About Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and the World's highest free standing structure at an altitude of 5895 meters (19,336 feet) above the sea level. Hiking on the rooftop of Mount Kilimanjaro Africa is the adventure of a lifetime, and anyone who is physically fit can scale this snow capped Mount Kilimanjaro.

Mount Kilimanjaro is located inside the Kilimanjaro National Park outside of Moshi town in a beautiful accessible village of Marangu were the headquarter of the park is located. There are different routes to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro involving different villages and scenarios. These routes includes Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Marangu route, Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Machame route, Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Rongai route, Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Lemosho route, Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Umbwe route, Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Shira route and Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Mweka route which is used for descent only.

With all these routes to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro is however not only the highest free standing peak in the world but also highest accessible point. The chagga who inhabit the area of the mountain hasn't yet managed to give the meaning of Kilimanjaro with the exception of kipoo (now known as Kibo) for the familiar snowy peak that stands imperious, overseer of the continent, and the summit of Africa.

The vegetation of Mount Kilimanjaro varies accordingly with the nature of the altitude you are, basically from tropics to the Arctic. At the level of 2700 m the cultivated foot slopes give way to lush montane forest, inhabited by rare leopard, buffalo, elephant, antelope and other primates. As you ascend the moorland zone show up where a cover of giant heather is studded with other worldly giant lobelias. Above 3900 m, the zone changes to alpine desert which support little life to the fauna and flora. Popular signboards of no water here are experienced in this zone as you trek Kilimanjaro. The final vegetation is of winter wonderland of ice and snow and the magnificent beauty of the roof of the Africa.

Unlike other snow caped Mountain in the world, Mount Kilimanjaro isn't a technical climbing mountain and need less equipment on trekking. Walking stick, proper clothing, sun glass, enough drinking water and determination are the key to a successfully Mount Kilimanjaro climber. A successfully climber is the one who prepare himself/herself properly before ascending and ask as many questions as they can during trekking as well as been attentive to the Mount Kilimanjaro guides.

Mount Kilimanjaro is regularly ascent in five days using Marangu route, but for those who wants to make a record they can do less provided that they should pay for a minimum of five days. Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is a breathtaking activity and mostly it's recommended for an extra day for acclimatization. Acclimatization day gives an alpine more chance to reach on the roof of Africa as experience the climatical changes gradually. Other routes offer a minimum of five days as Marangu and others six days such as Machame route.

The team which will take you to the mountain will comprise a cook(s), mountain guide and mountain porters. Depending on the nature of the group but a minimum of two porters per person carrying less than 15 kg of your luggage, cooking facilities and sleeping tents depending on the route selected. One guide for four to five people with one assistant guide and one cook. Additional of the team members will be done according to the situation of the group and luggage taken to the mountain.

While climbing Mount Kilimanjaro the Marangu route is referred as the luxurious route due to the fact that it has huts for accommodation, European toilets and sufficient water tape. Other Mount Kilimanjaro routes are subjected to the mobile camping tents whereby all the facilities are carried by your porters and in most cases they will trek faster than you for the preparation of accommodation, food and water on your arrival.

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is accessible while you are in Tanzania only and above mentioned route are the only official routes up Mount Kilimanjaro. Mount Kilimanjaro is operated by Kilimanjaro National Park Authority (KINAPA) and obtains its main offices in Marangu village. Trekking/Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro normally starts in the morning around 9:00 a.m to 10:00a.m that you should be at the entrance gate for the registration as well as park fees payments. Please observe all the national park regulation especially environmental issues. On your successfully trekking to Uhuru Peak (5895 m), Stella Point or Gilman's Point you will earn your climbing certificate from KINAPA offices.

Mount Kilimanjaro climb can successfully attempt by eligible 12 years to 70 years people and this is what the authority advice the alpine. Different people from different countries have trek/climb Mount Kilimanjaro in different ways to make different records and you can read them on your arrival especially the Marangu and Machame gate.

Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Gear List

Clothing

- 1 - Waterproof Jacket, breathable with hood
- 1 - Insulated Jacket, synthetic or down
- 1 - Soft Jacket, fleece or soft-shell
- 2 - Long Sleeve Shirt, light-weight, moisture-wicking fabric
- 1 - Short Sleeve Shirt, light-weight, moisture-wicking fabric
- 1 - Waterproof Pants, breathable (side-zipper recommended)
- 2 - Hiking Pants (convertible to shorts recommended)
- 1 - Fleece Pants
- 1 - Shorts (optional)
- 1 - Long Underwear (moisture-wicking fabric recommended)
- 3 - Underwear, briefs (moisture-wicking fabric recommended)
- 2 - Sport Bra (women)

Footwear

- 1 - Hiking Boots, warm, waterproof, broken-in, with spare laces
- 1 - Gym Shoes, to wear at camp (optional)
- 3 - Socks, thick, wool or synthetic
- 3 - Sock Liners, tight, thin, synthetic, worn under socks to prevent blisters (optional)
- 1 - Gaiters, waterproof (optional)

Equipment

- 1 - Sleeping Bag, warm, four seasons
- 1 - Sleeping Bag Liner, for added warmth (optional)
- 1 - Sleeping Pad, self-inflating or closed-cell foam
- 1 - Trekking Poles (highly recommended)
- 1 - Head lamp, with extra batteries
- 1 - Duffel bag, for porters to carry your equipment
- 1 - Daypack, for you to carry your personal gear

Paperwork

- Trip Receipt
- Passport
- Visa (available at JRO)
- Yellow fever certificate
- Insurance Documents including emergency phone number

Headwear

- 1 - Brimmed Hat, for sun protection
- 1 - Knit Hat, for warmth
- 1 - Balaclava, for face coverage (optional)
- 1 - Bandana (optional)

Handwear

- 1 - Gloves, warm (waterproof recommended)
- 1 - Glove Liners, thin, synthetic, worn under gloves for added warmth (optional)

Accessories

- 1 - Sunglasses or Goggles
- 1 - Backpack Cover, waterproof (optional)
- 1 - Poncho, during rainy season (optional)
- 1 - Water Bottle (Nalgene, 32 oz. recommended)
- 1 - Water Bladder, Camelbak type (optional)
- 1 - Towel, lightweight, quick-dry (optional)
- 1 - Pee Bottle, to avoid leaving tent at night (highly recommended)
- Stuff Sacks or Plastic Bags, various sizes, to keep gear dry and separate

Other

- Toiletries
- Prescriptions
- Sunscreen
- Lip Balm
- Insect Repellent, containing DEET
- First Aid Kit
- Hand Sanitizer
- Toilet Paper
- Wet Wipes (recommended)
- Snacks, light-weight, high calorie, high energy (optional)
- Pencil and Notebook, miniature, for trip log (optional)
- Camera, with extra batteries (optional)

Mount Kilimanjaro Trekking - Which Route To Choose?

Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Advantages / Disadvantages on each Route Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro with Scorpion Tours (Mount kilimanjaro climb using different trails), is a comprehensive guide to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro by Climbing Kilimanjaro. Mt Kilimanjaro: 005.00 degrees south, 036 degrees east, 5895m a.m.s.l. Crowned by an eternal snowcap, Mt. Kilimanjaro is situated inside the Kilimanjaro National Park in Tanzania; it is the highest mountain in Africa and the tallest freestanding mountain on earth.

This guide aims to provide the potential Kilimanjaro climber with valuable and accurate information on climbing Kilimanjaro, which will hopefully contribute towards increasing your chances of a successful summit attempt. Detailed itineraries, maps, useful links, stunning pictures and photography cover all the major routes, including the Kilimanjaro Marangu route, Kilimanjaro Machame route, Kilimanjaro Umbwe route, Kilimanjaro Mweka route (only for descending), Kilimanjaro Shira route, Kilimanjaro Lemosho route, Kilimanjaro Rongai route (Nalemoru), and Kilimanjaro Arrow Glacier route. To further assist you with your preparation on hiking or trekking to the summit of this breathtaking mountain, we have included essential information and tips on your mental and physical preparation, a fitness program, and a list of all equipment required.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of the Different Kilimanjaro Climb Routes Marangu route | Machame route | Rongai route | Shira route | Lemosho route | Umbwe route | Mweka route Climbing

Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro using Marangu Route: Marangu route is commonly known as Coca Cola route as it is the easier climbing popular route. For many years Marangu route is used to be the most popular Kilimanjaro route. It has now been delegated to number two by the Machame route. This could partly be as a result of the fact that the Marangu is the least expensive route, but more so, perhaps the fact that it is possible to do the Marangu route in 5 to 6 days, thereby getting to the summit one day earlier than on the Machame route.

Duration: 5 days, acclimatization day can be added Advantages of Climbing/Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro Marangu route:
- Low cost Accommodation is in huts,
- No camping equipment needed supposedly the easiest route (I beg to differ)

Disadvantages of Climbing/Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro Marangu route:
- Lowest success rate
- Very crowded Camping is not allowed
- The only route that uses the same way up and down

Climbing/Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro Machame Route: The Machame route is one of the most scenic routes on Kilimanjaro. Since the budget operators discovered it, Machame is also the most popular Kilimanjaro route. Machame route sometimes called the Whisky Route. This is a popular route up steep paths through magnificent forests to gain a ridge leading through the moorland zones to the Shira Plateau. It then traverses beneath the glaciated precipices of the Southern Ice fields to join the Barafu Route to the summit.

Duration: 6 or 7 days Advantages of Climbing/Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro Machame route:
- Relatively low cost
- A very scenic Kilimanjaro route
- Higher success rate than Marangu

Disadvantages of Climbing/Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro Machame route:
- Higher level of difficulty
- Very crowded

Climbing/Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro Rongai Route: The Rongai route is the easiest route when climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. It has a reputation as a remote wilderness trail. Rongai is the only route to approach Kilimanjaro from the north. Mount Kilimanjaro Hiking Rongai Route is one of the remote and less frequently used route is the second easiest route to Kilimanjaro after Marangu route. The approach to the mountain is from the less-forested north side and the descent is by the Marangu Route. There are several variations; the one described is a longer route taking in Mawenzi Tarn.

Duration: 5 or 6 days Advantages of Climbing/Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro Rongai route:
- The easiest Kilimanjaro route
- One of the quieter routes on Kilimanjaro
- Approaches the mountain from the driest side, best chances of good weather
- Ascent and descent are on opposite sides, you see both sides of Kilimanjaro. (You descend on the Marangu route).

Disadvantages of Climbing/Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro Rongai route:
- Higher cost due to additional travel to reach other side Considered somewhat less scenic

Climbing/ Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro Shira Route: The route over the Shira Plateau has several possible variations. The Shira route, approaches Kilimanjaro’s summit from the west and crosses the caldera of Shira Volcano before heading beneath the southern ice fields of Kibo. The route is seldom used by other trekkers and so your initial two days on the mountain are less crowded than on most other routes.

Duration: 6 - 8 days Advantages of Climbing/Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro Shira route:
- Less crowded
- Very scenic

Disadvantages of Climbing/Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro Shira route:
- Higher cost
- Higher difficulty level
- Meets the Machame trail, hence possibly busy on the later days
 
Climbing/ Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro Lemosho Route:
Remote and beautiful, but long and expensive, this route also approaches Kilimanjaro across the Shira plateau. Lemosho Route Mount Kilimanjaro trekking, this is the longest and most remote route to Kilimanjaro. After beautiful forests and moorlands it crosses the Shira Plateau to meet up with the Machame Route. Groups may be accompanied on the first day by an armed ranger as the forests around the Lemosho Glades are rich in buffalo, elephant and other game.

