Can I climb Mount Kilimanjaro?

The simple answer is: YES, YOU CAN! 

Even though climbing Kilimanjaro is a big challenge, it is very possible for you make it to Uhuru Peak!

Uhuru Peak (5.895m) on Mount Kilimanjaro

Uhuru Peak (5.895m) on Mount Kilimanjaro

A good preparation is your key to success!

If you read all the information provided on our website you will be perfectly prepared for your climb - and to fully enjoy each day that you will spend on the mountain. All information that you find here will help you to understand what is necessary to successfully climb Kilimanjaro, the highest free standing mountain and highest mountain of Africa!

In our guidelines we will step by step explain to you:

Thousands of successfull climbs and happy clients have made us the top choice for your adventure. If you still have more questions, please feel free to contact us anytime and we will be happy to help you to arrange your once-in-a-lifetime experience of climbing Kilimanjaro in Tanzania!

Choosing the best Route for climbing Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro with Moshi Town in the front / by GOOGLE

Deciding the best route for climbing Kilimanjaro is a very individual question as this depends on your fitness level and on the time that you want to spend on the mountain. In generall you can say that the more time you soend on the mountain, the higher is your chance to make it Uhuru Peak. Your body will have more time to adapt to the high altitude and you can avoid suffering from Altitude Mountain Sickness.

There are seven established routes to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Shira Route has been closed so we offer the following six routes:

Uhuru Peak and DIFFERENT ROUTES TO APPROACH KILIMANJARO / by GOOGLE

All climbs start from your accomodation in Moshi by jeep to the different entrance gates around Kilimanjaro. The Marangu, Machame, and Umbwe routes all approach from the south of the mountain. The Mweka Gate is used only for descent. The Lemosho, Shira and Northern Circuit routes arrive from the west. The Rongai route approaches from the north. Below you see an illustration of Moshi Town and the different Gates for your climb.

Tanzania Horizon Safaris offers a variety of Climbing Routes to climb Kilimanjaro. Please see our recommendations according to the route and required days:


The Marangu Route

The MARANGU ROUTE

The Marangu Route is the classic trek on Mount Kilimanjaro as it is the oldest and most famous route. It starts and ends in Marangu Village and is considered to be the fastest climb on the mountain. It is also the only route that offers sleeping huts and dormitory accomodations.

A minimum days required for this route is five days, although the possibility by chosing 5 Days for unexperienced climbers is quite low. Spending an additonal day on the mountain for better acclimatization is highly recommended when chosing the Marangu route.

The route is only recommended for a fast summit as it is the least scenic route with not much variety the ascent and descent are done on the same path and it is the most crowded route for that reason. Marangu is favored only if you are looking for speed and only during the rainy season, where the hut accommodations are preferred over wet ground, or for those who only have five days to climb Kilimanjaro. Please click below for futher information.

MORE INFORMATION ON THE MARANGU ROUTE


The Machame Route

The Machame Route arrives from Machame Village and is now one of the most popular routes on Kilimanjaro. The route is considered to be difficult due to its steepness and long hiking days. Therefore we recommend the Machame Route mostly to experienced climbers and people looking for a bigger challenge.
The route arrived from the southwest to Shira 2 Camp towards Lava Tower, crossing underneath Kilimanjaro's southern ice field to Barafu Camp before summit. The minimum number of days required for this route is six days, although seven days is better for easier acclimitazion. The route is scenically beautiful but quite crowded due to its popularity.

MORE INFORMATION ON THE MACHAME ROUTE


The Lemosho Route

The Lemosho Route is considered to be the most beautiful trek on Kilimanjaro due to its different landscapes and panoramic views and low traffic of visitors. It starts in the west of Kilimanjaro at Londorossi Gate. It starts in a tropical Rain Forest, crossing the entire Shira Plateau. Climbers can expect low traffic until the route reaches Shira 2 Camp and the Machame Route. It then follows through Lava Tower, Barranco and Barafu Camp before summit.

The minimum number of days for this route is six days, but we highly recommend 7 Days Lemosho or even 8 Days Lemosho Route for the highest chance of summiting.

