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Kilimanjaro

Mountaineering, Ecology, & Safari

June 24 — July 11
$9,790 + airfare

Kilimanjaro

Mountaineering, Ecology, & Safari

June 24 — July 11
$9,790 + airfare

Travel to Tanzania this summer and trek to the “Roof of Africa.” This Mt. Kilimanjaro program combines Putney’s most challenging outdoor adventure—climbing Africa’s highest peak—with a safari in two of the world’s most renowned wildlife parks: Ngorongoro Crater and Tarangire National Park. Our alpine adventure and safari explores the intersection of culture, ecology, climate, and local livelihoods in Tanzania. Learn about climate change, mountain ecology, porter and guide culture, wildlife conservation, and the past, present, and future of safari travel and trekking in East Africa.

• Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, at 19,340 feet
• Watch the sunrise from Kilimanjaro’s snowcapped summit
• Trek across the stunning moorland of the Shira Plateau
• Go on safari in the ten-mile-wide Ngorongoro Crater big game park
“My Putney experience in Tanzania was truly a formative one and I look back on the trip fondly. The views from the top of Kilimanjaro were breathtaking. I am incredibly grateful that I had the opportunity to climb one of the world’s Seven Summits, learn about daily life and local culture in Tanzania, go on safari, and meet all of the wonderful people along the way.”
—Dan M., Phillips Academy Andover, Pennington, NJ

Itinerary

This itinerary represents our best projection of the group’s schedule. However, we may implement changes designed to improve the quality of the program.

Departure — Travel Day

Meet your fellow high school student travelers and one or more of your leaders in New York, and fly together to Arusha, Tanzania, by way of Amsterdam. To learn more about how we organize travel, click here.

Machame — 3 days

Begin your trip at our mountain lodge at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Get to know your group and leaders, learn basic Swahili vocabulary, have a pre-climb orientation with your mountain guides, and go on a short practice hike. Learn about the people, cultures, and history of the Kilimanjaro region on a visit to a local coffee farm. Most local residents are Chagga, the ethnic group that calls Kilimanjaro’s southern slopes its ancestral home and produces many guides, porters, and other trekking staff. Explore the challenges that climate change presents for communities that rely on Mt. Kilimanjaro’s resources to sustain their livelihoods. See firsthand how local people depend on a healthy watershed to grow crops, and also the challenges they face today as weather is increasingly unpredictable. Learn from senior guides what skills and training you need to work on the mountain and why young Tanzanians are drawn to careers in the trekking and safari industries. Through discussions with your guides, leaders, and fellow students, document the development of climbing in East Africa and the important role it plays in Tanzania’s economy.

Kilimanjaro Climb — 8 days

Set out on the magnificent, unspoiled Lemosho and Southern Circuit route, and follow in the footsteps of the first Putney group to climb Kilimanjaro in 1972. This route is completed over eight days and allows ample time for healthy acclimatization, as well as a high summit success rate (more commonly used routes attempt the summit in just five or six days, requiring extreme elevation gains, and inadequate time to acclimate).

Travel through multiple climate zones as you ascend the mountain. At the entrance to Kilimanjaro National Park, pass plantations full of bananas and coffee. These agricultural lands give way to thick forest inhabited by Colobus monkeys, tropical birds, bush babies, and other wildlife. In this forest, spend your first night at Mti Mkubwa Camp. Make your way through higher elevation montane forest and clusters of ornamental hagenia trees before arriving at the Shira Plateau. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a stunning expanse of ancient lava flows covered in heath, moorland, and alien-like giant groundsels. We overnight on the plateau’s West Side Camp, then at Moir Camp on its eastern side.

Moorland gradually transitions into alpine desert, a breathtaking environment dotted with moss and grass. It is home to the Lava Tower, an impressive 300-foot high volcanic plug jutting out from the mountainside that you visit on an acclimatization hike. From here we complete the Southern Circuit, trekking around Kilimanjaro’s south-facing glaciers, passing volcanic rock formations, and spending nights at Great Barranco, Karanga Valley, and Kosovo Camps.

