Trekking Information

mt-kilimanjaro-tanzaniaTrekking Mount Kilimanjaro, the roof of Africa

Mt. Kilimanjaro is situated inside the Kilimanjaro National Park in Tanzania. It is the highest mountain in Africa and the tallest freestanding mountain in the world, permanently covered with snow.

It is one of the continent’s most magnificent sights. Mt. Kilimanjaro is an extinct volcano with 3 major peaks: Kibo peak (5,895m), Shira peak (3,962m) and Mawenzi peak (5,149m). Kilimanjaro can be climbed (hiked) throughout the year with our experienced guides. Put on your walking shoes and have this intense and fantastic experience!

This truly unique adventure allows guests to hike to the “Roof of Africa” and experience its awe-inspiring beauty while enjoying a bewildering sense of achievement. Ascending Kilimanjaro is best enjoyed over a seven-day period to acclimatize to the mountain’s 19 340 foot (5 895 metre) gradient and fully appreciate the many breathtaking habitats along its winding trails.

Best Time to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro

Due to Mount Kilimanjaro’s proximity to the equator, this region does not experience the extremes of winter and summer weather, but rather dry and wet seasons. Therefore, the best time to climb Kilimanjaro tends to be the warmest and driest months (see Kilimanjaro weather). The primary issue is safety, as the risks associated with climbing increase significantly when the weather is foul. The effects of rain, mud, snow, ice and cold can be very strenuous on the body.

Correspondingly, your chances of a successful summit also increase significantly with nice weather. Of course, the mountain gets more traffic during these periods as well.  It is possible to climb Kilimanjaro year round. January, February, and September are considered to be the best months in terms of weather, and correspondingly are the busiest months. From January through mid-March are the warmest months, with clear skies in the mornings and evenings. During the day, clouds may appear along with brief showers. From the end of March to early June is the long rainy season. Visibility may be low due to heavy clouds, but the crowds are gone. June, July, and August are good months, but it is colder. Following September and October, the short rainy season lasts from November through the beginning of December, where afternoon rains are common, but skies are clear in mornings and evenings.

Temperature on Mount Kilimanjaro

The answer is that the temperatures on Mount Kilimanjaro range from hot to bitter cold. The journey from the gate to the peak is like traveling from the equator to Antarctica in a matter of days. This is because the routes to the Uhuru peak cross different ecological zones. Mount Kilimanjaro has five major ecological zones, each approximately 3,280 feet (1,000 m) in altitude. Each zone is subject to a corresponding decrease in rainfall, temperature and life as the altitude increases.

Due to its proximity to the equator, Mount Kilimanjaro does not experience wide temperature changes from season to season. Instead, the temperatures on Mount Kilimanjaro are determined more so by the altitude and time of day. At the beginning of the climb, at the base of the mountain, the average temperature is around 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 27 degrees Celsius). From there, the temperatures will decrease as you move through Mount Kilimanjaro’s ecological zones. At the summit, Uhuru Point, the night time temperatures can range between 0 and -15 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 to -26 degrees Celsius). Due to Mount Kilimanjaro’s great height, the mountain creates its own weather. It is extremely variable and impossible to predict. Therefore, regardless of when you climb, you should always be prepared for wet days and cold nights.

Mt Kilimanjaro Trekking Routesmount-kilimanjaro-trekking-routes-map

The Western routes are thought to be the most scenic and most of our treks ascend via the Lemosho (8 days) and Machame (7 days) trails. The Lemosho, Rongai and Umbwe Routes are the least crowded while Machame (Whiskey Route) and Marangu (Coca-Cola Route) are the most popular. Lemosho, Machame and Umbwe descend via the Mweka Trail while Rongai and Marangu descend via the Marangu Trail. Longer climbs have the highest success rates and we recommend taking a minimum of 6 – 7 days to climb Kilimanjaro.

UMBWE ROUTE (CAMPING)

THE UMBWE ROUTE IS THOUGHT TO BE THE MOST DIFFICULT WAY TO CLIMB KILIMANJARO. THE TRAIL FROM UMBWE GATE TO BARRANCO CAMP IS EXTREMELY STEEP AND THE ROUTE IS NOT RECOMMENDED FOR INEXPERIENCED HIKERS.  

Advantages

  • Steep climb for those wanting a challenge
  • Fewer climbers

Disadvantages

  • Steep and unsuitable for inexperienced hikers
  • The trailhead may be inaccessible during the wet season

RONGAI ROUTE (CAMPING)

THE RONGAI ROUTE STARTS NEAR THE HOLILI BORDER WITH KENYA. THIS ROUTE IS RECOMMENDED FOR CLIMBERS WANTING TO HIKE ACROSS THE SADDLE. RONGAI IS ONE OF THE LEAST CROWDED CLIMBING ROUTES ON KILIMANJARO

Advantages

  • Remote, eastern route
  • Fewer climbers
  • Ideal during rainy season
  • Possibility to see wildlife

Disadvantages

  • Remote, eastern route
  • Fewer climbers
  • Ideal during rainy season
  • Possibility to see wildlife

LEMOSHO ROUTE (CAMPING)

LEMOSHO CAN BE DONE IN 7, 8 OR 9 DAYS. CRATER CAMP CAN BE INCLUDED IN 8 OR 9 DAY CLIMBS. WE DO NOT ARRANGE TREKS VIA THE WESTERN BREACH. INSTEAD, CRATER CAMP ASCENTS ARE VIA BARAFU CAMP.

