A unique and unforgettable adventure

The Kilimanjaro is the roof of Africa and the highest free-standing mountain in the world that is fairly easy to climb.

There are different routes to reach the top of Kilimanjaro,
ranging from five to nine nights.
Without a doubt, this is one of the most extraordinary experiences in the world.


  • Surface 3.885 km2
  • Height 5.895 meter
  • Big rain season February to May
  • Small rain seasonaround November

About Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro – 5.895 meter tall- with its infinite views, lies in the Kilimanjaro National Park, in the northeast of Tanzania, near the border with Kenya.
The Kilimanjaro is one of the ‘seven peaks’, making it a very popular mountain among climbers and fanatic hikers.

Landscape of the Kilimanjaro

1. The top of the Kibo is an area of 11 km2 permanently covered with glaciers and ice fields.

2. The mountain slopes have different vegetation zones, from tropical rain forests to alpine meadows and tundras.

3. Around the Kilimanjaro lies a savannah landscape.

4. The Shira consist of a stone-topped plateau of 6 km2 at an altitude of 3,800 meters above sea level. The Kibo has gentle slopes and permanent snow on top. The slopes of the Mawenzi are steep.

5.On less steep southern slopes of Kilimanjaro itself there are a few small settlements: Machame, Marangu, Umbwe and Kibosho.

Climate & season

The climate at the foot of Kilimanjaro is usually pleasant and mild.
Dry season is from June to September and there are two green seasons, with long rains from March to May and short rains from November to December.
The average annual temperatures are consistent: cool at night and rarely hot during the day. The higher up the mountain, the colder. The southern slopes receive considerably more precipitation than the northern.

June to October
The afternoon temperatures are around 19 degrees, with lots of sunny weather and clear skies. The night temperature is cool and is around 9 degrees. Occasionally, temperature can be around freezing.

The temperatures in the green season are mild and comparable to the dry seasons. The temperatures are usually around 23 degrees during the day and around 11 degrees at night.

November and December
A 30-day period with occasional short rains in the afternoon. The daytime temperatures are at around 22 degrees and in the early morning and evening around 11 degrees.

January and February
This is a dry period between the rains.

March to May
The wettest months. It rains most days, but rarely all day long. Clouds are common. The temperatures are around 21 degrees during the day and 12 degrees at night. Cold fronts occur in April and May.

Interesting facts

1 The Kilimanjaro is a mountain range consisting of three contiguous strata volcanoes, created between 2.5 million and 150 000 years ago: the Shira, the Mawenzi and the Kibo. The first two have been extinguished, the latter is still asleep …

2.With its 5,895 meters, the Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa. Its highest point is the Uhuru Peak of Kibo, the youngest vulcano. The Shira is 4.005 meters and Mawenzi 5.149 meters high.

3.The Kilimanjaro was a beacon for Arabian caravans to navigate their travels through the African interior.

4.In 1889, Hans Meyer and Ludwig Purtscheller reached Uhuru Peak, the highest point of the Kibo, for the first time.

5. In 1886 Queen Victoria gave the Kilimanjaro as a gift to the German emperor, so that the emperor had a mountain too. She already had one: Mount Kenya. This gift explains the kink in the otherwise straight border between Kenya and Tanzania.

6.Barafukamp – or ice camp – is the last camp before you reach the top.

Routes and Information

If you want to climb the Kilimanjaro, Explore Tanzania offers you a choice of five different routes.
Your choice of route is important! A longer route increases the chance of success because there is more time to acclimatize.

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Five routes

The Kilimanjaro can be fairly easily climbed via the following routes:

-> Detailed information about the routes.
-> For the best possible experience, we do not recommend the busy Marangu route.

Quality

Explore Tanzania offers high-quality climbs with professional and experienced guides and porters.
Safety and quality are our priority.
The success rate of our customers has been 94% in recent years.

In groups

Of course, we’re happy to organize the Kilimanjaro climb for your private company.
But you can also join a group as an individual if you’d like to. Almost every week, we organize a climb of Kilimanjaro in small groups through the Lemosho Route, Machame Route, Northern Circuit Route, Shira Plateau Route and Rongai Route.

See here dates and availability in 2020 en 2021.

Costs

The costs for climbing the Kilimanjaro depend on the route, the number of days and whether this is a group trip or individual climb. Look at the relevant routes for an indication of costs.

  • Lemosho Route
  • Machame Route
  • Northern Circuit Route
  • Rongai Route
  • Shira Plateau Route

Choice of organisation

The Kilimanjaro can only be climbed as part of an organized climb with a registered local organisation. You’d think this means all organisations and climbs are well-organised, yet, the opposite is true. In Tanzania, there are very many providers of Kilimanjaro climbs in all kinds of price categories. In general, the level of Kilimanjaro climbs is very low. Selecting a trustworthy organisation is crucial to increase the chances of success and minimize the risks.