Finally, we enter the arctic zone and make our summit attempt of Kilimanjaro’s 19,340-foot Uhuru Peak at sunrise. Take in bird’s eye views of the surrounding icefields, the savannah thousands of feet below, and the shadow of Mt. Meru in the distance (Africa’s fifth highest peak). Celebrate your hard-earned summit and snap a group photo to document your accomplishment. Descend and spend a final night at Mweka Camp on the edge of the forest zone, then a short hike out to the park’s Mweka gate the next morning where we say farewell to our guides.

Mt. Meru Lodge — 1 day

Drive to the nearby town of Arusha for a celebratory group dinner at our lodge on the lower slopes of Mt. Meru, an impressive stratovolcano that towers over Arusha. Take a full day to rest and relax after your climb, explore a local market, and prepare for our safari adventure.

Safari & Maasai Village — 4 days

Set out on a safari organized by close friends of Putney, who introduce you to two of Tanzania’s most famous wildlife parks. In Tarangire National Park, from the safety of our safari vehicles, search for lions on the banks of the Tarangire River and spot elephants wading in Silale Swamp. Then ascend the Rift Valley Escarpment and continue to Ngorongoro Crater for more wildlife viewing in this ten-mile-wide caldera, home to cheetahs, rhinos, and other rare megafauna. Drive through grassland, swamps, along lakes and rivers, and encounter lions, zebras, elephants, monkeys, flamingos, wildebeest, jackals, bat-eared foxes, hyenas, and birds of prey. Outside of Ngorongoro, visit a traditional Maasai home, or boma, and learn how livestock herding is central to this pastoralist community’s way of life. Join in campfire discussions with our professional safari guides about the history of wildlife conservation in Tanzania and successful projects underway to mitigate human-wildlife conflict in communities surrounding national parks.

Return — Travel Day

Fly from Arusha, Tanzania, to New York, by way of Amsterdam, with your group and a leader, then continue on to your final destination. To learn more about how we organize travel, click here.

Itinerary

This itinerary represents our best projection of the group’s schedule. However, we may implement changes designed to improve the quality of the program.

Departure — Travel Day

Meet your fellow high school student travelers and one or more of your leaders in New York, and fly together to Arusha, Tanzania, by way of Amsterdam. To learn more about how we organize travel, click here.

Machame — 3 days

Begin your trip at our mountain lodge at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Get to know your group and leaders, learn basic Swahili vocabulary, have a pre-climb orientation with your mountain guides, and go on a short practice hike. Learn about the people, cultures, and history of the Kilimanjaro region on a visit to a local coffee farm. Most local residents are Chagga, the ethnic group that calls Kilimanjaro’s southern slopes its ancestral home and produces many guides, porters, and other trekking staff. Explore the challenges that climate change presents for communities that rely on Mt. Kilimanjaro’s resources to sustain their livelihoods. See firsthand how local people depend on a healthy watershed to grow crops, and also the challenges they face today as weather is increasingly unpredictable. Learn from senior guides what skills and training you need to work on the mountain and why young Tanzanians are drawn to careers in the trekking and safari industries. Through discussions with your guides, leaders, and fellow students, document the development of climbing in East Africa and the important role it plays in Tanzania’s economy.

Kilimanjaro Climb — 8 days

Set out on the magnificent, unspoiled Lemosho and Southern Circuit route, and follow in the footsteps of the first Putney group to climb Kilimanjaro in 1972. This route is completed over eight days and allows ample time for healthy acclimatization, as well as a high summit success rate (more commonly used routes attempt the summit in just five or six days, requiring extreme elevation gains, and inadequate time to acclimate).

Travel through multiple climate zones as you ascend the mountain. At the entrance to Kilimanjaro National Park, pass plantations full of bananas and coffee. These agricultural lands give way to thick forest inhabited by Colobus monkeys, tropical birds, bush babies, and other wildlife. In this forest, spend your first night at Mti Mkubwa Camp. Make your way through higher elevation montane forest and clusters of ornamental hagenia trees before arriving at the Shira Plateau. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a stunning expanse of ancient lava flows covered in heath, moorland, and alien-like giant groundsels. We overnight on the plateau’s West Side Camp, then at Moir Camp on its eastern side.

