Tag Archives: Mount Kilimanjaro

Origin story: Mount Kilimanjaro summit

From Inspired Adventure’s CEO and founder Justine Curtis first climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in 2004 to our current figures – presently having over 500 adventurers partaking in this climb – it’s remarkable to see just how far the company has come. Reaching the summit of the world’s highest freestanding mountain, Justine gave herself only 3 months to raise $30,000 and attempt the biggest challenge in her life thus far.

This increasingly popular climb is an incredibly challenging 12-day trek through Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro National Park. Trekking from the rainforests of the East African plains, through five different climatic zones, to the final awe-inspiring glacier at the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Mount Kilimanjaro 

Our founder Justine Curtis made the decision to climb as part of a management training course intended to forcibly get you  of your comfort zone. She created the immense challenge for herself to raise $30,000 within 12 weeks and with very little training or research to climb the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Raising the funds for a water pump for an orphanage in Zimbabwe. Whilst having being given the opportunity to climb before and rejecting it through fear, fitness and lack of preparation – Justine decided enough was enough and that no matter what she was going to reach the summit.

Our CEO tells a wonderful story of reaching the summit, saying that; “We got to the point where it was dusk, we were above the clouds and there was this tiny little orange dot on the horizon. This pinprick where the sun was going to come up and burst into the sky. It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.”

Known as the rooftop of Africa; the climb can be completed without ropes or extensive equipment, the adventure is not one for the faint hearted. Justine has said that this climb was the “catalyst for me to create an exciting fundraising agency and share the opportunity with other people”.

Mount Kilimanjaro

As it currently stands Inspired Adventures has a 95% summit success rate which is extraordinary. For people who are of an average fitness level it’s surprisingly very achievable. Through Inspired Adventures the participants have been eclectic, from young teenagers trekking with their parents to the more mature 70s and 80s age range successfully climb it.

Justine tells us that; “The camaraderie is incredible, others empowering you with their commitment and hard work to get you to the top. There’s nothing better than that connection.” 

Interested in participating? See our website for further details.

Check out the upcoming adventures on our calendar!

Mount Kilimanjaro: A Photographic Journey

You’ll never forget the moment you first see it, soaring high above the farmlands of Tanzania, and you’ll never forget that moment when you reach the top. It truly is a once-in-a-lifetime experience – and hard to describe until you’ve done it.

Following the lesser-travelled Rongai Route, you’ll trek for 7-days through five climatic zones, giving you a chance to acclimatise and make the most of the incredible scenery. You’ll pass through ice fields and alpine meadows – and you’ll see extraordinary wildlife in Tanzania’s rainforests. Our camp sites are pretty special too: you’ll sleep by mountain lakes and in the shadow of glaciers. It’s an incredible opportunity to share an adventure and camaraderie with your co-workers.

Climbing Kilimanjaro will challenge you on every level, but the rewards are immense.


Day 1: Simba Camp


Today’s walk begins in the village of Nale Moru (1,950m). We set off on a small path that winds its way through cornfields before entering pine forest, home to a variety of wildlife. A gradual ascent through amazing forests brings us to the edge of the moorland zone. Tonight is our first night camping on the mountain.

Elevation: 2,600m
Trekking distance: 3-4 hours


Day 2: Kikelewa Camp

day 2

In the morning, we start off on a steep climb to reach ‘Second Cave’ (3,450m). Here we are rewarded with superb views of Kibo and the eastern icefields of the crater rim. After lunch we continue on through the moorland towards Mawenzi peaks, before setting up camp near Kikelewa Caves.

Elevation: 3,800m
Trekking distance: 7-9 hours


Day 3: Mawenzi Tarn

day 3

Today’s walk is shorter than yesterday but involves some steep sections as we climb to Mawenzi Tarn, the only permanent mountain lake on Kilimanjaro. We begin with a short but steep climb through grassy fields that offer stunning views in every direction. We leave the vegetation zone behind us and arrive at our campsite at Mawenzi Tarn, nestled beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi.

Elevation: 4,300m
Trekking distance: 3-4 hours

Day 4: Mawenzi Tarn acclimatisation

day 4

This is our acclimatisation day. To maximise your chances of making it to the summit we will combine some brief walks with plenty of rest.

Elevation: None
Trekking distance: Varied 

Day 5: Kibo Camp

day 5

Today we will trek across the ‘Saddle’ between Mawenzi and Kibo, a sparse moon-like landscape scattered with rocks. After arriving at Kibo, Kilimanjaro base camp, we have time to rest in preparation for the final summit ascent.

Elevation: 4,730m
Trekking distance: 4-5 hours

Day 6: Summit day and Horombo Camp

day 6

We wake at midnight and begin our summit trek under the stars, navigating the narrow switchback trail by torchlight. Be prepared for a challenge – the climb to Gilman’s Point is slow-going and the most difficult of the entire journey. From here we continue to the highest point in Africa, Uhuru Peak (5,895m), a three-hour round trip along the crater rim affording views of the crater, ice cliffs, and the plains of East Africa beyond. We will then descend to Kibo for lunch, then commence your trek to your final campsite at Horombo.

Elevation: 5,985m
Trekking distance: 7-9
Descent to Horombo: elevation at 3,720m and another 5-6 hours.

Day 7: National Park, Marangu

day 7

On this final day, we continue our descent through alpine meadows to Mandara Hut before making our way through lush forest on a good path to the National Park gate at Marangu.

Feeling inspired?

  • Ready to trek Mount Kilimanjaro? Find our available departures here


Adventurer of the Month – Nick Sautner

Nick Sautner

Cause: Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia
Adventure: Save A Man – Kilimanjaro Challenge
Social: @nicksautner

As our Adventurer of the Month, Nick has scored himself a $100 Paddy Pallin voucher! To be our next month’s winner, make sure you’re uploading your journey to social and use the hashtag #IveBeenInspired.

@pcfa1 @InspiredAdventures #IveBeenInspired #Tanzania #africa #adventure #livethedream

A photo posted by Nicholas (Nick) Sautner (@nicksautner) on

What inspired you to take on your Inspired Adventure with PCFA?

I had the privilege of being introduced to Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) team through a community partnership in Western Australia. I was encouraged by the passionate staff who in turn inspired my participation in this once in a lifetime experience whilst helping to raise awareness of prostate cancer. Having lost my father to cancer at 3 years of age, I am passionate about raising awareness of serious men’s health issues and promoting regular health checks. Early intervention is the best form of prevention, we all know that. However, the best analogy I have heard for encouraging men to have regular checks with their doctor is “when your car service light flashes, most men will take their car straight to the dealership for a service – yet we don’t take notice of our own warning lights when they start flashing”.

Had either of you ever been to Africa before?

After holidaying extensively through South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Namibia in 2013, my fiancée and I spent our 2014 New Year’s break volunteer teaching in Zanzibar.

The children we taught had nothing. For us to even reach our school, we had to trek through jungle until we reached a concrete box with no electricity, no windows, no chairs nor desks – and certainly no teaching provisions! The benefit of foresight had equipped us with teaching resources and AFL footballs, much to our students’ excitement.

After such an enriching experience, I always had a desire to return to Tanzania. I am grateful for the donations I received to assist me in raising funds for PCFA, a charity which I passionately support. I am also so grateful for the opportunity to climb Mt Kilimanjaro.

What had been some of the highlights of your fundraising and adventure experience?

I know it might sound a little cliché but the best thing about memories is making them and I will never forget the memories shared during our trip to Tanzania, whilst collectively raising over $60,000 for such a worthy cause.

Mount Kilimanjaro promised to take our breath away both figuratively and literally. The views during our climb towards the summit were incredible. The challenge of climbing to approximately 19,340 feet above sea level and crossing five ecological zones was tough.

If you believe, you will achieve!

What have been your biggest challenges in taking on an Inspired Adventure? How did you overcome this?

Convincing my mother and fiancé not to worry!

Tanzanian Rift Valley Tours were exceptional from the moment we arrived at Mt Kilimanjaro airport. This combined with having a medically trained Australian team leader with an interest in altitude sickness and rural and remote medicine, provided the perfect combination of local and specialist knowledge.

