Compare popular packages for climbing Kilimanjaro. View discounts applicable based on your planned dates and group size.
Kilimanjaro, a dormant volcano, the highest mountain in Africa and one of the seven summits that requires no technical climbing skills to ascend, is an experience you will remember for the rest of your life!
There are 7 routes to climb Kilimanjaro. Lemosho route, Machame Route, Marangu Route, Rongai Route, Shira Route, Northern Circuit and Umbwe route. The first 4 options (Lemosho, Machame, Marangu & Rongai) make up for about 95% of all the traffic on the Climb. Below is a brief overview about these 4 routes
|Route||Days||Distance||Difficulty||Descent||Scenery||Traffic||Why Choose||Points to note|
|Rongai||6 - 7||65 KMs||low||Marangu route||very good||15%||Easy & gentle gradients, passes through pristine rain forests and remote areas offering true wilderness experience. Good chance to spot wild life (on initial days). Ascent and descent on opposite sides.||Relatively expensive as the starting point is far from Moshi. Scenery not as varied as in Lemosho or Machame routes. Final summit is hard.|
|Machame||6 - 7||49 KMs||mid||Mweka route||excellent||38%||Crosses stunning places with varied scenery like Shira plateau, Barranco and Lava tower. Great acclimatization profile. Relatively cheaper.||Terrain is steep on some sections and hence physically more challenging than others. Traffic is high.|
|Lemosho||7 - 8||56 KMs||high||Mweka route||excellent||11%||Small crowds till it merges with Machame route, good scenic variation, 2 days hike in rain forest, Chance to spot wild life. Good views of Kilimanjaro compared to other routes.||Relatively expensive as the starting point is far from Moshi. Takes 7/8 days. . Acclimatization opportunities not as good in 7 day itinerary.|
|Marangu||5 - 6||64 KMs||low||Same route up and down||good||30%||Easiest route. Ascending profile is gradual and painless. Accommodation in huts. Shortest itinerary and cheapest climb. Accommodation is provided in huts instead of camping.||Not very diverse scenery as compared to Machame or other routes. Same path up and down. Huge crowds. 5 day itinerary leaves less time for acclimatization and lower success rates. Camping is not allowed.|
The highest altitude in the Kilimanjaro climbing is 5895 meters.
Kilimanjaro climbing is open throughout the season, however there are 2 main climbing seasons.
June to October: This is the most popular climbing season for Kilimanjaro climb and has the best weather. January to March: 2nd window for Kilimanjaro climb which is colder than the earlier season but also quieter due to lesser crowds.
In the recent years, December is coming up as a busy season as well even though its quite colder near the Kilimanjaro peak April/May and November receive heavy rainfall on most days and is not recommended for climbing. However, Rongai route where the ascent is made from North side of the mountain receives less rainfall and you will find climbers taking this route during these months.
800 to 3000 meters: Rain Forest Zone. Average temperature is about 30 degrees Celsius. High humidity and drizzle are common. If you are climbing by Lemosho or Rongai routes, you can spot some big wild life like buffalo or elephants or antelope.
3000 to 4200 meters: Low alpine zone. Average day temperature is about 10 degrees Celsius and night could be below 0 degrees. Land is covered by semi-arid grasslands and small shrubs dot the landscape.
4200 to 5000 meters: High alpine zone. Due to high solar radiation, it feels hot in the day time and night temperatures are below freezing. This section is inhospitable and resembles an arid desert.
5000 meters+: Glacial Zone. This section is a cold desert. It gets high solar radiation during the day and night temperatures could fall upto -20 degrees Celsius. Strong winds combined with low oxygen levels make this zone the most extreme of all climate zones of Kilimanjaro mountain.
Given this is a high altitude climb, Altitude sickness is a very real risk facing Kilimanjaro climbers. Also the fact that unlike several other high altitude climbs, Kilimanjaro climb doesn't have a very good ascent profile on most routes.
While most climbers would experience some form of mild altitude sickness, if the symptoms persist or worsen, you should discuss with your guide and if required he will arrange for you to descend from the mountain which should be enough to control the sickness. Some of the symptoms are headache, loss of appetite, swelling of ankles, fingers. In most cases the symptoms are mild and disappear within a day or two.
Kilimajaro is not a technical climb. Though its a physically demanding trek, a reasonably fit person can do the trek even without prior experience in trekking. However, since its a high altitude trek, its much harder than just a 'long hike for a week' and should be treated as such. If you aren't an active trekker, below guidelines might help in your Kilimanjaro trek preparation.
Tipping is not mandatory but it is expected and highly appreciated and contributes in a small but significant way to the economic welfare of relatively backward, East African community. A common practice is to contribute around 10 to 15% of your trip cost as tip to the staff. Gifts in the form of warm clothing, shoes are also well received.