“AFS Climb to the Roof of Africa”

Sept 12-21 / 23, 2020  (Small group for AFS Fitbits)

BOOK NOW  or call 770-432-8225 If trip full then WAITLIST  All must log in to Book or Wait

Kili hike
Join us on a trek to the Summit of Africa’s highest mountain. The snows of Kilimanjaro soar above Africa’s shimmering plains like an illusion – an iconic image to which you can now be transported. Our past AFS groups loved this once in a lifetime experience:  
“Climbing Kili has been on my bucket list for years. My dream came true with AFS in 2013. An adventure that challenged me to my core but I conquered that Mountain.  Such an emotional experience at sunrise to stand on the “roof of Africa!” – Carol H

 “Pole-pole” (slowly, slowly) is the mantra of our expert expedition guides who lead us on this quest. This trip is as much about the journey as it is the destination. Kili is the world’s highest free-standing mountain and also the most walkable. You’ll pass from tropical forests to a near lunar landscape high above the clouds in just a few days. We’ve perfected the best way to climb Kili with maximum acclimatization and shorter hiking days for the greatest chance of summit success! There are many different routes you could take. But, no matter what you read, the Marangu Route is the most popular and best established. The reward at the top? Dazzling views of the stunning Africans plains below with your selfie at Uhuru Peak and its iridescent glaciers.

 You’ll see countless prices – but it’s vital to use a quality outfitter in Tanzania now days! We trust our licensed guides and professional porters who are with you every step of the way.  They are passionate about making sure you have the best and safest experience ever. We provide your meals, sleeping bags and all details on preparation for this trek.  (Beware – don’t book with a cut-rate company that goes offseason in inclement weather, uses poor camps with dirty water and risks your health by rushing you to the summit with no acclimatization or oxygen.  Some don’t even pay their porters who only survive on tips.  Many hide extra costs until departure.)

September is the perfect time to climb with the best weather.   And our air is so easy and affordable on Turkish Airlines if you want it.  At the end, you can reward yourself with a Safari extension into Ngorongoro Crater to witness the migration in the Serengeti. Make it two bucket list adventures in one! 

Limited to only 24 participants. Book now.  It’s a life-changing experience to stand on top of a continent. 

“What we do when we reach the summit is weep.  All inhibitions are stripped away with joy for having scaled this is mighty mountain. Hardships mark the journey, but mountains become an appetite to want more. Standing on the summit at dawn seeing sweeping Africa below, I am hooked forever on climbing.” – Sir Edmond Hillary

#solokili

BOOK NOW  or call 770-432-8225 If trip full then WAITLIST

 

CHART

Our Glorious AFS Itinerary

BOOK NOW  or call 770-432-8225 If trip full then WAITLIST

Download printable PDF itinerary

Summiting Kilimanjaro is an attainable goal by following the Marangu route. Used by most climbers, it has comfortable, mountain huts accommodations with solar power lighting along the way. This is classified as a moderate trek rather than a climb and is suitable for those adventurers who are not particularly experienced in the mountains, but you must be relatively fit. The views from Gillman’s Point as the sun rises behind Mawenzi on a clear morning are absolutely magnificent. The Rift Valley, Mt. Meru and the Masai Steppes stand out from the endless plains, almost three vertical miles below.

Sep 12 / 13 – Depart the USA

 Detailed AFS Trip Tips emailed to participants to follow.  These tips provide all you need to know!  Air is easy roundtrip to Kili.  Wait until we firm group air on Turkish for the best price and route than you can decide. Sept 12 you will need to be in New York (JFK) well before midnight to connect with your international group flight which leaves just after 12am, in the wee morning hours of September 13.

Sep 14 – Arrive Kilimanjaro – Land portion begins.                     D

Welcome to Tanzania Africa! You will be greeted at the Kilimanjaro airport by our guides and transferred to Springlands Hotel, located in Moshi Town. These are the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro and the perfect spot for starting our Kili expedition.  Enjoy the property’s pool or bar and just relax. Today, you will have an extensive briefing by your guides about what lies ahead as you climb the tallest free standing mountain in the world!

If time permits for tours – Optional – An area tour which includes waterfalls, a culture visit to the local village and a tour of coffee plantations or Boma Bush Dinner with the Masai.

Overnight: Springlands Hotel (B)

Sep 15 – The Kilimanjaro Experience begins!                              BLD

After breakfast, we head to the Kilimanjaro National Park gate which lies at the edge of Marangu and an elevation of more than 6 thousand feet above sea level. After completing our registration formalities, we start our upward trek, climbing 3 to 5 hours through a beautiful, unspoiled forest, enjoying lunch along the way. The forest finally opens up to a clearing and our accommodations for the night – Mandara Hut – located at almost 9,000 feet. (We provide your sleeping bags and mattresses.)

