Kilimanjaro Challenge 2024

Share the adventure of a lifetime and summit Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, while supporting YCI’s Catalyst Fund this March 3-10, 2024.


Kilimanjaro Challenge 2024 at a Glance


If you’ve ever dreamed of seeing the magnificent glaciers and challenging yourself to summit Mount Kilimanjaro, 1 of the 7 summits, here’s your chance to do just that and support YCI’s innovation solutions for global youth livelihoods. While the Machame route is challenging, it is also one of the most scenic routes to Africa’s highest peak. With an expert team of local guides and porters, we will spend 6 days trekking through majestic forests, alpine deserts and glistening ice fields, challenging our minds and bodies as we share this once-in-a-lifetime journey to one of the world’s most famous peaks.

December 1, 2023: Registration deadline

Register online with a $500 CAD deposit by December 1, 2023, to secure your spot.


February 10, 2024: Fundraising deadline
In total you will be required to fundraise $7500 CAD to participate in this challenge, but we encourage you to fundraise as much as you can. This amount includes your $500 CAD deposit.

Day 1 – March 3: Arrival


You’ll be greeted upon arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport and transferred to Ameg Lodge, where you will stay the night and briefed on the itinerary and discuss any additional information needed.


Overnight in Moshi: Ameg Lodge

Meals included: dinner



Day 2 – March 4: Machame route (Climb day 1)


Machame Gate (1,800 m / 5,900 ft) to Machame Hut Camp (3,000 m / 9,800 ft)

Elevation Gain:  1,200 m / 3,900 ft

Approximately 6-7 hours of trekking


Your head guide will meet you for the drive from Moshi to the Machame Gate (approximately 45min). After registration, begin climbing along a winding trail through beautiful and lush forest. Since this is the zone which experiences the most rainfall on the mountain you should be prepared for afternoon showers. These can make the trail slippery at times! The climb is steady, gradually easing as you approach camp at Machame Hut (9,800ft).  The camp is located on the edge of the forest and giant heather zones. Approximately 6-7 hours of walking today.


Meals included: breakfast, lunch and dinner



Day 3 – March 5: Machame route (Climb day 2)


Machame Camp (3,000 m / 9,800 ft) to Shira Camp (3,840 m / 12,600 ft)

Elevation Gain:  840 m  / 2,800 ft

Approximately 5-6 hours of trekking


Today is a little shorter, beginning by climbing a steep ridge to reach a small semicircular cliff known as Picnic Rock. There are excellent views of Kibo, the summit cone of Kilimanjaro, and the jagged rim of the Shira Plateau. Shira is the third of Kilimanjaro’s volcanic cones. It is filled with the lava flow from Kibo and its rim has eroded and been blasted away by weather and volcanic action. Once on the plateau the trail becomes gentler as you continue your climb to Shira Camp. On a clear day the views from here are spectacular.


Meals included: breakfast, lunch and dinner



Day 4 – March 6: Machame route (Climb day 3)


Shira Camp (3,840 m / 12,600 ft) to Barranco Camp (3,850 m / 12,650 ft) via Lava Tower (4,550 m / 14,900 ft)

Elevation Gain:  710 m / 2,300 ft

Elevation Loss:  700 m/ 2,250 ft

Approximately 5-6 hours of trekking


Your climb today will take you steadily up and over the expansive ridge lines of high desert to Lava Tower. The trek to the base of Lava Tower is about 4 hours. This tower is a 300 foot high volcanic plug. If time and energy allow, you can scramble to the top of Lava Tower for fabulous panoramic views. From Lava Tower we begin our steep descent into the Barranco Valley, passing large flowering plants which actually look like trees, the scenecios. This is good practice for your descent from the summit in a few days time and will take 1-2 hours. Although you will end your day at almost the same elevation as you started, today is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day. Barranco Camp is in a beautiful, sheltered valley below the imposing Barranco Wall.


Meals included: breakfast, lunch and dinner



Day 5 – March 7: Machame route (Climb day 4)


Barranco Camp (3,850 m / 12,600 ft) to Barafu Camp (4,600 m / 15,100 ft)

Elevation Gain:  750 m / 2,500 ft

Approximately 6-7 hours of trekking


After breakfast, we leave Barranco Camp and begin our climb up the Barranco Wall.  This is an impressive scramble where you will be rewarded with fantastic views back towards camp.  The porters climbing the wall are also an impressive sight.  From the top, at 4,200m, you will follow an undulating path around the mountain side.  On a clear day there are spectacular views of Kibo to your left and Mount Meru to your right.  After descending into the Karranga Valley your climb takes you through Karranga Camp and steadily on to Barafu.  This is located on the ridge below the summit cone.  You have now completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. At Barafu we make camp, rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo can be seen from this position.


