Towering over Tanzania's northeastern plains, snow-capped Kilimanjaro commands attention. This majestic mountain is the highest on the African continent at 19,335 feet and is an ideal "starter peak" for novice mountaineers. Though certainly no walk in the park, Kilimanjaro offers terrain that's reasonably scalable, but the high altitude may be the biggest hurdle. After trekking from rainforest to grasslands to barren, glacier-like landscape, you reap the ultimate reward of the summit.
Day 1: Moshi, Tanzania
Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport and transfer to your hotel. Tonight there will be a briefing and equipment check.
Springlands Hotel or similar
Day 2: Machame (3000 M)
After breakfast we drive to Mt. Kilimanjaro. Trek through banana and coffee farms before crossing the beautiful rainforest and heartland. Tonight is spent at camp at an altitude of 3000 m and the day’s hikes will take about 4 to 5 hours.
Day 3: Machame — Shira (3720 M)
Today’s trek takes you up a steep track through a savannah of tall grasses, volcanic rock, and bearded heather. Encounter giant flowering groundsels as you hike through a ghostly landscape of volcanic lava, caves, and foamy streams. Today’s hike is 4 to 6 hours.
Day 4: Shira — Barranco (3990 M)
The entire Shira Plateau greets you this morning with sweeping vistas across Meru and the Shira Needles. A steady walk takes you up to the pass at Lava Tower (15,000 ft.). Crossing the Bastains stream, you will begin to descend towards Barranco Camp. The descent takes you along an immense canyon called Grand Barranco. Along the way, you will see waterfalls, which are fed by streams coming from the mountain, converging here to form the Umbwe River. Today’s trek is about six hours.
Day 5: Barranco — Kibo (4600 M)
From the Barranco Wall we hike via Karanga Valley to Barafu Camp - approximately 6 to 8 hours of hiking. Barafu Camp
Days 6: Uhuru Peak (5895 M)
Depart early this morning for Stella Point before the final trek to Gilman’s Point and Uhuru Peak. Tonight is spent at camp at an altitude of 5895 m and the day's hike takes approximately 11-15 hours.
Day 7: Moshi
We descend today from Mweka Camp to the base where you will be met and transported back to the hotel.
Springlands Hotel or similar
Day 8: Arusha
After breakfast you will be transferred to Kilimanjaro International Airport for your onward flight.
Departures can be done any day of the week and are on a private basis, contact an iExplore adventure consultant for more info. Please note this climb is based on pick up and drop off at Kilimanjaro Airport.
$2900 USD Solo Climber
$2222 USD 2-5 People
Duration: 8 days
Group Size: 2 - 25 passengers. Departure guaranteed with a minimum of 2
Transport: Minivan/shuttle & foot
Accommodations: Hotels & camping
Meals: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches & 7 dinners
Inclusions: Accommodations as per itinerary, meals as indicated, airport transfers, activities as described in the itinerary, transportation and services of a professional guides, cooks and porters
Exclusions: International airfare, airport/boarder taxes, domestic flights, optional activities, beverages, gratuities, visas, insurance and items of a personal nature
All prices are in US dollars and do not include international airfare, unless otherwise noted.
Prices displayed are based on the lowest season base price and assume double occupancy. Prices are shown in U.S. dollars and may or may not include administrative fees, taxes, meals, airfare (where applicable) and Single Supplements. Cancellation penalties, blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.
Options and Extras
Only travelers in excellent physical condition should attempt to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. As a guideline, you should be able to run or jog for half an hour or more without feeling short of breath.
Each prospective climber should consult a doctor about high-altitude travel. After a brief period of acclimating, most people do not suffer from altitude sickness; but elderly travelers or those with high blood pressure or heart conditions need to exercise extreme caution.
The best advice to climbers is not to hurry and to proceed at a steady, comfortable pace that will facilitate your acclimatization to the altitude. Having the right mental state is also important. Do not push yourself to go on if your body is exhausted. Take it slowly, and do not force your body to exert itself.