MORE INFORMATION ON THE LEMOSHO ROUTE


The Northern Circuit Route

The impressive Northern Circuit Route is the newest, and probably the most exciting route on Kilimanjaro. Sharing Londorossi Gate as starting point it follows the Lemosho trail before turning nort to Moir Hut, approaching Kilimanjaro from the northern side. This side of the mountain is rarely visited and offers spectecular views of Kenya and the glaciers.

The Northern Circuit route is a long distance beautiful climb. Therefore we recommend to use 9 Days Northern Circuit for the perfect mixture of enjoying the mountain and having appropriate time for acclimatizion.

With a high stunning scenery, very low number of visitors and high success rate, the Northern Circuit Route is definetely one of the best routes to climb Kilimanjaro.

MORE INFORMATION ON THE NORTHERN ROUTE


The Rongai Route

Rongai Route.jpg

The Rongai Route is mostly recommended during rain season as it is has less rainfall by arriving from the north of Kilimanjaro. It has a similar profile as the Marangu Route but is less crowded. Passes the Rongai Cave ascending straight forward to School Hut Camp and then to summit Uhuru Peak. The Rongai Route is a relatively moderate climb. Descend is done via Marangu Route.

The recommended minimum number of days for Rongai Route is at least 6 Days Rongai but 7 Days Rongai is highly recommended.

MORE INFORMATION ON THE RONGAI ROUTE


The Umbwe Route

Umbwe Route.jpg

If you are looking for a challenge then Umbwe Route might be the perfect choice for you! It is short and steep most of the time and therefore considered to be one of the most difficult routes to climb Kilimanjaro. As the time for acclimatization is short, not many visitors use this exhausting route. A minumum of 6 Days Umbwe is highly recommended and should only be used by strong, experienced climbers. Please contact us for further information!

MORE INFORMATION ON THE UMBWE ROUTE

When is the Best Time to Climb Kilimanjaro?

Climb Kilimanjaro All year around.jpg

It is possible to climb Kilimanjaro all year around so you can decide according to your schedule. There are some months that are more favorable for climbing though as the weather is dryer and therefore more convenient as hiking in rain and snow is more exhausting because of the cold. The best months are from December to March & then again from June to October. Of couse there are more visitors during these months so you should decide what is the best time according to your preferences. We prepared a table where you can see our all important aspects as temperatures, rainfall, visitors and our recommendations.

Kilimanjaro Weather Conditions.JPG

Dry Season:
Dry season (between December & March) is the ideal time to climb Kilimanjaro as the days are relatively warm on the mountain during daytime and you will hardly face any rain and snow during your climb. The second Dry Season starts in June until October which is quite a long time - but therefore has a lot of visitors on basically all routes. One of the best months is March as rainfalls only start but there is a very good chance that the weather will remain dry for several days.

Rain Season:
Climbing during rain season is tough but beautiful at the same time. It is not highly recommended but if you are looking for a challenge and empty routes it is possible to climb, but chances to summit are lower as the weather can be very difficult and it is very exhausting to walk over the snow. You should Choose the best Route with more days as this makes it easier to acclimatize well and summit at the right time.

You can plan a Private Climb with us or find a Climbing Group to join!
Contact us for further information!

10 Things you must know before climbing Kilimanjaro

KIlimanjaro 7 Days Lemosho Route
  1. TAKE YOUR TIME
    Be smart and give your body enough time to adapt to high altitude. That simply requires enough time by choosing the best route to climb and the right number of days to spend on the mountain. Most climbers under-estimate risks of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) and try to rush to summit. Almost 50% of all climbers fail to arrive Uhuru Peak!

  2. BE DETERMINED
    Climbing Kilimanjaro is as risk, but you can prepare yourself well by following our Checklist. If you are determined to learn what to do and to keep up your motivation to make it to Uhuru Peak!

