kilimanjaro local guides

KILIMANJARO CLIMB - TANZANIA

Everything you need to know to successfully kilimanjaro climb!

Challenge yourself! Go do it! Climb Kilimanjaro at 19,341 feet/5,895m the tallest mountain in Africa and the tallest freestanding mountain in the world, rising in majestic isolation from the surrounding coastal scrubland of 2,953 feet.

There are 8 Mount Kilimanjaro Itinerary, which vary in distance & duration. We’ve selected the best for our Bestig Kilimanjaro climb, with built-in Mount Kilimanjaro acclimatisation features and excellent summit success rates. All are fully supported climbs with the best local Kilimanjaro teams and high quality private camping facilities.

Climbing Kilimanjaro is a reasonable goal for an active person who dreams of reaching the highest point on the African continent and seeing one of the most unique places in the world. 

We offer 2 styles of Mount Kilimanjaro Itinerary trip –

For a private Bespoke Trip – choose any Mount Kilimanjaro itinerary – and then you can tailor accommodation options, support services, and any extras – to make it your own special Kilimanjaro Challenge

Kilimanjaro ‘Group 5 Day Kilimanjaro climb ‘ on the Marangu Route. All Mount Kilimanjaro itineraries are fully inclusive – with hotels, food, camping equipment .

Reach the summit of Mount kilimanjaro is a trip of a lifetime - so make sure you go with the best!

Mount Kilimanjaro map  is located in northern Tanzania in East Africa, not far from the border to Kenya.

With  a height  of 5895 meters (19340 ft).  Climb Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in Africa and the highest free standing mountain in the world

For centuries, climbing Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa has appealed to mountaineers and trekkers from around the globe. Kilimanjaro is the highest free standing mountain in the world and many hikers attempt to reach its summit of Uhuru peak every year. Sitting at 5895m above sea level, this incredible Kilimanjaro mountain is a must for any traveller looking for a sense of adventure mixed with a truly overpowering sense of accomplishment and perspective.

Mountains are not only about the physical challenge but are primarily about the mental challenge. The late Edmund Hilary had a saying, ‘it’s not the mountain we conquer but ourselves’. This statement will personify itself on the slopes of this mighty African mountain.

Kilimanjaro is situated in the exceptionally friendly nation known as Tanzania. The summit of Kilimanjaro is known as Uhuru which means ‘freedom’ in Swahili.  A name given to the highest point in Africa in commemoration of Tanzania’s independence from the British Empire in 1961

A Few Facts About Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro 

  • It’s not technical – you don’t need any special skills. Effectively, it’s a long, hard hike at altitude. Extreme altitude, by the end – 19,341ft is a serious undertaking.
  • There are six main routes up the mountain, varying from 5 to 9 days. The longer the route, for the most part, the better the chances of good acclimatisation.
  • Never underestimate the altitude. Most people who fail to reach the summit or fall ill on the mountain, do so as a result of altitude sickness.
  • All routes require camping, except one: the Marangu route, which is arguably the least scenic and the busiest route to climb Kilimanjaro 
  • Your kit will be carried by porters and your camp will be set up for you each day. You will have to carry a daypack – everything else is taken care of by the tour operator’s staff.
  • You have to climbing Kilimanjaro with a registered tour operator. Solo or self-supported climbs are not permitted by the National Parks Authority.
  • You will not be showering for the duration of your climb, however bowls of hot water will be provided for you to take a “bird bath” – we recommend taking lots of baby wipes to keep sensitive areas clean!

This page tells you how  to Kilimanjaro climb. It starts with picking the right time, getting yourself to Tanzania, then to the mountain.

You can read about the cost, selecting a trekking agency, selecting a route, and of course , discuss all the issues of the trek itself: training, fitness, high altitude, altitude sickness…

Planning a Mount Kilimanjaro Itinerary

You need to make three major decisions before you can climb Kilimanjaro:

Good to know:

  • Guides: the guides used are highly trained and qualified, registered with the Kilimanjaro National Parks Board. One chief guide and one assistant guide will be provided to every 2 climbers. In case one of the climbers get sick or unable to continue an assistant guide will help him/her to descent to the lower altitude or even back to the hotel as well as three porters per climber and one cook for the group. Our Kilimanjaro private departures offer arguably the best value for money on the market with an above-average success rate.
  • Terrain and route: with its three volcanic cones, Kilimanjaro is an inactive stratovolcano.
  • Luggage transportation: your luggage will be placed in our specially designed waterproof bags carried by your porters, giving it that extra protection if it is wet on the mountain.
  • Electricity: there is no electricity at the camps inside the parks, but we recommend climbers to bring their batterychargers they can plug in the car; or theirdriver will take them to a nearest lodge to charge batteries.

