Coming up soon: Joy Trip 2017 Itinerary


The Joy Climb

A benefit climb for Healing Hands of Joy

July 14 – 23, 2016
10 days/9 nights

This fundraising climb will benefit the work of Healing Hands of Joy (HHOJ), a non-profit organization in Ethiopia.  The funds raised during the Joy Climb will go towards HHOJ’s work to make motherhood safer and end obstetric fistula in Ethiopia.  This private climb will be escorted by Allison Shigo, co-producer of the Emmy Award-winning documentary, “A Walk to Beautiful,” and the founder of Healing Hands of Joy.

This climb on the Lemosho Route is planned to coincide with the full moon on the final ascent.  It is approximately 42 miles from gate to gate and is designed for physically fit people with some hiking experience.  The climb will take 7 days with 6 nights of private camping on the mountain.  

A Partial Climb option of 3 days and 2 nights on the mountain with alternate activities for the other 5 days until everyone gathers at the end of the climb is suggested for those who are less physically fit and teens younger than 16 years.

Since you will be so close to some of the best wildlife viewing in East Africa, we suggest a Pre-Climb or Post-Climb safari which can be custom tailored for you.

Thursday, July 14 - Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

You will be met on arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport and transferred to your lodge.  You will have a late supper and settle in for your first night’s sleep under African skies.

2 Nights at a nearby lodge

Friday, July 15 - Arusha

There will be a guided hike today, to get the legs warmed up and the body clock adjusted.  Later there will be a pre-climb briefing and equipment check.

Saturday, July 16 - Arusha - Londorossi Gate (2000m) to Big Tree Camp (2650m)

After breakfast our guide(s) will meet us for the climbing briefing then we will be driven to the Londorossi Gate, to meet our porters.   After registration formalities and we will be driven to the Lemosho Route starting point. We begin our climb at about 2000m, walking for a few hours through the thick and undisturbed montane forest to our camp for the night. Many beautiful flowers are observed en-route and with luck we will spot colobus monkeys and possibly signs of elephants. In the night you may hear the tree hyrax.

6 Nights on Mt. Kilimanjaro in a private camp

You will be climbing with an experienced crew of 45 for each group of 12 (2 guides, 5 assistant guides, 2 cooks and 36 porters) to maintain your safety and comfort in our private camp.  You will be sleeping in high quality, 2-person sized tents and there will be a private chemical toilet in camp.  There will be a mess tent with tables and chairs and all required cooking utensils to provide hot meals in the morning and evening.  The crew will also carry a hyperbaric decompression chamber and oxygen tank.

Sunday, July 17 - Big Tree Camp to Shira 1 Camp (3500m)

Today we will reach the west side of the Shira Plateau in a hiking time of six hours. Taking our time walking through the forest will allow us to observe its animal and bird life. The day’s hike takes us from the montane forest, through a transition zone, and into the heath zone, where the old lava flows are visible. Our guides will point out unique environmental differences that characterize these zones. After a picnic lunch we reach the edge of the Plateau and then our camp that provides a dramatic view of Kilimanjaro and its glaciers.

Monday, July 18 - Shira 1 Camp to Shira 2 Camp (3860m)

Today is an easy paced acclimatization hike of 4 to 5 hours. Camp is set higher on the Shira Plateau with more expansive views of Kilimanjaro. There is a conditioning hike in the afternoon where you can enjoy the clusters of giant lobelias and senecios that grow at this elevation.

Partial Climbers - Begin your descent this morning back to the gate where you will be met by your guide and taken to your safari camp which faces the snow-capped peaks of Kilimanjaro.  

2 Nights at nearby safari camp

Tuesday, July 19 - Shira 2 Camp to Baranco Camp (3950m) via Lava Tower (4600m)

Today is another acclimatization day as we have a mostly uphill climb of 5 hours to an elevation over 4500m at Lava tower then descend to Baranco Valley at 3950m. We will pass through the alpine moorland zone where plants are extremely hardy and consist of lichens, grasses, and heather, to reach Kilimanjaro’s alpine desert zone. You will have a spectacular view of the steep Western Breach.  From the Lava tower we will have approximately 1 and half hours descent to the Baranco Valley where camp will be set.

Partial Climbers - This area is home to some of the largest elephants in east Africa.  Activities include game drives, walking safaris escorted by Maasai warriors, and interaction with the local Maasai.

