Mt. Kilimanjaro Climbing is the highlight of most visitors’ experiences in Tanzania. Few mountains can claim the grandeur, the breathtaking views of Amboseli National Park in Kenya, the Rift Valley, and the Masaai Steppe, that belongs to Kilimanjaro. Hiking on the ‘rooftop of Africa’ — the highest point on the continent at 5896 meters — is the adventure of a lifetime, especially because, if paced well, everyone from seasoned trekkers to first-time enthusiasts can scale the snowy peak.
About Mount Kilimanjaro
Also called the Roof of Africa or the Crown of Tanzania, Mount Kilimanjaro is both Africa’s highest mountain and the world’s tallest free standing peak. Standing at 5,875 metres above sea level, Kilimanjaro is also unique as it is located just 330km from the equator.
Mount Kilimanjaro consists of three volcanic summits. Shira (3,962 m) the oldest of the three summits is already extinct. Mawenzi (5,149 m) and the youngest Kibo (5,895 m) are dormant and could erupt again.
When to climb Kilimanjaro
The best month for climbing are January, February, and September – when the weather is warmer, the skies clearer, and the threat of rain less. June, July, and August are also fine weather-wise, although they tend to be colder as this is ‘winter’ in Tanzania.
The rainy seasons (March through early June and November/December) are tougher times to attempt the climb, although it is still possible with appropriate preparation.
Timing the hike to summit during the full moon is a popular choice, as the brighter nights improve visibility and the moon hanging overhead makes for a beautiful moment when you’re standing atop The Roof of Africa.
There are many different trekking and climbing tours available for those wishing to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. In fact, even those who have climbed the mountain before can find a new adventure on this stunning mountain. Route to climb Kilimanjaro are: Marangu, Rongai, Machame, Lemosho, Shira and Umbwe.
You can choose whether to climb alone, join an existing climb, or bring a group of your own.
While climbers are said to ‘trek’ Kilimanjaro, this is a deceptively laid-back term for a challenge that sees as few as two-thirds of climbers being successful in their attempt to summit Uhuru Peak, the highest point.
The greatest danger? Altitude sickness causes a full third of climbers to turn back, so while Kilimanjaro is the only non-technical climb of the world’s seven highest peaks, the extreme altitude, low temperatures and occasional fierce winds that characterize this climb mean all hikers must be physically fit, properly equipped and well acclimatized.