Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro
Highest Mountain in Africa
Mt. Kilimanjaro, the tallest and most recognizable mountain in Africa, fit the bill. It takes hikers through five different ecosystems – from rainforest to alpine desert to arctic snowcap – and climbing 19,340 feet to the top is one of the most empowering adventures you can experience without serious training.
The itinerary below describes the six night/seven day Kilimanjaro climb on the Machame route. To shorten it to six days you skip the night in the Karanga Valley and instead walk straight from the Barranco Huts to the Barafu Huts in one day. Theoretically you could also extend the trek to increase your summit chances, but if you can afford a longer trek then the Shira or Lemosho route are better options. They share the same scenic path for the last four days to the summit, but offer real wilderness and solitude on the first couple of days. For experienced mountaineers there is also a challenging and dangerous specialist version via the Western Breach. (Note: altitudes and distances are approximations. Different sources will give you different numbers.)
Unlike the Machame that wraps around the southwest and south sides of Kilimanjaro, the Umbwe Route takes you directly through all 5 climate zones on your way to Uhuru. It is steeper and sometimes slightly exposed and because of this, the route is less traveled. If you are fit and used to walking through mountainous terrain, this route is suitable for you. Like the Machame, you will ascend up one route and return down another. Unlike the huts of the Marangu Route, you will sleep in tents, which will be transported by your porters. Meals are served in a dinner tent or on a blanket outside (weather permitting).
The arrival day you will meet our tour guide at arrival point/airport who will transfer you to Moshi in a designated hotel for overnight stay bed and breakfast!! If you need to hire any extra gear, advise our staff this evening. Leave any excess clothing and valuables at the hotel - they will lock them up for you. Pack your bag carefully for the climb - remember the weight limit of 15 kg. Leave some 'plastic bin bags' in an outer pocket of your bag, and show the porters where they are so that in case of rain they can quickly cover your bag.
“Kili” climbs take anywhere from five to nine days, depending on your route and how much time you want to take to acclimate to the altitude. All tourists must register at the base and climb with a licensed guide. And at a cost of several thousand dollars, this isn’t something you do on a whim. This is one for the bucket list.