RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge
RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge
What is the RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge?
The RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge is a university trip in support of the RAG student society working with Moving Mountains Trust and using Adventure Alternative as their provider. The challenge is to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and help complete an ongoing Moving Mountains project to build a large school on the slopes of the mountain.
The RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge will take students on a seven day climb on the Machame route of Mount Kilimanjaro after having volunteered for several days on a community school building project.
The RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge is in support of Moving Mountains and our project in Tanzania and we've partnered with Adventure Alternative, who are an award winning expedition company who manage all the ground and climb logistics and staff. You will be accompanied by our staff throughout the expedition from arrival at the airport, throughout the project section and the climb. Afterwards some people return straight home whilst others stay on to explore Tanzania or travel to the coast or Zanzibar.
Is the RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge for Charity?
Yes, as the RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge also has a volunteering component to the trip. The money fundraised through the challenge goes directly to Moving Mountains and the Ng'aroni school project that we have been working on since 2014.
In the RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge, students spend five days volunteering on site at the school building project, so they can see exactly where and how their fundraising money is spent.
We use Adventure Alternative as MM was born out of the company which is a responsible travel company that invests money into local communities and operates a strong ethic of social enterprise throughout their operations. Director Gavin Bate lectures occasionally at Oxford Brookes University and runs social enterprise trips to Kenya for a number of universities. He is also a member of the Tourism Education Futures Initiative which is supporting him to build the first tourism college in the Himalayas. The company also works with a number of European universities to provide internships.
Who benefits from the RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge?
The RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge is designed to benefit both the students and the Ng'aroni School and community. Moving Mountains' work with this school has improved the educational facilities and infrastructure but there is long way to go before our commitment with the community is fulfilled.
Future projects at Ng'aroni will involve construction of more classrooms, toilets, wash facilities and banda accommodation for teachers. Projects are implemented by our Moving Mountains Trust Work Team alongside locally employed Tanzanian labourers, community members and volunteers, all under the oversight of MM East Africa's Projects Manager Francis Kioni and part of a wider joint strategy for sustainable community development.
Representatives of Moving Mountains will accompany you to explain the nature and significance of the NGO's work and will also provide a personal development training course through several sessions in the UK before you leave. This trip positively develops all who are involved, you will return home with a true appreciation for life in Africa and first hand experience of how international development should work. You can also gain personal development and communication skills as well as intercultural soft skills, all of which will be an excellent addition to your personal portfolio.
RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge
|1||Arrive Kilimanjaro International Airport and transfer to Moshi town where you will stay at our own campsite|
|2||Drive Moshi-Marangu village, briefing, meet team and start the project section (camping)|
|3||Marangu Project Work|
|4||Marangu Project Work|
|5||Marangu Project Work|
|6||Drive to Moshi to our campsite. Mountain briefing and prepare for Kilimanjaro climb|
|7||Moshi-NP Gate. Trek to Machame Camp|
|8||Machame Camp- Shira Plateau|
|9||Shira Plateau- Barranco Camp|
|10||Barranco Camp- Karanga Valley|
|11||Karanga Valley - Barafu Camp|
|12||Barafu Camp- Summit- Millenium Camp|
|13||Millenium Camp- Mweka Gate- Moshi|
|14||Depart for UK or onward travel|
RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge Detailed Itinerary
|1||950m||Arrive into Kilimanjaro International Airport : [Itinerary Starts] You will be met by a team from Adventure Alternative Tanzania & Kenya and Moving Mountains who will remain with you throughout the entire trip. It is a short 40km transfer across to the town of Moshi where we will have a welcome briefing with staff introductions and generally get to know everyone. We spend the night at the camp site in Moshi. [Lunch & Dinner not included]|
