Planning on climbing the highest Mountain in Africa and taking it of your bucket list? We offer 6 different routes. Book now with the professionals from African Heart Expeditions.
An almost perfectly shaped volcano, which rises from the plains, Mt. Kilimanjaro is one of the continent's most magnificent sights. Snow-capped at 5895m, it is the highest peak in Africa. From cultivated farmlands on the lower level, it rises through lush rainforest onto alpine meadows and finally across a barren lunar landscape to the snow and ice capped summit. The rainforest is home to many animals like buffalo, eland, antelope and the black and white colobus monkey.
When to undertake the climb
Although the mountain can be climbed throughout the year, it is worth avoiding the two rainy seasons of late March to mid-June and October to beginning of December, when the routes become slippery. Probably the best time to visit is January/February and from September to October, when visibility is best.
Officially anyone from 12 years of age on may attempt the climb; however it is not that easy. The important thing to remember is to come prepared and to take it slowly. Being well equipped will also increase your chances of succeeding in reaching the summit. In particular, be sure you have a warm sleeping bag (-10°C), insulating mat, thermal underwear, gloves, wool hat, sunglasses or snow goggles, sun cream, a large water bottle and a first aid kit. Altitude sickness is often a problem while climbing Kilimanjaro. If you know you are susceptible to this you are advised not to attempt the climb. Symptoms include bad headache, nausea, vomiting, and severe fatigue. This can be avoided by ascending slowly, and if at all possible spending an extra day half way up to acclimatize.
Below you can find the various routes leading to the summit.
Flights around Mt. Kilimanjaro or to the National Parks
Enjoy a flight above some of the highlights of Tanzania. The flights are done in a small aircraft of 13 or 18 seats.
Circling Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Meru and/or OI Doinyo Lengai volcano.
Flight above the Ngorongoro crater, the Serengeti, Lake Manyara National Park, Tarangire National Park, Arusha National Park,...
Prices on request.
Most visitors use this trail. The climb via this route can be done in 5 or 6 days. Overnight stays are in huts along the way, which have two rooms for 4 people each.
The climb starts at Marangu Gate (1829m) followed by a 3-4 hours walk through the rainforest to reach Mandara Hut (2700m), close by Maundi Crater. Dinner and overnight in the hut.
The last glades of the forest are left behind, when we follow the gently ascending path through the open Alpine Meadow. The altitude begins to make you tread slowly: "pole pole" is the order of the day while enjoying the flora and the magnificent view. Picnic lunch on the way. Horombo Hut (3720m) is reached within 5-7 hours walking. Dinner and overnight in the hut.
After a good nights rest, we continue, past the last giant Lobelias and Proteas, and move on the lunar landscape of the saddle between Kibo and Mawenzi. Kibo Hut (4703m) is reached in 5-6 hours. Picnic lunch on the way. Dinner and overnight in the hut.
The climb for the summit starts in the early morning hours. For about 5 hours we will be climbing the steepest and most demanding part of the route to Gilman's Point, 5685m on the crater rim, and then less than 2 hours to Uhuru Peak at 5895m, the highest point in Africa. Yes! From here we descend going straight down to Horombo Hut, where we'll spend the night.
The day is spent descending to Marangu Gate.
You can add an extra acclimatization day. You will then spend two nights at Horombo Hut.
Indicative Price (minimum 2 persons):
Gate - Machame Camp (3000m); 12 km; 6-7 hours walk.
Trek to Machame Camp, through the dense mountain forest along a ridge, rising steadily with a small opening in the trees known as Halfway Clearing, a good place for a rest. The incline eases as the forest merges into giant heather, and the path leads easily to Machame Camp. Clouds permitting, the summit of Kibo may be visible beyond the foothills.
Machame Camp - Shira Camp (3840m); 9 km; 4-5 hours walk.
From Machame Camp, follow the clear path up the steep rocky ridge, crossing and re-crossing the crest a few times. You'll rest at Picnic Rock, where you can view the Shira Plateau. You pass through patches of grass sand, and ash. Then you reach Shira Cave. Beyond the cave the path leads over a small ridge, then drops across a stream before another small rise up to Shira Camp.
Shira Camp - Barranco Camp (3950m); 11 km; 5-6 hours walk.
From Shira Camp, the path is clear as it climbs gradually in an easterly direction towards the main peak of Kibo. The northern path passes Moyr Hut, the start of the northern circuit path dropping sleepily down the side of the ridge to reach Barranco Camp.
Barranco Camp - Barafu Hut (4600m); 11 km; 4-6 hours walk.
Leave Barranco Camp and walk to the junction where you ascend up to the Barafu Hut for camping. If you took one extra acclimatization day, your walk today will start from Karanga Valley (4 km; 2-3 hours).
Barafu Hut - Uhuru Peak (5896m); 5 km; 6-7 hours walk.
Uhuru Peak - Mweka Camp (3100m); 16 km; 6-7 hours walk.
The trek involves between 10-15 hrs of walking, which is made even more strenuous by the effects of altitude and extreme cold. You begin this day walking very early in the morning to see the sunrise at the crater rim and to try to avoid the mist. Sunrise is at about 6.00 am and it takes 5-6 hours to get from Barafu Hut to the rim of Stella Point (5700m) plus another 1.5 hrs to Uhuru Peak.
The route from Barafu Hut joins the route from Gillman's Point, continue westward round the Kibo rim to reach Uhuru Peak.
Mweka Camp - Mweka Gate (1500m); 11 km; 3-4 hours walk.
