Mt. Kilimanjaro

Crowned by an eternal snow cap throughout the year, Mt. Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa [the roof top of Africa] and the tallest freestanding mountain on in the world at 5,895 metres above sea level located on area which lies between 2° 45′ to 3° 25’S and 37° 00′ to 37° 43’E. With its three volcanic cones, Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira, is a dormant volcanic mountain in Tanzania.

The first ascender was Ludwig Purtscheller in 1849, an Austrian mountaineer and teacher who in the 19th century did the entire route finding and lead climbing, and the followed by Hans Heinrich Josef Meyer in 1889, a German geographer from Hildburghausen, credited with being the first European to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Kilimanjaro is a worlds most accessible high summits, with climbers plan to reach the Crater rim, Uhuru [Freedom] Point, the actual summit, or Gillman's Point on the lip of the crater to earn their climbing certificates and their memories. Key attraction when climbing Mt Kilimanjaro includes the following features:-

  • Reaching its summits
  • Climatic world tour ranging from the tropics to the Arctic
  • Lush montane forest inhabited by animals
  • Moorland zone
  • Surreal alpine desert above 4, 000m supporting to mosses and lichen
  • Vestigial vegetation gives way to a winter wonderland of ice and snow
  • the magnificent beauty of the roof of the continent

Size

1668 sq km 641 sq miles [Kilimanjaro Nationa Park]




What to do

  • Hiking or trekking to the summit
  • Day or overnight hikes on the Shira plateau
  • Nature trails on the lower reaches
  • Trout fishing

When to go

  • December to February, clearest and warmest conditions
  • July to September, dry (and colder)



The major routes to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro include the:
Marangu | Machame | Umbwe | Mweka | Shira | Lemosho | Rongai | Arrow Glacier

For the details of the each trekking routes to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro please view below.

Marangu Route

Length of hiking/trekking:
5 days, 3 ascending and 2 descending
Location & Getting there:
Located on eastern side of Moshi town about 33 km, about 1 hour drive from Moshi to Marangu main gate. Accessibility is by road to the main gate

Accommodation While Trekking:

  • Sleeping in Huts within the National Park

 

Marangu Route Itinerary:
Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro via Marangu route, starts at the Marangu Gate [1860 m above sea level] and it takes 5 days of climbing to the roof top of Africa.The itinerary for this route is as follows :-

Day 1 – Marangu Gate [1860 m above sea level] – Mandara Huts [2700m above sea level]
Walking distance: 8 kilometres
Walking time: 3-4 hours
Altitude gain: 840 m

Day 2 – Mandara Huts – Horombo Huts [3700 m above sea level]
Walking distance: 12 kilometres
Walking time: 5-7 hours
Altitude gain: 1000 m

Day 3 – Horombo Huts – Kibo Huts [4700 m above sea level]
Walking distance: 9.5 kilometres
Walking time: 5-7 hours
Altitude gain: 1000 m

Day 4 – Summit attempt via Gilman’s Point [5700 m above sea level] to Uhuru Peak [5895 m above sea level] and descending to Horombo Huts [3700 m above sea level]
Walking distance: 5.5 kilometres ascending and 15 kilometres descending
Walking time: 5-6 hrs ascending to roof top, 1-2 hours stays up, 5-6 hours descending
Altitude gain: 1000 m [Gilman’s Point] or 1195 m [Uhuru Peak]
Descent: 2195 m

Day 5 – Horombo Huts – Marangu Gate
Walking distance: 20 kilometres
Walking time: 5 hours
Descent: 1840 m



Machame Route

Length of hiking/trekking:
6 – 7 days, 3 – 4 ascending and 2 descending

Location & Getting there:
Located on western side of Moshi town about 45 minutes drive from Moshi to Machame main gate. Accessibility is by road to the main gate

Accommodation While Trekking:
Sleeping in Campsites within the National Park

Machame Route Itinerary:
Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro via Machame route, starts at the Machame Gate [1830 m above sea level] and it takes 6 – 7 days of climbing to the roof top of Africa. The itinerary for this route is as follows :-

