Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro or just Kilimanjaro with its three volcanic cones Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira, is a dormant volcano in Tanzania. It is the highest mountain in Africa and the highest single free-standing mountain in the world, with its summit of 5,895 metres (19,341 ft) above sea level and at about 4,900 metres (16,100 ft) high from its plateau base.
Kilimanjaro is also the fourth most topographically prominent peak on Earth. The first people known to have reached the summit of the mountain were Hans Meyer and Ludwig Purtscheller, in 1889. The mountain is part of Kilimanjaro National Park and is a major climbing destination. Because of its shrinking glaciers and disappearing ice fields, the mountain has been the subject of many scientific studies
Kibo is the largest cone on the mountain and is more than 24 km (15 mi) wide at the Saddle Plateau altitude. Kibo still has gas-emitting fumaroles in its crater.Kibo is capped by an almost symmetrical cone with escarpments rising 180 to 200 metres (590 to 660 ft) on the south side. These escarpments define a 2.5-kilometre-wide (1.6 mi) caldera caused by the collapse of the summit.

kilimanjaro

Within this caldera is the Inner Cone and within the crater of the Inner Cone is the Reusch Crater, which the Tanganyika government in 1954 named after Gustav Otto Richard Reusch, upon his climbing the mountain for the 25th time (out of 65 attempts during his lifetime). The Ash Pit, 350 metres (1,150 ft) deep, lies within the Reusch Crater. About 100,000 years ago, part of Kibo's crater rim collapsed, creating the area known as the Western Breach and the Great Barranco.

BASIC MT. KILIMANJARO INFORMATION

13 important things you need to know before booking your expedition To Tanzania

Interested in climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and safari in Tanzania? Wondering what it is like to be on Africa’s highest peak and safari in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro?

1: Kilimanjaro is not a technical climb. It’s a hike.

When people think of climbing a mountain, they conjure up images of a brave soul clinging to a vertical rock face with their bare hands, with a harrowing fall to the earth below. Or an intrepid alpinist dressed from head to toe in a down suit, taking step after step in deep snow, axe in hand, while roped to their teammates. Neither of these applies to Mount Kilimanjaro despite its formidable height.
Mount Kilimanjaro does not require any technical skills. It is what is known as a walk up mountain mountain because, well, you just walk up it. There is no need for mountaineering equipment like harnesses, ice axes or ropes because there is no danger of falling off a cliff or into a crevasse. Furthermore, there are no parts of the trail where one has to be particularly talented in rock climbing. Unless you will take the western breach route then you need, technically equipment, like helmet, ice axes, ropes, cramp.
Kilimanjaro is known as as Everyman’s Everest because it is a challenge that is completely doable by laymen. If you asked around, you would probably find that you have a few friends, or friends of friends, who are not the most outdoorsy people yet, have successfully stood on Uhuru Peak. More than 30,000 people attempt the mountain every year and the demographics of those visitors show that people from all walks of life come here to test their mettle. Young and old, experienced backpackers and complete newbies, all have a place on this mountain.

2: Kilimanjaro region may be warm, but the mountain is cold.

Just because Kilimanjaro is located close to the equator does not mean it will be hot.It’s not. Almost immediately, as soon as you gain elevation, the temperature drops. That means everyone needs to have clothing that is designed to keep them warm in cold weather.
During the day, it often is warm as long as the sun is visible. So during day hikes you will probably be pretty comfortable wearing a single base layer on top and trekking pants. Occasionally, a soft shell jacket for the wind when the clouds come or a hard shell if there is a strong breeze. At night, , it’s a different story. As the sun sets, the cold comes too. It’s not uncommon to wear a down jacket and knit hat even on the very first night.
Almost certainly you will have nights where temperatures fall below freezing. This will be apparent when you find that ice formed on your tent while you slept overnight. As long as you have the right clothing and right gear, this is a non-issue (African Traces rents -30F rated Mountain Hardwear sleeping bags to clients, provides.



3: Kilimanjaro expeditions are fully supported,

Meaning that our team of guides, cooks and porters accompany climbers on the trek to do all the work. Some porters work as the tents crow set up the tents, take down the tents, one shef cooker, depending on how big the group is. Some porters will fetch the water, and clean the campsite. Clients do not have to use their precious energy doing any labor and instead can focus on acclimatizing to the altitude and enjoying the hike.
For every client, there are around three to four personnel. This may sound excessive, until you realize what is actually brought on the mountain. First, there are the sleeping tents and the dining tents. There are sleeping pads and sleeping bags. In the dining tents are folding tables and plastic chairs, as well as lanterns, silverware, bowls, and dishes. The food is prepared in a kitchen tent, equipped with a gas, pots and pans. And this food and equipment is required only the clients, as the staff has their kitchen, food plus cooking equipment, they don’t have to wait for the clients to finish eating then preparing their food.
The staff will carry everything described above. In addition, they carry most of the clients’ gear too. Because of this, climbers do not have to carry heavy packs. With minimal gear, just enough to take care of any immediate food, water, or clothing needs, clients can focus on enjoying the hike. Typically, climbers’ packs weigh 15-20 lbs. at the beginning of the day, with three liters of water making up almost 7 lbs. of that.



4: How is the food on the Mountain?

