Trekking Mount Kimanjaro: Hiking Mount Kilimanjaro
Climbing Mountain Kilamanjaro – All you need to know
Trekking to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro is an overwhelmingly breathtaking experience that offers spectacular views of the shrinking glaciers and the entire African continent after arriving at the top of its highest peak- Uhuru. Standing at 5,895m above the sea level, Kilimanjaro is the tallest highland in Africa and is the largest freestanding mountain in the world. It is a dormant volcano that was formed about one million years ago with three volcanic cones; Kobo, Mawezi and Shira plateau. It is located in the northern side of Tanzania close to the southern border of Kenya. From some parts of Kenya, the snow on the peak of the mountain is visible.
Despite its height, the mountain is one of the accessible tall mountains in the world. With appropriate dressing, physical fitness and support of a walking stick, many climbers make it to the peak. As you climb through the mountain, you’ll encounter different climatic zones and flora. From the farmlands on the lower slopes, the upper slopes at about 3,000m above sea level are covered with rainforest. Ascending, there are open alpine moorland with giant lobelias and massive heathers followed by barren Alpine desert before arriving at the snow on top. There are several routes one can use to get to the top of the mountain; Lemosho route, Machame route, Northern circuit, Rongai route, Shira route and Marangu route. Completing the trek depends on the length of the route used though most of them take an average of 6 days and 5 nights or 7 days and 6 nights.
Mount Kilimanjaro also known as “Kili” is protected by Kilimanjaro national park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your trekking safari to the mountain may be featured by sightings of some of the stunning wild animals that live around the slopes of the mountain. Some of these include elephants, monkeys, buffaloes, eland and buffalo among others. In addition, there are rare plant species on the upper areas of the mountain and the final snow capped peaks which form one of the most beautiful backgrounds for photography. Remember to fully charge your camera and carry an extra battery and take enough photos for memories of the beauty in the scene.
The best time to climb Kilimanjaro is anytime of the year except from March to May since this is the wet season on the Mountain.
Access to Mountain Kilimanjaro
Most climbs to Kilimanjaro start from Arusha and Moshi towns. They are located about 46km from Kilimanjaro international airport which is close to the hiking routes. You may also take a direct international flight to Kilimanjaro international airport and connect to the hiking starting point by road, it takes about an hour.
If you book your safari with “Adventure in the wild safaris”, the driver guide will pick you from the airport or hotel and drive to the hike starting point where you’ll meet the armed ranger guide to lead you through the routes.
From any places in Tanzania, you can also book for domestic a flight that will take you to Kilimanjaro airport and connect to the starting point by road. You can also fly from Kenya to Kilimanjaro airport. Still from Nairobi, you can connect by road to Arusha or Moshi towns and then to Kilimanjaro. It takes about 6-7 hours from Nairobi to these towns.
Trekking on Mountain Kilimanjaro
Tourists that plan to go for mountain climbing on Kilimanjaro are required to have an over-all fitness that is; physically, mentally with good stamina. However much the mountain doesn’t require professional climbing skills, you’ll require some level of fitness at some altitudes. Carry out research about the equipments you need to carry to ensure you are well equipped. As you plan for mountain climbing, you are reminded that you should be under guidance of licensed personnel. Book for your tour with “Adventure in the wild safaris” for easy planning and have a magnificent experience of mountain climbing.
There are 6 hiking routes that lead to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. They are of varying distances and require different levels of fitness. Expect to see animals like monkeys, lots of birds and other natural landscapes like waterfalls. Machame route is steeper but has the most thrilling scenes while if using Lemosho route, it is easier to organize game drives and combine the trip with game viewing. On the southern side of the mountain is Chala Crater Lake which can also be visited. Nights and rests are spent in huts and tents. A visit to some of the communities living on the slopes of the mountain offers an opportunity to learn about their culture, lifestyle and traditional practices and activities.
The fees of the packages may be different depending on the route chosen and the days to be spent on the activity.
What to pack for Mountain Kilimanjaro trekking
People who are interested in trekking to Mount Kilimanjaro are advised to critically learn about nature of the mountain at different altitudes. This will help you to plan and prepare appropriately for the necessary equipments. Common things to carry are strong hiking boots, rain jacket and other waterproof clothes and a sweater, sleeping bags, a hat and sun glasses. You will get a walking stick on arrival before the trek starts.
As earlier mentioned, climbers are required to be fit in all forms if they want to climb to the top of the mountain. Your health condition should be normal. You are advised to see your doctor for check-up and get necessary advice before travelling. Find out more about acute mountain sickness for good preparation for those days to be spent on a high altitude. Due to high elevation and low temperature, you may face a problem of altitude sickness but this can be prevented by choosing our favorable itinerary that will enable a gradual acclimatization. Remember to carry your yellow fever immunization card and some fast aid medication as recommended from your doctor.
Climbers to Kilimanjaro are accompanied by an armed guide, a cook and a porter if they are carrying heavy luggage. Expenses of hiring porters are exclusive of the package fee. They are available at the staring points of the trek. Guides go for US$20 per day, Porters US$10 and cooks US$ 15 per day.
Best time for trekking Mount Kilimanjaro
Best time for Climbing Mount Kililmanjaro – Hiking is possible throughout the year though it may be rough and challenging during the wet season. It is easier to trek through the routes during the dry season. The months of December, January, February and September are dry and more preferred by climbers. These months are warm and the weather is good for the activity.
The months of April, May and November are the wettest and the routes are slippery. However, this doesn’t limit some people from trekking. Early august also experiences rains and trekking is quite challenging but possible.
The Northern Tanzanian Tourist Area
If you are want to adventure one of Africa’s most impressive destinations, consider booking for a safari to Northern Tanzania. With wilderness places like Serengeti national park which is popularly known for the great wildebeest migration, Ngorongoro crater that harbors the world’s most threatened wild animals including black rhinos and Africa’s highest mountain, a combination of tourist activities to these areas would make one of the most remarkable African safaris. Activities in these destinations; watching the great wildebeest migration, game drives, mountain climbing and others require good timing for tourists to enjoy each day of the tour.
To connect from destination to destination in this region, you may choose to use road transport which also enables you to explore the beautiful scenes of Tanzania though it is tiresome. Alternatively, transfers by air are arranged.
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro / Hiking Mount Kilimanjaro / Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro