Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing
Located in Tanzania Northeast, Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa, the highest walkable mountain in the world and one of the ultimate outdoor challenges. We are one of the leading providers of high quality treks, with five to eight night options, exceptional summit success rates and an exemplary safety record.
"THE ROOF OF AFRICA"
At 5,895m, Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest point of Africa. This volcanic massif stands in splendid isolation above the surrounding plains, with its snowy peak looming over the savannah. The mountain is encircled by mountain forest. Numerous mammals, many of them endangered species, live in the park.
Kilimanjaro National Park covering an area of some 75,575 has protect the largest free standing volcanic mass in the world and the highest mountain in Africa, rising 4877m above surrounding plains to 5895m at its peak. With its snow-capped peak, the Kilimanjaro is a superlative natural phenomenon, standing in isolation above the surrounding plains overlooking the savannah.
Why trek with us & Getting to the top
The bottom line is that trekking with us should maximise your safety, your enjoyment and your chances of getting to the top of the mountain. Please forgive us for blowing our own trumpet, we don’t usually do this kind of thing, but a trek on Kilimanjaro is a very serious undertaking and it’s extremely important that you choose a reliable operator. We have a genuine proven summit success rate of 94% on our recommended routes on Mount Kilimanjaro, which is truly exceptional. We have long since come to understand that the only way to deliver outstanding summit success rates is to provide treks which are interesting, challenging, reliable, comfortable and enjoyable.
Safety – Flexibility – Value
A trek on Kilimanjaro can be an incredibly dangerous undertaking. We cannot completely remove that risk, but at least by trekking with us you can be reassured by our unrivalled safety record. With over 1000 trekkers, we’ve never lost a client due to altitude sickness. Our teams are so far ahead when it comes to safety that our guides are often obliged to intervene to literally save the lives of trekkers with other companies. We pride ourselves in delivering the best solution for each group of trekkers. Every single trip is private and tailor-made to select the timing, routing, specification and pacing to maximise your chances of an enjoyable and successful attempt on the summit. Although there are plenty of companies out there which will offer you lower cost treks on Kilimanjaro, we would argue that no one beats us on value. We understand that it can be difficult for you to directly compare the trek offerings from different companies, so we just have to rely on our reputation, plus the quality and level of detail of the information that we provide here.
Hopefully you can sense the difference.
The fact that we have four different specification levels for every trek also enables you to substantially adjust the pricing up or down.
Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Routes
Choosing the right route on Kilimanjaro is absolutely essential. If you’re very fit and confident about your ability to endure the rigours of camping out on the mountain for a week, then you should go for one of the longer 7 or 8 night treks, which offer better altitude acclimatisation and scenic variety.
Also known as the “Coca Cola route” – the Marangu route is one of the most popular routes leading to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Many hikers believe that the Marangu route is the easiest route to Uhuru peak, since it is the only route which can be hiked in 5 days (making it the cheapest option). It is also the only route offering accommodation on the mountain, in A-frame huts.
It is unfortunately a well-known fact, that the 5 day Marangu route has one of the lowest summit success rates of all the routes up mountain. If you choose the Marangu route, we strongly recommend hiking the route over 6 days, to increase your chance to reach the summit successfully.
This is the only route, which provides comfortable communal sleeping huts, equipped with beds and mattresses at every overnight site. Mineral water, soft drinks, beer and chocolates are also sold at most sites. The Marangu route utilises the same route for the ascend and descend.
The Machame route, also known as the “Whiskey” route, is the most popular route on Kilimanjaro. Machame’s draw is in its scenic beauty. However, the trail is considered difficult, steep and challenging, particularly due to its shorter itinerary. Therefore this route is better suited for more adventurous folks or those with some high altitude, hiking or backpacking experience.
The route approaches Mount Kilimanjaro from the south, beginning with a short drive from Moshi to Machame Gate. The path leads hikers through the rain forest to Shira Plateau. Here, many of Kilimanjaro’s routes converge. Then the route turns east and traverses underneath Kilimanjaro’s Southern Ice Field on a path known as the Southern Circuit before summiting from Barafu. Descent is made via the Mweka route.
Dahlia Africa offers Machame as a seven day group climb or as a six day private climb. The six day variation combines days four and five, going from Barranco Camp to Barafu Camp without staying at Karanga.
The Rongai route is the only route that approaches Kilimanjaro from the north, close to the Kenyan border. Though gaining popularity amongst climbers, this route still experiences low crowds.
Rongai has a more gradual slope than the mountain’s other routes. It is the preferred route for those looking for an alternative to the popular Marangu route, for those who would like a more remote hike, and for those who are climbing during the rainy season (the north side receives less precipitation).
Rongai is a moderately difficult route, and is highly recommended, especially for those with less backpacking experience. Although the scenery is not as varied as the western routes, Rongai makes up for this by passing through true wilderness areas for nearly the entire way. Descent is made via the Marangu route.
Dahlia Africa offers Rongai as a seven day group climb or a six or seven private climb. The six day variation does not have an acclimatization day on day four at Mawenzi Tarn.