African Walking Company
We’ve chosen our local partner, the African Walking Company, with great care. We’ve lived in Tanzania for years and are specialists in safaris and beach vacations. But organizing climbs the highest mountain in Africa is a different ballgame. That’s why we’ve entered into a partnership with an expert in that field. African Walking Company is a solid and reliable organization with a good price / quality ratio. We guarantee a well-organised and safe Kilimanjaro climb with a group of guides and carriers who enjoy good working conditions.

Timing

Although it’s possible to climb the Kilimanjaro all year round, it’s important to choose a good season for climbing. This in turn increases the chance of success.
In bad weather, walking in the rain forest often becomes muddy and slippery. Also, there is more snow and ice higher up the mountain, making the climb harder.
The weather on a mountain is always unpredictable and in all seasons you have to consider all kinds of extremes. However, the information below gives a good idea of the best periods to climb the Kilimanjaro.

  • Mid January – mid March: GOOD (slight chance of rain, fog and drizzle and not too cold at the top)
  • Mid March – end of May: HEAVY (high chance of rain, fog, drizzle and snow)
  • June and July: GOOD, BUT COLD  (half chance of rain, fog and drizzle, very cold at the top)
  • August – half October: GOOD (little rain, often clear)
  • Half October – half November: PRECARIOUS (half chance of rain, fog, drizzle and snow)
  • Half november – half januari: PRECARIOUS (half chance of rain, fog, drizzle and snow)

Our guides and carriers

Our guides on Kilimanjaro are very important to us. We pay a lot of attention to working with the right organisation, which is committed to offering good working conditions.
The guides only work for our local organisation (most organisations in Tanzania hire freelancers). All guides receive annual training to develop and grow within the organisation. Some of the main guides started as carriers and have managed to work their way up to the highest position through training.
All guides know Kilimanjaro very well and climb the mountain about twenty times a year. They speak fluent English, are hospitable and helpful. Their level of education varies, but each guide has advanced logistical experience to successfully manage these complex climbs with many carriers, chefs and logistics.

The carriers ensure everything behind the scenes is well organized. Our organisation in Tanzania employs about 500 people and their well-being is very important. Our local partner in Tanzania (African Walking Company) has always been progressive in ensuring that the carriers have good working conditions. For example, by offering good clothing and shoes. In addition, the carriers at African Walking Company have regular jobs, which means they don’t have to search for jobs other than these.
Trainings are organised regularly for the carriers, guides and chefs. These trainings include First Aid, English language classes, guiding skills, and First Aid Instructor training.
African Walking Company is a member of ‘Leave No Trace’ which also offers training within the organisation. Their mission is to maintain a clean and healthy natural environment.

Amount of guides and carriers

Below you’ll find the numbers of people who are deployed during a six-day walk. The longer the climb, the more staff is used to also supply the camps with fresh food.
The number of employees who join the climb paints a good picture of the level of service. For example, fresh fruit is fairly cheap on the market, however, quite costly to have it carried up the mountain. Therefore, this is often cut back at the cheaper organisations that organise the Kilimanjaro climbs. With Explore Tanzania, fresh products are considered an essential part of the meals during an expedition. Another important element is the meals the carriers receive; their food must be carried up the mountain as well. During a Kilimanjaro climb, up to 40 employees could come along. Unfortunately, there are organisations that cut down the meals of these employees, something we would certainly never do.
Also important is the number of carriers that come along and the weight they have to carry. We know a number of organizations in Tanzania that load their carriers with 40 kilos of weight to save costs, while the maximum is set at 15 kilos. Sometimes you see carriers on the mountain being loaded like pack mules. Unacceptable!
Below, we present an indication of the number of employees who come along during a climb. This gives an idea of the huge logistical efforts for a high-quality and staff-friendly Kilimanjaro climb:

  • 2 climbers: 1 guide, 1 chef, 3 subcarriers, 7 carriers= 13 crew
  • 3 climbers: 2 guides, 1 chef, 4 subcarriers, 8 carriers= 15 crew
  • 4 climbers: 2 guides, 1 chef, 3 subcarriers, 11 carriers= 18 crew
  • 5 climbers: 3 guides, 1 chef, 5 subcarriers, 11 carriers= 20 crew
  • 6 climbers: 3 guides, 1 chef, 5 subcarriers, 14 carriers= 23 crew
  • 7 climbers: 4 guides, 1 chef, 6 subcarriers, 15 carriers= 26 crew
  • 8 climbers: 4 guides, 1 chef, 6 subcarriers, 18 carriers= 29 crew
  • 9 climbers: 5 guides, 1 chef, 7 subcarriers, 18 carriers= 31 crew
  • 10 climbers: 5 guides, 1 chef, 8 subcarriers, 21 carriers= 35 crew
  • 11 climbers: 6 guides, 1 chef, 8 subcarriers, 23 carriers= 38 crew
  • 12 climbers: 6 guides, 1 chef, 9 subcarriers, 24 carriers= 40 crew
  • 13 climbers: 6 guides, 1 chef, 9 subcarriers, 25 carriers= 41 crew
  • 14 climbers: 7 guides, 1 chef, 10 subcarriers, 26 carriers= 44 crew
  • 15 climbers: 7 guides, 1 chef, 10 subcarriers, 27 carriers= 45 crew

During all our Kilimanjaro climbs, we have a ratio of 1 guide per 2 customers. This is especially important on the day to the top when the climb is tough and some need more personal attention and encouragement.