Moorland gradually transitions into alpine desert, a breathtaking environment dotted with moss and grass. It is home to the Lava Tower, an impressive 300-foot high volcanic plug jutting out from the mountainside that you visit on an acclimatization hike. From here we complete the Southern Circuit, trekking around Kilimanjaro’s south-facing glaciers, passing volcanic rock formations, and spending nights at Great Barranco, Karanga Valley, and Kosovo Camps.

Finally, we enter the arctic zone and make our summit attempt of Kilimanjaro’s 19,340-foot Uhuru Peak at sunrise. Take in bird’s eye views of the surrounding icefields, the savannah thousands of feet below, and the shadow of Mt. Meru in the distance (Africa’s fifth highest peak). Celebrate your hard-earned summit and snap a group photo to document your accomplishment. Descend and spend a final night at Mweka Camp on the edge of the forest zone, then a short hike out to the park’s Mweka gate the next morning where we say farewell to our guides.

Mt. Meru Lodge — 1 day

Drive to the nearby town of Arusha for a celebratory group dinner at our lodge on the lower slopes of Mt. Meru, an impressive stratovolcano that towers over Arusha. Take a full day to rest and relax after your climb, explore a local market, and prepare for our safari adventure.

Safari & Maasai Village — 4 days

Set out on a safari organized by close friends of Putney, who introduce you to two of Tanzania’s most famous wildlife parks. In Tarangire National Park, from the safety of our safari vehicles, search for lions on the banks of the Tarangire River and spot elephants wading in Silale Swamp. Then ascend the Rift Valley Escarpment and continue to Ngorongoro Crater for more wildlife viewing in this ten-mile-wide caldera, home to cheetahs, rhinos, and other rare megafauna. Drive through grassland, swamps, along lakes and rivers, and encounter lions, zebras, elephants, monkeys, flamingos, wildebeest, jackals, bat-eared foxes, hyenas, and birds of prey. Outside of Ngorongoro, visit a traditional Maasai home, or boma, and learn how livestock herding is central to this pastoralist community’s way of life. Join in campfire discussions with our professional safari guides about the history of wildlife conservation in Tanzania and successful projects underway to mitigate human-wildlife conflict in communities surrounding national parks.

Return — Travel Day

Fly from Arusha, Tanzania, to New York, by way of Amsterdam, with your group and a leader, then continue on to your final destination. To learn more about how we organize travel, click here.

Featured

Leaders

Meet some of our featured leaders. Please note that these may not be your leaders for the program. 

2023_xkila_yara-abad-pesantez-1
Yara Abad
View Bio
2023_xkila_mark-pommer
Mark Pommer
View Bio
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Featured

Leaders

Meet some of our featured leaders. Please note that these may not be your leaders for the program. 

2023_xkila_yara-abad-pesantez-1
Yara Abad
View Bio
2023_xkila_mark-pommer
Mark Pommer
View Bio
Loading...
About the Destination

Tanzania’s welcoming and vibrant culture and extraordinary natural beauty make it a favorite destination for travelers. A well-established democratic government and a widely respected public education system are the keys to Tanzania’s reputation as a safe and stable country. Representing over 120 different ethnic groups, Tanzanian citizens rely heavily on agriculture for both subsistence and livelihoods. The country boasts abundant wildlife and iconic landscapes, and Tanzanians pride themselves on their rich natural resources and peaceful history.

Language

While each of the 120 ethnic groups in the nation has its own dialect, Swahili is the language spoken by the majority of Tanzanians. Higher education is conducted in English, and thus many older people speak English. Our mountain and safari guides are fluent in English.

Climate

Tanzania lies just south of the Equator, and weather conditions do not vary greatly throughout the year. We visit during the dry season. At the base of the mountain and on safari, temperatures reach 70–80°F (21–27°C) during the day, and drop to 40–50°F (4.5–10°C) at night. Temperatures vary widely higher on the mountain, with nighttime temperatures near the summit dropping to 0°F (-18°C).

