Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Expeditions Over View
One of the main attractions of Tanzania is Mount Kilimanjaro. This gigantic mountain stands 5,895 meters tall and is the highest mountain in Africa. This mountain is most famous for its three summits which include Shira, Kibo, and Mawenzi. While the two other summits of Mount Kilimanjaro suffered significant erosion; Kibo, being the youngest and highest peak remains an almost-perfect cone.
Scaling the mountain's heights is a feat that takes plenty of perseverance and it's important to undergo acclimatization before climbing the mountain to reduce the risk of altitude sickness. The trail takes the marangu route. Our climbing expedition can be under taken privately accompanied by the mountain guide and porters or in group subject to availability.
We will spend the nights in mountain huts. We buy fresh produce and other food locally, and to ensure high standards of hygiene the food is prepared by our own staff. We can cater for special dietary requirements with advance notice at no extra charge. You only require bottled water on the first and last day. The other days we will boil water or add purifying tablets then filter using MSR water filtering pump before refilling in your water bottles in the morning.
Rongai Route is the only route that appraoches Kilimanjaro from the north, near the Kenyan border. Rongai's ascent profile is very similar to that of Marangu. It is probably the only route where seeing wildlife in the first days is possible. Rongai is beautiful because it travels through an unspoiled rain forest and remote wilderness area. However, it is not as scenically varied as Machame and Shira. Rongai is ideal for those who are not confident in their ability to hike over steeper paths, those who want to avoid traffic, and those who want to enjoy a quieter hike. It is also preferred when climbing during the rainy season because the north side of the mountain receives less precipitation.
Six Days Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Rongai route
Day One: Arusha - Cave camp
A representative from goshawk tours will meet you at your hotel or pick you up from the airport and he or she will introduce you to mountain guide. The guide will brief you on what to expect and the day's activities. You will be driven to Marangu gate for registration and clearance then head to Rongai trail where you will start hiking to Cave camp which is at 2750 meters above sea level. The small winding path crosses maize fields before entering pine forest, and then climbs gently through a forest. The trail is not at all steep, but is rather a gentle hike through beautiful country. Dinner and overnight at the camp.
Day Two: Cave Camp - Kikelewa Camp
After breakfast hike to Kikelewa camp which is about 3500 meters above sea level. The views start to open up and you begin to feel you're on a really big mountain. Water is in the obvious stream below the cave, although you might have to wander downhill a way to find some. Dinner and overnight at the camp.
Day Three: Kikelewa Camp - Mawenzi Tarn Camp
Todays hike is short but steep climb up grassy slopes which offer superb views of this wilderness area. The vegetation zone ends shortly before you reach Mawenzi Tarn camp spectacularly situated beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi. Mawenzi Tarn camp is at 3850 meters above sea level. Spend the afternoon acclimatizing and exploring the area. Dinner and overnight at the camp.
Day Four: Mawenzi Tarn Camp - Kibo Hut
Continue ascending on the east side of Kibo crossing the saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo taking 4 to 5 hours to reach Kibo Hut(4700 meters). The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent, which begins around midnight. Dinner and overnight at Kibo Camp.
Day Five: Kibo Hut - Horombo Hut
You will rise around 23h30, and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the night. This is where the going really gets tough. The first section of the trail consists of a rocky path to the Hans Meyer Cave (5150m), also a good resting spot. The path then zigzags up to Gillman's point (5 681m), which is located on the crater rim. This section is very steep with a lot of stone scree, requiring a great physical and mental effort. This is probably the most demanding section of the entire route. Do the Kili shuffle and move slowly. From Gillman's Point you will normally encounter snow all the way up to Uhuru peak (5895m), the highest point in Africa. Total exhilaration and satisfaction - you made it. Weather conditions on the summit will determine how long you can spend, taking photographs, before the 3-hour descent back to Kibo hut. After a short rest you gather all your gear for the ascent and head down to Horombo hut (3 hours) where you will overnight. The return to Horombo hut will seem surprisingly fast compared to the ascent. Dinner and a much needed sleep at Horombo hut after a tough day.
Day Six: Horombo Hut - Arusha
After breakfast you continue your descent passing the Mandara hut, down to the Marangu gate. It is strongly recommended not to pay your porters any tips until you and all your gear have reached the gate safely. At Marangu gate you sign your name and details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Those climbers who reached Gillman's Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates. Drive back to Moshi for a long overdue hot shower, dinner and celebrations.
Climbing Trek Pricing Includes:
- Transport to and from the base of the mountain.
- Park entrance fees.
- Accommodation in mountain huts.
- Meals as described in the itinerary.
- Services of a mountain guide, porters & a cook.
- Rescue fee.
- H.F Radio communication for backup in case of an emergency.