|2||1400m||Moshi to Marangu : After breakfast we will load up the vehicles and drive East around the base of Kilimanjaro then North up onto its lower slopes and to the village of Marangu at about 1400m. It is about 40km but the final part can take a bit of time depending on weather as it is a rough mountain track. Here we will set up camp and get settled in before we have a briefing on the the village and area, on the work that Moving Mountains has done already here and what the future plans are, including what you will be doing for the next 4 days. [B, L, D included]|
|3-5||1400m||Marangu School Project : Over the next three days we will work on the project which the money you have raised will in part go towards. You could be involved with anything from mixing cement, to laying bricks, from painting to plastering, from carpentry to glazing! The actual project we undertake will depend on the amount of money raised and the amount allocated to the project. It will of course also depend on the school requirements come summer 2015. It is likely that you will be involved in building additional classrooms and facilities at Ng'aroni primary school which currently only has one building for the whole school. The exact work will depend on the stage at which your group is there, so if you are one of the earlier groups you might be digging foundations, if you are one of the later groups you might be painting and finishing. We also intend for you to run a day of activities for local children on the Saturday that coincides with your stay there. We will leave it up to your group to decide on and plan the activities, but we can help advise on this and give you ideas. Usually things like games, sports, singing, drama and crafts go down very well. [B, L, D included]|
|6||950m||Travel to Moshi, Rest & Briefing : We will travel back down to Moshi in the morning and spend the day preparing for the climb of mount Kilimanjaro. We will talk about the climb its self, health, altitude, packing and everything else that will help you with the climb. From the compound where we stay you can get a superb view up to the mountain if it is clear. [Breakfast Included, Lunch & Dinner not included]|
|7||2980m||5-6hrs||Moshi - Machame Gate - Machame Camp : Transport to Machame Gate (1 hour). Registration with the National Park authority. Trek to Machame Camp through beautiful montane forest on good path. Camp overnight at the edge of the forest. [B, L, D included]|
|8||3840m||5hrs||Machame Camp - Shira Plateau : An uphill path through thinning forest and onto a huge volcanic plateau. Camping is more exposed here with great views of the summit massif and often out over a carpet of cloud below. [B, L, D included]|
|9||3950m||7hrs||Shira Plateau - Barranco Camp : We are now traversing around the mountain over two valleys and skirting the base of the summit massif. High desert environment with amazing rock formations, quite exposed to the weather, dropping into the Barranco Valley right beneath the Western Breach. This day ascends a maximum of 700 metres but the net gain is only about 100 metres. [B, L, D included]|
|10||3950m||3hrs||Barranco Camp - Karanga Valley : We start with a scramble up and over the, initially intimidating, Barranco Wall and over a further two valleys to get to this open campsite with great views of the Heim Glacier. Another up and down day but no net gain in height, which is all good for acclimatisation. [B, L, D included]|
|11||4550m||4hrs||Karanga Valley - Barafu Hut : We are now heading more directly upwards towards the open rock and colder temperatures. This is the average freezing level on the mountain and Barafu means 'ice'. Camping in amongst the rocks and an early night. [B, L, D included]|
|12||5985m||10-12hrs||Barafu Hut - Uhuru Peak - Barafu Hut - Millenium Camp : The main event! Night-time ascent on rock and scree, occasional snow, to the crater rim and the summit. Cold temperatures with windchill. Final slope to the crater rim is steeper and has loose scree. Descend in sunlight to Barafu for early lunch, and then walk to Millennium Camp, normally arriving mid-afternoon. [B, L, D included]|
|13||5hrs||Millenium Camp - Mweka gate - Moshi : Descending through the lush forest to Mweka Gate where you sign out and pick up the summit certificate. Legs will be tired! Meet Castro at the gate for transport back to the hotel, arriving normally at about 2pm. The gate is where tips are handed out and you say goodbye to the mountain staff. A hot shower and an afternoon relaxing and a celebration meal before an overnight at the comfortable camp. [B & L included. Dinner not included]|
