Kilimanjaro, by any name, is a metaphor for the compelling beauty of East Africa. When you see it, you understand why. Not only is this the highest peak on the African continent; it is also the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, rising in breathtaking isolation from the surrounding coastal scrubland – elevation around 900 meters – to an imperious 5,895 meters (19,336 feet).
Kilimanjaro is one of the world's most accessible high summits, a beacon for visitors from around the world. Most climbers reach the crater rim with little more than a walking stick, proper clothing and determination. And those who reach Uhuru Point, the actual summit, or Gillman's Point on the lip of the crater, will have earned their climbing certificates. And their memories……….
But there is so much more to Kilimanjaro than her summit. The ascent of the slopes is a virtual climatic world tour, from the tropics to the Arctic.
Even before you cross the national park boundary (at the 2,700m contour), the cultivated foot-slopes give way to lush montane forest, inhabited by elusive elephant, leopard, buffalo, the endangered Abbot’s duiker, and other small antelope and primates. Higher still lies the moorland zone, where a cover of giant heather is studded with otherworldly giant lobelias.
Above 4,000m, a surreal alpine desert supports little life other than a few hardy mosses and lichen. Then, finally, the last vestigial vegetation gives way to a winter wonderland of ice and snow – and the magnificent beauty of the roof of the continent.
The best times to go are during the clearest and warmest conditions from December to February, but also dry (and colder) from July-September
Lemosho /Shira / Western Breach Route
To avoid congestion, this tour uses the trail on the less traveled western slopes of the mountain, gaining 4000m in altitude over 90 km and traversing rain forest, moorland, alpine desert, snow fields and ice cliffs. The need for an armed ranger for the first few kilometers of our trail due to the presence of wild buffalo and elephant is testament to the remoteness of the area. Your team of experienced guides and porters carries all your personal belongings and heavy loads. Modest but congenial hotel accommodation at either end of your trek is supplemented with comfortable tented camps while on the trail. Meals are simple, but hot, fresh and plentiful, ensuring you have the necessary to accomplish a truly unforgettable and fascinating adventure of a lifetime!
Climbing Kilimanjaro on the Machame route is a more natural climb in comparison to the Marangu Route, which has been modified to make an easier path. The Machame Route is more demanding, but a much quieter and more scenic route which makes climbing Kilimanjaro all the more rewarding. Overnights are spent camping in tents, which are carried and pitched by the accompanying porters. Highlights of this route are the Shira Plateau, Barranco wall and the Karanga Valley reaching the summit via Stella Point.
Because this route is more taxing it is recommended that climbers should be physically fit. You will need to acclimatize. With the additional day on trek there is a good chance of reaching the summit. It will be a tough challenge but we know you have it in you!
The Marangu route is the most popular Kilimanjaro climb and is nicknamed the 'Coca-cola' route followed by ninety percent of all climbers. The path is well defined and ‘climber friendly’ to make your adventure a little easier. The popular Kilimanjaro climb offers accommodation at Mandara, Horombo, and Kibo en route and accommodation on this route consists of built mountain huts providing adequate shelter, bottled water, beer and soft drinks. Climb Kilimanjaro and meet and mingle with other climbers from all over the world and make your adventure a social and friendly trip. This is a very scenic route with good views of Mawenzi and excellent prospects for viewing wildlife.
Approach the mountain from the north by the lightly-used Rongai route that starts just south of the Kenya-Tanzania border. Now open for climbing once again, experienced guides consider this ascent route to be both easier and more beautiful than the main Marangu trail. The Rongai route begins in attractive farmland and delightful forest, with the possibility of wildlife viewing, and passes through several different climate zones, adding considerably to the interest of the trek. An extra day is added to the standard five day itinerary to ensure maximum acclimatization offering the best possible chance of enjoying the magnificent scenery. This route retains a sense of unspoiled wilderness and offers a different perspective on Kilimanjaro by approaching it from the north.