  3. BE CURIOUS - ASK QUESTIONS!
    You should read as many information about climbing Kilimanjaro as possible. If you have any questions ask us before your arrival, we will be happy to assist you. We have collected many information on our website but feel free to ask us any individual questions. Become familiar with the challenges of climbing Kilimanjaro so that you will know what is waiting for you. It will give you confidence!

  4. GET PREPARED
    Don’t do endless exercises - go hiking! Your body should simply get used to hike for many hours with a small Daypack. The best way is to do some regular hikes before arriving in Tanzania. You should start your workout about 6 to 8 weeks prior to your climb also to get used to your climbing shoes and to strengthen your legs and feet. We have prepared a Checklist where you can find a timetable for all your preparations.

  5. WATER IS YOUR FRIEND
    The risk of dehydration at high altitude is extremely high and your body will need a lot of water to climb 6 to 8 hours per day. It is a big factor to increase the risk of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) so you should try to drink at least 3 to 4 liters of water per day!

  6. POLE POLE! TAKE IT SLOW!
    Pole Pole is a commen phrase that you will hear a lot while climbing Kilimanjaro. It means to take small steps and to take slow instead of rushing up the mountain. It is probably the best (and only) way to prevent yourself from Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) which is one of the main reason why almost 50% of all climbers fail to arrive at Uhuru Peak.

  7. GET DRESSED
    Choosing the right gear to climb is essential for your success. We have prepared a Gear List for all the gear and items that your will need. You can also contact us to rent climbing gear on arrival in Moshi.

  8. EAT WELL
    You might think that hiking for many hours will make you hungry - but high altitude is affecting your body and might let you loose appetite. Your body will need a lot of energy to climb several days in the cold so you should eat even if you don’t feel hungry.

  9. FIND YOUR RYTHM
    Hike, eat, sleep, recover, repeat -
    It is essential to find your rythm and to accept that your main purpose on the mountain is to climb. The more you understand this the easier it will become to focus on hiking, eating when its time to eat, sleep when its time to sleep and recover as much as you can. Your body will get used to it - and we guarantee you will have a great and fun time!

  10. CHOOSE THE RIGHT COMPANY
    Find a company that fits your needs and that makes you feel comfortable and safe by replying your emails fast, by thinking ahead and by providing you with information out of the box. It is usually the little things that make the difference - don’t just go for the lowest price. You don’t have to spent a fortune but you should have the feeling that your money is well spend for a reliable service!

Our Checklist - What do I have to prepare to climb Kilimanjaro?

You are ready to take the challenge to climb Kilimanjaro? Great! That is the first step to a once-in-a-lifetime experience! We will guide you through all questions that you might have before and during your climb and your travel to Tanzania. Our team will be happy to assist you in any situation. Please read the information on our website and the checklist given below:

BEFORE YOU ARRIVE IN TANZANIA:

  • Read the INFORMATION on our website
    We have gathered all important details on our website from our experience over the last years with climbers from all around the world. The more knowledge about the mountain you will have, the easier it will be for you to prepare your climb.

  • Check your VISA REQUIREMENTS
    For every country there are specific Visa requirements. If you are not sure it is best to contact the Embassy of Tanzania in your country and to check the travel advices for Tanzania from your government.
    read more…

  • Take care of your VACCINATION
    You will need to see your doctor/health care provider to get the right vaccination for Tanzania. You can also ask about mountain medicine and other medicine that you might need for headaches and other personal needs.
    read more…

  • Make a HEALTH CHECK
    We recommend to make a health check for climbing at high altitude.
    read more…

  • Organize & book your FLIGHTS
    You can fly straight to Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA), Dar es Salaam (JRO), Arusha Airport (ARK) or Zanzibar Airport (ZNZ). Please communicate your arrival dates & times with us so that we can pick you up from the airport. Please be aware of the climatic differences of your home country and Tanzania and time differences as well as this will effect your body. Also consider to have at least 1 day to relax after your flight and before starting your climb.
    read more…

  • Get the required TRAVEL INSURANCE
    It is required to have a Travel Insurance that is valid for climbing up to 6000m.
    read more…

