Kilimanjaro Adventure !

posted Jan 3, 2011, 6:56 PM by Dennis Strain   [ updated Sep 14, 2014, 11:55 PM by Jim Senka ]


For fall 2014, Len Vanderstar (, in association with Adventure Africa Expedition (, have assembled a Mount Kilimanjaro trek/ascent and Safari package, including an optional volunteer stay in Migwani, assisting staff and support personnel in program delivery at the Children’s Special Needs Unit. The Children’s Dormitory Project was developed locally to provide orphans and handicapped children with care and education that they would not receive otherwise.

This is an excellent package deal offered for the fifth year in a row, and is competitively priced, providing all the necessary services to the best standards expected by foreign visitors to Africa seeking on-the-ground adventure. In addition, approximately 10% of the trip price goes directly to support the Migwani Initiative through Child Focus Africa ( The trip will be personally led by Len Vanderstar, a northwest British Columbia based habitat conservation biologist and active member of Child Focus Africa, and Dickson Wambugu, the owner of Adventure Africa Expedition, with over 10 years of experience providing quality travel experiences in East Africa.

The safaris will focus on the diversity of East African habitats and wildlife. Safari locations have been chosen to provide exceptional opportunities to view a wide range of reptile, bird, and mammal species. We take care to avoid the “checklist” approach to wildlife viewing, common to many tours of the region. When interesting animals or situations are encountered, time is available to turn off the safari vehicles, photograph, watch, and listen. On past trips we have seen jackals pestering lion cubs, lions mating, cheetah cubs sleeping, adult male rhinos sparing, leopards relaxing in trees, and a black-shouldered kite feeding for over half an hour while perched on a small acacia less than 4 m from our vantage point. In addition to all the large mammals East Africa has to offer, birding opportunities are tremendous with over 180 bird species having been recorded during our 2012 safari expedition.

On behalf of Child Focus Africa, Adventure Africa Expedition and Summits of Canada, we hope that you seriously consider this golden opportunity to visit East Africa and at the same time contribute to the welfare of disadvantaged and disabled children. Space is limited to 10 to 12 guests, so please consider this offer at your earliest convenience.


10 Day Kilimanjaro Trek/Ascent: 13 Day Kenya Safari:


10 Day Kilimanjaro Trek/Ascent: 13 Day Kenya Safari:

Oct. 31 to Nov. 9, 2014 Nov. 10 to Nov. 22, 2014

$2625 US per person

$2925 US per person ($225/day) Day visits to the Sheldrick Elephant & Giraffe Centre

$40 US per person (to & from hotel + entry fee)

We recommend taking in the Kilimanjaro Trek and one of the safari expeditions Safari at a minimum; however, any or all of these treks/safaris can be included in your package.


Pick-up and drop-off at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Nairobi hotel accommodation on day of arrival, and day of departure (Meridian Hotel or equivalent: Accommodation while on expeditions Expedition transportation, including travel to and from All park fees Three meals per day outside of Nairobi Bottled water Guide, cook and porter fees Tipping fees Tents if required for Mt. Kilimanjaro and some safari camp locations English speaking and knowledgeable lead guides, cooks and porters


Personal beverages (beer, wine, pop, drinking water at hotels) Meals while in Nairobi Please note that a $20 US/day additional fee is required if a guest does not decide to

partner up for accommodation (includes tenting); partnering can be arranged for all or a portion of the trip.

For questions and to place your expression of interest, please contact:

Len Vanderstar,,, phone 250-847-9729.



Professional, experienced local guides will take Mt. Kilimanjaro trekkers through cloud forests and along the upper flanks of the mountain for a week of acclimatization before the final summit leg. The scenic Machame Route up Mt. Kilimanjaro (summit altitude: 19,340 ft. / 5895 m) is the longest, yet most enjoyable hike on the mountain, and it is recommended to better adjust to altitude. Tents are provided if you do not wish to bring your own, and porters will carry all supplies other than your day pack. All meals are provided.

