Mt Kilimanjaro Trek
Rising up from the surrounding savannah plains in the country of Tanzania in east Africa, visible from many kilometers away, stands Mount Kilimanjaro capped in snow, even though it is only 300 kilometers south of the equator. At 5895m (19,240 ft.) high, it is the tallest mountain in Africa and one of the tallest stand-alone mountains in the world. It is the highest mountain in the world where one can trek to the top without any technical climbing required. It is so massive, that it has its own weather patterns.
Trekking Kilimanjaro is like walking from the equator to the North Pole in a week, passing through 5 different climatic zones and fauna along the way. Summiting Kilimanjaro as the sun rises up through the clouds is one of those experiences that sticks with you forever.
The reasons for trekking to the top of the mountain vary. Some like a challenge and Kilimanjaro is a definite challenge but technically it is the easiest to climb of the Seven Summits and is referred to as “Everyman’s Everest”. No experience necessary. Some people trek Kilimanjaro to mark a personal accomplishment, others trek Kilimanjaro to draw attention to a worthy cause or charity; to others Kilimanjaro represents freedom in Africa and around the world. For many, it’s a combination of reasons. Refer to map on right for location(s)
What is your reason to trek to the top of Kilimanjaro?
There are several routes and trek durations available to trek up Mount Kilimanjaro however LDAS suggests the 6 day/ 5 night Rongai Route trek for the majority of clients. Clients who live at sea level might want to add another day or two to the trek in order to give themselves more time to acclimatize to the greater altitude difference.
The Rongai route on the northern side of the mountain has a dryer climate than the southern and western routes, it is a lesser congested route, the sun is at your back the entire time, the descent route is on the Marangu route so trekkers get to experience both sides of the mountain, the summit is always in constant view providing a target to aspire to , the paths are the least obstructive, and the Rongai Route has the highest success rate out of all the routes .
Numbers vary but the percentage of trekkers successfully summiting Mount Kilimanjaro is quite low. There are a good number of unscrupulous outfits operating on the mountain who entice unsuspecting trekkers with cheap prices and quick climb times resulting in a very high failure rate.
The highest demographic to fail are men in their 20’s and 30’s. It is important to go up the route that best suits the abilities of the trekkers; it is important to allocate enough days to the trek up and down to give the body time enough to acclimatize to the higher altitudes; it is important to retain a professional trekking outfit providing experienced trained guides, good tents, good sleeping bags, good food, etc all which involves a higher cost than the cheap guys; it is important to follow the guides’ instructions such as going up very slow; it is important to prepare both physically and mentally for the trek; important to dress properly; and so on.
Lion Dog African Safaris has a 90 % success rate for trekkers summiting, with clients in their 70‘s having summited with us. Our treks include the permits, professional guides, cooks, porters, food, water, and camping gear, plus airport and mountain transportation, and hotel accommodation. We provide our clients the “Preparing for Kilimanjaro Guidebook” with lots of good practical advice and tips on successfully summiting Mount Kilimanjaro.
Some of the topics covered in our guidebook include Arrival and Orientation; Meals, Food and Drinking Water On Kilimanjaro ; Weather on Mount Kilimanjaro ; Acclimatization ; Toilets On Mount Kilimanjaro; Tipping on Mount Kilimanjaro; Physical and Mental Preparation; Trekking Gear; The Final Ascent; Equipment Rentals; and much more.
LDAS can provide Kili Treks at the Economy , Mid range and Luxury levels , and LDAS retains all Tanzanians for the treks thereby supporting the local economy.
Timing a Trek of Mount Kilimanjaro
JANUARY | FEBRUARY
At this time, it’s winter in the northern hemisphere but its summer in the southern hemisphere with the weather hot and dry. The dryer weather provides ideal conditions for trekking up Mount Kilimanjaro. If the schedule allows, time the trek to coincide a full moon with the summiting of Uhuru Peak. Moshi, the main town at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro hosts the Kilimanjaro Marathon in February if that is your thing.
MARCH | APRIL | MAY
The weather in East Africa is very unpleasant as there are heavy long downpours of rain in this period. Mount Kilimanjaro is adversely affected by the heavy rains. Bring heavy rain gear if planning to visit during this time.
JUNE | JULY | AUGUST
Its summer in the northern hemisphere at this time and winter in the southern hemisphere where the weather in East Africa is very pleasant by North American standards. The dryer weather and cooler temperatures provide ideal conditions for trekking up Mount Kilimanjaro. Time permitting, schedule the trek in order to summit Uhuru Peak when there is a full moon illuminating the summit.
SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER
The weather in East Africa is very pleasant by North American standards . The dryer weather and cooler temperatures provide ideal conditions for trekking up Mount Kilimanjaro. Time permitting, schedule the trek in order to summit Uhuru Peak when there is a full moon illuminating the summit.
NOVEMBER | DECEMBER
The short rains fall intermittently throughout NOVEMBER and DECEMBER .It is not advisable to trek up Mount Kilimanjaro during the rainy season unless you are a die-hard trekker with very good gear.
Timing a tour in combination with other locations
LDAS suggests that clients rely on our expertise to determine the best time for their custom African tour. When clients are able to go when the overall conditions are best, LDAS finds that it sends a good percentage of clients in January February, and September October, when all the variables are considered.
Between the two periods, in the southern hemisphere, the weather is generally cooler in September October than in January February when the temperatures are hottest. The only bad time to go to Africa is when the rains are heavy in the regions being considered.
Mount Kilimanjaro Tours