We Welcome Your Application to Join Us!
We build each of our groups with care, keeping the groups small (no more than twelve students), and paying close attention to age, grade, gender, and the mix of hometowns and schools. Our goal is to put together great groups — groups where nice kids thrive in a supportive, wholesome, and caring environment. Please note: availability as shown is based on students traveling without a friend; if your child is interested in traveling with a friend, please call our office for availability.
Important Information about Availability
This departure of this trip has good availability. Apply as soon as possible since availability changes quickly.
This departure of this trip has limited availability. Apply as soon as possible, and on receipt of your application, if space is still available, we’ll confirm a spot for you. If all of the spots are taken, we’ll call you to discuss options.
This departure of this trip is currently full — please call us to discuss options.
How to Apply
Apply online using a credit card for the $795 deposit (your card will not be charged until we confirm a spot for you). Applications are reviewed in the order in which they are received (we do not hold spots over the phone).
When to Apply
The flow of applications starts in July and peaks in January/February. Some groups fill by the December holidays, and others will have space into the late spring. Our advice? Apply as soon as possible — it only takes a few minutes — and we’ll get to work right away to find a great spot for you.
Call (413.458.9672) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). We look forward to hearing from you.
Immerse yourself in the vibrant life, sublime beauty, and terrific promise of Tanzania.
Tanzania — its beauty and promise — distilled.
Some people dream of the wildlife. Others the service. Still others Kili. What’s your dream? What will you look forward to most? When you join a Kilimanjaro Expedition group, your dreams flow together, and the group very quickly shares one dream: to have the greatest three weeks possible in a beautiful, fascinating place.
We’ll explore the wildlife-filled Ngorongoro Crater and spectacular Serengeti. These are must sees on any trip to East Africa, but we’ll do more: we’ll take a number of hikes and experience the rugged simplicity of camping in beautiful natural areas off the beaten track. Our first week on safari is a great introduction to Maasai culture. Our Maasai guides will lead us through remote parts of the land. The days are long, but the rewards are great as we catch glimpses of giraffes and gazelles through stands of acacia.
In Arusha, the focus is service. We’ll volunteer at an orphanage and primary school, teaching English to young children, playing games, and helping with after-school chores. We’ll spend two mornings studying Swahili with a local language instructor and learning about the geography, culture, and history of Tanzania.
On Kilimanjaro Expedition we’ll wrap-up by challenging ourselves with a weeklong summit bid. At 19,341 feet, Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest peak on the continent — a spectacular snow-draped volcano astride the equator.
Experiencing all of this — the Crater, the Serengeti, Arusha, Kilimanjaro — is the stuff of dreams. Kilimanjaro Expedition makes those dreams a reality, and lets you share them with a fun — and friendship-filled — Overland group.
Visit the Ngorongoro Crater
Teamwork & Leadership at 19,341 Feet
Witness Tanzanian Wildlife
Explore the Serengeti
Need to Know
- 20 hours of service
Included in Trip Fee
- Group gear
- Insulated Jacket, Trekking Poles, and Four-Season Sleeping Bag to use on Kilimanjaro
Not Included in Trip Fee
- Personal gear and clothing
(see what to pack)
- Airfare to and from the trip start and end
- Travel protection (recommended;
learn more about the benefits)
- Round trip flight airfare to Kilimanjaro Airport in Tanzania.
Three incredible weeks in East Africa.
We’ll meet in Arusha and head to our accommodations to get a good night’s rest before the adventures ahead.
Days 2-6: Safari in the Ngorongoro Crater & the Serengeti
Our adventure begins with a five-day journey through the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Highlands. Our guides will pick us up in Arusha, and we’ll head west to the National Parks, home to the most spectacular vistas and impressive wildlife Northern Tanzania has to offer. We’ll spend five days traveling through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Serengeti. This route gives us great wildlife viewing opportunities (wildebeests, zebras, giraffes, elephants, and lions) and the chance to challenge ourselves with a number of day-long hikes off the beaten track: through the lush Ngorongoro Highlands, up Mt. Lemagarut (10,200 feet), and around the short grass plains of the Serengeti. At the end of the week, we will drive into the Ngorongoro Crater to observe wildlife at close range.
