Mount Kilimanjaro Destination Guide

MOUNT KILIMANJARO

As the continent highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro is indisputably the king among the islands in the African sky. At 5896m Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain and one of the continent’s magnificent sights, the Kilimanjaro has three main volcanic peaks, Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira. It’s the highest mountain in Africa and the highest walkable summit in the world.

Kilimanjaro it’s not only an impressive dormant volcano, but it is a spectacular showcase of the natural world as well. Its peaks Kibo and Mawenzi have permanent caps of snow and ice. The highest point on Kibo, and indeed the whole of Kilimanjaro, is Uhuru Peak, with its spectacular hanging glaciers and breathtaking views of the African plains some 20,000 feet below. Also on Kibo is the slightly lower peak of Gillman’s Point. These are the goals for most trekkers. The height of Mawenzi is for mountaineers only.

With the help of porters and a guide, it’s possible to walk to the summit without specialised mountaineering equipment or experience.

Hola Africa LTD will be pleased to become your guide to a successful Kilimanjaro summit. Hiking Kilimanjaro with Hola Africa is the absolutely of safety, comfort and full engagement into African wildlife.

MOUNTAIN CLIMBING CREW

  • Professional English speaking guides licensed by Kilimanjaro National Park, our esteemed and experienced mountaineering guides hold certificates for Wilderness First Responder and First Aid.
  • Passionate mountain crew (including porters, cooks, camp master and assistant guides)

MEALS ON MOUNT KILIMANJARO

A typical healthy meal is highly required for Kilimanjaro trekkers, usually a healthy meal covering a balanced diet of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Three meal servings every day, including breakfast, lunch and dinner, served in a dining tent.

A team of experienced mountain cooks prepare delicious and nutritional meals that will help you trekking better by supplying you with essential nutrients, energy and keep you hydrated well.

Breakfast

A regular breakfast includes choices of hot drinks, usually tea, coffee, porridge or hot chocolate. A piece of fresh fruit such as a banana, orange, pineapple, banana, avocado or watermelon and mango. Toast with honey, jam and or butter, pancakes, sausage, bacon, varieties of eggs.

Lunch

Coffee, tea, hot chocolate, peanuts, popcorn, biscuits, toast served with honey, jam and or butter. Vegetable Soup, boiled eggs, Chicken curry, rice, Sandwiches and green beans. Juice, fruit, and fresh salad.

Dinner

Coffee, tea, hot chocolate, peanuts, popcorn, pancakes, biscuits, toast served with honey, jam and or butter. Vegetable soup, vegetable sauce, beef, chicken either stewed, curried or roasted, potatoes, pasta, spaghetti and rice. Fresh fruits including (orange, mango, banana and pineapple) and salad.

KILIMANJARO ROUTES

There are seven routes to trek Mount Kilimanjaro established and authorised by the Tanzania National Park. Marangu, Machame and Umbwe route all approach from the southern slopes of Mountain whereas Lemosho, Shira and Northern Circuit routes approach from the western slopes of the mountain. Rongai is the only route approaches from the northern slopes.

THE BEST AND RECOMMENDED ROUTES

We recommend four routes to the top of Kilimanjaro, each with their distinctive features and an option to choose a private departure or a scheduled climb, depending on your personal needs. We have considered several criteria, including a better chance of successful summiting, awe-inspiring scenery, time and money.

Machame Route

Despite being considered steep, difficult and challenging due to its shorter itinerary currently the most popular route on the Mount Kilimanjaro, also referred as “Whiskey” offers a comprehensive diversities of sights, sceneries and unforgettable trekking experiences.

The route is beginning with a short drive from Moshi to Machame Gate. Ascends from the south through the rainforest to Shira Plateau, heading to the east crossing underneath Kilimanjaro’s Southern ice field towards Barranco via Lava Tower summiting from Barafu. The route descends along the same way back to Barafu making your way via Mweka route.

You can trek the Machame route on a six or seven-day climb. But seven days is highly preferred and recommend to improves acclimatisation.

Rongai route

Rongai is the only route that is commencing and ascends on the northern slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro nearing Kenyan border. The route has some more gradual ascents that favour excellent acclimatisation and also offers the closest to a wilderness experience. However, the route attracts less number of climbers; thus, we recommend to those who prefer quieter trail and secluded trekking experiences.

The route Beginning from the Rongai gate, crosses several diverse climate zones, passing through Mawenzi tarn and summiting the highest peak from Kibo hut. The descent is made via the Marangu route.

Six and seven-day itineraries are offered, though the extended option is highly recommended to improve acclimatisation.

