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Kilimanjaro Trek

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Trek Kilimanjaro, the world’s tallest freestanding mountain on a seven day trek of a lifetime with Challenge Central.

Gazing from the top of the mountain, Uhuru Peak is a truly unforgettable experience with arguably some of the best views on the planet. The ice-capped summit is over 3.5 miles above sea level; making it one of the largest volcanoes ever to break through the Earth’s crust.

Mount Kilimanjaro, otherwise known as the Roof of Africa is not a challenge to be taken lightly, although acclimatisation permitting, any reasonably fit person with some hiking experience can reach the summit with our supportive mountain crew. 

We have selected the Machame route, not only for the best chance of successfully summiting Kilimanjaro but also for the incredibly varied and diverse landscape including tropical rainforests, shrubby heathlands, alpine deserts and finally on to the arctic capped summit

There are no charity commitments so you are free to raise money for any charity of your choice, or simply take on The Kilimanjaro Trek for a personal challenge without a minimum fundraising obligation.

Our Interest Free Monthly Payment Plan is also available on this challenge of a lifetime; please contact us for further information.


Day 1: Arrival / Hotel 

The adventure begins from the Mount Meru Hotel in Arusha the day before the first mountain trek. Kilimanjaro Airport (KIA) is the only option via the air to the area where you can arrange a taxi to the hotel or book a direct transfer with us for a Challenge Central representative to meet you at the airport. 

Upon arrival at the hotel, you will be able to settle into your accommodation – after which your guide will conduct a compulsory kit check and team brief at 16:00. Please note that in the interests of safety, you will be required to hire the correct equipment at extra cost should you fail to supply your own.The meeting will allow introductions to our full team, as well as discuss the itinerary, your key contacts and safety expectations.

The remainder of the day can be spent at your leisure, preparing for the days ahead. You may simply wish to lounge around the hotel with a cool glass of Kilimanjaro lager after your flight but we also recommend walking to the local town of Arusha for a visit.


Day 2: Machame Camp (2980m) (B, L, D) 

The start of your adventure begins with a beautiful drive to Kilimanjaro National Park. If the skies are clear, we should get views of the incredible snow-capped peak we aim to conquer.

We begin at the Machame Gate (1800m), journeying through dense, lush rainforest awash with the sound of exotic birds. We cover a lot of distance along this moist and soggy trail, making our way towards the heather moorland and the Machame Campsite where we spend our first night.

Trekking time is approximately 5 – 7 hours covering 11KM


Day 3: Shira Cave (3840m) (B, L, D) 

We will continue ascending towards the Shira Plateau, leaving the rainforest behind us. Travelling through the “Giant Heather” zone, we cross a small valley – walking along a steep, rocky ridge.

In clear weather you will enjoy spectacular views of the mountain summit, shortly before we bunker down at the Shira Cave for some well-deserved food and rest.

Trekking time is approximately 4 – 6 hours covering 5KM


Day 4: Barranco Hut (3950m) (B, L, D) 

From our camp we continue further up the ridge – passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo. The trek becomes increasingly more difficult with each step as the combination of increasing gradient, rocky scree and high altitude starts to take its toll.

We eventually ascend to 4630m at the Lava Tower, before descending to the Barranco Camp at an altitude of 3950m. This is an essential step in the acclimatisation process and you will feel the benefits after some much needed sleep.

Trekking time is approximately 5 – 6 hours covering 10KM


Day 5: Barafu Camp (4550m) (B, L, D) 

Amidst the alpine desert, we make a 200m scramble to the top of the Great Barranco Wall – to be rewarded by a truly breath-taking view of our awesome journey so far. The route heads downward through to Karanga Valley, traversing the many ridges, boulders and sometimes icy patches that are frequently encountered within this exposed landscape.

We pass through the Karanga Camp and hit the junction that connects with the Mweka Trail – our eventual route down the mountain. We press on towards Barafu Camp through empty and dry landscape whilst battered by the gale winds that roll off the mountain peaks.

There is still a one big walk to go so we recommend an early night, ready for our toughest and final ascent in the morning.

