Vast like the world, immense, tall and white in the sun, it is the square summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.
The Snow of Mount Kilimanjaro. The roof of Africa rises to 5,895 meter. Kilimanjaro, an old volcano mountain, which does not look like any other famous volcanic mountains, like Vesuvius or Fujiyama mountain in Japan.
Instead of pointed, Mount Kilimanjaro summit looks flattened. Most of the time snow-covered and dominating the steppe and the infinite horizons of Kenya and Tanzania.
Joseph Kessel a French journalist rightly saw it as a form of table. “… a fantastic flat white slab, like an altar erected for his sacrifices to the measure of worlds … ”Seen from the airplane, the interior of its crater appear to draw a curious which opens halfway towards the sky. Mount Kilimanjaro, the “Kili” for hikers, is absolute made up of three extinct volcanoes: Kibo (5,895 m) Mawenzi (5,149 m), Shira (3,962 m).
Mount Kilimanjaro attracts many climbers every year and always amazed to find so much coldness so close to the equator. But beware of the unwary. Climbing this amazing mountain is not a Sunday walk. It can takes from 4 days and 3 nights to climb, before reaching the summit.
Since opening up to organised hikers and treks, efforts to protect it have never been easier. To prevent the environment around Kilimanjaro mountain, the Kilimanjaro National Park – KINAPA, which Tanzania government created it in 1977, surrounding a large area of 756 km, which all that is located above the line of 2,700 m.
What you should know about Mount Kilimanjaro
The first mention of Mount Kilimanjaro dates back to antiquity and returned to the geographer Ptolemy. He quotes a “big snowy mountain”. The name Kilimanjaro comes from the Swahili word Kilima which was derived from Chagga word Kilema which means difficult (Kilima means mountain) and the word Njaro could mean caravan in Chagga dialect which pronounce as Kyaro
Arabs and Chinese merchants who traded on the coast had heard of it. The first European to discover Mount Kilimanjaro was Johannes Rebmann, a German missionary and explorer. It was in 1848. He admired the mountain, but did not climb to the top.
Located on the border of two countries, two rival spheres of influence (German and British), Mount Kilimanjaro appears as a sacred monster on the ground.
Is Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania or Kenya?
In 1886, the British and German governments defined a route for the border that separated their possessions in East Africa. They made it simple and drew a straight line from Lake Victoria to the Indian Ocean. This line cut Mount Kilimanjaro in two. Which was silly. It was then decided that it would bypass the famous mountain from the north, and not from the south, so as not to cut this natural wonder by a vulgar border. Mount Kilimanjaro thus found itself on the territory of Tanzania, and not in Kenya.
First Person to Summit Kilimanjaro
In 1887, the Austro-Hungarian explorer Samuel von Teleki attempted to reach a point 4000 m below the summit of Kibo. Finally, the first real ascent to the summit was made in October 1889 by the German Hans Meyer, a professor of geology. Meyer named his peak the Kaiser Wilhem Spitze, after the name of the Prussian emperor.
The clean mountain air did well with his guide, a man named Mzee Lauwo. Selected by the Chief of Chagga , because this man was familiar with the mountain surroundings. After the Tanzania independence, Mount Kilimanjaro returned to the Tanzanian by the British.
Mount Kilimanjaro Originality
330 km below the equator line, Mount Kilimanjaro holds many world record. Apart from wins Africa top attraction from World Travel Awards. Mount Kilimanjaro holds the record of being a mountain so cold, so high, and so close to a line so hot (the equator). It is also one of the few such tall mountains in the world that is not attached to a continuous chain of peaks and peaks. Many people call this a “free standing mountain”.
Each year, more than 35,000 hikers climb this legendary Mount Kilimanjaro. On certain days in July and August, it gets upset on the slopes, and the huts can be full. Think about it and reach us to book in advance.
Kilimanjaro International Airport is 45 km from the Moshi town. Allow 1 hour drive by car, passing through Moshi- Arusha road. At Shizi Safaris we provide free Airport transfer to the Hotel once arrived.
Hotel and Accommodation in Moshi Town?
Many visitors sleep in Moshi, where hotels are plentiful, and at all prices. There are cheap to budget hotel at the foot of this great lady of Africa.
Stay in this decent home which some of its profit help to educate Girls between 18 and 21 years of real
poor and difficult background a one year hospitality training course. The course teaches students the most important skills required by hotels of the mid and upper class and prepares them to self-reliance and self-determination of life.
Other Hotel Accommodation in Moshi before and after climbing mount Kilimanjaro:
How is it like to summit Mount Kilimanjaro
Above 4000m the vegetation is alpine desert and you will be able to witness only White-necked raven going around the campsite. Not so much while arrive at the camp. No water for wash wash. No water streams above this elevation. By the time you arrive you will be tired and maybe weak. The crew will be ready set up your tent as well as table for dinner before you get to sleep (you wont feel sleepy anyway)
Your guide will visit you before hit the bed for checking on your required summit clothes. It advised to sleep on 3 layers. First, because it is cold at the basecamp during night (up to -10c). Second, it is because you have to make your layers warm as you will leave in the midnight for the summit which is exact cold.
