Seeking the snow at Kilimanjaro, June

  • Kilimanjaro, here we come!

    We are very excited as this opens a new chapter for Ousland/Norwegian Explorers.

    First of all, Kilimanjaro is a fantastic experience. But the second reason for going is that we now have a series of guides with the expertise and hunger to do mountains the way we like to do trips.

    We believe that our Polar Heritage will serve this trip well. Because let’s be clear, we will treat Kilimanjaro with a lot of respect. Every trip that goes smoothly is easy, but every adventure can sting, and altitude must be taken seriously. – Thus, if you are looking for a cheap and fast way to the top of Africa – read no further 🙂

    We are planning for 2 different trips: winter (January)  and summer (June). See under “rates, dates and booking” for more details.

     

    DOWNLOAD TRIP PDF HERE

  • Food and equipment

    A detailed equipment list, together with trip booklet  will be sent after booking and confirming your place on the trip.

    We will bring a maximised communication platform, oxygen, own toilets, top quality tents, have competent 24/7 home base on top of great and fresh food, up-to-date medicine kit and big smiles.
    We will also have the welfare of the porters high on the agenda as they are often exploited by companies cutting cost.

  • Day by day

    We will use 6 nights and 7 days (plus travel days) giving a day-to-day schedule:

    Day 0: We arrive in Tanzania at the Arusha / Kilimanjaro(JRO) airport and are taken to our hotel. As we always have great groups of mixed nationalities we will help with transport whenever you arrive. That evening we go through equipment and have a detailed briefing before a relaxed and fun dinner together.

    Day 1: After breakfast, we leave out bags in the hotel and drive to the Machame Gate at 1.640m. Here we meet all our guides and porters. The first day is an 11km trek through rain forest up untill Machame Camp at 2.835 meter.

    Day 2: This a varied climb leaving the thick forest behind, seeing the trees turn in to bushes before edging over the plateau-rim and onto the Shira Plateau. Here we camp at 3.850m - and we really start to feel the altitude.

    Day 3: This is a tough day, and the first day the altitude really make itself present and seriousness felt. But again, a totally different day. We walk through a moon landscape and pass by the picturesque Lava Tower at 4.600m, before defending to the Barranco camp at 3.900m. The descent does us a world of good, and usually all headaches are gone by the time dinner is served in our mess-tent.

    Day 4: Today's start is a real gem. It’s called the Breakfastwall and towers spectacularly up beside the campsite. It looks impossible, but well into the wall we find that it is steep but easy and very enjoyable. A few up and downs later and we are at the Katanga Camp at 3.960m. We are now much more attuned to the altitude and most enjoy this vast, open camp at the hillside under the summit.

    Day 5: From this morning focus is shifting towards the summit push. The short 5,5km climb up to the high camp at Kosovi at 4.900m is all about fine-tuning walking slowly and staying together in a group. We arrive early to camp, and most just relax and rest as much as possible.

    Day 6: We are woken / just before midnight and gather for some tea / drinks / biscuits in the mess tent. Soon after we start the slow push upwards. If luck is on our side the full moon casts a spooky light over the steep landscape, but mostly we rely on our headlamps. Before and after us we see other groups looking like illuminated worms ever so slowly ascending. It is not far, but very hard going. One can never acclimatize for a summit - so this goes down to will power. As dawn breaks, we are nearing the creator rim and Stella Point. All of a sudden, we see that we have been following a glacier arm, and far, far below we see the morning mist and clouds covering the step land. Though, we tend not to be very poetic at this point…

    Stella is great to reach, and though often many want to leave it at that, a quick bite, a drink and a bit of rest, and most will head on along the creator rim for the summit. Within an hour we are at the summit of Africa at 5.895m. looking into the creator at one side, glaciers all around and the view the down on Africa. We pose for photos, hug and feel a cocktail of relief, joy, awe and fatigue. Then we turn around in a hurry and down before our bodies understand that we are way higher than what our system is prepared for. Some hours later and we are down in the Barafu Camp again for a quick brunch. As we pack our bags and clear the tents it is sooooo tempting to take a nap - but we have to press on. After a quick bite we continue down towards Mweka Camp at 3.100m. It is far, but with every step the oxygen level increases, the strength returns, and our traveling speed increases. By the time we reach the bushes, and they have grown onto trees, we feel like normal humans again. Fresh food for dinner is followed by the best sleep you have ever had :-)

    Day 7: The last stroll of 11km out through the rainforest is both easy and beautiful. At the gate (1.640m) we are surrounded by kids and others trying to sell all sorts of stuff. It is a return to reality. After lunch it is back to the hotel, a looooong great shower and in the evening a big thank you and farewell dinner.

