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Kilimanjaro National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro Trek Tanzania

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Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro is located in northern Tanzania in East Africa, with a height of 5895 meters (19340 ft) Crowned with an everlasting snow-cap. Mount Kilimanjaro is a top selection for any list of the world's greatest natural wonders and among the top 3 of the 7 natural wonders of Africa.

Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and the highest free standing mountain in the world, this majestic mountain can be found inside the Kilimanjaro National Park of Tanzania.

Mount Kilimanjaro is standing there all by itself in a plain, it's not one peak of many in a mountain range with all kinds of terrain and vastly fluctuating temperatures.

In the Kilimanjaro National Park of Tanzania there is also the tallest tree in Africa, making the Kilimanjaro National Park an obvious destination for many tourists. About 35,000 tourists attempt to climb Mount Kilimanjaro every year; unfortunately about half of them only make it to its peak.

Mount Kilimanjaro Location


“Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest and most recognizable mountain in Africa, fit the bill. It takes hikers through five different ecosystems from rainforest to alpine desert to arctic snowcap and climbing 19,340 feet to the top is one of the most empowering adventures you can experience without serious training.”

By Jo Piazza - Fox News Travel

“I'd need to climb a damn mountain and not just any mountain, but the tallest mountain on the continent, Mount Kilimanjaro, which stands at 19,340 feet above sea level in Tanzania.”

“ ‘Pole Pole’ That's Swahili for ‘go slow’ and it's the mantra for climbing Kilimanjaro. If you try to climb too fast, you can't control your breathing. You panic, and you're toast. Instead, you must go slowly. ‘Pole pole’ as they say.”

By Brooke Baldwin - CNN Travel

Preparation to climb Mount Kilimanjaro

Planning and preparation is necessary for a successful Mount Kilimanjaro trek. That’s not only your chances to reach the summit but your sense of enjoying the remarkable Mount Kilimanjaro climb and the whole trek, from start to finish.

There are 3 significant things you need to plan before you can climb Kilimanjaro:

  • Date to climb Mount Kilimanjaro

    There are 2 best times to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in the driest months of the year, especially January - February and August - September.

    However any time between January - mid March or between June - October offers reasonable chances of good weather on the Mount Kilimanjaro.

    Generally January-March is colder than June-October time but often cool. Snow cover on the Mount Kilimanjaro is highest during November - May

    June-October is the busiest season on the Mount Kilimanjaro as it coincides with summer holiday period in Europe and North America and hence attracts many people to climb Mount Kilimanjaro on this time.

    April, May and November are the wettest months and not ideal for Mount Kilimanjaro trekking.

    December is now becoming a popular season, despite being very cold on the summit.

  • Route and duration to climb Mount Kilimanjaro

    There are 7 official routes to climb Mount Kilimanjaro as follows.

    • Lemosho Route

    • Machame Route

    • Marangu Route

    • Northern Circuit

    • Rongai Route

    • Shira Route

    • Umbwe Route

    These routes vary in length and difficulty, and from all these 7 routes except Marangu route your accommodation will be in a camp.

    For Marangu route the accommodation is in huts and no camping allowed over there.

    For all these 7 routes the minimum of 5 - 6 days is reasonable for any Mount Kilimanjaro trek. For the favorite Machame route 6 days is minimum and 7 days is better.

    There are trekking with longer time available for those who can prepare to afford them. But considering of an extra day for acclimatisation will really improve your chances to reach the Mount Kilimanjaro summit.

  • Travel Agency/Tour Operator/Climb Operator Selection

    • You can only climb Mount Kilimanjaro with a registered guide/trekking agency/Tour Operator because Mount Kilimanjaro is managed by the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park and its rules.

    • The best tour operator will work to make your trekking easy, successful and remove all your worries about climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

    • The best tour operator must supply the guides, cookers, porters, food, water, and camping equipment if you are camping and any other help to make your Mount Kilimanjaro trek very successful and remarkable. However you are responsible to bring personal items to help you climb the Mount Kilimanjaro successfully. Just book with your selected tour operator early.

Mount Kilimanjaro Trek Cost

How much it cost to climb Mount Kilimanjaro? Here are the truth about Mount Kilimanjaro trek Costs.

First and foremost, do not select your travel agency/Tour operator based on price alone. Price should be only one factor of your overall decision. Mount Kilimanjaro trekking is not the place to shop for a cheap "deal", nor is it the place to overpay needlessly. What you are looking for is high quality and remarkable service at a reasonable price.