Mandara includes a group of ‘A’ frame wooden huts which feature comfortable dormitory style rooms. Water is piped onto site from a spring above for clean water as well as flush toilets. There is plenty of birdlife to enjoy as well as some monkeys near the huts. You can rest and enjoy the beautiful forest or perhaps take a short hike to take in the volcanic remains of the nearby Maundi Crater.  (Avg. 5 miles hiking 4-5 hours at  2700m)

Overnight: Mandara Hut

Sept 16  – Horombo                                     BLD

Today, we have a 4 to 6 hour trek ahead of us. The first part of the walk is a steep ascent through the forest, but the path soon opens out into grassy moorland and in clear weather, there are breathtaking views of Kibo and Mawenzi peaks. It’s a steady climb ahead through the moorland zone, containing giant heathers and flowering herbs called groundsel. We eventually reach the hut complex at Horombo – almost 2 and a half miles above sea level.

Here, we truly get the sense of being above the clouds. The Horombo huts are similar to Mandara, but this is a larger complex. Here, too are spring fed waters piped in to handle water as well as the toilet facilities. Sunrises and sunsets are often spectacular, and the site is close to the strikingly beautiful glaciated dome of Kibo. (Avg. 6-hour hike, 7 miles to 37,000m)

 Overnight: Horombo Hut

 

 Sep 17 – Extra day for Acclimatization  BLD

 Zebra Rocks – There’s no need to pack today because it’s all about getting acclimatized. You can take in some sightseeing, but it’s important to use this time to have our bodies get used to the altitude so the rest of the trek will be easier.  Our past groups found this to be crucial.

We’ll walk up the southern slopes of Mawenzi, to get some of the best views possible of Kibo as well as a gorgeous panorama overlooking the wild and inhospitable desert of the Saddle. We also visit places such as the strange Zebra Rocks -rocks streaked over the centuries by water until they resemble the flanks of a zebra.

Overnight: Horombo Hut (3,800m)

 

Sep18 – Saddle Between Mawenzi and Kibo  BLD

We climb very gradually towards what looks like a lunar desert of the Saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo. During the five hour hike, the terrain changes to broken rock fragments known as scree as we experience the sense of high altitude wilderness.  Our goal is to reach Kibo Hut by midday. Located at an elevation of almost 3 miles, it is at the bottom of the crater wall.

Kibo is a stone built block house with a small dining area and a number of dormitory rooms leading off a main corridor. At this elevation and the water has to be brought in.

We’ll spend the remainder of the day resting and eating in preparation for the final climb before a very early night! (Avg. 6-8 hour hike, 6 miles to 4703m)

Overnight: Kibo Hut

 

Sept 19 – Summit Day   – Uhuru Peak!                        BLD

A long day, but so worth it. We have an 11 to 15-hour day ahead of us, starting our ascent by flashlight at about 1 AM.  The goal is to reach Gillman’s Point by sunrise. The initial climb is over loose volcanic scree, but there are some well-graded zig-zags. A slow, but steady pace will have us up to Gillman’s in about five or six hours. We will rest there and take in the goose bump-inducing sunrise, looking out over the world three miles below.

(If you are up for it, you can make the additional three-hour round trip from here along the crater rim to Uhuru Peak. Elevation there is over 3 and a half miles and you will pass close to spectacular glaciers that still occupy most of the summit area.)

Then – it’s time to start heading back down. The descent is surprisingly fast and we return to Horombo for the night. (Avg. 6-8 hour hiking 10 miles to 5895m or 19,340’)

Overnight: Horombo Hut

Sept 20 – Final Descent  Horombo to Marengo Gate                  BLD

Today is the victory lap! We head down towards Mandara, with rocky terrain giving way to green, lush forest. We retrace our steps with a pleasant moorland walk down to the National Park gates. (Avg. 5-7 hour hike, 12 miles at 12,000 to 6000’)

After we finish the climb, we are picked up and head back to Springlands Hotel for overnight and an AFS farewell celebratory dinner with your certificate of completion.

Overnight: Springlands Hotel (1 night)

 Sep 21 – Depart for home B

Following breakfast, we are transferred to Kilimanjaro airport for our departure flight.

You made it!  It’s time to reward yourself for all the hard work with a little R&R.

Optional Serengeti Safari extension! (Return home Sep 23).    Go to top of page and click the next tab for info 

BOOK NOW  or call 770-432-8225 If trip full then WAITLIST

Land Price $ 2695 pp twin share

Deposit $600  (Must be in good physical condition)

Limited to 24 participants (This year we limit to small group.  Past groups on 32 had an army of 60 porters and guides in tow. We’ll have a perfect size for our leaders to handle.  You must be fit with no respiratory, heart, foot, leg or hip problems.)

 

INCLUDES: 

  • 4-Star hotel accommodation in Arusha and multi share Alpine huts with prepped beds per itinerary based on twin share
  • All airport transfers by private, air-conditioned coach (Any individuals travelling outside the group arrangement must organize own transportation)
  • Arrival Meet & Greet guide assistance, Mountain guide and porters.
  • Sightseeing and admissions as per the itinerary
  • Local taxes on accommodation and sightseeing tours,
  • Meals as indicated on itinerary (B-full breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner) Full Board on the mountain. Meals are high carb and basic ( suitable for climbing). Special diets can be provided for but only with advance notice.
  • All park fees, hut fees and rescue fees. Rescue fees cover evacuation to the gate only. Travelers must purchase insurance with medical and evacuation coverage.