Day 1 (Oct. 31): Kenya Arrival Adventure Africa pick-up at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and transport to Meridian Hotel, Nairobi.

Day 2 (Nov. 1): Nairobi to Moshi Depart Nairobi by morning shuttle; this drive normally takes 5-6 hrs from Nairobi to Moshi, and includes a border crossing into Tanzania at Namanga. Arrive in Moshi, Tanzania, late afternoon. Hotel accommodation in Moshi Osy Grand.

Day 3 (Nov. 2): Moshi-Machame Gate to Machame Camp Drive to Machame Park Gate. The Kilimanjaro trek in this World Heritage Site begins at the end of the tarmac road, walking for about 6 hrs, gradually ascending through the cloud forests of Kilimanjaro and onto giant heather forested hills at Machame Camp (2850 m).

Day 4 (Nov. 3): Machame Hut to Shira Camp Trekkers ascend an enjoyable ridge, traverse along a stream gorge and finally emerge on the Shira plateau volcanic moorland (3810 m). Total trekking time is approximately 6 hrs.

Day 5 (Nov. 4): Shira Camp Acclimatizing A half day is spent acclimatizing by trekking to 4200 m and then gradually descending back to Shira Camp. A half-day is available to sight see and relax as part of the acclimatization process.

Day 6 (Nov. 5): Shira Camp to Barranco Camp Trekkers follow the trail to Lava Tower (>4600 m), have lunch prior to spending an hour at Lava Towers, and then descend into the scenic Barranco gorge. Continue to Barranco Camp at 3975 m. Total trekking time is approximately 6 hrs.

Day 7 (Nov. 6) : Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp Trekkers cross the Barranco Valley, ascend the well known and fascinating Barranco wall (not technical climbing), then follow the Kibo South Circuit. Descend and ascend again for about 2 additional hours to arrive at Karanga Camp (4000 m) for lunch and overnight. Total trekking time is approximately 5 hrs.

Day 8 (Nov. 7) : Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp Another half day trek takes you across some splendid volcanic lands, with Kibo Volcano (highest of the Kilimanjaro volcanoes) and its remaining glaciers as the backdrop. Enjoy the final ascent to Barafu Camp (4673 m). Total trekking time between camps is approximately 5 hrs. After lunch and a couple of hours of rest, you begin a short trek up to Kibo Camp for further acclimatization, and then descend for dinner. Sleep until 11:00 p.m. and then begin all night ascent. The summit is attainable since you should be properly acclimatized by now.

Day 9 (Nov. 8): Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak to Lower Mweka Camp Trekkers move “polepole” (Swahili for “slowly”) to the north-west, with mountain guides at their side, up a defined trail toward Stella Point on the crater rim. This 6-hour trek to Stella Point (5756 m) is the most mentally and physically challenging on the route. Temperature is usually -10° Celsius, and winds can make it even more challenging. At Stella Point, the group re-nourishes, enjoys the famous Kilimanjaro sunrise, and then continues for another hour to the true summit of Africa, Uhuru Peak. Photos and celebrations ensue. A slow descent back to Stella Point, followed by a quicker descent on scree slope trails back to Barafu Camp for a well deserved rest and brunch. Break camp and hike down to Lower Mweka Camp by mid-afternoon. This is the day you appreciate your trekking poles and honour your guides and porters – you descend over 2800 meters from Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp. If weather thwarts your summit bid, an extra day has been allowed if the group decides delay is advisable.

Day 10 (Nov. 9) : Mweka Camp to Arusha This is the last day of the trek. The 3 hr descent to Mweka Gate is very enjoyable, provides good views of yesterday’s accomplishment, and provides excellent photo opportunity of Mount Kilimanjaro’s unique vegetation of the cloud forest. Check-out at Mweka trail head, and then shuttle to a welcoming Sinka Court Hotel in Arusha.


