Hiking Mount Kilimanjaro : Mount Kilimanjaro is located in Tanzania on the northern border with Kenya. It is the highest mountain in Africa and the highest freestanding mountain on the globe. It’s approximately 200 miles south of the Equator and it is one of the Seven Summits of the world. Mount Kilimanjaro’s highest point, Uhuru Peak, is 19,341 feet (5895 meters) above sea level. It was formed around 750,000 years ago at around the same time as the Great Rift Valley. The most recent significant eruption is thought to have occurred roughly 360,000 years ago.
Unlike Mount Everest, which is part of a mountain range produced by the movement of the earth’s tectonic plates, Kilimanjaro is a volcano, one of the world’s largest. Kilimanjaro National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was established in 1973 to safeguard and maintain the area’s delicate flora and biodiversity. It is under the Tanzania National Parks Authority, which reports to the Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism. The National Parks Authority is in charge of giving permits to climb Kilimanjaro as well as maintaining the mountain’s conservation and protection.
The best time for hiking to Kilimanjaro is during the dry season from June to October since all the summiting routes are friendly for summiting. However, avoid summiting during the rainy season simply because of the risk, since the weather might be challenging on your way to the summit, cold and the ice on the top of the mountain might be higher and challenging.
HOW TO GO TO/ ACCESS MOUNT KILIMANJARO.
The Kilimanjaro international airport, located between Kilimanjaro and Arusha, is the major stop and point for many planes travelling to Mount Kilimanjaro from all over the world. After arriving at Kilimanjaro International Airport, you will only need to travel a few kilometers up the mountain to reach your summiting route.
Alternatively, you can fly to Dar es Salaam’s Julius Nyerenyere International Airport and then take a flight to Kilimanjaro from there. Alternatively, you can drive to Kilimanjaro from there, but this will take longer than flying.
If you are unable to obtain a direct flight from your country to Tanzania’s Julius Nyerere International Airport and Kilimanjaro International Airport, another good and simple option for flying to Mount Kilimanjaro is to fly to Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, from which you will be able to obtain a flight to Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro International Airport, or you can travel to Tanzania by road.
BY ROAD TRANSPORT.
It is also a cheaper mode of transportation to Mount Kilimanjaro, although it takes longer to reach there, Kilimanjaro may be reached by road from Kenya, Uganda, or any other area of Tanzania.
MOUNT KILIMANJARO TREKKING/HIKING
The climb to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, also known as Uhuru Peak, is a must-do for any tourist visiting Tanzania so as to have a memory that you visited Africa because the mountain is the African icon. Summiting Mount Kilimanjaro’s highest point, Uhuru Peak, takes between five and eight days, while some people claim to be able to trek to the summit of this largest mountain in Africa in less than a day. Although it is Africa’s tallest and free-standing mountain, hiking it is not tough if you have prior physical preparation because summiting is simply about walking up the elevation, but switching your mentality and not giving up is another simple approach to success. Most people fail to reach the summit, not because of their physical strength, but because of the changing weather conditions when hiking the mountain. Remember that oxygen levels drop when rising or at a high elevation, which is a problem for most hikers.
When hiking Mount Kilimanjaro, you should choose the most rewarding route rather than the most difficult one, because certain routes are just for trekking Mount Kilimanjaro and have a 100% success record, while others are challenging and have a low success rate. And When it comes to trails, what you’re truly talking about are mountain paths. The ascent to the summit can be done in nearly eight distinct ways.
The Southern Routes: There are three routes that ascend from the south to the summit of Uhuru peak in Kilimanjaro, and these include,
- Marangu route
- The Machame route and
From the western part of the mountain to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, there are also three routes which include
- Lemosho route
- The Shira route
- Northern Circuit
And, there is only one route that ascends from the north, known as the Rongai route.
The Marangu path, sometimes known as the “Coca-Cola” route, is a famous Kilimanjaro route for summiting. It is the oldest and most well-known route. Many people prefer the Marangu route because it is thought to be the simplest on the mountain due to its gentle grade. It is also the only route that provides sleeping huts in a dormitory setting. This path requires a minimum of five days to reach the summit, albeit the chances of reaching the top in that time frame are slim.
