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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro – The Ultimate Guide

tanzania
Not Rated

Duration

9 days 8 nights

Tour Type

Specific Tour

Group Size

Unlimited

Languages

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Overview

The Ultimate Guide to Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing 

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is a journey of exploration, not merely a climb. We believe that when you challenge yourself to tower over the roof of Africa, you will be rewarded with an increase in self-awareness and improved self-belief. As said by the first man ever to climb Mount Everest, Edmund Hillary, “it is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves”.

You will see that we’ve designed your hike to give you the very best chance of reaching the summit, enjoying the spectacular scenery, and getting an insight into the natural history and ecosystem (flora and fauna) of the snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro, en route to the highest point on the African continent. 

To help you understand why our mountain treks are carefully crafted with the safety of our clients in mind, please read through the below important pre-planning information.

Where is Mount Kilimanjaro located?

Set within the Kilimanjaro National Park, Kilimanjaro emerges from the sprawling plains of Tanzania and boasts dense tropical rainforests, glacial ice fields, moorlands, and mystical moonscapes. Sitting between the border of Tanzania and Kenya, the foothills of the iconic Mount Kilimanjaro offer breathtaking views of these two neighbouring countries, a unique perspective of the wild-world of safari and a perfect juxtaposition to the rolling savannah plains of the African wilderness. While you can only climb Mount Kilimanjaro from the Tanzanian side, the base of the mountain is home to some of Africa’s diverse wildlife including: elephant, buffalo, leopard, duiker, eland, hyrax, and blue monkeys, just to mention a few.

Why climb Mount Kilimanjaro?

At 5896m, Mount Kilimanjaro stands proud as Africa’s highest mountain and one of the continent’s most enticing attractions. The tallest free-standing mountain in the world, it rises dramatically from the plains and coastal scrubland of northern Tanzania, its snowy peak and glassy glaciers piercing the clouds. The park is a protected area, aiming to minimize the impact of human interaction on the environment and wildlife.

The challenge of the climb may be enough to draw you in, but the rewards are abundant. The majesty of the mountain and the awe-inspiring views of Amboseli National Park in Kenya, the Rift Valley, and the Maasai Steppe are hard to compete with. Part of the attraction of Kilimanjaro is that, with the right preparation and pacing, the peak is within reach for most enthusiastic adventurers, whatever your level of skill or experience.

What is the best time of year to climb Mount Kilimanjaro? 

We recommend climbers plan their trek during the dry season months of June through October when we would expect the weather to be predominantly dry (though the chance of rain should not be discounted). While rain at lower slopes may mean a little discomfort, this can lead to snow at higher altitudes, which we feel adds to the experience rather than detracts from it, especially considering the views from a snow-covered summit. If any deep snow exists, the guides will cut out bucket steps for climbers to follow where required.

Your climb to Mount Kilimanjaro is more mental than physical 

You do not need to be super fit for this trek, but you should get out for some longish hikes before the trip, or jog for three to four kilometres, a couple of times a week, to get a basic level of fitness. This will enable you to enjoy the trek much more. Due to the training, we afford our guides and their professionalism, we expect at least 9 out of 10 to summit, no matter which route/trek duration they have chosen, assuming they are mentally prepared for the rigors of Kili.

Our local mountain experts have years of experience climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, they’re all licensed & certified Wilderness First Responders 

Our African guides and staff are all experts on the mountains, and we maintain an excellent relationship with them, built up over many years of working together. Moreover, our travel arrangements are based on fair-trade principles to ensure that significant benefits from our visits remain with the local people. 

The route you take matters, here’s our recommendation:

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro can take from six to nine days. We offer private treks on various routes including Marangu, Umbwe, the Northern Circuit Route, Rongai, Lemosho and Machame. While Marangu is the shortest, easiest and cheapest route, our personal experience shows that Marangu has the lowest summit success rate of all routes on the mountain due to poor in-built, pre-summit acclimatization. The Machame Route is longer (2 additional days) than the Marangu ascent and therefore more expensive, but it is less crowded and offers an easier climb with breathtaking views en route to the summit. 