Diffculty

Trekking involves 5 – 8 hours per day with large ele­va­tion gains of 1,000 – 2,000+ feet / 305 – 610+ meters per day. Mul­ti­ple days of this lev­el of trekking will occur through­out the trip. You should be in great phys­i­cal shape and par­tic­i­pat­ing in 4, 1‑hour work­outs per week before the trek. At least 1 to 2 days should include hik­ing with a small pack, lead­ing up to sev­er­al walks of 5 – 7 hours, with alti­tude gain if possible.

How to get there:

For flights to Kilimanjaro  Airport please check  KLM Airlines,  Ethiopian Airlines

We reccommend trip in the period:   January – March and June – September

Price/date/booking

The price compares favourably with the international high-skill expedition agencies that operate in the same categories as we do.

As you know, we very often have international groups. This we really like as it creates good ambiance, respect and of course make for even better and more varied stories in the evening. Due to this we have chosen to not include the airfare as people may come in from different directions.

But we will of course advise you on what best to book. It also gives all those deciding early the best chance of getting a bargain :

Secure your Spot: 

Mount Kilimanjaro climbing & Lifetime Deposits by  wire transfer or cash , both are accepted).

We usually require a 30% deposit of the total price of the tour (600-700 USD) to confirm your participation. But now it is just a 200 USD deposit (fully refundable) that is enough to reserve your spot!

All guests will receive an invoice via email to make their reservation payments.

We recommend you book your trip 3-6 months in advance especially if you are traveling during the high season from June to the end of October. December to February can also be busy. 

Please take a Note: 

That we only organize private treks, there will be only yourself and your travel partner(s) during Mount Kilimanjaro Expedition unless you create your own group with your friends.

As all our departures are private, we can be quite flexible and on request, we can adapt the itinerary and make it shorter or longer to suit your preferences and stamina.

Please be advised that you are travelling to a completely different part of the world! This may sound obvious but it is surprising how many people are taken aback by the differences in culture. Local standards are a contrast to those in the Western World, you should be prepared for this and be happy to accept the differences. The standard of vehicles on the roads is lower, the standard of driving is lower, the hotels have different set-ups, etc. These differences also extend to the mountain, local guides are trained to a different standard than Western leaders, food and water hygiene is different. Our leaders will advise you of what to do and what not to do to help you adjust as easily and painlessly as possible. You should, as much as possible, try and enjoy the differences in cultures that exist because this is one of the things that make travel so interesting!

Mount Kilimanjaro & Name

Mount Kilimanjaro  three peaks were formed after volcanic eruptions millions of years ago. One volcanic cone, Shira plateau, is now extinct and eroded, while the other two, Mawenzi and Kibo, ‘melted’ together after subsequent eruptions. Kibo is now the highest with its famous Uhuru peak at almost 6000m above sea level. Given the stature and greatness of Mount Kilimanjaro , there is relatively little recorded history of the peak. Even the origins of the name present somewhat of a dilemma. Many people believe the name derived from the Kishwahili tribal name, Kilima, meaning “mountain.” The local Wachagga people claim to have no name for Kilimanjaro, but did name the dual peaks “Kipoo” and “Kimawenzi.”

kilimanjaro climb Routes: which one to take

You’ll also need to decide what route you want to take up the mountain.

There are 7 routes on Kilimanjaro, and not all of these are created equal. In terms of acclimatization, longer routes have a much better success rate.

Other considerations are: how busy the route is, how scenic it is, whether you sleep in a tent or in huts. Whether you take the Western Breach or the Barranco Wall. Do you want a day or night time summit attempt?

Additional Mount Kilimanjaro Itinerary & Service

Best Routes for a night at Crater Camp

The longest route possible! Typically, it is the Lemosho Route that climbers use, which has a good acclimatization schedule. For the very “tough”, try the Umbwe Route, but add extra days. Some operators on the Machame Route will offer a night at Crater.

