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 ascent of Kilimanjaro, and the cost per person tends to become significantly cheaper as the group size increases.

machame camp climbing kilimanjaro Credit: Machame Camp

While climbing Kilimanjaro is not what most people would regard as a romantic destination, nor is it suited to inactive travellers, the view of the great mountain’s magnificent snow-capped peak from one of the exclusive bush camps set below its base in Amboseli National Park (Kenya) or West Kilimanjaro (Tanzania) is truly stirring.


Our Recommended Itinerary

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

day 1

day 2

Momella Gate (1500 m) – Miriakamba Hut (2500 m)

day 3

Miriakamba Hut (2 500 m) – Saddle Hut (3 550 m)

day 4

Saddle Hut (3 550 m) – Socialist Peak (4 562 m) –

day 5

Miriakamba Hut (2 500 m) – Momella Gate (1 500 m)

day 6

day 7

Arusha – Machame Gate (1 790 m) – Machame Camp (3

day 8

Machame Camp (3 010 m) – New Shira Camp (3 845 m)

day 9

New Shira Camp (3 845 m) – Lava Tower (4 640 m) –

day 10

Barranco Camp (3 960 m) – Barafu Camp (4 640 m)

day 11

Barafu Camp (4 640 m) – Uhuru Peak (5,895 m) – Mwe

day 12

Mweka Camp (3 080 m) – Mweka Gate (1 630 m) – Arus

day 13

Departure

View Full Itinerary

Popular Kilimanjaro National Park Safaris

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



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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…

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 in December

Credit: Nuvo Magazine December tends to be wet and very cold. Expect slippery trails at lower altitudes and, as you approach the summit, subzero temperatures and howling winds at night. Towards the end of the month, the mountain experiences a secondary high season associated with the Christmas and New Year holidays. Best avoided. ...

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. ...

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…

Climbing Kilimanjaro in February

February is an optimum month for climbing Kilimanjaro. Tourist volumes are lower than during the main hiking season of August to September, and the weather is quite dry and relatively cool, which improves the likelihood of extensive snow on the peaks. That said, it gets extremely cold at higher altitudes throughout the year, and hikers should be prepared for subzero temperatures and…

Why climb Mount Kilimanjaro?

Not only is Kilimanjaro the highest peak in Africa, reaching an elevation of 5,895m (19,340ft) above sea level, but it is also the world’s tallest freestanding mountain, a long-dormant volcano that towers almost 5km (3 mi) above the hot and dusty ash-strewn plains from which it rises. Viewed from the base, Kilimanjaro’s distinctive silhouette is one of Africa’s most breathtaking…

Training for Kilimanjaro

The ascent of Kilimanjaro should only be attempted by reasonably fit people, and inexperienced hikers might consider embarking on a training schedule to improve the chances of a successful climb. This needn’t be too arduous. Running and cycling will improve your aerobic fitness, and weightlifting might help build core strength, but the best like-for-like training for a Kili climb is…

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