Unlike western backpacking trips, where the bulk of the caloric requirements are met with dehydrated food, powdered mixes and processed items, the meals on Mount Kilimanjaro are made with fresh ingredients. Our clients eat real meals consisting of fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, and grains, as well as vegetarian and vegan diets. An assortment of snacks.
The chef and his helpers prepare your meals in a kitchen tent using a gas ,(open fires are no permitted on the mountain.)



5: Acute Mountain Sickness is dangerous.

The air is thinner at high altitude. This is the cause of a common illness experienced by climbers known as acute mountain sickness (AMS). AMS is the primary reason that people fail to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. And while mild forms of AMS are expected while climbing Kilimanjaro, severe forms of AMS are potentially fatal.
AMS arises when the human body is adapting to the lower oxygen levels at high elevation. This process, known as acclimatization, creates some biological responses to combat the oxygen deficiency. More oxygen carrying red blood cells are produced. The respiration rate is increased. When these actions are not sufficient to compensate for the reduced oxygen in the environment, AMS symptoms begin to appear.
Symptoms usually start with a light headache, feelings of nausea and some fatigue. With time, these disappear as the body acclimatizes to the current elevation, before the body is retested again at a higher elevation. As long as one is recovering in this manner, it is a sign that the body is overcoming the oxygen deficiency and there is no cause for concern. In fact, some people who acclimatize quickly will not feel symptoms at all.
If symptoms do not go away, and become progressively worse, AMS becomes dangerous. Two types of severe AMS – high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) and high altitude cerebral edema (HACE) can lead to death. HAPE and HACE results in bleeding in the lungs and brain, respectively.
Our team conducts health checks twice daily to monitor the well-being of our clients. The health checks consist of oxygen saturation readings, a review of pulse rates, and a survey of symptoms. The data is recorded to evaluate changes over time. If the guides determine that it is too risky to continue, you will be escorted down the mountain for your safety. We carry bottled oxygen and a portable stretcher on every climb, and can coordinate an evacuation on foot or by helicopter in case of a medical emergency.



6: You don’t poop on the ground, but in a toilet.

One of the first questions people ask about Kilimanjaro is where do we poop? First, let us describe where other people poop. Then we will describe where our clients handle their business.
On the mountain, there are “long drop” toilets at every campsite, pictured above. They are simply holes dug into the ground with a wooden shelter constructed above it. A ceramic “launch pad” is where you stand or squat over the opening. As you might imagine, long drop toilets are disgusting and filthy and best avoided.
For African Traces clients, we provide private toilet tents, shown in the photo above. The toilet tent consists of a plastic commode covered by a phone booth sized and shaped tent for privacy. The commode is complete with a cover, toilet seat and water based flushing system. You use it just like a regular toilet at home. A few hand pumps send water to rinse out the bowl.
What if you need to relieve yourself while on the trail? You go behind a rock or bush. And what about showers? There are none.



7: There is no wifi and no electricity, and that’s a good thing.

There is no wifi connection on the mountain. Cell service is very, very spotty. During each day, there may only be one or two possibilities to make a call, text or email. But you should not depend on it. Cloudy weather can sap the strength of the signal. If you would like to use your phone, ask the guides when and where you might be able to get a signal. Or simply observe when the local crews are on their phones. It is possible to get local sim card here.
Likewise, there is no electricity on Kilimanjaro. There is nowhere to charge camera batteries or smart phones, so plan accordingly. Bring enough camera batteries to last the entire climb. A portable external battery pack is great for recharging phones. In our experience, solar chargers are unreliable and generally do not work well.



8: Expect to be on the mountain for at least seven days and above.

There are many different routes you can take up Kilimanjaro and they all take you to the same place – Uhuru Point, the summit. But we strongly recommend booking routes that are between seven to nine days long. This goes for everyone, even if you are extremely fit, very experienced and in your physical prime.
So why would you intentionally prolong the climb when the primary goal is to reach the top? Please refer to point five (because AMS is dangerous). The slower you ascend, the easier it is for the body to Acclimatize. Therefore, a gradual ascent, enough to initiate the acclimatization process but not too much as to overtake the body’s ability to adjust.,
The shortest routes on the mountain are five days up and down. When you dig into the details, you will see that is just three and a half days to climb from 6,000 feet to 19,340 feet. If that sounds incredibly difficult. But if you don’t have enough time it is recommended to take Marangu route which is starting with 5 days
Don’t spend your hard-earned money, time, and effort only to become ill after a couple days on the mountain. Though summiting Kilimanjaro may not be in the cards for everyone, the most practical thing you can do is increase your odds dramatically by adding more days to your climb. Chances to feel better, enjoy yourself more, and get to the top.



9: Summit night is tough, but you can do it.

The typical day hikes consist of walking short distances at a slow pace, with gentle elevation gains. Most people would not consider these days as strenuous, but light and enjoyable. Summit night is a different story. It will be difficult for almost everyone.
This final ascent is different from the usual routine for a few reasons. It starts with being woken up around midnight. So you do not get a full night’s sleep beforehand. In other words, you begin at a disadvantage – sleep deprived. Secondly, because it is the middle of the night, it is dark. You won’t be able to really see what is around you and where you are going. Your guides lead the way and you follow. A headlamp illuminates the path just a few steps in front of you. In the distance, you can see other headlamps far above and become disheartened about the effort required.



