Outdoor Afro is built on a focused mission – to create and inspire Black connection and leadership in nature.  We are thrilled to announce our first leader-only international expedition to Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. In June 2018, a specially selected team of Outdoor Afro leaders will ascend the highest freestanding mountain in the world, climbing 19,341 feet during the course of the expedition.



(Top Row: Olatunde Gbolahan, Wandi Steward, Leandra Taylor, Alora Jones;
Middle Row: Katina Grays, Stephen Scott, Valerie Morrow, Brittany Leavitt;
Bottom Row: Tarik Moore, Ray Smith, Chaya Harris)


We chose to head to Tanzania for many reasons:

  1. First and Foremost – We love black people.
  2. To Deepen our Relationship with Nature – On this expedition, as with all Outdoor Afro events, our leaders will learn about the climate, wildlife, and vegetation of the land they are on and its importance.
  3. Employ Conservation Efforts – One of Outdoor Afro’s principles is to help people take better care of themselves, their communities, and the planet. Outdoor Afro leaders will practice the seven leave no trace principles and learn international customs of engaging with nature.
  4. Enhance Black Leadership Curriculum – Over the course of eight days, leaders will participate in a Black Leadership Curriculum, creating discussions and activities influenced by the history of African American outdoor leadership in the United States.  Following this expedition, participants will share this at the annual Outdoor Afro Leader Training.

Climbing Kilimanjaro is not only a physical experience, but a cultural experience as well; not only will the team be exposed to a different culture, they will also bring a different culture.  The environment itself will naturally inspire curiosity and learning as they will hike with local guides through multiple ecosystems during the trip. The trip is set up to be enjoyable and the challenge attainable.


Mt. Kilimanjaro and Acacia – in the morning (Photo Credit: Tim Ward – Huffington Post)


Outdoor Afro leaders are preparing for this once-in-a-lifetime experience in many ways, including, hiking peaks in Nevada and Colorado, biking the Appalachian Trail, strength training at the gym ,and even getting their families involved by pushing a double stroller with twins on hikes!

Support this incredible expedition team today!





Day 1:  Pick up from the Kilimanjaro Airport and drive to hotel in Arusha.

Day 2: Set off climbing gently through the south-western slopes of the mountain. This is old growth montane forest, carpeted with unique “busy lizzie” flowers, begonias and ferns. First camp among the giant heather at 9840 feet. A 3,936 ft ascent and 6 hours walking.

Day 3: Emerge from the forest into the giant heather zone and onto fine open moorland. There are fascinating geological features in the old volcanic caldera. After 3,000 ft ascent and 4-6 hours walking, the team will arrive at camp 2 by the Shira Cave at 12,500 ft.

Day 4: On this day, the team will climb to almost 16,000 ft.  but will end the day around the same elevation they started.  This helps with acclimatization.  They will climb towards the main peak Kibo, with the western glaciers clearly visible across the rugged high-altitude desert of volcanic rocks and boulders.

Day 5: Climb steep to the Barranco wall with some sections of very easy scrambling and then drop down again to the Karanga Valley.

Day 6: Climb above Barafu Hut perched high on a rocky bluff at 15,580 ft. There will be fantastic views of Mawenzi peak in the distance.

Day 7: An early 2-3am alpine start to climb the steep frozen scree. They will aim to reach Stella point 18,600 ft. on the crater rim for a rest and hopefully sunrise, then continue another 1 hour to the highest point on the continent 19,345 ft. usually in warm sunshine.

Day 8: A descent of approximately 4,600 ft 4-5 hours through the forest to Mweka Gate.




Renowned Mountaineer Phil Henderson


A native of California, Phil started his outdoor career as an outdoor professional in California as a whitewater guide on the Stanislaus river and full-time employee at REI. Phil worked for The National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) for more than 20 years instructing whitewater kayaking, canoeing and rafting, backpacking, backcountry skiing and rock climbing trips throughout the Western United States, Kenya, and Tanzania. He also served as the school’s Whitewater Program Director for 12 years and Equipment Manager in Chile, South America for 3 years.  

His passion for outdoor recreation, education and climbing has provided him with opportunities to travel the world and volunteer his time for several youth programs, help bring education programs to guides, porters, rescue rangers and college students in Kenya, Tanzania and Chile. For six consecutive years, working with the Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation (ALCF) and the Khumbu Climbing Centre (KCC) in Nepal, he help train Nepali trekking and high altitude mountain guides gain valuable climbing and leadership skills.

In 2012 Phil was a member and team leader of the North Face/ National Geographic Everest Educational Expedition. He currently lives in Cortez, Colorado and works as a repair specialist at Osprey Backpacks.