Lemosho Route

Widely considered as the route with awe-inspiring scenery on Mount Kilimanjaro, the route has unspoiled wildlife, low traffic of trekkers and excellent acclimatisation chances. Lemosho route is highly recommended and preferred for our esteemed clients and us for reaching the peak of African Highest mountain.

Trekking begins at Londorossi Gate at an altitude of 2,385m passing through rainforest, approaching from western slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, it takes you up and over the spectacular and world-famous Shira Plateau. The route ascends the Barranco Wall and summiting Uhuru Peak 5895m steeply from Barafu, and descent is made through Mweka route.

Seven and eight-day programs offered, our esteemed clients can choose depending on your budget and amount of time available at your disposal. Eight days program is highly recommended, but experienced and already comfortable climbers may opt for the more challenging seven-day ascent along the Lemosho route.

Northern Circuit

The Northern Circuit Route is the newest, most remote and longest but awe-inspiring route on the Mount Kilimanjaro. The route offers breathtaking scenery of the Kilimanjaro northern slopes and excellent for acclimatisation due to longer itinerary.

The route approaches the Mount Kilimanjaro from the west, commencing with a long drive to Londorossi gate. For the first few days, the trek follows the Lemosho route trekking through the rainforest to Shira Ridge across the world-famous and spectacular Shira plateau.

However, unlike other trekking routes following the southern route, the Northern circuit route heads the rarely visited northern slopes navigates from Moir Hut to Buffalo Camp, then to School Hut before summiting Uhuru Peak from east. Descends is made through Mweka route.

The route offers eight and nine days trekking itineraries and highly recommended to trekkers who enjoy long trekking experience accompanied with very less number of other trekkers.

WEATHER ON THE KILIMANJARO

Generally, at the low altitude Moshi Town and the base of the mountain the average temperature is between 20°C to 30°C. Temperature decreases with increase in elevation as trekkers summiting to the peak.

At the peak (Uhuru Point – the highest peak on the mountain) the average temperature is between -8°C to -20°C. However, weather on the mount keeps on changing; thus, trekkers must always be prepared for wet days and cold nights.

Best time for Mount Kilimanjaro trekking

Trekkers may enjoy successful trekking the mountain throughout the year, nevertheless that dry seasons are more favourable and comfortable for trekkers compared to wet seasons.

Rain Season – Wettest Season | April – May

April and May noticeably season with substantial rainfall, whereby Mid-march, End-November and early December received short rains, these wettest seasons are ideally not recommended for trekking. Trekking Kilimanjaro throughout this season means you have to trek through bottomless mud and dirty in the low altitude areas especially during first few days of trekking, and at higher altitude fog and precipitation makes trekking harder. Generally, trekkers must be well prepared with suitable equipment to help them successful summiting to the peak.

Dry season – January – March | June – October| December – RECOMMENDED

The main seasons for climbing Kilimanjaro are certainly January to Mid-march typically these are short dry seasons. June to October usually long dry season and end of December. These dry seasons are the best for trekking Mount Kilimanjaro, and trekkers are likely to comfortably successful summiting the mountain peak.

OUR TREKKING AND SAFETY EQUIPMENT

  • Camping equipment (dining and sleeping tents, sleeping mats, chairs, tables)
  • oxygen cylinder – only for emergency
  • Comprehensive medical kits.
  • first aid kit and pulse oximeter

GEAR AND EQUIPMENT

Kilimanjaro Mountain trekkers must be well prepared for all of the weather condition on the mountain regardless of dry or wet seasons. Trekkers are recommended for bringing varieties of personal gears and equipment necessary for Kilimanjaro climbing.

For the those who do not have all necessary gears and equipment needed for mountaineering and they don’t want to spend hundreds or even thousands on top of the range trekking and climbing gear, we offer you the chance to rent it simply.

Not only this will save you investing in resources you may not use again, but it also keeps you from packing all stuff in your suitcase. Hiring all necessary trekking gears and equipment you need will cost around USD 200-250.

Gear and Equipment List

Clothing

  • 1 – Waterproof Jacket, breathable with hood
  • 1 – Insulated Jacket, synthetic or down
  • 1 – Soft Jacket, fleece or soft-shell
  • 2 – Long Sleeve Shirt, lightweight, moisture-wicking fabric
  • 1 – Short Sleeve Shirt, lightweight, moisture-wicking fabric
  • 1 – Waterproof Pants, breathable (side-zipper recommended)
  • 2 – Hiking Pants
  • 1 – Fleece Pants
  • 1 – Shorts (optional)
  • 1 – Long Underwear (moisture-wicking fabric recommended)
  • 3 – Underwear, briefs (moisture-wicking fabric recommended)
  • 2 – Sports Bra (women) Headwear

