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Plan your perfect Kilimanjaro climb

Kandoo's View

The team at Kandoo love Kilimanjaro. It is a massive 5,895m tall and the highest free-standing mountain in the world. Everest is much higher overall but it starts at about 4,000m. 

Kilimanjaro is also the highest mountain in Africa so is part of the very special club that mountaineers call the “Seven Summits” - the highest mountains on each continent.

Even with these awesome credentials, you can leave work on a Friday, climb to its summit and be back at work a week later. And more than anything this accessibility is what makes it so popular. So book your adventure now with the number one Kilimanjaro operator. If you climb with us, you are in safe hands - we have now helped over 10,000 climbers summit successfully.

Kilimanjaro's amazing scenery and climate zone


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Which is the best route to climb Kilimanjaro?

Having helped over 10,000 people climb Kilimanjaro we know that for every one of them, the best route was the route which gave them the best chance to stand on the top of this awesome mountain. So there are just four routes up Kilimanjaro that we recommend : the Machame RouteLemosho route, Rongai route and the Northern Circuit.  A map of these routes and a brief description of each is below.

Map showing recommended routes to climb Kilimanjaro

MACHAME ROUTE | This is our favourite route for a short climb as it offers a high chance of success over just 7 days. It has an interesting approach through all of Kilimanjaro's diverse climate zones. Its downside is that everybody likes it, so in peak periods it can be very busy.

LEMOSHO ROUTE | Stepping up in cost and adding an extra day, this is the best 8 day route on the mountain. It has fantastic views and a really interesting approach from the West of the mountain.

NORTHERN CIRCUIT | If money and time are not an issue then it is worth checking out the Northern Circuit. It has the same attractive approach as the Lemosho but then heads North where you will find yourselves nearly alone. 

RONGAI ROUTE | This route approaches Kilimanjaro from the north of the mountain close to the Kenyan border.  It is a very quiet route, and is not normally our first choice as there is very little vegetation as it has much less rainfall. This means it is a good route to choose in the rainy season and it is always generally quiet.

Further more detailed advice on the best routes to climb Kilimanjaro can be found here 

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When is the best time to climb Kilimanjaro?

Avoid the rainy season - best time to climb

Rainfall at the foot (cm) │Kilimanjaro

The short answer is to either go between May and October, or December and March. You can read lots more about the weather on Kilimanjaro here

Simply put, Kilimanjaro has a long monsoon season in April and May, and a shorter monsoon season in November.  During these periods there is a high probability of rain every day. Outside these periods the weather is mainly dry and clear.

Of course, most people want to climb when it is dry, so if you choose one of these two periods you can expect to meet a lot of other climbers. To mitigate this, choose one of the less popular routes. The Northern Circuit is a great choice at this time of year. If you want to climb when it is quieter, or during one of the rainy seasons, then look at the Rongai route.  It lies in Kilimanjaro's rain shadow and is much drier all year round.

When to go if you want to go on safari

If you have a few extra days then going on safari after your climb is a great option. Tanzania is great for wildlife and is a perfect place to see the Safari Big 5. There are different times of the year that are best for certain safari experiences. For example, if you really want to see the wildebeest migration in the Serengeti, then the best time to visit is February or March.

There is more advice on when to go on safari here. We run a schedule of open group climb and safari packages on the Machame and Lemosho routes throughout the main climbing season.  If you prefer a private safari then just contact one of our team.

To Full Moon or not to Full Moon?

Kilimanjaro full moon dates

Full Moons | Kilimanjaro

Some people really want to climb Kilimanjaro under a full moon as it means it is much lighter on the overnight hike to the summit. If that is what you would prefer the full moon dates are above.  Again, you shouldn't be surprised to find that full moon dates are busier than other times of the month. And for astronomers, the full moon means almost zero stars and the night sky on a new moon is really spectacular.

Flight costs

One last thing you should consider when deciding when to climb Kilimanjaro is the cost of your flights. These vary a lot during the year and if you choose your dates carefully and book early you can often save  £300-400. For advice on the best way to fly to Kilimanjaro see here.

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Frequently asked questions

Q1HOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO CLIMB KILIMANJARO?

We have a fantastic record of getting climbers to the summit successfully and safely.  If you are a regular weekend walker with lots of determination we can get you to the top. That does not mean that it is not an incredibly tough challenge. The difficulties arise from a number of different factors. First you are walking every day for at least 6 days for an average of 7-8 hours a day. There is then one very long day of up to 18 hours. You need to be really determined to handle this.

