19th  to  29th July 2012 | Tanzania, United Republic of

Trek to the Roof of Africa, Kilimanjaro 2012

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This challenge is generously supported by DHL Express


Trek to the Roof of Africa

Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Group 1: July 5 - 14, 2012

Group 2: July 19 - 29, 2012


Trek – 6 days – 5,892m

This was  G4G's 39th challenge.

Up to 25 people joined us for our return to 'Kili' (as she is affectionately known) for the sixth time in 11 years for one of our most popular trekking adventures.   Taking the Marangu route on the eastern side of the mountains, we trekked through dramatically varying terrains including rain forests, meadows, moorlands and 'The Saddle' - a high altitude, 5km wide desert.   The journey steadily took us  to the renowned Gilman's Point (5,681m) and the glaciated summit at Uhuru Peak (5,895m).   Two acclimatization days are included.

Level: This was a DEMANDING test of our fitness, but achievable by anyone in good health, willing to train for a minimum of 3 months to build fitness and stamina.    Mount Kilimanjaro is not a technical climb, but there were plenty of challenging sections and trekking at high altitude is tough.   G4G runned a number of free training sessions before the challenge

Number of participants:
max 25 in each group

Registration Fee: AED 2,200/- (US$ 600)

Minimum Sponsorship: AED 19,000/- (US$ 5,177)

(USD 1 = AED 3.67)

Assistance provided in advance by G4G: Sponsorship ideas; training & fitness suggestions; safety & medical advice; clothing & equipment advice

What G4G provided on the Challenge: Flights and transfers, hotels/huts (on a double-occupancy basis or 6-per-hut), food, guides, medical & vehicle back-up

Essential to leave behind:
Day-to-day problems

Essential to bring: Determination & a sense of humour!

Closing date: Closed

Trek to the Roof of Africa 2012

Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

July 5 - 14, 2012 (Group 1) and July 19 - 29 2012 (Group 2)

High altitude trek


Flight times and carriers are subject to availability at the time. Gulf For Good reserves the right to make changes to the proposed itinerary at any time.


July 5 and July 19, Thursday

Depart Dubai to Kilimanjaro at 17:50


Day 1: July 6 and July 20, Friday 

Arrived Kilimanjaro. Transferred to Marangu and check-in to the hotel.


Overnight in Marangu Hotel 



Day 2: July 7 and July 21, Saturday 

In the morning, we visited the Charity in Moshi where we were met by representatives of the Charity.

In the afternoon we went by coach transfer to a spot near Kilaremo for a short walk to some lovely waterfalls, as well as a quick stop in the local market.

In the evening, we did a final kit check and pre-trek briefing.

Overnight in Marangu Hotel


Day 3: July 8 and July 22, Sunday 

Trekking: Marangu to Mandara Hut (2,740m) 4 hours

The first day’s climb is relatively easy and passes through rain forest to reach Mandara Hut.  We had a great chance to enjoy the verdant scenery, abundant bird life and monkeys that inhabit the forest.

We had lunch along the way before reaching the hut, where there was some time to relax and explore before dinner.

Overnight at Mandara Hut


Day 4: July 9 and July 23, Monday 

Trekking: Mandara to Horombo Hut (3,800m) 6-7 hours

After breakfast, we trekked for about half an hour before emerging from the rain forest into Alpine meadow.  The rest of the trek today was beautiful, with splendid views and spectacular vegetation.

Overnight in Horombo Hut  


Day 5: July 10 and July 24, Tuesday 

Horombo Hut (Rest/acclimatization day at 3,800m)

There was a gentle trek to the Zebra rocks.

Overnight at Horombo Hut


Day 6: July 11 and July 25, Wednesday 

Trekking: Horombo to Kibo Hut (4,700m) - 6 hours

After breakfast, we began the climb to the Kibo Hut.   The route crosses the saddle between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi abd then onto the high altitude desert, before reaching the hut.   Tonight, we had an early dinner!

Overnight at Kibo Hut


Day 7: July 12 and July 26, Thursday

Trekking: Kibo Hut to Summit (5,892m), descent to Horombo Hut – 12 hours

Rising at 1:00am, we started the ascent to attempt the summit.

We reached the rim of the crater at Gilman’s Point after a steep 6 hour climb up a loose scree slope.   From here, those of us who still had the energy to spare (!) continued on around the snow-covered rim to the highest point, Uhuru Peak, taking around an extra 2 hours in total.

All climbers descended past Kibo hut to the Horombo Hut for a well-earned overnight rest.

Overnight at Horombo Hut


Day 8: July 13 and July 27, Friday

Trekking: Horombo Hut to Park Gate

Today, we completed the descent to the Marangu Gate via the Mandara hut.   We then were transported to the hotel for a celebratory dinner.