Wednesday, July 20 - Baranco Camp to Barafu Camp (4600m)

Today the trail turns steadily uphill, temperatures drop and the landscape becomes sparser as we work our way to Barafu Camp. Barafu means “ice” in Kiswahili. It will take us about 3 hours hike to Karanga Valley where we will stop for the lunch. Then it is about 2 more hours to reach the base camp at Barafu hut. The Camp is set on an exposed ridge and is the staging point for our push to the summit. After an early dinner we will rest. At midnight, under the stars and hopefully a brightly shining moon, we will begin the final ascent moving very slowly to the summit.

Partial Climbers - Today you will visit Arusha National Park where you will observe a wide range of habitats, from the string of crater lakes where flamingo, hippo and water birds can be watched, through the lush highlands forest with its waterfalls and on up to the imposing crater and summit of Mt. Meru.   Later you will visit St. Jude’s school.

3 Nights at a nearby lodge

Thursday, July 21 - Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak (5895m) to Mweka Camp (3000m)

We will reach Uhuru Peak, the summit of Kilimanjaro at 5,895 meters/19,340 feet around 8 a.m. At this early hour, before the clouds close in, you will have spectacular views of Africa in all directions. The hiking time is 7 to 8 hours. After a brief stay of 15-20 minutes and photos all around, we will descend 2 to 3 hours to our Barafu Camp for lunch and rest. Later we continue downhill 3 hours to the edge of the Mweka Forest. Tonight’s camp is 3000m below the summit!

Partial Climbers – Tour Arusha and spend time at the Cultural Heritage Center.

Friday, July 22 - Mweka Camp to Arusha (3 hours walk), 2 hour drive

After a good sleep and breakfast, you will have a time to take a group photo with your climbing crew, then descending again through the tropical forest, which is a bit steep and can be wet and slippery.

At the Mweka gate you will sign out of the park and receive your certificates.  We will then be driven to our lodge for a nice long shower!   The partial climbers will be waiting for your return. The rest of the day is for relaxing and a leisurely evening of sundowners and dinner.

1 Night at a nearby lodge

Partial Climbers - We will plan today’s activities based on the interests of the group.  Later this afternoon the other climbers will arrive.  Tonight's dinner will celebrate everyone’s achievements.

Saturday, July 23 - Arusha

Later today you will be transferred to the Kilimanjaro International Airport in time to check in for your flight.



Estimated Price for 10 Days/9 Nights Kilimanjaro FULL Climb:

$2,950 per person sharing accommodation

$200 Single Supplement

This estimate is based on a group size of 12 travelers minimum.

Estimated Price for 10 Days/9 Nights PARTIAL Kilimanjaro Climb with Wildlife &Cultural Experience:

$3,192 per adult sharing accommodation
$2,970 per teen under 16 sharing accommodation
$2,658 per child under 12 sharing a room with parents (triple)

$520 Single Supplement

This estimate is based on a group size of 12 travelers minimum.


  • Accommodations, meals and beverages as specified in the itinerary

  • All airport transfers and scheduled land transfers as specified

  • Services of English-speaking guides & drivers in 4x4 safari vehicles

  • Services of porters and private camp crew on the mountain

  • All conservation and park entrance fees

  • All government taxes and levies

  • Emergency medical evacuation insurance while in Tanzania


  • Gratuities and all items of a personal nature

  • International air (Duffle & Compass can assist)

  • Passport & Visa fees

  • Compulsory travel insurance (Duffle & Compass will arrange for you)

  • Alcoholic drinks

  • Any pre-safari or post-safari plans (Duffle & Compass will arrange for you)


To confirm your participation requires a 50% non-refundable deposit. Contact Duffle & Compass for further information.


It’s easy to set up your campaign page on the Healing Hands of Joy website to raise sponsorships for your climb.  The HHOJ staff will be happy to assist in setting up your page and giving you some ideas about reaching out to those who will want to support your Joy Climb.  It is suggested that each climber set a minimum sponsorship goal of raising $1,000 from their campaign page prior to the trip.

All proceeds of the Joy Climb will benefit Healing Hands of Joy, a 501c3 non-profit organization. All contributions are tax deductible.


Since you will be so close to some of the best wildlife viewing in East Africa, we suggest a Pre-Climb or Post-Climb safari which can be custom tailored for you.


Download a Joy Climb Flyer to share with your friends and family here.