Kilimanjaro Travel Guide

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climb the mount at your own pace

Mount Kilimanjaro hike is something atop the list of many travelers’ bucket lists. Each year, the iconic mountain attracts thousands who spend days attempting to reach her snowy summit.

However, with a little planning and preparation, you can greatly increase your chances of reaching “the Roof of Africa.” Here’s everything you need to know on Kilimanjaro Travel Guide.

Mount Kilimanjaro is located in North-eastern Tanzania near the border with Kenya. It is the highest mountain in Africa and is situated within Kilimanjaro National Park. Kilimanjaro lies just 205 miles away from the equator – which is why so many people are surprised to find glaciers at the top.

Kilimanjaro is an eye-watering 5,895 meters (19,340 feet) above sea level. That’s 3.7 miles high! It is the highest free-standing mountain in the world, as it’s not part of a mountain range. The towering mountain is one of the Seven Summits (the highest peaks of the 7 continents), being the fourth highest – after Everest, Aconcagua, and Denali.

Around 30,000-40,000 people attempt to hike Kilimanjaro every year. Nowadays Kilimanjaro success rate is believed to be around 75%. The longer your route, the higher your success rate.

You can climb Kilimanjaro all year-round but it’s best to avoid the wet and cold months. January, February, August, and September are the best time to climb Kilimanjaro, as these are the driest months of the year.

Reasons to climb the highest mountain in Africa

— It’s an accessible adventure. You don’t need extensive training and it’s suitable for first-time hikers, as well as more experienced mountaineers.

Porters do all the heavy-lifting. Great appeal lies in the fact that porters carry your big rucksack (you carry your daysack), tents, equipment, and food.

Easy to reach. Despite its remote location, Kilimanjaro is relatively straightforward to access, with a good surrounding infrastructure.

Supports the local economy. From guides, Kilimanjaro porters, and cooks who join you on the mountain, to hospitality, tour agencies, and many other companies within the area.

Great personal achievement. Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is undoubtedly an extraordinary personal achievement. It’s a chance to challenge yourself, and get away from the world for a few days.

Breath-taking natural beauty. The mountain is a truly spectacular with a unique nature! Sight and the view from the top is the best you’ll ever see. Watching the sun rise over the Roof of Africa will forever be one of my fondest memories.

Kilimanjaro hiking overview

LOCATION: Kilimanjaro region, Tanzania, Eastern Africa.

STARTING POINTS: Marangu, Rongai, Lemosho, Shira, Umbwe, and Machame.

ENDING POINT: Kebo (Uhuru Peak).

ALTITUDE: 4,900 metres from the base of the mountain, and 5,895 metres above sea level.

DURATION: 5 to 10 days (including ascent and descent) depending upon the route.

DISTANCE COVERED (including ascent and descent): 

70 kilometers (via Marangu Route);

62 kilometers (via Machame Route);

72 kilometers (via Rongai Route);

70 kilometers (via Lemosho Route);

72 kilometers (via Shira Route);

51 kilometers (via Umbwe Route).

LEVEL OF DIFICCULTY: even though hiking Kilimanjaro does not require any professional training but due to its altitude, Kilimanjaro Climb is considered to be one of the most strenuous treks in the world.

MOUNT KILIMANJARO HIKE TEMPERATURES: average annual temperature at Uhuru peak varies between -7°C to -29°C (degrees Celsius); 20°F to -20°F (degrees Fahrenheit).

AVAILABLE ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS: hotels (before trek), canvas tents and trekking huts.

What happens on summit day?

It is very common to attempt the summit during the night, as you can reach the top in time for the sunrise. You will be woken up at approximately 11 pm for ‘breakfast’. After putting on every piece of clothing you have with you, it’s time to start the ascent. With nothing but your head torch to light the way, you’ll walk ‘pole pole’ – very slowly. Due to the high altitude, oxygen is limited and it’s important to stay at a slow and steady pace.

How to get to Mount Kilimanjaro?

There are a few different options for getting to Kilimanjaro. The nearest airport to Kilimanjaro is the Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), and it is located between Arusha and Moshi. Most people stay in Moshi before climbing Kilimanjaro, as it is the closest municipality being a 45 minute drive from Kilimanjaro Airport.

Unfortunately, you cannot fly directly from the UK or US to Kilimanjaro Airport. But you can fly from any of the main airports in the area – Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, or Nairobi in Kenya. Bear in mind that you will need an extra visa if you go via Kenya.

How much does it cost to climb Kilimanjaro?

Kilimanjaro climb costs vary quite considerably depending on season and size of the group. You can also choose between group climbs or private climbs according to your budget. For example, the Kilimanjaro climb cost per person in a group, to any route (including park fees, transport, guides, camping costs and food) is:

Group of 6 people, 6 days: $ 1,600 (one thousand six hundred dollars) per person;

Group of 2 people, 6 days: $ 1,850 (one thousand eight hundred fifty dollars) per person;

Group of 2 people, 7 days: $ 2,000 (two thousand dollars) per person;

Group of 2 people, 8 days: $ 2,300 (two thousand three hundred dollars) per person.

Tanzania is our home and we are more than happy to welcome you and solve all your doubts. At Suricata Safaris, we aim to give you the best Mount Kilimanjaro Climb experience. If you have any other doubts or suggestions please do not hesitate emailing us on



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