Days 7-9: Volunteering in Arusha & Swahili Lessons
In Arusha, we’ll spend four days volunteering at the Living Water Children’s Centre, an orphanage and primary school in rural Tanzania several miles outside of Arusha. We’ll spend two mornings studying the basics of Swahili with a local language instructor and learning about the geography, culture, and history of Tanzania. In the afternoons, we’ll work with the children, teaching them English, playing games, and helping with chores. We’ll cook dinner together before returning each night to our volunteer accommodations.
Days 10-17: Kilimanjaro
After two weeks in Tanzania, we’ll be ready to tackle Africa’s greatest hiking challenge — a weeklong summit bid of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak on the continent. We’ll meet our guides at a mountain lodge to prepare for our summit attempt. Over the course of five nights, we’ll progress towards the summit of Kilimanjaro, hiking the Rongai route with our professional guides. We’ll move at a pace that will allow us to appreciate every moment and to adjust to the gains in altitude as we ascend towards the roof of Africa.
Days 18 & 19: Trip End
Our last day will be spent cleaning, packing, and preparing for departure day. We will do laundry, shower, and pack up our gear. Then, we’ll head to Moshi and celebrate with a final meal before students board their fights home from Kilimanjaro International Airport.
4 nights in private rooms at lodges in Arusha and on Mount Kilimanjaro.
11 nights camping (with access to drinking water, primitive bathroom facilities, and camp showers) while on safari and on Mount Kilimanjaro.
3 nights in a private volunteer residence at the Living Water Children’s Centre.Itinerary may vary by group and is subject to change.
"I returned from my Overland trip feeling enlightened and nourished. I truly believe that Overland has shaped my character and has highlighted the importance of exploration for me. I loved Tanzania and felt that the design of this trip was perfect and something I will never forget. "
"This was an exceptional trip for Mary. She knows she can do anything she puts her heart into, but climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and summitting is an amazing feat. Thank you!! "
What to PackDownload PDF
Questions about what to pack? Email your trip planner, Nate Greason.
- Medium-Sized Duffel Bag or Backpack
3,000-5,000 cubic inch (50-80 liters) backpack or duffel bag. Wheeled suitcases are not acceptable.
- Day Pack
1,300-2,000 cubic inch (20 - 30 liters) two-shoulder backpack with a hip belt and chest strap large enough to hold your lunch, two water bottles, snacks, extra layers and rain jacket. Use your day pack as a carry-on for your flight and for daily activities or hikes. No satchels or shoulder bags.
- Navy Overland T-Shirt (1)
We will send every student an Overland T-shirt prior to the trip. Please wear this T-shirt to trip start.
- Synthetic T-Shirt (4)
Please consider cultural sensitivity; you will be expected to have your shoulders covered.
- Synthetic Long-Sleeve T-shirt (1)
- Synthetic Shorts (2)
- Synthetic Hiking Pants (2)
Lightweight and quick dry material. Non-cotton warmup style pants are acceptable.
- Fleece Pants (1)
Please do not bring cotton sweatpants (they are heavy and bulky and will not keep you warm if wet).
- Synthetic Long Underwear Top & Bottom (2)
- Underwear (7)
- Athletic Socks (2)
- Wool and/or Synthetic Socks (3)
- Neck Gaiter or Buff (1)
- Gloves or Mittens (2)
One pair of insulated, warm and waterproof gloves or mittens, and one pair of liner gloves for cool nights around camp.
- Winter Hat (1)
- Hat with Visor (1)
- Bandana (optional)
- Pajamas (optional)
Students sometimes prefer to sleep in shorts and a T-shirt instead of pajamas.
- Fleece Jacket or Pullover (1)
- Midweight Synthetic or Down Jacket (1)
- Raincoat (1)
Waterproof material (e.g., Gore-Tex, or similar) is required. Your jacket should be large enough to allow layers underneath. Ponchos are not acceptable.