Cuisine

Food in Tanzania is varied, and curries, grilled meat, tropical fruits, and vegetables are common. Influences from Indian and Western cuisines are reflected in the availability of breads like chapati and naan, and staples like pastas, cereals, and rice.

About the Destination

Tanzania’s welcoming and vibrant culture and extraordinary natural beauty make it a favorite destination for travelers. A well-established democratic government and a widely respected public education system are the keys to Tanzania’s reputation as a safe and stable country. Representing over 120 different ethnic groups, Tanzanian citizens rely heavily on agriculture for both subsistence and livelihoods. The country boasts abundant wildlife and iconic landscapes, and Tanzanians pride themselves on their rich natural resources and peaceful history.

Language

While each of the 120 ethnic groups in the nation has its own dialect, Swahili is the language spoken by the majority of Tanzanians. Higher education is conducted in English, and thus many older people speak English. Our mountain and safari guides are fluent in English.

Climate

Tanzania lies just south of the Equator, and weather conditions do not vary greatly throughout the year. We visit during the dry season. At the base of the mountain and on safari, temperatures reach 70–80°F (21–27°C) during the day, and drop to 40–50°F (4.5–10°C) at night. Temperatures vary widely higher on the mountain, with nighttime temperatures near the summit dropping to 0°F (-18°C).

Cuisine

Food in Tanzania is varied, and curries, grilled meat, tropical fruits, and vegetables are common. Influences from Indian and Western cuisines are reflected in the availability of breads like chapati and naan, and staples like pastas, cereals, and rice.

What to Expect

Review specific program expectations here. For more general information:

Exploration

To learn more about our Exploration programs click here.

Physical Activity

This is Putney’s most physically challenging program. The ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro involves eight days of hiking and camping, with considerable time spent at high elevations. While no technical climbing skills are required, participants must be physically fit. In the spring, Putney will provide training suggestions to help prepare you for a successful climb. You hike each day with your daypack, carrying only what you need for that day. All other gear is carried to the next camp by porter staff. You should come to the program with an open mind, eager to participate in outdoor experiences, and interested in exploring another culture and way of life.

Altitude

This program spends extended time above an elevation of 10,000 feet/3,048 meters. Uhuru Peak, the summit of Mt. Kilimjanaro, sits at 19,340 feet/5,895 meters.

Independent Project

Pursue an independent project and explore a local topic of particular interest to you—compile a booklet of Swahili language greetings, document the training required to become a mountain guide, research the geological processes that created Mt. Kilimanjaro, study mountain weather, or explore local folklore or traditional music.

Accommodations

In Machame and Arusha, we stay in small mountain lodges. During the climb and on safari, we stay in tents provided by our local outfitters. Leaders reside together with the students throughout the program.

Meals

During our climb, breakfasts and dinners are prepared at camp by a trained cook. Lunches are eaten picnic-style on the trail. Meals are nutritious and rich in carbohydrates and proteins. Breakfasts consist of juices, granola, fruit, eggs, toast, pancakes, or french toast. Lunches have fresh bread, cold cuts, vegetables, and a variety of sandwich-making supplies. Dinners include hot soups, salads, pastas, rice, chicken, fish, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Coffee, tea, and filtered water are always available. In Machame and Arusha, we eat at our accommodations. While on the safari, we prepare meals in camp with our safari guides.

What to Expect

Review specific program expectations here. For more general information:

Exploration

To learn more about our Exploration programs click here.

Physical Activity

This is Putney’s most physically challenging program. The ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro involves eight days of hiking and camping, with considerable time spent at high elevations. While no technical climbing skills are required, participants must be physically fit. In the spring, Putney will provide training suggestions to help prepare you for a successful climb. You hike each day with your daypack, carrying only what you need for that day. All other gear is carried to the next camp by porter staff. You should come to the program with an open mind, eager to participate in outdoor experiences, and interested in exploring another culture and way of life.