|14||[Itinerary Ends] Depart Moshi: This morning the main itinerary will end after breakfast. You will then be free to either travel to Kilimanjaro Airport for an afternoon departure home, or to do some independent travel of your own. If you are interested in safaris to places Ngorongoro, Serengeti, Manyara in this area then do speak to us for more information. We can help organize these for small groups. [Breakfast included]|
RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge cost:
The price varies depending on the number of climbers / volunteers we have. The price on booking will be the maximum trip price however as the team grows in size, discounts will be applied to people's accounts as per the sliding scale below. You can log into your account on our website at any time to make interim payments or add rental equipment or to update your booking. The price for the land section of the trip is:
5 – 10 people at £1595pp
11 - 19 people at £1525pp
20 + people at £1495pp
- All land transport whilst in Tanzania
- One group airport transfer from Kilimanjaro Airport to Moshi Accommodation and back. If you are not on a group transfer it's £10pp/transfer
- 3 meals per day on the project and climb
- All kitchen & catering equipment
- All staff, guides, porters, cooks, security
- Accommodation (tents on the project and on Mt Kilimanjaro & at our campsite in Moshi)
- All campsites on the mountain
- All group mountain equipment, mattresses, stoves, tents, pots, fuel, tables, mess tent, stools etc
- Arrangements for climbing Kilimanjaro and all staff back-up
- All permits and National Park fees
- Registration with the AMREF Flying Doctors emergency evacuation scheme
- All UK and Tanzanian administration and organisation
- £600 fundraising amount to the Moving Mountains Trust (using gift aid enables you to have 24% of this sum paid for by the tax payback, but gift aid can only be claimed by donors who are UK taxpayers)
- RAG registration and support fee
- International Air travel (~£500- £600)
- Tanzania Visa (~£30 for UK citizens)
- Personal travel insurance policy (~£50 - £70)
- Personal medical expenses, vaccinations and anti-malarials (varies £30-100)
- Additional activities outside of the itinerary
- Lunches (x2) and Dinners (x3) at in Moshi (~£10-30 Total)
- Additional hard / soft drinks (varies)
- Tips for mountain staff (~$110 per climber)
NOT ALL ABOUT MONEY
Please note, we try to include as much of the trip cost as possible in the main fee as we recognise that you want to make decisions based on the total cost. However, some costs will vary quite a lot from person to person and group to group, for example meals at the hotel. Therefore, these type of costs are excluded from the main package costs, as itemised above. We have made good estimates of these additional costs to help you to budget for them. Please make sure that you note all of these costs and have sufficient funds on the ground to meet them.
RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge Kit List
The basic idea of your RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge kit is to keep you warm, dry, protected from the sun/rain and comfortable in the various environments that we will find ourselves in. There is a detailed kit list via the menu below-right and the main principles are:-
- BAGS - A Large Duffle Bag for all your kit on the camp and for a porter to carry on the climb, A small-medium Daysack for carrying day gear on Kili
- GENERAL CLOTHING - Clothing for day to day travel & time on the project
- SHELL - Waterproof layer to keep off wind/rain
- INSULATION - Layered system to keep you warm on the mountain- body hands & Head. Including a warm jacket to deal with temperatures down to around -10degC.
- FEET - Day to day shoes, Sturdy trekking Boots, Flip flops/Sandals
- SLEEPING - Warm sleeping bag and camping mat to get a good nights sleep
- EATING/DRINKING - Water bottles and favourite high-energy snacks for Kili
- WASHING & MEDICAL - To allow you to wash and maybe stave off a headache or blister
RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge additional kit info
- You will have to dress conservatively in the villages and in public in general, particularly the ladies. You will draw unnecessary attention to yourself and probably cause offence if revealing clothing is worn. Shorts must reach the knees and you must have tops that cover your shoulders and have a high neckline.
- Make sure hiking boots fit well and that you have used them at least a few times before the trip to break them (and your feet) in.
- Clothing for the mountain needs to be synthetic and quick drying in case we get wet. Cotton teeshirts and hoodies are not suitable. Make sure that you have two changes of synthetic trekking trousers and base-layer top and a micro-fleece top as well as a warm coat. It can be well below freezing at night and on at least the first half of summit day. Work on a layering system which gives you versatility - Synthetic base-layer tops or thermals, shirt or warm top, fleece, waterproofs. Gloves and hats are vital - remember spare socks can double as mitts in emergencies!