Day 1 – Machame Gate [1830 m above sea level] – Machame Huts [3030 m above sea level]
Walking distance: 5.5 kilometres
Walking time: 5-7 hours
Altitude gain: 1200 m

Day 2 – Machame Huts – New Shira Camp [3850 m above sea level]
Walking distance: 5.5 kilometres
Walking time: 4-6 hours
Altitude gain: 820 m

Day 3 – New Shira Camp – via Lava Tower [4640 m above sea level] – Barranco Huts [3985 m above sea level]
Walking distance: 10 kilometres
Walking time: 5-7 hours
Altitude gain: 135 m [790 m to Lava Tower]

Day 4 – Barranco Huts – Karanga Camp [4040 m above sea level]
Walking distance: 5.5 kilometres
Walking time: 4-5 hours
Altitude gain: 55 m

Day 5 – Karanga Camp – Barafu Huts [4680 m above sea level]
Walking distance: 3.5 kilometres
Walking time: 4-5 hours
Altitude gain: 640 m

Day 6 – Summit attempt via Stella Point [5752 m above sea level] to Uhuru Peak [5895 m above sea level) and descend to Millennium Camp [3820 m above sea level] [or to Mweka Hut]
Walking distance: 5 kilometres ascending and 10 kilometres descending
Walking time: 5-6 hrs ascending, 1-2 hours stays up, and 5-6 hours down
Altitude gain: 1072 m [Stella Point] or 1215 m [Uhuru Peak]
Descent: 2075 m

Day 7 – Millenium Camp – Machame Gate
Walking distance: 20 kilometres
Walking time: 5 hours
Descent: 1990 m



Shira Route

Length of hiking/trekking:
6 – 7 days, 3 – 4 ascending and 2 descending

Location & Getting there:
Located on eastern side of Moshi town about 4 hours drive from Moshi to Londorossi main gate. Accessibility is by road to the main gate

Accommodation While Trekking:
Sleeping in Campsites within the National Park

Shira Route Itinerary:
Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro via Shira route, starts at the Londorossi Gate [2100 m above sea level] and it takes 6 – 7 days of climbing to the roof top of Africa. The itinerary for this route is as follows:-

Day 1 – Londorossi Gate – River Camp [3050 m above sea level]
Walking distance: 7 kilometres
Walking time: 4 hours
Altitude gain: 950 m

Day 2 – River Camp – Shira Huts [3850 m above sea level] via Shira Cathedral
Walking distance: 12 kilometres
Walking time: 6-8 hours
Altitude gain: 800 m

Day 3 – Shira Huts – via Lava Tower [4640 m above sea level] – Barranco Huts [3985 m above sea level]
Walking distance: 9 kilometres
Walking time: 6-8 hours
Altitude gain: 135 m [790 m to Lava Tower]

Day 4 – Barranco Huts – Karanga Camp [4040 m above sea level]
Walking distance: 5.5 kilometres
Walking time: 4-5 hours
Altitude gain: 55 m

Day 5 – Karanga Camp – Barafu Huts [4680 m above sea level]
Walking distance: 3.5 kilometres
Walking time: 4-5 hours
Altitude gain: 640 m

Day 6 – Summit attempt via Stella Point [5752 m above sea level] to Uhuru Peak [5895 m above sea level] and descent to Millennium Camp [3820 m above sea level] [or to Mweka Hut]
Walking distance: 5 kilometres ascending and 10 kilometres descending
Walking time: 5-6 hrs ascending, 1-2 hours stays up, and 5-6 hours down
Altitude gain: 1072 m [Stella Point] or 1215 m [Uhuru Peak]
Descent: 2075 m

Day 7 – Millenium Camp – Shira Gate
Walking distance: 20 kilometres
Walking time: 5 hours
Descent: 1990 m



Lemosho Route

Length of hiking/trekking:
6 – 7/8 days, 4 – 6 ascending and 2 descending

Location & Getting there:
Located on eastern side of Moshi town about 4 hours drive from Moshi to Londorossi main gate. Accessibility is by road to the main gate

Accommodation While Trekking:
Sleeping in Campsites within the National Park

Lemosho Route Itinerary:
Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro via Shira route, starts at the Londorossi Gate [2100 m above sea level] and it takes 7 – 8 days of climbing to the roof top of Africa. The itinerary for this route is as follows:-

