MOUNT KILIMANJARO

Mount Kilimanjaro: the highest peak in Africa, the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, and the source of countless legends. Adventurers from across the world come to tackle Kilimanjaro’s slopes – one of the world's most accessible high summits.

Passing from tropical forest to the 5895m high snow-capped peak, the views are stunning as the African continent spreads out below.

The Roof of africa

Kilimanjaro sits in north-east Tanzania and consists of three volcanic cones; Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira. Its highest point is the Uhuru Peak at 5895 m, although this is just one of seven summits.

One of Kilimanjaro’s most fascinating features is the virtual climatic world tour that is experienced ascending its slopes. Cultivated foothills at the base soon give way to dense tropical forest from 1850 - 2800m; home to elephant, buffalo, leopard, antelope and primates.

Next comes heath, which by 3200m becomes open moorland, dotted with giant lobelia and groundsels growing up to 4m tall. Above the cloud line, the skies tend to be clear causing hot days and cold nights and vegetation becomes scare.

Beyond 4000m the landscape turns to alpine desert that supports only a few mosses, lichens and hardy flowers. Finally, beyond 5000m lie the rock and ice fields of the summit.

CLIMBING KILIMANJARO

  • The crater rim can be climbed with minimal experience and equipment. Hard work, determination and appropriate clothing are enough for many tourists to reach the crater, although a high level of fitness is required.
  • Altitude and low temperatures are still serious dangers, so don’t think that Kilimanjaro is all easy-going. Each year several climbers and porters die ascending Kilimanjaro. Remember that acclimatisation is essential.
  • All climbers suffer altitude related discomfort, such as shortage of breath, hypothermia and headaches, and many climbers subsequently abandon the ascent at a lower altitude.
  • There are several routes to climb Mt Kilimanjaro: Marangu, Rongai, Lemosho, Shira, Umbwe and Machame.
  • Machame is renowned as the most scenic of the routes but is significantly steeper than the others.

Visitors come to Kilimanjaro to climb. Their reasons may be different but this park is essentially about trekking. From one day hikes in the foothills to 9 day summit ascents, you can choose the difficulty and duration to suit.

Clearest and warmest conditions are December - February, but it is also dry (and colder) from July-September.

Our Associated Agencies