- Even with a good sleeping bag you may get cold unless you have a decent roll mat. Make sure it's a thick closed cell mat or a full-length self-inflating one. If you get a self-inflating one, bring a repair kit A sleeping bag liner made out of cotton (or silk) is useful too and helps to keep the bag clean or can be slept in if it gets too hot. Make your own sleeping bag liner if you want from an old sheet sewn into a mummy shape. Don't make it too tight around you.
- You will be able to wash clothes - handwash in washing powder, that is, and local women will also offer to wash your clothes on the camp for a very small charge. The problem can be trying to dry things, heavy cotton garments can take ages to dry where-as light synthetic ones dry very quickly. On the mountain there is no real opportunity to wash clothes at all.
- If you wear contact lenses take plenty of saline and comfort drops- it can get dusty. And obviously have your glasses on hand as back up.
- Mosquito nets are optional. The tents have inbuilt nets and people in the past have generally not had a big problem with insects.
- Keep your money somewhere safe. Do not bring large wads of notes with you. If you take sterling cash with you make sure they are good condition Bank of England notes, not regional notes, eg Northern Irish notes or Scottish notes.
RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge Project
The RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge also has a large project component. The project is to build a school in Tanzania as part of a long term educational aim in the area. It's a well run and very well established operation in east Africa, and you can see lots more information on the Moving Mountains Trust website and also on the University trips to Kenya page on this website.
We provide a lot of training and preparation and we are working closely with RAG societies this year and every year to ensure that all the expectations are met.
Here's a video showing a group from a school near Bath that has already started on the school:
We also like our groups to organise competitions and events which bring everyone together, and there's nothing better than football to do that! Here's the Canadian team organising a football competition in Kenya which was broadcast to hundreds of Canadian students via videostreaming. The whole event was organised with the University of Ottawa, involving students studying sports psychology and personal development.
And this is the Canadian team training for climbing Mount Kenya which is lower than Mount Kilimanjaro!
RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge
How fit do I need to be for the RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge?
You need to be reasonably fit and in good health to partake in the RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge as this is a seven day climb offering a full mountaineering experience. However, it is not a technical climb so no prior mountain experience in necessary.
It is advisable to some preparation at home like hill walking but it is not necessary to have any experience of high altitude climbs- especially as there are few places to train for this! You will have porters and guides as this a supported climb and the pace will be slow and steady over the seven days.
It is most important to have a positive attitude and motivation!
What terrain will I experience on the RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge?
The RAG Kilimanjaro Challenge takes you on varied terrain over the Machame route. Over seven days, you will you will trek through cultivated farmlands, equatorial forest and alpine heath, across a lunar-like volcanic desert and up to a glaciated summit. Climbing Kilimanjaro is not a technical climb and there are no precipitous drops along the way.
Most paths are in good condition and well established; some are steeper than others (in particular the Great Barranco Wall is an exciting scramble) and you will most likely meet people all along the way. On summit day the path is mostly screed, which can be loose and unrelenting, especially on the descent when your knees will probably suffer.
RAG KILIMANJARO CHALLENGE - WHY US?
This trip is now in its 4th year and has successfully delivered a great and influential experience to lots of students, both in terms of visitors and residents in East Africa. The safety aspect is unrivalled and we outsource the management and logistics of our groups to the tour company Adventure Alternative and do this as they are experts in their field and unlike MM, they are an officially recognised, licenced & bonded tour operator. They have all the proper insurances, policies, assessments, bonding, qualifications, experience, equipment, vehicles and staff to ensure a smooth and safe transition from arrival in Tanzania, throughout the journey at our projects or whilst being involved with the personal challenge elements of the itinerary climbing Kilimanjaro and back to the airport again.
Adventure Alternative have passed the British Standard 8848 audit for overseas youth expeditions, and their staff have been running this trip for many years. The staff are brilliant at their jobs. MM was originally born out of Adventure Alternative (AA) and many of their staff are former beneficiaries of the charity. They are the perfect guides to illustrate the realities of life in Tanzania and with their intimate knowledge, alongside our western staff, they're the perfect custodians for our visiting groups.