10: How difficult the summit night

Third, it is cold. The climb to the summit puts you into the arctic ecological zone, where no plants or animals live. As you might guess, the arctic region is cold. And because this final ascent is done in the early morning hours, well before sunrise, the temperature can easily be below zero degrees with wind chill. This might sound terrifying but with the appropriate layers of clothing and accessories, you will be fine. Most people wear four layers on top and three layers on bottom, along with hat, gloves and gaiters. The wind and cold need to be endured for about 6-7 hours. It warms up quickly when the sun rises.
The elevation gain is around 4,000 feet, followed by a 9,000 feet descent. This can take between 10 to 14 hours, or for some, even longer. In the moment, you might wish you were at home, resting on your comfy sofa. Don’t fret. Step by step, inch by inch, you will make it. Many people say it is the hardest thing they’ve ever done. But the effort required is what makes it worthwhile. In the end, climbing Kilimanjaro is something to be proud of because you endured this hardship, pushed on, and ultimately succeeded.



11: It’s going to cost some money.

Sorry to break the news, but climbing Kilimanjaro is not cheap. Even though Tanzania is a third world country, the fees imposed on tourists who visit national parks are quite high. In fact, most of the expenses incurred by Kilimanjaro operators are made up of mandatory park fees. At this time, the park permits, other fees plus government taxes equal more than $141 per person per night. When you see considerable prices for Kilimanjaro climbs, understand that these numbers are a function of these costs that the operator has no control over.
Secondly, as we mentioned above in point three (climbs are fully supported), there is a lot of manpower involved in every Kilimanjaro expedition. For instance, a group climb of 15 people requires a crew of more than 60 staff members. Therefore, labor costs make up another large portion of total expenses.
Climbing the mountain day in and day out is a tough job. At African Traces, we reward our crew by paying them one of the highest wages on the mountain (only behind luxury operators who charge double our prices). Our staffs consist of a great bunch of people trying to make an honest living and they deserve it.
mid-range guide service on Mount Kilimanjaro, our group climbs are competitively priced. We are positioned where we can deliver great service, with a high standard of safety, at a fair price. This is why our clients rave about our operation and refer their friends and family to us for their own Kilimanjaro adventures.



12: Getting to Mount Kilimanjaro is fairly easy.

Kilimanjaro is quite accessible for such a faraway destination. Tanzania has an international airport known as Kilimanjaro International Airport (airport code JRO). The airport is located near the towns of Arusha and Moshi. These two cities serve as the gateways to Kilimanjaro expeditions. Nearly all climb and safari operators are stationed in one of these places and will use accommodations here for their guests before and after their trips. We launch our trips from Moshi for most of our clients. Arusha, which is closer to Tanzania’s northern wildlife parks, is used for those only going on a safari.
Arriving at Kilimanjaro airport, one can transfer to either Moshi or Arusha in about 40 minutes by vehicle. Taxis are readily available, perhaps too available, as you will be hounded by taxi drivers as soon as you exit the airport. But most operators offer pick up and drop off services for your convenience. If you have arranged for a transfer, just ignore the crowd and look for the driver holding up a sign with you name and AFRICAN TRACES on it.
There are a variety of choices to fly into the country – KLM, Turkish Airways, Kenya Airways, Air Kenya, Qatar Airways, Precision Air, Air Tanzania, and Ethiopian Air.



13: Come for the mountain. Stay for the lions.

Don’t fly home right after climbing Kilimanjaro! It would be a shame to not spend some time in in Tanzania’s famous national parks. Tanzania is known as the world’s best safari destination. Home to UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park – the country attracts thousands of visitors who come for the chance to see the Big Five (elephant, leopard, lion, buffalo, rhino) and more.
So, before you book your return flight, consider extending your holiday. We offer a number of itineraries to suit your needs and desires, from day trips to multiple day itineraries, with accommodations in lodges, permanent tented camps or luxury hotels, and camping safari.
Our safari guide will take you where the animals are in durable, four-wheel drive Land Cruisers. Our vehicles are equipped with pop up roofs let you observe wild animals in their natural habitat – clearly and closely, without any barriers or obstructions. If you are lucky, you might witness a cheetah stalk a gazelle, a pride of lions bring down a buffalo, or a herd of wildebeest stampede across the open plains. These are sights you will never forget.



Weather

Month Low (F) Average (F) High (F) Humidity (%) Rain Fall (in)
January 64 78 92 58 1.4
February 64 78 92 57 2.0
March 66 78 90 63 4.7
April 67 76 85 73 13.8
May 65 72 79 77 9.3
June 62 70 78 69 1.0
July 60 69 78 69 1.0
August 60 60 80 69 0.7
September 60 71 83 61 0.6
October 62 75 88 57 1.0
November 64 76 86 57 2.5
December 64 77 90 60 2.1

When to Climb

The best time to climb Kilimanjaro It is possible to climb the Kilimanjaro any time of the year. Kilimanjaro lies close to the equator and may not have major seasonal variations in temperature. However, it is always cold at the top. The busiest time of the year is Christmas, New Year and school holidays January/February and July/August. This is also due to the fact that weather conditions are generally considered most favourable during these months, with warmer day time temperatures in January/February and more likelihood of clear skies in the mornings and evenings both in Jan/Feb and July/August, however a couple of rainy seasons April-May and November-mid-December that are best avoided. We think January-March to October are the best months as the skies tend to be clear and the mountain quieter. Our favorite time to climb Kilimanjaro. A freezing morning in January at Barafu Camp Personally, we like to trek in March to October. These are our favorite months. There are two main reasons for this:
1) The weather is usually good and the skies are often clear during these months.
2) Because they both fall just before the rainy seasons, they tend to be quieter than other months.
People are probably afraid that the rains will come early, so opt to avoid these months. But in our experience, the rains are more likely to fail than arrive early. Thus the mountain is usually emptier, and quieter. And yet the weather is still lovely. Note that June and late December, though they also fall outside of the rainy seasons, but only just, are not such good times to be on Kilimanjaro in my experience. The clouds tend to linger after the rainy season, even if the rains have largely finished, so views are restricted.

