“THE ROOF OF AFRICA”
snow-capped summit of Kilimanjaro is one of the most memorable images
of East Africa. It is Africa’s highest mountain and one of
the highest free-standing mountains in the world. A trek up Kilimanjaro
is one of the highlights of any visit to Africa, and any person
of reasonable fitness can undertake the climb with very little preparation.
Indeed hundreds of travelers of all ages climb the mountain each
year and it becomes a “must” for visitors to the East
The mountain is roughly oval in shape, approximately 40-60 kms across
and rises nearly 5000m above the surrounding plateau. There are
two main peak areas, Kibo and Mawenzi, and these are separated by
a broad plain called The Saddle. The highest point in Kibo is Uhuru
Peak (5896m), the goal for most trekkers on the mountain. Hans Meyer
Point (5149m) is the highest part of Mawenzi but cannot be reached
by trekkers and is seldom visited.
On the lower
slopes, Kilimanjaro is surrounded by thick forest that is classified
as an official reserve and the area beyond this (above 2500m) becomes
Kilimanjaro National Park.
has always been revered by the Chagga tribes that inhabited the
lower slopes of the mountain.In 1848, Johannes Rebmann was the first
European to reach the area and report his findings. He was later
followed by other explorers including Gustav Fischer, Joseph Thomson
and Count Samuel Teleki. In 1889, a German geologist named Hans
Meyer eventually reached the summit and immediately christened the
peak Kaiser Wilhelm Spitze .When Tanzania achieved independence
in 1961, the summit was renamed Uhuru Peak.
The name 'Kilimanjaro' has never really been explained and various
translations or suggestions have been 'Shining Mountain', 'White
Mountain' and 'Mountain of Water'.
mountain can be climbed for most of the year except April/May when
the rains make trekking conditions harder. Independent trekking
is not permitted and all treks must be booked through an organised
tour company. It is also compulsory to take a guide and at least
one porter when trekking as dictated by Park regulations. Park fees,
hut fees, rescue fees and guide fees are the main costs, and most
of the money paid for trekking goes towards paying these fees. Most
companies will quote a price that includes the various fees and
will pay them on your behalf. It is important to check whether Park
fees are included in the quoted price, or whether they have to be
paid separately. Fees for the mountain (US$300-$500) are usually
paid in hard currency with US dollars being preferred, either cash
or travelers cheques.
There are three
main routes to the summit area, all on the southern side of Kibo,
and linked by the Southern Circuit Path. This allows for different
route combinations and also helps acclimatisation. As with Mt Kenya,
if you can allow an extra day on the mountain it will not only assist
with acclimatisation but will also give you time to see other parts
of the mountain. Many trekkers who try to rush up the mountain will
often fail to reach the summit because of altitude sickness.
The easiest and most popular route to the summit area, and the most
often used by trekking companies. There are large bunkhouses conveniently
placed along the way, which increases the popularity of this route.
The climb usually takes 5 days although an extra day about half-way
up the mountain at Horombo Hut will greatly increase your chances
of reaching the summit. The path is straightforward and goes up
the south-east side of the mountain, approaching Kibo via the crater
rim at Gillman’s Point. The descent is usually by the same
Probably the most scenic route, a gradual ascent with the approach
to Uhuru Peak via the top section of Mweka Route. A day is spent
contouring the southern slopes, passing through a range of landscape
and vegetation types. The huts along the route are in poor condition
and trekkers are accommodated in tents. The climb usually takes
6 days with most trekkers reaching Uhuru Peak. The descent is normally
by the Marangu or Mweka Route.
The steepest of the routes with a more direct climb to Uhuru Peak.
The trek is interesting and enjoyable but there is the temptation
for trekkers to climb too quickly and those who do, generally fail
to reach the summit. The top section of this route is reasonably
steep and can sometimes be covered with ice, forcing climbers to
Huts on this route are also in bad condition and tents are essential.
A minimum of 5 days should be allowed for the climb although an
extra day for acclimatisation would be recommended. Descent is either
by the Marangu or Mweka routes.
Sample Itinerary. Please note that prices and itineraries
are for guidance only and are subject to change as a result of exchange
rate fluctuations, park entry fee changes and fuel costs for example.
Once you have chosen a safari, a firm price will be quoted before
you book and will be fixed once the booking is accepted.
DAYS MARANGU ROUTE ( Start and finish in Moshi) (5 days on
- Marangu - Mandara Camp
After breakfast, drive approximately 45kms to Marangu Gate (1980m)
for registration. Commence the trek through semi-tropical rainforest
to Mandara Hut (2745m) for your first night on the mountain. Dinner
and overnight at the hut. (B,L,D)
Day 2 Mandara
Hut - Horombo Hut
The route today takes you out of the rainforest and ascends through
open moorlands towards Horombo (3700m). The landscape becomes more
rugged and rocky and views of Mawenzi and Kibo peaks are possible.
Dinner and overnight at the hut. (B,L,D)
Day 3 Horombo
Hut - Kibo Hut
An early start after breakfast for a 6 hour ascent across the saddle
between the peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo. The trek takes you through
areas of wonderful alpine vegetation such as giant cactus, groundsel
and lobelia. Overnight at Kibo Hut (4700m). (B,L,D)
Day 4 Kibo
Hut - Uhuru Peak - Horombo Hut
Shortly after midnight, commence the final climb to the summit.
The initial path takes you over steep scree slopes to Gilman's Point
located on the crater rim at 5680m. From here you can look down
into the snow-filled crater, back to The Saddle and Mawenzi, and
view the spectacular cliffs of the Eastern Icefields. The route
continues around the crater rim for another 2-3 hours before reaching
Uhuru Peak (5896m), the highest point in Africa. After spending
some time on the peak, descend via Kibo Hut to Horombo Hut for your
overnight stay. (B,L,D)
Day 5 Horombo
Hut - Marangu - Moshi
After breakfast, continue the descent to Marangu Gate where you
can collect your well-earned certificates. Transport is arranged
to take you back to Moshi for your overnight stay at a local hotel.
COST: CONTACT US FOR A QUOTE.
can be arranged to improve the chances of success.
4 nights hut accommodation, return transport from Moshi to Marangu
Gate, Park entry fees, Hut fees, Rescue fees, Guide/Porter fees,
All meals on the mountain.
Items of a personal nature, Tips.
qualified Guides from a reputable company are used for these climbs.