- All government taxes.
Climbing Trek Pricing Excludes:
- International airfares.
- Climbing equipments.
- All expenditure of personal nature such as telephone calls, hard drinks, soft drinks and laundry.
- Travel Insurance.
Africa's highest mountain and the world's highest free standing mountain, Mt Kilimanjaro which is also referred to as "The Roof of Africa" stands at 5895 metres above sea level. The mountain is a dormant volcano and has three outstanding peaks namely shira at 3962m, mawenzi at 5149m and kibo at 5895m. Uhuru Peak is the highest summit on Kibo's crater rim.
Kilimanjaro is a giant stratovolcano that began forming a million years ago, when lava spilled from the Rift Valley zone. Two of its three peaks, Mawenzi and Shira, are extinct while Kibo (the highest peak) is dormant and could erupt again. The last major eruption has been dated to 360,000 years ago, while the most recent activity was recorded just 200 years ago. Although it is dormant, Kibo has fumaroles that emit gas in the crater. Scientists concluded in 2003 that molten magma is just 400 m (1,310 ft) below the summit crater. Several collapses and landslides have occurred on Kibo in the past, one creating the area known as the Western Breach.
Kilimanjaro was first climbed in 1889 by German geographer Hans Meyer and Austrian mountain climber Ludwig Purtscheller. There are six routes that one can use to climb the mountain that is Marangu, Mweka, Umbwe, Machame, Shira and Rongai. Only four of these routes are commonly used.
Mount Kilimanjaro Zones
Mount Kilimanjaro vegetation zones are characterized by tropical forest, open moorland, alpine desert and finally rocks and ice fields. From 1850 m - 2800m we have the montane forest. The area is usually damp or wet due to rainfall. Notably there isn't a bamboo forest on mount Kilimanjaro. From 3200m the montane forest paves way for moorland which extends beyond the heath.
The nights on this zone are cool while the days are sunny and the air thins. Giant groundsels and lobelia thrive on this zone. The moorland gives way Alpine desert at 4000m, this zone is characterized by minimal vegetation, the sand is loose and the weather is intense. Above 5000m there isn't any vegetation and you can find are rocks and ice fields.
Mount Kilimanjaro Climate
Mount Kilimanjaro is only 3 degrees south of the equator and is influenced by the passage of the Inter-tropical Convergence Zone. There are two rainy seasons. The long rains occurs from March to the end of May and the short rains occur from October to November, but can extend into December.
Apart from these factors, climbing Kilimanjaro remains fairly constant throughout the year. The maximum rainfall occurs in the forest belt, where it can reach up to 2000 mm per year. At the summit, which can be describe as a "high altitude desert", the rainfall is less than 100 mm per year. Rain and snow at higher altitudes can however be encountered at any time of the year.
The average temperatures at the foot of the mountain are 25° - 30° C and on the summit, it can range from minus 10° - 20° C. At 3000m the day temperatures range from 5° - 15° C, and at night frost is normally encountered; clearly a large variation, making it more interesting to summit the mountain.
Clothing and Footwear
- Walking/hiking shoes - comfortable and waterproof.
- Socks - Fitting socks one thick and one thin pair.
- Walking trousers synthetic material is recommended.
- Long Underwear Tops - Light synthetic.
- Women's sports bras Synthetic material.
- Light fleece with a warm layer.
- Long sleeve polypropylene shirt.
- Medium weight polypropylene/thermal leggings.
- Wind - waterproof - breathable jacket.
- Gloves- light weight.
- Warm Hat or Balaclava Sun hat - wool or synthetic.
- Face mask or neck gaiter.
- Medium or large duffel bag to pack your town clothes with a lock, this can be left at the hotel or we can store them for you.
- Medium duffel bag to pack your hiking stuff with a lock. [ The porter will carry this bag. ]
- A day pack to store your essentials with a capacity of about 25 to 35 liters is recommended.
- Head lamp with extra batteries & bulbs.
- Adjustable trekking poles.
- Sleeping bag - Rated 3 - season.
- Gaiters - make sure they will fit over boots.
- Purification tablets or filters - water for drinking is fetched from mountain streams.
- Water bottle preferably one litre.
- Female or male hygiene supplies.
- Hand wipes and camp towel.
- Personal toiletry kit.
- Lip balm.
- Sun glasses.
- Camera & extra battries.
- Passport, flight ticket, travel insurance, visa, cash & credit card.
- Basecamp entertainment i.e books, board games, playing cards or ipod.
- Favorite Snacks, candy bars or protein bars.
Kindly don't forget your patience, have an open mind, positive and relaxed attitude as things in this part of the world may be very different to what you are accustomed to but in the end the experience is price less and will always be memorable.