Mount Kilimanjaro Trekking

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About Mt. Kilimanjaro

Mt. Kilimanjaro is a volcanic mountain and the highest mountain in Africa at about 5,895m above sea level. Mt. Kilimanjaro is located in Tanzania and is one of the most visited destinations in Africa and the most visited in Tanzania.

The mountain which is capped with ice at the peak comprises of three volcanic cones. The highest peak is Kibo at 5,895m followed by Mawenzi at 5,149m and lastly Shira cone at 4,005m. Kibo cone is dormant and has a likelihood of erupting again and future while both Mawezi and Shira cones have become extinct.

Mt. Kilimanjaro is part of Kilimanjaro National Park in Tanzania and climbing it will be one of the most beautiful and memorable experience in your life. Climbing it is a challenging journey but once overcome, you will be glad you took the challenge. Not only will you have climbed the mountain but you also have enjoyed the scenic view of the flora and fauna in the mountain. You will see animals, bird species as well as spectacular mountain vegetation.

We have a successful record of organizing Mt. Kilimanjaro safaris and our clients have always praised us for the good work. We strive to give you all the important information regarding Kilimanjaro climbing and making your Kilimanjaro a special experience of a lifetime.

Below are some facts we have compiled for you to give you an idea of what to expect of this Kilimanjaro climbing safari.


You will require a lot of energy in this safari. Mountain climbing is not a simple walk hence you need to eat the right food that will energize your body. Our menu comprises of local and international dishes which will be prepared and served by our camp cooks. The dishes will be characteristic of quality and energy giving food. We advise all our clients to make sure they take all their meals.


There are several routes to use while climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. If you use Marangu route, accommodation will be in small huts. These huts are few due to the limited space on the mountain hence visitors are required to share huts sometimes. The huts have simple single beds fitted with small mattresses, bathrooms and shared toilets. The huts have dining rooms but have no electricity.

Accommodation while using all the other routes is in three-season tents and full service camping is provided. This means that you will camp all the way to the end of your safari. You are advised to carry a sleeping bag and a pillow. A mattress and mosquito nets will be provided for you.

Hot water is provided to all climbers along the way.

Weather condition

The weather condition in Mt. Kilimanjaro is not constant; it could be hot at one hour and extremely cold the other hour. The weather also changes as you go up the mountain due to the varying altitude which contributes to different climatic conditions. The average temperature is about 30°C but temperatures can range from 5 to 15°C at 3000m above sea level during the day and frost at night. Frosting at night especially happens when there are strong winds. We advise our visitors to always be prepared for any change in the weather condition.

Effects of Altitude

The amount of breathable oxygen changes with changing altitude. The higher you are above sea level the less the amount of breathable oxygen. As you climb higher you will feel this change. This however depends on an individual; some will feel it quicker than the others. The secret is to climb slowly to give the body time to acclimatize. If you experience any breathing difficulties you are highly advised to contact your guide immediately.


As you continue up Mt. Kilimanjaro, the likelihood of hypothermia occurrence increases. Hypothermia is a condition caused by extreme exposure to cold that causes the body to get extremely cold to an extent of below 35 degrees Celsius. Internal organs get cold and can result to bronchitis, pneumonia or a hypothermic condition. Since one may have a hypothermic condition even if the body is not cold, here are other symptoms to tell if you have hypothermia;

  • Extreme cold on covered body parts
  • Confused or slurred speech
  • Failure to feel cold even when it’s extremely cold
  • Drowsiness

Symptoms and prevention of Altitude sickness

Altitude sickness occurs when the body fails to acclimatize. As mentioned earlier, as you go higher the amount of breathable oxygen fluctuates. Oxygen becomes less. If the body fails to adapt to this change in oxygen, one experiences altitude sickness. The occurrence of attitude sickness is influenced by length of exposure, diet and hydration, exertion level, altitude attained and ascent rate. Some of the symptoms include;

  • Tingling on toes and fingers
  • Ankles and finger swells
  • Light headedness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Lack of appetite

These symptoms however can disappear in 48 hours since Altitude sickness is not a very serious condition.

Below are ways to prevent Altitude sickness;

  • Avoid overdoing things, excessive work and heavy exercise
  • Rest enough to give your body time to acclimatize. Listen to your body
  • Ascent slowly. Avoid climbing in a fast pace
  • Avoid depressant drugs , alcohol and tobacco
  • Keep your body hydrated

Protect yourself from extreme sun

As you go up, the sun’s effect will get stronger. This is harmful to your body and hence you need to take protective measures. Wear dark sunglasses to protect the eyes during the day or when walking on ice or snow and use a sun protection/block cream of a high SPF. Snow blindness can bring your climbing journey to a halt.


After a satisfactory and amazing Mt. Kilimanjaro hike, a tip will be expected. You can tip the guide, porter and the cooks who walked with you the entire journey to make it comfortable for you. It will be a highly appreciated gesture. The amount of tip you give will depend on you.

Who is fit for mountain climbing?

The most important requirement for mountain climbing is a healthy body. Another important requirement is a physically fit body. We advise our visitors to start exercising months before doing this mountain climbing safari in order to prepare the body. This will help in preparing your lungs and joints for this challenging climb. You can jog, participate in cardio exercises or simply go to the gym. We also advise you to hike a lot before this climb. Since you’ll do the climb with a bag strapped onto your back, we recommend that you do these practice hikes with a full bag strapped on your back. You should also do this hike with comfortable shoes that you intend to use during the climb. This will help you avoid buying a new shoe and wearing it for the first time during the climb only to end up with hurt and sore feet. The Mt. Kilimanjaro authority also requires that all the climbers be at least 12 years and above. If your body is not prepared early enough you might experience difficulties just a few metres into the climb.