Full Moon and New Moon treks

We used to offer Full Moon Kilimanjaro treks which many companies subsequently copied. We did it because we realised that the final push up the slopes of Kibo to the summit -a walk that is traditionally done at night is best done under the light of a full moon. Visibility is that much greater, of course, due to the brightness of the light reflected by the full moon. There is also those who say that the weather during the full moon period is more settled and calm.

Walking on some late-lying snow in June on the summit of Kilimanjaro at dawn.

These full moon treks proved very popular to the point where our competitors started to say that they were too popular. They argued that the mountain became too crowded at this time. We disagreed then, and we still do. But if you want to enjoy the advantages provided by the full moon, but want to avoid the (imaginary) crowds, then you can always choose to climb a day or two later or earlier.

If the Full Moon does not appeal, then how about a New Moon Kilimanjaro climb? After all, one of the chief pleasures of a Kilimanjaro climb is to gaze up at the stars. The lack of light pollution and the height that you are sleeping at means the Heavens are just spectacular. By choosing to climb over a New Moon, the light reflected from the Moon to the Earth is at its lowest, allowing you to see the stars at their brilliant.

What to Bring

What To Take Up Kilimanjaro

Once again this section is taken almost directly from the book. Hope you find it useful we think its just about as comprehensive as can be though if you have got any other recommendations dont hesitate to write and let us know! In addition to the sections listed below, you may also wish to check out our page on what to put in your daypack, which advises you on what items you should actually carry with you while on the mountain.

With most of your luggage carried by porters on the mountain, its important that you remember to carry the essential items that you will need with you during the day while walking, such as water bottles, camera etc. This list will help you to sort out which things to take with you, and which items to leave for your porters to carry.

How Do I Prepare to Climb Kilimanjaro?

This section covers what gear you need to bring, physical training, Tanzania entry requirements (passport & visa), immunizations and vaccinations, and travel insurance Please read this carefully and make sure you have gathered everything before you depart on your trip.

What Gear Do I Need to Bring?

You are responsible for bringing personal gear and equipment while communal equipment (tents, food, cooking items, etc.) is provided. Below is a gear list of required, recommended and optional items to bring on your climb.

Technical Clothing

>1- Waterproof Jacket, breathable with hood
>1-Insulated Jacket, synthetic or down.
>1-Soft Jacket, fleece or soft-shell
>2- Long Sleeve Shirt, light-weight, moisture-wicking fabric.
>1- Short Sleeve Shirt, light-weight, moisture-wicking fabric
>1- Waterproof Pants, breathable (side zipper recommended).
>2- Hiking Pants
>1- Fleece Pants
>1- Shorts (optional).
>1- Long Underwear, moisture-wicking fabric.
>3- Underwear, moisture-wicking fabric recommended.
>2- Sport Bra (women)

Headwear

>1 - Brimmed Hat, for sun protection
> 1 - Knit Hat, for warmth
>1 - Balaclava or Buff, for face coverage (optional).
>1 - Gloves, warm (waterproof recommended)
>1 - Gloves, thin.
>Footwear
>1 - Hiking Boots, warm, waterproof, broken-in.
>1 - Gym Shoes, to wear at camp (optional)
>3 - Socks, wool or
>1 - Gaiters, waterproof (optional)

Equipment

>1 - Sleeping Bag, warm, four seasons*.
>1 - Trekking Poles, collapsable (highly recommended)*
>1 - Head lamp, with extra batteries
>1 - 1 - Duffel bag, 50-90L capacity, for porters to carry your equipment
>1 - Daypack, 30-35L capacity, for you to carry your personal gear *may be rented on location

Accessories

>1 - Sunglasses or Goggles
>1 - Backpack Cover, waterproof (optional)
>Insulated Jacket, synthetic or down.
>1 - Water Bottle (Nalgene, 32 oz.)
>1 - Water Bladder (Camelbak type, 3 liters).
>1 - Towel, lightweight, quick-dry (optional).
>1 - Pee Bottle, to avoid leaving tent at night (recommended).
>Stuff Sacks, Dry Bags or Plastic Bags, various sizes, to keep gear dry and separate
>Fleece Pants
>Shorts (optional).
>Long Underwear, moisture-wicking fabric.
>Underwear, moisture-wicking fabric recommended.
>Sport Bra (women)

Other

Toiletries,Prescriptions,Sunscreen,Lip Balm,Insect Repellent, containing DEET,First Aid Kit,Hand Sanitizer,Toilet Paper,Wet Wipes (recommended), Snacks, light-weight, high calorie, high energy (optional),{Electrolytes, powder or tablets (optional)},{Camera, with extra batteries (optional)} ,Paperwork,Trip Receipt,Passport,Visa (available at JRO), Immunization Papers,Insurance Documents.

