Seeking the snow at Kilimanjaro, January

  • 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.


  • 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 1

    Arrival Day. 

    Our office staff & your guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to Aishi Hotel in Machame for overnight.

    Day 2

    Full day relaxation at the hotel and some will visit Moshi town then back to the hotel for the climb briefing and equipment check

    Day 3 (or 1st day not including travel): Drive to Machame Gate at (1,490 m)-Machame Camp at (2,980 m)

    Hiking time: 6 to 7 hrs.

    Distance: About 18 km

    Vegetation type: Mountain forest

    After breakfast at your lodge in Moshi you will drive to Machame gate, approximately half an hour driving, past Chagga villages, banana and coffee plantation, here you will have a glimpse of the Tanzanian livelihood. At the gate some paperwork will be done as well as weighing and distribution of luggage to porters, you will then sign the official book by TANAPA before starting your climb.

    Start your first day of Kilimanjaro climbing Machame route 7 days by hiking for several meters on your way to the first camp, the walking will be on the well-established forest road with wet and humid climate. If rain forest characteristic is concerned you may expect rain, mud and sometime fog. Kilimanjaro bright red giant ferns and impatiens are some of the vegetation to be encountered along this road. Hot lunch will be saved on the way.

    After lunch and little rest, you will embark to your hiking walk through the jungle past gargantuan trees and ferns the path gets winding, narrower and steeper. One hour after, you will notice a bit of change in vegetation type and landscape that will be the moorland zone. Machame Camp is at an altitude of (3,010 m) and it can take you about 6 hours of climbing to get there.

    Porters are faster so when you get to the camp, they have already built your tents and will welcome you for coffee/tea and some bites then get water to wash & change the cloth you have been hiking with, get rest until dinner time. If the weather is good you may enjoy beautiful sunset and possibly see the first snow-capped peak of Kibo.   Overnight at Machame camp (3,010 masl) All meals included.

    Day 4: (or 2nd day) Machame Camp at (2,980 m) – Shira cave at (3,840 m)

    Hiking time: 5 to 6 hrs.

    Distance: About 9 km

    Vegetation type: Moorland

    Brief: The hike starts at the moorland zone. Reaching an altitude of 3,200 meters you will find large rock formations obstruct, gives only a path 50 cm wide. The reward of passing those rocks is the superb views over the Machame Camp & Machame village down there.

    This will be a short day on Machame route. Wake up with a first sparkling sun ray and start your day with a good breakfast. Glance at the summit of Kilimanjaro and enjoy an incredible view then start your trekking towards Shira Camp. At this stage the air is already much thinner lunch break will be held at an altitude of 3,400 meters. After lunch & some rest, start hiking to the most tough part of this day, the vegetation type is changing, and black lava sand is now dominating. The going is now up and down past small mountain streams and rocky walls to the deep gorges.

    The landscape will change again at the altitude of 3,700 meters. Shira cave is located at the middle of Shira plateau at an altitude of 3,845 meters.  Getting to the camp same procedure will apply get hot water to wash, coffee or tea with some bites; change the cloth you have been hiking with, get rest waiting for dinner. After dinner there will be briefing of the next day.

    Overnight at Shira camp at an alt. of (3,840 m). All meals included.

    Day 5: (or 3rd) Shira Camp at (3,840 m) – Lava Tower at (4630 m) – Barranco Camp at (3,950 m)

    Hiking time: 7 hrs.

    Distance: About 15 km

    Vegetation type: Semi-desert

    After breakfast, you will start your 3rd stage of Kilimanjaro climbing on Machame route  by hiking along a well passable route firstly, trek south of Shira /Lemosho route, the walk is over a black lava desert and past millions of rocks, some of these heavy rocks can remind you of cairns. The altitude goal for this day is to reach Lava tower which is at an altitude of (4630 m). Up there is very quiet hence, hearing your own heartbeat and the wind passing past your ears. During lunch break you can trailer the snowline above the Lava Tower; its temperatures are much closer to the freezing point. Afterward move on to Barranco camp at 3960 masl. This is the technique of climbing high and sleep low you will lower the altitude of 680 m.

    On the way down the trial runs laterally on the Mountain range over Kibo circuit. Gently the stone desert vanishes and on the way you find again the tropical giant cross herbs as well as heath and moorland. After almost 7 hours you will finally reach your destination. The western breach of Kibo, the great Barranco Wall and the window and southern glacier can be seen from Barranco Camp. Evening time the sun ensues wonderful play of colors. Reaching the camp, similar procedures will follow as per previous day.

    Overnight at Barranco Camp. All meals included.

    Day 6: (4th) Barranco Camp at (3,950 m) – Karanga Camp at (3,950 m)

    Hiking time: 4 to 5 hrs.

    Distance: About 5 km

    Vegetation type: Alpine desert

    Kilimanjaro climbing Machame route 7 days, the day of a great challenge, climbing Barranco Wall on Kilimanjaro. After breakfast, advisable early start to avoid traffic jam at the wall; you will possibly need 1 to 1.5 hours to climb the great Barranco Wall. See the barren and rocky plateau behind the wall which is attentively waiting for you. Enjoy the stunning view Kibo as well as the three southern glaciers.

    You will then continue walking on gravel and sand path through the rocky moors. Repeatedly, pass through streams, grasses and giant stones across herbs. Reach Karanga camp at an altitude of 4,250 meters after 2 or 3 hours. When climbing up, hill after hills the good view of other upcoming routes are clearly observed. Have lunch at the Camp and enjoy the rest of your day just resting as you have acclimatized enough. Arriving at the camp same procedures will follow just as much as previous day.

    Overnight at Karanga camp at an altitude of (3,960 m). All meals included.

    Day 7: (5th) Karanga Camp at (3,950 m) – Kossovo camp at (4,800 m)

    Hiking time: 4 to 5 hrs.

    Distance: About 6km

    Vegetation type: Alpine desert

    After breakfast depart Karanga Camp and proceed on a steep ridge up to Barranco wall and then through Karanga valley to the junction that joins Mweka trail. Then continue up to Barafu camp (4,600 m) then approximately one hour push the Kossovo camp.

    Kossovo camp is situated on the trail to Stella point so anyone staying hear already has an hour advantage on summit night on this day dinner will be served early to maximizing your rest time & the preparation of your summit attempt at night. Your guide will give you a detailed briefing on how to prepare for your last push to the summit tonight.

    Overnight at Kossovo Camp (4,800 m). All meals included.

    Day 8: (6th) Summit Day: Kossovo Camp at (4,800 m) – Uhuru Peak at (5,895 m) – Mweka Camp at (3,100 m)

    Hiking time: 8 hours to reach the summit, 7-8 hours down to Mweka Camp

    Distance: About 7 km ascent and 23 km descent

    Vegetation type: Stone scree and ice-capped summit

    You will spend a short night at this camp, wake up at midnight and if you like you can have some snacks and set off for your final part of ascending Kilimanjaro. “Pole, pole”, step by step the route leads sharply up and over rocks to reach the rim of the crater, takes you 4 to 5 hours and that is Stella point stands at an altitude of (5,740 m), from here you have only 150 meters left to reach the actual summit. The rays of a new day will accompany you towards Rebmann Glacier and further ahead to Hans Mayer point.

    You will then witness an amazing play of lights across the ice formation as the sunrise. Soon the summit sign of Kilimanjaro Mountain will appear, and you have made it via Machame route! Congratulations for reaching the highest point in Africa “The roof of Africa” at an altitude of (5,895 m) now your reward is the stunning view of the areas around the Mountain & for these hardships proudly, you can make some distinctive pictures on the summit of Kilimanjaro Mountain. Time to spend at the summit will be determined by how you feel & the weather.

    Take a short break before descending along the crater rim and down to Stella point and more down to Rebmann Glacier. Follow the same route of ascent down to Barafu Camp, at the camp you will have hot lunch & may be a little rest then you will continue further down to Mweka camp, enjoy the change of vegetation type on the way and reach your camp late afternoon, get hot water to wash, tea/coffee with some snacks, then change clothes you have been hiking with. Spend the rest of your day relaxing and gathering some strength for the next day.

    Overnight at Mweka Camp an alt. of (3,080 m). All meals include.

    Day 9: (7th, and last)Descend Mweka Camp at (3,100 m) – Mweka – Gate at (1,980 m) then to Kikuletwa hot spring

    Hiking time: 3 hrs.

    Distance: About 15 km

    Vegetation type: Forest

    After a very good breakfast you have 10 km to reach Mweka gate, a souvenir photo of the whole team can be nice before walking down to the gate. Walk through a well-established forest road and the second half of the way is mostly characterized by rain forest. At the get you will sign out & Kilimanjaro trekking certificates will be given to you guide who will fill some details. Whoever reached Stella point will be awarded green certificate & for Uhuru Peak the actual summit will be rewarded gold certificate (Big Diploma) for climbing Kilimanjaro Machame route 7 days.

