Mount Kilimanjaro.

Located in north-east Tanzania, Mount Kilimanjaro is the African continent’s highest mountain, with its peak at 5,895 meters high (19,340 feet).  It is not the most untouched mountain, nor is it the most arduous but a free-standing, snow-covered dormant volcano, that over 75,000 mountaineering enthusiasts climb every year.

Kilimanjaro consists of three principal extinct volcanoes; Kibo (centre), Mawenzi (east), and Shira (west). Kibo, the youngest and highest, retains the form of a typical volcanic cone and crater and among the three only Kibo retains a permanent ice cap.



The climate of Kilimanjaro is influenced by the height of the mountain, which allows the simultaneous influence of the equatorial trade wind. Kilimanjaro has daily upslope and nightly downslope winds that are stronger on the southern than the northern side of the mountain. The southern wind blows are more powerful and affect the atmosphere more strongly.

Kilimanjaro has two distinct rainy seasons, one from March to May and another around November. The northern slopes receive much less rainfall than the southern ones. The lower southern slope receives 800 to 900 millimetres (31 to 35 in) annually, rising to 1,500 to 2,000 millimetres (59 to 79 in) at 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) altitude and peaking “partly over” 3,000 millimetres (120 in) in the forest belt at 2,000 to 2,300 metres (6,600 to 7,500 ft). In the alpine zone, annual precipitation decreases to 200 millimetres (7.9 in).

The average temperature in the summit area is approximately −7 °C (19 °F). Nighttime surface temperatures on the Northern Ice Field (NIF) fall on average to −9 °C (16 °F) with an average daytime high of −4 °C (25 °F). During nights of extreme radiational cooling, the NIF can cool to as low as −15 to −27 °C (5 to −17 °F).

Snowfall can occur at any time of year but is mostly associated with northern Tanzania’s two rainy seasons. Precipitation in the summit area occurs principally as snow 9.8 to 19.7 inches per year.

  • Bushland / Lower Slope:, 800 m – 1,800 m (2,600 ft – 5,900 ft).
  • Rainforest Zone: 1,800 m – 2,800 m (5,900 ft – 9,200 ft).
  • Heather / Moorland: 2,800 m – 4,000 m (9,200 ft – 13,100 ft).
  • Alpine Desert Zone: 4,000 m – 5,000 m (13,100 ft– 16,400 ft).
  • Arctic Zone: 5,000 m – 5,895 m (16,400 ft – 19,300 ft).


Adventure on Kilimanjaro

There are thousands of people from different parts of the world coming to climb Kilimanjaro every year. Over the years, we have decided to work based on our safety track record, guides standard and cost. You should know, climbing Kilimanjaro is a lifetime adventure. However, a successful summit needs preparation so it’s important to be with the right people.

Although it is possible to simply trek a route to the pinnacle of Kili without relying on professional climbing equipment, it remains a hard and serious endeavour that requires a level of physical fitness, stamina and a realistic awareness of the potentially damaging effects of high altitudes. It is certainly a test of one’s endurance, with altitude sickness the main reason for hikers not getting to the summit.

Although it has become a very popular challenge and the experience slightly crowded with other climbers, we still highly recommend it for anyone with an interest in mountaineering.

There are seven established routes one can use to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Six of them are the ascending routes (Marangu, Machame, Lemosho, Shira, Rongai, and Umbwe) while Marangu is used for both and Mweka route is used for Descending only. The Marangu, Machame, and Umbwe routes all approach from the south of the mountain


Machame Route

Topographically the Marangu and Machame routes are different, each demanding a different physical approach by hikers. The Machame Route takes more days than Marangu to summit and it is considered a bit more difficult, steep and rugged in comparison to Marangu. It covers more ground and includes more ups and downs. It wears you out more, takes more energy, not more skill. But it offers great scenic views of the gorgeous Kibo’s southern face of the mountain and surroundings, proper acclimatization and a record of higher success rate than all trekking routes.


