Kilimanjaro Climb

Dementia Australia


Dementia Australia Climb of Kilimanjaro
16th - 25th September 2019

Climb Kilimanjaro and fulfil your dreams of standing on the Roof of Africa on a trip of a lifetime and do so whilst helping to fund Dementia Australia.

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Dominating the landscape like no other mountain, both iconic and instantly recognizable, Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is the highest peak in Africa and the highest free-standing mountain in the world. At 5895 metres, to climb Kilimanjaro is a great challenge, not to be underestimated, but entirely feasible for the hill walker looking to combine a high mountain adventure with going to Africa. Kilimanjaro translates to “mountain of the springs” and its unique position just below the equator offers an opportunity to experience five different habitats from bottom to top, which makes an ascent of the mountain undeniably special. In a matter of days you’ll climb Kilimanjaro from the equator to what feels like the Arctic, moving through grasslands, tropical rainforest, alpine meadows, moorlands and desert uplands to snow and ice.

Mount Kilimanjaro Machame Route (9)

Taking part is simple;

1. Check you're available from the 16th - 25th Sept, get excited then...

2. Book your spot by contacting Emma at the Dementia Australia office: Emma will give you full details and please note that all payments for this trip are done through Dementia Australia and Adventure Alternative is the trip provider.

3. Pay the deposit to Dementia Australia to confirm your space.

4. Book your flight - Emma can make recommendations on times/dates (those shown above are arrival into and departure from Tanzania) and suggested prices

5. Raise your funds with our full support

6. Pay your trip cost 6 weeks prior to departure (this can also be fundraised for)

7. Join us in Kilimanjaro Airport, Tanzania and have an amazing trip with us!

Right now there are more than 321,000 Australians living with dementia, with this number set to rise to more than 1 million by 2050. The number of people under 65 being diagnosed with younger onset dementia is also growing at an alarming rate. This places a huge financial burden on the community and government, as the population ages and more and more people are being diagnosed. That’s why our work – and your support – is so important. Help us today by signing up to this bucket list challenge. 

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Our route, The Machame Route is a camping trip using quality mountain tents, and qualified local guides who work with us full time, porters who carry the bags and equipment, and cooks who provide fresh, tasty food every day. The ratio of guide:climber is 1:3 and from the start you'll have experienced people to talk to in the office, who have all climbed Kilimanjaro before and can give an honest appraisal of the climb. This personal service extends to Tanzania where our in country director Castro will give a team briefing along with our head guide and cook and be on hand all the time. He will introduce you to the guides who all speak good English and understand that this is more than a holiday, it is a personal dream to summit the roof of Africa.

Do check out our 'More Information' section on the right of this page, the other topics covered in the horizontal menu above and read our latest Kilimanjaro blogs below and do please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.

Toilets on Kilimanjaro

What to Wear on Kilimanjaro

How fit do I have to be to climb Kilimanjaro?

Climb Kilimanjaro for Charity

This trek is achievable for any bush walker of any age!


Mount Kilimanjaro fitness and terrain

Terrain on Mount Kilimanjaro

The terrain on Kilimanjaro varies throughout; in a period of seven days, traversing the mountain over 38 miles, ascending from 2000m to 5895m and back down, you will pass through cultivated farmland, equatorial forest and alpine heath, across a lunar-like volcanic desert and up to a glaciated summit. Climbing Kilimanjaro is not a technical climb and there are no precipitous drops along the way, no rock climbing or specialist equipment needed.

The paths are in good condition and well trodden; some are steeper than others (in particular the Great Barranco Wall is an exciting scramble) and you will most likely meet people all along the way. On summit day the path is mostly screed, which can be loose and unrelenting, especially on the descent when your knees will probably suffer.

Mount Kilimanjaro Camps on Machame Route

Machame and Millennium Camp are on the tree line and have a number of campsites set in small clearings in the forest. You will see a central ranger station and a number of drop-hole latrines. Mobile coverage here and it is quite easy to descend back to the gate if necessary.

Shira Camp is situated on the vast Shira plateau which is a volcanic spill-off from the last explosion some 100,000 years ago. Open and exposed and often dusty with smaller, more fragile plants amongst the rocks. Latrines and Ranger huts are around and the area is so huge it is easy to have some privacy. Meanwhile the Horombo Huts are busy with people and Mawenzi Tarn is very quiet and remote.

Barranco Camp is in a big clearing at the head of the steep valley which drops down into the Umbwe route, with dramatic cliffs around and right below the ice fields of Kibo, a stunning location for a camp.