Meals included: breakfast, lunch and dinner



Day 6 – March 8: Machame route (Climb day 5)


Barafu Camp (4,600 m / 15,100 ft) to Uhuru Peak (5,895 m / 19,300 ft) then descending to Mweka Camp (3,110 m / 10,200 ft)

Elevation Gain:  1,295 m / 4,200 ft

Elevation Loss:  2,785 m / 9,100 ft

Approximately 12-14 hours of trekking


In the early hours of the morning begin your final ascent to the summit of Uhuru Peak, taking approximately 6-8 hours. It can be very cold at night at these elevations, but it will be quite warm by the end of the hiking day and therefore you need clothing for both extremes. Just when you think you’ve had enough of climbing in the dark the sun will rise and you’ll be rewarded with a rich red sky framing Mawenzi. At Stella Point (5,750m) join the crater rim. From here, climb less steeply to Uhuru Peak which is the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa. From the summit the descent will take you straight down to Mweka Hut, with lunch served on the way. This part of the descent takes about 6 hours. Later in the evening enjoy your last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.


Meals included: breakfast, lunch and dinner



Day 7 – March 9: Machame route (Climb day 6) 


Mweka Camp (3,110 m / 10,200 ft) to Mweka Gate (1,830 m / 6,000 ft)

Elevation Loss:  1,280 m / 4,220 ft

Approximately 2-3 hours of trekking


Descend straight to the gate through lush forest (2-3 hours), looking for monkeys along the way. Return to Moshi from Mweka Village.


Overnight in Moshi: Ameg Lodge

Meals included: breakfast, lunch and dinner



Day 8 – March 10: Departure to Canada


You’ll be transferred to Kilimanjaro International Airport for your departure to Canada.


Meals included: breakfast

To participate in Youth Challenge International’s Kilimanjaro 2024 challenge, each person is required to fundraise $7500 CAD, this includes a $500 CAD deposit to secure your spot.


What’s included in the fee:

  • 2 nights’ accommodation at Ameg Lodge in Moshi (pre and post climb)
  • Meals where indicated in itinerary (to be shared later)
  • Kilimanjaro Park fees, camping and rescue fees, head guide, assistant guides, cook, porters and crew salaries; food, drinking water, tents, portable toilet and oxygen
  • Evacuation service via stretcher and vehicle from the mountain if necessary

What’s not included:

  • International airfare to and from Kilimanjaro International Airport
  • Entry visa and required vaccinations
  • Airport transfers to and from hotel (individual transfers cost $60 USD each per transfer, if there is a group arrival/departure, the cost will be $60 USD per group, per transfer)
  • Any meals and drinks not listed, including all alcoholic beverages
  • Any personal purchases made while in Tanzania
  • Hiring of personal equipment for the climb including any clothing, sleeping mats, sleeping bags, walking poles etc.
  • Personal items, required medical preparations/insurance and travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Gratuities – Please see FAQs for tipping guidelines

Step-by-step process


1. Register HERE and pay the deposit to secure your spot (Deadline: December 1, 2023)

2. When you have paid your deposit, you will receive a welcome package from YCI outlining next steps and important pre-climb information

3. It’s now time to fundraise! (Fundraising deadline: February 10, 2024)

4. Participants will receive another email with final trip details and airport pick up information

5. See you in Moshi!

Crowdfunding is leveraging the power of your networks to fundraise easily online. By setting up your personal crowdfunding campaign, your networks will be able to donate directly to your climb fees via VISA or MasterCard and we’ll handle the rest! All donations over $20 (CAD) will automatically receive a Canadian tax receipt. Unfortunately, international donations are not eligible for tax receipts.


Tips to Amplify Your Campaign:

  • Start your campaign off with a small donation to get the ball rolling.
  • Upload a personal photo or video to your profile page (Or add up to 5)!
  • Write a message on your profile page to provide a personal touch to your campaign.
  • Leverage social networks, sharing your campaign on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Send an email with a personal note and a link to your campaign to your personal and professional networks.
  • You can provide a ‘perk’ for your campaign (i.e. a postcard from Tanzania if someone donates over a certain amount).
Already Registered?


