If you have just 9 days and want to have the best chance of going home and saying "I climbed Kilimanjaro" the Machame route is the one for you. Starting to the south-west of Kilimanjaro it circuits south before climbing to Uhuru Peak via Stella Point. With excellent acclimatisation and varied and interesting scenery every day it is a great choice for the novice climber.
Approaching from the west, the Lemosho route is one of our highly recommended routes. The first three days of the ascent are quiet and relatively untravelled, then on day four it joins the busy Machame route. A wonderful route in terms of scenery, it offers unequalled views over the majestic Shira plateau. The success rate for this route is comparable to the Machame route.
The Northern Circuit route is the newest officially approved route up Mount Kilimanjaro, and one of the few ways to see its quieter, more remote northern slope. This is an extended, nine day climb which offers excellent acclimatisation time and provides views of the rugged and highly varied countryside on all sides of the great mountain.
The Rongai route approaches Mount Kilimanjaro from the north east, near the border of Kenya and Tanzania. Its main attraction is that it is very quiet and traverses virtually untouched wilderness. Ascent is via the scree path to Gilman’s Point with a traverse round the rim to Uhuru Peak. Descent is along the Marangu route.
The Marangu route is the oldest and most well-established route on Mount Kilimanjaro. It is also the only route that has hut accommodation and uses the same ascent and descent trail. The route is often touted as one of the easier hiking trails to the summit. However, according to KINAPA it suffers from one of the lowest summit success rate as too many trekkers try to do it in only 5 days and fail because of poor acclimatisation. We've built in an extra day's acclimatisation for you, greatly improving the success rate.
Crater Camp is not a route in itself but a challenging option you can add onto any of our climbs over 7 days. 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 'get away from the crowds' option for the expert Kandooer.
Ideal for single travellers or small groups of friends and family. We operate around 5-7 open groups a month. Our maximum open group size is just 10, bigger than that and safety is compromised. On an open group climb you get the same fantastic guides, gear and food as on our private climbs, and the chance to form new friendships!
Our private climbs are perfect for celebrations, charity challenges and corporate groups, or if you prefer to trek with with your own party. On a private trek you can choose the route and date to exactly suit your plans, and we offer a wide variety of tailormade options and hotel upgrades. Contact us to setup your private Kilimanjaro climb!
Kandoo excels in helping novice trekkers summit Kilimanjaro safely. You need to be fit enough for "weekend walking" and able to do 5-7 hours on your feet for two days back to back. Beyond that good preparation, good guides and a bucket load of determination will get you to the top.
The four routes we operate as standard, being Lemosho, Machame, Northern Circuit and Marangu importantly all have a good success rate. The first three routes all start on the South Western side of the mountain which is the more beautiful. Marangu starts from the East and is the only route with dormitory huts.
The shortest climb Kandoo runs as standard is 6 days. Shorter climbs have a much lower success rate and it is a long way to travel and a lot of money to spend to not reach the summit.
Our success rate on climbs of 7 days or longer is more than 95%.
We are a leading member of KPAP and have a KPAP porter on all our climbs to ensure that our treatment of porters always is up to the high standards we demand.
As one of the very few non-Tanzanian companies that actually operate its own climbs we are closely involved in many aspects of supporting the local community. To r our efforts we launched our 100% business-backed charity, Kandoo Foundation, in 2015. Our Foundation invests in grassroots local community projects in all the countries that we operate. We are also active members of the Leave No Trace and Travellers Against Plastic organisations.
As you climb Kilimanjaro you pass through 5 distinct climate and vegetation zones
The Lower Slopes/Cultivation - Between 2,600 feet and 5,900 feet the climate is tropical with an average of 45 inches of rainfall each year. The lowlands are now densely cultivated with coffee and banana plantations and the deforestation is a factor in the shrinking glaciers on Kilimanjaro.
Rain Forest - The zone between 5,900 and 9,200 feet receives the highest amount of rainfall, up to 78 inches per year. The moisture results in a belt of dense tropical rain forest.
Moorland - The moorland zone is between 9,200 feet and 13,100 feet and is covered with heather and bright flowers. Above the heath is a black moorland where plants such as lobelias and groundels grow.
High Desert - Between 13,100 and 16,400 feet there is a semi-desert region that receives less than 10 inches of rain annually. Temperatures range from the mid 80s to below freezing at night. Only plants such as moss or lichens can survive here.
Arctic Zone/Summit - The summit zone above 16,400 feet is an icy wasteland, baked by fierce sunshine during the day and frozen at night. The thin air here contains half as much oxygen as at sea level.
As you climb Kilimanjaro make sure you ask your guide to try and spot animals for you. There are plenty to look out for, as in spite of the tough climate there are over 140 species of mammals living on Kilimanjaro. At least seven larger mammal species have been recorded above the tree line including tree hyrax, grey duiker, red duiker, eland, bushbuck, buffalo and elephants. Three primate species also live in the montane forests: blue monkey, black and white colombus monkeys and bushbabies.
And the birdlife is a twitchers dream. From the wonderful crested Hartlaub's turaco to the beautiful Malachite sunbird a keen eyed bird-spotter will have a treat
Kilimanjaro is 5895 metres (nearly 20,000 feet) high, the tallest mountain in Africa, and one of the ‘Seven Summits’, the highest mountains on each of the world’s continents. It is the tallest free-standing peak on Earth. While other mountains boast higher peaks, they are part of mountain ranges, so they ‘start’ at a much higher altitude as well.
Kilimanjaro’s Kibo summit was first reached by Hans Meyer, a geographer from Germany, Ludwig Purtcheller, a mountain climber, and Yohannes Lauwo, a guide hailing from nearby Marangu, in 1889. The attempt took six weeks. The fastest recorded ascent of Kilimanjaro is held by Wim Hof aka 'The Iceman' who broke the previous record of over 9 hours. In fact in January 2015 he claimed the fastest title with a time of 3 hours and 25 minutes!
Around 35 thousand people make the attempt to climb Kilimanjaro each year. This results in an annual income of some £32 million for the Kilimanjaro National park, which has become a huge part of the national economy.
Kilimanjaro has three distinct peaks: Shira at 3962 metres, Mawenzi at 5159 metres, and Kibo at 5895 metres, and each is a separate volcanic formation. The highest point is the Uhuru Peak area at the top of Kibo crater’s rim, and this is the ‘target’ of almost all ascents.
Kilimanjaro is what is known as a stratovolcano. The Shira and Mawenzi peaks are extinct, but Kibo is classed as only ‘dormant’, so future eruptions are indeed possible. There is little need to fear, though, as geologists tell us that is has not had a major eruption in some 200 thousand years. Another one any time soon is quite unlikely. Kibo is not entirely asleep, though. It emits gas from several fumaroles in the crater, and is subject to occasional landslides like the one that created the Western Breach.