 

Not Included:

$320 standard gratuities, Tanzania visa $50

Projected AFS Group Air  – Cost around expected to be about $820

Sep 13 – TK 012 JFK to Istanbul 0010AM (10 mins after midnight) – 450 PM
Sep 13 -TK 567 Istanbul to Kilimanjaro 750P / 051 0AM (Next DAY Sep 14)
Sep 21 or 25 –  TK 567 Kilimanjaro to Istanbul 0600AM / 1255 PM
Sep 21or 25 – TK 011 Istanbul to New York 635PM / 1030PM

Check in JFK Sep 12 around 9PM for your flight Sep 13 that’s 10 mins after midnight.
Upon arrival home, if you need hotel google JFK airport hotel + free shuttle and plan flight home next morning.

  •  All prices are per person twin share.  Single rooms limited per group and a single supplement applies.  Cost set by hotel/cruiseline and vary considerably.  AFS will find you a roommate match. All hotel rooms are “run of house.”  
  • Please review AFS Terms and Conditions as well as Heading Abroad with AFS.  
  • Land – Price based on a minimum number of trip participants, as well as local currency exchange rates which can fluctuate.
  • We write our itineraries over a year in advance. Though unlikely, we always reserve the right to modify schedules, tours and hotels if necessary. 
  • Group air – Airlines may add surcharges to offset fuel inflation or taxes. The total ticket cost is not final until we receive your final payment and the group is ticketed. If doing own air, airport transfer may or may not be included depending on your air schedule. Do not buy air until the group air is set or we advise – though unlikely, airlines, times and dates can change!
Serengeti Safari Extension
You’ve come this far, why not add on a full safari with thrilling game drives deep into the Serengeti to catch the end of the Great Migration.  Yes, it’s pricey but it’s the best rate we can get for a tiny private group fully guided offered at our cost.  You’re welcome to search your own extension, but this package is most efficient.   We’ll ask about adding this via email later.   

Sep 21 –  Head to the Serengeti                             B D

After breakfast, those who will be heading home with transfer to Arusha airport while the Big Game hunters, armed with our cameras head towards the Serengeti. Our home for two nights will be the exclusive Ngorongoro Farm House for two nights on the edge of the park. You’ll fall in love with these small, colonial-style hotel built on a 500-acre coffee plantation. Each of the cottages has thatched roofs and verandas for you to enjoy the amazing views. Relax in the gardens or enjoy a spectacular sunset with the Oldeani volcano as a backdrop.

Overnight: Ngorongoro Farm House       link

Sep 22 – Full Day Crater Tour                                  BLD

After breakfast, prepare for some breathtaking scenery as we head into the Serengeti on our tour of the spectacular Ngorongoro Cratertowitness one of the largest concentrations of wildlife in Africa. We descend by 4×4’s into the 104 square mile caldera that boasts more than 30,000 animals. At 11 miles wide, Ngorongoro Crater the largest perfect caldera in the world. It was formed over eight million years ago with the collapse of the cone of an active volcano estimated to have been larger than Kilimanjaro.  Mountain forests extend to the crater’s lip. In the lowlands, there are acacia trees, swamps, and rivers. In this natural amphitheater, you can expect to find the Big Five as well as and a wide variety of bird species such as the Kori bustard and the black kite. We enjoy a picnic lunch in this wonderful microcosm of 3 different ecosystems teeming with wildlife.

Overnight: Ngorongoro Farm House

Sep 23 – Lake Manyara                                BSafari and Wildlife Centre

This morning, we travel to a hidden treasure – Lake Manyara National Park. Small, but diverse, it borders the Rift Valley and has numerous ecosystems ranging from grasslands to hot springs to dense forests and steep mountainsides. Another wonderful game drive on the shores of Manyara teeming with buffalo, herds of elephants. Hippos and Masaai Giraffe, as well as over 400 species of birds.   All of the big cats can be found here but it’s the lions that will get your attention. They are known for their habit of climbing trees!

By afternoon, we will be back into Arusha to start your journey back home.

Land Price:  $998   Based on a minimum of 14 participants. (No deposit needed.  Just email us that you want it and we will add it to your invoice.)

  •  All prices are per person twin share.  Single rooms limited per group and a single supplement applies.  Cost set by hotel/cruiseline and vary considerably.  AFS will find you a roommate match. All hotel rooms are “run of house.”  
  • Please review AFS Terms and Conditions as well as Heading Abroad with AFS.  
  • Land – Price based on a minimum number of trip participants, as well as local currency exchange rates which can fluctuate.
  • We write our itineraries over a year in advance. Though unlikely, we always reserve the right to modify schedules, tours and hotels if necessary. 
  • Group air – Airlines may add surcharges to offset fuel inflation or taxes. The total ticket cost is not final until we receive your final payment and the group is ticketed. If doing own air, airport transfer may or may not be included depending on your air schedule. Do not buy air until the group air is set or we advise – though unlikely, airlines, times and dates can change!

Workin on it

AFS Climb to the Roof of Africa