Overnight at the Marangu Hotel


Day 9: July 14, Saturday and July 28, Saturday (departure was during the early hours July 29, Sunday for Group 2)

The group departed from Kilimanjaro for their flights to Dubai.



Temperature during the Kilimanjaro trek can range from a humid 26°C during the first day to -18°C on the summit day. Temperatures can drop to -20°C or more in the early hours approaching the crater rim.   Daytime temperature during the climb is usually between 15°C to 20°C but at higher altitudes, you need to be prepared for freezing conditions.   It can be cloudy and even rain at any time of the year.


The most important and simple thing you can do to prevent illness is to be properly immunized.   Our medical adviser recommends that you should be immunized against Hepatitis A and B; Typhoid; Tetanus; Diphteria; and Polio.   For precautions against Malaria, a short stay prophylaxis of Doxycycline (100mg daily) or Lariam (250 mg weekly) is recommended.   Some people may be troubled by altitude sickness.   The risk of this can be significantly reduced by taking Diamox 250mg twice daily starting a day before arriving at altitude and continuing for two days after (Please consult your Physician for all medical advise and information).

In Dubai, these are available at the Travel Clinic at Al Mankhool Health Center in Bur Dubai: 04 502 1200 (walk in clinic open Sunday – Thursday from 7:30am – 2:00pm.  CASH ONLY) Clinic Medicentres International in Motor City:  04-360-8866 & Prime Medical Center - 04-349-4545.

Dr. Kersten Elliot, a chiropodist/podiatrist from Dubai Physiotherapy and Family medicine Clinic, 04 349 6333, is happy to provide a 50% discount on consultation fees – please take your G4G Registration Cover Letter as proof that you are a registered challenger.

Once there, several more precautions can be taken.   Use of good mosquito repellents and proper hygiene should be practiced, such as regular hand washing and the use of hand cleaning gel prior to eating in order to prevent passage of viruses and germs.   Follow food and drink guidelines. As always, seek medical care if you feel sick.

The trek is described as DEMANDING and reaches altitudes of over 19,000 feet.   You need to be fit and healthy to participate.   It is essential to walk slowly and drink a lot of water throughout your trek. 


You will be walking for several hours per day, sometimes up steep inclines, so it is important that you start a training programme at least three months prior to the Challenge.   Most gyms will be happy to assist you in achieving your fitness (and some may even help you fundraise!)  The challenge is described as a moderate-high intensity test of all round fitness.   You need to be fit and healthy to participate.

Visa information

Check if your passport is valid for at least 6 months prior to travel.   You should also have a couple of clean pages (no stamps!) left in the passport.   You will need two visas, one for

Kenya and one for Tanzania.   Please submit a copy of each visa to Gulf for Good.


The cost of the visa varies depending on the nationality.   It is advisable to obtain your Kenyan Visa before traveling, but bear in mind it is only valid for travel within 3 months of your application.   This is issued on the same day at Kenyan Airways Office, Dubai or at the Embassy of the Republic of Kenya, Abu Dhabi.    For more information please visit http://www.kenyaembassy.ae

You will need to take the following with you to apply:

  1. Completed Application Form
  2. Payment in Cash
  3. Original Passport
  4. One passport photocopy
  5. One passport photograph


It is advisable to obtain the visa in advance.   It is issued on the same day at the Tanzanian Embassy in Abu Dhabi and after 3 working days at the Tanzanian Consulate in Dubai.   The visa is only valid for travel within two months of application.   For more information visit http://www.tanzania-uae.org.ae/

You will need:

  1. Completed Application Form
  2. Payment in Cash
  3. Original Passport
  4. One passport photocopy
  5. Two passport photographs

Travel & Medical Insurance

G4G can arrange travel and medical insurance for all participants.   You will be required to pay your insurance premium in addition to your sponsorship target.    Further details about the premium, type of cover, insurance terms and conditions, etc. are available on request.  (Aed 20 per day)  If you are a resident of UAE and have your own Insurance cover, please ensure that you are covered for activities such as trekking high altitudes in Kenya and Tanzania and provide us with a copy of the policy.


A comprehensive sponsorship booklet is included in your challenge pack.  There are many different sorts of activities you could consider to help build support for your challenge amongst family, friends and colleagues.  Seeking sponsorship in this way increases your profile, creates more goodwill and raises awareness of the work of the nominated charities.  The G4G office can give you names of previous challengers who will be happy to offer advice and maybe even assistance. Be aware that there are rules and regulations controlling public fundraising in the UAE – if you have any questions, contact our office.


We take your safety very seriously.   It is our first and never forgotten priority.   Please listen to your guides and follow their instructions. 

Respect for the Environment

We maintain a firm commitment to conserve the areas we work in and ask you to do the same.   Take only photographs and leave behind only tyre/footprints!