Trekking time is approximately 7 – 9 hours covering 9KM

* An alternative option is available by leaving at midnight in order to reach the summit for sunrise. This would simply mean less sleep on Day 5 in favour of more downtime in the Millenium Camp on Day 6.


Day 6: Uhuru Peak (5895m) / Millenium Camp (3820m) (B, L, D) 

With an early start at 6am we are faced with what is both the most physically demanding and rewarding part of the challenge. With temperatures ranging between -12C and -23C, every step along this rocky scree is a huge effort.

After reaching Stella Point at 5685m, our remaining 1 hour ascent to the mighty mountain summit of Uhuru Peak might be accompanied by falling snow and icy winds. For those who have opted for the midnight start and luckily enough to have a clear day, they will get to witness Africa awakening to a truly mind-blowing sunrise!

At 5895m, we have reached Uhuru Peak – the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and indeed the continent of Africa. Quite naturally we will spend some time taking in the unparalleled views and celebrating this monumental achievement. A day like this will stay with you forever.

We eventually start the descent back to Barafu Camp and continue down to Millenium Camp also known as the High Camp, situated at 3820m. After a tough day of 14 hours hiking, we bed down for our final night on the mountain.

Trekking time is approximately 10 – 16 hours covering 18KM


Day 7: Mweka Gate (1980m) (B,L) 

Still euphoric over our achievement the previous day, we descend down through the beautiful rainforest one final time.

Our Kilimanjaro adventure ends at the Mweka Gate where we will celerbrate over lunch with our entire mountain support crew.

With our luggage and equipment loaded, we will board the bus back to the hotel – ready for the most enjoyable and likely well-needed shower you have ever known!

We relax for the rest of the day, where you are free to shop or explore further. In the evening we will relive the experience over a few drinks. Many who have conquered the mighty Kilimanjaro quite rightly describe it as one of the defining moments of their lives.

Trekking time is approximately 5 – 6 hours covering 13KM

(B=Breakfast, L=Lunch)

Airport transfers can be arranged from £75.00 either before or after your climb. 


Kilimanjaro Trek Challenge Dates

Please contact us for more information



Kilimanjaro Trek

Price Includes

>> Challenge Central Group Leader

>> Local Mountain Guides, Cooks and Porters

>> Accommodation (1 night pre challenge, 1 night post challenge. Price is based on 2 people sharing a twinned room. Please see below for further details about single occupancy)

>> Break, Lunch and Dinner for eady day on the mountain

>> Kilimanjaro Finisher Medal

>> Kilimanjaro park entrance fees, camp fees, standard KINAPA rescue fees

>> Guides, cooks and porters wages to the standard of Mountain Society of Kilimanjaro

>> Pulse Oximeter Safety equipment to check blood oxygen levels of clients daily

>> Medical Support Equipment such as Oxygen Cylinder and Gamow Bag

>> Chemical toilet for every 6 guests


Price Excludes

>> Flights

>> Equipment

>> Airport Transfers

>> Meals when not on the mountain

>> Clothing

>> Visas

>> Travel Insurance

>> Tips for the guides, cook and porter

>> Inoculations

>> Expenses incurred outside the scope of this challenge including additional nights’ accommodation or transfers resulting from an early descent or arrival / departure in Tanzania.


The challenge cost is based on participants sharing a twinned room/tent. If you are joining the challenge as an individual or in a group with an odd number, you will be subject to a single supplement charge unless another participant of the same sex signs up in the same situation. In this instance, we will place you both together in a twinned room. If you have a preference to stay in a room of your own or another person of the same sex doesn’t sign up on their own / in an odd group number, we will require the single supplement fee at the time of the remaining balance (3 months before the event start date).

Our Interest Free Monthly Payment Plan is also available on this challenge of a lifetime; please contact us for further information.

All Challenge Central events require a minimum participation level in order to operate. On very rare occasions if this level is not reached with 3 months to go, we may unfortunately have to cancel the challenge date. Bookings can either be refunded in full or transferred to another Challenge Central event within the next 18 months. Please find our full Terms and Conditions here.