  • Choose your CLIMBING ROUTE FOR KILIMANJARO
    You should choose the best route to climb Kilimanjaro according to your fitness level and time that you want to spend on the mountain.
    read more…

  • PRIVATE CLIMB or GROUP CLIMB
    You can decide for a Private Climb or to join a Climbing Group. Private climbs can be arranged anytime and only for yourself so that you can travel more individually as they are very flexible. We also offer Group Climbs all around the year that you can join. Group Climbs are more economical than Private Climbs.
    read more…

  • Prepare your personal LUGGAGE
    Your luggage should be packed according to your needs and also contain all things you might need to go on Safari, Zanzibar or other activities beside climbing Kilimanjaro. Make sure to have the most important things in your hand luggage as travel luggage might get lost or arrive late. You will be able to leave the luggage that you don’t need during your climb at your accomodation where it will be kept securly.

  • Prepare your CLIMBING GEAR
    Please check our Gear List and descriptions on our website. Keep it simple and reduce your gear to the items on our list. Try to limit your climbing gear to a maximum of 20kg. All required gear can also be rented so you don’t have to buy everything for your climb.
    read more…

  • Start your WORKOUT
    Start hiking and get in shape, get used to your climbing shoes and prepare yourself physically and mentally for your climb!
    read more…

  • And last but not least - Contact us and ask us if you have any other questions!

Which Kilimanjaro Route should I climb?

THE LEMOSHO ROUTE

THE LEMOSHO ROUTE

7 Routes, 1 Goal - to make it to Uhuru Point 5.895m above sea level!

Each route has different characteristics and require a different amount of days. Choosing the best route is very individual and is an important step to your success. We recommend to communicate with us as your success is our success and we wish you to be safe at all times while on the mountain! We offer climbs between 5 and 9 Days for all kind of climbers.

Some considerations that you might think about before deciding your route are the following points:

In general one can say that the more time you spend on the mountain the better are the chances for your to summit. Please remember that climbing & hiking at such a high altitude might cause Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), especially if you are ascending too fast. It is a risk that can be prevented by choosing a route with more days on the mountain. Everybody must decide this according to personal preferences. Let us help you to make the right choice by reading the information given on our website and by contacting us.

Tanzania Horizon Safaris offers the following routes:

CLIMBING ROUTE BROCHURES / TANZANIA HORIZON SAFARIS

CLIMBING ROUTE BROCHURES / TANZANIA HORIZON SAFARIS

Climbing Kilimanjaro at Full Moon

Full Moon Climbing.jpg

Summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro at night usually requires to carry a headlamp or a flashlight. Not so when you are climbing the mountain in the strong moonlight of a full moon – if you are lucky it will be a cloudless, crystall clear night on the top of Africa! This is pure magic! Witnessing the amazing event of a full moon over the highest mountain in Africa definetely requires some good timing as you will have to book your flight to arrive on time, choose the righ Climbing Route and proceed to summit around the full moon night - seems difficult?
We agree it is not easy - but you can do it!

MOON CALENDAR FOR KILIMANJARO

MOON CALENDAR FOR KILIMANJARO

Please check our moon calendar or check the Full Moon Group Climbs that we prepared specifically for you. This can contribute to make your summit night even more unforgettable! Please note that even though every effort is made to give you the accurate full moon dates - we can not guarantee a 100% confirmed full moon. Please use these dates as a first idea and contact us for further details. We will be happy to assist you to make it to Uhuru Peak under the full moon. You should start considering a Full Moon climb and contact us at least 3 month prior to your climb to make sure that we can arrange everything!


The history of climbing Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro’s three peaks were formed after volcanic eruptions millions of years ago. One volcanic cone, Shira, 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 5.895m above sea level.

There is no single explanation for Kilimanjaro’s name and there are many theories as to where it comes from. Local peoples have looked at Kilimanjaro with reverence and named it “Mountain of Greatness” (Swahili) or “That which defeats the caravan” (Chagga Tribe Language) or “White Mountain” (Maasai). The Maasai have also called it the “The mountain of Water”, as it is the source of water for the entire area.


