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A Women’s Approach to
the Roof of Africa
Trekking Mt. Kilimanjaro

June 23 – July 5, 2012
Safari extension: July 4 - 10, 2012

At 19,340 feet, an air of mystique surrounds the volcanic rock and ice of Kilimanjaro. For hikers and trekkers living on the other side of the globe, Africa’s greatest mountain might seem like something out of a dream. Yet each year, it draws those who want to do more than dream. No matter your age or skill level, join us as we take to Kilmanjaro’s foothills and rainforests and, step by step, make your dream a reality. Our route to the summit will be the Western Approach which allows you a strategically planned acclimation day at a luxurious and exclusive base camp. This approach will provide us with a daylight summit bid, a night inside Kilimanjaro’s impressive crater, and ample time to acclimatize will allow you the best chance at summit success and trekking enjoyment.

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Preliminary Itinerary
(please click on location to reveal details)


June 23 & 24: U.S./ KIA Lodge

Depart the U.S. on an overnight flight to Amsterdam with an evening arrival into Kilimanjaro Airport. Stay at a nearby lodge, resting and preparing for your adventure. Overnight: KIA Lodge

June 25: - Ndarakwai Ranch

After a climb briefing, transfer to your exclusive base camp, a permanent tented lodge on a sprawling private conservation area. With extraordinary views over open savannah, lush forests, and rolling hills, go for a short hike and enjoy viewing some of the 65 mammal species and 350 bird species that have been spotted on the ranch. It’s the perfect introduction to Tanzania, and it’s a great day to acclimatize before your climb. Overnight: Ndarakwai Ranch

June 26: - Forest Camp — 9,281 feet

After breakfast, transfer to Londorossi Gate (7,375 feet), and begin your trek through thick rainforest. Birdcalls reverberate through the dense forest canopy, and exotic plants like the impatiens kilimanjari and red hot poker add a vibrant splash of red to the lush green surroundings. Overnight: Forest Camp — 9,281 feet

June 27: - Shira 1 Camp— 11,499 feet

Leaving the forest behind, enter the alpine moorlands, thick with heather and vegetation draped in bearded lichen. Trek across the rocky Shira Plateau where you’ll get your first views from above the clouds. This will be a relatively non-strenuous day to acclimatize. Overnight: Shira 1 Camp— 11,499 feet

June 28: - Shira 2 Camp — 12,795 feet

Continue exploring the Shira plateau, one of the highest plateaus in the world, with remarkable views of Mount Meru and Mount Longido to the west. There won’t be much of an altitude gain today as you move up the mountain steadily and gradually, heeding your guides’ advice to go “pole, pole,” or slowly, slowly. Overnight: Shira 2 Camp — 12,795 feet

June 29: - Lava Tower Camp — 15,213 feet

Head higher up into alpine desert where vegetation thins out and colossal boulders dominate the lunar-like landscape. Arrive at Lava Tower, an awesome pillar of jagged volcanic rock, and scramble to its peak if you have the energy. Overnight: Lava Tower Camp — 15,213 feet

June 30: Karanga Camp— 13,231 feet

This morning, descend into the fairytale-like Barranco Valley with its bizarre groundsels, giant lobelias, and everlasting flowers. Scramble up the Barranco Wall and continue through undulating landscapes to your next camp. It’s a long day, but it’s easy to stay motivated in such remarkable surroundings. Overnight: Karanga Camp— 13,231 feet

July 1: Barafu Camp— 15,331 feet

Head deeper into the alpine desert of lichen-covered rock, arriving at the starkly beautiful Barafu camp which is set high on a ridgeline looking down towards Mawenzi Peak. The intensity of the trek increases from here to the summit. Overnight: Barafu Camp— 15,331 feet

July 2: Crater Camp— 18,802 feet

Trek up an imposing 3,000 feet in elevation today, closing in on the peak where the air is thin and the skies are endless. If you have energy left over, you can explore the ash pit and Furtwangler Glacier before heading to camp. Overnight: Crater Camp— 18,802 feet

July 3: Uhuru Peak - 19,340 feet

After breakfast, trek the last 600 triumphant feet to Uhuru Peak (19,340 feet), the highest point in Africa. Take in the majestic views and make sure to get your celebratory summit photo. This is the moment you have been dreaming of: After savoring your moment of success, begin the arduous descent to Mweka Camp, over 8,000 feet below. Overnight: Mweka Camp— 10,065 feet

July 4-5: Descend through the forest

Descend through the forest to the park gate and transfer to Arusha for some celebration, rest, and a shower!

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Safari extension: July 4 - 10, 2012

Upon completion of the trek, rest in an exclusive Arusha lodge. Then, head to Gibb’s Farm where you can indulge in some well-earned spa services.

Spend a day in Ngorongoro Crater enjoying some of the finest wildlife viewing in the world.

Follow it up with two nights in the exquisite Serengeti, a thriving eco-system that is home to the most impressive migration on earth. Enjoy Thomson’s exclusive Nyumba camp located in a prime location.