Kilimanjaro Trek

Downloadable check list available here

Baggage and Sleeping Kit

>> Large Rucksack or Holdall:  Your personal porter can carry up to 16kg in your large bag.

>> Day Rucksack:  25-35 litres for personal use on mountain, to store ready-access items.

>> Waterproof Rucksack CoverElasticated waterproof rucksack cover.

>> Sleeping Bag:  -10 degrees centigrade rating or colder.

>> Sleeping MatTo put on the ground under your sleeping bag when camping.



As a rule, we recommend a base layer that keeps moisture away from the skin, an inner wicking t-shirt layer (not cotton), then an insulating and warming layer with the final top layer being waterproof but breathable.

>> Sweat-wicking T-shirts: Breathable material that pulls sweat away from your skin.

>> Light Weight Fleece: Ideal to help with temperature control both when walking and during ‘downtime’

>> Insulated Jacket: Used during camping to keep you warm when not trekking.

>> Mittens: Suitable when you need to use your fingers around the campsites.

>> Thermal Long-Johns: Normally only needed for summit night.

>> Lightweight Walking Trousers: Required for trekking each day. Trousers that double up as shorts are useful.

>> Underwear: Briefs or tight boxer shorts that do not chafe. Materials that keep the skin dry are highly recommended.

>> Walking Socks: Good quality socks can make or break the trip.

>> Thin Liner Socks: Helps to prevent friction and therefore blisters.

>> Breathable Lightweight Waterproofs: Jacket and trousers to keep the water away from you, as odds are you will experience rain at some point.

>> Good Walking Boots: Waterproof, sturdy, lightweight (1-2kg) and worn-in. (DO NOT use new boots for the first time on this trek, wear them in first.)

>> Balaclava: Great for keeping your head warm but still allowing you to talk and eat!

>> Woolen Hat: Keep your ears warm, as it gets a bit chilly at the top.

>> Sun Hat: Wide brimmed sun hat to protect face, ears and neck.


Hygiene Essentials

>> Toothbrush and Toothpaste: Keep your mouth feeling fresh and free from tooth ache. 

>> Deodorant: Helps combat 6 days without the use of proper washing facilities.

>> Flannel and Hand Towel: Next best thing to a shower when you are high up in the air.

>> Travel Tissues: Best keep in a plastic travel pouch to prevent getting wet.

>> Lip Salve with UV Protection: Helps keep your lips in good condition.

>> Vaseline: Helps prevent chafing skin and friction blisters.

>> Hand Sanitiser: Really useful for keeping your hands clean and killing bacteria.

>> Other Potential Hygiene Items: Soap, Toilet Paper, Nail Clippers, Nail Brush, Insect Repellent, and Feminine Products.


>> Malaria TabletsWe only recommend consuming tablets in town and not on Mt Kilimanjaro (where there are no mosquitos) due to associated sickness and vomiting. Remember that some anti-malarial courses need to commence before departure.

>> Sun Cream: Factor 30+ sun cream as it can get pretty hot up there.

>> Pain Killers: Painkillers as required or advised by your doctor.

>> Diamox: Optional but can assist with acclimatisation (consult your doctor) .

>> Zinc Oxide Tape: Used to help prevent sports injuries and support muscles to stabilise injured ligaments. Don’t forget some little scissors to cut the tape.

>> Compeed Blister Pads: Get a pack with a range of sizes to help combat any type of blister that may appear.

>> Diarrhoea Tablets: Helps relieve the symptoms of an undesirable African experience.

>> Plus any medication you would normally use.



>> Passport: Needs to have 6 months validity after proposed return date.

>> Tanzanian Entry Visa: Visit the Tanzania High Commission

>> Air Travel Documents: Always handy to print your boarding cards before you get to the airport to save on time.

>> Cash in US Dollars: Denominations of $10 and $20 and $1 (tipping allowance and local purchases, taxis, meals, etc). Notes must be 2005 and above to be accepted in Tanzania.

>> Credit Card: Just in case of any emergencies.