Although the park has a reliable, equipped rescue team on the Machame route (guides are also trained in rescue procedures) please keep in mind that professional medical attention is NOT readily available in the remote areas visited during a climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Information on Weather
Although Mt. Kilimanjaro can be climbed at any time of year, January, February and September are considered the best months. July, August, November, and December are also good months.
During the rainy period from March to May, clouds tend to pile up and over the summit, dropping snow on top and rain at the base. Cloud cover can limit visibility even when no rain falls. The temperature at this time of year is still relatively warm.
The dry season, beginning in late June and extending through July, can be very cold at night; but is usually clear. August and September are also cool and may have completely clear days -- however, it is not unusual for a dripping cloud belt to girdle the mountain above the forest and moorland. The summit can be totally clear, but the successful climber may look down on a vast sea of clouds with distant mountain peaks poking through like islands.
The shorter rainy period of October to December often has thunderstorms that pass over the mountain, dropping rain as they go. Typically, the clouds disappear in the evening; so the nights and mornings are clear with excellent visibility.
January and February are usually dry, warm, and clear with brief showers that make for good climbing conditions.
Clothing and Accessories
Here is a suggested list of what to pack for a climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro:
· Insulated, waterproof hiking boots with rigid uppers and thick soles (well broken in)
· 3 pair of warm socks
· 3 pair of lightweight socks (to wear under warm socks)
· 1 or 2 pair of lightweight walking or running shoes for walking around camp
· 1 warm hat (or balaclava) with brim to keep the sun off face and neck and a sun hat (you will need both types)
· 1 pair of insulated hiking or ski gloves
· 1 down-filled, hooded parka or Gore-Tex anorak
· 2 sets of thermal underwear (preferably, a lightweight pair to wear next to the skin and a heavier second pair for extra warmth)
· 1 pair of warm, windproof slacks
· 1 pair of lightweight slacks
· 1 pair of shorts
· 2 woolen or flannel shirts with long sleeves
· 1 or 2 warm sweaters (fleece-type)
· 2 lighter-weight shirts (or tee shirts)
· 3 or 4 sets of underwear
· Lightweight rain gear with hood (rain can occur at any time on the lower slopes)
· Lightweight personal water container
· A water purification kit and/or iodine pills
· A lightweight daypack for carrying your own water, lunch, camera, film, etc. (a pack that has a hydration system with an insulated water bladder is suggested)
· A medium-size, sturdy duffel bag to contain all your gear and clothing (porters will carry this for you, but they will NOT carry framed backpacks)
· Well-insulated sleeping bag suitable for temperatures of 20-degrees Fahrenheit (sleeping bag should fit in your duffel bag)
· Camping pillow (if desired)
· Emergency foil blanket (optional)
· Flashlight (with extra batteries) - a head lamp will be especially useful for the last part of the climb, which is done at night
· 1 or 2 walking sticks
· Pair of mud gaiters
· Dark sunglasses with high UV ray protection or snow goggles (polarizing glasses are not sufficient to prevent snow blindness)
· Sunscreen with high SPF
· Lip balm containing a sun block
· Small hand towel, soap, and 2 rolls of toilet paper
· Tissue and "wash and dry" wipes
· UV filter for your camera (which is necessary for high-altitude photography)
· High-energy snacks (such as Muesli bars, chocolate, or instant hot drinks)
· A small reference book on plants (if you are interested in botany,) as guides are not especially knowledgeable about this aspect of the climb
In addition, it is suggested that you assemble a basic medical kit. Your doctor can advise you on specific items to include. The following items may be useful:
· A good supply of aspirin (for altitude headaches)
· Altitude medication -- as prescribed by your doctor
· An antibiotic to use if needed (such as Spectra DS) as prescribed by your doctor
· Anti-biotic cream (for cuts and scrapes)
· Band-aids and bandages
· Scissors, tweezers, and a thermometer
· Cold/flu tablets and throat lozenges
· Medicine for stomach ailments and re-hydration salts
Clothing of various weights is suggested, because you will want to dress in layers (removing layers as you heat up from walking, adding layers as you cool down from resting.) During the first two days, climbers may find it comfortable to wear shorts and tee shirts. However, temperatures will change at higher altitudes. By the third day of your climb (Shira Camp to Barranco) it can be very windy and the temperature can fall to freezing at night.
