...Mt. Meru

. At 19,340 feet (5,895m) Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa...The base of the mountain is nearly 50 miles (80km) long and 25 miles (40km) and contains three peaks in various stages of erosion...Shira on the west side, Mawenzi on the east and Kibo in the center...The youngest peak, Kibo, is covered by three large ice fields and is the location of the highest point on Kilimanjaro...

We guide the Shira and Machame routes which traverse the less traveled west side of the mountain. ..(See route map here) ..These routes are slightly longer than the other routes on Kili which give our clients more time to acclimate improving their chances of reaching the summit... Contact us for current prices.

- Shira/Southern Circuit/Mweka route - 8 days.... ...(see Itinerary)
- Shira/Western Breach/Mweka route - 8 days.... ...(see Itinerary)
- Shira/Southern Circuit/Mweka route - 7 days.... ...(see Itinerary)
- Machame/Southern Circuit/Mweka route - 7 days... ...(see Itinerary)
- Machame/Western Breach/Mweka route - 7 days... ...(see Itinerary)

. Mt. Meru, at 14,979 feet, may be second to Kilimanjaro in height, but it more than makes up for it in terms of scenery, flora and fauna...Giraffe and buffalo are plentiful on the lower slopes and the upper slopes offer spectacular views of Arusha Park and Kilimanjaro to the west...The mountain's rim is horseshoe shaped creating a natural amphitheater called Meru crater and contains a large ash cone...The walls of this amphitheatre are nearly sheer from the summit down to its floor...The mountain only sees a fraction of the climbers that Kili sees and it is not unusual to have the slopes and scenery to ourselves!

Momella route - 4 days... ...(see Itinerary)


. Our climbing trips are custom arranged with clients to accomodate their schedule... Contact us for current prices.


Along with Allen, African Outdoor Expeditions employs four expert guides who are among the best available...Victor R. Kinyonga, Raymond Basil Shayo, Frederick J. Kikwesha and John S. Maeda have been climbing Kili since the late 1980's and their training has included:

  • NOLS climbing courses in Tanzania/Kenya
  • NOLS Medical Training (Wilderness Medicine Institute) courses
  • WFA (Wildlife First Aid) courses
  • Hold WFR and CPR certificates from the American Heart Assoc.
  • Wilderness Training in Ornithology, Mammalogy and Ecology

  • Raymond


    . When we hire our porters, cooks and assistant cooks we draw from the same group of about 40...They climb with us on a regular basis and it certainly makes a better trip for everyone when we use a crew that has worked together in the past...The trip runs smoother and that makes things safer for all involved. . Our crew is provided with their own tent, sleeping gear and better than average pay...Allan started out himself as a porter so he knows how difficult the job is...How many company owners can make that claim!

    Cook - Joseph
    Cook - Kambona
    Cook - Rumisha


    . AOE provides top quality mountaineering (Mountain Hardware) three-person tents that are shared by just two people allowing plenty of room for your gear...The tents and the rest of AOE's equipment will be carried by our porters; you are asked to only carry what you may need during the day (i.e. a day pack with water, snacks, sunscreen, camera, extra clothing, etc.)...The porters will also carry your sleeping bag and sleeping pad if you prefer.

    The equipment you need to bring is:
    • day pack (used for carrying water, extra clothing, etc.) or
    • back pack (if you prefer to carry your own personal gear)
    • sleeping bag/stuff sack (should be rated +15 or warmer)
    • sleeping pad
    • duffel bag w/ lock (for storing non-climbing gear while on the climb)
    • large plastic bags (sleeping bag will be bagged for protection from potential rain)

    • toiletries (enough for your entire trip)
    • sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher)
    • flashlight or headlamp (we will NOT be hiking at night, but this may come in handy)
    • towelettes
    • face towel (for washing up in camp)
    • personal first aid kit
    • two one-quart, wide-mouthed plastic bottles
    • water treatment tablets

    • gloves (a pair of medium wool or polypro)
    • outer shells (a waterproof pair to go over your mittens)
    • polypro cap or balaclava
    • cap or hat (for shade)
    • glacier glasses

    • polypro or wool tops (mixture of light, medium or heavyweight for layering)
    • polypro or wool bottoms (mixture of light and heavy for layering)
    • rain pants (waterproof nylon or Goretex)
    • parka (waterproof nylon or Goretex)
    • poncho (protection for yourself and your day-pack)

    • thin socks (polypro for wearing under thicker socks)
    • thick socks (we recommend Thor-lo)
    • leather hiking boots (plastic Mountaineering boots are not necessary)
    • gaiters (high or low to keep the dirt and snow out of your boots)


    • water flavoring (powdered)
    • tennis shoes (to wear in camp)
    • ski poles (highly recommended for the descent!)