Day 1 (Nov. 10): Arusha to Amboseli National Park or Nairobi to Amboseli The Kilimanjaro group travels to Amboseli from Arusha and the Migwani volunteer group travels to Amboseli from Nairobi to join up. Permanent safari canvas tents with 2 beds and thatch over-roofs are serenaded by weaver birds and cicadas by day and massive crickets by night. Don’t be surprised to be awakened at night by a wandering elephant or two just outside the large fenced-in camp facility.

Day 2 (Nov. 11): Amboseli National Park (full day) Mount Kilimanjaro is the backdrop of this elephant haven, and you will not be disappointed by this first-class safari experience. You will have no trouble getting up close and personal with these African icons (and host of other wildlife species), from the safety of your pop-up canopy safari vehicle. Guests will have the opportunity to hike up Observation Hill, providing for an ideal lookout of the plains and swamps below. Olive Baboons are an added feature.

Day 3 (Nov. 12): Amboseli National Park (a.m.) Amboseli a.m. safari and then return to Nairobi, and travel to Lake Naivasha (Hells Gate arriving in the evening). Dinner and overnight in Fisherman Camp or Fish Eagle Camp @ Lake Naivasha.

Day 4 (Nov. 13): Hell’s Gate Hell’s Gate with bike safari to canyon (savannah, outstanding sandstone ravine, geothermal activity); the whole day will be spent in this park. At Hell’s Gate, we can get out of the vehicle without having to worry about entering the food chain; the park encourages you to walk or cycle through an African savannah scape teeming with large animals. Rock climbing is an option along the gorges sheer red walls with guides. Dinner and overnight in Fisherman Camp or Fish Eagle Camp @ Lake Naivasha.

Day 5 (Nov. 14): Hell’s Gate - Maasai Mara This is an opportune time to enjoy the countryside of Kenya and its people. Part of the trip is along the Great Rift Valley with a stop over to view the escarpment. A morning departure brings us to the world-renowned Masai Mara, the northern extension of the famous Serengeti Plains. The incredible productivity of the rolling grasslands and tree studded woodlands will be witnessed first hand. Countless wildebeest, zebra, and water buffalo are guaranteed. Elephant, giraffe, warthog, lion, cheetah, hyena, jackal are also all likely to be seen. The Mara’s numerous antelope species include hartebeest, topi, impala, eland, suni, bush duiker, steinbok, dikdik, and Grant’s and Thomson’s gazelle. Lion kills make for some great vulture viewing. The Masai Mara safari will be either based out of the Masai run Mara Sidai tented camp in a beautiful forested setting or the Enchoro Wildlife Camp. The white-browed Robin-Chat’s lovely song at camp will wake you in the morning and call you to your canvass full bed tent in the evening.

Day 6 (Nov. 15): Masai Mara safari full day You will be overwhelmed and satiated by the abundance of wildlife viewed in this park.

Over 1.5 million wildebeest will likely be migration southward to the Serengeti. The safari takes you to the Mara River where you will see and photograph hippos and large crocodiles lying in wait. Masai ostrich, crowned crane, helmeted guinea-fowl, kori

bustard and the secretary bird will have you wondering what’s next on the fascinating bird list. Overnight at one of the tented camps.

Day 7 (Nov. 16): Masai Mara – Lake Nakuru Masai Mara morning game drive with an option to visit a local Masai village and be entertained by song, dress and activities; drive to Lake Nakuru for dinner and overnight in perimeter fenced Guest House within the confines of the park.

Day 8 (Nov. 17): Lake Nakuru (full day) Lake Nukuru is a soda lake in Kenya’s Rift Valley known for it’s flamingos and pelicans. Other birds that are abundant throughout the park include the African fish eagle, sacred ibis, hamerkop, and bee eaters. Baboons, waterbucks, and introduced black and white rhinos are exciting viewing additions. Overnight in Guest House within the Park.

Day 9 (Nov. 18): Lake Nakuru - Aberdare After a morning game drive through Lake Nakuru, the safari group will travel to Aberdare National Park. Accommodation at the Klandongoro Fishing Lodge above 3000 metres in a picturesque setting of open tableland and coarse moors takes you close and personal to sunbirds, bush duikers, bush bucks, and high elevation residing elephants.

