On this page you can find information on:
- Our Kilimanjaro Operation
- Recommended Routes
- Prices & Availability
- What’s included?
- Other Routes
- Weather and Best Time to Climb
- Open vs. Private Climbs
Our Kilimanjaro Operation
Kilimanjaro is our flagship destination. Each year we take over 1000 trekkers to the Roof of Africa. Trekkers choose us for the following reasons:
We are unique in that all our Kilimanjaro climbs are operated by us. We are not agents and do not outsource. This means we can maintain the highest quality of service at very affordable prices, with no unnecessary middle-man costs.
As one of the largest operators on Kilimanjaro we keep close track on our performance and are very proud to say that more than 9 out of 10 climbers summit successfully with us. The reason for our great success rate is because we do not cut corners by taking climbers on poorly profiled routes with inexperienced crews, and we spend a lot of time pre-departure and on the mountain advising clients on best practice, training and acclimatisation principles.
We are experts in high altitude trekking. Our guides are exceptionally well trained and experienced, which is why we have managed to maintain a perfect safety record. On the mountain, we operate a high guide-to-client ratio. This allows us to conduct daily health and acclimatisation assessments for our climbers. Any issues are identified early so appropriate action can be taken. All guides carry emergency oxygen and pulse oxymeters.
Exploitation of porters continues to be a big problem on Kilimanjaro. Be sure that someone is paying the cost when you go with a cheap operator – that someone is the poor guy carrying your sack! To set a new standard our staff are among the best paid crews on the mountain and we are active members of the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP) and the International Mountain Explorers Connection. In addition we are fully insured and bonded with ABTA/ATOL, involved with a wonderful local charity, called Amani, and are members of the Leave No Trace and Travellers Against Plastic campaigns so that Kilimanjaro will remain in good condition for future generations.
We pride ourselves on providing a high quality safe service at a reasonable price. At Kandoo this is our brand promise to our customers, and our reviews are testament to this!
There are two key points to successfully climbing Kilimanjaro. First, allow enough time to acclimatise properly. Second, choose a route that allows you to climb high, sleep low. The routes we’ve recommend below meet these criteria:
The Machame route is a fantastic trail that departs from the South-west side of Kilimanjaro. It can be completed on a 6 or 7-day itinerary, the latter provides that all-important additional time for acclimatization. The 6-day option has a lower summit success rate but does include a good climb high, sleep low profile. This route is ideal if you are short of time but want a relatively high probability of successfully summiting. The route does get busy during peak season (Jul-Sept). See here for a detailed itinerary.
The Lemosho route is one of our favourites as it provides a wonderfully wild start from the far West of the mountain, where the trail is relatively quiet. The route can be completed on a 7 or 8-day itinerary. We recommend the 8-day profile for better acclimatization. The Lemosho is ideal for the novice to intermediate trekker, and a great bet for summit success. See here for a detailed itinerary.
The Rongai route is the only Northern approach to Kilimanjaro and is one of the quietest routes on the mountain. The route is offered on a 6 and 7-day itinerary, with the latter as the ideal choice as it gives trekkers a good opportunity to climb high, sleep low. We recommend this route for trekkers looking for a quiet trail to the summit assault passage (this final section is usually busy as the route converges with the Marangu). Descent is via the Marangu. See here for a detailed itinerary.
Prices & Availability
- Your hotel stay for the nights before and after the climb
- Transfer to and from the mountain
- National Park entry, camping, climbing and rescue fees
- A fully supported climb (average ratio of support staff to climber is 4:1 in open groups)
- All meals and drinking water on the mountain
- A private portable toilet – no long drops for you!
- High quality mess and sleeping tents with a comfortable foam mattress (Note that while sleeping bags and Thermarest mats are not included, we do offer them for hire if you do not bring your own)
- Access to emergency oxygen and first aid kit
- A certificate documenting your summit ascent
You can read about all of these inclusions here.