Moving Mountains ensures that the trips are not over commercialized, or marketing on people's desire to help others. We have serious developmental aims, well evidenced and documented over many years now, and we run this programme with an emphasis on the long term benefits. Our partnerships with schools, communities, villages and the authorities span decades now; we are absolutely confident that this trip does not fall into the traps of short termism, or perpetuating damaging stereotypes of aid.
Our experience is that this trip has only ever given all the people involved a great adventure, lots of self esteem and lots of motivation to make something of themselves, whilst assisting and changing for the positive a problem identified and qualified by the Moving Mountains Trust
The benefits of a personal development school trip are not just for the visitor, but we'll start there!
'Personal Development through International Development' is how we like to summarise the benefits for a young person on one of our trips. The experience, although managed with great care and with wonderful staff also allows the visitor to expand on skills they have and explore, use and develop new ones. Below are some areas which this trip gives a greater understanding or experience of to the visitor:
- Global citizenship
- Cultural Awareness and interaction
- Understanding & experiencing (charity) development at a grass roots level
- Learning and using teaching, building and sports skills
- Language skills
- Time management
- Financial planning, awareness and management
- Fundraising initiatives, planning and management
- Self belief and confidence
- Drive, ambition and maturity
- Fitness & physical challenge
- Personal challenge
- Team work
- Catering and nutrition
- Practical skills
- Camping & trekking skills
- Wildlife knowledge and experience
- Problem solving
- Health and hygiene
- Safety and how to look after yourself whilst travelling
- Responsible Travel
Support staff / RAG Trip leaders
Whether you're physically with the group in East Africa, or have been the support behind them for fundraising at home, then there's also benefits to you:
- All of the above benefits that you get to give to the students!
- Your own personal challenge
- Increased recognition in your university
- Professional development portfolio advancement
- Achievement of seeing the group reach & realise their goals
- Watching and helping the young people develop personally and socially
- Raise your university profile in terms of local media and the university sector
Despite being naturally concerned that your children will be away from home you can be assured that they are in good hands with a team of staff who will look after them really well. We often get calls from parents after the trip to tell us how their children have had such a positive experience. Below are a few of the remarks which are often made:
- Eyes opened to the real world
- Focused and more motivated
- Greater drive and aspirations for the future
- A desire to teach / work in the charity sector / help people
- Gained such good travel experience for when they travel again
- More confident
- Listens better
- Is nicer to their siblings & parents!
The Host Community
The communities with which MM works benefit greatly and often in ways that we don't always appreciate. For example Mt. Maurice Odindo, head teacher at Wagwer Primary School thanked a group from the UK for the water pump that they'd paid for and installed with MM in his school. When he thanked them he explained that this water pump not only gave them water to drink but it also saved lives and allowed them to grow and study better as this water pump:
- Gave water to the students to drink
- Gave water to the school kitchen to prepare food
- Gave water to the plants that they grew around the school which fed them
- Gave water to the plants that when in excess could be sold which gives the school money to buy books
- Gave water to the students that needed it to feed the animals that the school raised (cow, pig and chicken projects) to create revenue streams that allowed better equipment or more teachers
- It meant that, unlike the previous year, 2 students wouldn't die as a result of having to cross a busy road to fetch water from another source
- It meant that the girls when on their periods had access to water and didn't need to miss vital lessons staying at home
Further more a project that we run, be it a classroom development, building a clinic or repair works also has knock on affects in the community beyond the actual physical building or the long term development of a facility or community project:
- We buy & source food locally from local traders directly investing in local people and families
- We buy and source our building supplies and employ builders locally
- We take the groups to local places of interest and again invest directly in the community
- We bring local children to the camps which is based on their school performance encouraging their development
- We work closely with local officials, schools, community leaders to ensure we develop and improve the areas where we work
Join us by choosing a date below!
You will be redirected to our travel provider Adventure Alternative which manages all of our trips.
A £250 deposit on the AA secure booking system will secure your place.
- Duration 14 days
- Numbers 10-30
- Altitude 5895m
- Accommodation Tents
- Challenge Moderate