Footwear

  • 1 – Hiking Boots, warm, waterproof, broken-in
  • 1 – Gym Shoes, to wear at camp (optional)
  •  3 – Socks, wool or synthetic
  • 3 – Sock Liners, tight, thin, synthetic, worn under socks to prevent blisters (optional)
  • 1 – Gaiters, waterproof (optional)

Headwear

  • 1 – Brimmed Hat, for sun protection
  • 1 – Knit Hat, for warmth
  • 1 – Balaclava, for face coverage (optional)
  • 1 – Bandana (optional)

Handwear

  • 1 – Warm gloves (waterproof recommended)
  • 1 – Gloves, thin

Accessories

  • 1 – Sunglasses or Goggles
  • 1 – Backpack Cover, waterproof (optional)
  • 1 – Water Bottle (Nalgene, 32 oz.)
  • 1 – Water Bladder (Camelbak type, 3 litres)
  • 1 – Towel, lightweight, quick-dry (optional)
  • 1 – Pee Bottle, to avoid leaving tent at night (recommended) Stuff Sacks, Dry Bags or Plastic Bags, various sizes, to keep gear dry and separate

Equipment

  • 1 – Sleeping Bag, warm, four seasons*
  • 1 – Sleeping Mattress
  • 1 – Trekking Poles, collapsable (highly recommended) *
  • 1 – Headlamp, with extra batteries
  • 1 – Duffel bag, 50-90L capacity, for porters to carry your equipment 1 – Daypack, 30-35L capacity, for you to carry your gear

Hiking Luggage

The most common mistake that climbers make is that they over pack and bring way too much gear, bee selective in what you take with you. Please note that our porters are limited to carrying 33 lbs (15 kgs) of your personal belongings. Everything the porters will carry for you between campsites should be placed into the duffel bag, including the sleeping bag, but it is OK to pack the sleeping bag separately if necessary. If you rent a sleeping bag from us, note that the bag weighs 5 lbs 6 oz. and this weight does count against the 33 lb limit.

Our porters will place your duffel bag and sleeping bag into a large, sturdy, waterproof bag with a roll-top closure. If you have excess weight, you will be required to hire an additional porter. It is rare to require an extra porter and should happen only in exceptional cases, such as for carrying extensive photography equipment.

TRAVEL INSURANCE

Hola Africa unquestionably requires you to carry valid travel insurance before taking a trip with us. Due to strict health and safety regulations, we are unable to accommodate clients who are unable to provide valid travel insurance.

We ask that your policy includes medical cover along with ample protection for emergency rescue and repatriation. We also suggest you pick a plan that covers trip cancellation, personal liability, and loss of personal effects.

FLYING DOCTOR INSURANCE

Here at Hola Africa, we can also arrange Flying Doctor Insurance. This insurance is perfect for remote locations as it enables doctors to reach you through the use of light aircraft, and to transport you to the nearest hospital quickly.

Flying Doctors Insurance is an additional cover and doesn’t replace your typical travel insurance. If you wish to opt for this insurance add on, then please contact us to let us know. We will require a copy of your passport, full details of your travel insurance company, policy number, and a 24-hour contact number for them. We request that you make your booking for Flying Doctors travel insurance when booking your trip with us.

OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Passports and Visas

Each guest is responsible for ensuring that their passport is valid for at least six months beyond the conclusion of their trip and that all necessary visas and permits have been acquired. Multiple-entry visas may be required if you are entering a country more than once on your vacation. Each guest must comply with entry, health and other requirements of the countries visited during your trip.

The Operators and their employees and their agents are not responsible for passport, visa, entry, health and other requirements of the countries visited, or for any loss sustained by you for failing to comply with laws, regulations, orders and requirements of countries visited.

The official website for applications is www.immigration.go.tz, which also provides contact numbers if applicants require further information or have any queries.

Yellow fever

Tanzania is mapped by the World Health Organization as a low-risk country because no Yellow fever virus has been isolated in the country. Yellow fever is a severe disease that is monitored internationally and therefore classified by the International Health Regulations (IHR), 2005 as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). All PHEIC require specific monitoring procedures and measures that commensurate with and restricted to public health measures to meet the IHR, 2005 purpose.

Yellow fever entry requirements in TANZANIA MAINLAND

Kindly go through this link Yellow fever entry requirements in Tanzania mainland

Getting There

A vast number of international airlines fly direct to Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar including KLM, Swiss, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines, Kenya Airways, Oman Air, Egyptair, Etihad and Fly Dubai. Numerous regional carriers fly into Tanzania from Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Mauritius, Seychelles, Comores, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Domestic airlines such as Air Tanzania, Auric Air, Coastal Aviation, Precision Air, Regional Air Services, Safari Airlink and ZanAir.