Before leave to the Uhuru Peak, you will have a cup of coffee and cookies or biscuits. Put on your last layer (5th layer) for the summit and ready to go to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro (Uhuru Peak). What an incredible trek.
Temperatures At the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, the nights are real cold. In the middle of August, the thermometer can drop to – 20 C. Dress and cover yourself accordingly.
Climbing to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro is not an excursion reserved for Olympic champions. Anyone can do this, from 16-17 years old (not advised before), provided they are in good physical condition and have enough breathing capacity. Everyone is advised to run (jogging) once or twice a week.
Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Cost
You will have to pay for the entrance tax to Kilimanjaro national Park. There is also cost for shelter (tent or hut), and food which is included in the price. Camping cost. You also have to pay the security fee (rescue fee): whether you are two or ten hikers the cost is the same. A good value-for-money agency, located in Arusha or Moshi, takes between $ 1700 and $ 2000 (from 1600 to 1800 Euro) per person, for a hike of 6 days / 5 nights. In this price everything is included. guides, porters, various government taxes , Entrance fees to the park, food, accommodation in shelters
Attention: Tips are to be added to this amount (see below the section “Tipping”) . Unless you are already well equipped before leaving. The renting of necessary mountain clothing and equipment in specialized stores can be arrange by Shizi safaris team. All in all, the ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro is a wonderful, but also expensive adventure.
When is the best time to Hike Mount Kilimanjaro
March, April, May (most rain) and November are the four wettest months, and thus the least frequent. There is also a small rainy season in October and November but can depend on season. Weather has never been systematic in Mount Kilimanjaro. It’s good to seek information from experience Kilimanjaro tour operator for more clarification. wet and slippery tracks, clouds at the top.
The months of July, August and December are the months of the year when there are the most hikers on the tracks of the Mount Kilimanjaro. January, February and September are also dry, but less crowded: these are the best months to trek Kilimanjaro.
Guides and porters on Kilimanjaro Mountain
They are compulsory on all the routes of Mount Kilimanjaro. On average it is necessary to recruit four porters per person, a guide for two people and a cook. Our guides and porters have necessary certificates and licence. They are serious, competent and tenacious people in their work. They always attend frequent training to guide trekkers to the roof of Africa. We always collaborate with our local guides and porters. We select for their physical and professional qualities. This is a guarantee for you.
Besides to the recommendations specific to hiking at altitude. A good guide, for example, must be able to provide as much information as possible about the flora and fauna in Mount Kilimanjaro. Always trust your guide. Never leave it. Establish good contact with him from the start, do not let him eat in his corner, do not treat him high. In case of tension, be firm, if necessary, but always keep your good humor and courtesy. This is the golden rule.
Porters are essential.
No, it is not a romantic and neocolonial vision of things. Quite simply, a matter of physical resistance. The higher you go, the faster your organism becomes exhausted, and the more you cannot bear the weight of a bag on our shoulders. 15 kg on a street in Moshi, it works. But between 4,000 and 5,000 m, these 15 kg will become an unbearable burden, which will tire you even more. But it is at the end of the journey that we need our energy.
A good team of guides and porters is essential for the success of the ascent. The expedition leader sends one of his guys forward to reserve the places in the shelters. This allows you to arrive at the refuge while your bags are already there. You are sure not to stay out once arrived at the campsite.
Mount Kilimanjaro Altitude Sickness
Only 65% of hikers who left to all routes will only reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, one of the reason for this is altitude sickness. It can result in many ways: vomiting, headache etc. There are no rules. Some well prepared hikers are victims and do not reach the summit. Others, novices in the mountains, do this without problems. Another strange phenomenon: people of 70 years sometimes reach the summit more than hikers of 25-30 years. Why ? Because of the more dilated arteries in older people, i suggest.
Kilimanjaro clothing and equipment
No need to bring spikes and ice axes. The clothing and equipment, necessary for the ascent of one of the two peaks (the highest) of Mount Kenya, is not necessary for Mount Kilimanjaro. You also don’t need to bring a tent. We normally provide that. For Marangu Route you sleep in shelters (Hut) set up and managed by the park. No moustiquaire either: brave mosquitoes don’t go up that high.
If you have nothing planned, or nearly nothing, you will find some equipment and enough to survive on the mountain in Moshi town. The town located at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. From $ 5 per piece per whole trek, you can rent things like wool hats, hoods, or bottle of water. Know that cold and altitude sickness are the two enemies of the hiker.
Below is a list of essential things to take:
- A large bag, not necessarily backpack, but like a duffel bag or sports bag to carry the bulk of your things. It is this bag, which must not contain more than 25 kg of belongings, that you will give to the porter each morning.
- A small backpack for the day’s business.
- A sleeping bag that can withstand at least temperatures of 0 c, for both routes.
- A good pair of shoes that you have already made for your feet. With a rigid and sculpted sole to walk in scree and snow.
- A waterproof poncho or cape style garment, in case of rain.
- A mountain anorak or a Gore-tex type over-shirt.
