How does climbing the tallest free-standing mountain and highest peak in Africa sound? Crazy? Adventurous? Many people want to climb Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, but this bucket list hike is a bit of a challenge, and not every hiker will be able to get to the summit of Uhuru Peak, which sits at a whopping 5,895 meters (19,340 ft) above sea level.
Climbing Kilimanjaro is a challenge and a half to accomplish, but there is a great sense of satisfaction and achievement waiting for all those who reach the top. However, preparation is key, and some advance planning for your Kilimanjaro hike
Whether you are a novice hiker or an advanced trekker, there’s a Kilimanjaro trek suitable for you. There are six to seven predominant Kilimanjaro trekking routes, which we’ll discuss in more detail below.
Climbing Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, is a bucket list activity for most keen hikers. The highest peak in Africa is also the largest freestanding mountain on earth, which makes climbing to the top a truly unique experience. The Kilimanjaro summit is crowned with a perpetual layer of snow, but to get to the top you’ll pass through five distinct climate zones, including cultivated land, forest, heather/moorland, alpine desert, and finally, the Kilimanjaro summit zone. This makes the hike to the top one of the most varied and rewarding treks you’ll ever do.
There is no shortage of fabulous views along the Kilimanjaro trek. In particular, the Great Barranco Valley offers an other-worldly vista, complete with twisted, alien-looking plants, tumbling waterfalls, and incredible views of the glaciers further up the mountain. As you rise higher and higher you may even ascend above the clouds, providing fabulous photo opportunities, especially at sunrise and sunset. The gorgeous glaciers near Crater Camp will transport you to another world entirely, one where ice and rock dominate the landscapes. Finally, the real joy of summiting Kilimanjaro lies in finally getting to the top, and experiencing the incredible vista from the Roof of Africa, Uhuru Peak.
There are no words to describe the feeling you’ll get after successfully summiting Kilimanjaro. This epic adventure is a must for nature lovers and keen hikers, and although it’s a challenge, it’s a manageable feat for most fit and healthy walkers. There are hardly any other treks on earth that will take you so high without requiring specialist equipment or climbing skills, and that will transport you through such varied, diverse and interesting terrain.
Now, here are some of the most popular Kilimanjaro routes to choose from
There are 6-7 main Kilimanjaro routes to reach the summit at Uhuru Peak. The main Kilimanjaro routes are Machame, Lemosho, Shira, Rongai, Northern Circuit, and for experienced trekkers, the Umbwe route.
Each Kilimanjaro route varies in both length and difficulty, so consider this when booking your tour.
The Lemosho route is known as route-less-travelled when it comes to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, but not for long! As more and more trekkers come to challenge themselves on the mountainside, the Lemosho route is quickly becoming more popular, especially as it offers unparalleled 360-degree views on all sides of Mt Kilimanjaro.
So exactly how long is the Lemosho route? It is recommended to plan for at least seven days on the Lemosho Route, and as always, a slower pace is better, as it allows more time for acclimatization. Check out this slower-paced.
Travel Tip: With the increasing number of visitors each year, Kilimanjaro National Park is struggling to offset the impact trekkers are having on the mountain, soil conditions, and local flora. Your registered tour company will be able to offer more insight on what to do and what to avoid doing along the Kilimanjaro routes, but in general, stay on marked trails, take all of your trash away with you, and trek mindfully.
The Machame route, aptly nicknamed the Whiskey route, is quickly becoming one of the most popular Kilimanjaro routes, as it offers an extra challenge for eager trekkers. What’s more, the Machame route is incredibly scenic as it takes you up steep switchbacks and through a dense section of the rainforest.
If you’re wondering how long is the Machame route, then know you should plan for at least six to seven days. Just be aware that seven days or longer is preferable, especially as you will want to acclimate appropriately in order to avoid altitude sickness. Adding a day helps with acclimatization, such as on this slower-paced,