Therefore, if you want to maximize your chance of making it to the highest free-standing mountain in the world, we recommend you choose the Machame Route (6-7 days) for your climb. We love Machame because it has a built-in acclimatization, which helps to enhance trekker’s pre-summit preparation and maximize their chances of reaching the roof of Africa in the best condition (mentally as well as physically), whilst enjoying amazing scenic vistas en route to the summit. Furthermore, the Machame Route is more affordable compared to other overlapping routes like Rongai & Lemosho. Based on our records, the guests have a greater than 97% chance of making it to the summit via this route

A week on the mountain is just enough 

On most standard routes, climbers opt for the 7-day route in order to err on the side of caution with respect to being well-rested and adequately acclimatized prior to their assault. However, timings on the 6-day routes are still safe and most people with active lifestyles, are younger than around 45 years of age, and not carrying significant excess body mass, will usually manage very well on the 6-day itineraries.

Your safety is our top priority 

We work tirelessly to ensure your adventure is always safe and comfortable, so you can experience the real magic of trekking on the tallest peak in Africa with long-lasting memories. As one of the best and authorized Mount Kilimanjaro tour operators, all of our treks are run by certified professional mountain guides and crew (our team members are Wilderness First Responder trained). We will provide you with all the essentials for safety and health checkups, including a pulse oximeter, approved first aid kit, emergency oxygen and a checklist for altitude sickness.

The Wito Africa Kilimanjaro Women Empowerment Program - Team & Partners

Our treks are very unique and impactful, they will be run 100 percent by one of Tanzania’s best female guides and all-female porters. Each booking contributes $200 to the Tanzanian Female Guides Foundation led by our very own Kili guide, Glory Salema. Glory is one of the very few female guides in Tanzania and was recognized as the Best Female Guide by Tanzania National Park Authority (TANAPA) in 2017, 2018 and 2019 and received awards from Mr. Kigwangala, Tanzania’s Minister of Tourism and Natural Resources.

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Trek on the world’s highest free-standing mountain
  • Trek on the tallest peak in Africa
  • Enjoy 7 days on Kilimanjaro, with built in acclimatization with optimal chance of summit success
  • Enjoy scenic vehicle transfers inside the parks and on the paved roads between parks
  • You'll enjoy an incredible diversity of wildlife, landscape and culture

Itinerary

DAY 1 & 2: ARUSHA, TANZANIA (TWO NIGHTS)

Welcome to Tanzania! Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) you will be warmly welcomed by a Wito Africa private vehicle and driver, who will transfer you to your accommodation in Arusha for the night. Kick off your adventure of a lifetime with a delicious dinner.

The next day and night are all about relaxation and rejuvenation at the lodge. You can simply rest by the pool and enjoy a delicious and leisurely breakfast, lunch and dinner at the lodge’s restaurant. We have arranged for a private mountain guide to come to your hotel in the afternoon to check in and do a pre-trek briefing. Your guide will also go over an equipment checklist with you and make sure all is in order before your climb.

DAY 3: MACHAME CAMP (ONE NIGHT)

Hike: 8.2 km 1840m-3022m 5-6 hours

After breakfast, your private mountain guide and vehicle will greet you at the lodge and you will depart for Machame. Here, the registration formalities will be completed before you start your first day of the climb. Pace your way through the lush, green forests filled with flowing streams and the fresh air of nature. Enjoy a picnic lunch en route as you take in the alluring views of these unique surroundings. Arrive at your first camp and enjoy the rest of the late afternoon resting and relaxing in your tent. Mouthwatering, locally sourced, slow-cooked meals will be served in your camp’s unique dining setting.

