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AWC Kilimanjaro Challenge 2020

A remote and scenic route to the summit of Africa's highest mountain to raise funds and awareness for Australian Wildlife Conservancy

Challenge Highlights

  • Summit Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain
  • Enjoy sunrise over Mawenzi before pushing to the summit of Uhuru Peak (5895m)
  • Raise funds and awareness for the Australian Wildlife Conserancy
  • Trek to the summit of Shira Cathedral
  • Walk through giant heather to reach the rim of Shira Plateau
  • The option to walk to the summit of the Lent Hills (4700m)
  • Experience the city of Moshi, our 'base camp' to Kilimanjaro


Summitting Africa's highest mountain Mt Kilimanjaro (5895m), fondly known as Kili, by the remote Shira Route is an exhilarating option for walkers keen to explore less trodden trails and who are comfortable in variable mountain conditions. From the forest and moorland to the caldera of Shira volcano, we explore the fascinating rock formations on the Shira plateau before traversing beneath the southern ice fields of Kibo. We enjoy stunning early morning views of Kibo and our day spent in the rarely visited Lent Hills will be a highlight before we join the main route to the summit of Uhuru Peak (5895m) on the crater rim. The eight day itinerary gives maximum possible acclimatisation and flexibility to enjoy the magnificent mountain scenery that extends from the volcanic summit to the vast African plains.

Challenge Grade

As with all our Moderate to Challenging programs, we expect clients to be regular outdoors people, enjoying aerobic sport around three to four times a week over some period of time. Preferably this has been a long term interest but if not, you have set a program of fitness preparation with at least three months lead in time to your trip. The fitter you are for your trip, the more of a holiday it will be. Activities as close to the actual activity on your trip are the best training; in this instance hill walking, with and without a daypack. This builds leg strength, aerobic capacity and confidence in your ability to travel comfortably with a pack for extended periods. At the same time, you are also comfortable with the layers you like to wear and footwear.

Whilst this ascent of Kilimanjaro is not a technical climb, it is nevertheless a short and steep trek at altitude, and for many people it will be the hardest physical walk of their life. In order to get the most out of the trip, people should join in Arusha with a maximum state of fitness. There is not time to ‘get fit on the trek’ as with some of our other longer trekker programs elsewhere.

Come and talk to us if you are unsure about your suitability for the Shira route; we would be happy to discuss your level of experience and fitness with you and put you in touch with one of our guides to help you make your decision.


After all the fundraising and preparation, the wait is finally over! On arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) you will be met and transferred to the Sal Salinero Hotel Moshi where the rest of the day is at leisure. At 4pm this evening meet the rest of the group and your guide for a trip briefing at the hotel. Overnight Sal Salinero Hotel.

Meals:  D

After completing the necessary registration formalities at Londorossi National Park gate, we drive a short distance on a steep track through farmland and plantations (2800m), and continue climbing steadily on foot through shrub forest and giant heather to reach the rim of Shira Plateau (3350m). The views across the surrounding plains open out as we climb to our first camp in the centre of the plateau at "Shira One" (3550m)

Meals:  B,L,D

We have an easy day to help acclimatisation and to explore the grassy moorland and the volcanic rock formations of the plateau. We walk to the summit of Shira Cathedral (3750m), a huge buttress of rock surrounded by steep spires and pinnacles. There is a tangible sense of wilderness especially when the afternoon mists come in! The views from our camp near Shira Hut (3840m) of Mt Meru floating on the clouds are simply unforgettable.

Meals:  B,L,D

We explore beneath the Northern Ice fields, an area almost totally unvisited by tourists and with unusual views of Kibo. The morning walk is a steady climb away from the moorland of Shira Plateau to reach the broad upland desert beneath the Lent Hills. After lunch in our camp close to Moir Hut (4200m), there is the option of a more strenuous afternoon walk to reach the summit of the Lent Hills (4700m) or enjoy our peaceful campsite. We are privileged as few visitors get to this remote corner of Kilimanjaro.

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we enjoy a gentle ascent and panoramic views, walking on lava ridges beneath the glaciers of the Western Breach. After lunch at our Lava Tower campsite (4,550 m), there is a steep and spectacular afternoon walk on the rocky lower slopes of the Western Breach to reach the ruins of the old hut at Arrow Glacier (4,800 m). This afternoon excursion is highly recommended both for acclimatisation purposes and for the superb views of hanging glaciers on both sides of the Breach.