Mount Kilimanjaro - History timeline:

1000 BC

Kitchen tools such as stone bowls hinted at cultures inhabiting the slopes of the mountain a millennium before Christ.

150 AC

Ptoleny of Alexandria in Egypt mentioned “lands … where barbaric cannibals lived near a wide shallow bay and where, inland, one could find a great snow mountain”.

1300’s

Arab historian and geographer, Abu’l Fida speaks of a mountain in the interior that was “white in colour”.

1500’s

Portuguese explorers started arriving on the coast to discover unknown land. In 1519 Fernandes de Encisco said “West of Mombasa (Kenya) is the Ethiopian Mount Olympus, which is very high, and further off are the Mountains of the Moon in which are the sources of the Nile.”

HANS MEYER MEMORIAL

1889

German geology professor Hans Meyer was the first recorded person to stand on top of Kilimanjaro. He needed 3 attempts to make it to Uhuru Peak. He was quite unpopular with his crew as he was a firm believer in corporal punishment.

Yohani Kinyala Lauwo

Yohani Kinyala Lauwo

1889

Alongside Hans Meyer there was a local climber. Yohani Kinyala Lauwo, also known as Mzee Lauwo. He was only eighteen years old when he became the first Tanzanian to ever climb Kilimanjaro. He led Hans Meyer to the highest point of Africa on October 5th, 1889 and can be considered as the first guide. was born and lived his entire life in the village of Marangu and he knew the forest like the back of his hand. He continued to guide Mt. Kilimanjaro climbs for more than seventy years and died in 1996 at the age of 125!

GERTRUDE BENHAM WAS THE FIRST WOMAN TO SUMMIT KILIMANJARO

1909

Gertrude Benham (22 years old) of London reached the top of Kilimanjaro, alone. She was the first woman ever to reach Uhuru Peak. Her porters, scared of melting snow thinking it was bewitched, chose to stay behind. It was thought she was “immune” to mountain sickness.

1926

Pastor Richard Reusch found a dead leopard on the crater rim. Later a glacier was named after the pastor that became famous in Europe for his stories about the beauty of Mount Kilimanjaro.

1932

The Kibo Hut was constructed. It was the first constant hut that was established at high altitude to reach the summit.

1939

58 visitors were climbing Kilimajaro, becoming the first commercial visitors of Uhuru Peak.

1957

A team of the University of Sheffield and the Tanganyika Geological Survey declared the volcano dormant and almost extinct.

1950s

Almost a thousand climbers visited the mountain annually.

1961

Tanganyika and Zanzibar united to become Tanzania. A torch was placed on the summit to celebrate independence and unity. To celebrate the new country, the name of the peak was changed to “Uhuru” peak meaning “freedom”.

1990s

Kilimanjaro visitors have increased to more than 10.000 climbers per year.

2006

A Tanzanian man climbed from Umbwe Gate to the summit and back in 9 hours 19 minutes. He carried all his gear and took a break to film himself at the top.

2006/7

Kilimanjaro National Park Authorities recorded 40 000 people on the mountain, the most popular route being the Machame route with 15 000 visitors.

WORLD-RECORD-HOLDER KARL EGLOFF

2014

Swiss-Ecuadorian Karl Egloff has set a new speed record for climbing Kilimanjaro, completing the stretch to the summit and back in just 6 hours, 56 minutes and 24 seconds. He went up Umbwe Route and returned via Mweka Gate.

Private Climb or Group Climb - Should I join a group to climb Kilimanjaro?

Tanzania Horizon Safaris is offering a large variation how to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. You can choose your preferred Route according to your fitness level and the time you want to spend on the mountain. We offer Private Climbs that can start any time and offer the possibility to join Group Climbs.

PRIVATE CLIMBS
Private climbs are recommended if you have a specific date to climb Kilimanjaro and if you want to climb more individually. You can book a solo climb for 1 person to set your individual speed OR you can book a private climb with your friends and family to be more flexible about your arrival dates.

Please contact us for further information!


