Is climbing Mount Kilimanjaro on your bucket list? Do you want to know what it feels like to stand at the top of Africa? Then this guide is for you! It will provide you with the information you need before making the trek up Africa's tallest mountain.
The highest mountain in Africa, and the highest single free-standing mountain in the world, Mount Kilimanjaro is about 4,900 metres high (16,100 ft) from its base to its peak. It is actually a snow-capped dormant volcano that last erupted over 150,000 years ago. The mountain consists of three volcanic cones: Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira. The highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro is called “Uhuru”, which means "freedom" in Swahili.
Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the most iconic tourist destinations in Africa and it is visited by thousands of people every year. Many climb the mountain to reach the summit, while others just trek to lower elevations for the stunning views.
Mount Kilimanjaro is located in Tanzania, near its northern border.
The most popular way to get to Mount Kilimanjaro is to fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport, which is serviced by many international airlines. It is located about 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the mountain. From there, you can take a bus or taxi. Another way to get to Mount Kilimanjaro is to take a bus or train from Dar es Salaam, which is the capital of Tanzania. The journey takes about 11 hours by train and 12 hours by bus.
January to February and July to September are the most popular months to climb Mount Kilimanjaro because of the clear skies and warmer weather, however they are also the most crowded periods. The months just before the two rainy seasons, March and October, are best to avoid both the crowds and the bad weather.
There are seven official routes that climbers can take to Uhuru Peak, the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Marangu, Machame and Lemosho are the most popular ones.
The Marangu Route is the oldest and most established route up the mountain, and the only route which offers sleeping huts instead of camping. It is sometimes referred to as the “Coca-Cola” route because of the availability of soft drinks at the campsites along the way.
The Machame Route is a bit longer and more strenuous than Marangu, but it offers better acclimatisation and stunning views of the surrounding glaciers and lakes.
The Lemosho Route is an easier route which takes climbers through some of the most remote and beautiful scenery. It is a great option for those who want to take their time and enjoy the journey to the top.
The cost of your trip will vary depending on a number of factors, but the average cost for most people is between $2,000 and $4,00. This includes lodging, meals, equipment, guides and permits.
Although there are many companies offering Mount Kilimanjaro expeditions, Altezza Travel is a leading tour operator in Tanzania who organizes safari adventures and Kilimanjaro expeditions with a strong emphasis on safety, quality, and comfort. They have group tours every 2-3 days. and are rated Number 1 on Tripadvisor for outdoor activities in Moshi, the capital of the Kilimanjaro region. Their only office is located at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro and their local presence makes it possible for them to give accurate and up-to-date travel advice to their clients.