    Soon after some paperwork the private bus will be waiting for you to transfer you to the most relaxing therapy of the Kikuletwa hot spring for barbecue lunch and swimming refreshment

    The Kikuletwa Hot Springs is certainly one of the most beautiful places in Tanzania - the hot springs is surrounded by fig and palm trees and winding roots - a real hidden paradise. The clear crystal, turquoise waters invite you for a refreshing swim. Although called a hot spring, water in Kikuletwa is not hot, but rather refreshing and warm, since the water source is from the Kilimanjaro Mountain itself.  There will be barbecue all the time around with the private chef serving all the time!!

    Dinner and overnight at Aishi Machame!

    Day 10: Relaxing at Aishi – Flight in the evening

    On this day will be the time to say Goodbye and shopping for those wishes! Later, transfer to the airport.



    Day 1. – Tarangire National Park

    This morning we meet you at the lodge in Moshi for short safari briefing if arrived late, then you will depart for Tarangire National park via Arusha city. Tarangire is the fifth largest National park in Tanzania located at the base of the Great East African Rift Valley made up of hills & low land dominated by acacia woodlands and hug baobab trees dwarfing some animal species that comes beneath it.

    Tarangire River which runs from north to south of the park and swamp on the south corner are the permanent source of water in the park saves as refugee’s camp for many animals during the dry season. Another major highlight of this park is the large population of elephants & the three rare species of Lesser & Great Kudu, Fringed Eared Oryx & the Ash Stalling. You may also expect to spot herds of buffalo, zebra, wildebeest, warthog, hippos, giraffe and a big number of baboons & monkeys. Predators like lion. leopard, cheetah, jackals & hyena are also inhabiting the park. For bird watchers this is the place over 400 bird species where recorded here which includes ostrich, herons, secretary bird & the rare species of Ash stalling. Later after the game drive you will be driving to the camping.

    Overnight at Heaven Nature Camp Site All meals included.

    Day 2. Tarangire – Serengeti National Park

    After breakfast departs for Serengeti National Park the drive is via the beautiful high lying farmland of Karatu all the way to Ngorongoro gate for check in. Then drive up to the Crater viewpoint where you can stop for some nice pictures before driving around the crater rim & down to the plains of Serengeti. After, drive up to Naabi Hills gate for registration. You may have your packed lunch here before starting your afternoon game drives in the vast Serengeti. You will be searching for Wildebeest Migration & the big cats, reach your camp during or before the sunset for dinner & overnight.

    Overnight at Seronera Nyani Public Campsites All meals included.

    Day 3. Serengeti – Ngorongoro Conservation Area

    On this day you will start early with breakfast box and lunch box, firstly you will be looking for cat family as they spend their morning time on the road avoiding the morning mist, then you will be heading to where the Wildebeest Migration is packed & spend much time with them. (This will depend on the time of the year & if they will be at Central Serengeti) but with or without the Migration of herds Serengeti is still the best just as much as always. Later in the afternoon start your way to Ngorongoro Conservation Area with en-route game drive, arriving during the sunset for overnight at Simba Public campsites.

    Overnight at Simba Campsites. All meals included.

    Day 4: Ngorongoro Crater – Arusha/Moshi

    As early as 6:30 you will descent 600 meters into the crater floor for game viewing. Ngorongoro Crater is referred by many as the 8th nature wonder of the world. Supported by yearly around water supply from the highlands & enough fodders, the crater supports a larger number of animals which include herds of wildebeest, buffalo, zebra, eland, topi, warthog, hippos, African elephant & the rare species of black rhino.

    The next draw card to this picturesque Crater is its dense population of predators which include lions, cheetahs, hyenas, jackals as well as the ever mysterious leopard which sometimes needs a binoculars eyes to spot. The shallow alkaline Lake on the Southwest corner of the crater is home to some flocks of flamingos and other aquatic birds. With a bit of luck, the ‘Big Five’ can be seen in one day of game drives, (picnic lunch will be served at the crater floor).

    Later afternoon drives out & back to Arusha via some Masai market or shopping centers if needed. If flying the same day (late flight KLM) then we will drop you at Kilimanjaro international airport (JRO. If staying in Arusha or Moshi (accommodation can be arranged upon request at extra cost).

    The price: 2,100 $ USD per client

    Items included:

    • Lodge safari according to the itinerary
    • All Transfers as per program (extra will be charged differently)
    • Professional, and local English-speaking guide
    • Overnight accommodation according to the itinerary for the whole days
    • Meals according to the itinerary
    • Mineral water
    • All mentioned activities
    • All national park fees
    • Flying Doctors insurance (AMREF) and (SAR) during the climb

    Items excluded:

    • Flights
    • Optional activities
    • Alcoholic and soft drinks
    • Visa fees
    • Tips
    • Personal spending money for souvenirs etc.
    • Travel insurance


  • 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...


    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.