Altitude Sickness

If you are planning to climb Mount Kilimanjaro you will sooner or later hear about altitude sickness. For those unfamiliar with the ins and outs of altitude illness, here are answers to the most common questions regarding mountain sickness.

The definition of altitude:

>1. High Altitude: 4,900 to 11,500 ft (1,500 to 3,500 m)
>2. Very High Altitude: 11,500 to 18,000 ft (3,500 to 5,500 m)
>3. Extreme Altitude: above 5500 m (18000 ft)

What is altitude sickness?

Altitude sickness is a range of symptoms that can occur when someone ascends to a high altitude too rapidly, without sufficient acclimatization. The body can adjust to the reduced air pressure at higher altitude, but only at a rate of about 300 m (1000 ft) altitude gain per day. If you ascend faster, and everybody climbing Kilimanjaro will, then you may develop altitude sickness.

There are three main forms of altitude sickness:

>1.AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness): is very common when climbing Kilimanjaro.
>2.HAPE (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema) : is a fluid build up in the lungs.
>3.HACE (High Altitude Cerebral Edema) : is fluid build up in the brain.

Both HAPE and HACE are potentially fatal but are thankfully rare during a well planned Kilimanjaro climb. What exactly causes the individual symptoms of altitude sickness is still not fully understood. There is also a range of other symptoms you are likely to experience during a Kilimanjaro climb due to the altitude.
They are considered normal and should not worry you:

>You breathe faster,
>you are out of breath sooner,
>you may experience periodic irratic breathing at night (where you stop breathing for up to 15 seconds, and then breathe very fast to make up for it, scary but harmless),
>you may wake up frequently at night,
>You need to urinate a lot more often.

None of those symptoms are altitude sickness.

What are the symptoms of altitude sickness?

The symptoms of AMS are headaches, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, sleeplessness, fatigue, dizziness. Everybody can expect to experience at least some of these symptoms in a mild form. The most obvious symptoms for HAPE are extreme breathlessness, even at rest; rattling breath, coughing with pink froth and blue lips or finger nails.HACE becomes apparent as a lack of coordination, inability to walk in a straight line, confusion and irrational behaviors (to the point of not acknowledging the symptoms).



How dangerous is altitude sickness?

The symptoms of acute mountain sickness as described above are self limiting and not dangerous. In fact, your guides may tell you during the briefing not to worry, that it is totally normal to be vomiting repeatedly during that last final push top the summit. Nice
However, if you do experience symptoms, your guides should also keep monitoring you, because AMS can progress to one of the more severe forms of altitude sickness. HAPE and HACE are potentially fatal! Make sure that you always remain in contact with your guides and let them know exactly how you are feeling. Also keep an eye on your climbing partners, since people suffering from these severe conditions may not be able to correctly assess their own condition. Anybody experiencing symptoms that could indicate HAPE or HACE needs to descend IMMEDIATELY or they will die. But please do not panic now. As I said above, these conditions are rare, provided you act sensibly when on the mountain.



Who gets altitude sickness?

Anybody can get altitude sickness. There is no way to predict how your body will react if exposed to high altitude without proper acclimatization. Susceptibility to altitude sickness is random. Fitness is no protection. People who are extremely fit and exercise a lot get it just an easily as couch potatoes. There are many stories that indicate they may be even more susceptible! Men appear to be more susceptible than women, especially young and fit men. (Competitiveness and the desire to show off plays a part in this. Men will often ascend faster. Too fast.) Older people seem to be less susceptible. (Older people will ascend more slowly, and nothing protects you better from altitude sickness than ascending slowly.)



When do you get altitude sickness?

Highly susceptible people can experience symptoms from 2500 m (7000 ft) onwards, in rare cases even below that. The chance of developing AMS increases with the height but the rate of altitude gain is even more important.. Mt. Kilimanjaro is 5895 m (19340 ft) high. Pretty much everybody on a Kilimanjaro climb will experience some symptoms of altitude sickness during that last push to the summit. There are other factors that increase the likelihood of altitude sickness, apart from the absolute height itself:

>Rate at which a height is achieved (the faster you ascend the bigger the risk of developing symptoms, this factor is more important than the absolute height itself!)
>Time spent at height (symptoms start appearing within 6-10 hours though they can be delayed)
>Physical exertion
>Dehydration

Symptoms of acute mountain sickness typically take one or two days to disappear. If you keep ascending they may not go away. For most people the symptoms come and go during the day, disappear over night, only to come back the next day as the climb continues. AMS can be very unpleasant, but with the right preparation and at a sensible pace, most people can climb to at least the last camp below the crater rim (around 4700m). It that last push to the summit where AMS becomes the make it or break it issue.
You climb Kilimanjaro with knowledge that every detail of your trip has been designed by one of the professional mountain guide and high altitude experts. Your safety is our paramount concern on your Kilimanjaro trek. You leave home with the comfort of knowing that during your trek all you have to worry about is putting one foot in front of the other. We take care of the rest

About Kilimanjaro Routes

MARANGU ROUTE

Known as the "Coca-Cola" route, the Marangu route is a classic trek on Mount Kilimanjaro. It is the oldest, most well established route. Many favor the Marangu route because it is considered to be the easiest path on the mountain, given its gradual slope. It is also the only route which offers sleeping huts in dormitory style accommodations. The minimum days required for this route is five, although the probability of successfully reaching the top in that time period is quite low. Spending an extra acclimatization day on the mountain is highly recommended when climbing Kilimanjaro using the Marangu route. So we request you to take at list six days. However, despite its immense popularity, we avoid leading climbs on the Marangu route. The route has the least scenic variety of all the routes because the ascent and descent are done on the same path and it is the most crowded route for that reason. Marangu is favored only during the rainy season, where the hut accommodations are preferred over wet ground, or for those who only have five days to climb Kilimanjaro.



