August 30, 2021
Ever stood on the top floor of a skyscraper and thought, “Bah, this ain’t so tall”? Then you might just be Kilimanjaro material.
Join this once-in-a-lifetime Unplugged trek with the Tribe as we walk in the bootprints of famed explorers and mountaineers. Together we'll hike to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, through lush rainforests, alpine deserts and icy glaciers.
Unplugged adventures are all about our reunion; seeing familiar faces while taking an intentional break from work to reconnect and reminisce about the wild days of the Tribe. To keep in touch with old friends a few times a year and stay plugged into the community, even when we're no longer fully nomadic.
Living our daily lives together is beyond compare, now imagine us summiting Africa's tallest peak!
Unplug & Trek Mt. Kilimanjaro
Leave your laptops behind, there won't be wifi where we're going. At 5,895m (19,340 ft), we'll hike along the Marangu Route to reach the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro and head back down in 6 days.
Affectionately known as the "Coca-Cola Route" due to its popularity, the Marangu Route winds through forests, moorlands, and high-altitude deserts to bring us to 3 different huts as we reach the summit. This is the quickest route to the summit — but there's a catch: The trail is well-maintained but the ascent to the summit is quick. The lack of acclimatization makes the success rate lower than other routes that take more days. Local guides, cooks, and porters will support us during the trek and stays at mountain huts along the way.
Trekking Together: Our Itinerary
This Unplugged adventure is organized in combination with a tour company based in Nairobi, Africa who was recommended by a member of the community (thanks, Keith!). See a map of our trek and the surrounding routes here.
Arrive at any time, we'll have airport pickups available at the Kilimanjaro Airport to drop us off at a simple hotel nearby in Arusha. There will be a pre-departure meeting with a local guide to go over last-minute details of the trek.
Elevation: 1,700m to 2,700m || Distance: 7km || Duration: 4-5 hours
After breakfast and a briefing, we'll drive 45 minutes to the Kilimanjaro National Park gate to register our group and start our 6-day hike!
The trek starts walking through a rainforest and will end at the Mandara Hut, these lower elevations can be wet and muddy, so gaiters and trekking poles will be helpful. We can do a side hike to the Maundi Crater to see the surrounding mountains in northern Tanzania and Kenya. Lunch and dinner will be provided.
Elevation: 2,700m to 3,700m || Distance: 11km || Duration: 6-8 hours
We'll increase our distance on day 3, trekking between the Mandara Hut to the Horombo Hut. We'll be met with views of Mawenzi peak, and we may start feeling the effects of the increasing altitude. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided.
Elevation: 3,700m to 4,700m || Distance: 10km || Duration: 6-8 hours
We'll ascend to the Kibo Hut, walking on the saddle of Kilimanjaro between the Kibo and Mawenzi peaks. Our surroundings transform from brush to "moonscape" as we reach our destination. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided, we'll also rest to prepare to climb the summit.
Elevation: 4,700m to 5,895m to summit, return to 3,700m || Distance: 4km to summit, 14km to Horombo Hut || Duration: 10-15 hours
It's time to summit! Waking between 12am - 2am, we'll start the summit climb on steep and heavy snow up to Gilman's Point, located on the crater rim. We'll ascend to Uhuru Peak, the highest point in Africa. This portion of the hike will start in the dark and will be cold, don't forget a headlamp and layers. Without a doubt, this is the most challenging day with many switchbacks so we'll go slowly, taking it step-by-step.
After soaking in the unbelievable views, we'll descend for lunch and rest at the Kibo Hut before continuing on to the Horombo Hut to spend the night. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided.
Elevation: 3,700m to 1,700m || Distance: 18km || Duration: 5-7 hours
Let the descent begin, winding through the moorlands past the Mandara Hut, back under the lush rainforest and to the national park gate at the Marangu Route starting point.
A car will be waiting for us at Marangu village to drive us back to our hotel. Breakfast will be provided.
