Dawn arrives in shades of orange and blue; you will your legs to take one more step, one more; and then you see it, a simple sign with the word “Congratulations.” As you look upon the quilted land far below you, a profound peace settles over your tired body; you’ve done it, you have climbed Kilimanjaro.
Feel the exhilaration as you become a member of an elite group, those who have stood on the highest point in all of Africa. The Machame route is challenging but the rewards are great, with sweeping views and a variety of striking habitats that stimulate your senses as you climb. Dirt trails snake through lush pine forests; moorlands give way to semi-deserts which give way to alpine deserts which, finally, give way to a rocky, ice-capped summit. Evenings on Kilimanjaro are meant for contemplation and star gazing, and you’ll do both from your pup tent.
You’ll slowly begin to ascend from the forest zone into the heath zone, allowing your body to acclimatize. As you make your way to the first camp, you’ll bear witness to events some 60,000 years ago when a large section of the mountain collapsed. Continuing on, ascending into alpine desert, where the only green you’ll see are tussock grasses and curious moss balls, you’ll enjoy splendid views of Mawenzi peak. Depart just before midnight for the final summit bid so you reach the top as the first rays of dawn make their glorious appearance. Be sure to snap plenty of pictures so you can show the world what you’ve accomplished!
Kensington Tours offers local support in each region you visit, another reason we deliver unbeatable value. Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance.
Airport transfer between your Arusha hotel and Kilimanjaro International airport with private vehicle and english speaking driver.
While you are in the care of Kensington Tours, your safety and security are our number one priority. As such, in the unlikely event of serious illness or injury, all Kensington Tours clients are covered by “Flying Doctors” Insurance policy. This emergency evacuation insurance covers the cost of the evacuation flight back to Nairobi for treatment. This insurance policy however DOES NOT cover the cost of any medical treatment received. We highly recommend travel insurance for full coverage.
Every excursion team is equipped with a fully operational safety kit. The kit includes a portable altitude chamber (on crater ascents), first aid kids, pulse oximeters, oxygen with regulator & mask, neck brace, mobile phone, satelite phone (on shira & crater), water filter, stethascope, portable stretcher, guest & crew AMS monitoring sheets.Excursion guides and crews are specifically trained and instructed to ensure, wherever possible, that our guests can walk off the mountain, unaided, themselves. They are also trained extensively on monitoring systems and also management of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness), and more advanced forms of mountain sickness such as HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema) and HACE (High Altitude Cerebral Edema).
In the morning you are picked up at 8am from your hotel and drive to Machame gate to collect your permits. There is then an hour drive to the Umbwe gate where after checking in you set off up through the forest zone. This first day of hiking is not overly difficult but certainly steepens towards the latter end of the day. In the late afternoon you arrive in the first camp for dinner and overnight.
The second day ascends from the forest zone into the heath zone and there are some very steep sections here. Taking it easy is essential to allow your body to acclimatise. A picnic lunch is taken on route and then in the afternoon you arrive into Barranco camp in time to relax for a while before dinner. The views of the Barranco wall and western breach pertain to events some 60,000 years ago when this whole part of the mountain collapsed.
Today is a walk-high sleep-low day. You ascend into alpine desert and for those that are feeling strong you can even head up to Lava Tower before descending to the Barranco Camp. Lunch is taken as a picnic lunch on route. This is long day but pays dividends later on - great acclimatisation day!
Today is another half day ascending to Barafu Camp. Once again lunch is taken in camp allowing plenty of time to relax before the summit bid. Desolate alpine desert and at times strong winds rip over this camp and yet in the evening splendid views of Mawenzi peak are the norm. A relatively early dinner is taken before heading to rest for the evening.
Most people depart just before midnight for the final summit bid. Patience and persistence is the name of game to reach the summit and by dawn as the first rays of light start to appear, most arrive near the rim. Ascending via Stella Point affords a relatively short final section to Uhuru peak, the Roof of Africa! What goes up must come down and your goal today is to reach Mweka Camp before dusk.
After breakfast you descend once again through montane forest and around mid day after saying farewell to your crew, you are picked up and transfer back to your accommodation.
You'll have access to a day room prior to your international departure. Clean up from the road, take a nap, use as the room as a base while you explore, or simply relax before checking out at 6pm and heading on to check into your international flight home.
The Arusha Hotel is nestled in the most beautifully landscaped gardens in Arusha. With rolling lawns, abundant trees, a large variety of exotic plants and stunning iridescent birdlife, the gardens of The Arusha Hotel provide an oasis from the bustling town. The 86 rooms and suites offer gorgeous mountain or garden views. Overlooking the gardens, the Parachichi Restaurant, meaning ‘avocado’ in Swahili, is the perfect place for breakfast, lunch or dinner and with the sublime climate, the outdoor terrace offers a tranquil setting. Relax with a cocktail at Bustani Bar or The Hatari Bar, situated next to the swimming pool. Enjoy swimming or sun-bathing at the large and inviting swimming pool, or relax in the open-air Jacuzzi. There is also a fitness centre available to guests that features a variety of machines and weights.