MAP OF MARANGU ROUTE


MACHAME ROUTE

The second most popular and indeed one of the most beautiful routes up the mountain is the Machame Route. Also known as the Whisky Route, this trail is both longer and slightly more challenging than the Marangu Route. Where accommodation on the Marangu route is in huts, the Machame route offers strictly tents only. The route is better suited to the slightly more adventurous hiker, however rewarding him with a scenic splendor such as not seen on the Marangu route. Provided of its challenge about 80% of hiker makes to the summit of Africa.



MAP OF MACHAME ROUTE


LEMOSHO ROUTE

Hike to Kilimanjaro Lemosho Route) – Lemosho route is traditionally one of the quieter and lesser-known routes on the mountain. It’s also the newest and probably the most diverse in terms of the ecological systems and landscapes it passes through. The first two days of this route take you through lush rainforest before you emerge into heath and moorland then join the Machame Route on the third day. This narrow trail, which begins on the Western side of Kilimanjaro, has some very steep and undulating sections. Arriving day Kilimanjaro airport to Moshi



MAP OF LEMOSHO ROUTE


RONGAI ROUTE

Rongai Route begins at the remote, northern side of Kilimanjaro near the Kenyan border. We hike through a true wilderness area towards the jagged Mawenzi Peak, then cross a barren desert saddle, before climbing up Kibo’s eastern crater wall. The Rongai route is a more gradual ascent, therefore preferred by those with little or no backpacking experience, but is equally enjoyable for even the most beautiful route in which you can see the wild animals.



MAP OF RONGAI ROUTE


UMBWE ROUTE

The Umbwe route has a reputation for being the most challenging route on Kilimanjaro. And rightly so. It’s the shortest and steepest of the Mountain Kilimanjaro which is approaching from the south, the Umbwe route is a short, steep and direct climb. After reaching Barranco Camp, the trail turns east and traverses underneath Kilimanjaro's Southern Ice Field on a path known as the Southern Circuit before summiting from Barafu. Descent is made via the Mweka route.



MAP OF UMBWE ROUTE


SHIRA ROUTE

Shira Route is a little used trail that begins near Shira Ridge. It is nearly identical to the Lemosho route. In fact, Shira was the original route and Lemosho is the improved variation. Although Shira is a varied and beautiful route, it is less favorable than its successor due to the relatively high altitude of Shira's starting point, which is accessed quickly by vehicle. It is possible that climbers will experience some altitude related symptoms on the first day while camping at 11,800 feet. The route approaches Mount Kilimanjaro from the west, beginning with a long drive from Moshi to Shira Ridge. The vehicle bypasses the rain forest zone and the hiking trail begins on Shira Ridge. The Shira route crosses the entire Shira Plateau from west to east in a pleasant, relatively flat hike. Then the route traverses underneath Kilimanjaro's Southern Ice Field on a path known as the Southern Circuit before summiting from Barafu. Descent is made via the Mweka route as others route.



MAP OF SHIRA ROUTE

NORTHERN CIRCUIT ROUTE

Crater Camp is a unique place. At 18,865 feet above sea level, it is the highest campsite on Mount Kilimanjaro. It is located just 475 feet below the summit. We offer the opportunity to stay at Crater Camp on the Lemosho and Northern Circuit routes. This option will add one day to the standard itineraries making them the 9 Lemosho Crater Route and 10 days Northern Crater Route.
We leave for the summit during daylight hours and stay at Crater Camp after the summit for better acclimatization. On all other Kilimanjaro routes, only the guides and clients summit while the rest of the mountain crew remains at high camp (Barafu or school hut). Using Crater Camp requires significantly more effort on our part as the entire mountain crew, along with all of the expedition equipment, has to ascend 4,000 feet higher than they normally would. Therefore, there is considerable added cost to do a Crater Camp route.
From Crater Camp, one can take an optional one hour hike to Reusch Crater, or simply explore the areas around Furtwangler Glacier. Reusch Crater is a magnificent sight. It is almost perfectly circular and the ash pit measures 400 feet (120 m) deep and 1,300 feet (400 m) wide. This is rarely seen by tourists. The video below puts the size of the ash pit and crater into perspective.
We understand the attraction of staying at Crater Camp. However, the drawback of sleeping at this high altitude is that it is pretty dangerous. Serious AMS can develop if adequate altitude acclimatization has not been achieved.
Due to safety concerns for clients and staff, the 9 Lemosho Crater Route or 8 day lemosho crater route and 10 day Northern Crater Route. We offer them for specially request.



