Hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro: Camp and Climb to the Summit

Alongside local instructors, achieve what few will ever do in their lifetime: climbing to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. Learn about the mountain’s ecology while camping on the trails.
Program No. 23462RJ
13 days
Starts at
Flights start at

At a Glance

As the largest freestanding mountain in the world, hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro is an indescribable experience. While standing atop the snowy summit and looking down on the clouds below, you become part of a special club who have achieved what few will in their lifetime. On this incredible, once-in-a-lifetime adventure, spend one week camping and walking the scenic trails and ascending to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, reaching 19,341 feet. With several instructors and porters by your side, hike through rainforests and across volcanic plateaus before falling asleep under a sea of twinkling stars. After a week of trekking the varying landscapes together, you and your fellow hikers are sure to discover that this isn’t only about reaching the top, it’s about the journey.

Extend Your Adventure

This program offers an optional program extension.

Extension: Three Wildlife Safaris in Tanzania

Further your studies of Tanzania as you explore the ecosystems and wildlife on exciting game drives in Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro Crater and Central Serengeti National Park.
Activity Level
Outdoor: Challenging
Experienced, fit hikers only; by any standards, this is an arduous climb. Hiking 2-8 miles and 3-12 hours per day. Elevation up to 19,341 feet with elevation changes of up to 6,500+ feet per day; 6 nights spent above 11,000 feet. Broken-in hiking boots and cold weather gear required; walking sticks recommended. Serious pre-program exercise regime recommended. Any pre-existing medical conditions or questions about your health should be addressed with your doctor before the program.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Summit the 19,341 foot mountain with a 2:1 participant to instructor ratio, camping equipment supplied and porters to help carry your gear and set up camp.
  • Learn about the local flora, fauna and Tanzanian culture from your climbing experts as you pass through Shira plateau, Lava Tower and Barranco Valley.
  • Before your big climb, hike to a hidden waterfall on Mt. Meru to acclimate yourself to Tanzania.

General Notes

Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Lonely Planet Swahili Phrasebook
by Lonely Planet
A pocket phrasebook, dictionary and language guide for the traveler to East Africa.
The Worlds of a Maasai Warrior
by Ole Saitoti
Bridging several worlds with tremendous grace, Saitoti looks back on his life among the Maasai Mara, both as spokesperson for his tribe and as one of the first Maasai safari guides.
Kilimanjaro Diaries: Or, How I Spent a Week Dreaming of Toilets, Drinking Crappy Water, and Making Bad Jokes While Having the Time of My Life
by Eva Melusine Thieme
Part guide book, part historical account, and part travel memoir, Eva Melusine Thieme's hilarious and poignant account of her journey up the slopes of Kilimanjaro with her teenage son and group of South Africa friends will keep readers enthralled until the last page. Follow along as Eva plans for her trip, dreams of non-chlorinated water and a flushable toilet while plodding uphill, and deals with the ever-present threat of altitude sickness, culminating in one of the most difficult tests she's ever faced.
African Heroes, Samburu-Maasai
by Matteo Guzzini
Guzzini captures the rituals and travels of the mysterious Masaai communities of Tanzania and Kenya in beautiful, untouched photographs that honor the people and their land.
Kilimanjaro - The Trekking Guide to Africa's Highest Mountain, 4th Edition
by Henry Stedman
A comprehensive and informative guide to tackling the highest mountain on the African continent. Includes practical information including full descriptions of each trekking route, what to wear, a health and fitness section with an in-depth description of Altitude Sickness or AMS, as well as detailed background information on the history, geography, geology and topography of Mount Kilimanjaro itself. Now in its 4th Edition, this guide book from Trailblazer Trekking Guides has been aiding people in their ascent for over 15 years.
Tanzania - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
by Quintin Winks
This pocket guide provides essential information on attitudes, beliefs and behaviors in Tanzania to ensure you arrive with an awareness of basic manners, courtesies and sensitive issues. This guide is an excellent reference for what to expect, how to behave and how to interact to help steer clear of embarrassing cultural misunderstandings and to help feel confident in situations that may be outside of your comfort zone. Content includes discussions on: customs, values, traditions, history, politics, religion, home life, leisure, eating and drinking, as well as, cultural taboos and spoken and unspoken rules of communication.
Out of Africa
by Isak Dinesen
The perennially best-selling tale of a naive young woman who leaves Denmark for East Africa, Dinesen's (AKA Karen Blixen) autobiography draws us into life on a struggling coffee plantation. It's a moving story inspired by a love for Kenya and its people. Includes the novella Shadows on the Grass.
The Snows of Kilimanjaro
by Ernest Hemingway
Set in Africa, this collection of ten prime Hemingway stories includes not just the famous title story but also "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber," a chilling masterpiece about an American couple on a big-game safari.
Altitude Illness: Prevention & Treatment
by Stephen Bezruchka
An informative and all-encompassing guide to staying healthy at high altitudes. Includes case studies of real situations, a question-and-answer section, a glossary with easy-to-read tables encompassing symptoms & signs, altitude illness and high altitude drugs. Updated with current information for how to properly prepare and adapt to altitude, as well as, current guidelines for those with pre-existing conditions including heart conditions, diabetes and cancer.

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