Good to Know Before We Go
All Unplugged experiences are different, and this trek comes with its own set of notes to be aware of before we set foot on the trail. Our adventure will be a feat of physical endurance and strength, but reaching the summit is possible with a community of supporters cheering us on the whole way.
There's room for 12 members on the Unplugged adventure to Mt. Kilimanjaro. Think of the big group hug once we reach the summit!
Our trek will be led by seasoned, professional guides. There are also porters to help carry our food and water supplies and cooks to prepare our meals.
We'll stay in non-heated, wooden, A-frame huts with simple, single beds that have thin mattresses. There is no electricity so headlamps are essential. All huts have shared toilets and bathing facilities.
Transport to the national park, all park fees, fresh meals while on the mountain, and purified drinking water are included.
Good to Know
The Marangu Route is the safest route to the summit — but there's a catch: the ascent to the summit is quick, so the lack of acclimatization makes the success rate lower than other routes. This is a serious high-altitude hike, expect long days of trekking and be prepared to sweat!
Unplugged adventures are a time to take time off from work, the focus is on connecting rather than staying productive. Our huts on Mt. Kilimanjaro won't have wifi access.
There's an optional $100 fee to rent trekking gear for the whole trip if you aren't traveling with your stuff.
For added comfort and insulation, an extra sleeping bag is available to rent for $20 for the whole trek.
Join Us for the Mt. Kilimanjaro Trek
Unplugged adventures are about reuniting with old friends. It's a week-long intentional break from the day-to-day to disconnect from work and reconnect with the Tribe. Members who have joined Chapters before and intimately understand what being a Triber is all about will thrive most on Unplugged adventures.
Booking priority will be given to Veterans, Citizens, and Nomads – find out which one you are here.
Oct 7 - 14: $2,180
Airport transfer to a local hotel
2-night stay at a local hotel
Transportation to the national park and all park fees
Professional mountain guides, porters, and cooks
Overnight stays at mountain huts while trekking
All meals and purified drinking water while trekking
A few spots are set aside to build a more balanced community on the ground, with a mix of genders, nationalities, ethnicities, and member experience levels.
Not a Travel Program, a Community
We live, explore, and build our community together.
Embracing openness and curiosity, as a Tribe, we explore new places and ideas.
Do Life Together
We build relationships to last...the rest of our lives. Retirement-Tribe anyone?
Cocreate the Adventure
Discover how different travel feels when the experience is cocreated and shared as a Tribe.
Reignite Your Work
Realize your goals and dreams knowing you have the world's best cheerleaders in your corner.
Find answers about Unplugged below:
As part of the Unplugged adventure to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, these things are included in the price:
- Transfer from Kilimanjaro Airport to the hotel accommodations
- Stay in local hotel for the night of arrival and night after the trek
- Transportation to the national park and all park fees, including our stays at each hut while on the trek
- Professional, experienced mountains guides, porters, and cooks
- All meals and purified drinking water while we're trekking Mt. Kilimanjaro
- Rescue services (if needed)
The below are not included in the price of this Unplugged experience:
- Any visas needed to enter Tanzania
- Personal expenses including cell phone data, laundry, and additional food or drinks
- Health insurance
- Trekking gear is available to rent for an additional $100 fee (optional)
- Sleeping bag rental for an additional $20 fee (optional)
- Gratuity for the guides, porters, and cooks
Chapter deposits won't be used to secure a booking for the Mt. Kilimanjaro trek, full payments are due 8 weeks before the Unplugged adventure begins.