MAP OF NORTHERN CIRCUIT ROUTE


WESTERN BREACH ROUTE

As its name suggests, the Western Breach is a gap, formed by lava flow, on the western outer rim of Mount Kilimanjaro main summit, Kibo.
The Western Breach offers one of the shortest climbing routes to the summit. The core of this route, stretching from Arrow Glacier Camp to Crater Camp, involves sections of relative steepness and a high degree of exposure depending on route variation. It was temporarily closed after a rock slide accident in January 2006 killed three people.
Despite its moderate inherent risks, among experienced climbers the Western Breach is still a popular ascent route because it is very direct and more interesting than the two heavily frequented standard routes on the southeast face of Kibo.
Alternatively, it is possible for trekkers on most other routes to stay one night in the crater at the Crater Camp, allowing for extended time to explore the peak without the added risk of an assault via the Western Breach.
It may be advisable to spend an additional night at Lava Tower Camp (4600m) to aid acclimatization before positioning to Arrow Glacier Camp (4800m) the day after, in preparation for the final night-time climb to the summit.
Avoid being in the breach in windy conditions, as well as daylight hours, which may both increase the probability of rock fall. Ensure sufficient acclimatization and rest before entering the breach, so as to be able to move through it swiftly, minimizing exposure time to rock fall.



MAP OF WESTERN BREACH ROUTE


How Long Does it Take to Climb Kilimanjaro?

Mount Kilimanjaro routes and their variations take between five to nine days to complete. Although Mount Kilimanjaro is known as a "walk-up" mountain, you should not underestimate it and its risks. The overall statistics show that less than half of all climbers reach the summit.Below we have provided the summit success rate figures published by the Kilimanjaro National Park.
Please note, these figures are old and summit success rates are undoubtedly higher today as route profiles have improved and the number of hikers opting for the 5 day treks has plateaued.

• The overall success rate on Kilimanjaro is 65%
• 5-day routes, success rate are just 27% Marangu, Umbwe.
• 6-day routes, success rate are 44% Machame, Marangu, Rongai.
• 7-day routes, success rate are 64% Machame, Lemosho, Rongai.
• 8-day routes, success rate are 85% Lemosho, Northern Circuit.
• 9-days route success rate is 95% lemosho , northern Circuit

The greater the number of days on the mountain, the better your chances of reaching the top. Therefore the key to a safe, successful climb is to take the longest routes possible.
There are minimum days for each Kilimanjaro main climbing routes. However, that is not to be confused with recommended days for the route. African traces recommend adding an extra day or two to your trip to help you acclimatize to the altitude. We encourage customers to take 7-8-9 day routes for the best chance of success and the lowest risk of altitude sickness.
Route profile is also very important and all good operators will recommend routes that have a climb high, sleep low profile. This means trekking to the higher sections during the day and sleeping on the lower sections to give your body the opportunity it needs to acclimatize. Low quality operators will simply rush you up the mountain on the shortest route possible.

kilimanjaro uhuru


We are very happy that our real success rates are considerably greater that those reported by Kilimanjaro National Park. Client feedback regularly cites our guides and their support, portersas the main reason they were able to summit. We have a consistent record of achieving high success rates year after year, and would gladly put our success rates up against the actual success rates of our strongest competitors.
African Traces concern is that you have a safety, enjoyable, memorable on mountain Kilimanjaro.
It is possible to climb the mountain in five or six days, but why take the chance? Unless you don’t have enough time in your vocation. But some clients want to minimize their days in order to save costs, which is understandable. But we feel that the additional cost is well worth it. Not only is it safer, but you increase the probability of your success, have more time to enjoy the experience, can take acclimatization hikes to other parts of the mountain you'd otherwise miss, and will probably feel better as well, given that there is less stress on your body.

Ask yourself this. How would you feel if you scheduled a route with the minimum required days, only to have to turn around within the first couple days because the rate of ascent was too quick? Wouldn't you rather have added a couple days to your trip to give yourself a better chance, to be fair to your body? Were the 'savings' you got for not taking additional days’ worth the cost of cutting your climb short, not making it to the summit, or even worse, putting your health at risk?

What to expect when climbing Mt Kilimanjaro

Before you embark on your trekking adventure, you will meet with our Trekking Operations Manager for an extensive briefing. Route, safety procedures and health issues will be discussed in detail and you have enough time to ask any remaining questions. Your trekking gear will be inspected to ensure that you have everything you need to be safe and comfortable. If you are missing any gear, you can rent it from here for reasonable prices. CHECK FOR THE GEARS.

During your climb, you only carry your backpack with essentials such as water for the days hike, plus your valuable things. Our porters will carry all equipment, food and additional luggage; our porters are tough climbers and the true heroes of the mountain they will be early in the camp before you.

One of guide will lead the way while other guides will be walking behand and side to side to make sure that you will be safe while walking becausethey are responsible for your safety and will encourage you and lend a helping hand, but also call the climb off due to weather, altitude sickness or injury, if necessary. Your safety is paramount to us. Most of our mountain guides have been part of our team for many years, been up Kilimanjaro hundreds of times and all receive regular training. You are in good hands.

Our cooks are miracle workers. With simple gas cookers, they conjure up 3-course feasts, hot drinks and snacks to revive and nourish you when you need it most. Drinking water comes from mountain streams and is boiled before you drink it.