Descend steeply through forest on a narrow path along the crest on a broad ridge between two river valleys down to Mweka gate.
You can add an extra acclimatization day : walk to Karanga Valley (6 km, 2-3 hours walk) and rest in the afternoon for acclimatization. Overnight spent in Karanga Valley.
Indicative Price (minimum 2 persons):
One of the more challenging routes, the ascent is done from the rear of the mountain and overnight camping.
Rongai gate - first Camp (3-4 hrs)
Leave Arusha very early in the morning and drive to Marangu gate for your climbing permit. Then drive to Rongai and start trekking to the first camp for dinner and overnight.
First camp - second camp 3-4 hours, you continue trekking to the second camp for dinner and overnight.
Second camp - third Camp 4-5 hour, from second camp you trek to third camp for dinner and overnight.
Third Camp - Kibo Hut - 5 - 6 hours from third cave to Kibo Hut.
Kibo Hut - Uhuru Peak (7 hrs)
Descend to Horombo Hut (6 hrs). Midnight from Kibo Hut to the summit. Then from the summit to Horombo hut for dinner and overnight.
Horombo Hut - Marangu gate (5-6 hrs) final descent to Marangu gate.
This route is one of the more unusual routes on Kilimanjaro offering spectacular views; only few climbers take this route. Overnight: camping.
Lemosho gate - Simba Camp (3-4 hrs)
Pick up from your hotel in Arusha after breakfast and transfer to Lemosho gate. Then trek up to Simba Camp for, dinner and overnight.
Simba Camp - Shira 1 (3 hrs)
From Simba Camp continue trekking to Shira 1, camp for dinner and overnight.
Shira 1 - Moir Hut (3-4 hrs)
From Shira 1 camp to Moir Hut for dinner and overnight.
Moir Hut - Lava Tower (3 hrs)
The trek continues from Moir Hut to Lava Tower for dinner and overnight.
Lava Tower - Arrow Glacier (1-2 hrs)
At midnight to Uhuru Peak and down to Barfu Hut (6-7 hrs)
Barafu Hut - Mweka Hut (4 hrs)
Mweka Hut - Mweka gate (4 hrs)
From Mweka Hut to Mweka gate, from where you will be transferred to Arusha or Moshi.
This route is one of the more unusual routes on Kilimanjaro. Although offering spectacular views, only few climbers take this route. Overnight : camping.
Londrosi gate - Murram (3-4 hrs)
Pick up from your hotel in Arusha after breakfast and transfer to Londrosi gate. Start trekking to Murram, then dinner and overnight.
Murram - Shira 2 (3 hrs)
From Murram trek to Shira 2 then dinner and overnight.
Shira 2 to Barranco Hut (5-6 hrs)
From Shira 2 to Barranco Hut, then dinner and overnight.
Barranco Hut - Barafu Hut: 3950m - 4600m (8 kms, 7-8 hrs)
Trek across the floor of the Great Barranco valley, crossing several streams, up to a huge boulder at the base of the Barranco wall. From the top of Barranco wall you will walk down into the Karangu valley in about 2 hours, where you'll overnight at Barafu Hut.
Barafu Hut - Uhuru Peak (5 kms, 6-7 hrs)
Descent to Mweka Hut (12 kms, 4-7 hrs)
The trek involves between 10-15 hours of walking, which is made even more strenuous by the effects of altitude and extreme cold. You begin the day walking very early in the morning to see the sunrise at the crater rim and to try to avoid the mist. Sunrise is at about 6.00 am and it takes 5-6 hours to get from Barafu Hut to the rim of Stella Point (5700m) plus another 1.5 hours to Uhuru Peak.
The route from Barafu Hut joins the route from Gillman's Point; continue westward round the Kibo rim to reach Uhuru Peak (5896m).
Mweka Hut - Mweka gate (10 kms, 3-4 hrs)
Descend through steep forests onto a narrow path along the crest on a broad ridge between two river valleys down to Mweka gate.
This route is the most challenging of the most popular routes (Marangu, Machame, Umbwe).
Umbwe gate - the Forest Caves; 7-8 hours walk
Follow the track up through the forest. The track becomes a path and continues through the forest on a ridge between two valleys. In some parts you may have to scramble up steep sections of the path using tree roots for support. Continue through occasional red paint marks on the trees, to reach the forest caves (2850m).
Forest Caves - Barranco Hut; 5 km; 4-5 hours walk.
From the caves continue following the path up the ridge. The path exits the forest and passes through heather, and then open moorland, where the main peaks first come into clear view. You keep right to reach Barranco Hut (3950m).
Barranco Hut - Lava Tower; 3 hours walk.
The trek continues keeping left at the junction of animal bones, and forking right in the valley when you reach the large stream flowing South-West to Lava Tower Hut (4600m).
Lava Tower - Arrow Glacier; 4 hours walk.
Keep right (east) and continue up over the steep Lava Tower west. The path becomes increasingly steep until you reach a flat platform at the base of western breach, the site of Arrow Glacier Hut (4800m).
Arrow Glacier - Uhuru Peak - Mweka Camp; 14 km; 4-5 hours walk.
You start this day very early in the morning, to see the sunrise at the crater rim and to avoid the fog. The snow on the ascent will still be frozen. From the peak (5896m) you descend steeply downhill through patchy giant heather to reach Mweka Hut (3100m).
Mweka Camp - Mweka Gate; 14 km; 5-7 hours walk.
Descend through the steep forest on narrow path, along the crest of broad ridge between two river valleys to Mweka gate. Transfer to your overnight hotel in town.
Indicative Price (minimum 2 persons):