A limited selection of equipment is available for rental at the base of the mountain; however, we cannot guarantee the quality or condition of any items rented locally. It is, therefore, suggested that climbers bring all of their own equipment.
During a climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro, travelers should plan to travel with only what is required for the climb. (Excess luggage can be left behind in Arusha and claimed after the climb.)
Porters will carry only duffel-type bags during the climb (no framed backpacks or suitcases.) You need only carry a daypack with the personal items you will require during the day (your personal supply of water, your lunch, camera and film, and any clothes you may want to put on or discard). Your passport, money, and permit papers should be kept with you at all times during the climb and also carried in your daypack.
Please be advised that luggage carried by porters is available to travelers only while in camp and is NOT accessible during the day.
Laundry service is NOT available during a climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro, and it is necessary to take a sufficient amount of clean clothing for the duration of the climb.
Food and Drink
On most days of the climb, camp breakfasts are served at approximately 6:00 AM. Breakfast is usually a hearty meal consisting of porridge, fruit, hard-boiled eggs, and toast with jam. Lunches generally consist of sandwiches and fruit; occasionally soup may be served, as well. Tea and biscuits or cake are served on arrival in camp at the end of the day's climb. Dinner, which is served in the early evening, usually consists of soup, meat, potatoes, a vegetable, and fruit.
At all stages of the climb, it is important to drink as much liquid (water and tea) as possible to help your body acclimate.
Many travelers view tipping as a difficult subject, though this need not be the case. The first thing to remember is that tipping is not compulsory, nor is there any fixed amounts. The bottom line in determining whether and how much to tip is to ask yourself how much the individual did to make your travels more enjoyable. It is with this in mind that we offer the following information.
On a climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro, many travelers choose to tip their guides and porters and the following amounts are suggested:
· Head Guide: US-$50-100 for the entire trip
· Assistant Guide: US-$40-60 for the entire trip
· Porters (per porter): US-$15-$20 for the entire trip
PLEASE NOTE that your gratuity should be presented at the end of the climb and should be given to the head guide, who will distribute it amongst those who have assisted you during the climb.
Description of the Climb
The awesome site of the Kilimanjaro Mountain is breathtaking. With its glittering peaks rising from the high Tanzanian plateau, this immense dormant volcano seems to watch over the fauna of East Africa. "Kili" is actually made up of three different craters; the little Shira in the west, Mawenzi, in the east, and in the center, the enormous cone of Kibo, whose summit, Uhuru Peak, set in a spectacular background of hanging glaciers, is the climber's goal. The less frequented Machame route includes six days of actual climbing, allowing additional time for altitude acclimation. Climbers ascend and descend by a different route, encountering more wild and varied scenery along the way. Additionally, climbing the route does not present any particular technical difficulty.
Accommodation is in huts. As mentioned previously, you will need to bring your own sleeping bag, although a sleeping pad will be provided. Toilet facilities are not available in all campsites; you are advised not to use sites near your camp or streams as a waste disposal area.
Avoiding Altitude Sickness
Sensible precautionary measures include:
· Sticking to a schedule of mild activity;
· Drinking plenty of non-alcoholic fluids (one to five liters per day are recommended);
· Not smoking; and avoiding sedatives (such as sleeping pills or tranquillizers), which tend to depress respiration and limit oxygen intake.
You might also consult your personal physician about taking the prescription drug Diamox (Acetazolamide), a mild diuretic that stimulates oxygen intake. (It is used by the Himalayan Rescue Association.)
ACTIVE AFRICA strongly advises all travelers to high altitudes to consult with their doctor prior to travel.
PLEASE NOTE: All the information contained in these pages is intended for guidance only and is believed to be correct at the time of printing.
As circumstances may change at any time you are strongly recommended to check with us or the appropriate authority prior to travel for up-to date information, especially health and insurance requirements. All prices quoted are subject to change without notice.