Day 1 – Londorossi Gate – Big Tree Camp [2650 m above sea level]
Walking distance: 6 kilometres
Walking time: 2-3 hours
Altitude gain: 550 m

Day 2 – Big Tree Camp – Shira I [3480 m above sea level]
Walking distance: 8 kilometres
Walking time: 4-5 hours
Altitude gain: 830 m

Day 3 – Shira I – Shira Huts [3850 m above sea level] via Shira Cathedral
Walking distance: 11 kilometres
Walking time: 6-8 hours
Altitude gain: 370 m

Day 4 – Shira Huts – via Lava Tower [4640 m above sea level] – Barranco Huts [3985 m above sea level]
Walking distance: 9 kilometres
Walking time: 6-8 hours
Altitude gain: 135 m [790 m to Lava Tower]

Day 5 – Barranco Huts – Karanga Camp [4040 m above sea level]
Walking distance: 5.5 kilometres
Walking time: 4-5 hours
Altitude gain: 55 m

Day 6 – Karanga Camp – Barafu Huts [4680 m above sea level]
Walking distance: 3.5 kilometres
Walking time: 4-5 hours
Altitude gain: 640 m

Day 7 – Summit attempt via Stella Point [5752 m above sea level] to Uhuru Peak [5895 m above sea level] and descent to Millennium Camp [3820 m above sea level] [or to Mweka Hut]
Walking distance: 5 km ascending and 10 km descending
Walking time: 5-6 hrs ascending, 1-2 hours stays up, and 5-6 hours down
Altitude gain: 1072 m [Stella Point] or 1215 m [Uhuru Peak]
Descent: 2075 m

Day 8 – Millenium Camp – Lemosho Gate
Walking distance: 20 kilometres
Walking time: 5 hours
Descent: 1990 m



Rongai Route

Length of hiking/trekking:
6 – 7 days, 3 – 4 ascending and 2 descending

Location & Getting there:
Located on eastern side of Moshi town about 99.2 km, about 1 hour 35 minutes drive from Moshi to Nalemoru main gate. Accessibility is by road to the main gate

Accommodation While Trekking:
Sleeping in Campsites within the National Park

ongai Route Itinerary:
Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro via Shira route, starts at the Nalemoru Gate [1950 m above sea level] and it takes 6 days of climbing to the roof top of Africa. The itinerary for this route is as follows:-

Day 1 – Nalemoru [1950 m above sea level] – First Cave Campsite [2650 m above sea level]
Walking distance: 6.5 kilometres
Walking time: 3-4 hours
Altitude gain: 700 m

Day 2 – First Cave Campsite – Kikelewa Caves [3600 m above sea level]
Walking distance: 9 kilometres
Walking time: 6-7 hours
Altitude gain: 950 m

Day 3 – Kikelewa Caves – Mawenzi Tarn [4330 m above sea level]
Walking distance: 6 kilometres
Walking time: 3-4 hours
Altitude gain: 730 m

Day 4 – Mawenzi Tarn – Kibo Huts [4700 m above sea level]
Walking distance: 9 kilometres
Walking time: 4-5 hours
Altitude gain: 370 m

Day 5 – Summit attempt via Gilman’s Point [5700 m above sea level] to Uhuru Peak [5895 m above sea level] and descent to Horombo Huts [3700 m above sea level]
Walking distance: 5 kilometres ascending and 15 kilometres descending
Walking time: 5-6 hrs ascending, 1-2 hours stays up, and 5-6 hours down
Altitude gain: 1000 m [Gilman’s Point] or 1195 m [Uhuru Peak]
Descent: 2195 m

Day 6 – Horombo Huts – Marangu Gate
Walking distance: 20 kilometres
Walking time: 5 hours
Descent: 1840 m



Umbwe Route

Umbwe route is the steepest route of Mount Kilimanjaro. However, it can be used and only for people with mountain climbing experience, and usually it is recommended for 5 – 6 days.

Mweka Route

Mweka is not a climb route, it is used during descending if your climbing route to the top of Africa, Mt Kilimanjaro is Machame, Shira, Lemosho or Umbwe route.