On most routes, you will sleep in high-quality two-person tents.

kilimanjaro tents


The tents will be pitched and taken down by our team of porters. You can concentrate on getting to the top, one step at a time. When you arrive at camp after a long days hike, your tent will be already waiting for you. Our camping gear is imported from South Africa with highest standard. There’s no shower on the camping routes, you will be provided with a bowl of hot water in the morning to start the day fresh. When climbing Kilimanjaro on the Marangu Route, you will overnight in mountain huts. In which there’s shower but cold shower

OUR STAFFS

Our stuff on the Mountain

It is very importance to have a competent, high quality guides cannot be overstated when it comes to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. African Traces ltd has the best local guides, all of whom are fluent in English and have received extensive training in first aid, mountain rescue, flora and fauna, and history. All of our guides are registered with Kilimanjaro National Park. It is forbidden to climb Kilimanjaro without a guide.

African Traces Guides

Our Kilimanjaro guides are very experienced, with most having climbed well over 150 times. They are professionals who intimately know the mountain and the owner is among the Mountain guide:
>> Selected lead guides, with unrivaled experience and competence. Our guides are among the most talented and respected professionals in the industry.
combined experience as guides on Mount Kilimanjaro. Our guides are well prepared to handle any situation one can encounter on the mountain, as they have being doing it with different situations, >> successful summits of Mount Kilimanjaro. Our guides are very strong, capable climbers who can even go twice to the summit in case someone is not feel good while other client are down already. >> Leading to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. Our guides have proven experience on how to lead clients safely and effectively to the top of Kilimanjaro pole pole. And check the condition of the clients ever after 10 minutes.

4 Things to expect from our Kilimanjaro guides:

>> The High Safety and Standards - Your safety is the highest priority for our company. Our clients when climb with us they put their lives in our hands and trust us to give them safety; we do not take that responsibility lightly. Our guides are certified Wilderness First Responders (WFR), which means they have the tools to make critical medical and evacuation decisions. They receive annual training in emergency first aid and can prevent, recognize and treat altitude-related illnesses. Additionally, they can identify and avoid potential hazards such as slippery trails and loose rocks. Each client's health is monitored very closely while on the mountain. Very day they do medical checkup twice.
>> Expect Professionalism - We understand that you have many choices when you want to climb Mountain Kilimanjaro. Therefore it is important that we meet your expectations. African Traces ltd takes pride in the hard work of our staff and maintain grow our reputation of excellence. Our guides uphold a high level of professionalism while keeping the experience fun for our clients.
>> Expert Ability - Our guides have been working on Mount Kilimanjaro for a long time. As most of them were the porters and become assistant guides and now with this training and experience, they are completely acclimatized to high altitude and are adapted to the [ rigors] a sudden feeling of cold with shivering accompanied by a rise in temperature, often with copious sweating,] of mountain life. Climbing Kilimanjaro has become second nature to them. Our guides are tough as nails and can teach you everything you need to know about high altitude trekking. And how you should stay.
>> Mountain Knowledge - Our guides are knowledgeable about general mountain facts. They can tell you about the climate zones, the altitudes of and distances to campsites, and information about the geology, flora and fauna. These types of facts increase the enjoyment during the trek by giving clients an idea of what they are seeing and feeling.
Our guides can effectively manage our clients because each climber generally needs a few porters; each additional client multiplies the number of people in the entire party. Therefore, we staff additional guides to ensure that each client receives individualized attention. This way, our guides can effectively monitor the progress each individual climber and the collective group. Our guides have the opportunity to interact with each climber to assess how he or she is doing, and to ask and answer questions when needed. Our porters can also provide better service by catering to the varied needs of each member. Our teams work together often. This familiarity creates a strong team dynamic amongst the staff and with the clients, making the days on the mountain more fun and safer as well.
We also lead longer trips, which, because of the proper acclimatization, increase the probability of successful summits
Our guides have support teams of assistant guides, cooks and porters that who we teach them the best way to make sure our mountain crew gives you a high standards service. Through regular interaction, your mountain crew will perform at its best and offer consistent service. We like for things to go smoothly behind the scenes so that our staff can focus on our most important clients.

Our porters take care of you. So we take care of them.

Because of our hardworking porters, all you need to do on your climb is walk. Porters carry the tents, sleeping bags, mattresses, food, water, cookware, gas, gas, medical supplies, chairs, and tables - not to mention your camping gear. It is a tough job and anyone who has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro will tell you that their strength,
>> Our staff is paid a set wage, which means they do not have to rely entirely on tips for payment.
>> Our staff is paid more than the standard compensation on Kilimanjaro.
>> Our staff is paid immediately upon completion of a trip.
>> Our staff is paid tips in a fair, transparent manner.
>> Our porters have the proper gear and equipment to handle the mountain. Their clothing, sleeping bags and tents are sufficiently warm and/or waterproof.
>> Our porters are fed three nutritious meals per day, in adequate amounts, of their preferred local foods.
>> Our porter loads are limited to 20 kgs. The porters to client ratios we utilize are sufficient to handle the equipment needed. If more porters are needed for a party, we will add

kilimanjaro trekking routes

Marangu

Marangu Route

Mt.Kilimanjaro Trekking

Machame route

Machame Route

Mt.Kilimanjaro Trekking

lemosho

Lemosho Route

Mt.Kilimanjaro Trekking

rongai

Rongai Route

Mt.Kilimanjaro Trekking

shira route

Shira Route

Mt.Kilimanjaro Trekking

umbwe route

Umbwe Route

Mt.Kilimanjaro Trekking

northern circuit

Northern Circuit Route

Mt.Kilimanjaro Trekking

western breach

Western Breach Route

Mt.Kilimanjaro Trekking

OUR REVIEWS