Second, you are climbing to nearly 20,000 feet at which altitude, air pressure and oxygen availability is about 60% of sea level. This means with every breath you are only getting just over half as much oxygen. To compensate for this you have to do everything slowly.  Finally you will be camping for up to 8 nights, sleeping on the floor and washing and cleaning in tough conditions. This is nothing that a positive attitude can't overcome, though.  For more about acclimatisation see here.

Q2HOW MANY DAYS DOES IT TAKE TO CLIMB KILIMANJARO?

The shortest route Kandoo runs as standard is 6 days. It is possible to climb over 5 days but the shorter climbs have a much lower success rate. Remember it is a long way to travel and a lot of money to spend to not reach the summit. We recommend that you take at least 7 days to give yourself a really good chance of reaching the summit safely. Read more about which routes are best and the days they take here.

Q3HOW FIT DO YOU NEED TO BE TO CLIMB KILIMANJARO?

We have helped lots of 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. Besides being fit though you will need to look after yourself all the way and have bucket loads of determination.

The best training you can do is to get your boots on and cover as many miles as your can before your climb. If you follow this advice, most days will be pretty comfortable for you. However fit you are though, summit night is a very tough experience.  You will be climbing for 8-10 hours and descending for 6 - 8 hours.  For more advice on training see here

Q4WHAT IS THE SUCCESS RATE CLIMBING KILIMANJARO?

The success rate varies hugely by route and by operator. Success rates reported by the Park vary from below 50% on the shorter routes like Marangu up to 85-90% on 7 day and longer climbs. Our success rate on climbs of 7 days or longer is 97%. We get such a high success rate with great preparation, great guides and carefully managed itineraries. And of course clients with grit!

 

 

Q5WHAT TRAINING DO YOU RECOMMEND TO PREPARE FOR MY CLIMB?

We always answer this question by saying you should try and get out and do as much hill-walking as you can. Nothing prepares your body better for climbing Kilimanjaro than some weekends doing long walks of 7-8 hours.

For a more technical answer there are four aspects of fitness you need to work on.

  • First is pure cardio. As you ascend there is less and less oxygen in the air and this makes your cardio system work very hard. Prepare for this with any intense cardio exercise. We are big fans of High Intensity Interval Training where you work very hard for a short period and then rest.
  • Second is leg strength. Consecutive days climbing puts a lot of strain on the legs and specific leg exercises like squats work really well.
  • Third is stamina. On summit night you need to keep going and going. Try and do some longer exercises that require real stamina like a long ride or a really long day hill-walking .
  • And finally don't forget your flexibility as lots of injuries are caused by lack of flexibility.  So both before your climb, and on it, remember your stretches. For more detailed advice on training see here.

Q6WHAT ARE THE TOILETS LIKE ON KILIMANJARO?

The public toilets on Kilimanjaro are horrible. To find out in more detail what they are actually like then take a look here.  Fortunately, we now provide private toilets as standard on all climbs. This is a chemical toilet in a small tent. This is kept clean and hygienic by our crew. Lots better than the long drop public loos.

Q7HOW WELL DO YOU TREAT YOUR CREW? ARE YOU A MEMBER OF KPAP?

We treat all our crew and guides really well. This is recognised by KPAP ( the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Program). You can see our most recent KPAP audit report here. 

KPAP do great work to ensure porters are treated fairly on the mountain.  This is not just about wages, but food, clothing, tents and tipping policy. Sadly far too few Kilimanjaro operators are members of KPAP. We have been a leading member of KPAP since we started on Kilimanjaro. There is  a KPAP porter on all our climbs to ensure that our treatment of porters always is up to high standards.

On our most recent annual assessment by KPAP we scored a 97% rating . Now we are working on sorting out the other 3% to get a perfect score. If you ever want a reference you can always contact Karen Valenti at [email protected].

Q8WHAT IS ALTITUDE SICKNESS?

Altitude sickness (often just called AMS) is caused by climbing to altitudes where the air pressure is much reduced. There is a great little calculator here http://www.altitude.org/air_pressure.php. which shows how this happens.

By the time you have reached the summit of Kilimanjaro air pressure is down to 49% of what it is at sea level. The first effect of this is that every lungful of air contains only half the amount of oxygen it would normally have. This make any physical exertion very hard work. Slowly, slowly is the key.

The second and most dangerous effects of low pressures are on the parts of the body where fluid  and air meet. The two most important  are in the skull and lungs. With low air pressure fluid gets into the lungs and the gap between the brain and the skull. In the lungs this causes something like pneumonia, where your lungs fill with water. In the brain it causes bad headaches. Both of these can become so bad they will kill you.