As a tourist and volunteer who has travelled to Tanzania previously, it is rare that the standards achieved in Africa replicate those delivered by western tour operators.

The diligence shown and relentless management of climbers during our preparation gave all team members the safest chance to reach the summit and should be acknowledged. This provided a level of comfort along with various risk mitigation strategies in the unlikely event of an accident or emergency.

Have you noticed any changes or transformation in your life since taking on your adventure?

Many of the conversation topics during the trip are unlikely to feature during my working week, but I will certainly smile each time I look at the Mt Kilimanjaro certificate now proudly positioned in my office. By engaging in ‘personal social responsibility’ and trying to make the world a better place is extremely fulfilling – if you believe, you will achieve! My only question is what adventure will be next…

What advice would you offer to other people looking to complete a challenge like this?

Commit to a challenge today! The experience will be memorable and deeply rewarding. The photos of the sunrise we witnessed as we neared the summit cannot do it justice. Viewing it from above the clouds as we approached Uhuru Peak in the early hours was an experience I’ll never forget.

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Become our Adventurer of the Month to win a $100 Paddy Pallin voucher

Take a picture whilst on your adventure or when you’re training and use the hashtag #IveBeenInspired and your adventure hashtag. The most exciting use of the hashtag, with an adventure, and fitness focus will be our Adventurer of the Month – it’s that easy!


Top tips for travelling

Kristen Briggs, our Adventure Development Manager weighs in with her best adventure tips:

As the Adventure Development Manager at Inspired Adventures, I’m asked a lot of travel-related questions and I’m expected to know the answers! Luckily I have a fair bit of travelling experience behind me.

But if you’re a first-time traveller (as I once was), you may not know what to pack or what to leave behind. So if you don’t know the difference between a Therm-a-Rest and a Polartec, I’ve compiled my top five tips for travelling like a pro… Continue reading

Mum and son meet mountain

In October, Sue and Tristan Irvine will take on Kilimanjaro together in support of the Leukaemia Foundation. The mother and son team from Canberra have both been touched by cancer—Sue is a breast cancer survivor and Tristan completed treatment for Leukaemia in January. They were inspired to take on this challenge together to mark the four year anniversary of Tristan’s diagnosis.

The pair have already raised almost $10,000 for the Leukaemia Foundation, who provided such wonderful support to Tristan during his three years of treatment.

Fundraising Coordinator, Kate O’Callaghan, caught up with the pair as they prepare to take on this challenge of a lifetime. Continue reading

From the Philippines to Australia to Kilimanjaro for UNICEF

Meet Aida Tamargo.

Aida had always planned to do something great for UNICEF and the children they support. It just so happens that what she chose was to climb the highest freestanding mountain in the world!

Growing up in the Philippines, Aida remembers the presence UNICEF had in her community and the positive impact of the organisation. During her career as a paediatrician, Aida worked in a clinic in the rebel-infested mountains of the Philippines. Aida remembers the presence UNICEF had in her community and the positive impact the organisation made to child nutrition, education and development. Over 40 years on, Aida, a mother of three, is dedicated to supporting UNICEF’s vision to build a world where the rights of every child are realised.

“Children are my passion, so when the opportunity to join UNICEF Australia on the Kilimanjaro Climb for Kids arose, I realised that this is something I have to do. Now, rather than later.”

“I’m both excited and anxious. I am excited that I’m doing this with my son (go Team Tarmargo!). It’s another chance for family bonding—to create new family memories. I’m also excited to meet all the other wonderful people on this challenge. I am looking forward to getting to know them and their stories,” she says.

Overcoming several injuries, Aida has challenged herself to recover, keep fit and train hard.

“This has been an amazing journey. The generosity of our community—and sometimes from unexpected places—has truly touched me. It has been a roller coaster ride, but with family and friends supporting us, it has been life-changing.”

Following the adventure, Aida recounted: “My son and I reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro together. The previous 6-day trek was gruelling but with magnificent terrain. It was an amazing journey. The generosity of our community truly touched me. It was definitely a roller coaster ride, but the support of family and friends, I had a life-changing experience.”