Meals:  B,L,D

A steep descent into the bottom of the Great Barranco valley (3900m), sheltered by towering cliffs and with extensive views of the plains far below. A short climb up the famed Barranco Wall leads us to an undulating trail on the south-eastern flank of Kibo, with superb vistas of the Southern Ice fields. The terrain is volcanic scree, with pockets of lush vegetation in sheltered hollows, with a powerful sense of mountain wilderness. Our next camp is at Karanga (4000m), the last water point on the approach to Barafu. There is plenty of time to rest, or for an acclimatisation walk in the afternoon up the valley above the camp towards the glaciers of the Southern Ice fields.

Meals:  B,L,D

A short but steep climb out of Karanga valley, following an easy path on compacted scree that gains altitude unrelentingly to reach the Barafu campsite (4600m) for lunch. During the afternoon, other walkers will begin to fill the campsite for the first time in our trip. There is a short acclimatisation walk to the plateau at the bottom of the South-East valley (4,800 m.). The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent before a very early night.

Meals:  B,L,D

We will start our ascent by torchlight at midnight so that we can be up on the Crater rim for sunrise. The steep climb over loose volcanic scree has some well-graded zig-zags and a slow but steady pace will take us to Stella Point (5,735 m), in about five or six hours. We will rest there for a short time to enjoy the sunrise over Mawenzi. Those who are still feeling strong can make the two hour round trip from here along the crater rim to Uhuru Peak (5,895 m), passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. The descent to Barafu is surprisingly fast, and after some refreshment, we continue to descent to reach our final campsite (3,800 m) Millenium.

Meals:  B,L,D

We have a sustained descent on a well constructed path through lovely tropical forests alive with birdsong and boasting lush undergrowth with considerable botanical interest. Our route winds down to the National Park gate at Mweka (1650m) and on through coffee and banana farms to Mweka village. We are met by our vehicle and transferred to the Sal Salinero Hotel in Moshi for a well earned shower and celebratory dinner.

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport where arrangements conclude.

Meals:  B

What's Included

  • 9 breakfasts, 8 lunches and 9 dinners
  • 2 nights in a 3-star hotel in Moshi on a twinshare basis
  • 7 nights fully supported camping on a twinshare tent basis
  • Group camping equipment including tent (sleeping bag and mat not included - can be hired locally)
  • Experienced local mountain guides, cook and camp crew
  • Porters to carry personal and group equipment
  • Park entrance fees valued at over US$1000
  • Emergency oxygen
  • Group airport arrival and departure transfers in Moshi

What's Not Included

  • International or domestic flights
  • Sleeping bags and mats
  • Aerated and alcoholic drinks.
  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry, etc
  • Tips
  • Airport and departure taxes
  • Visa
  • Travel Insurance

What You Carry

  • In your daypack you will need to carry extra warm clothing (depending on the altitude, location and weather), a rainjacket, water bottle, camera gear, valuables and personal items such as sunscreen, lip-eze etc.

Fundraising Impact

Step 1: Choose to join the AWC Kilimanjaro Challenge 2020.

Step 2: Complete the registration form and pay the registration fee. You can register online 24 hours around the clock or you can download the registration form online and post, email or fax the completed form to us.

Step 3: Charity authorisation - once we have received your registration form we will contact AWC to seek authorisation for you to fundraise on their behalf. Following this the charity will contact you with your permission to fundraise, the minimum fundraising target and most likely directions for you to create an online fundraising page. Your registration will not progress further until the charity officially gives their authorization.

Step 4: Receive your Confirmation Kit - once you are booked on the Kilimanjaro Challenge we’ll send you a Confirmation Kit containing:

• Welcome Letter

• Fundraiser’s Guidebook

• Responsible Travel Guidebook

• Trip Pre-Departure Information

• Medical Form (if applicable)

• Travel Insurance document

• Travel Invoice

Step 5: Start Fundraising - now here comes some of the challenge as you set about fundraising for your charity. The Fundraiser’s Guidebook we provide you with will assist you greatly in settling fundraising objectives and determining your fundraising activities. Your charity may have aligned with one of the many online fundraising portals in which case you can set up your personal fundraising page and link to your charity. It’s then a matter of getting your friends, family, colleagues and greater network to support you by pledging donations.

Step 6: Start Training - depending on the type of challenge you have chosen, it may be graded introductory through to challenging, you will need to set yourself a fitness program to ensure you're physically ready for the challenge component of your travel. Take a look at our website where we provide definitions for all levels of grading as well as provide some tips for ‘getting fit’ and some suggestions on the gear you’ll require.

Step 7: Take the Challenge - once the fundraising is done it is time to set off on your Kilimanjaro Challenge ... good luck and enjoy the experience with the knowledge that you have made a much needed contribution to AWC.


Climbing Safely On Kilimanjaro - What To Look For

Fast Facts

Trip Dates: DepartReturn
Duration:10 Days
Activities:Charity Challenge
Grade:Moderate to Challenging  Click for more information
Trip Code:AWK