DAY 4: SHIRA TWO (ONE NIGHT)

Hike: 5 km 3022m-3830m 5-6 hours

After a delicious breakfast, depart from the camp with your private mountain guide. The dust will fly as you rise up into a barer landscape. Climbing higher, you will notice an astonishing backdrop of Giant Senecias. You will start to get your first experience of acclimatization as you follow the trail up and down, and over the ridges – you are sure to be used to the change in altitude by the time you arrive at your camp for dinner and an overnight stay.

DAY 5: BARRANCO CAMP (ONE NIGHT)

Hike: 10.4 km 3830m-3900m 8-9 hours

Set out for a gentle hike after breakfast, manoeuvre around boulders and ascend rocks that will lead you to Lava Tower. At 4530m, Lava Tower will give you breathtaking views of your base camp for the night. Take a lunch break while you inhale the fresh air from the majestic mountain above you. After lunch, pace yourself through to the camp for relaxation, dinner and a well-deserved sleep.

DAY 6: KARANGA VALLEY CAMP (ONE NIGHT)

Hike: 5.1km 3900m-4100m 3-4 hours

Today your ‘breakfast’ is a scramble (literally). Infamously known as ‘Breakfast’, the steep wall of Barranco is just about an hour-long thrilling challenge that will get you sweating, before being rewarded with a wide-sweeping view of ancient ridges. From here, your journey will fall into a rhythm of ascending and descending along a series of stunning ridges. As you cross the last water point you will arrive into the green valley of Karanga. where you will spend the night. After your scrumptious dinner at the camp, remember to look up once in a while and feast your eyes on the blanket of stars above you that seems to stretch on for all eternity.

DAY 7: BARAFU CAMP (ONE NIGHT)

Hike: 3.5km Altitude: 4100m-4330m 3-4 hours

Your hike today is relatively short and steep. Listen to the sound of your footfalls as you pound the ground to enter a barren landscape of boulders and crushed rocks. You will soon come to a fork where two opposite routes converge – up to Barafu and down to Mweka. At this stage, you will take the more exciting route to conquer the mighty Kilimanjaro. With the right attitude, the upcoming half an hour of hike will pass by quickly as you make your way through sheer cliffs and large rocks to get to your camp. Arrive at the camp and enjoy an early dinner and early bed to ensure a well-rested body and mind in preparation for the big day – ‘the midnight assault’ on the summit. Don’t think about it too much – after all, Mount Kilimanjaro is just a giant piece of white icing cake! Joking aside, take some time to calm your mind and prepare your body for the most physically demanding part of the climb – the night of the summit!

DAY 8: MWEKA CAMP (ONE NIGHT)

Hike: 17.4 km 4330m-5895m-3075m 13-15 hours

This is summit night – the day you have been working so hard to prepare for. Your private mountain guide will wake you up around midnight with a quick snack to energize your body, and your summit crew will accompany you as you depart for the Uhuru Peak. Your hike will start out on rocky ground but it will soon turn to snow as you approach the Crater rim. Your body will automatically take it slow as you start to feel fatigue for the first time – especially as you enter the volcanic scree area, where your feet tend to slide backwards a little with every step you take. Guided by the glow of the shining moon, a blanket of stars, and your trusty headlight, you will reach the rim at Stella Point around sunrise and the summit at Uhuru Peak not long afterwards. Soak up this unforgettable moment of accomplishment and a dream come true, take photos for lifetime memories, or share a silent, awe-struck moment from the magnificent rooftop of Africa! Return down a steep track for brunch and a rest back at Barafu Camp. After brunch and relaxation, enjoy a comfortable but dusty walk down to Mweka.

DAY 9: KILIMANJARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Hike: 8.8km 3075m-1645m 3-4 hours

Take your last close-up shot of the peak of Kibo in the background of the camp as you wake up on a clear morning with a cup of locally grown and freshly brewed Kilimanjaro coffee. It is a fun morning of singing, celebration and enjoying the final moments with your ‘Kili’ team before you all head down through the steep forest to the national park gate. Upon arrival, your guide will complete the paperwork and present you with a lifetime certificate for summiting the highest mountain in Africa and one of the world’s Volcanic Seven Summits! Your private driver and vehicle will greet you at the gate and take you on a road transfer to Arusha, where you will gather for a trek debriefing. Since your flight home probably will not depart until later in the evening, we have arranged a day room for you at the Rivertrees Country Inn. Here, you can wash up, rest and relax by the pool, and enjoy a leisurely lunch while you wait for your international flight home.