- Waterproof Rain Pants (1)
- Sleeping Bag
A lightweight, compact sleeping bag rated to 40 degrees Fahrenheit or less. We recommend either synthetic or treated down material. Your sleeping bag should compress into a stuff sack no larger than 20" in length.
- Sleeping Pad
¾-length or full-length closed cell foam (thin and firm) or lightweight, backpacking style inflatable pad.
- Bowl, Mug & Utensils
6" to 8" plastic dish or bowl with top, insulated plastic mug, spoon, fork, and knife. These don't need to be special camping utensils (a Tupperware dish and regular utensils are fine).
Please bring an extra battery/batteries.
- Water Bottle
One 1-liter bottle. A Camelbak or similar water carrier is acceptable.
- Hydration System
One 2-liter hydration bladder (e.g., CamelBak or Platypus) is required.
Calf-height, waterproof gaiters to protect your legs and feet when hiking through brush, or crossing snow fields or streams.
- Waterproof Hiking Boots
Choose comfortable boots designed for hiking with a pack (i.e., mid to high cut for ankle support). Boots should be waterproof. Break them in before the start of your trip.
Comfortable shoes with good traction and stability, suitable for walking on varied and rocky terrain.
Flip flops or Crocs work well.
- Synthetic Camping Towel
A medium-size synthetic camping towel (synthetic camping towels dry much faster than regular towels).
- Travel Size Toiletries
- Sunscreen (SPF 15+) & Chapstick (with SPF protection)
- Gallon Sized Ziploc Bags (5)
To organize and waterproof your gear and small items.
- Package of Moleskin or Molefoam
To protect your feet from blisters.
- Community Donation Items
Reading and reference books, arts and crafts/school materials (markers, paint brushes, pens, and pencils), secondhand clothing items (including t-shirts, boxes/underwear, warmer layers, and jeans), and recreation items (soccer and basketballs, other soccer equipment and apparel, etc.). Please reach out if you have additional questions about donating items.
- Notebook & Pen
- Camera, Charger & Extra Batteries (optional)
A digital or disposable camera.
- Personal Journal or Book (optional)
- Health Insurance Card
Please bring an original or copy of your health insurance card.
Please bring a passport that is valid until at least six months after your trip end date.
- Passport Photocopies
Make at least four photocopies of your passport and visa (if applicable). Leave one copy with your family and put photocopies in both your checked luggage and carry-on luggage for the flight, separate from your original documents.
- Single Entry Visa for Tanzania
More information on how to obtain a single entry visa is provided to enrolled students.
- Spending Money & Miscellaneous Expenses
Each student should bring cash or a debit card to cover spending money and miscellaneous expenses. Spending Money: While all meals and activities are included in the trip fee, we recommend $25/week for spending money (for example: for souvenirs or an occasional drink or snack beyond what is provided to the group as a whole). Miscellaneous Expenses: Most Overland students will incur some expenses while traveling (for example: an equipment repair or baggage fees at trip end). Please add $100 (in addition to spending money), to cover these expenses. Please note: We have found that pre-paid debit cards do not work internationally.
Things to Know
- Students should bring at least two reusable face masks on their trip.
- Your group will have access to laundry periodically.
- Please do not bring any electronics (including your cell phone). If your child wishes to bring a cell phone for travel purposes, please purchase a pre-paid disposable phone. Due to the nature of travel in Tanzania, there is elevated risk of damage, loss and theft. Overland takes no responsibility for phones, and we will not make any reimbursements for lost, damaged or stolen phones. See FAQs for more information on our cell phone and electronics policy
- Do not bring any type of knife or multi-tool (such as a Swiss Army knife or Leatherman tool).
- There are no reimbursements for lost, damaged or stolen items.
Please schedule expensive items—phones, cameras, etc.—on your homeowners insurance policy.
If you’re looking to purchase a backpack, fleece layers, etc., for your child, we encourage you to consider borrowing, renting, or purchasing lightly used gear. Especially for children who are still growing, using pre-owned gear can reduce both waste and cost.