The good news is that we plan our ascents very carefully to minimise the risk of you getting AMS and have well tested emergency plans to evacuate you should you have any problems. You can read lots more about Altitude sickness here.

Q9WHAT KIT WILL I NEED?

A well-equipped weekend hiker will have most of the essential kit you need. We provide a full list of what you need on Kilimanjaro packing list  as well as a printable checklist. Most important on this list are mittens. We haven't found a ski or mountain glove that is warm enough for the coldest night on Kilimanjaro.

Q10WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN OPEN GROUP CLIMB AND A PRIVATE CLIMB?

Private climbs to climb Kilimanjaro are your own personal tailor-made adventure. They give you total flexibility and the highest chance of success. Just choose your date, route and any of our tailor-made options. Perfect for a group of friends or a charity group. Or perhaps for a couple looking to celebrate a special birthday or anniversary. Upgrades to private climbs start from £100 per person depending on the size of the group.

If you want the company of others while you climb Kilimanjaro then an open group is perfect for you. Our group climbs run every week during the main climbing season from June - October and December - March. They are limited to a maximum of 12 climbers to make sure you get the best chance of summit success. Particularly popular are our open group full moon climbs which run every month.

Q11WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE KILIMANJARO ROUTES?

The differences between the routes can be looked at in different ways. First and most critical is how many days they take.

  • The shorter routes are Marangu and Umbwe.Both of these have low success rates.
  • The Machame and Rongai routes both take 6- 7 days and offer much better chances of summiting.
  • The longer routes are the Lemosho and Northern Circuit which take between 8 or 9 days.

Besides duration, the start point is very different. Marangu and Umbwe both start from the south and take fairly direct routes to the summit. Rongai comes in from the North following a fairly direct path This  is relatively flatter at the begining. All the other routes start on the west of the mountain which is the most scenic. From their start in the west, the Machame and Lemosho routes both circle south-east around the mountain providing great scenery. This also provides good acclimatisation before they turn North to summit. The Northern circuit starts from the West and heads North finally merging with the Rongai route for the summit push. There is more information about all the Kilimanjaro routes here.

Q12WHAT WILL THE FOOD BE LIKE?

The food our cooks prepare on Kilimanjaro is amazing. What they can create on a mountain is beyond belief and everybody raves about our food. This is really importantant as keeping yourself hydrated and ensuring you eat well is one of the most important factors in success. You can read more about our Kilimanjaro food here. If you have special dietary requirements or are a vegetarian then just let us know when you book so that we can be sure to have a suitable menu planned.

Q13WHAT ARE YOUR TENTS LIKE?

We use two types of tent on Mt Kilimanjaro. For sleeping we use top of the range Mountain Hardwear Trango 3 man tents . These are the same tents used by most expedition teams on Everest. They are very strong, have lots of space and are warm. Our mess tents are made for us by a supplier in Nepal who makes them for Himalayan expeditions. Good head-height, warm and extremely tough. Along with comfy camp chairs they make for a relaxing meal time.

Q14What tips do you recommend?

We are leading members of KPAP, the Kilimanjaro Porters protection group and comply fully with their recommendations about tips. You can see our detailed advice here. Depending on the group size recommended tips are between $2-300 per person. These are simply recommendations: if for any reason you are not happy with the service provided you are not required to pay.

Q15HOW WILL I WASH DURING MY CLIMB?

Every morning and evening you will be provided with a bowl of hot water for washing. As well as this we strongly recommend a good supply of baby wipes for cleaning hands during the day. Also when it gets very cold higher on the mountain you can get by with what we call a "pits and bits " wash for which a baby-wipe is perfect. Remember though that whatever you take up the mountain has to come down so you will need a waste bag to carry used wet wipes.

Q16IS THERE AN ADVANTAGE TO CLIMBING KILIMANJARO ON THE FULL MOON?

This is really a matter of personal preferences. On a full moon there is lots more light and the route and path to the summit are much clearer. Some people prefer this, some prefer to get their head down and just keep plodding. Of course when there is a full moon there are almost no stars visible so if you want a great night sky give the full moon dates a miss. We have all the dates of full moons here.

Q17DO YOU ORGANISE TRIPS TO CLIMB KILIMANJARO FOR CHARITY?

We arrange lots of Kilimanjaro climbs for charity fundraisers.  We do not however organise climbs where the cost of the trip is funded by donations as we only believe in self-funded charity challenges.