Kilimanjaro Ash Pit: the Center of the Volcano

What happens at the top of the mountain? Are you camping in the Crater, taking a hike to the Ash Pit?

Most people who think about climbing Kilimanjaro, think about getting to the Summit, seeing the Uhuru Peak signpost for themselves, and taking photographs. However, there is so much more to the top of this mountain than just Uhuru Peak. The Kilimanjaro Ash Pit is the very center of the volcanic cone.

Uhuru Peak sits at the highest point of the crater rim, below this is the crater. Filled with glaciers and volcanic rock, it is possible to camp on the crater floor, if you are very well acclimatized.

Exploring the glaciers up close is an amazing experience, feeling the cold, hard ice under the blue skies and equatorial sun. Whilst inside the crater, a place where few people go is to the Ash Pit: the very center of the volcano.

Fumaroles belching forth their sulfurous gases, the raw sulfur on the sides, and the perfectly formed cone reaching down into the depths of the earth. This is where it all came from.

Whilst standing at the summit is an astonishing achievement, for us, it doesn’t really stop there. What is this place, apart from just being the “highest mountain in Africa” and the “highest free-standing mountain in the world”?

Sure, there are more dramatic “volcano experiences” in the world, watching active volcanos in Costa Rica, for instance. But once you are on the top of Kilimanjaro, in this inhospitable land of ice, rocks and thin mountain air, seeing the Ash Pit is an opportunity not to be missed.

What is the Kilimanjaro Ash Pit?

Kilimanjaro consists of three volcanic peaks. Shira (3962m), Mawenzi (5149m) and Kibo (5895m). Kibo is the youngest of these three peaks, it’s most recent activity being in the Pleistocene era.

What remains of both Shira and Mawenzi have been partially covered by volcanic material from Kibo. Only on Kibo can you see the concentric craters still intact.

At the top of Kibo is the Kibo Crater, the main crater you see from the summit and aerial photos. Within the Kibo Crater there is the Reusch Crater, and within this lies the Ash Pit. These three are all visible from the summit on a clear day.

All three are concentric craters, and the Ash Pit forms a perfect circle. The closer you get to the Ash Pit, the stronger the ‘rotten eggs’ smell of sulfur is. Which is not great if you are already feeling a bit nauseous from the altitude!

The Ash Pit is 395ft wide and is composed of shale and large boulders which have rolled down. Fumaroles, vents that emit sulfur and steam are found at the base of the Ash Pit, and it’s estimated that the temperature of these vents is that of boiling water.

The Reusch crater was named after a missionary who famously found a leopard frozen in the snow and cut of its ear as a souvenir. This leopard was the inspiration for the opening lines of Hemingway’s book The Snows of Kilimanjaro.

So why doesn’t everyone see the Ash Pit?

From the Crater floor, you have to climb up this steep slope to get there!

Normally, visiting the Ash Pit requires a night to be spent in Crater Camp. And you’ll only be able to do that if you are well enough acclimatized to sleep at over 18,000 feet. And your operator will have had to make the logistical arrangements for you to do so.

This can be costly, and it’s dangerous to sleep up there. Mostly it’s the high-end operators that offer it, on a longer trek to ensure good acclimatization.

Sometimes an operator will take you to the Ash Pit after you’ve reached the summit before heading back down the mountain. Obviously, this would only be possible if you were feeling fit, strong and well-acclimatized.

If you are looking for something a bit more than just getting to the top, then We highly recommend a night in the Crater and a visit to the Ash Pit.

Walking from Crater Camp, it will take about 30-40 minutes to get to the Ash Pit. You hike across the crater floor, past the glaciers, and up the ridge of the Reusch Crater. Once you get there, don’t lean over too far, if you fall down this, you won’t be getting out again!

Bestig Kilimanjaro Climb Tours

Kilimanjaro Umbwe Route

Kilimanjaro Trekking : Umbwe Route 6/7 Days

Kilimanjaro Lemosho Route 7/8 Days

6 Day Kilimanjaro Climb

Kilimanjaro Marangu route 5/6 Days

7 Day Kilimanjaro Climb

Kilimanjaro Trekking : Machame Route 7 Days

9 Day Climb Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro Rongai Route 6/7 Days

book kilimanjaro climb

Northern circuit route Kilimanjaro 8/10 Days

Map