Please note that some items wear out over time, and are best to purchase new (for example, a GORE-TEX raincoat). As with any gear, please make sure the items fit your child well. If you have any questions, please give us a call (413-458-9672) or email us (email@example.com).
Here are a few reliable places where you can purchase used items:
How challenging are Overland's hiking trips?
We offer a wide range of hiking trips to ensure we have something for all of our students.
Our Explorer trips, designed for students in middle school or early high school, offer a range of day hikes, an introduction to backpacking, and activities off the trail, such as rafting and kayaking. Expedition trips are a step up in difficulty. These trips have longer backpacking sections and activities off the trail include rafting, rock climbing, and mountaineering. We offer a range of levels and locations so students can find a trip that’s a good match for their interests.
If you have questions about our trips or would like our help selecting the trip that’s the right fit for you, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Does my child need to have previous experience?
While no previous experience is required, we have high expectations of our students.
We expect your child –with your help– to select a trip that is appropriate for their interests and abilities. You should spend some time familiarizing yourself with the details of the specific trip and help your child understand what to expect.
We also expect our students to prepare ahead of time: to review the packing list, gather clothing and gear, and complete whatever training the trip requires (for recommended training please see the Before You Go tab).
Once the trip begins, your child should be ready –and excited– to contribute to a wholesome and enthusiastic group in which each member feels welcomed and valued.
What are meals like at Overland? Can Overland accommodate allergies and intolerances?
Meals at Overland
Good food (and plenty of it!), excellent nutrition, and fun are the goals of Overland’s meals. Each group buys, prepares, and eats all of its meals together. Our students, with their leaders’ supervision, prepare all meals. A typical breakfast has cereal, milk, juice, and fruit; most lunches are sandwiches (or wraps) with a variety of fillings, plus chips, and fruit; dinners reflect easily prepared group meals like pasta, burritos, and stir-frys (all of which will typically have a selection of sauces and fillings). At Overland, meals are a group experience, an important way to foster connection with and consideration for other group members.
Allergies & Intolerances
We recognize there are many young people with food allergies or intolerances. We welcome these young people’s interest in joining us, and we ask parents of a prospective Overland student with an allergy/intolerance to please consider the following important information.
Most meals at Overland are prepared in basic kitchens (or outdoors), and groceries are typically purchased from small stores with limited choices. As a result, meals are prepared and served in what may be allergen-contaminated environments, and on many trips allergen-free/gluten-free foods are not readily available. While we cannot guarantee allergen-free meal settings, we will do what is reasonable to provide allergen-free/gluten-free foods on those trips where available.
In all things, our top priority is to help maintain all students’ well-being; to this end, all Overland leaders are trained to recognize and respond to allergic reactions, including administering antihistamines and epinephrine (both are carried in every trip’s first aid kit); leaders carry cell phones, and in some cases, satellite phones, so that should the need arise, emergency personnel can be contacted and their services requested. It is important for all prospective parents to understand that many groups travel in remote areas where emergency services may not be easily or readily accessible.
Our Admissions Process is Collaborative
During our admissions process, we will review all submitted Allergy Questionnaires to understand the applicant’s allergy/intolerance. We will then consider whether or not the applicant’s allergy/intolerance may be reasonably accommodated. If our admissions team has any concerns, they will contact the parent. In this conversation, we will seek to learn more about the allergy/intolerance, and we will discuss the available grocery stores, emergency services, and medical facilities on the applied-for trip. These conversations generally have one of three outcomes:
- The applicant is placed on the applied-for trip if the applicant otherwise qualifies.
- We offer a different trip if the applicant otherwise qualifies.
- We recommend waiting a year and re-applying.
Managing Food Allergies/Intolerances is a Partnership
Our commitment is to the health and well-being of each of our campers. Our goal is to partner with parents and campers—a partnership in which:
- We clearly describe our trips and policies;
- Parents clearly describe their child’s allergies or intolerances and their child’s maturity level and capability to self-manage their allergy or intolerance.
- We work together with parents in a collaborative and interactive process to determine if there are reasonable accommodations that can be made so that otherwise qualified applicants can participate in our trips.