Karanga Camp is a very open camp on the side of a hillside with great views of the summit massif and the expanse of land beyond the mountain. Many people go direct from Barranco to Barafu, so Karanga is traditionally a bit of half-way stop, but there are still latrines and a Ranger hut here.

Barafu, meaning ‘ice’, is now no longer covered in permanent snow but it is cold and rocky and exposed. People definitely feel the altitude here and you can expect snow and sometimes high wind. The camp sites are dotted amongst nooks and crannies in the rocks, perched on a sort of ridge.

Experience for Mount Kilimanjaro

Climbing Kilimanjaro is a non-technical trek but it does offer a full mountaineering experience. Experience in hill walking is a benefit but not absolutely necessary, since this is a supported climb. You will have however be outdoors constantly and living in tents so any sort of experience with camping will be useful.

It is not necessary to have any experience of high altitude to climb Kilimanjaro, and there is nowhere in the United Kingdom or Ireland to possibly train for it. The important factor will be to go slowly and allow your metabolism to adapt to the lower air pressure and the thinner air.

Support on Mount Kilimanjaro

The staff will carry your main bag up to a maximum weight of 15 kgs plus all the tents, kitchen equipment, food, fuel, tables and chairs. They will cater for all the group needs, providing excellent meals and putting up the tents. The guides will also brief you daily on the climb.

Castro is the Director of Adventure Alternative Tanzania. He organises all the staff, equipment, permits and hotel arrangements. You will have his telephone number, or the staff at the hotel desk can call him for you. He is organiser, translator, problem-solver, advisor and the main link between you and the UK office. He talks to the guides every day on the mountain and can make arrangements while you are up high. You also have continued support from the main office in Northern Ireland. Should a problem arise of significant proportion then you only need to call us.

Mount Kilimanjaro Machame route kit list 

  • Strong, waterproof duffle bag or rucksack for your main gear 
  • Waterproof day sack of about 30 -40 litres for carrying your daily needs 
  • Sleeping bag rated down to -10° Celsius or more if you get cold easily 
  • Sturdy hiking boots with ankle support, and a sole that does not bend too easily. Gore-Tex lined fabric boots are fine but not quite as warm as leather. Gaiters are advised also. 
  • Waterproof windbreaker and trousers, preferably breathable, with a hood and big enough to accommodate several layers beneath 
  • Down jacket or a heavy duty fleece for warmth especially on summit night 
  • Thermal underwear or long johns for summit night 
  • Balaclava or insulated warm hat, insulated gloves or mittens and thermal inner gloves 
  • Buff / scarf or dust mask - good for descending the scree
  • Sun hat, sun lotion, SPF lip screen and sunglasses 
  • Trekking clothes - trousers and shorts, shirts and T-shirts, jumper or midlayer fleece, underwear and several pairs of hiking socks, trainers or sandals 
  • Water bottle and/or camelback (take a protective cover for the mouthpiece) and water purification tablets (optional, iodine-based is fine) 
  • Head torch with spare batteries 
  • Trekking poles (especially useful for coming down from the summit) 
  • Personal wash kit include a nail brush, moisturising cream, a small towel, tweezers, soap, nail clippers and wet wipes 
  • Variety of waterproof bags - for dirty clothes, sleeping bag and things to keep dry 
  • Personal first aid includes aspirin, Nurofen, plasters, Germolene, Immodium, strepsils and prescription medicines for possible gastric problems 
  • Passport, insurance papers, spending money, air tickets, 2 pin (round) plug adaptor, spare batteries for digital cameras, reading books, diary, pen

Rental items for Mount Kilimanjaro

We have a store of equipment which is available for rental and will be given to you at the hotel on the briefing day. We have some good sleeping bags too (please email us if you'd like to hire one). We also have items for purchase, such as duffle bags and some items of clothing. Comfortable mattresses will be provided by Adventure Alternative Tanzania, there is no need to bring a Therm-A-Rest or camp mat for the mountain.