Q18WHAT DO YOU DO TO SUPPORT THE LOCAL COMMUNITY?

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. This extends from promoting porter welfare, supporting a local children's charity to being active members of the Leave No Trace and Travellers Against Plastic organisations. Our own charity, the Kandoo Foundation has also funded a number of projects in Tanzania to benefit the community.  In recent years we have paid for a water pipeline to be installed in the village where a lot of our porters live, saving the children a daily walk of 2-3 hours to fetch water.  In 2016 we bought all our porters and their families high quality mosquito nets and in 2017 we are spending $3000 upgrading the IT facilities in the school in Moshi so that every child will have good access to a PC.

Q19CAN I CLIMB WITHOUT PORTERS AND GUIDES?

In a word, NO. The National Park Authority do not allow anyone on the mountain without qualified guides and they mandate strict minimum ratios of guides to clients which roughly work out as 1 guide for every 3 people. Porters are actually optional but unless you are super, super-fit and happy to alpine camp for 7 days living on dried food don't begin to think about it.  We provide 3 porters per client to carry everything you need to have a comfortable enjoyable climb.

Q20What vaccinations will I need?

You will need to have a number of up to date vaccinations to visit Tanzania.  Full details of the current advice is here.  You should always though visit your GP and check with him exactly what you require.  Also please note you will need to take an anti-malarial drug.  Although there are no moquitoes on the mountain itself, there is malaria in Moshi.

Q21WHAT HAPPENS IF I NEED TO DESCEND?

As a condition of our public liability insurance we run a fully integrated Safety Management System. This includes detailed procedures for emergency descent.  Depending where you are on the mountain this may involve being carried by porters, being transported on a mobile stretcher, using a 4x4 or helicopter.

Q22WHAT TRAVEL INSURANCE DO YOU RECOMMEND?

There a number of specialists who provide insurance for climbing Kilimanjaro. We particularly like Dogtag and World Nomad. Whoever you arrange insurance with, you must be sure it covers you to an altitude of 6000m

Q23ARE THERE ANY AGE RESTRICTIONS ON CLIMBERS?

Kilimanjaro Park Authority do not allow any climbers on the mountain younger than 12 years of age.  There is no maximum - our oldest client who summited was 75.  You should be aware though that we do not allow children younger than 16 to join an open group. This is primarily because we feel that for children under 16 we need to provide the more personalised care that is only available on a private trip.  Also, we have sometimes had negative feedback from adults about having children on a climb with them.

Q24WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO GET TO KILIMANJARO?

Kilimanjaro has its own international airport (JRO) which is about an hour's drive from the mountain itself. For flights to JRO there are an increasing number of good options. There are currently no direct flights available from countiries other than the Netherlands, the Middle East and Turkey.  From Europe the best options are with KLM via Amsterdam or Turkish Airlines via Istanbul.

Be careful though about flight and connections times on Turkish Airlines - sometimes you seem to get a good deal only to find that you have a 10 hour layover.  From North America or the Far East the best options are to fly via the Middle East. Qatar has direct flights from its hub in Doha into JRO. For more on flight information see here

Q25WHERE IS MOUNT KILIMANJARO?

Kilimanjaro is in Tanzania and sits right on the Northern border with Kenya. The nearest airport is Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) and the nearest town is Moshi.

Q26Will I be able to get a mobile signal on Kilimanjaro

Yes most of the time but don't plan on 4G. And don't be surprised that when you drop into a valley there will be deadspots.

Q27Which famous celebrities have climbed Kilimanjaro?

One of the most publicized celebrity climbs of Kilimanjaro came in 2009 when a team of 9 celebrities attempted to conquer the roof of Africa for Comic Relief. The celebrities climbing were Alesha Dixon, Gary Barlow, Ben Shepard, Denise Van Outen, Cheryl Cole, Chris Moyles, Fearne Cotton, Kimberley Walsh and Ronan Keating. They took the 8 day Lemosho route and, amazingly, every single one of them summited!  However, it was reported that nearly every climber suffered some form of altitude sickness along the way. The aim of the climb was to raise awareness and money for Malaria which is a huge killer in Tanzania. The team raised just shy of a million pounds.

Also, 9 times Wimbledon champion, Martina Navratilova, gave the mountain her best shot in late 2010 but sadly failed to summit due to altitude sickness. 4,000 feet shy of the summit, the tennis legend had to call for a rescue as a combination of mountain sickness and a stomach infection made it impossible to continue.

