Why climb Mount Kilimanjaro?

climbing mount kenya view from amboseli national park

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 scenic highlights, right up there with Victoria Falls, and the snow cap that illuminates the jagged glacial peaks is all the more remarkable for lying a mere 400km south of the equator,

Kilimanjaro is highly attractive to hikers for being the highest mountain anywhere in the world that can be ascended by ordinary tourists without specialised mountaineering experience or equipment - an accomplishment that requires a fair level of fitness, some determination, at least five days, and reasonably deep wallets. For most hikers, summiting snow-covered Uhuru Peak, the highest point on the continent, is a true bucket list dream, and the main objective of the hike. But the ascent is also very scenic, and it climbs through a diverse series of vegetation zones notable for their rich flora and fauna.

Summiting Kilimanjaro, for most who accomplish it, is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But dedicated hikers are frequently drawn back to Kilimanjaro again and again, not least because there are a great many ascent and descent routes from which to choose, and each one of them offers a very different scenic perspective on the majestic mountain.


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 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 solo

Credit: My Life’s A Movie The main advantages of a solo Kilimanjaro climb are that you have total control over your route and walking pace, and that there is no risk of having to abort a summit because a fellow hiker succumbs to altitude sickness or wants to turn back. Disadvantages are that the price per person will be relatively high, since many of the logistical costs of putting…

Climbing Kilimanjaro in June

Credit: andBeyond Early June is the tail end of the wet season and even though rainfall is unlikely to be too high, post-rain conditions on Kilimanjaro may be slippery and waterlogged underfoot. It gets dryer towards the end of the month, which is usually a pretty good time to climb Kilimanjaro, before the main high season tourist influx. As is the case throughout the year, be prepared…

Climbing Kilimanjaro in November

November is a wet month, even by Kilimanjaro’s soggy standards, so it isn’t an optimum time for climbing. As is the case throughout the year, ground temperatures drop below freezing at night at higher altitudes, but November is colder and windier than average. Avoid if possible. ...

Climbing Kilimanjaro in January

Extreme weather conditions are a likelihood at all times of year, especially at higher altitudes, where subzero nocturnal temperatures are often exacerbated by wind. But January is usually a good month to climb Kilimanjaro in climatic terms. It is quite dry and relatively cool, which reduces the impact of humidity on the lower slope and improves the likelihood of extensive snow on the…

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…

Popular Kilimanjaro National Park Safaris

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

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Two Peak Challenge: Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro

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

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

Kilimanjaro climb, Machame route - 7 days on the mountain

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

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