Day 10 (Nov. 19): Aberdare (full day) A good part of the day is a trek on foot to visit Karura & Gura Falls in the accompaniment of Park Rangers. The magnificient waterfalls of the Aberdare Range truly are a sight to behold, and were featured in the film Out of Africa. Leopard tracks are easily encountered during the hike and Mount Kenya can be seen in the distance. An additional trek is offered later in the day for an hour or more close to the residence exploring the trails and food of the moor elephant habitat of Aberdare.

Day 11 (Nov. 20): Aberdare - Samburu Game Reserve Your journey takes you north to delightful Samburu Game Reserve. After lunch, enjoy an afternoon game drive. The Uaso Nyiro cuts through the reserve, attracting a rich variety of wildlife in search of water and shade. Leopard are frequently spotted in Samburu, so keep a look out. Explore the park the whole afternoon and then retire in the Guest House for dinner and overnight.

Day 12 (Nov. 21): Samburu (full day) Enjoy morning and afternoon game drives . Of particular interest in Samburu are the indigenous species such as the reticulated giraffe, the Grevy’s zebra (look for the oversized ears) and the gerenuk which stands on its hind legs to feed from the top branches of bushes and trees. Also to be seen in this park are the leopards and cheetah at a very close range. There are many varieties of birds recorded in East Africa that reside in the park. After the whole day game drive return to the Guest House for dinner and overnight.

Day 13 (Nov. 22): Samburu - Nairobi Early morning game drive as from 0630hrs -0930hrs, this is also the best time to go for the search of the Big cats as mostly they make kills within this time before the sun raise. We drive to the strategic places where they are easily spotted. Breakfast follows

as you prepare to check out and drive back to Nairobi arriving late afternoon with a drop off at your Nairobi hotel. Safari ends but includes hotel accommodation this last night of safari in Nairobi.

Day 14 (Nov. 23): Nairobi Excursions Recommend visiting the Sheldrick Elephant Nursery & Giraffe Centre just outside of Nairobi and/or Kenya’s National Museum.

Day 15 (Nov. 24): Nairobi – Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Nairobi airport drop-off.

Package Price (all inclusive with the exception of meals while in Nairobi; i.e. transport, food, accommodation, beverages (except liquor), park fees, English speaking guides, drivers, cooks, tips, airport pick-up and drop-off) is 13 days x $225 = $2925 US/person double occupancy. Please note that a $20 US/day additional fee is required if a guest does not decide to partner up for accommodation (includes tenting); partnering can be arranged for all or a portion of the trip.


All costs associated with transport, accommodation and food to and from Nairobi, inclusive of duration of stay @ Migwani will be covered by Child Focus Africa provided that volunteers book at least one Adventure Africa excursion of duration of 5 days or more.

Volunteers will complete their Migwani tour by Nov. 7th, 2014, which marks the end of the school term prior to exams for regular schooled children.

It is preferential that volunteers are paired up, but this is not necessary.  Volunteers will assist in Child Focus Africa distribution of gifts, clothing, school supplies, medical supplies and food. 

Volunteers may elect to participate in any one or all of the following: 

    1) instruction and support at the Migwani Children’s Special Needs Unit (presently up to 80 children); 

    2) assisting the Mutulu Women’s group to ensure that their children have sufficient

funds to pursue post-primary school (secondary) education; i.e. ongoing revenue

generating projects and skill set teaching such as sewing lessons; 

    3) working with the Migwani women’s AID group; presently they have a milking goat

project for self-supporting funds; 4) assisting medical practioners @ local health unit; 5) facility construction projects at the Children’s Special Needs Unit (new projects still

to be determined). 

Additional Information:
Len Vanderstar
Trip Coordinator

Dikson Wambugu
Adventure Africa Expedition,
Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa
Mobile Phone: +254-720-486770