>> Travel Insurance Documents: Insure yourself against injury and loss of belongings, make sure you tell the provider that you are climbing Kilimanjaro.

>> Vaccination Certificates: Yellow Fever, if visiting a ‘risk zone’ prior to entering Tanzania.


Other items

>> Camera: There will be plenty of photographic opportunities, don’t forget a spare battery.

>> Sunglasses: Keeps the sun out your eyes and also helps avoid headaches.

>> High-energy Snacks: Cereal bars, dried fruit and nuts are all good choices. 

>> Head Torch: Ideal for tent admin and summit night.

>> Water Bottles and Camelbak: Ideally 3 litres carrying capacity.

>> Water Purification Tablets: Make sure all water you consume is purified.

>> Ear Plugs and BlindfoldHelpful to aid sleep on summit night.

>> Plastic Bags: For dirty washing and keeping items separate from each other.

>> Telescopic Walking Poles: Optional but can be helpful for challengers.

>> Mobile Phone: There is signal reception on most parts of the mountain so you will be able to update friends and family en route.

We are pleased to provide all trekking participants with a special discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor Ltd which is available to use both in their stores and online through their website.  *Terms & Conditions apply.


Kilimanjaro Trek

Yes, you will need to purchase adequate trekking and travel insurance for your Kilimanjaro adventure.

We do recommend you inform the provider you are taking on Kilimanjaro so they can supply you with the correct level of cover for your challenge. You are required to provide Challenge Central with a copy of your insurance policy before you departing the UK and we recommend you keep your policy number and emergency contact numbers on you at all times.

Malaria is an infection caused by the bite of the anopheles mosquito.

Tanzania is a very high-risk malaria country and therefore every precaution should be taken to avoid getting malaria. The highest risk zones are near the coast in places like Zanzibar, but inland towns like Moshi and Arusha are also relatively high-risk Malaria areas.

The good news is that the anopheles mosquito is not found at high altitude. You are unlikely to come into contact with this malaria-carrying mosquito over 2000m. Therefore as a trekker your greatest risk of infection is just before and after your climb.

Here are some tips to reduce the risk of being bitten:

  • Wear mosquito repellent
  • Applying repellent to your clothes and bedding
  • Use the mosquito net provided in the hotel
  • Wear long trousers and long-sleeve shirts that are light in colour (mosquitos are attracted to dark colours).


Taking anti-malarial drugs

The trouble with Malaria is that it only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to contract the disease.

The only really sure way of avoiding infection is by taking anti-malarial drugs or prophylaxis.

There are various anti-malarial drugs on the market (including Mefloquine, Doxycycline and Malarone) and therefore we strongly recommend consulting your GP to decide which is best for you as the type of medication depends on many factors such as the length of stay, age and the degree to which resistance to the medication has occurred in the region you are travelling to.


For all travelers coming to Tanzania it’s imperative to note the information below to avoid delays on arrival at any one of our airports. 

Effective 1st June 2019: All passengers arriving at any Tanzania airport including tourists can possibly face very heavy fines for using plastic bags in any way, shape or form. Using, manufacture or importation of plastic bags, including garbage bags and shopping bags is illegal. Offenders, including tourists, could face very heavy fines.

Visitors/Citizens and Residents alike are advised to avoid packing any plastic bags in their suitcases or in carry-on hand luggage before flying to Tanzania. Items purchased at the airport before boarding the aircraft should be removed from plastic bags. Please check hand luggage before disembarking at entry points and any plastic bags should be left in the plane.

Similarly the transparent "zip-lock" plastic bags that some airlines require passengers to use for keeping liquids, cosmetics, toiletries etc separately in hand luggage are also not permitted to be brought and should be removed and left on the plane before disembarking.

The challenge cost is based on participants sharing a twinned room/tent. If you are joining the challenge as an individual or in a group with an odd number, you will be subject to a single supplement charge unless another participant of the same sex signs up in the same situation. In this instance, we will place you both together in a twinned room. If you have a preference to stay in a room of your own or another person of the same sex doesn’t sign up on their own / in an odd group number, we will require the single supplement fee at the time of the remaining balance (3 months before the event start date).

Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the Seven Summits and can be found within the 292 square mile Kilimanjaro National Park in Tanzania, East Africa. With it being the highest freestanding mountain in the world which lies 3 degrees below the equator, this is one of the largest volcanoes ever to break through the Earth’s crust. The mountain consists of three volcanic cones: Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira. The highest point on Kibo’s crater rim is called Uhuru Peak.

Kilimanjaro has been given many estimates of height however most people will use the figure of 5895 metres.

Although this challenge is not to be taken lightly, a reasonably fit person can reach the top of Kilimanjaro with an acclimatisation-friendly route. One of the major reasons why people do not make the summit is because of Altitude sickness. On the day we trek to the top, you will be walking for many hours so you will require a good level of fitness for the challenge.

Since the laws changed in 1991, you must trek with a company. We will have a local team consisting of a guide, assistants, a cook and several porters on the challenge as well as a member of Challenge Central.

January, February or October we suggest are the best months to be on Kilimanjaro however you can climb it all year round. April, May, November & mid-December are known to be the rainy seasons and therefore would recommend these to be avoided when possible.

Although the minimum legal age to trek this mountain is 10, at Challenge Central we request participants are at least 18. We will consider someone between the ages of 15 and 17 if they are to be accompanied by an adult taking part that will have full responsibility of the child during the trip.

Our Macheme route takes us 6 days (5 nights) to trek in total.

Following the Macheme route, we will reach Uhuru Peak on day 6 of the trek, which will be Saturday 27th Oct on the 2018 trip and 26th October in 2019..

You can use mobiles on Kilimanjaro however it will depend on your network provider and where you are on the challenge.

To take on the trek with Challenge Central, the cost is £1700 in 2018 and £1800 in 2019 per person. This price excludes your flights, airport transfers, tips for the mountain crew, climbing equipment/clothing, visas, travel insurance, pre-trip inoculations and any expenses such as transfers, extra nights’ accommodation which are a result of you arriving earlier or staying later in Tanzania than we suggest and an early descent off the mountain.

Our Interest Free Monthly Payment Plan is also available on this challenge of a lifetime; please contact us for further information.

Of course you can.

Our Interest Free Monthly Payment Plan is available on this challenge so please contact us for further information.

The meals are nutritious and substantial. If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know in advance. Please note there may be additional charges to you if specific products cannot be locally sourced.

You of course can make your trip to Tanzania longer than our recommended duration. Please note however any extra accommodation, transfers or activities you require which is outside of our stated itinerary will need to be arranged and paid for by you. Depending on your requirements, we may be able to suggest companies through our contacts so please do contact us to ask.

There are a number of vaccinations that you should get before travel. We strongly recommend you check with your local GP or travel clinic with enough weeks before you travel which vaccinations you require. Below we have briefly outlined the main vaccinations you should ask your medical professional about:

Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever is a viral disease that is spread by the bite of the female mosquito.

Hepatitis A & B

It is a good idea to get vaccinated for both Hepatitis A and B.

Hepatitis A is transmitted by direct person-to-person contact or through exposure to contaminated food or water, particularly uncooked foods like salad, shellfish and fruit, or ice in bottled water.

Hepatitis B is an infection of the liver caused by a virus that's spread through blood and body fluids. You are at highest risk of Hepatitis B if you require medical treatment.


Exposure to rabies is relatively low however we recommend consulting your doctor to understand the risk in more detail.


We believe it to be a good idea to get a Diphtheria/Tetanus/Polio booster if you have not had one in the last 10 years.


Typhoid is spread via contaminated water and food.

It is worthwhile getting a typhoid inoculation before coming to Tanzania.


General Medical check-up

In addition to these vaccinations, we recommend having a general medical check-up before you leave for Tanzania.

If you are in a fit and healthy condition you should be able to cope with most things that Kilimanjaro throws at you, however it is better to be safe than sorry. A medical check-up is especially important for people who suffer from asthma or have any pre-existing medical conditions.

