Day 1/2, Sept 9 & 10 – Depart LA to Amsterdam; meet up with Josh Powers; fly to Arusha, Tanzania
Day 2 eve and Day 3, September 10 – Itikoni Private Deluxe Camp – 6500 ft
Trip briefing, gear review. Walk to grasslands for views of Mt. Kilimanjaro and African game such as giraffe.
Day 4, Sept. 12 – Montane Forest – 9,000 ft
Drive through scattered Masai villages, arrive at forest edge of Arusha National Park. Begin hike through undisturbed jungle to the camp. Likely to encounter monkeys and possibly elephants. Short hike before dinner.
Day 5, Sept 13 – Shira Plateau – 11,400 ft
Forest hike and spotting of plentiful game as elevation game is marked by the transitions from one ecological zone to the next.
Day 6, Sept 14 – Moir Camp – 13,500
Hike across Shira Plateau and up the western slope of the Kibo Massif. Camp in in the upper Heath Zone. Pass the Fischer camp in honor of the founder of Mountain Madness, Scott Fischer (from Everest fame). Wes Krause and Scott Fischer pioneered the Shira Plateau route on Kilimanjaro in the 80’s.
Day 7, September 15 – Lava Tower – 15,000 ft
Slow hike to 14,850 ft, just under the lava tower. First intro to the Alpine Zone. Spectacular view of the final route of ascent up the Western Breach. Rock scramble to the top of the lava tower.
Day 8, Sept 16 – Arrow Glacier – 16,000 ft
Western Breach ascent route is now in full view. We climb to the base of the route and make camp near the Arrow Glacier at 15,700. Afternoon hike up to the ridge for acclimatization.
Day 9, Sept 17 – Summit Crater Camp – 18,700 ft
Climb up the Western Breach to the edge of the crater floor for exploration before moving to the high camp on the crater floor itself. Snow is common here.
Day 10, Sept 18 – SUMMIT DAY! – 19,341 FT
Early morning hike to the top at Uhuru Summit, the highest point in Africa. Enjoy the top, lots of photos and begin the climb down. With a descent of nearly 9,000 in one day, we will notice the change in oxygen rich air in Mweka Camp at 10,500 ft. Special celebratory dinner.
Day 11, Sept 19 – Moivaro Lodge
We hike through lush vegetation and likely rainy and muddy conditions, descending another 4,500 ft to the roadhead. Goodbye to the climbing staff before we head to a lodge for the night where we can enjoy real comforts again! This is where we will get connectivity to upload pictures! Another celebratory dinner and a real bed to sleep in.
Day 12 & 13 – Sept 20 & 21 – Lake Manyara National Park & Ngorongoro Private Camp
Visit the National Park Hemingway described at “the loveliest I had ever seen” and then to Ngorongoro crater, a twelve mile wide crater left by a massive volcano. Incredible wildlife viewing, guided by a Maasai walking safari guide. Also visiting a traditional Maasai boma (small huts made of mud and cow dung).
Day 14 – Sept 22 – Game viewing and departure
Our last day we visit the crater and one final game view drive before returning to Arusha, the lodge to freshen up and a late evening flight home. I say goodbye to my wonderful friend, Josh, in Amsterdam and we head our separate ways for the final flight home.
Day 15 – Sept 23 – Arrive Los Angeles