Billionaire and owner of Chelsea Football Club, Roman Abramovich, had to give up his summit bid after collapsing at 15,100 feet. The 43 year old started to experience severe breathing problems and, after collapsing, was taken straight back down to hospital. Like Ann Curry, Mr Abramovich's small group of 6 tackled the toughest route on the mountain and took with them over 100 porters!

Retired 13-time Pro Bowl linebacker and Superbowl Champion, Ray Lewis, climbed Kilimanjaro in 2013. Sadly, Lewis did not finish due to an injured foot and illness.

 To name but a few!

Why climb Kilimanjaro with Kandoo Adventures?

 
Safety: our top priority
Safety: our top priority

We do everything possible to ensure your safety on the mountain...

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Climbers have more fun with Kandoo
Climbers have more fun with Kandoo

Safety and summiting are top priorities but we also make the adventure fun...

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Uniquely operate our own climbs
Uniquely operate our own climbs

It might seem surprising but we are the only major operator who actually runs their own climbs.

 
Exceptional guides
Exceptional guides

We employ and train all our own guides and have become the employer of choice for all the best guides on Kilimanjaro. ...

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World class kit
World class kit

All our tents on Kilimanjaro are Mountain Hardwear Trango 3s...

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Fantastic tasty food
Fantastic tasty food

We make sure all our meals are really tasty and that there is plenty for even the biggest appetites.

 
Highest standards of ethics
Highest standards of ethics

Excellence in porter welfare, Leave No Trace and care for the local community ...

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You book direct to get great value
You book direct to get great value

Because we sell direct to you we offer exceptional quality and great prices too. ...

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Kandoo's top tips for climbing Kilimanjaro successfully

Trekking and camping on Kilimanjaro in Tanzania

Training

Most days climbing Kilimanjaro are no worse than an average day hiking at home . There are though a number of factors that make this a really tough challenge.  
First, you will be hiking for at least 7 days continuously. This puts a big strain on all your muscles and joints.  
Second, as you climb, the oxygen content in the air drops rapidly. This means that with every breath you are getting less and less power. At the summit each breath has about half the amount of oxygen that you would normally have.
Third, although most days are not overly difficult, summit night is extremely hard with an ascent of over 1500m, a descent of nearly 3000m and between 16-18 hours walking on average. TO be successful you need to be in the best physical condition of your life. We have detailed advice on training here.  The key factors are cardio- strength, muscle strength in the legs and flexibility.  If at all possible try to get out and do some long days hiking at least twice in the weeks before your climb. And don't forget that the biggest difference between those who summit successfully and those who turn back is often just mental tenacity.

Staying well hydrated and eating plenty

Each day as you climb Kilimanjaro you will burn about 4000 calories. This is almost double your normal intake. On summit night you will burn well over 6000 calories. And as mountaineers say, you need to fuel the climb! So even if you have lost your appetite because of the effects of altitude you have to keep eating. Our menus are designed to be varied and really tasty but even if you don't feel hungry you must eat.  Before you travel to Tanzania find a number of snacks that you really enjoy . Bring a good  and varied supply. Even if you love Mars Bars you can find that when you are faced with your third in a night they are not quite so appetising.

And drinking plenty is even more important than eating. In the cold, dry air it is very easy to become dehydrated. Symptoms of dehydration are very similar to altitude sickness. It is not uncommon for someone to descend and then find that all they needed was lots of water. You will  be given 2 litres of water  daily. There will also be unlimited amounts of hot drinks at breakfast and dinner. You must ensure that you keep drinking. As a good guide, if your pee is yellow you are under-hydrated and need to drink more.  For more on looking after yourself on the mountain read here.

Good equipment

Good equipment starts with your  feet. Do not turn up for your climb in a shiny new pair of boots. Make sure your boots are well worn in and are comfortable. After  your feet make sure you are looking after your head. On the lower slopes you will need something that provides good sun protection. For summit night you need a really warm beanie or even balaclava. These can double up as a nightcap on really cold nights.

Finally,  think about clothing layers. The daily temperature variation can be as much as 35c. The best way of coping with this is  with layering rather than relying on one single jacket. Also, we strongly recommend gaiters and mittens. Kilimanjaro  is very dusty and a boot full of dust is very uncomfortable. And we have not found a pair of gloves that are really warm enough for summit night so make sure to pack mittens or over-mittens.

