RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge


RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge

What is the RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge?

The RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge is a university trip in support of the RAG student society working with Moving Mountains Trust and using Adventure Alternative as their provider. The challenge is to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and help complete an ongoing project to build a large school on the slopes of the mountain. 

The RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge will take students on a seven day climb on the Machame route of Mount Kilimanjaro after having volunteered for several days on a community building project.

The RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge is in support of Moving Mountains which is an international development NGO, partnered with Adventure Alternative, who are the award winning expedition company who will manage all the ground and climb logistics and staff. You will be accompanied by our own Adventure Alternative staff throughout the expedition from arrival at the airport in-country to your departure.

Is the RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge for Charity?

The RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge also has a volunteering component to the trip. The money fundraised through the challenge goes directly to the Moving Mountains Trust and the Ng'aroni school project they have been working with since 2014. 

In the RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge, students spend five days volunteering on site at the school building project, so they can see exactly where and how their fundraising money is spent.

Adventure Alternative is a responsible travel company that invests money into local communities and operates a strong ethic of social enterprise throughout all our operations. Director Gavin Bate lectures occasionally at Oxford Brookes University and runs social enterprise trips to Kenya for a number of universities. He is also a member of the Tourism Education Futures Initiative which is supporting him to build the first tourism college in the Himalayas. The company also works with a number of European universities to provide internships. 

Who benefits from the RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge?

The RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge is designed to benefit both the students and the Ng'aroni School and community. Moving Mountains' work with this school has improved the educational facilities and infrastructure but there is long way to go before our commitment with the community is fulfilled.

Future projects at Ng'aroni will involve construction of more classrooms, toilets, wash facilities and banda accommodation for teachers. Projects are implemented by our Moving Mountains Trust Work Team alongside locally employed Tanzanian labourers, community members and volunteers, all under the oversight of MMKenya Projects Manager Francis Kioni and part of a wider joint strategy for sustainable community development.

Representatives of Moving Mountains will accompany you to explain the nature and significance of the NGO's work and will also provide a personal development training course through several sessions in the UK before you leave. This trip positively develops all who are involved, you will return home with a true appreciation for life in Africa and first hand experience of how international development should work. You can also gain personal development and communication skills as well as intercultural soft skills, all of which will be an excellent addition to your personal portfolio.


Dates & Bookings

Bespoke Dates
Fixed Itineraries
Start Date
End Date
£1bn dollars
£1bn dollars
Start Date
End Date
Start Date
End Date


RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge 

1 Arrive Kilimanjaro International Airport and transfer to Moshi town where you will stay at our own campsite
2 Drive Moshi-Marangu village, briefing, meet team and start the project section (camping)
3 Marangu Project Work
4 Marangu Project Work
5 Marangu Project Work
6 Drive to Moshi to our campsite. Mountain briefing and prepare for Kilimanjaro climb
7 Moshi-NP Gate. Trek to Machame Camp
8 Machame Camp- Shira Plateau
9 Shira Plateau- Barranco Camp
10 Barranco Camp- Karanga Valley
11 Karanga Valley - Barafu Camp
12 Barafu Camp- Summit- Millenium Camp
13 Millenium Camp- Mweka Gate- Moshi
14 Depart for UK or onward travel

RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge Detailed Itinerary

DayElevationTravel TimeInfo
1 950m   Arrive into Kilimanjaro International Airport : [Itinerary Starts] You will be met by a team from Adventure Alternative Tanzania & Kenya and Moving Mountains who will remain with you throughout the entire trip. It is a short 40km transfer across to the town of Moshi where we will have a welcome briefing with staff introductions and generally get to know everyone. We spend the night at the camp site in Moshi. [Lunch & Dinner not included]
2 1400m   Moshi to Marangu : After breakfast we will load up the vehicles and drive East around the base of Kilimanjaro then North up onto its lower slopes and to the village of Marangu at about 1400m. It is about 40km but the final part can take a bit of time depending on weather as it is a rough mountain track. Here we will set up camp and get settled in before we have a briefing on the the village and area, on the work that Moving Mountains has done already here and what the future plans are, including what you will be doing for the next 4 days. [B, L, D included]
3-5 1400m   Marangu School Project : Over the next three days we will work on the project which the money you have raised will in part go towards. You could be involved with anything from mixing cement, to laying bricks, from painting to plastering, from carpentry to glazing! The actual project we undertake will depend on the amount of money raised and the amount allocated to the project. It will of course also depend on the school requirements come summer 2015. It is likely that you will be involved in building additional classrooms and facilities at Ng'aroni primary school which currently only has one building for the whole school. The exact work will depend on the stage at which your group is there, so if you are one of the earlier groups you might be digging foundations, if you are one of the later groups you might be painting and finishing. We also intend for you to run a day of activities for local children on the Saturday that coincides with your stay there. We will leave it up to your group to decide on and plan the activities, but we can help advise on this and give you ideas. Usually things like games, sports, singing, drama and crafts go down very well. [B, L, D included]
6 950m   Travel to Moshi, Rest & Briefing : We will travel back down to Moshi in the morning and spend the day preparing for the climb of mount Kilimanjaro. We will talk about the climb its self, health, altitude, packing and everything else that will help you with the climb. From the compound where we stay you can get a superb view up to the mountain if it is clear. [Breakfast Included, Lunch & Dinner not included]
7 2980m 5-6hrs Moshi - Machame Gate - Machame Camp : Transport to Machame Gate (1 hour). Registration with the National Park authority. Trek to Machame Camp through beautiful montane forest on good path. Camp overnight at the edge of the forest. [B, L, D included]
8 3840m 5hrs Machame Camp - Shira Plateau : An uphill path through thinning forest and onto a huge volcanic plateau. Camping is more exposed here with great views of the summit massif and often out over a carpet of cloud below. [B, L, D included]
9 3950m 7hrs Shira Plateau - Barranco Camp : We are now traversing around the mountain over two valleys and 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. [B, L, D included]
10 3950m 3hrs Barranco Camp - Karanga Valley : We start with a scramble up and over the, initially intimidating, 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. [B, L, D included]
11 4550m 4hrs Karanga Valley - Barafu Hut : We are 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. [B, L, D included]
12 5985m 10-12hrs Barafu Hut - Uhuru Peak - Barafu Hut - Millenium Camp : The main event! 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. [B, L, D included]
13   5hrs Millenium Camp - Mweka gate - Moshi : 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 and a celebration meal before an overnight at the comfortable camp. [B & L included. Dinner not included]
14     [Itinerary Ends] Depart Moshi: This morning the main itinerary will end after breakfast. You will then be free to either travel to Kilimanjaro Airport for an afternoon departure home, or to do some independent travel of your own. If you are interested in safaris to places Ngorongoro, Serengeti, Manyara in this area then do speak to us for more information. We can help organize these for small groups. [Breakfast included]


RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge cost;

The price varies depending on the number of climbers / volunteers we have. The price on booking will be the maximum trip price however as the team grows in size, discounts will be applied to people's accounts as per the sliding scale below. You can log into your account on our website at any time to make interim payments or add rental equipment or to update your booking. The price for the land section of the trip is:

5 – 10 people at £1665pp 
11 - 19 people at £1595pp 
20 + people at £1565pp


  • All land transport whilst in Tanzania
  • One group airport transfer from Kilimanjaro Airport to Moshi Accommodation and back. If you are not on a group transfer it's £10pp/transfer
  • 3 meals per day on the project and climb
  • All kitchen & catering equipment
  • All staff, guides, porters, cooks, security
  • Accommodation (tents on the project and on Mt Kilimanjaro & at our campsite in Moshi)
  • All campsites on the mountain
  • All group mountain equipment, mattresses, stoves, tents, pots, fuel, tables, mess tent, stools etc
  • Arrangements for climbing Kilimanjaro and all staff back-up
  • All permits and National Park fees
  • Registration with the AMREF Flying Doctors emergency evacuation scheme
  • All UK and Tanzanian administration and organisation


  • £600 fundraising amount to the Moving Mountains Trust (using gift aid enables you to have 24% of this sum paid for by the tax payback, but gift aid can only be claimed by donors who are UK taxpayers)
  • RAG registration and support fee 
  • International Air travel (~£500- £600)
  • Tanzania Visa ($50 for most passports & $100 for USA citizens, purchased on arrival)
  • Personal travel insurance policy (~£50 - £70)
  • Personal medical expenses, vaccinations and anti-malarials (varies £30-100)
  • Additional activities outside of the itinerary
  • Lunches (x2) and Dinners (x3) at in Moshi (~£10-30 Total)
  • Additional hard / soft drinks (varies)
  • Tips for mountain staff (~$110 per climber)


Please note, we try to include as much of the trip cost as possible in the main fee as we recognise that you want to make decisions based on the total cost. However, some costs will vary quite a lot from person to person and group to group, for example meals at the hotel. Therefore, these type of costs are excluded from the main package costs, as itemised above. We have made good estimates of these additional costs to help you to budget for them. Please make sure that you note all of these costs and have sufficient funds on the ground to meet them.

