There’s something inspiring, intriguing and educative about Mt. Kilimanjaro that makes it a staple bucket list option. Each year, over 20,000 climbers take a break from the routine, brave their fears and inhibitions to indulge in the joys and challenges of the journey. It’s time for you to opt for Kilimanjaro climbing packages and embark on a life-enriching experience.
Mt. Kilimanjaro: An Introduction
Mt. Kilimanjaro stands majestically in northeast Tanzania just 330 kilometres from the equator, as Africa’s tallest and world’s 7th tallest peak. The summit, known as Uhuru Point, is 4,900 meters high from the base and measures 5,895 meters from the sea level. Formed by volcanic activity, Mt. Kilimanjaro is the tallest free-standing mountain peak. Simply put, it is not a part of any mountain range as opposed to other high peaks, including Mt. Everest.
Previously, Mt. Kilimanjaro was home to three volcanic cones, namely KIBO, MAWENZI and SHIRA. KIBO is the most majestic of the three, accommodating the summit, while SHIRA cone seizes to exist now, as it collapsed to form a plateau. Although KIBO is a dormant volcano, it has no history of eruption for 3.6 million years. The rest two are extinct volcanoes. Additionally, the mountain is prone to erosion, which is taking a significant toll on its height.
In lack of supporting evidence, there’s simply no consensus on how the peak got its name. Some believe it originates from KILIMA, a Swahili word for mountain, while others consider it as a derivative of NJARO, the CHAGGA word for white. Though the etymology is shrouded in mystery, the climbing history is well recorded. Hans Meyer led several expeditions to the top but succeeded only in 1889 when joined by Ludwig Purtscheller and Yohani Kinyala Lauwo.
Why exactly is Mt. Kilimanjaro tour special?
Mt. Kilimanjaro is more than just a mountain – it’s rather the rooftop of Africa frequented by men and women undeterred by challenges and guided by passion. Need more reasons to come out of your comfort zone and explore the effervescent charm of mountains? Here’re they.
- The mountain resides in the middle of Kilimanjaro National Park, which is home to blue monkeys, red duiker, bushbuck, cape buffaloes, elephants and other fauna and flora. So, just help yourself to Kilimanjaro climb and safari packages and double up the climb with an exotic safari. An unforgettable experience is on the cards!
- Despite being one of the tallest mountains on the planet, Mt. Kilimanjaro is a hiking peak suitable for all age groups, genders and fitness levels. No mountaineering skills and equipment required – just a crampon, rope and harness is sufficient. However, be wary of mountain sickness, which is the major cause of people leaving the hike midway.
- Kilimanjaro climbing trips take you through an array of ecological zones on the way to the top. You hike your way through tropical rainforest area to a layer of the cloud forest, followed by Alpine heath zone. Eventually, you land up in an arid zone marked by snow and ice. The climatic conditions and landscape vary vastly as the tour progresses, ensuring a lively experience that etches into your memory for a lifetime.
- You are spoilt for options when choosing the Kilimanjaro routes – there are simply so many of them. Approach the summit from Machame, Marangu, Lemosho, Umbwe, Rongai or Mount Meru, the choice is yours. No matter what route you choose, a life-enriching experience can always be expected.
- If the cost of the climb is weighing your mind, there’s good news. Any reliable tour company offers an array of tours for all needs and budgets. Whether you need a luxury trek or a budget option, they keep you covered. However, it’s better to ask your tour operator how much it cost to climb Kilimanjaro upfront to avoid unpleasant surprises.
A Typical Kilimanjaro Trek:
SHIRA Route is probably the most frequented route to Mt. Kilimanjaro, approaching the summit from the west. Here’s a brief description of typical luxury Kilimanjaro treks via SHIRA route.
- Day 1: The tour gets underway at MOSHI and proceeds towards SHIRA One Campsite, situated at a height of 3500 meters. You’ll be hiking for 18 kilometres in 3 hours.
- Day 2: From SHIRA One campsite, you will hike to the SHIRA Two campsite in 5 to 6 hours. The total distance covered is about 7 kilometres.
- Day 3: The next destination is BARRANCO campsite, 13kms away and at an elevation of 3950 meters.
- Day 4: You’ll be covering 6 km to reach KARANGA campsite, located at an elevation of 3900 meters.
- Day 5: The trek proceeds towards BARAFU campsite, which is 8 km away and at a height of 4620 meters. The time involved is 3 to 4 hours.
- Day 6: Uhuru peak is your next destination situated about 5895m above the sea level. The distance covered is 15km while time involved is 10 to 12 hours.
- Day 7: On the final day, the trek moves to Mweka gate.