March 2019

Climb Kilimanjaro with Ubuntu Life!

BLOG / Climb Kilimanjaro with Ubuntu Life!

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In 2019, Ubuntu Life is inviting you to climb the highest peak in Africa with us to help raise funds for the new Children’s Wellness Centre and to challenge negative perspectives about children with special needs. The climbers who join us will become powerful advocates for our Ubuntu kids through documentation of this trip and support for this new building that will bring empowerment, health, and education to thousands of children in the Maai Mahiu, Kenya region who would otherwise be confined to the shadows of their community.


This Thanksgiving season, instead of a traditional holiday of delicious food and shopping sprees, we are leading a team of adventurers to top of this mountain to raise awareness and support for our Ubuntu kids. Those team members who join the climb will have an opportunity to visit the Ubuntu Children’s Wellness Centre under construction in Maai Mahiu and meet the children and mothers that will be empowered by their climb.

2019 KILIMANJARO TEAM DATES: November 22 - December 5 (Itinerary below)

If you choose to join us on the mountain for this trip, we also ask that you commit to raising funds to build out the new Children’s Wellness Centre. The goal for the team is to raise $50,000 in total, at which point one of the new classrooms will be dedicated to the climb and everyone who participated. The impact of your trip will be much more than the  few weeks you spend with us in Africa - it is an investment in the people creating change through Ubuntu and an investment that will continue to generate unimaginable impact. This trip is the embodiment of why we started Ubuntu Life to begin with: To be a part of a meaningful community, to create something with purpose, and to impact lives in a sustainable way.


Base trip cost: $4,000

Safari add-on: $1,500

Total trip cost: $5,500 (not including round trip airfare to Nairobi)

Fundraising goal (in addition to personal trip expenses): $5,000


Day 0: Depart the U.S.

Day 1: Arrive at JKIA airport in Nairobi where an Ubuntu Life staff driver will meet you and bring you to the Trademark Hotel to meet the rest of the group. Rest and recover for the evening, enjoying drinks an evening meal with the group who will be your tribe for this trip of a lifetime.

Day 2: Enjoy breakfast in Nairobi before heading to Ubuntu Life headquarters in Maai Mahiu. Stop into the  ‘Happy Factory’ to meet the ‘Maker Mums’- the mothers of the children in the Ubuntu Life children’s programs who create products for sale worldwide. Hear their stories and watch them work their crafting magic before taking a walk to the site of the future Ubuntu Life Children’s Wellness Centre with the co-founder and country director, Jeremiah Kuria. Then settle into a team dinner Swahili style at Cafe Ubuntu, a restaurant and cafe located on the Ubuntu land.

Day 3: Take a deep dive into Ubuntu Life programs! After a tour of Maai Mahiu town to fully absorb the sounds, textures, and vibrance of the local community, head over to the site of the Ubuntu Special Needs Centre - the current special needs school and health program headquarters which have reached max capacity. Meet with the children who you will be climbing for, hear the stories of lives being changed from the staff of the Centre, and gain a true appreciation for the impact that the new Centre will create in the community. We will have instant cameras on hand if you want to take photos to bring with you on the climb.

Day 4: Transfer from Maai Mahiu for Nairobi, Moi airport for Morning flight to Kilimanjaro at 09h00. Arrive then proceed to Moshi town, which is commonly known as the gateway to Mount Kilimanjaro and debrief for the adventure of a lifetime.

Day 5: Transfer to Machame Gate and begin ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro via Machame Route. Begin walking through the mist on a 4 x 4 track for about an hour into the forest. The track ends, and the trail continues up through the dripping, verdant forest. You will likely hear the many exotic birds in the canopy above, and many even see black & white colobus monkeys and sykes monkeys as they hike along the forest floor. The trek is quite long, though not very steep, and it takes from 5 to 7 hours trekking to reach the first camp. Machame Camp is just above the forest zone, in the heather zone. When it is clear, there are views of jagged Shira ridge and the summit itself.

Day 6: Wake early to a steaming cup of tea of coffee served in your tent, and then after breakfast, begin up the steep track through a savannah of tall grasses, and trees of giant Heather and Erica. The clouds should clear for a beautiful view of the Western Breach and the glaciers atop which mark the summit; Uhuru Peak. Scramble around large boulders as you enter the moorland zone, marked by the bizarre lobelia and senecio plants, and volcanic rocks draped with lichen beards which protect wild alpine flowers growing at their bases. You’ll reach camp after descending a small valley and crossing a brook, then ascending up onto the Shira Ridge, after a total of about 4 to 5 hours of trekking.

Day 7: Proceed steadily upward over long ridgelines of high desert about 4 hours, and break for lunch at about 14,500 feet (4,420 mt.). After lunch, continue to Lava Tower, a 300 foot-tall volcanic plug which marks an exposed pass at 15,000 feet (4,600 m). In the afternoon, descend the steep track into the Great Barranco Valley. Barranco Camp is set on a col (flat area) enclosed on three sides with steep valley walls and the Kibo massif itself. Hanging glaciers glint in the sunshine above, amidst the eerie landscape of plants such as the giant groundsels (Senecio Kilimanjaro), and the uniquely endemic Giant Lobelia. Trekking time is from 6 to 7 hours.

Day 8: The day begins with a scramble up the steep ‘Barranco Wall’, then the team will trek 3-4 hours and stop in the Karanga Valley for a hot lunch. In the afternoon the trail turns steadily uphill. The temperature will grow colder and the landscape more sparse as we near Barafu Camp. Barafu Camp is set on a small, exposed flat area on a ridge, acting a base camp from which you will make your summit attempt at midnight. Eat and drink as much as possible before retiring to your tent for rest and sleep. Bring out the photo that you took with the children at the Centre to remind you what you are climbing for.

Day 9: A steaming hot drink will arrive very early on this momentous day - a midnight wake-up call is the start of a juggernaut (12-17 hours of trekking). You begin trekking at 12:30 to 1am. The temperatures range from just below freezing at midnight, to between 10 to -10 deg. F just before dawn at the summit. The winding path of endless switchbacks will take form and shape in the shadows of the Ratzel and Rebmann glaciers at early dawn, and behind you the spires of Mawenzi will be silhouetted against the red glow of the sun from beneath the clouds. After about 6 hours of walking, you will come to the edge of the crater, at Stella Point, at 19,000 feet, which is the end of the steep track. From here, there is a gentle slope upward about 1 hour to Uhuru Peak. After a short time at the summit, descend the steep scree trail back to Barafu Camp for some rest, then again summon your strength for further descent to Mweka Camp for the night.

Day 10: Wake up knowing that you have summited Kilimanjaro. Descend straight to the gate (2-3 hours), where you’ll have lunch and will be awarded climbing certificates. On arrival at the gate you will have lunch, and then will be transferred back to a Base Hotel in Moshi for dinner and overnight.

Day 11: After breakfast, transfer back to Arusha town. Enjoy an early lunch then proceed to Ngorongoro Conservation Area for check in at Plantation Lodge. Have an afternoon to debrief with the team and fully appreciate the experience you have just had together.

Day 12: Drive down Ngorongoro Crater for full day game drive.

Day 13: Enjoy breakfast at the lodge then enjoy a safari drive back to Arusha for a quick flight back to Nairobi or an onward flight back to the U.S. Optional evening stay at Trademark Hotel in Nairobi before departing on Day 14.



To be a part of this epic adventure, email for more information and to reserve your spot.



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