- Students on an Overland trip take an active role in managing their allergies, including reading food labels as needed, eating only those foods with known ingredients, and seeking a leader if a reaction is suspected.
Meals: Vegetarians & Specialized Diets
Every summer there are many vegetarians who join our groups and who enjoy meat-free meals. We are happy to welcome these students as long as they understand they will share in the group’s meals but will simply have the meat portion withheld. For example: sandwiches at lunch with hummus, lettuce, tomato, and cheese (while the rest of the group has sandwiches with sliced turkey or ham); pasta at dinner with a tomato sauce (while the rest of the group has pasta with a meat sauce). We sometimes have requests from applicants with specialized diets—vegans, for example—to provide separate, specialized meals. As much as we might like to accommodate these applicants, the limitations of our kitchens, the size of available grocery stores, and the importance of group meals make it impractical to provide separate, specialized meals.
How often will there be access to showers and laundry? Will my child have to bring quarters and detergent for laundry?
Staying clean and comfortable is important at Overland!
Most trips have frequent access to hot showers. This ranges from nearly every night on some of our Introductory, Service, and Language trips, to every couple of days on many hiking trips, to longer stretches–three to five days, sometimes a little longer–on some of our more challenging trips. The goal on every trip, however, is to take showers when they are available!
In general, on every trip we do laundry once a week— this is typically in a laundromat with funds and detergent provided by Overland (and it’s usually a lot of fun!).
My child doesn't have experience being away from bathroom facilities. Will Overland's leaders teach and support the group?
Yes. We want each of our students to feel completely supported.
Every one of our trips will spend some of their time in areas with access to bathroom facilities, many of which include flush toilets, running water, and trash receptacles. Our youngest students, and those participating in service and language trips, will spend most of their time in settings like these.
All of our hiking trips will spend time away from areas with bathroom facilities. In preparation for a day hike away from facilities, or for a longer backpacking section, our leaders will teach the group about backcountry bathroom practices. In most cases, this will include digging a cat hole (a shallow six-inch hole) in a private location away from water sources. Leaders will also provide every group member a small bag to pack out toilet paper (and other paper products, e.g., pads and tampons).
Our leaders will also make sure that group members are supported with menstruation information, needs, and supplies (i.e., pads, tampons). We recommend sending your child with a supply of these items. If your child needs additional pads or tampons, the leaders can provide them.
What are Overland’s policies on phones, electronics, and communication?
To maximize independence and self-reliance, we do not permit phone calls, emails, or text messages to or from our campers. Your child will call home on arrival and departure with our phones and assistance, and in the case of an emergency. If your child brings a phone for use while en route to Overland, please do not send an expensive smartphone. Instead, an inexpensive prepaid cell phone will do. All phones will be collected on arrival and returned at departure. While we will take reasonable steps to prevent damage, theft, or loss, we will not make any reimbursements for lost, damaged, or stolen phones.
Cameras are welcome but please do not bring any other electronics (e.g., iPods, iPads, Kindles or other readers, GPS or similar devices). All electronics (except cameras) will be mailed home on arrival (at your risk and expense).
Communication: We’ll Be In Touch With You If Needed
Our leaders in the field check in with our office regularly; they carry cell phones (and in some cases satellite phones). Anytime a camper is treated for an injury or illness by a doctor or other medical personnel, parents are notified by our office. A director will call the parents to explain the nature of the injury or illness, the sequence of events leading up to the injury, and/or the steps leading to the treatment. Parents are typically able to speak with the medical personnel, with the leaders, and with their child.
My child’s birthday is during the trip — can I send a gift?
We recommend that you send a letter, card, or postcard instead and save the gift for when your child returns home at the end of the trip (and, don’t worry; your child’s trip leaders will make sure there is a celebration!).
What is Overland's Covid-19 policy?
Can my child receive credit for service hours?
You should check with your child’s school about whether or not Overland’s service hours meet their requirements. The approximate number of hours of service are listed in the sidebar. We will provide your child with proof of participation after completion of the service work.