 What We Supply

Return flights from Dubai, daily meals, water and accommodation.    All your gear will be transported each day to the night stop, except daily necessities carried in your own daypack

A Typical Day

You will receive a full pre-trek briefing.   A normal day on the trek would start at 7.00AM with the delivery of a bowl of hot water for washing, to each hut.   Breakfast is served in the dining hut and you should have packed up and be ready to leave by 8.00AM.   The average walk per day varies from one hut to another but is usually 4 to 7 hours apart from the 11 to 12 hours trek to the summit and back down to Horombo Hut on Day 7.   A picnic lunch is served each day along the route.   There is time to relax, socialize, play games or explore the area before dinner.   Washing facilities are limited but there are ablution blocks at each hut (though no water at Kibo).

Special dietary requirements can be catered for with prior notice.   Bottled water is available throughout the day from porters/guides.

Mental   Preparation
It is well within you to complete this challenge.   Remain in a positive state of mind, without being overly confident. This mental stamina will make the more difficult parts easier to complete.   Always focus on your goal and do not get involved in inconsequential matters that will rob you of your concentration.   Being physically prepared assists a great deal in being mentally confident for the physical part of the challenge, so train hard!

Miscellaneous Information

East Africa is 1 hour behind the UAE.

Local Currency: Tanzania shilling (TZS)

Take US$, Sterling Pounds or Euros in cash to change.

1 TZS = 0.000638268 USD

1 USD = 1,566.74 TZS

1 TZS = 0.000444589 EURO

1EUR = 2,249.27 TZS

1 AED = 426.738 TZS

1 TZS = 0.00234336 AED

 For reference:

1 can of coke = 0.30$, or 500-1,000 TZS (depending on shop)

A good reference book is the Tanzania edition of the Lonely Planet publications, available in Dubai from Magrudy's, Borders, Books Plus and Book Corner.

Electricity in Tanzania is 230 Volts, alternating at 50 cycles per second.   Outlets in Tanzania are generally British style plugs with 2 flat blades and 1 flat grounding blade.   However, some may be the plug D type and an adaptor will be required.



We have researched several well run, professionally managed charities in Tanzania to benefit from the funds raised through this challenge.

We have been in discussion with Amani Children's Home, which we previously supported through the "Kilimanjaro Challenge" in 2008.   We have approved a proposal for a 'drop-in center' for kids making the transition from the street to an Amani orphanage.  

The drop-in centre will reach out to approximately 80-100 children and youth per year, ages 8-17.  It will offer recreational activities, the possibility to sleep/relax during the day (8am to 8pm) for about 12-15 children at any point of time, facilities to bathe, and 24/7 short-stay options (as a bridge between living on the street and moving into Amani Children's Home) for 8 children/youth at any point of time (40-50 per year). The Amani psychosocial counselor will also be at the centre several times per week, to speak to individual children, as well as to run group-based Life Skills sessions.

For more details on Amani Children's Home, please click here

You can rest assured that Gulf for Good do not just hand out money to the charities we support!   We request detailed proposals for capital projects - hospital wards, orphanage buildings, classrooms, fresh water facilities, medical equipment, etc.   We have a system whereby we check these proposals with the assistance of an independent third party in the charity's country.   Once approved and the funds raised, we will usually pay 50% up front to allow the project to start, the rest only being paid against invoices.

Please go to our Charity pages to see the range and breadth of charity projects we have supported in the past.

Personal Equipment

Travel light!  Do limit the weight of your luggage on the trail to less than 15 Kgs and less than 20 Kgs overall.   Bags should be soft sided with no hard corners and are to be clearly marked and lockable.    G4G duffle bags are available for a price of Aed 100 per bag.   Do not take or wear any valuables on the trip, it is best to leave them at home.   The key to staying comfortable while climbing is layering.   To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation.   This kit list is provided to help you choose your equipment and clothing for this trip.

Please refer to the Kit List below.   All the items required for the trip can be purchased from major sports shops & camping suppliers in U.A.E.

How to Pack:
Your clothes and equipment should fall into two following categories:

  1. What you are going to wear and need on the tour.   This should fit into a single bag and will be transported each day from site to site. The bag the porter carries for you should not exceed 15kgs/33lbs.   If bags are too heavy, items may have to be removed or the climber may choose to hire an additional porter
  2. What you are going to carry in your daypack.

Carry an extra T-shirt in your daypack.   When you stop trekking you may feel cold after sweating and need to change your shirt or add a layer to prevent chills.

Most of your clothing that you are not actually wearing will be carried by your porter.   Although a guide will always accompany you on the trail, you are unlikely to see your porter except at the huts or the camps.   Therefore it is important you pack carefully the smaller Day Pack you carry yourself.   Anything you need during the course of the day should be in your Day Pack, including, most importantly something warm and something waterproof.