Marangu Route

Marangu is not highly scenic on its way to the summit but is sought by a number of climbers for its hut accommodation facilities at every stop point to rest or take an overnight stay. It is named to be “The oldest route for Kilimanjaro Treks”. However, people call it “the Tourist Route” or “Coca Cola Route“. As always with mountains, every route has its advantages and drawbacks. But of all routes up Mt. Kilimanjaro, the Marangu is said to be the easiest, cheapest and by far the most popular. Well, this may be justified by frequent trekkers, but as professionals, we wouldn’t advise you to slightly take it as an easy route. Remember every hike needs hard work to get to the summit.


Lemosho Route

Kilimanjaro climbs via the Lemosho Route is a rather newer option that quickly approaches from the west side of the mountain.  It has no difference of the Shira route as it simply intersects the Shira Plateau from Shira Ridge to Shira Camp. The difference is on the first two to three days of the hike between the two routes.

The Lemosho Route is the most attractive Kilimanjaro route, from the first day to the last. The trek begins north of Shira, far on the western side of the mountain. Unlike the Shira Route, where for the first day you walk on a wide 4 WD road to start your trek other that starting with a direct walk from the gates.

Lemosho is a narrow wilderness trail right from the beginning, passing through perfect and remote rainforest with good chances of seeing wildlife. It then passes the Shira Plateau before joining the Machame Route near the Lava Tower.

Despite its growing popularity, Lemosho gets a very low number of people. Reasons are so obvious that it is a fairly demanding route, due to both the nature of the land and the duration of the trail however, it offers the best chances of any route to become accustomed to the altitude and with that much better summit chances for our clients.


Shira Route

Initiating from the west, the Shira route is one of the older and tougher among the Kilimanjaro routes to try, crossing the caldera of Shira Volcano before heading beneath the southern ice fields of Kibo. Although the route is nearly identical to the Lemosho, the uniqueness of this route is that the first section of the trail is not hiked, but rather starting from a higher altitude. In fact, the Lemosho route is the ‘new-and-improved’ version of the Shira route.

The Shira route approaches the summit of Kilimanjaro from the west and the descent is down though Mweka, in the southeast. It starts relatively high above sea level and is therefore a less frequented route as it offers a poorer acclimatization profile. The route takes six days minimum to complete, though seven or eight days of trekking is acclaimed, giving you an experience on your way to the summit.


Rongai Route

Rongai is the only route approaching from the northern side of the mountain. Rongai which is usually a five night climb. The route is promoted as a remote wilderness experience and for much of the year it still is. The lesser known track may not be quite as spectacular as the western routes, but it does usually have far lower traffic than the other five night routes on the mountain. Rongai is the best route for people who are looking for a decent quality experience and are perhaps not absolutely confident about your fitness.

As it approaches from the northern side, this route’s disadvantage is that it requires more dollars to get to the other side of Kilimanjaro. You have to drive for a couple of hours, making it more expensive than a 6 days trek on Machame or Marangu. However, on the first day, you will be trekking through a fairly open country instead of the dense rainforest. But you’ll see the rainforest on your way down. Sure enough, you will not miss-out anything.


Umbwe Route

The Umbwe Route is widely regarded as the hardest trail, a tough vertical slog through the jungle, the least used and the least crowded route on Mount Kilimanjaro. For good reasons, it is also the most difficult route on the mountain, steep and constant straight climb to the top. If you have no previous experience of mountaineering, then it would be foolish to try it. Despite its reputation as the toughest trek, the Route is still a non-technical climb. All you need are an iron will and calves of steel because it is truly a trek to test your mettle.

Umbwe is mostly avoided because the ascent profile does not give climbers much time to acclimatise and adjust to the altitude. The success rate via this route is very low.

This route takes six days minimum to complete, although seven days is what we recommend. Having reached the Southern Circular Route, trekkers can continue north-west to tackle Kibo from the west and the difficult Arrow Glacier Route; or you can follow the Southern Circular Route east round to Barafu and approach the summit from there. The descent is down via Mweka, on the south-east side of the mountain. What interests many of our clients is that Umbwe is not as scenically varied as Machame, Lemosho and Shira, because all the paths up and down are nearby.

The Umbwe is ideal for those who want a challenging climb, and are very confident in their ability to trek over consistently steep slopes. Also, Umbwe is for those who are experienced at altitude and thus are confident that the punishing schedule of Umbwe will not impede their ability to adjust to altitude and acclimatization. Umbwe is also for those who want a private, quiet and secluded hike to the summit of the African top.

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