Unplugged Payments (please be aware we have reverted back to our pre-COVID policies):
- Booking requests will receive a link to finalize your booking to pay the full Unplugged price payment
- The final full payment is due 8 weeks prior to the Unplugged adventure starting. (Note: this means you’ll have from the time of booking until 8 weeks out to submit the full Unplugged adventure payment)
- If your full payment is not received 8 weeks before the Unplugged adventure start date, your spot will be given to the next person on the waitlist
- Bookings made less than 8 weeks before the Unplugged adventure start date will pay the full Unplugged adventure price at booking
Cancellations (please be aware we have reverted back to a version of our pre-COVID policies):
Once the full Unplugged adventure payment is paid, the following cancellation policy applies:
- Cancelled 6+ weeks before Unplugged adventure start date: 100% refund of full Unplugged adventure payment
- Cancelled 4-6 weeks before Unplugged adventure start date: 50% refund of full Unplugged adventure payment
- Cancelled ≤ 4 weeks before Unplugged adventure start date: No refund
- Kilimanjaro Airport - airport pickups to our hotel are included from this airport
- Moshi Airport
- Arusha Airport
Whether you're an experienced hiker or new to the mountain world, consider travel insurance that includes added protection for adventure activities. Things like:
- Trip protection against weather-related incidents that cause trip cancellations or delays
- Gear protection to protect yourself against theft, lost or damaged equipment
- Emergency medical insurance and emergency evacuation to cover any accidents on the mountain
Unplugged adventures are about reuniting with old friends. It's a week-long intentional break from the day-to-day to disconnect from work and reconnect with the Tribe.
It's a chance for us to keep in touch with old friends a few times a year and stay plugged into the community, even when we're no longer fully nomadic and able to join month-long Chapters.
That's why, for these adventure weeks, we're looking for members who have joined Chapters before and intimately understand what being a Triber is all about.
Chapters have a focus on productivity with the expectation that everyone will log on to work Monday-Friday. Unplugged is a time to... well, unplug.
Set up an out of office message and take off days from work, these week-long adventures are a holiday as a Tribe. We won't be working during the week, instead all of our focus will be on the adventure and the intention of getting even closer by sharing an epic experience.
Since this is a chance to unplug from our daily work schedules, we aren't specifically sourcing accommodations for their wifi reliability and speeds. We also won't have the backup MiFi devices on the ground or other supportive tech gear.
There won't be internet access while we're trekking Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Find answers about the Kilimanjaro trekking below:
The air at the summit contains about half of the breathable oxygen most of us are used to at sea level. Everyone will handle the high altitude and thinner air differently and to varying degrees, which is why we'll try our best to keep the ascents slow and steady to stay acclimatized.
On the Marangu Route, we'll stay in non-heated, wooden, A-frame huts with simple, single beds that have thin mattresses. There is no electricity so headlamps are essential. The Kibo Hut, where we'll stay before summiting, is the most basic shelter with many bunk beds to accommodate multiple groups. All huts have shared toilets and bathing facilities.
With the altitude, the shelters do get very cold. For added comfort and insulation, a sleeping bag is provided as part of our trek.
Note you may also share a hut with members of the opposite gender.
We'll need energy to make that push to the top, and the camp cooks make certain that there’s plenty of healthy, quality food on hand.
The team of porters carries the equipment and supplies, including fresh produce and local ingredients for simple but tasty meals. The cooks can accommodate special requests, but be sure to include this in your booking form request.
While Mt. Kilimanjaro is no cakewalk, it’s an achievable hike for healthy travellers with a moderate degree of physical fitness.
That said, we do recommend that you do some advance training. The best way to prepare is to hike and hill-walk wherever you can in the weeks leading up to your departure in order to build up your stamina and climbing muscles. A stair-climber at the gym is a good alternative if you don’t have any mountains at the ready.
If you start training four months out, you should get to the top without much trouble.
October is a great time to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. The crowds from August and September have gone home, leaving behind relatively dry and warm trekking weather. Nights will be cold though, with colder temperatures as we gain altitude which can sometimes be exacerbated by the wind.
Remember Mt. Kilimanjaro is home to a variety of ecosystems and microclimates, the weather can switch from pleasant to inclement at a moment’s notice, so come prepared with multi-weather clothing.
Make it a Journey
Create connections with more members or meet up with old friends by booking back-to-back experiences.