Return to Arusha on a scenic flight, and depart on the evening of July 9. Arrive home on July 10.
Overnights:Arusha Coffee Lodge, Gibb’s Farm & Thomson Serengeti Nyumba. Dayroom: KIA Lodge. Back to the top »

Cost and Program Inclusions

Trek Land only* . . . . .$5,990

Safari Extension** . . . . . $2,990
**Based on Double Occupancy for the safari.

Single supplement for safari . . . . . $ 690

Your Trek Includes:

  • Meals, as listed in the itinerary, accommodations based on double occupancy, and park fees
  • Safety equipment, including oxygen, NOLS approved first aid kits, stretcher, Gamow bag, radio communication, safety protocols, etc.
  • Thomson Professional Mountain Guides trained as Wilderness First Responders (WFR)
  • Guide to guest ratio of 1 to 3 to ensure personalized attention
  • Cooks trained in mountain cuisine
  • Porter to carry bulk of gear
  • Detailed trek and safari briefings throughout your trip
  • Complete preparation materials including helpful training tips, packing list, trip expectations, and much more
  • Land transportation in a specially customized 4WD Land Rover
  • Water is supplied on the trek, climbers are responsible for filtering water
  • Beer and wine included at welcome and farewell dinners
  • Airport transfers for group

Your Safari Includes:

  • Thomson Safaris Senior guide, with a minimum of 10 years experience (most have more!)
  • Accommodations, including world-class services of Gibb’s Farm and Thomson camp staff
  • Meals, as prepared by expert chefs
  • Comfortable wildlife viewing in specially equipped 4WD Land Rover Defenders, the ultimate safari vehicles, with popped top roofs and battery charging sockets - you are guaranteed a window seat
  • All conservation and park fees
  • Complimentary bottled drinking water
  • Internal flight from the Serengeti to Arusha
  • Baggage handling, transfers and internal flight
  • Complete pre-departure information, with pre-departure instructions, packing lists, health requirements, trip expectations, visa regulations, all of your flight details and information.

Rates Do Not Include:

International airfare and airport departure tax, unless flights are arranged by Thomson Safaris, our operator for this program; fuel surcharge; activities not included as part of the itinerary; trip insurance; gratuities for Kilimanjaro guides, porters, and cooking staff; gratuities for safari guides and camp staff; passport, visa, and immunization fees; meals not specified in the itinerary; personal items such as alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, laundry, telephone and fax calls, and excess baggage charges.

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Host Lecturer


Why Trek with Thomson?

You don’t need mountaineering or climbing experience to Summit Kilimanjaro Experience doesn’t hurt, but as long as you are reasonable fit and ready for a challenge, the summit should be well within your grasp. Upon booking, you will be assigned a personal Kilimanjaro consultant ready to help you prepare before your trip.

Our Experience
In the US, Kili veterans help you plan and prepare. In Tanzania, you trek with highly trained, licensed Kilimanjaro guides who each have 100-plus summits to their name.

Safety and Professionalism
Safety is the number one priority on every trek, every time. Internationally recognized NOLS Wilderness First Responder certification is required of every head guide, a full arsenal of safety equipment accompanies every trek and hygienic food preparation is required for every meal.

Excellent guides are the key to your success. Each full-time English speaking, licensed Kilimanjaro guide is certified as a Wilderness First responder and has extensive training in recognizing symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness. They have hundreds of successful summits to their credit and know the mountain like no one else. Oxygen, portable defibrillators (AEDs), two types of mobile communications, NOLS-approved First Aid kits, pulse oximeters, stretcher, hyperbaric chamber (Gamov bag), ice axe, mountain rope, and safety protocols are standard equipment on every trek.

Consistent Ownership Is Key
The owners of the US booking office own the trekking operations in Tanzania, so there’s no middleman, no sub-contracting. This provides you the ultimate in quality control, accountability and responsibility.

Gourmet Food & Exclusive Comforts
Thomson’s gourmet mountain cuisine, which was developed by a professional chef and nutritionist, is prepared with fresh ingredients. It is not only delicious but nutritionally substantive (homemade lasagna, hearty soups, fresh baked cookies, fresh produce), to help fuel you up the mountain. There is even the most basic creature comfort – a special toilet tent- to provide you privacy in a clean environment, thereby avoiding the oart outhouses. These portable flush toilets are not only comfortable, but eco-friendly.

Trust Thomson’s Reputation
Everest summiteers and mountain legends David Breashears and Jimmy Chin think Thomson is tops, and there are hundreds of happy Thomson trekkers who agree. Feel free to speak with some of our distinguished past guest

Leaders in Eco-Friendly and Ethical Efforts
Your success on the mountain would not be possible without the aid of reliable porters, the unsung heroes of Kilimanjaro. Thomson is the only company who makes sure each porter is provided with raingear. Porters receive the highest wages on the mountain, which are guaranteed even if a porter descends early due to illness or injury. There is a screening process at the beginning of each trek to make sure each porter is adequately prepared. We are proud supporters of the International Mountain Explorers Connection (IMEC), which promtes the ethical treatment of porters on Kilimanjaro and offeres free English classes, First Aid training and a gear lending program.

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