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

Kilimanjaro climb, Machame route - 7 days on the mountain (EA 9 days)

day 1

Moshi, arrival
  • Kilimanjaro climb, Machame route - 7 days on the mountain (EA 9 days)
  • Kilimanjaro climb, Machame route - 7 days on the mountain (EA 9 days)
  • Kilimanjaro climb, Machame route - 7 days on the mountain (EA 9 days)
  • Kilimanjaro climb, Machame route - 7 days on the mountain (EA 9 days)

day 2

Find your feet to Machame Camp
  • Kilimanjaro climb, Machame route - 7 days on the mountain (EA 9 days)
  • Kilimanjaro climb, Machame route - 7 days on the mountain (EA 9 days)
  • Kilimanjaro climb, Machame route - 7 days on the mountain (EA 9 days)

day 3

A nice day to New Shira Camp
  • Kilimanjaro climb, Machame route - 7 days on the mountain (EA 9 days)
  • Kilimanjaro climb, Machame route - 7 days on the mountain (EA 9 days)
  • Kilimanjaro climb, Machame route - 7 days on the mountain (EA 9 days)
  • Kilimanjaro climb, Machame route - 7 days on the mountain (EA 9 days)

day 4

Up to Lava Tower and down to Barranco Camp
  • Kilimanjaro climb, Machame route - 7 days on the mountain (EA 9 days)
  • Kilimanjaro climb, Machame route - 7 days on the mountain (EA 9 days)

day 5

Over the great Barranco wall to Karanga Valley
  • Kilimanjaro climb, Machame route - 7 days on the mountain (EA 9 days)
  • Kilimanjaro climb, Machame route - 7 days on the mountain (EA 9 days)

day 6

To Barafu for a few hours rest
  • Kilimanjaro climb, Machame route - 7 days on the mountain (EA 9 days)
  • Kilimanjaro climb, Machame route - 7 days on the mountain (EA 9 days)
  • Kilimanjaro climb, Machame route - 7 days on the mountain (EA 9 days)


day 8

Celebrations
  • Kilimanjaro climb, Machame route - 7 days on the mountain (EA 9 days)
  • Kilimanjaro climb, Machame route - 7 days on the mountain (EA 9 days)
  • Kilimanjaro climb, Machame route - 7 days on the mountain (EA 9 days)
  • Kilimanjaro climb, Machame route - 7 days on the mountain (EA 9 days)

day 9

Fly Home

View Full Itinerary

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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 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…

Affordable Kilimanjaro climb

The biggest costs associated with a Kilimanjaro climb are the high park fees and support costs. There is no way around these, but it will help keep things affordable to form or join a group of like-minded hikers, rather that travelling solo or as couple, and to stick to the very busy Marangu Route, which is the only one with mountain huts at every overnight stop, and poses fewer…

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…

Climbing Kilimanjaro in August

As is the case at all times of year, it will be freezing cold at night in the alpine and arctic zones, but assuming climatic conditions are your main consideration, August is probably the driest and warmest month, and ideal for climbing Kilimanjaro. However, as summer holidays in the northern hemisphere are in full flow, it is also usually one of the two busiest months. The Shira,…

Climbing Kilimanjaro in July

Although extreme weather conditions - subzero nocturnal temperatures and chill winds - are a likelihood at higher altitudes, July is a relatively dry and warm month, and a very good time to climb Kilimanjaro. It also marks the start of summer holidays in the northern hemisphere, and of the busiest tourist season. Avoid the crowds by using the less popular Shira, Rongai or Mweka Route. ...

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