GROUP CLIMBS
As a solo traveller you might want to join a group to share the experience of climbing Kilimanjaro with others. It is a great option to reduce costs and increase your motivation while hiking together as a team. All our groups are limited to a maximum of 15 climbers. Our climbers/crew-ration is 1/3 so a group of 6 climbers will have a crew of about 18-20 crew members.

Please contact us for further information!

When are the best months to climb Kilimanjaro?

The best months to climb Kilimanjaro

It is possible to climb Kilimanjaro all year around. That to be said you don’t have to worry about your timetable BUT there are some months of the year that are favorable to climb because of weather conditions. These months are usually the driest months, as climbing by rain and by snow can make your experience more exhausting and decrease success rates to summit. As Tanzania is located close to the equator there is no summer and winter as in other parts of the world but there rainy and dry seasons that change the amount of rainfall and temperatures. YES it is Africa and YES it does get very cold up on the mountain!

On your arrival day you will arrive in Moshi town where temperatures can easily reach 30 °C (86 °F). From here you will start to ascend everyday between 800m to 1000m. You will basically cross an entire climate zone per day until you reach the summit (read: Kilimanjaro’s Climate Zones). Especially summit night is a challenge as temperatures can drop down to -25 degrees Celcius (-13 °F). That doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to climb during rain season, but the challenge is higher as hiking through rain and snow is more exhausting and slower than average.

The driest and warmest months:

January, February, September

Beginning of March, late June, July, August and October are also good months.

The coldest and raniest month:

April, May, early June, November, December

What Gear Do I have to carry in my Day Pack?

Tanzania Horizon Clients Pictures (7).JPG

To climb Kilimanjaro you should limit yourself to carry only the items from our Gear List. This list contains all important things that you will need for a successfull climb. Of couse you can add personal items but you should try not to exceed the total weight to carry.

Your Kilimanjaro Gear will be packed in 2 bags:

  1. Your Daypack

  2. Your Duffel Bag


A DAYPACK FOR CLIMBING KILIMANJARO

In your Daypack you will only carry items that you need to reach the next camp. You will have to carry the Daypack by yourself during the entire climb. A regular backpack, with a capacity of about 30 to 35 liters (equally 10kg) is the maximum that you should carry with you. As every day will be different, also the items in your Daypack will change according to the expected climate and weather conditions.
A Daypack contains:
Water bottles/Water bladder (3 to 4 liters), snacks, gloves, hat, sunglasses, lip balm, sun screen, rain jacket, walking poles. Our guides will tell you every morning what conditions you will face and how to pack your Daypack.
All gear can be rented on arrival in Moshi so that you don’t have to carry all items in your luggage!


DUFFEL BAG FOR KILIMANJARO

DUFFEL BAG FOR KILIMANJARO

In your Duffel Bag you will have to place all items that you need, but not during daytime. That includes your sleeping bag, sleeping mattress, additonal clothes, extra pair of shoes and other items. The Duffel Bag will be carried by our porters for you from camp to camp. The maximum weight for a full Duffel Bag is limited to 20kg (including the bag itself) and will be checked before climbing. You should use plastic bags (dry bags) to organize your items inside your Duffel Bag. You have to pack your Daypack and Duffel Bag every morning before starting to climb. Please note that porters are usually carrying Duffel Bags on the top of their heads so please make their life easier by arranging your items well!

You might want to continue reading information about your “Gear List”.

All necessary Gear can be rented before climbing!

Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information!

Do I need a Travel Insurance for climbing Kilimanjaro?

A valid Travel Insurance is required to climb Kilimanjaro!

Travel Insurance.jpg

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro without a valid Travel Insurance is not possible as there is a high risk of emergency due to Altitude Mountain Sickness or simply dangerous weather conditions. It is important to check if the insurance is valid up to 6.000 meters altitude.