Altitude

This program spends extended time above an elevation of 10,000 feet/3,048 meters. Uhuru Peak, the summit of Mt. Kilimjanaro, sits at 19,340 feet/5,895 meters.

Independent Project

Pursue an independent project and explore a local topic of particular interest to you—compile a booklet of Swahili language greetings, document the training required to become a mountain guide, research the geological processes that created Mt. Kilimanjaro, study mountain weather, or explore local folklore or traditional music.

Accommodations

In Machame and Arusha, we stay in small mountain lodges. During the climb and on safari, we stay in tents provided by our local outfitters. Leaders reside together with the students throughout the program.

Meals

During our climb, breakfasts and dinners are prepared at camp by a trained cook. Lunches are eaten picnic-style on the trail. Meals are nutritious and rich in carbohydrates and proteins. Breakfasts consist of juices, granola, fruit, eggs, toast, pancakes, or french toast. Lunches have fresh bread, cold cuts, vegetables, and a variety of sandwich-making supplies. Dinners include hot soups, salads, pastas, rice, chicken, fish, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Coffee, tea, and filtered water are always available. In Machame and Arusha, we eat at our accommodations. While on the safari, we prepare meals in camp with our safari guides.

A Day in the Life: Kilimanjaro Climb

Due to the traveling nature of this student program abroad, each day is different. Here is a snapshot of a day on Kilimanjaro.
6:00am
Eat breakfast in camp, and review the day’s hike with your guides
7:00am
Prepare your daypack and set out on the trail
9:00am
Stop for a mid-morning rest and snack, and refill water bottles
12:00pm
Break on the trail for a picnic lunch and rest
1:00pm
Continue with the day’s hike and take in the views downslope
4:00pm
Arrive at the night’s camp, rest, clean-up, play games, or write in your journal
5:00pm
Eat dinner as a group at camp
7:00pm
Discuss the next day’s plan in the mess tent and have a group meeting
9:00pm
Return to tents for a good night’s rest

A Day in the Life:
Kilimanjaro Climb

Due to the traveling nature of this student program abroad, each day is different. Here is a snapshot of a day on Kilimanjaro.
6:00am
Eat breakfast in camp, and review the day’s hike with your guides
7:00am
Prepare your daypack and set out on the trail
9:00am
Stop for a mid-morning rest and snack, and refill water bottles
12:00pm
Break on the trail for a picnic lunch and rest
1:00pm
Continue with the day’s hike and take in the views downslope
4:00pm
Arrive at the night’s camp, rest, clean-up, play games, or write in your journal
5:00pm
Eat dinner as a group at camp
7:00pm
Discuss the next day’s plan in the mess tent and have a group meeting
9:00pm
Return to tents for a good night’s rest
“The experience overall, but especially the midnight summit hike, proved to me that I can do anything with the right mindset of perseverance, ability, and self-belief.”
—Aisling K., The Nightingale-Bamford School, New York, NY
john-linsley

This Program is Directed by

John Linsley

If you have questions or would like to talk further about this program, please get in touch!

john-linsley

This Program is Directed by

John Linsley

If you have questions or would like to talk further about this program, please get in touch!

Enroll in two programs & save $1,000!

$800 tuition discount + no application fee

Kilimanjaro
Mountaineering, Ecology, & Safari

2024 Dates
June 24 — July 11

Duration
18 days

Tuition
$9,790 + airfare

Eligibility
Currently* in grades 9–12
*Your grade as of the day you apply

Typical Group
12–14 students, 2 leaders

Group Flight
Departs from New York


 

Additional Info

Questions? Visit our FAQ or call us at (802) 387-5000

 

2024 Dates
June 24 — July 11

Duration
18 days

Tuition
$9,790 + airfare


 

Eligibility
Currently* in grades 9–12
*Your grade as of the day you apply

Typical Group
12–14 students, 2 leaders

Group Flight
Departs from New York

 

Questions? Visit our FAQ or call us at (802) 387-5000

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