Meals during the climb

The ingredients for the meals on the mountain are carefully selected by our team. The meals are tasty, easy to digest, nutritious and moist.
Fresh ingredients are supplied during climbs of 8 days or more, as well as during 6 or 7-day climbs with more than 7 customers. This replenishment takes place halfway the route and consists of fresh bread, fruits, vegetables, cheese and meat.
The menu contains a lot of moisture and carbohydrates; the two most important elements for a successful ascent. At higher altitudes, drinks such as coffee and less digestible food (such as meat) are not recommended. Dinner on the last evening before climbing to the top consists of a stew without meat. From experience, we know this is the ideal preparation for the ascent to the top.
Boiled water is offered each night to fill the water bottles and is available throughout the day. During dinner, a selection of hot drinks is available. Soup is served twice a day.
During the Kilimanjaro climb, it’s important for you to eat and drink well. Your body needs 3 times as much fluids than normal, this also promotes acclimatization.

An example meal during a Kilimanjaro climb with Explore Tanzania:

  • Tea or coffee is served in the tent during the wake-up call;
  • Breakfast includes fresh fruit, porridge, scrambled eggs with sausage or bacon, bread with a selection of fillings (for example jam, honey, peanut butter), tea, coffee, hot chocolate;
  • Snacks are available throughout the day: for example, biscuits, bananas and chocolate bars;
  • Lunch consists of a picnic lunch en route during the longer hiking days or a hot meal in the camp. A typical lunch consists of soup, bread or pancakes, cheese, tuna, jam, peanut butter, pasta salads and cake;
  • A cup of tea or hot chocolate with a large bowl of peanuts or popcorn in the afternoon;
  • Dinner is the main meal of the day and always consists of three courses; soup & bread, a main dish of rice, potatoes or pasta with fish, meat or vegetables and a dessert.

Tents

During the Kilimanjaro climb, you’ll stay in special expedition tents, suitable for the temperatures on Kilimanjaro. The tents offer enough space for two people including the luggage. A number of these tents are available as single-person tents for a small surcharge and must be reserved in advance. You can bring your own sleeping bag and mat or rent them from us for a small fee.
Breakfast and dinner are served in the communal “dining-tent” with chairs, tables and a good LED lamp. This tent can also be used as a communal area in the afternoons and evenings.
During the climb, a private toilet is brought along, so that you don’t have to use the dirty toilets at the camping pitches.

Safety

The Kilimanjaro is high indeed, but it’s a mountain anyone with a good condition can climb. It’s not a technical climb, but a walk. Safety during the climb, however, is of great importance. This also applies to the ascent of Mount Meru.
The day before the Kilimanjaro climb, you receive an extensive briefing from your guide during the climb. This guide is a professional with years of experience at Kilimanjaro. You then receive more information about the area to be walked and practical tips for the draw. Besides, he checks whether you brought all the right equipment.

First Aid

Our guides have the world-famous “Wilderness First Responder” certificates. This is a very comprehensive first aid training, especially for remote locations. This training is recommended by the US Coast Guard. Each year, a lot is invested in training the guides and carriers. In addition to the highly experienced and well-trained guides, the following safety measures are met: altitude sickness checklist, first aid kit, evacuation stretcher, oxygen and complete briefing with the climbing guide.

Responsible

The carriers, guides and cooks are the backbone of the climb. Without their strength, dedication and hard work you couldn’t enjoy the splendor of Kilimanjaro.
Because we don’t want our carriers to be ill-equipped, poorly paid and working under poor conditions, we only offer responsible mountain tours, and we are a partner of KPAP (Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project). This means we work with carriers who wear good clothing and shoes, are treated and paid fairly and responsibly, and have good training opportunities (eg first aid and English lessons).
If you climb the Kilimanjaro with us, you are sure that you – in addition to a perfectly arranged trip – also opt for good working conditions and fair treatment methods for the mountain plows. And thus climb the Kilimanjaro safely and responsibly.

Animals in the area

A frozen leopard was found in Kilimanjaro National Park in 1926, but in general there are mainly different species of monkeys and birds.

Other common animals include: black / white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, rhino followers and white neck ravens.

Dieren overzicht Kilimanjaro

  • Black and white colobus monkey
  • Diverse bird species
  • Hornbill
  • Monkey species

Imagining yourself climbing the Kilimanjaro yet?

Have a look at other climbing routes or contact us directly!
You can always extend your trip with another destination in Tanzania!

example trips trip advice

Accommodations on and near the Kilimanjaro

Two nights prior to the climb you stay in a comfortable hotel. On the mountain during the climb, you stay in a special expedition tent. After the climb, you spend one night at the hotel. An unforgettable adventure!