Who is organising the trek?
Compassion’s partner for undertaking the Kilimanjaro Challenge is RightFoot. RightFoot works directly with trusted and highly-reputable local organisers on the ground to ensure a high quality experience throughout. RightFoot is a member of the IMEC Partnership for Responsible Travel. They take this responsibility very seriously & endeavour to ensure that the service provided is always ethical & of the highest standard.
The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 require that security is provided for the monies that you pay for the package holidays booked and for your repatriation in the unlikely event of insolvency. RightFoot provides this security by way of a bond held by the Civil Aviation Authority under ATOL number 10556.
All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate. This means that in respect of all arrangements including flights, in the unlikely event of our insolvency, the CAA will ensure that you are not left stranded abroad or will arrange to refund any money you have paid to us for an advance booking except where your contracted arrangements with us do not include transport to and from the UK. In this case, if already abroad, you will be returned to the point where your contracted arrangements with us commenced.
For further information, visit the ATOL website at www.atol.org.uk. The price of our flight inclusive arrangements includes the amount of £2.50 per person as part of the ATOL Protection Contribution (APC) we pay to the CAA. This charge is included in our advertised prices. Not all Packages or travel services offered and sold by us will be protected by the ATOL Scheme. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking.
What is the full Kilimanjaro Challenge itinerary?
Day 1: Depart from London Heathrow to Nairobi, Kenya.
Day 2: Transfer from Nairobi, Kenya to Arusha, Tanzania.
Day 3: Spend the day meeting with Compassion’s regional team, experiencing Compassion’s programmes in Tanzania, and meeting the children and young adults whose lives have been changed by sponsorship through Compassion. You will have the opportunity to engage with Compassion's work in Tanzania and to see first-hand how much of a difference the programme makes to the lives of all those it serves. Later that evening you will be briefed and make your final expedition preparations, with the trek beginning the following day
Day 4 – Trek Day 1: 4 miles / 4 hours / 1,950 – 2,600m: An early start to the day as you depart on a 4-hour drive to the Rongai starting point. After registration, you will be introduced to your guides and porters who will remain with you for the duration of the trek. The trek begins from the attractive wooden village of Nale Moru (1,950m) on a small path that winds through fields of maize and potatoes before entering pine forest. The track then starts to climb consistently, but gently through attractive forest that shelters a variety of wildlife. The forest begins to thin out and the first camp is at the edge of the moorland zone (2,600m) with extensive views over the Kenyan plains.
Day 5 – Trek Day 2: 5.6 miles / 6-7 hours / 2,600 – 3,600m: A morning walk up to the ‘Second Cave’ (3,450m). The walk is steadily uphill with superb views of Kibo and the Eastern icefields on the crater rim. The afternoon route leaves the main trail and heads out across moorland on a smaller path towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi. The campsite is in a sheltered valley near Kikelewa Caves (3,600m).
Day 6 – Trek Day 3: 3.7 miles / 4 hours / 3,600 – 4,330m: A short but steep climb up grassy slopes is rewarded by superb views and a tangible sense of wilderness. Vegetation is left behind shortly before reaching the next camp at Mawenzi Tarn (4,330m), spectacularly situated directly beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi. The afternoon will be free to rest or explore the surrounding area as an aid to acclimatisation.
Day 7 – Trek Day 4: 5.6 miles / 5 hours / 4,330 – 4,700m: You will cross the seemingly never-ending lunar desert of the ‘Saddle’ between Mawenzi Peak and Kibo campsite (4,700m), which lies at the foot of the Kibo crater wall. The open landscape affords stunning all-round views and, as you approach Kibo, you will begin to be able to make out the winding summit path that you will take the following day. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent.
Day 8 – Trek Day 5: 3.1 miles ascent + 9.3 miles descent / 12-15 hours / 4,700 – 5,895 – 3,720m: The final and most demanding part of the climb takes place by torchlight departing at 12am on a switchback trail through loose volcanic scree to the crater rim at Gillman’s Point (5,685m) There is a short rest to enjoy the spectacular sunrise over Mawenzi, followed by a three-hour round trip to Uhuru Peak (5,895m), passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. The descent to Kibo (4,700m) is surprisingly fast and, after a chance to rest, the descent continues to the final campsite at Horombo (3,720m).
Day 9 – Trek Day 6: 12.5 miles / 5-6 hours / 3,720 – 1,650m: A steady descent through moorland to Mandara Hut (2,700m), which is the first stopping place for those on the Marangu route. The descent continues through lush forest on a path to the National Park gate at Marangu (1,830m), at which point the trek is complete. You will transfer back to hotel in Marangu where the rest of the day is spent resting, recuperating and celebrating.
Day 10: A leisurely start to the day prior to a transfer to Nairobi, Kenya by car to catch the overnight return flight to London Heathrow. For those who wish, the return home can be delayed in order to travel onto destinations such as Zanzibar or a safari. Such extensions can be arranged upon request and at your own personal cost.
What if I don’t reach the fundraising target?