    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 local guides, 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!




  • Training and preparing

    Dear Explorer

    Congratulations on choosing one of the real classics of the World. This is one of the most iconic of mountains and it does absolutely deliver for those aiming for the summit. In a few days you actually go through all climate zones of the globe as the mountain rises from the dry plains of Africa. The first part is dense rain forest with fascinating animals and plants – if you are lucky. Then the forest thins out, trees turn into bushes and slowly we are into a vulcanic moon landscape. Some rivers from the glaciers at the top give some valleys a unique and high altitude flora. The last bit is almost arctic with the famous glaciers that has made the mountain so famous – not least by Hemmingway’s classic novel ‘The Snow at Kilimanjaro’

    For you, a visit here means an extraordinary trek. Following the Machame route, it takes us from the gate at the border of the National Park at 1.640m to the Uhuru Summit on the creator rim at 5.895 – a good 4.255 vertical meters. But as we cross quite a few valleys you can add on quite a few vertical meters :-)

    What this means for us, is that we should hit the mountain well prepared.

    But before you get the shivers and get anxious, – you do not need to be a top trained athlete. This trip is about much more that sheer brute force. So, read on and enjoy the preparations:

    As you understand, this is a climb that is actually a trek. So, what we want to focus on as we gear up, is walking, walking and then some more walking...

    Get used to walking. Bring a small backpack. On top of that you should get yourself a pair of walking poles and light but firm shoes.

    Training equipment:

    Shoes      Sneakers, but preferably not ultra-low, light, with good stability. These you can use for much of the trip too.

    Backpack 40-50 litre, good fit, light. Fill it with a few kilos to start with and end up at some 10kg before you leave.

    Poles       Walking sticks is highly preferable. They are not only good for your knees downhill, but when you walk with them you automatically straighten up which opens your lungs and enhances breathing. It is also a great help in using the whole body and not strain the big thigh muscles that ‘eat’ oxygen when used hard.

    The poles should be to a height between your hips and armpits so that your elbow is ca 90°. If you buy telescope pole you can adjust them – and if they are 3-piece they are easy to bring.

    Water bottle          We drink often, and we drink a lot on the mountain. Always bring a bottle when training and get used to drink a bit every 15-30 minutes

    Snack      Yes, snack! In altitude it is not good to either be too hungry nor too filled up. If you are over-filled, too much blood will be occupied in you stomach while it is needed other places in your walking body. Likewise, if your blood sugar level drops it is not good either. Not for your spirit, nor for your stamina.

    SO! Nibble away while walking / training home. Juts some nuts and small goodies that you take in while drinking regularly.

    But the main thing is walking. The nice thing is that a lot of the walking can be done at a pace where you can chat to someone else. But as we are going into higher altitude you should from time to time push hard to get your pulse and breathing maxed. There will be times the last night when you understand why :-)

    Another thing is that we will walk a lot of uphill. So, if you have some good hills around you, make them your own. A downhill slope is great as well

    Here you can alternatively either push hard or try to walk slow enough to keep your pulse normal (or easy to chat). This will give you a good idea of how to walk slowly.

    And while you are at it. Try to find out how to walk without any effort. – You will probably find that small steps, zig-zag walking, use the body harmoniously and balanced is the way to go. Big men with long steps and high knees-lifts going straight on up is a sign of someone you will not see on the summit push.

    How much should you walk / train? Well, how long is a fish?

    While you do not need to be a professional athlete, the better shape you are in, the better you will fare. We will all feel ups and downs on the trip, and if you feel down for a day or so but are in good shape the better chances you will have of picking yourself up again the next day...

    We like to say that walking 2-3 hours during the week and at least one long, full day trek during the weekend is a minimum.

    It is time to take those 10.000 steps a day seriously…

    Since we at Ousland Explorers are born out of polar trips we can’t resist a final piece of advice: Pull a tire! That is the greatest training – and walking will feel like flying afterwards :-))) Suggest to read this article by Borge: Related article: The fine art of pulling rubber tyres

    Can’t wait to see you there – and don’t hesitate to call and ask us for further advise!


  • Rates, dates and booking


    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 :-)


    • 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


    • 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


    Saturday, maybe 20th January, TBD : We all meet 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.
    Sunday : We start the trek
    Friday : We plan to summit Uhuru Peak on Kilimanjaro
    Sunday : 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

    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 !

    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
  • DN Aktivklubb

Quick facts

Date: 20.01.2021
Duration: 7 days/6 nights + travel days. DATES NOT CONFIRMED YET
Price: 35.000 NOK
Sheduled for: 2021, 2022
Participants: Limited availability. Please inquire.
Book this trip