    . We bring oxygen, a portable altitude chamber (PAC, or Gamow hyperbaric bag) and a substantial first aid kit on every climb, plus we stay in touch with our Arusha office daily via radio in case of emergency...Since we often lead trips on multiple routes simultaneously, we own and maintain redundant pieces of safety equipment necessary for a safe climb.

    . The Gamow bag is a portable hyperbaric chamber used in advancing acute mountain sickness with either HACE (high altitude cerebral edema) or HAPE (high altitude pulmonary edema)...The bag is a person-sized chamber in which a climber is enclosed and once inflated, mimics the atmospheric conditions present at a lower altitude reducing the symptoms of AMS...The oxygen bottle and mask are also used for emergencies of AMS.

    . But more important than having the gear necessary to deal with an emergency, is detecting the conditions that can lead to one...Our guides are trained to detect the early symptoms of altitude sickness before an emergency arises and these may include: fatigue, severe headache, dizziness and blurred vision.

    . If someone gets sick or canít make it we are prepared to take that person down and continue with the others...On the west side of Kilimanjaro, unlike other routes, a vehicle can actually get to 10,000 on a ranger access road...Higher on the mountain the climber can choose to skip the summit and meet the other climbers on the descent trail at Mweka Hut (10,500 feet)...If they can't continue at all, we will take them back to where we can get them a vehicle...On our climbs we always have at least two guides, one to bring down a climber if necessary and the other to continue on with the rest of the group...We always bring a two-way radio with us and stay in communication with our base for just such incidents.

    We do recommend that you bring a small personal kit comprised of any medications that you think may need...Below are some suggestions, but obviously your preferences and the advise of your doctor should influence your choices.
    • headache, mild pain (ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin)
    • upset stomach (Peptobismal, Maalox, Gelusil M or Mylanta; Donnatal for stomach cramps)
    • colds, allergies (can be a problem due to the dry, cold air at altitude; cough drops, Sudafed)
    • diarrhea (Imodium or Lomotil will treat the symptom but not the cause; Ciprofloxacin for bacterial dysentery)
    • cuts, bites (Neosporin, Polysporin)
    • blisters (moleskin)
    • sore joints & muscles (liniment)

    . We provide three meals a day which are rich in carbohydrates served in a dining tent with a large table and stools...If you have any special menu requests, please let us know so that we may accomodate you!..We recommend that you bring some of your favorite snacks, especially ones that do not have an excess of salt...The following are samples of the meals you can expect.

    Breakfast: cereal (granola and oatmeal), eggs, bacon, saugage, fruit, toast, jam, butter, milk (powdered), tea and coffee

    Lunch: bread, cheese, fresh fruits, soup, tea and coffee

    Dinner: Fresh fish or chicken, pasta, soup, potatoes, vegetables, salad, fruits, tea and coffee


    . Drinking and cooking water on Kili is collected from springs on the lower slopes and on the upper slopes we melt snow...We will provide boiled water for your water bottles, but do not forget your purifying tablets because the spring water contain organisms that most climbers are not used to...We suggest you bring some bottled water to supplement this if iodine treated water is unpalatable to you after several days.


    . There are no permanent toilets on the Shira and Machame routes so we practice an ecologically sound waste management system with self-contained portable johns with detachable holding tanks...We also provide a portable enclosure to ensure privacy.


    . The summit of Kilimanjaro is 19,340 (give or take several feet of snow) and will cause most climbers to experience a mild form of acute mountain sickness (AMS)...The symptoms include one or more of the following:
    • headache
    • upset stomach
    • loss of appetite
    • difficulty sleeping
    • malaise
    . To minimize these symptoms, it is generally recommended that a person gain no more than 1,000 feet per day above 12,000...The summit of Kilimanjaro is 7,000 feet above 12,000 feet so a trip of seven days should be the minimum...When we travel the Shira route, we take six nights and seven days to reach the summit which doesn't eliminate altitude sickness, but goes a long way in minimizing it...Our success rate of nearly 100% on the Shira route is a direct result of this.

    . Your body will display other responses to being at altitude; including, slight swelling of the hands and feet, increased pulse rate and diuresis...Diuresis results in more frequent urination which, combined with the loss of water through respiration due to the dry air, requires that you increase your intake of fluids...It's recommended that you drink at least four quarts of fluid a day.
    . Acute mountain sickness in its mild form is not life-threatening, but if the conditions persist you should plan to descend as rapidly as possible...If the symptoms for mild AMS are ignored, a more severe case will result which is live-threatening...It's characterized by the following:
    • shortness of breath
    • poor balance and muscular coordination (ataxia)
    • inability to think clearly
    . These symptoms mean an immediate descent is necessary along with medical attention...

    . Diamox (acetazolamide) can be useful in preventing AMS, but we recommend that you consult your doctor regarding its use...One of its side effects is frequent urination (it acts as a diuretic), plus being a sulfa drug, it should not be taken by those allergic to sulfas.