There are no consequences for not reaching the fundraising target. We are confident that as a team you and Compassion will be able to not only reach but exceed your target. There are lots of great ideas of how you can fundraise so let’s get our heads together to plan the best way.
What is included in the total trip cost?
Trip costs include flights and in-country travel, accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout, expedition costs and National Park entrance fees. It does not include your mandatory insurance cover, transport to and from the airport of origin, visas, vaccinations, a child protection check, tips, drinks or other expenses of a personal nature.
You will be provided with further information outlining all of the equipment you will need for the challenge. Most notably, this includes a comfortable and worn-in pair of walking boots, appropriate clothing, and a sleeping bag. Some equipment can be hired on request and at your own cost.
Who can apply to go?
Anyone over the age of 18 who wants to take on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to support Compassion at the same time as trekking through and up a UNESCO World Heritage site in Tanzania. Interested participants over the age of 65 will need to provide a medical form signed by a doctor.
How fit do I need to be? Could I make it to the summit?
You absolutely can make it to the summit! Make no mistake about it, reaching Uhuru Peak atop Mount Kilimanjaro is a gruelling and physically demanding challenge that will test all who attempt it. However, it is also truly achievable and, with the right approach, anyone can succeed.
With the exception of the long summit day, each day on the mountain will include between 4-6 hours trekking with the remainder of the day to relax, rest and socialise with the group. The biggest problem faced by those attempting Kilimanjaro is in fact, not lack of physical fitness but some degree of high altitude illness. Almost all participants will experience at least some of the symptoms associated with being at high altitude, but being aware of this in advance and responding appropriately will allow you to minimize its effect – namely, walking slowly and taking plenty of fluids and rest. You will be provided with more information about high altitude illness in your confirmation pack. Those with prior medical problems or concerns should seek advice from a doctor first.
With some advance physical preparation and mental determination you too truly can achieve this magnificent goal.
What kit or equipment will I need?
It's important to remember that Kilimanjaro is a trek and not a climb and, as a result, no technical equipment or expertise is needed. The most important item you’ll need is a good quality, comfortable, and worn-in pair of walking boots. Beyond that, the clothing you’ll need includes items that most people will likely already have: a down or multi-layered jacket, thermal underwear, shorts/trousers, t-shirts, a fleece, waterproofs, gloves, a sun-hat and beanie. You’ll also need a backpack to carry each day, and a larger bag for the rest of your belongings – which will be carried for you; a sleeping bag and mattress; a head-torch and water storage.
Most items can be hired once in Tanzania for anyone who doesn’t have and would prefer not to purchase any items that they don’t have. Every team member will receive a full information pack upon signing up which includes more information on suggested kit for the challenge.
If I've been accepted, what information will I receive?
You will receive a comprehensive information pack providing details of the challenge and those for whom fundraising is being undertaken, how to prepare - including training, fundraising and what to take, and the itinerary with additional details about what to expect on the trip. In addition, you will be able to contact a dedicated trip manager to discuss details of the trip and your preparations, and to discuss any outstanding questions or concerns that you might have.
How many places are there? What if I don't know anyone else?
There are a maximum of 29 places available on each trip and a first-come, first-served policy will determine how spaces are filled. The Kilimanjaro Challenge is a fantastic team-building experience. The majority of participants won’t initially know each other but by the end you will have made a number of close new friends – all bonded by the fantastic experience that you have shared.
Whilst you may want to sign up with a friend or family member, there really is no problem if you sign up alone. The guide ratio for this trip is very high with one guide for every two challenge participants, so helping to ensure your safety throughout the experience. The minimum group size for the trip to take place is 10 and, in the unlikely event that this minimum is not met, participants will be notified no later than 12 weeks prior to departure and refunded in full.
What food and accommodation will be provided, and how much do I have to carry?
On the challenge itself you will stay in high quality mountain tents – designed for three people but each of which will only be shared by two. Before and after the challenge you will be accommodated in a high quality local hotel – again sharing an en-suite room with one other person. You will be provided with breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout, and the quality of food on the trek itself is exceptional with a wide variety of meals and food types.
You will only need to take the clothing and equipment that you need on the trek itself as you will have an opportunity to leave other un-required items securely at the hotel whilst you’re away. During the trek, you will only carry a daypack yourself containing the items that you feel you will need between the day’s camps. Your remaining possessions (up to a maximum of 15kg) will be carried by the expert local porter team on your behalf.
What about altitude sickness?
Altitude sickness is frequently experienced by those travelling to altitudes typically above 2,500m. Almost everyone will experience some form of altitude sickness but the vast majority will only experience the mild and commonly occurring symptoms such as loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, headache, fatigue, irritability, insomnia or dizziness.
Our practical experience shows that these milder symptoms can be managed and overcome through three key steps to achieving successful acclimatisation: drink plenty and eat well, walk slowly, and walk high / sleep low. Your guide team are trained to help you achieve just this and to enjoy the amazing experiences being offered.
Terms and Conditions
The full Challenge Terms & Conditions can be found here.
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