The route approaches Mount Kilimanjaro from the west, beginning with a long drive from Moshi to Londorossi Gate. From there, the first two days are spent trekking through the rain forest to Shira Ridge. The Lemosho route crosses the entire Shira Plateau from west to east in a pleasant, relatively flat hike. Crowds are low until the route joins the Machame route near Lava Tower. Then the route traverses underneath Kilimanjaro’s Southern Ice Field on a path known as the Southern Circuit before summiting from Barafu. Descent is made via the Mweka route.
Dahlia Africa® offers Lemosho as an eight day group climb or as a seven to eight day private climb. The seven day variation combines days five and six, going from Barranco Camp to Barafu Camp without staying at Karanga.
Northern Circuit Route
The Shira Plateau is one of the most scenic and most fascinating areas on Kilimanjaro. Depending on the weather conditions you can drive by 4 wheel drive vehicles, to within a 1/2 hours walk of Shira Hut (4000m). Even this drive is very spectacular indeed and offers some magnificent views of Mt Meru and the Great Rift Valley in general. Game is often sighted and the road features some striking vegetation changes ranging from forest, grassland, heath to moorland. The fast ascend by vehicle to about 4000m will require additional acclimatization, after which it will be possible to ascend Uhuru Peak either via the Western Breach or via the Barafu hut.
The Shira route is only offered to hikers who are already acclimatized to 4 000m, by hiking either Mt Meru or Mt Kenya a few days before attempting Kilimanjaro. Depending on the weather conditions you can drive by 4 wheel drive vehicle, to within a ½ hours walk of Shira Hut (3 850m).
This drive is very spectacular and offers some magnificent views of Mt Meru and the Great Rift Valley in general. Game is often sighted and the road features some striking vegetation changes ranging from forest, grassland, heath to moorland. The fast ascend by vehicle to about 4000m will require additional acclimatization, after which it will be possible to ascend Uhuru Peak either via the Western Breach or via the Barafu hut.
Kilema Route for Bicycling Summit
Whether you actually reach the summit depends almost exclusively upon one factor: Your acclimatization. Our whole itinerary is geared towards one single day, that is to say, summit day. A lot of the time we will have to push the bikes. Riding them would theoretically be possible but it would use far too much energy. We need to save most of this for the day of the summit…when we will have a climb of 1200m. There is more than enough time for this, as we will set off shortly after midnight. As a reward for reaching the summit, we have a compulsory souvenir photo in store for you as well as a nearly 5000m descent. You’re guaranteed to be talking about this for a long time afterwards. The Kilema Mountain bike trail runs parallel with the Marangu route. The Kilema route is mainly used as an access road by vehicles to bring supplies to the Horombo hut and to evacuate medical emergencies from the Horombo hut. The route from Kilema gate to Horombo hut is a 4 x 4 gravel road, which is usually in fair condition.
This activity provides physical exercise and recreational use of the natural environment with minimum impact while enhancing visitors’ experience. Summit bound visitors will use Kilema route (19km) and cyclists will meet their porters at Horombo and continue to the summit. For non-summit bound visitors, cycling starts from Londorosi gate or from Morum Picnic Site then back to Morum (a 44km ride)
Kilimanjaro Climbing FAQ's
In short, you may climb the Mount all year round. Climbs during the dry season are, however, more comfortable. The dry season spans the periods from the second half of from December till March and from June till November.
At the same time, a the rainy season has some advantages as well.
Kilimanjaro Trekking Month to Month Guide
The “big” rainy season starts at the end of March and continues until the middle of May. April marks the beginning of the coldest time of the year in Tanzania. These months have significantly less climbers than the rest of the year, but there is a high chance of hiking in the rain at this time of the year.
The frequency of rain gradually decreases. The weather on Kilimanjaro is fairly dry and clear in these months, but nights are still cold. June is usually quiet, sunny, and, in our opinion, much underrated in terms of climbing. It is an excellent idea to choose June for your adventure because of great weather and routes that are almost private to your climbing party. The number of climbers increases as the year progresses. Starting from July the majority of the routes will be quite busy.
The peak climbing season on Kilimanjaro is from August to September. The weather is particularly good for climbing: the days are clear and somewhat warmer than in June/July. At the same time, it may be cloudy in the forest/moorland zone, as well as it may be rainy on the southern routes (Machame and Umbwe). However, once you leave the rain forest behind, it will be sunny.
October is another unfairly ignored season: nice weather conditions last into mid-October and the number of climbers drops dramatically, giving you a good chance to enjoy Kilimanjaro treks almost alone. At the end of October, the weather becomes more changeable. As long as you are equipped to withstand the occasional rain shower, this should not present any major challenges.
November is the “small” rainy season. The rainy weather may last into mid-December. The temperatures will have dropped and mist covers the Mountain, making your climb slightly tricky and risky, yet more challenging and exciting. November might not be the best pick in terms of weather, but gives a great opportunity to enjoy the breathtaking views of misty-covered Mount Kilimanjaro with its snow-capped peak and to take some terrific pictures.
December – January – Christmas and New Years are the second busiest climbing season on Kilimanjaro. The traffic is extremely high, although there is a good chance of rain and thick clouds at the lower altitudes of Kilimanjaro.
Mid-January to mid-March are very popular among climbers. The weather is perfectly balanced: it is neither too cold, nor too wet. The days are generally dry, though occasional rains may happen. The possibility of rain increases in the second half of March because the season of the “big rains” is approaching.
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