Many people look for a cheap Kilimanjaro climb. However, “Sometimes low cost means not good”

But it is not good to assume high priced operators are better simply because they charge more. Ask yourself some important questions and get the answers.

  • Who knows the Mount Kilimanjaro and destinations better? An international company operating across the world including Kilimanjaro climbs, safaris, Mediterranean cruises, European wine tasting tours, tropical getaways, bike rides through country sides, scuba diving trips, cultural city tours, etc or a local destination management company in the same country?

  • Do you want to climb Mount Killimanjaro with a foreign guide who was flown in for a couple climbs per year, or a local guide who has encountered and handled various situations, with hundreds of clients, during his many years of service?

  • Who can tell you better about the trail, the wildlife, the fauna, and the culture of the place?

What To Dress For Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro?

Below is a list of items recommended to consider for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. However, you can consult your operator because you can rent some of the items here for you to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

  • Gloves, warm, waterproof recommended (1 pair)
  • Gloves, thin (1 pair)
  • Hiking Boots, warm, waterproof, broken-in (1 pair)
  • Gym Shoes, to wear at camp (1 pair) (optional)
  • Socks, wool or synthetic (3 pair)
  • Gaiters, waterproof (1) (optional)
  • Sunglasses or Goggles (1)
  • Backpack Cover, waterproof (1) (optional)
  • Water Bottle (Nalgene, 32 oz.) (1)
  • Water Bladder (1) (Camelbak type, 3 liters)
  • Towel, lightweight, quick-dry (1 pair) (optional)
  • Pee Bottle, to avoid leaving tent at night (1 pair) (recommended)
  • Stuff Sacks, Dry Bags or Plastic Bags, various sizes, to keep items dry and separate
  • Sleeping Bag, warm (1 pair)
  • Trekking Poles, collapsible, highly recommended (1)
  • Head lamp, 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 personal items (1)
  • Waterproof Jacket, breathable with hood
  • Insulated Jacket, synthetic or down (1)
  • Soft Jacket, fleece or soft-shell (1)
  • Long Sleeve Shirt, light-weight, moisture-wicking fabric (2)
  • Short Sleeve Shirt, light-weight, moisture-wicking fabric (1)
  • Waterproof Pants, breathable (1) (side zipper recommended)
  • Hiking Pants (2)
  • Fleece Pants (1)
  • Shorts (optional) (1)
  • Long Underwear, moisture-wicking fabric (1)
  • Underwear, moisture-wicking fabric recommended (3)
  • Sport Bra (women) (2)
  • Brimmed Hat, for sun protection (1)
  • Knit Hat, for warmth (1)
  • Balaclava or Buff, for face coverage (1) (optional)
  • Toiletries, Prescriptions, Sunscreen, Lip Balm
  • Insect Repellent, containing DEET
  • First Aid Kit, Hand Sanitizer, Toilet Paper, Wet Wipes (recommended)
  • Snacks, light-weight, high calorie, high energy (optional)
  • Electrolytes, powder or tablets (optional)
  • Camera, with extra batteries (optional)
  • Paperwork, Trip Receipt, Passport, Visa, Immunization Papers and Insurance Documents

Over packing items is the most common mistake that climbers make every time, please be selective. Porters can carry about 15 kg only of your personal items. If you exceed the weight, you might be required to hire an additional porter.

Plastic, recyclable water bottles are not allowed in the Kilimanjaro National Park, due to the environmental issues. Carry water 3-4 liters all the way climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Nalgene bottles, water bladders, or similar devices.

Alcohol is illegal in the Kilimanjaro National Park and porters won’t carry alcohol for you. Besides, it is not recommended to drink in the high altitude like Mount Kilimanjaro.

How do I Train to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro?

You must train physically in order to be in a good shape and strong. Your strong legs will make it easier to walk uphill and downhill for sustained periods of more than 5 days.

Generally, a positive mental attitude and physical fitness can make wonders for you when fatigue and doubts arise during your Mount Kilimanjaro trek.

Medical checkup prior to start climbing the Mount Kilimanjaro is necessary for all climbers. Ask your doctor if high altitude trekking is permissible for your age, fitness level and health condition. Ask if you have any preexisting medical conditions that can cause problems on the Mount Kilimanjaro climb. Ask if any of your medications can affect altitude acclimatization. Ask whether Diamox can be taken with your existing prescription medicines.

If you have any medical issues inform your operator early before you can start climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

The minimum age for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is 10 years old. There is no maximum age.

Check our Travel guide for the recommended vaccines for your travel to East Africa.

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