Please take a look at our comprehensive kit list which you can find above.

Like with all challenges, there will be an element of risk however with the right preparation and communication whilst on the trek, the risks would be kept to a minimum. Altitude sickness is one of the major reasons why people become unwell on the mountain and because of this your oxygen levels are monitored daily by the crew. If you start to feel unwell, please ensure you communicate with the team so they can assess your situation accordingly.

No this will be down to your preference. If you would like to know what flight the Challenge Central staff will take, please contact us and we can share this with you.

This depends on the severity of injury/illness however on most occasions if you need to be taken off the mountain, you will be brought down by one of the mountain crew. The rest of the group will continue their challenge. Our member of staff will stay with the group however be rest assured you will be in safe hands with our local partners who will take good care of you. Should the situation require a quicker descent you will be air lifted off the mountain and flown to a local hospital. Please contact us if you require further information in order for you to purchase the correct level of cover for your travel insurance.

Your booking will not be 100% confirmed until we have secured our minimum number of participants for this challenge. This can take a number of months however we will inform you as soon as possible.

We strongly suggest you therefore do not purchase your flights until we have fully confirmed your place with you.

All information about visa requirements can be found on the Tanzania High Commision Website 

You may also wish to look at: for further information.

The challenge cost is based on participants sharing a twinned room. If you are joining the challenge as an individual or in a group with an odd number, you will be subject to a single supplement charge unless another participant of the same sex signs up in the same situation. In this instance, we will place you both together in a twinned room. If you have a preference to stay in a room of your own or another person of the same sex doesn’t sign up on their own / in an odd group number, we will require the single supplement fee at the time of the remaining balance (3 months before the event start date).

The local town weather (off the mountain) in October is 29c during the days and 15c - 18c at night.

Due to its proximity to the equator, Mount Kilimanjaro does not experience wide temperature changes from season to season. Instead, the temperatures on Mount Kilimanjaro are determined more so by the altitude and time of day. At the beginning of the climb, at the base of the mountain, the average temperature is around 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 27 degrees Celsius). From there, the temperatures will decrease as you move through Mount Kilimanjaro's ecological zones.

At the summit, Uhuru Point, the night time temperatures can range between 20 and -20 degrees Fahrenheit (-7 to -29 degrees Celsius). Due to Mount Kilimanjaro's great height, the mountain creates its own weather; extremely variable and impossible to predict. Therefore, regardless of when you climb, you should always be prepared for wet days and cold nights. 

Yes, Challenge Central have both public and employer liability cover from our Tour Operator insurance. This covers us for the costs of legal fees resulting from claims of negligence against Challenge Central. If you would like to view a copy, please get in contact.

Our insurance does not cover participants personally if Challenge Central is not at fault. When you purchase your personal insurance, please inform the provider you are trekking Mount Kilimanjaro to ensure they give you the appropriate level of cover for your trip.

Yes, of course we can.

If you let us know your flight details and also your accommodation information if you are arriving earlier than our itinerary, we can provide you with a quote from our local operator.

We strongly recommend anyone who has a medical condition should seek approval from their GP / Consultant before signing up to a challenge. When registering for the event, you are agreeing to be fit and healthy enough to take part.

The Health and safety of all participants and members of staff are paramount to us. Depending on the type and severity of your condition, we may require a letter from a medical professional stating that you are fit enough to undergo the activity. Please refer to 6.6 in our Terms & Conditions.

Time before start of the challenge Deposit refund
More than 3 Months 50% Refund of Price Paid
(excluding challenge deposit)
Transfer to Another Event within 18 months
(excluding challenge deposit)
Between 1-3 Months 0% Refund
Transfer to Another Event within 18 months
(excluding challenge deposit)
Less than 1 Month 0% Refund
No Transfer

Please refer to section 9 of our Terms & Conditions for full details.

We will do our best to recover any lost property from our local provider and will post the belongings out to you. If posted, please note you will be charged P&P plus a £10 admin fee in advance of the items being delivered. Please refer to 6.5 in our Terms & Conditions.