Advantages

  • Scenic, western ascent
  • Fewer climbers
  • Beautiful views of Kilimanjaro
  • Crosses the scenic Shira Plateau
  • Longer climb allowing for greater acclimatization (8 day climb recommended)
  • High success rates
  • Possibility to see wildlife

Disadvantages

  • More expensive as there are additional fees and it is a longer drive to the trailhead
  • May not be possible to access the trailhead during the wet season

MACHAME ROUTE (CAMPING)

ALONG WITH THE LEMOSHO 8 DAY CLIMB, THE MACHAME 7 DAY TREK IS THE MOST POPULAR OF OUR ALL CLIMB. ACCESS TO THE TRAILHEAD IS EASY AND THE CLIMB IS EXTREMELY SCENIC.

Advantages

  • Scenic, western ascent
  • Least expensive camping route
  • Varied scenery
  • Easy access to trailhead

Disdvantages

  • Most popular camping route

NORTHERN CIRCUIT ROUTE (CAMPING)

THE NORTHERNCIRCUIT ROUTE CIRCLES THE MOUNTAIN AND IS A RARELY USED ROUTE. IT STARTS IN THE WEST, CIRCLES TO THE NORTH, AND ASCENDS TO THE SUMMIT VIA MARANGU.

Advantages

  • Fewer climbers
  • Sees most of the mountain and climb (Lemosho, Rongai, Marangu and Mweka) route
  • Circles Kilimanjaro to the north
  • Long climb allowing for greater acclimatization

Disadvantages

  • Long route taking 9 days

MARANGU ROUTE (HUTS)

IT IS POSSIBLE TO CLIMB MARANGU IN ONLY 5 DAYS, HOWEVER WE RECOMMEND 6 DAYS TO ALLOW FOR ACCLIMATIZATION.

Advantages

  • Least expensive route
  • Easy access to trailhead
  • Bunk beds in hut accommodations

Disadvantages

  • Crowded

Low success rates due to inadequate acclimatisation.

What you need to bring

You are responsible for bringing personal gear and equipment while communal equipment (tents, food, cooking items, etc.) is provided. Below is a gear list of required, recommended and optional items to bring on your climb.

Technical Clothing

1 – Waterproof Jacket, breathable with hood

1 – Insulated Jacket, synthetic or down

1 – Soft Jacket, fleece or soft-shell

2 – Long Sleeve Shirt, light-weight, moisture-wicking fabric

1 – Short Sleeve Shirt, light-weight, moisture-wicking fabric

1 – Waterproof Pants, breathable (side-zipper recommended)

2 – Hiking Pants (convertible to shorts recommended)

1 – Fleece Pants

1 – Shorts (optional)

1 – Long Underwear (moisture-wicking fabric recommended)

3 – Underwear, briefs (moisture-wicking fabric recommended)

2 – Sport Bra (women)

Headwear

1 – Brimmed Hat, for sun protection

1 – Knit Hat, for warmth

1 – Balaclava, for face coverage (optional)

1 – Bandana (optional)

Hand Wear

1 – Gloves, warm (waterproof recommended)

1 – Glove Liners, thin, synthetic, worn under gloves for added warmth (optional)

Footwear

1 – Hiking Boots, warm, waterproof, broken-in, with spare laces

1 – Gym Shoes, to wear at camp (optional)

3 – Socks, thick, wool or synthetic

3 – Sock Liners, tight, thin, synthetic, worn under socks to prevent blisters (optional)

1 – Gaiters, waterproof (optional)

Accessories

1 – Sunglasses or Goggles

1 – Backpack Cover, waterproof (optional)

1 – Poncho, during rainy season (optional)

1 – Water Bottle (Nalgene, 32 oz. recommended)

1 – Water Bladder, Camelback type (recommended)

1 – Towel, lightweight, quick-dry (optional)

1 – Pee Bottle, to avoid leaving tent at night ( recommended)

Stuff Sacks or Plastic Bags, various sizes, to keep gear dry and separate

Equipment

1 – Sleeping Bag, warm, four seasons

1 – Sleeping Bag Liner, for added warmth (optional)

1 – Trekking Poles (recommended)

1 – Head lamp, with extra batteries

1 – Duffel bag, (waterproof recommended) for porters to carry your equipment

1 – Day pack, for you to carry your personal gear

Other

Toiletries

Prescriptions

Sunscreen

Lip Balm

Insect Repellent, containing DEET

First Aid Kit

Hand Sanitizer

Toilet Paper

Wet Wipes (recommended)

Snacks, lightweight, high calorie, high energy (optional)

Pencil and Notebook, miniature, for trip log (optional)

Camera, with extra batteries (optional)

Paperwork

Trip Receipt

Passport

Visa (available at JRO)

Immunization Papers

Insurance Documents

 

 

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