Mount Kilimanjaro Machame route itinerary 

Arrival on day one 
Briefing and rest on day two 
Climb period on days three to nine (arriving back in hotel by mid afternoon) 
Depart on day ten or go on four day/three night safari (Ngorongoro, Tarangire, Manyara - lodge or camping or local hotel)

Day  Altitude       Distance          Location

16th Sept 900m N/A This is the day which you should arrive into Tanzania. Most people fly into Kilimanjaro airport either directly or via Kenya. Others travel overland from Kenya. We can collect you from Kilimanjaro airport or assist you to travel from Kenya. Overnight in Keys Annexe Hotel in Moshi Town.
17th 900m N/A Briefing day in Moshi Town, meet the AA Tanzania staff and have time for hiring equipment or relaxing in the hotel.
18th 900m - 1790m - 2580m 5-7 hours, 10 kms Transport to Machame Gate (1 hour 1790m). Registration. Trek to Machame Camp through beautiful montane forest on good path. Camp overnight at the edge of the forest.
19th 2980m - 3840m 5-7 hours, 7 kms Machame Camp to Shira Plateau uphill through thinning forest and onto a huge volcanic plateau. Camping is more exposed here with great views of the summit massif.
20th 3840m - 3950m 5-7 hours, 10 kms Shira Camp to Barranco Camp traversing two valleys skirting the base of the summit massif. High desert environment with amazing rock formations, quite exposed to the weather, dropping into the Barranco Valley right beneath the Western Breach. This day ascends a maximum of 700 metres but the net gain is only about 100 metres.
21st 3950m - 3950m 4-5 hours, 4 kms Barranco Camp to Karanga Valley, starting with a scramble over the Barranco Wall and over a further two valleys to get to this open campsite with great views of the Heim Glacier. Another up and down day but no net gain in height, which is all good for acclimatisation.
22nd 3950m - 4550m 4-5 hours, 4 kms Karanga Valley to Barafu Camp, now heading more directly upwards towards the open rock and colder temperatures. This is the average freezing level on the mountain and Barafu means 'ice'. Camping in amongst the rocks and an early night.
23rd 4550m - 5895m - 2800m 7 hours up, 6 hours down, 18 kms Night-time ascent on rock and scree, occasional snow, to the crater rim and the summit. Cold temperatures with windchill. Final slope to the crater rim is steeper and has loose scree. Descend in sunlight to Barafu for early lunch, and then walk to Millennium Camp, normally arriving mid-afternoon.
24th 2800m - 900m 4-6 hours, 11 kms

Descending through the lush forest to Mweka Gate where you sign out and pick up the summit certificate. Legs will be tired! Meet Castro at the gate for transport back to the hotel, arriving normally at about 2pm. The gate is where tips are handed out and you say goodbye to the mountain staff. A hot shower and an afternoon relaxing before an overnight in the hotel

25th N/A  

Either start your safari or depart home.

Why us for climbing Kilimanjaro?

We run our own company in Tanzania which is based in Moshi at the foot of Kilimanjaro called Adventure Alternative Tanzania and our dedicated team provide an excellent service. 

  • We are a mountain company run by mountaineers 
  • We have taken thousands of people up Kilimanjaro over the last 3 decades
  • We have a 97% success rate to the summit. 
  • All our guides are personally trained by Gavin Bate, company director, International Mountain leader with 3 decades of experience guiding trips to the Greater Ranges 
  • We do not outsource our trips to the cheapest local operator. Instead we run our own company in Tanzania and invest in our staff directly. Our guides have worked with for us for years.
  • All the staff in our UK office have climbed Kilimanjaro so you can chat to people who understand what it is like to go up for the first time, before you go. We spend time on the phone and we are happy to make personal visits to meet groups or individuals where possible. 
  • We are passionate about responsible tourism and our company supports sustainable development in Tanzania and Kenya in a real way. We have won the World Responsible Tourism Awards twice now.
  • Financial security is guaranteed as we are fully financially bonded so your money is secure 

All of the guides have been employed for over ten years with us, and they have been trained to our high standards personally by Director and high altitude climber Gavin Bate, who has climbed Kilimanjaro over fifty times and is a guide on Everest. They know how to deal with medical emergencies and speak good English. They are very attentive and after so many years have a good understanding of western needs. They all have the necessary KINAPA cards (Kilimanjaro National Park qualification) and we fly out an international first aid and high altitude instructor every three years to train our teams.

We give our staff in excess of the recommended wage. We provide clothing, food and tents for all of our staff and have proven policies for payment and tipping. This means that you are not hassled by people looking for handouts at the end of the trip, and the staff themselves are happier. We also provide a development programme for the guides and cooks, including first aid training and regular visits from International Mountain Leaders to help improve service and mountain management. If you want to climb Kilimanjaro then you can be assured that you are with a great, proven and experienced team!