Climbing Kilimanjaro as a couple

It would be something of a stretch to characterise a Kilimanjaro climb as a romantic holiday. It is a tough hike in challenging climatic conditions, and opportunities for romance will be limited. That said, Kilimanjaro is very popular with and well-suited to adventurous couples where both partners are reasonably fit and enjoy active outdoor experiences. A Kilimanjaro climb will work out more cheaply per person for a couple than it would for a solo traveller, and most people would regard the companionship as a boon. It is important, however, that couples who are not well matched in terms of fitness, pace or stamina agree in advance whether the stronger partner will stick with the slower one, or each will do their own thing, in which case you need make sure two guides are on board.

accommodation kilimanjaro

A romantic alternative to climbing Kilimanjaro is to spend a couple of nights near the base of the majestic mountain soaking up the view. Soaring 5km above the plains below, Kilimanjaro’s distinctive silhouette and snow-capped peak rank as of the most iconic sights on the African continent, bearing in mind that the upper slopes are usually swathed in a blanket of cloud that most often clears at dusk and dawn. There are plenty of good hotels dotted around the southern foothills in Tanzania, but a more attractive option - ensuring you have plenty to keep you occupied even when the clouds are unyielding - is to stay at a safari lodge in one of two superb conservation areas that lie in the shadow of Kilimanjaro. The better known of these is Kenya’s Amboseli National Park, which supports some the continent’s most impressively tusked and most habituated elephants. Its Tanzanian counterpart is West Kilimanjaro, an exclusive wildlife management area where traditional Maasai pastoral communities still live alongside an abundance of wildlife.


Our Recommended Itinerary

Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)

day 1

Moshi, arrival
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)

day 2

Find your feet to Machame Camp
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)

day 3

A nice day to New Shira Camp
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)

day 4

Up to Lava Tower and down to Barranco Camp
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)

day 5

Over the great Barranco wall to Karanga Valley
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)

day 6

To Barafu for a few hours rest
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)


day 8

Celebrations
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)
  • Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)

day 9

Fly Home

View Full Itinerary

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Kilimanjaro routes

Several different routes can be used to ascend and descend Mount Kilimanjaro. All have their advantages and disadvantages, and the best choice for any given individual depends largely on their priorities. Consider, for instance, whether your sole priority is to summit the roof of Africa, or is it equally important to maximise wildlife viewing potential and opportunities for scenic…

Climbing Kilimanjaro on a budget

High park fees and logistical costs mean there is no such thing as a cheap Kilimanjaro climb. The best way to keep down costs is to form or join a group of four or more like-minded hikers, and to stick to the Marangu Route, which is more popular and busy than the other options, but also less logistically complicated. Even so, a Kilimanjaro climb is likely to seem pretty expensive by my…

Climbing Kilimanjaro in April

April is by far the wettest month on Kilimanjaro and should be avoided at all costs. If that isn’t possible, use the Rongai Route on the dryer northern slopes. Whichever route you use, extreme weather - temperatures way below freezing and high winds - is likely at higher altitudes. ...

Climbing Kilimanjaro in September

Credit: Bookmundi Dry and relatively warm weather can be expected, making September ideal for climbing Kilimanjaro in climatic terms, though extreme cold and possibly high winds are normal in the alpine and arctic zones. September coincides with summer holidays in Europe and North America, so the mountain tends to be very busy. Avoid the Marangu or Machame Routes in preference for the…

Who should climb Mount Kilimanjaro?

Climbing Kilimanjaro is an activity suited to relatively fit and adventurous travellers. The round trip takes five to 11 days, depending on which route is used, and it involves long days hiking on steep footpaths at high altitude, and sleeping in subzero conditions under canvas or in simple mountain huts. Solo travellers, couples, families and groups of friends all regularly tackle the…

Highlights of Kilimanjaro

Mount Meru: A dormant volcano that rises to 4,566m some 50 km west of Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru is Africa’s fifth-highest massif, and the three-day hike to its summit could be viewed either as a budget alternative to Kilimanjaro or a tempting aperitif for hikers who want to acclimatise to high altitude conditions. Protected within Arusha National Park, Meru supports a similar sequence…

Popular Kilimanjaro National Park Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

Landscape | Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)

Machame Route Up Kilimanjaro (7 days)

For the average climber, Machame is probably the most reliable route to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro and the roof of Africa...

Mountain View | Two Peak Challenge: Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro (13 days)

Two Peak Challenge: Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro (13 days)

Summit two of Tanzania's iconic mountain ranges in under two weeks...

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