We do not, however, advised climbs through the Marangu route, despite its tremendous popularity. Because the ascent and descent are on the same path, the route has the least beautiful variety of all the routes, and it is also the busiest. Marangu is only recommended during the rainy season, when hut accommodations are preferred over soggy ground, Otherwise, taking the Marangu path is a bad idea.
The Machame route, sometimes known as the “Whiskey” route, is now the most popular on the mountain. The days on Machame are longer and the hikes are steeper than on Marangu. The Machame route is considered challenging and is best suited for individuals who are more adventurous and have some trekking or backpacking experience. Before summiting, the path begins in the south and then travels east, passing beneath Kilimanjaro’s southern ice sheet. This route can be completed in as little as six days, while seven days is advised.
In comparison to the Marangu path, the Machame route is more scenic and varied. However, because of the large crowds, some of its charm is lost.
The Lemosho trail is one of the newest and most popular hiking routes on Mount Kilimanjaro. Climbers will find little traffic until they reach the Machame path. Six days is the least amount of time required for this journey, although eight days is optimal.
Lemosho is regarded as Kilimanjaro’s most picturesque path, offering panoramic views from all sides of the mountain. It’s our favorite route because it strikes the perfect blend of minimal traffic, gorgeous views, and summit success. As a result, Lemosho is highly recommended. Lemosho is used by the majority visitors.
Another way that approaches Kilimanjaro’s summit from the west is the Shira route, which is essentially identical to the Lemosho route. Shira was the original path, while Lemosho is an upgraded version of it. Climbers begin their first day on the mountain at 11,800 feet (3,600 meters) and spend their first night at Simba Camp at the same elevation. The route then joins up with Lemosho and takes the southern circuit route.
Shira is a varied and attractive route, but because of the relatively high altitude of Shira’s starting location, Lemosho is suggested over Shira. Climbers may encounter some altitude-related problems on the first day of their trip to uhuru peak.
THE NORTHERN CIRCUIT ROUTE
The Northern Circuit is Kilimanjaro’s newest and most exciting route. In the beginning, the trek follows the Lemosho trail as it approaches Kilimanjaro from the west. The Northern Circuit, on the other hand, circumnavigates the mountain around the calm, rarely frequented northern slopes, rather than following the southern traverse like all the other west-approaching routes.
The Northern Circuit is a nine-day climb that is the longest in terms of time and distance traveled on Mount Kilimanjaro, but it boasts the best success rate of all the routes. The Northern Circuit path is undoubtedly one of the best routes on Kilimanjaro, with a high success rate, incredible diversified scenery, and a limited number of visitors.
The only path that approaches Kilimanjaro from the north, close to the Kenyan border, is the Rongai Way. Rongai has a modest volume of visitors, despite its growing appeal among climbers. It is the preferred route for those looking for a less crowded option to the Marangu route, those seeking a more remote trip, and those climbing during the wet season (the north side receives less precipitation). This path requires at least six days of hiking, with seven days being recommended.
This trail follows the Marangu trail. Rongai is a somewhat demanding route that is highly recommended, especially for people who are new to backpacking.
The Umbwe trail is a short, steep, and straight path. It is the most demanding route up Mount Kilimanjaro and is considered extremely difficult. Due to its rapid rise, Umbwe does not provide the requisite steps for altitude acclimatization. Although there is extremely little traffic on this route, the chances of success are similarly slim. At least six days are needed to reach the peak, although seven days is suggested when using this route. The Umbwe path should only be attempted by experienced hikers who are confident in their ability to acclimate.
THE COST OF HIKING MOUNT KILIMANJARO
The cost of hiking Mount Kilimanjaro varies depending on the number of days you plan to spend summiting, the number of individuals/group, their age group, their geographical region (east Africans are charged differently to non-east Africans), and the type of accommodation you use while summiting. The following are the costs associated with climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
- Conservation fees
- Rescue fees
- Camping or hut fees
- The guide and portal fees
- And the VAT
So, in order to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, you must consider all of these factors and calculate the total cost so that you can determine how much money you will need to summit the mountain. For more information and the actual cost of hiking Mount Kilimanjaro, you can visit or contact the Focus East Africa Tours Company, who will assist you from costing and budgeting to summiting the mountain and departure.