Tanzania Horizon Safaris doesn not directly offer Travel Insurances but we highly recommend to all our clients to find an insurance prior your trip. We must check your travel insurance before allowing you to climb Kilimanjaro. It is for your own good to protect your investment against any cancellation, interruption, delays and unforeseeable expenses. Travel insurances usually provide coverage for:

  • Trip cancellations

  • Trip interruptions

  • Missed connection flights or transfers

  • Travel delays

  • Baggage delay and personal items lost while travelling

  • Hurricane and dangerous weather conditions

  • Medical conditions

  • Emergency medical

  • Emergency evacuation

  • Financial default

  • Terrorism / Unforseen dangers

Tanzania Horizon Safaris is collaborating with Kilimanjaro Search and Rescue (SAR), a company that specialized on emergency rescue on Kilimanjaro by helicopter. SAR is only operating if clients have a valid Travel Insurance that covers costs for emergency evacuation up to 6.000 meters. We highly recommend to get in touch with your insurance early enough but at least 14 days before starting your flight and immediately after booking your climb with us. We will ask you on arrival about your Travel Insurance. Clients who fail to proove their valid Travel Insurance cannot start climbing Kilimanjaro.

We recommend not to take the cheapest offer but instead to choose an insurance that you trust!

Here is a short list of online Travel Insurances that you might consider:

What Vaccinations and Medications Do I Need to climb Kilimanjaro?

We recommend to discuss your travel plans with your trusted doctor and see the recommended vaccines of your embassy for Tanzania, East Africa. Please read the following points carefully as a food poisoning or even slight stomach problems prior to your climb can decrease your success to summit Mount Kilimanjaro.

To minimize the risk, Tanzania Horizon Safaris recommends the precautions and preventive medications & vaccinations below:

A HEALTH CHECK UP BEFORE CLIMBING IS RECOMMENDED

A HEALTH CHECK UP BEFORE CLIMBING IS RECOMMENDED

  • Hepatitis A

  • Hepatitis B

  • Malaria

  • Meningitis

  • Rabies

  • Typhoid fever

  • Yellow fever

  • Tetanus-diphtheria

  • Measles

  • Polio

  • Medicine for Altitude Mountain Sickness (optional)

  • Pain killers to treat light headache and muscle pain (optional)

The best prevention is to:

  • Always wash your hands with soap or alcohol-based hand rub before eating

  • Only drink bottled water or soft drinks without ice cubes

  • Use malaria prevention medicine as described by your doctor

  • Wear shoes when going outside to prevent paracide infections

  • Always use mosquito nets at night and mosquito repellent to avoid mosquito bites

  • Use light longsleeve shirts and light trousers when going outside, especially to forest areas

Try to avoid:

  • Don’t drink from dirty glasses or drinks with ice cubes

  • Don’t eat food from street vendors as you can not check the cleanliness of the cooking

  • Don’t swim in open water like lakes or rivers without asking your guides

  • Don’t touch animals to avoid contact to unknown paracides, this counts especially for wild animals in forests but also for cats and dogs in towns and poultry on farms and markets

What Are the Entry Requirements for Tanzania?

Karibu Tanzania! - Welcome to Tanzania!

KILIMANJARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (KIA)

KILIMANJARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (KIA)

Before booking your flight to Tanzania and booking with us, please make sure to check the Visa requirements for your country by contacting the embassy of your country in Tanzania. There you will get detailed information and required documents before arriving Tanzania. For most visitors it will be possible to enter Tanzania with a valid passport and to get a Visa at the airport on arrival, but every country has different requirements. In some cases you must apply for a Visa in your home country long time before arriving Tanzania.

Visitors planning to enter the United Republic of Tanzania should be in possession of a valid passport, at least six months prior to expiration. The passport must be presented along with one of the following documents:

  • A valid Visa

  • Resident permit

  • A passport with sufficiant free pages

VISA COUNTER AT KILIMANJARO AIRPORT (KIA)

VISA COUNTER AT KILIMANJARO AIRPORT (KIA)

In general, there are 3 possibilities to enter Tanzania:

  1. Applying for a Visa at the Tanzanian Embassy in your home country before travelling
    This is the safest way to get a valid Visa BEFORE arriving in Tanzania. However, this can take long time as you will have to submit your passport and embassies can be slow to send them back or passports can even get lost. If you apply for a Visa before arrival in Tanzania, you can skip the Visa application line at the airport and go straight to your luggage.