An overnight camp area will be set up in a clearing on the trail. Clients must provide their own sleeping bag, however clients will be provided with: Client Tent: a lightweight 2-person "pup" tent used for 2 people (unless specifically booked for single occupancy), as well as a foam pad for sleeping. Tent is 52" high, 92" front to back, 82" across. Floor area: 48 sq. ft.Mess Tent: communal lightweight mess tent, lightweight table and stools.Cooks will be on site to provide meals.
May 11, 2015
"We were a group of 5 to Morocco. We were impressed at how seamless our private guided tour went. Accommodations were five star, the choice of family run hotels, beautifully appointed with Moroccan furnishings and large breakfasts, contributed to our experience. Our guide, Ishmail and driver, Abdul, made us feel like family. Ishmail showed off his country with pride, listened to our needs and was flexible to our style and speed of travel. We couldn't be happier with our Kensington experience beginning with the pre-planning in the US with Lily Baffour. Thank you very much for a memorable experience! "
May 12, 2015
"Our guide, Chakim, was fantastic, and our driver was excellent. We were very pleased with our accommodations. Only negative comments would be the villa in Essaouira (room, food, service not good although people very nice), and, while probably not an issue for other travelers, we were disappointed that we could not relax over a glass of wine at the end of our journey because Hotel Le Doge did not offer alcoholic beverages. We are currently scheduled with Kensington Tours for India in November and we are now planning on scheduling with Kensington for all our trips - right now that would be Thailand to Mynamar, and Egypt with Dubai extension. We are extremely happy with Kensington Tours and their travel agents. We would recommend Lily Balfour to anyone. "
April 08, 2015
"Kensington and its partners did not miss a single deadline, appointment or function to our total satisfaction. The result, no stress and total enjoyment."
April 08, 2015
"Christine was absolutely superb both in helping us frame and develop a custom tour as well as in constant follow up until we left. Inevitably things will change on the ground when trips are planned in advance and Christine was consistently on top of the changes and advised us accordingly. As first time travelers to Kenya and Tanzania Christine's advice and guidance was simply excellent. Rose, in Kensington's Nairobi office was likewise superb. Totally responsive to our needs, she helped make a few final adjustments while we were there. Once again, an exceptional experience made possible by Kensington."
Sachi Gowda ,
December 15, 2014
"We are extremely happy with your service from beginning to end and we had very a memorable trip."
Ronald Jones ,
December 12, 2014
"I cannot express how fabulous our trip was!! I know it was made that way thanks to ALL the kind, knowledgable, and helpful people that you all placed in our path. Many went above and beyond to make our experience even more positive. From drivers, to guides, to hotel staff---we met some wonderful people that we can now call friends. Thank you Christine and Kensington tours for this once in a lifetime African adventure!"
December 15, 2014
"Christine, our family trip was ALL we wanted it to be. The hotel accommodations in the cities were GREAT. We needed to make some room assignment adjustments but that's to be expected with a large family with children and same names.
I don't know where/how ya'll got those guides but...KEEP'EM! In both Cape Town and Joberg the guys knew their cities and environs excellently. Their English was very good...so good in fact that several got the sarcasm and even joked some. I do apologize if we over-tipped. I relied on each family to tip their own driver but, I wasn't sure of their "sense of what was right" so I followed up with something for each.
Simbavati was "PERFECT". As much as Glenda and I really liked Ngala, I do not think they could have handled a family as well...UNLESS, they had accommodations we did not see.
Please rest assured when ever I plan to travel on a multi-dimensional trip in the future, for sure with a group, or maybe just Glenda and I, I'll be calling Kensington... Christine and Donna specifically. And most definitely, anytime I can recommend a travel professional, your company and you two will be mentioned by name!
Thank you again Christine...you presented us the exact trip we dreamed about for our family and your folks on the ground made it happen! I sincerely hope you, Donna and everyone else involved have a most Blessed Christmas and a wonderful, successful New Year!"
Bruce Lundstrom ,
December 15, 2014
"Morocco has a lot to offer. Food, historic sites, craftsmen (rugs, jewelry, ceramics, furniture, etc.), natural beauty, roads and infrastructure, and a reasonably safe environment. Both Guide (Abdel) and Driver were excellent. Service-oriented, timely and easy going. Abdel was not afraid to speak his mind, offer suggestions and give us feedback on ideas. We enjoyed their company."
December 09, 2014
"A truly wonderful trip......first class accommodations and service in each venue....the guides were knowledgable and went out of their way to insure that we could see and understand Africa. Capetown is a fascinating city, Sabi Sands an extraordinary private game preserve, and Zimbabwe with Victoria Falls and the Victoria Falls Hotel a once in a lifetime experience. For those who want to visit Africa we enthusiastically recommend Kensington Tours. And Jolene Plant stayed with us in every step during the planning of our trip and itinerary. We saw as much of Africa as much as anyone can during our two weeks vacation."
Belinda Skelton ,
December 12, 2014
"This was one of the most amazing trips that I have ever had. The custom tours and activities exceeded my expectations. I was traveling alone but felt safe and in good hands. The process of booking the trip with Lily Baffour was so easy and personal, especially with the constant communications from her up to my departure. Thank you Kensington Tours for an awesome experience. I will definitely use you for my next adventure!"
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