- A Polartec type fleece under jacket. It’s best windbreakers, it’s warmer and lighter than a sweater. Avoid pullovers, unless your equipment budget is already spent.
- A pair of mountain mittens and a fine pair of silk gloves to put under, because the nights are real cold.
- A cap against the sun, and a wool cap against the cold. A mountain pants for the cold, and short shorts for the first steps.
- T-shirts and underwear, for day and night.
- Several pairs of socks.
- A headlamp for the last night stage, and a flashlight.
- A real good pair of sunglasses.
- A tube of ultra-powerful sunscreen and a stick of lip protection cream.
- A pharmacy: anti-nausea drugs, tablets for mountain sickness, anti-inflammatory ointment, an adhesive strip, purifying tablets for water.
- A bottle of water of Camelbak packs
- A roll of toilet paper or wet wipes.
Rules for walking well while Climb Mount Kilimanjaro
Above all, no madness or excess. Save energy and rhythm your efforts, that’s the basic rule when you climb to nearly 6,000 m in 5 days. Need to to know how to stop (in case of headache or vomiting), and to descend immediately from a landing. Many hikers appear to forget that the Uhuru peak, at 5,896 m. It is 500 m higher than the Everest base camp in the Himalayas which you can reached after two weeks of walking at the start from Kathmandu. In Kilimanjaro, the acclimatization of the body must be done much faster, it is a source of problems of all kinds among climbers.
Food and drinks on Mount Kilimanjaro
You have to eat regularly because you need 4,000 calories a day. To make to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, eating well is fundamental. If necessary, you must even force yourself to eat in the evening. Otherwise, the body will start to weaken. One thing to know. Appetite decreases with lack of oxygen which is hard to find when you climb high. Eat as much food as possible in the earlier days as its easy to lose appetite. Prefer rice, cereals, bread and energy foods adapted to the attitude. You must drink. Drink lots of water and fruit juices: between 4 and 5 liters of fluid per day, in theory. Alcohol should be avoided. Do not do like Captain Haddock in Tibet, who refuses to move forward because he has no more whiskey in his bag!
Tipping Guide on Mount Kilimanjaro
Impossible to escape. It is a practice so widespread, so institutionalized, that it has become a quasi obligation. Kind of second salary paid by climbers to guides and porters. Climbers give on average 10% of the total price of the ascent. So count around $ 20 for the guide per day per group, $ 10 for each porter per day per group, and $ 15 for the cook per day per group. Never pour anything in advance. Tips should be given at the end of the hike. We advice you to put each tip for a specific person in an envelop and present to them. If you put in one envelop and handout to the guide then it is important to mention to the crew especially porters how much they received.
Security and Safety while Kilimanjaro mountain
Mount Kilimanjaro is not a cardboard amusement park. The highest mountain in Africa is no joke, it makes its share of victims each year. The park has set up a rescue team, made up of takers who are ready to intervene in the event of a medical emergency. In each refuge, there is a team of rescuers. These men all work on the trails along the Mount Kilimanjaro. Each team has special stretchers, mounted on all-terrain wheels, on which the wounded or sick are loaded. In case of emergency, the descent is done by the track to the park gate. A special car (rescue fee) is requested by the park for the operation of these rescue teams which is included in the cost price.
Kilimanjaro Mountain bikes
They are prohibited. However, some specialized agencies, based in Moshi and Arusha, receive special permits to be able to cycle around Mount Kilimanjaro. Shira route and Marangu route are the most popular routes for mountain biking.
The different routes for the ascent Mount Kilimanjaro
The Marangu Route
(Marangu Route) The best known, the most popular, the most visited. It is also the easiest. This route is often called “Coca-Cola Route”. The ideal is to climb in 5 days / 6 nights. The Marangu trail begins at the Marangu Gate, near the village of Marangu (40 km north of Moshi).
The Umbwe Route
This track is seldom used. For trained walkers, in excellent physical condition. It takes 6 days and 5 nights. The track begins at Umbwe Gate, at the bottom of the southern flank of Mount Kilimanjaro. As there is no refuge at each stage, you have to bring a tent.
The Machame Route
It is one of the difficult route, but also the most beautiful. This track climbs on the southwest side of the mountain through the forest. Then it joins the Shira track (Shira Route and Lemosho Route) from the Shira refuge (3,800 m) from the summit, the descent is via the Mweka track. Count 7 days and 6 nights in total to climb via this route.
The Lemosho Route
Geographically, it is the most scenic and popular track along the Kilimanjaro mountain. The difference in level is so great. Between the starting point and the point of arrival. From one campsite to another. That is why most climbers prefer to take it since it acclimatise itself compare to other routes.
The Shira Route
The longest and least used track. The first part of the track is done in an all-terrain vehicle. Few hikers venture there. The walk begins at Londorossi Gate, on the western side of the mountain.
The reward, that is to say the view, is not free, you have to pay the price. Real frequent altitude sickness, blisters on the feet, stripping cold, lack of sleep. The “Kili” is earned. Arrange your dream Kilimanjaro adventure with budget friendly local tour operator, Shizi Safaris. Contact us for the unique and best adventure tours from Tanzania.