Click below to go to the Kilimanjaro Challenge 2024 Campaign, where you can access fundraising, FAQs, and more info!

Kilimanjaro Challenge 2024
Frequently asked questions
Where does my donation go?

This year, 100% of contributions will go directly to the HerStart Catalyst Fund to accelerate women-led social enterprises.


Women in Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda that participate in HerStart’s social entrepreneurship training programs are eligible for seed funding and business mentorship through the HerStart Catalyst Fund. The Fund helps to kickstart businesses as they scale up driving a more equal, climate-resilient and inclusive economy.


The HerStart Catalyst Fund’s goal is simple: to make women-led ventures resilient and sustainable by providing critical seed funding and ongoing mentorship that can help them thrive.

Is my deposit refundable? 

No, the deposits are not refundable. We are working with an excellent company in Tanzania to design and develop the best trip possible for our group. We have put the deposit schedule in place to help us better understand our group numbers so our local partners can secure transportation, hotel bookings, climb logistics and crew.

If I decide not to go, are the funds I raised refundable?

No, any funds that are raised are not refundable, as these go towards supporting YCI’s Catalyst Fund.

How do we fundraise?  

This is 100% up to you! Once your deposit is paid, we will provide you with a helpful toolkit with some ideas and tips to help get started. We encourage you to be creative with this, and we are here to help and support you along the way. All fundraising will be done via Raisin – a secure online platform, where funds can easily be collected.


All donations over $20 are eligible for a tax receipt. Under CRA regulations, Youth Challenge International cannot issue an official donation receipt if a donor is contributing towards a program in which their child is participating.

Is Tanzania safe? 

Tanzania is in general a safe, hassle-free country. That said, you do need to take the usual precautions while travelling abroad.


Some safety tips


  • Avoid isolated areas, especially isolated stretches of beach. In cities and tourist areas take a taxi at night.
  • Only take taxis from established taxi ranks or hotels. Never enter a taxi that already has someone else in it other than the driver.
  • When using public transport, don’t accept drinks or food from someone you don’t know. Be sceptical of anyone who comes up to you on the street asking whether you remember them from the airport, your hotel or wherever. Take requests for donations from ‘refugees’, ‘students’ or others with a grain of salt. Contributions to humanitarian causes are best done through an established agency or project.
  • Be wary of anyone who approaches you on the street, at the bus station or in your hotel offering safari deals or claiming to know you.
  • In tourist areas, especially Arusha, Moshi and Zanzibar Island, touts can be quite pushy, especially around bus stations and budget tourist hotels. Do what you can to minimise the impression that you’re a newly arrived tourist: walk with purpose, and duck into a shop if you need to get your bearings or look at a map.
  • Arriving for the first time at major bus stations, have your luggage as consolidated as possible, with your valuables well hidden under your clothes. Try to spot the taxi area before disembarking and make a beeline for it. It’s well worth a few extra dollars for the fare. While looking for a room, leave your bag with a friend or reliable hotel rather than walking around town with it. Buy your bus tickets a day or two in advance (without your luggage).
  • Carry your passport, money and other documents in a pouch against your skin, hidden under loose-fitting clothing. Or store valuables in a hotel safe, if there’s a reliable one, ideally inside a pouch with a lockable zip to prevent tampering.
  • Keep the side windows up in vehicles when stopped in traffic and keep your bags out of sight (eg on the floor behind your legs).
  • When bargaining or discussing prices, don’t do so with your money or wallet in your hand.
  • Crowded places such as bus terminals, train stations, markets and fiestas are the haunts of pickpockets; wear your day pack in front of you or carry a bag that fits snugly under your arm.


Moreover, please refer to the Government of Canada website which has additional resources on travel.


Canadian Passports

Travel Advice and Advisories

Assistance abroad

Ask travel

Travel abroad

Do we need a visa or vaccines to enter Tanzania?

Yes to both. A visa is required for entry into Tanzania. Please apply and pay for your visa online using Be aware that this process can take 2 -3 weeks. Obtaining your visa and paying in cash ($50 USD) is also possible upon arrival.

Do you provide trip insurance? 

YCI will provide group travel insurance for medical and medical evacuation through AIG Insurance company. We will also provide additional coverage for emergency evacuation via stretcher and vehicle from the mountain. You are welcome to purchase any additional medical/trip cancellation insurance you require. More information will be provided upon registration.

Is altitude illness a risk? 

Altitude sickness can catch many travellers off guard. Not everyone gets sick at high altitudes and it is difficult to predict who is likely affected by it. For most people, it is nothing more than a mild headache and a dizzy sensation that diminishes over a short period of time (1-2 days).   


However, it is recommended that you visit your doctor, or a travel doctor, before departure as there are medications that can help with potential altitude sickness.

What should we take for possible altitude sickness?

It is highly recommended that you speak with a travel doctor before your trip to advise on the best medication for altitude acclimatization. Diamox (Acetazolamide) is probably the most popular option, but in case you are taking any other medication or have an allergy, please seek guidance from a doctor to ensure it (or something similar) is a suitable and viable option for you.


Diamox (Acetazolamide) is a prescription drug in the USA, Canada, Europe and most western countries. This will not be available to purchase once you are in Tanzania, so you are responsible to bring your own.

Can we rent equipment for the climb?

Absolutely! After you register, you will receive a welcome package which will include an equipment rental list. All essential equipment is available for rental and will be ready for you upon arrival in Tanzania. Please notify us of anything you wish to rent so we can reserve it for you.

What luggage should I use on the mountain?

It is recommended that you leave any valuables at your hotel in Moshi. Passport numbers are required to enter the park however you do not need to actually show your passport. Your main bag on the mountain will be carried by a porter. There is a weight limit in place in order to protect the porters, therefore your full bag must weigh no more than 18 kg (approximately 39 lbs). Please ensure that this is a soft holdall or rucksack as many of the porters carry the bags on their heads.


Each day, you will also carry your own day pack that may include things like sunglasses, hat, sunscreen, wet weather clothes, a sweater or an extra layer, any valuables and a small first aid kit.

What kind of food will be available on the mountain?

There will be a hot breakfast (e.g. porridge, eggs, toast and tea or coffee) to start the day. Lunch will be packed or hot, depending on where we are on the mountain and the length of the walk that day. You will always be provided with a filling hot meal in the evening (e.g. soup followed by rice, potato or pasta and sauce, and usually fruit for dessert.)


There will be ample drinking water as the porters collect water each morning and evening from local water sources for drinking and cooking. All of the water is treated either using a Katadyn water filter or with chlorine treatment tablets to ensure it’s 100% safe for your consumption. If you decide to use water from the stream or from hotels it would be best to purify it first. You will need enough water bottles or hydration systems to be able to carry up to 4 litres of water. A combination of bottles and a hydration system is preferable.

Where will we sleep on the mountain?

You will be camping on the mountain and tents will be supplied and erected by the crew accompanying our group. There will be 2 people per tent. If you wish to have a single tent, this will be available for an additional cost. Please contact if you would like to set this up.

What about safety on the mountain?

During your Kilimanjaro climb, safety is our number one priority. The guides are fantastic at watching your symptoms and can help you assess whether it is altitude sickness, tiredness or a headache that you are suffering from. The head guides have Wilderness First Responder Medical Training, which is the highest available training specializing in emergency situations within remote settings.


Should you have any pre-existing medical conditions it is extremely important that you let us know, so that we can notify the guides well in advance.  When on the mountain your head guide will keep track of all medication you are taking and how you are feeling hour by hour. Should your guide decide that it is necessary for you to descend due to altitude related illness, it is essential that you listen to and follow their advice for your health and safety. In this situation, any additional expenses, such as unplanned hotel accommodation, will need to be paid by you, but may be reclaimed on your travel insurance. Our guides will help to organize any accommodations required and support you with all further arrangements you may need to make.

What fitness level does this trip require?

A good level of fitness is definitely required due to the temperature extremes, high altitude, basic facilities, and rough terrain. Don’t forget that you will be trekking for several hours a day for many days in a row. Anyone who leads an active and moderately healthy lifestyle should be okay, but the more you exercise before the climb, the more you will enjoy it.

Are there toilets and places to wash up?

Warm bowls of washing water will be provided morning and night whilst on the mountain. Wet wipes, toilet roll and antibacterial gel are always useful for during the day. At the camps, our group will have private, but basic, toilet facility.

What will the weather be like?