Kit List

RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge Kit List

The basic idea of your RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge kit is to keep you warm, dry, protected from the sun/rain and comfortable in the various environments that we will find ourselves in. There is a detailed kit list via the menu below-right and the main principles are:-

  • BAGS - A Large Duffle Bag for all your kit on the camp and for a porter to carry on the climb, A small-medium Daysack for carrying day gear on Kili
  • GENERAL CLOTHING - Clothing for day to day travel & time on the project
  • SHELL - Waterproof layer to keep off wind/rain
  • INSULATION - Layered system to keep you warm on the mountain- body hands & Head. Including a warm jacket to deal with temperatures down to around -10degC.
  • FEET - Day to day shoes, Sturdy trekking Boots, Flip flops/Sandals
  • SLEEPING - Warm sleeping bag and camping mat to get a good nights sleep
  • EATING/DRINKING - Water bottles and favourite high-energy snacks for Kili
  • WASHING & MEDICAL - To allow you to wash and maybe stave off a headache or blister

RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge additional kit info

  • You will have to dress conservatively in the villages and in public in general, particularly the ladies. You will draw unnecessary attention to yourself and probably cause offence if revealing clothing is worn. Shorts must reach the knees and you must have tops that cover your shoulders and have a high neckline.
  • Make sure hiking boots fit well and that you have used them at least a few times before the trip to break them (and your feet) in. 
  • Clothing for the mountain needs to be synthetic and quick drying in case we get wet. Cotton teeshirts and hoodies are not suitable. Make sure that you have two changes of synthetic trekking trousers and base-layer top and a micro-fleece top as well as a warm coat. It can be well below freezing at night and on at least the first half of summit day. Work on a layering system which gives you versatility - Synthetic base-layer tops or thermals, shirt or warm top, fleece, waterproofs. Gloves and hats are vital - remember spare socks can double as mitts in emergencies!
  • Even with a good sleeping bag you may get cold unless you have a decent roll mat. Make sure it's a thick closed cell mat or a full-length self-inflating one. If you get a self-inflating one, bring a repair kit A sleeping bag liner made out of cotton (or silk) is useful too and helps to keep the bag clean or can be slept in if it gets too hot. Make your own sleeping bag liner if you want from an old sheet sewn into a mummy shape. Don't make it too tight around you.
  • You will be able to wash clothes - handwash in washing powder, that is, and local women will also offer to wash your clothes on the camp for a very small charge. The problem can be trying to dry things, heavy cotton garments can take ages to dry where-as light synthetic ones dry very quickly. On the mountain there is no real opportunity to wash clothes at all.
  • If you wear contact lenses take plenty of saline and comfort drops- it can get dusty. And obviously have your glasses on hand as back up.
  • Mosquito nets are optional. The tents have inbuilt nets and people in the past have generally not had a big problem with insects.
  • Keep your money somewhere safe. Do not bring large wads of notes with you. If you take sterling cash with you make sure they are good condition Bank of England notes, not regional notes, eg Northern Irish notes or Scottish notes.


RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge Project

The RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge also has a large project component. The project is to build a school in Tanzania as part of a long term educational aim in the area. It's a well run and very well established operation in east Africa, and you can see lots more information on the Moving Mountains Trust website and also on the University trips to Kenya page on this website. 

We provide a lot of training and preparation and we are working closely with RAG societies this year and every year to ensure that all the expectations are met. 

Here's a video showing a group from a school near Bath that has already started on the school:

We also like our groups to organise competitions and events which bring everyone together, and there's nothing better than football to do that! Here's the Canadian team organising a football competition in Kenya  which was broadcast to hundreds of Canadian students via videostreaming. The whole event was organised with the University of Ottawa, involving students studying sports psychology and personal development. 

And this is the Canadian team training for climbing Mount Kenya which is lower than Mount Kilimanjaro! 



RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge

How fit do I need to be for the RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge?

You need to be reasonably fit  and in good health to partake in the RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge as this is a seven day climb offering a full mountaineering experience. However, it is not a technical climb so no prior mountain experience in necessary.

It is advisable to some preparation at home like hill walking but it is not necessary to have any experience of high altitude climbs- especially as there are few places to train for this! You will have porters and guides as this a supported climb and the pace will be slow and steady over the seven days.

It is most important to have a positive attitude and motivation!

What terrain will I experience on the RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge?

The RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge takes you on varied terrain over the Machame route. Over seven days, you will you will trek through cultivated farmlands, 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.

Most paths are in good condition and well established; 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.

Why Us

Why choose us for the RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge?

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 and have a 95% success rate to the summit.

  • 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.

  • All our guides are personally trained by Gavin Bate, company director, International Mountain leader with over twenty years 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 over a decade.

  • 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 have separate and transparent fundraising costs that are entirely handled by the Moving Mountains Trust.

  • We are members of Interhealth which gives you access to pre-trip health information and on-site assistance by phone in the event of an emergency.




Open trips or tailor made dates at no extra cost. 
£250 deposit and the balance in instalments.
Click Dates & Booking below to start your holiday!

Tours from only 1,665pp book
Staff Review

This is a trip for RAG student societies, which includes the challenge of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and the task of building a school in the village of Marangu on the slopes of the mountain. We provide training and preparation and logistics. Moving Mountains provides the charity element of the trip. 

Key Information
  • Duration 14 days
  • Numbers 10-30
  • Altitude 5895m
  • Accommodation Tents
  • Challenge Moderate