Taking pictures with a fully automatic camera at altitude is perfectly possible, but always have a new battery in your camera when going into cold areas.   A mechanical camera works just as well, provided you have the knowledge to operate it successfully.   Cameras exposed to cold do not cease functioning, but if you keep it inside your jacket and the lens is warm, it will likely form condensation when suddenly exposed to cold.   This condensation will freeze under certain conditions.    Therefore, keep your cameras dry at all times.

There are numerous classic photo opportunities.   It is recommended that serious photographers take a small portable tripod, as it could be cold enough that you cannot keep the camera steady.

Mental  Preparation
It is well within you to complete this challenge.   Remain in a positive state of mind, without being overly confident. This mental stamina will make the more difficult parts easier to complete.   Always focus on your goal and do not get involved in inconsequential matters that will rob you of your concentration.   Being physically prepared assists a great deal in being mentally confident for the physical part of the Challenge.

A good attitude and a sense of humor!


Base Layer:

  • 1 Pair Medium Thermal Underwear leggings (long) - Avoid Cotton
  • 1 Pair Medium Thermal Underwear top (long) - Avoid Cotton
  • 4 pairs wicking sock liners. Cotton to be avoided
  • Regular underwear - wicking material

Thermal Layer:

  • Fleece jacket or equivalent – full zip is best for temperature regulation
  • Fleece pants or equivalent
  • 1 pair light, mid-weight thermal gloves
  • 3 pairs heavy/thermal hiking socks – worn over sock liners
  • Quick Dry shirts
  • Down jacket
  • Fleece scarf or equivalent
  • Fleece hat or equivalent
  • Optional, but recommended – synthetic-filled vest, ear muff

Outer Shell:

  • Long length waterproof, windproof, breathable jacket  (eg Gore-tex or equivalent). Must be big enough to go over all the other layers
  • Trousers waterproof, windproof, breathable (eg: Gore-tex)
  • Poncho or rain jacket
  • NOTE: The above layers work much better than a single huge parka!

 Additional Gear:

  • Sleeping bag rated to at least -5C, preferably -15C
  • 25 - 35 litre day pack, with padded shoulder and hip straps and a couple of outside pockets
  • Medium weight hiking boots (Gore-tex recommended or treated leather boots or equivalent) with new laces
  • Running-type shoes
  • Sandals/flip flops – easy for quick trips while camping!
  • Tracksuit trousers (with zip-off legs if you can find them!)
  • 2 pairs warm trousers
  • 2-3 pairs Trekking trousers with zip-off legs
  • Trekking shirts/t-shirts: short-sleeved; at least one long-sleeved lightweight; and at least one long-sleeved warm
  • 2 sets travelling gear (trousers, shirt, shoes, socks, underwear)
  • Wide-brimmed hat for sun and rain
  • Trekking poles
  • Sunglasses (and extra prescription lenses or contacts)
  • Protective glasses - clear for contact lens wearers in dusty, cold conditions
  • Sunscreen SPF 30+
  • Lip Balm with sunscreen
  • Water bottles (insulated) and hydration bladder : 3 litre combined capacity
  • Quick Dry Towel – medium size
  • Wash Cloth & Toilet Paper
  • Buff or Bandana
  • 1 Headlamp with extra bulb & batteries
  • Camera with extra film, batteries & lenses
  • Trail snacks – energy/granola bars, bars, nuts, toffees, etc
  • Packs of energy powder mix for drinking
  • Neck pouch and/or Money belt to carry money, permits and passport photocopies while traveling
  • Travel documents, including copy of passport
  • 4 extra passport-sized pictures for visas and permits (just in case!)
  • Cash currency (US$ and local currency)
  • Swiss Army Knife with scissors and tweezers
  • Personal toiletries and medication
  • Plastic bags for packing & zip-lock bags – assorted sizes are very useful for storing and keeping dry all sorts of things!
  • Mini first aid kit (main kit carried by group medic)
  • Wet Wipes and anti-bacterial hand wash (for use when water and soap are not available


Light clothing is generally sufficient until you reach the 3-4000 Metre / 12-14,000 Feet altitude range provided you always have something warm and waterproof right with you.   Beyond these altitudes, even if the mornings are glorious, you must always be ready for dramatic changes in the weather including snowstorms.   You must have clothing with you appropriate to the conditions.

It is for the final ascent that all your warm clothing is important.   The ascents are normally done at night and this is when the coldest temperatures are experienced.   You must be prepared for temps of –25° c/-13° f.   As a rule you should wear 2 pairs of socks, 3 layers on the legs, 4-5 layers on top.   As Balaclava or Ski mask is necessary to keep the head warm and you should have a hood to protect your head from wind along with mittens and dark glasses.