Climb Mount Kilimanjaro
The imposing summit of Mount Kilimanjaro rests 5882 metres above the surrounding Tanzanian landscape and is the highest mountain in Africa as well as the highest freestanding mountain in the world. Climbing Kilimanjaro is a fantastic challenge for anyone in search of adventure and a sense of real achievement as well as spectacular views and unrivalled African sunsets.
Kilimanjaro holidays offer you the opportunity to climb Kilimanjaro in the company of experienced expert guides, benefitting from their local knowledge and climbing skills. Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is certainly no walk in the park so it’s important to know you are trekking with a trusted guide who will also take care to preserve the spectacular landscape as you move through it. The three distinct volcanic cones that make up Mount Kilimanjaro give it a unique topography and make it possible to climb Kilimanjaro from a variety of different routes.
Climbing Kilimanjaro – routes
There are several different ways to climb Kilimanjaro and Kilimanjaro holidays offer a selection of routes varying in difficulty. Whichever way you choose to climb Kilimanjaro, be sure to come well-prepared and don’t forget that Kilimanjaro holiday essential, your camera, so you can capture every step of your Kilimanjaro climb.
The Rongai Route is one of the easiest routes for climbing Mt Kilimanjaro with camping stops along the way. This route approaches Kilimanjaro from the north and allows for a gentle ascent with relatively low gradients and short trekking days. A typical Kilimanjaro trek via the Rongai Route may take around 6 days. It also has the advantage of being slightly less busy than the more popular Marangu and Machame routes giving you a great opportunity to soak in the spectacular surroundings on your Kilimanjaro climb.
The Machame Route is one of the most popular routes for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro due to its superb scenic position allowing for a challenging but spectacular ascent up the western side of Kilimanjaro and well-deserved descent down the south face. It is generally speaking one of the more challenging options for those keen to climb Kilimanjaro so it’s important to be prepared for some steep ascents and the occasional adventurous scramble. Kilimanjaro trekking doesn’t get much more rewarding than this though when you reach the summit and look out across the Tanzanian plains below.
The Marangu Route is another popular choice for the Kilimanjaro climb and can also be relatively gentle. A slow trek may take around 7 days but it can also be done in 5. One big appeal of the Marangu route is the accommodation which is in huts along the way meaning you can enjoy a good night’s sleep after each day spent trekking Kilimanjaro. This is a good option for those in search of a Kilimanjaro holiday with a little bit of extra comfort but beware, the route can get very busy at peak times.
Climbing Kilimanjaro via the Lemosho Route is a great choice for those looking to savour the wilderness and experience a more peaceful ascent on their Kilimanjaro holiday. This is one of the least trekked routes for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro but it is certainly not lacking in dramatic views and superb scenery. A typical Kilimanjaro climb via the Lemosho Route may take around 8 days allowing optimum time for acclimatisation.
The Northern Circuit
Taking a similar path to the Lemosho Route, approaching Mount Kilimanjaro from the western side, the Northern Circuit is another peaceful option for climbing Mt Kilimanjaro. The trail takes you through the Moir Valley and then around to the rarely visited northern side of Kilimanjaro where you can enjoy panoramic vistas. This Kilimanjaro climb takes in many of the most spectacular points on the mountain and takes around 8-9 days in total for ascent and descent.
The Shira Route is possibly the most challenging of all the Kilimanjaro trails and is therefore best suited to those with a good level of fitness and who have some climbing experience already. If you’re looking for a truly adventurous Kilimanjaro climb then this is the route for you. Your efforts will be well rewarded with a wide diversity of trekking conditions including moorland and forest as well as the expansive Shira Plateau. Not to mention the breath-taking views you’ll be greeted with upon your arrival at the summit. A fantastic way to climb Kilimanjaro!
Want to know more about Kilimanjaro before going on holiday?
Find out more about Kilimanjaro by reading these Kilimanjaro articles.
Find out how you can ensure proper porter treatment on Kilimanjaro, thanks to Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project. Take a look at this Kilimanjaro article
"Those who have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro know that the porters are the heart and soul of your trek. Without their hard work and strength we would not be able to fully experience the magnificence of Kili. But the truth is porters are often impoverished Tanzanians who depend on this labor-intensive employment in order to feed themselves and their families." Find out how you can ensure better care for porters on Kilimanjaro, thanks to Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project. Take a look at this Kilimanjaro article
The 'Cheryl Cole Effect' - interest in Kilimanjaro soars 12 times higher after the Comic Relief chairty climb. Find out more in this Kilimanjaro article
It's tempting to think of your porters or guides as heroic individuals who trek up Kilimanjaro or to Everest Base Camp carrying two packs, while wearing flip flops and cast off sweaters with no discomfort. Whilst many porters and guides do have indeed have incredible strength and stamina, it is fair or responsible for tourists and tour companies to take advantage of often impoverished local people in this way? Find out more in this Kilimanjaro article