What vaccinations and medications does my child need in order to travel abroad with Overland?
Overland strongly recommends that families of students traveling abroad consult their child’s doctor and visit a travel clinic well before the start of the program to discuss options for travel-related vaccinations and medications. These are in addition to your child’s routine vaccinations and regularly prescribed medication.
You and your doctor are encouraged to generally review information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. State Department, the World Health Organization (WHO) or other sources, in addition to the specifics of your selected program, to consider health issues and determine what, if any, travel-related vaccinations and medications are appropriate for your child. Overland will provide a “Travel Vaccinations & Medications” form to assist with this process.
Please tell me about safety at Overland.
Safety and risk management are at the forefront of our decision-making–from trip planning to leader training to supporting our groups in the field.
We cannot guarantee absolute safety–no program can. All recreational activities include inherent risks. Therefore, we strive to manage the risks that we can, knowing we cannot eliminate them.
We work hard to recruit, train, and support our trip leaders so they can create the kind of trips that have made us successful since the 1980s.
Please click here to read more about our approach to risk management and our accreditation by the American Camp Association.
What is Overland's admissions process?
When we receive your application, if your first choice is available, we will:
(1) email you to thank you for your application,
(2) send you a link to access your Family Portal, and
(3) charge a deposit of $795 to your credit card.
If your first choice is not available, we will email you to discuss options.
For more information, and to access our application, please visit our Apply page.
Before you Go
Students going on Kilimanjaro Expedition should prepare for:
- Full days of outdoor activities led by two caring Overland leaders
- A weeklong supported trek with camping
- 4 days of volunteer service for an average of 5 hours each day
- A fun, supportive, and wholesome Overland experience
We expect you to arrive to your trip fully prepared for all activities.
Preparing for the Hiking
On Kilimanjaro, you should be prepared for day hikes, as well as a weeklong trek up Mount Kilimanjaro. During the trek, your group will be accompanied by professional guides and porters who will carry the majority of your group's gear. You will carry a day pack with additional layers of clothing, water, snacks, a camera, and lunch. In the month before your trip, you should break-in your hiking boots (wear them a lot!) and complete the pre-trip training (see below). Once on your trip, you'll find that enthusiasm and a positive attitude will help to make the trip a success for you—and for everyone in your group.
- 4 weeks before your trip: three 30-minute hikes or walks in your boots.
- 3 weeks before your trip: three 1-hour hikes or walks in your boots.
- 2 weeks before your trip: three 1½ -hour hikes or walks in your boots.
- 1 week before your trip: three 2-hour hikes or walks in your boots.
Preparing for Service
Trips involving service work require a positive attitude and willingness to work hard as a volunteer. You should arrive eager to participate in a variety of service projects. You and your group might do chores or play soccer with local students, or read with and teach elementary school students. The projects your group work on will depend upon the availability of service opportunities and the needs of the local community.
Preparing for an Overland Experience
Overland trips are wholesome, structured experiences with high expectations of each student’s behavior. You are expected to be enthusiastic, positive, helpful and supportive of your trip mates and your leaders. We ask that you leave your cell phone and electronics at home (cameras are always welcome), so you can fully engage with your group and your trip. Arriving ready for a challenge — and prepared to contribute to an enthusiastic group — will go a long way toward creating a successful trip. Please contact us if you’d like to discuss preparing for your Overland trip.
This summer, we are asking all of our students
- To be vaccinated for Covid-19, and we recommend being up-to-date on available boosters.
- To test before their trips. The test can be a clinic-based PCR or rapid antigen test, or a home test. Please note: (a) We will not require families to upload the results of these tests (unless the family has received an exemption or exception to our vaccine requirement); (b) If your child has had (and fully recovered from) Covid-19 within 90 days of their trip start, there is no need to do a pre-trip test.
- To mask up when traveling to your trip. In airports and on planes, please mask up. This could help keep you—and everyone in your group—healthy for the duration of your trip.
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Overland offers introductory, hiking, language, and service programs domestically and abroad for students in 4th through 12th grade.