What’s the difference between the various routes?

As mentioned earlier, there are several routes that can be used when climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. These include Marangu, Lemosho, Mweka, Shira, Rongai and Machame routes. Machame and Lemosho routes traverse the mountain. The descending route after using any of these two routes is Mweka route. Those who take Shira or Machame routes end up on the extreme west side of the mountain. However, Machame route is on a higher attitude at the beginning which helps the body for early acclimatization. Rongai route leads you to the Nothern side and the route to use for descending is the Marangu route.

If you use Marangu route you will sleep in huts that are shared sometimes and the descending route is still the same route. All the other routes offer tented accommodation and have more spectacular views as opposed to Marangu route.

How many days will the safari take?

The number of days varies depending on the route used. The shortest route to use is is Marangu route which takes 5 days. However, there is an option for a 6 day hike for those afraid of altitude sickness. Machame route also has an option for a 6 or 7-day hike. Rongai route takes 6 days as well as Shira route. We advise those who need more time to acclimatize to use the Lemosho route which takes 8 days.

Choose the route that you feel is best for you based on the facts given regarding the routes.

Route Success Rate

The different routes have different historical success rates. Marangu route has the lowest with 80% success, Shira route with 86% success rate while all the other routes have the highest success rates at approximately 95%.

Drinking water

Boiled and treated water from the mountain streams is provided along the way for drinking. However, we advise that you have your own bottled water on the first day because you will not be provided.


Before starting the journey, the luggage you do need will be kept safely for you in the hotel where you spend your fist night. The other luggage (not beyond 15kg) will be carried for you by porters throughout the climb. Any personal items and anything else you might need during the day trip should be in a bag that you will carry on your back.

Guides and Porters

The Tanzanian law requires that all the mountain guides undergo a certified course provided by Tanzania National Parks. Only then are they given a Mountain Guide License that allows them to practice as guides. Porters are also specially selected by a body, Porters Association and issued with a qualification card. These measures are taken to ensure your security and convenience.

Hiking attire

We advise our clients to carry their own hiking gear. This ensures that you are in gear that is comfortable for you to avoid any inconvenience. However, if one does not have hiking attire, there are some hotels that offer these. Springlands hotel for example provides sleeping bags, shoes, hiking poles and clothes at a cost. The cost which is likely to fluctuate is approximately;

  • Sleeping Bag (Normal) = $15.00
  • Hiking Poles (2) = $10.00
  • Hiking Boots = $8.00

Days and hours of trekking

Note that those who experience hiking difficulties along the way up and wish to go back will be assisted down by the porters.

Below is a compilation of the number of trekking days and daily trekking hours.

Machame route – 8 day tour:

Day 1:  Arrive Moshi

Day 2:  To Machame Camp 4 – 6 hours

Day 3:  To Shira Camp 4 – 5 hours

Day 4:  To Barranco Camp via Lava Tower 4 – 6 hours

Day 5:  To Barafu Camp via Karanga Valley 7 – 8 hours

Day 6:  To Summit and Mweka Camp 11 – 14 hours

Day 7:  To Moshi 3 – 4 hours

Day 8:  Depart Moshi

Machame route – 9 day tour:

Day 1:  Arrive Moshi

Day 2:  To Machame Camp 4 – 6 hours

Day 3:  To Shira Camp 4 – 5 hours

Day 4:  To Barranco Camp via Lava Tower 4 – 6 hours

Day 5:  To Karanga Valley Camp 3 – 4 hours (extra acclimitization day)

Day 6:  To Barafu Camp 3-4 hours

Day 7:  To Summit and Mweka Camp 11 – 14 hours

Day 8:  To Moshi 3 – 4 hours

Day 9:  Depart Moshi

Lemosho route – 10 day tour:

Day 1:  Arrive Moshi

Day 2:  To Mkubwa Camp 2 – 4 hours

Day 2:  To Shira 1 Camp 4 – 6 hours

Day 2:  To Shira 2 Camp 1 – 3 hours

Day 3:  To Barranco Camp 5 – 7 hours

Day 4:  To Karanga Camp 3 – 4 hours

Day 5:  To Barafu Camp 7 – 9 hours

Day 6:  Summit Day and Mweka Camp 11 – 14 hours

Day 7:  Descend to Gate 3 – 5 hours

Day 8:  Depart Moshi

Marangu route – 7 day tour: Day 1:  Arrive Moshi

Day 2:  To Mandara Hut 4 – 6 hours

Day 3:  To Horombo Hut 6 – 8 hours

Day 4:  To Kibo Hut 7 – 9 hours

Day 5:  Summit Day 7 – 9 hours

Day 6:  From Horombo Hut to the Marangu gate 1 – 3 hours

Day 7:  Depart Moshi

Shira route – 8 day tour:

Day 1:  Arrive Moshi

Day 2:  To Shira 2 Camp 2 – 4 hours

Day 3:  To Barranco Camp 5 – 7 hours

Day 4:  To Karanga Camp 3 – 4 hours

Day 5:  To Barafu Camp 7 – 9 hours

Day 6:  Summit Day and Mweka Camp 11 – 14 hours

Day 7:  Descend to Gate 3 – 5 hours

Day 8:  Depart Moshi

Rongai route – 8 day tour:

Day 1:  Arrive Moshi

Day 2:  To Simba Camp 4 – 6 hours

Day 3:  To Kikelewa Camp 7 – 9 hours

Day 4:  To Mawenzi Tarn 4 – 6 hours

Day 5:  To Kibo Camp 5 – 7 hours

Day 6:  To Summit and Horombo Hut 11 – 13 hours

Day 7:  To Moshi 2 – 4 hours

Day 8:  Depart Moshi

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