Mountain weather can vary and you should come prepared to deal with varying conditions. Generally speaking, early mornings will warm up as soon as the sun rises and the days will be warm and bright. You will be trekking in very clear air and will need strong UV protection. When the sun sets, the temperature drops to often well below zero degrees. Nights are usually clear and frosty so please remember this when considering your clothes for summit night and choosing your sleeping bag. Whenever you climb, expect convection to send warm air from the hot plains below across the rainforest to precipitate at higher altitudes as rain, sleet, and snow. This happens on some, but not all, afternoons.

Will I have cell phone reception on the mountain?

There is intermittent mobile coverage on the mountain. Signals are limited, but as long as the weather is relatively clear, there are places each day where you will most likely be able to pick up coverage. The guides will be able to tell you the best rocks to stand on! In case of an emergency, the guides carry mobile phones and radios.

How can we be responsible tourists on the mountain?

It is important to leave no rubbish behind on the mountain. We follow the local guidelines on cultural and environmental protection issued by the National Park leaving wilderness camps clean and carrying off glass and tin. Biodegradable personal soaps and toothpastes can also help minimize your footprint.

What is the time zone in Tanzania? 

The time zone in Tanzania is East Africa Time (GMT+3)

What are the guidelines for tipping in Tanzania and on the climb? 

Tipping is a way to express your gratitude for excellent service, that said, here are some general guidelines:


  • Restaurants: Tipping is generally not practiced in small local establishments, especially in rural areas. In major towns and in places frequented by tourists, tips are expected. Some top-end places include a service charge in the bill. Usually, however, either rounding up the bill or adding about 10% to 15% is standard practice.
  • Taxis: Tipping is not common practice, except for longer (full-day or multiday) rentals.
  • On Kilimanjaro: You can choose to tip your guides, cook and porters. Though this is personal to what you feel is best, the standard recommendation for this is USD$20 per day to the head guide, $12 per day per assistant guide, $12 per day to the cook and $5 per day per porter.
What programs will my money support? 

Your money will help support the development of new and existing programs for Youth Challenge International (YCI). YCI is a leading global youth development organization that promotes youth innovation to drive positive change. Building on over 30 years of experience, YCI’s creative, market-ready solutions help catapult youth around the world to succeed and prosper.

I’ve paid my deposit, now what?

Once you have paid your deposit, you will receive an email with a participant information form and welcome package. This will provide you with an array of resources to help you fundraise and prepare for your challenge!


The fundraising balance is due February 10, 2024, at which point we will ask that you read and sign the terms and conditions and submit your flight details to us as soon as possible. About 2 weeks before departure, you will receive an email from us with the final trip details and airport pick up information.

What should I pack? 

Here is a general guide as to what you should bring with you. It is also important to avoid cotton as once it gets wet it will not dry on the mountain and it does not wick sweat. Instead, choose polypro, merino wool, silk or fleece fabrics.


  • Walking clothes for daily wear (layers of short & long sleeved base layers, thin fleece, hiking trousers & shorts)
  • Sunscreen (minimum SPF 30, ideally SPF 50 or above)
  • Sunglasses (ensure they are suitable for strong, 100% protection from UV rays)
  • Hats (warm hat & sun hat)
  • Bandana or Buff (for dust & cold)
  • Lip Balm (with sun protection)
  • Insect repellent
  • Energy bars and/or energy gel (plan for 2 per day minimum)
  • Snacks (combination of fast and slow burn energy, high protein and carbohydrate)
  • Personal first aid kit (including pain relief & anti-inflammatory drugs; personal medication; re-hydration sachets; anti-nausea & anti-diarrhoea drugs; antibacterial wipes; zinc oxide tape; blister plasters/band-aids; Diamox; anti-malarials; throat lozenges)
  • Hand wipes & antibacterial gel, diaper/doggy bags for toilet paper en route
  • Ear plugs
  • Toilet roll
  • Plastic bags or dry bags to stop clothes & sleeping bag from getting wet
  • Small, quick-dry towel
  • Camera
  • Battery pack or solar charger (there are no facilities for charging batteries on the mountain)
  • Spare head torch batteries
  • Small wash kit (toothbrush & paste, soap, face cloth, nail brush)
  • Running shoes for the evenings (optional)
  • Pack of playing cards (optional)
  • Small pillow (optional)
What currency is used in Tanzania?

Tanzanian Shillings will be required in Moshi restaurants, markets & taxi services. For this you can change your USD at any of the money exchange bureaus in town. Please do not bring travellers cheques as these are difficult to exchange and will incur a 20-25% fee. However, for most tourism activities in Tanzania USD are accepted.