In the evening, your driver will greet you and transfer you to Kilimanjaro International Airport for your scheduled flight home.

Included/Excluded

  • FOR MOUNT KILIMANJARO CLIMB:
  • CREW
  • Lead Guide(s) - English speaking & Wilderness First Responder trained
  • Assistant Guide(s)
  • Cooks
  • Porters, equipment
  • Porters, personal client luggage (15 kg per client)
  • EQUIPMENT
  • Standard Sleeping tents (a spacious double tent for two persons) 
  • Sleeping mat, 2-inch foam
  • Pillow
  • Walk-in dining tent and table
  • Backed chairs
  • Wash basins with hot water each morning and evening
  • Private portable toilet with toilet paper
  • FOOD & DRINK
  • Three meals per day & afternoon snack during the trek
  • Vegetarian, vegan and gluten free upon request
  • Treated drinking water (minimum of 3L per day while trekking with additional water available at camp)
  • Coffee and tea during the trek
  • HEALTH & SAFETY
  • Pulse oximeter
  • Altitude sickness checklists
  • First aid kit
  • Emergency oxygen
  • PREPARATION & FEES
  • Kilimanjaro National Park fees - camping/hut, rescue, forest conservation and taxes
  • All Government Taxes and Fees
  • Pre-trek briefing with your private guide
  • TRANSPORTATION & AIRPORT TRANSFERS
  • Private roundtrip airport transfer between Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) and Arusha/Moshi
  • Roundtrip private transfer between Arusha and the park gate
  • ACCOMMODATION BEFORE & AFTER THE TREK
  • Two nights in a Standard Room at Arusha/Moshi
  • All Meals
  • International and domestic flights
  • Travel and personal accident insurance
  • Visa, passport, vaccinations, and medicines
  • Gratuities/Tips for guides, cook, porters, transfer drivers, hotel staff
  • Additional accommodation or meals resulting from early descent
  • Personal trekking gear such as sleeping bag and clothing
  • Expenditure on personal bar bills at hotels (including all additional meals & drinks not specified), souvenirs, personal items
  • Optional excursions/activities not detailed in the itinerary
  • Any additional services requested

Tour's Location

tanzania

FAQs

What is the best month to go on an African safari?
The classic time to visit Tanzania is during the main dry season, from June to October, when good weather conditions can be expected across the country and wildlife viewing should be spectacular.

Another major highlight is the migration calving season in Serengeti (December – March), which coincides with good trekking conditions on Kilimanjaro and fair weather down on the coast, too.
Where does the tour start and end?
This private trekking experience starts and ends in Tanzania at the Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO).

Our private transfer driver guide and vehicle will meet and greet you upon arrival, and they will transfer you back to the airport on your last day of your hike with us.
Do you arrange airport transfers?
Airport transfers are included in the price of this private safari experience. In this case our private safari guide/representative and vehicle will be at the airport to meet & greet you upon arrival. When you arrive at the airport, please proceed to the arrival areas and look for a sign with your last name written on it.
How much does African safari cost?
Your total cost will vary depending on seasonality, size of group and specific travel arrangements, but this is a good guideline for an all-inclusive safari (everything except international flights):

$499 USD per person per day for 3-star accommodation
$699 USD pp per day for 4-star
$999+ USD pp per day for 5-star

It’s worth noting that, depending on your itinerary, your lodge cost will make up about 75–85% of your total safari trip cost. Our rates are per person sharing unless stated otherwise. Single supplements may apply. Accommodation are subject to availability.
130$
from 499$ 369$

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Member Since 2020

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