Other critical items are a 4 season sleeping bag, trekking poles for the descent, a head torch for the night climb, a comfortable day pack and lots and lots of high factor sunscreen.  A full checklist of the equipment we recommend is here

Careful acclimatisation

The single  biggest reason why people fail to summit is because they have not acclimatised well. We have lots of information on acclimatisation here but there are three key points to remember. First is go slowly. No matter how fit you are, if you go too quickly the risk of getting altitude sickness goes up. You will always hear our guides advising "Pole Pole" , swahili for slowly, slowly. As a good measure of your speed, if you cannot manage a conversation comfortably you are going fast.

Second is hydration, the really serious problems caused by altitude are due to changes in pressure. This happens badly in the lungs where fluid from your blood leaks into your lungs giving pneumonia like symptoms. It also happens in your skull where fluid moves from your brain into the gap between the brain and the skull causing pressure headaches.  If you are poorly hydrated you will increase the risk that this becomes a problem.

And third is consider taking Diamox. This is a drug that is proven to help the body acclimatise to altitude faster. It is not a cure though and you can still get ill taking it. For most people though it is a safe way to reduce the risk of getting ill. You will need to see your doctor to obtain a prescription for Diamox. He can assess you personally for suitability. For more advice on acclimatisation and altitude sickness see here.

Other things to do while you are in Tanzania

Safari in Tanzania - Serengeti Lake Manyara Ngorongoro

While you are in Tanzania there are lot of other great things you might want to try.  The most popular choice is to add on a short safari. Arusha town, about an hour's drive from Kilimanjaro is the start point for lots of safaris. Most of these are in National Parks called the Northern Circuit. This includes Tarangire, Lake Manyara, the Serengeti and the world heritage site Ngorongoro Crater.  

Most of our safaris are private, tailor made trips. We do though now offer some open group safaris that are combined with a climb.

We can arrange safaris from as little as two days. For more information about safaris read here.

Also you can take a short flight from Tanzania to trek with gorillas in Rwanda. This is a really special experience. As Rwanda offers little else as a tourist destination adding this onto your Kilimanjaro trip can work very well.

The gorilla trekking in Rwanda is brilliantly organised. The health and well-being of the gorillas is the highest concern. This allows you to  enjoy your encounter with these fantastic animals knowing they are well protected. For more information about trekking with gorillas see here.

And a third great option, particularly if you have tired legs after your climb, is to take a few days to relax on Zanzibar. It is just over an hour's flight from Kilimanjaro airport. And you could then be lying on a perfect white sand beach dipping those legs in the warm Indian Ocean.

And Zanzibar lives up to its reputation as a tropical paradise. So if relaxing is your aim then head here for a few days. For more information on visiting Zanzibar read here.

Kilimanjaro marathon

Kilimanjaro marathonIf climbing Kilimanjaro is not enough of a challenge, some hard souls do the Kilimanjaro double. Summit the mountain one week then descend and run the Kilimanjaro marathon. There is an easier option which is to join in either the half-marathon or even the fun run. Or then again you could find a comfortable bar, relax and watch all the runners working hard while you sip on a cold Tusker beer.

The Kilimanjaro marathon is run in March or April each year and for 2019 it will be held on Sunday, 3rd March. If you are interested in joining let us know and we can advise you on gaining entry.

All about Mt Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro is what is known as a strato-volcano. This basically means it is one very big ash pile built up over the course of many eruptions. Fortunately it is now dormant. The last major eruption was about 360,000 years ago. The most recent activity was recorded over 200 years ago. Kilimanjaro has 2.2 square kilometres (0.85 sq mi) of glacial ice but  is losing it quickly. The glaciers have shrunk 82% since 1912 and declined 33% since 1989. It might be ice free within 20 years, dramatically affecting local drinking water and crop irrigation.

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Vegetation 

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. It has an average of 45 inches of rainfall each year. The lowlands are now densely cultivated with coffee and banana plantations 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. This 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.

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Wildlife

As you climb Kilimanjaro make sure you ask your guide to try and spot animals for you. There are plenty to look out for. 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 monkeys, black and white colombus monkeys and bushbabies.

Over 180 species of birds have been recorded as living on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro. These include Hartlaub’s Turaco,  Hornbills and Speckled Mousebirds or the Malachite Sunbird. See if you can spot some of these spectacular birds on your climb.
Speak with an expert Start planning your next adventure by contacting one of our team.
Sarah BW

Sarah Orson

Adventure Travel Consultant

Phone: +44 1283 499980

RB BW crop sml

Rachael Bode

Adventure Travel Consultant

Phone: + 44 1283 499982

SK BW crop sml

Sharon King

Adventure Travel Consultant

Phone: +44 1283 499981

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