total, including 8 summits of Mt. Everest, 1 without supplemental oxygen, as well as an ascent of K2 without supplemental oxygen). As founder of Alpenglow Expeditions, Adrian has been guiding full-time for over twenty years and has led over 130 international climbing expeditions on 6 continents.

In 2011 he, along with 2 Sherpa partners, became the first people to summit three 8,000 meter peaks in only 3 weeks (Everest twice and Lhotse once). He is also the first person to ski Manaslu (the 8th tallest mountain in the world) from its summit, and the first American to successfully ski two 8,000-meter peaks. These personal successes are combined with Adrian’s passion for guiding and teaching others. Adrian has successfully led more than 100 clients to the summits of Everest, Lhotse (the 4th tallest mountain in world), Cho Oyu (6th tallest) and Manaslu (8th tallest).

Whether on skis, in rock shoes, or mountain boots, Adrian thrives on sharing the big mountains with friends and clients, and helping them to build their skills and experience to be successful on the world’s most beautiful mountains. In the coming seasons, Adrian plans on continuing to enjoy big-mountain skiing, climbing, and guiding in the Himalaya, South America, Europe, and of course closer to home in Squaw Valley, CA. Adrian is a sponsored athlete for Eddie Bauer, La Sportiva, Blizzard, Tecnica, Hiball Energy, and Favre Leuba.

Learn more about Adrian at adrianballinger.com

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA - American Mountain Guide
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Chad Peele

Chad Peele has been guiding for over 15 years and works full time as a mountain guide. Based out of Ridgway Colorado, Chad spends his winters instructing and guiding on some of the best ice terrain the U.S. has to offer. Outside of Colorado he has traveled and guided extensively throughout North and South America with several trips to the Himalayas including multiple summits of both Everest and Ama Dablam. When not in the Mountains Chad does clothing and equipment design for Eddie Bauer’s First Ascent outdoor line.

Chad is an AMGA Rock & Alpine guide.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA Certified Alpine Guide
  • AMGA Certified Rock Guide

Jaime Avila

Jaime is Alpenglow Expeditions’ senior lead guide. A native Ecuadorian, Jaime has been guiding and climbing throughout South America and the world for twenty years. He has successfully led groups on challenging routes like the Southwest Ridge of Ama Dablam (Nepal), the Shield Route of Huascaran (Peru), the Polish Direct on Aconcagua (Argentina), and El Altar (Ecuador). We have been guiding, climbing, and traveling with Jaime since 1998 and the feedback from members is always the same: there is no better teammate. Whether climbing a tough ice route, humping a huge pack, or stuck in a storm, Jaime will keep you laughing, learning, and glad to be in the mountains. He is an ASEGUIM / IFMGA certified mountain guide.

 

Guide Certifications
  • ASEGUIM
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Esteban “Topo” Mena

Topo’s formal name is Esteban Mena, but he goes by his nickname. Esteban Topo Mena is 28 years old and began his guiding career at 19, when he climbed Aconcagua’s South Face and became the youngest person to accomplish this difficult climb. Topo began guiding in Ecuador and Peru. In 2012, Topo summited Manaslu and in 2013, he summited Everest – both without using supplementary oxygen. Topo again summited Everest in 2016 while supporting his wonderful partner Carla as she successfully summited without supplemental oxygen. In 2018 Topo summited both Cho Oyu and Everest with clients in under 30 days. An incredible achievement that only the best guides in the word could attempt. He also has climbed challenging new routes in Kyrgyzstan and China and one of his climbs (Kyzyl Asker) has been nominated for the Piolet d’Or (as part of an Ecuadorian team).

Guide Certifications
  • ASEGUIM
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

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    Climb Kilimanjaro

Climb Kilimanjaro

Extend your adventure to include the extraordinary Safari for just $2,200. The combination of Alpenglow's internationally certified guides and the premier Tanzanian logistics coordinator give you the highest possibility of safety and success. Experience every ecological zone in the region and minimal crowds on the Rongai Route.