- Airfares and visas – Read our advise here on how to get to Kilimanjaro
- Airport transfers – these can be arranged for you
- Tips for your guides and crew (KPAP recommends roughly $250 per person for a 7 day climb) – see here for details
- Personal items
- Travel insurance (you must be insured, and specifically for treks up to 6000m) – see here for details
- Your personal trekking gear – see here for an equipment checklist
- Your personal medicines or prescriptions
- Meals and drinks not on the mountain, snacks on the mountain
Other Kilimanjaro Route Options
Although we highly recommend the three route options above, we also offer other routes on Kilimanjaro as private climbs only. These include:
- Marangu Route: This is the only route on Kilimanjaro with hut accommodation. The route profile is not ideal for acclimatisation and thus has relatively low summit success. We only offer this route on a 6-day itinerary. See here for a detailed itinerary.
- Northern Circuit: The Northern Circuit is the newest and longest route on Kilimanjaro. It is also the only route that traverses the very quiet northern side of Kilimanjaro. The 9-day itinerary is perfectly suited for the more experienced hiker who wants to avoid crowds and get a very authentic Kilimanjaro adventure. See here for a detailed itinerary.
- Umbwe Route: The Umbwe Route is the most challenging and strenuous route up Kilimanjaro due to the steepness of ascent through rainforest and the rapid altitude gain over the first two days. Both these factors lead to the Umbwe route having the highest incidence of altitude sickness and therefore the lowest summit success rate. We only recommended this route for advanced high altitude trekkers. See here for a detailed itinerary.
- Crater Camp via Machame Route: Crater Camp is not a route in itself but a challenging option you can add onto our 7-day Machame climb. Crater Camp itself is located right in the heart of Kilimanjaro’s crater and you can almost guarantee that come sunset you will be the only people on the mountain. A real ‘getaway from the crowds’ option for the expert Kandooer. See here for a detailed itinerary.
- Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro Combined: Mount Meru is unfortunately often overlooked by travellers to Tanzania. It is however a fantastic trekking mountain and provides a wonderful opportunity to acclimatise before a Kilimanjaro climb. Our combined Meru and Kilimanjaro tour has grown in prominence over the past few years and comes highly recommended to visitors who have extra time on their hands.
Weather and best time to climb Kilimanjaro
We operate treks to Kilimanjaro all year round, but there are two distinct trekking season that are the best time to climb. They are January though to the end of March, and June though to the end of October.
Here is a brief overview of weather conditions throughout the year:
The weather in first few months of the year are generally warm and dry. These months are out of the high season so the slopes tend to be relatively quiet. This season is one of our favourite times to climb Kilimanjaro.
The long rainy season in Tanzania normally occurs in April and May although it has become more unpredictable in recent years. If you don’t mind the rain you can have the mountain pretty much to yourself. We however only run private climbs during this period. Bear in mind you can nearly always get a good discount as it is out of season.
June to early November are the driest months for your Kilimanjaro climb. The weather is best during August through to October. The good weather coupled with the Northern hemisphere holiday period means the mountain is very busy. The shoulder months of June, July and late October are good compromises if a little rain doesn’t deter you.
The short rainy season normally starts towards the back end of November and continues for 3-4 weeks. Generally rain is less persistent than in the main rainy period (Apr-May) and so this is a good time to be on the mountain without the crowds.
Open groups vs. private climbs
We offer both open group and private climbs. Not sure which is right for you? Here are the key differences:
- More affordable
- Fixed dates (we generally run 7 to 8 open group climbs a month)
- Limited to 12 climbers and guaranteed to run
- Not available during the rainy season (April and May)
- Limited to your own private party of climbers only
- Any date, you choose (even during the rainy season)
- Large private groups (6+ climbers) qualify for open group prices
- Tailored support and upgrades available
Contact a Kandoo Destination Specialist
+44 (0) 1283 499 980 | [email protected]