    Day 8: Whatever you want to do then? That is for you personally to choose. Some return home and some stay behind for another Great African Adventure; either stay on in Tanzania with great national parks like Tarangiri, Serengeti Lake Manjara and NgoroNgoro - or across the border to delightful Masai Mara in Kenya - or some days swimming at Zanzibar? We will help wetting your appetite :-)

    EXTRA DAY: As you see, the KLM flight arrives late in the afternoon. That is good for everyone who wants to save time. BUT it is great bliss to arrive a bit earlier, have time to calm down, shake off stress and enjoy being in Africa.
    If you like, we suggest you show up one day early, and spent the day most arrive strolling around, visit the marked and just enjoy the feel of life under Kilimanjaro. You will not regret that.

  • Expedition details

    We have tossed the Kili-idea around for a while and landed on a concept we all like - and trust. It will not be the budget way up. Our plan is to bring 2 Norwegian guides to join the local head guide and his four assistants. This will not only enhance safety in situations with altitude sickness or injury, but we believe it will teach you more, safeguard communications and add to the social cosines :-)
    Kili is also very much great evenings in the mess-tent, chatting, telling tales and dreaming of the possible next adventure...

    THE ROUTE:

    We have from experience chosen the Machame Route as we believe this offers the best combination of scenery, rhythm, compactness, price and, not to forget, the best rapid-descent routes if anybody should be affected by altitude sickness. Machame has the local nickname "Whiskey Route".
    It is very picturesque and varied. On our way up, we will actually go around parts of the mountain as we work our way upwards. This will give us very good acclimation based on ‘walk high – sleep low’.
    The reason is that once we hit the higher levels we will sleep at approximately the same altitude for several days. All the while marveling at every valley and day being completely different. And all the time we will have the main summit towering above us.
    We go up Machame and we descend along the Mweka route.
    The lower part of the mountain is rainforest, with the first and the last camp in dense forest terrain.
    The trail takes us through all the possible climate zones on earth until we reach the volcanic moon landscape and the ice glaciers at the top. One of the reasons this is possible is that Kilimanjaro is the tallest freestanding mountain in the world.
    Reaching Uhuru Peak (5.895 meter) on the crater rim on this ancient, sleeping volcano is truly special.
    With the savanna, the forests and the clouds far it feels special – it is a true adventure.

    THE GUIDES:

     

    We are very lucky to have secured one of the most experienced Africa guides in Norway: Haavard Gjerdset.
    He is Mr Kilimanjaro and knows everything that is needed both on the mountain, in Africa and around the culture and mentality of the people there. He will most definitely help you appreciate the great work done by the localguides, cooks and porters.

     

     

    And then we will, of course, bring in our own Polar alibi: In January Moa Hunseid will join Haavard. She is not only the happiest and most energetic girl out there in the wilderness, she has also crossed Greenland, the North West Passage and topped out Mt Everest. Don’t expect her to not add greatly to the trip!

     

     

    In June Haavard will be joined by our rising superstar Sebastian Gjølstad. There is nothing he cannot guide as his C.V., education and technical skills are dwarfed only by a genuine pleasant personality that will make you feel good and give you the best chance of success.

  • Training and preparing

    Many wonder how to prepare physically for a expedition such as this one. This will vary from trip to trip and also for each individual. We will therefore provide individual training programs and advice for each participant if needed.

    In general we expect people to carry a 20 kg backpack for 8 hours for several days on a row. That’s a physical exercise that is easy to measure, but actual training can and will consist of various methods.

    Training and physical preparation for these trips typically consist of at least 3 training sessions a week for at least one hour each. Gradually this should be increased to 4 sessions a week, three months before departure, including one or two longer sessions lasting for more than two hours.

    A combination of cycling, jogging, workout in the gym, walking with backpack or pulling rubber tyres is what we recommend. Its not where you do it that matters, but that you do it. Remember that a cycling session in the gym or a hard work out on the walking machine can be equally as efficient as a session outdoors.

    Related article: The fine art of pulling rubber tyres

    There are two main issues with specific training. One is the physical shape needed to endure the trip you have signed up for and secondly to make your muscles, tendons and ligaments, basically the whole body, prepared for the load on the way. Not to forget the third reason, that physical training in general is very positive, something you will benefit from after the expedition as well. So, its only one thing to do when the goal is set, start training!

    Note: Be careful in the beginning, start at a level you feel comfortable with and increase gradually. If you start out too hard you might experience overtraining and injuries. Consult a doctor or physician if you experience injuries. Don’t forget to stretch out well after each session. Eating well and healthy will also help preparing your body for the upcoming adventure. The trips are not super hard, but you will enjoy it more when you have done your homework and taken training and preparation serious.

