Mount Kilimanjaro


Mount Kilimanjaro Climb

Situated near Arusha,northern Tanzania, Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest freestanding mountain in the world. At 5895 metres, Kilimanjaro provides a challenge for hikers. The mountain range has four hiking routes-with each offering a different and exhilarating experience.

Many trekkers arrive at Mount Kilimanjaro dreaming of a grand wilderness adventure on the world’s tallest freestanding mountain. At the very least, they expect some peace and quiet to contemplate the toughest physical challenge they might ever face. Finding a circus instead of solitude can be mighty disappointing.

While Africa’s contribution to the seven summits ranks high on the to-do list of serious mountaineers, scaling the 5,895-metre (19,341 ft) dormant volcano requires no technical skill. Climbers with a moderate level of fitness, positive attitude, and a body that adapts reasonably well to altitude have a good chance of success. It’s no surprise to learn that the number of people attempting the climb is high.

Lemosho Route

This is the longest and most remote route to Kilimanjaro. After beautiful forests and moorlands it crosses the Shira Plateau to meet up with the Machame Route. Groups may be accompanied on the first day by an armed ranger as the forests around the Lemosho Glades are rich in buffalo, elephant and other game. The South Circuit is then followed, offering superb views of the Southern Icefields, past the Barranco Hut then on to Barafu and hence the summit. Descent is by the Mweka Route.

A party wishing to ascend slowly can comfortably take 8 days on this route as described below. However the campsite at Shira Hut and at Karanga Valley could be left out by a very strong party on request. Accommodation on the mountain is in tents which the porters will pitch for you. You will need a sleeping bag, warm clothes and walking poles. This is a steep, tough trek within the limits of a fit individual used to walking in mountain areas.

Machame Route

Sometimes called the Whisky Route. This is a popular route up steep paths through magnificent forests to gain a ridge leading through the moorland zones to the Shira Plateau. It then traverses beneath the glaciated precipices of the Southern Icefields to join the Barafu Route to the summit. An extra day could be added to the itinerary, best spent on the Shira Plateau, where you could walk to the Shira Needles. Strong groups could omit camping at Karanga River. The Mweka Route is used for the descent.

Accommodation on the mountain is in tents which the porters will pitch for you. You will need a sleeping bag, warm clothes and walking poles. This is a steep, tough trek within the limits of a fit individual used to walking in mountain areas.

Marangu Route

This is the easiest route to the summit of Kilimanjaro, sometimes called the Coca-Cola Route. The Marangu route takes you at a gentle pace through forests, moorlands and then across The Saddle, a high-altitude desert separating the main summit, Kibo, 5896m, from craggy Mawenzi, 5149m, to Kibo Hut. From here an early start is made for the ascent to Uhuru Point (the highest top of Kibo). The path zig-zags up steep scree which is easier to climb when frozen. The views from the crater rim at Gillman's Point at dawn can be spectacular. Uhuru Peak lies a further 1h30min. around the rim.

Accommodation on the mountain is in comfortable huts. You will need a sleeping bag, warm clothes and walking poles. This is a tough walking trip but within the limits of a fit individual used to walking in mountain areas. An extra day for acclimatisation to the altitude is recommended at Horombo from where there are various walks to enjoy.

Rongai Route

This remote and less frequently used route is the second easiest route to Kilimanjaro. The approach to the mountain is from the less-forested north side and the descent is by the Marangu Route. There are several variations, the one described below is a longer route taking in Mawenzi Tarn. The second day on this variant is quite long and could be broken up into two days walk allowing more time for acclimatisation. The ascent to Uhuru Peak is almost the same as for the Marangu Route from the Kibo Hut.

Accommodation on the mountain is in tents (even on descent) which the porters will pitch for you. You will need a sleeping bag, warm clothes and walking poles. This is a steep, tough trek within the limits of a fit individual used to walking in mountain areas.