Duration: 7 - 8 days Advantages of Climbing/Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro Lemosho route:
- Extremely scenic route
- Very low number of climbers during the first days
- Plenty of time for acclimatization

Disadvantages of Climbing/Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro Lemosho route:
- High cost
- Higher difficulty level
- Meets the Machame and Shira trail, hence possibly crowded on the later days

Climbing/Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro Umbwe Route: The steepest Kilimanjaro route with scenic view, the Umbwe route is one of the shortest routes to the Southern Glaciers and the Western Breach. It is probably the most scenic, non-technical route on Kilimanjaro. It is quite taxing, primarily due to the relatively fast ascent to higher altitude, but the rewards are plentiful. Very steep route best suited to experienced trekkers.

Duration: 6 – 7 days This route is not used much. The Umbwe route is only suitable for people with mountain climbing experience.

Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing - Altitude Sickness

Mount Kilimanjaro climbing climbers might encounter some challenges during climbing on health issues. On your arrival it is recommended that you have a day in Moshi or Arusha town for the acclimatization of weather as well as resting from jet lag before attempting Kilimanjaro. There are numerous health issues while climbing Kilimanjaro as listed below and majority of them are due to the change of altitude and weather:

Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)

Mountain Kilimanjaro Altitude Sickness normally occurs on the high altitude such as Gilman's Point, Stella Point or on the Summit of Kilimanjaro. The record shows that more than 80% of Mount Kilimanjaro climber suffers from this illness but they recover and make it to the top. For those who get serious illness the only proper cure is to descent to at least 600 m from the point you are. The symptoms of the illness include reduced urine output, nausea, anorexia, headaches, rapid pulse, insomnia, swelling of the hands and feet.

Regularly the avoidance of this situation is by far to reduce the pace of your trekking from the first day, eating as much as you can since altitude change tend to reduce appetite completely as well as drinking much water 3 to 4 liters per day including hot drinks such as chocolate, coffee or tea. While trekking with us we feed you much to make sure that you have enough energy.

Along with all the natural precaution also preventative medicine (such as Diamox) is available and you should consult your physician for specialist advice. Fluid build-up may cause a situation known as edema, which can affect the lungs, preventing effective oxygen exchange, or affect the brain (cerebral) which will result in the swelling of the brain tissue. When this situation occurs immediately ask for assistance from our guide as we always trek with oxygen kit to take care of such circumstance.

Hypothermia

The hypothermia illness is a situation whereby your body fails to generate a proper temperature during climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Regularly Mount Kilimanjaro weather change and covering of mist and rain is a common thing. If it happens that a climber's clothes get wet his/her body is likely to be unstable on temperature stability. As mountaineers we are aware of this and before trekking we always countercheck your climbing gear to avoid inconveniences like this. Common gear like raincoat is a mandate to have it even if isn't a rain season as on Kilimanjaro it rains anytime.

Treatment of this illness is simple but should not be undermined. Remove all the wet clothes and wear dry warm clothes. If the fire is light up for cooking then you can stay around for some few minutes for stabilization and thereafter retire as it might ruin your acclimatization of climbing weather. The other more proper solution but takes time is by sleeping in a sleeping bag with your colleague who hasn't experience the same problem.

Sun related injuries

About 55% of the earth's protective atmosphere is below an altitude of 5000m. Far less ultraviolet light is being filtered out, making the sun's rays much more powerful, which could result in severe sun burning of the skin. It is strongly recommended to use a 20+ sun protection cream at lower altitudes, and a total block cream above an altitude of 3000m.Wearing sun glass when in Kilimanjaro especially places with snow or ice is highly recommended. Basically the sunshine at the top of Kilimanjaro in the morning makes the Kili ice shinning much and will bring to snow blindness. Snow blindness is a painful thing and might require your eyes to be bandaged for sometime.

Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing - Crew Tipping Idea

The typical tip is:

Porters $ 7 per day per porter

Cooks $10 to $12 per cook

Assistant Guides $12 to $15 per guide

Kilimanjaro Guides $20 per day and upper guide

*Tip amounts listed for Kilimanjaro are per group, not per individual traveler. For instance, if four people are on Kilimanjaro, they should each contribute $5/day if they want to tip the lead guide $20.

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