  • Rates, dates and booking

    RATES:

    The price is NOK 35.000. See below what is included and not. The price compares favourably with the international high-skill expedition agencies that operate in the same categories as we do.
    As you know, we very often have international groups. This we really like as it creates good ambiance, respect and of course make for even better and more varied stories in the evening. Due to this we have chosen to not include the airfare as people may come in from different directions.
    But we will of course advice you on what best to book. It also gives all those deciding early the best chance of getting a bargain :-)

    PRICE INCLUDES:

    • Transportation to and from the airport in Tanzania on scheduled dates / time
    • Hotel accommodations 1 night before and 1 after the mountain in double rooms
    • Transportation between the hotel and the mountain
    • The full trip with guides, cooks, porters, drivers, park fees, and climbing permits
    • All group - and camp - equipment
    • Tents assigned to two persons
    • All meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) during the climb
    • Purified water
    • Diary / blog at our homepage for those at home to follow
    • Norwegian guide(s)
    • Medical kit + oxygen
    • Extended communication platform

    PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:

    • International round-trip airfare to Arusha / Kilimanjaro Airport, Tanzania
    • Transport, and lodging / meals outside the regular itinerary
    • Tanzanian visas • International vaccines / vaccinations card
    • Personal travel and/Or medical insurance
    • Alcoholic beverages and bottled drinks
    • Airport taxes and excess baggage charges
    • Personal gear (see Packing List)
    • Single room supplement (hotels only)
    • Charges incurred as a result of delays outside our control
    • Tips and gratuities
    • A safari and/or other trip-extensions after/before the climb

    DATES:

    So far, we have scheduled 2 different dates. The plan was to have just a June trip in 2019. But we also mentioned that January could happen. We immediately got feedback that this was a must. So now the 2 trips go as seen below.
    We have set the trip so that we have a full moon on the summit night. The time around the full moon is always the best / safest / clearest time to hit the summit.
    So, see yourself at the summit then !

    DATES IN JANUARY:

    Tuesday 15th January: We all meat up in Kilimanjaro/Arusha Airport (JRO). We are basing our standard pick-up there on KLM flight KL0571 from Amsterdam that lands 20:15. But there at plenty of other flight arriving there.
    Wednesday 16th January: We start the trek
    Monday 21st  January: We plan to summit Uhuru Peak on Kilimanjaro
    Wednesday 23rd January: You either go home, or do a safari / the coast. We are basing our maindrive to the airport at KLM flight KL0569 at 21:45

    DATES IN JUNE:

    Tuesday 11th June: We all meat up in Kilimanjaro/Arusha Airport (JRO). We are basing our standard pick-up there on KLM flight KL0571 from Amsterdam that lands 20:15. But there at plenty of other flight arriving there.
    Wednesday 12th June: We start the trek
    Monday 17th June: We plan to summit Uhuru Peak on Kilimanjaro
    Wednesday 19th June: You either go home, or do a safari / the coast. We are basing our maindrive to the airport at KLM flight KL0569 at 21:45

    EXTRA DAY:
    As you see, the KLM flight arrives late in the afternoon. That is good for everyone who wants to save time. BUT it is great bliss to arrive a bit earlier, have time to calm down, shake off stress and enjoy being in Africa.
    If you like, we suggest you show up one day early, and spent the day most arrive strolling around, visit the market and just enjoy the feel of life under Kilimanjaro. You will not regret that.

    Booking - How to proceed

    1. If this is something for you, - send us the booking for your desired trip and your place is reserved. This will be kept for you until you have paid the deposit invoice. Then your place is guaranteed until the remaining amount is due.
    2. You will then receive our expedition-booklet that gives you more information about the trip, insurance, safety, personal training tips towards the trip, as well as info on the training (for more info, refer to the training and preparations menu)
    3. We will also supply you with the complete equipmentlist and work with you to ensure that you know what is needed and included from both your- and our side.
    4. Personal/medical information-form. By signing up on a trip, we need you to fill in a form for our records regarding health issues, your recent outdoor experiences- and background, passport if outside Norway- and insurance info as well as next-of-kin details.
    5. The invoice for the remaining amount will be sent to you about 3 months prior to departure (for some destinations the due-dates might be more than 90 days prior to departure. After full payment has been settled, you are on your way !
    Continue to booking | View terms and conditions
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Quick facts

Date: 11.06.2019
Duration: 7 days/6 nights + travel days
Price: 35.000 NOK
Sheduled for: 2019, 2020, 2021
Participants: Limited availability. Please inquire.
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