  2. Getting your Visa at the airport on arrival in Tanzania
    This is the easiest and fastest way to enter Tanzania. All you need is your valid passport, enough free pages inside your passport for the Visa document and money to pay for the Visa. A tourist Visa costs about 50 USD that are payable at the Visa counter at the airport. This option is not possible for all countries, therefore we highly recommend to check the Visa requirements of your individual country!

  3. Commonwealth Residency
    If you are resident of a Commonwealth country you are not required to obtain a Visa unless they are citizens of the United Kingdom, Canada, Nigeria, or India.

The Entry Decleration Form must be filled on arrival

When you arrive in Tanzania you will be given an Entry Decleration Form that is required to fill before going to the Visa application counter. We recommend to have a pen ready to save time. The Entry Decleration Form will be checked and some additional questions about your travel might be asked and you must show your valid passport. It can take a while to proceed to the next Visa counter where you will have to pay for your Tourist Visa (it usually costs about 50 USD payable in cash). It will again take a while to receive your passport back with your Visa included. This procedure usually takes about 1 hour. The only way to speed up this process is to apply for a Visa BEFORE arriving Tanzania.

Entry points to the United Republic of Tanzania are all international airports and Zanzibar Harbour:
Namanga, Tunduma, Sirari, Horohoro, Kigoma port, Dar es Salaam International Airport, Kilimanjaro International Airport, Zanzibar Harbour and Zanzibar Airport.

Should I Get a Medical Check-Up before climbing Kilimanjaro?

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We advice all our future climbers and clients to make a medical check before climbing Kilimanjaro. Your doctor will tell you exactly about all risks of trekking at high altitude and about potential risks according to your age, your personal fitness level and your general health condition. You should contact your doctor anyway to talk about the right vaccination prior to your trip. If you are constantly using medications we recommend you to ask for any side effects or interference of your daily medication in combination with Altitude Mountain Sickness Medicine such as Diamox and Malaria preventatives. If you have any medical issues that are relevant for your safety and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro you have to inform us prior to your booking AND prior to your arrival. Children younger than 10 years old are normally not allowed to climb Kilimanjaro but can be given special permission.

Medical issues that might affect your Kilimanjaro climb are:

  • Diabetes

  • Kidney problems

  • Heart deseases

  • Asthma or other Respiratory Issues

  • High or low blood pressure

  • Sprains

  • Hernia

  • Allergies

Please contact us prior to your booking if you are not sure about your medical and physical situation. We will assist you as best as we can to minimize any avoidable risks for your climb!

How is the Weather and Climate on Kilimanjaro?

Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa with an altitude of 5.895m above sea level and is located right next to the equator. These two facts are giving Mount Kilimanjaro its extreme contrasts. You stand in Moshi Town in front of the mountain, temperatures can easily reach 30 °C and more, while the top of Kilimanjaro is covered with ice and snow and temperatures of -25 °C (-13 F°) all year around. On the way from the surrounding plains you will be hiking through five different climate zones. It is said that hiking from the gate of Kilimanjaro to the peak is like travelling from the equator to Antarctica in a few days! Each climate zone consists of about 1.000m in altitude. Every zone offers an individual amount of rainfall, temperature and flora/fauna according to its altitude.

Moshi town, where you will start your journey, is located on the base of Mount Kilimanjaro at 900m above sea level at the warmest ecological zone and shows a big contrast to the climate at Uhuru Peak. Average rainfalls and temperatures can be seen in the tables below:

AVERAGE RAINFALL IN MOSHI, KILIMANJARO (IN MM)

AVERAGE RAINFALL IN MOSHI, KILIMANJARO (IN MM)

AVERAGE TEMPERATURES IN MOSHI, KILIMANJARO (IN °C)

AVERAGE TEMPERATURES IN MOSHI, KILIMANJARO (IN °C)

January and February are the warmest months, March and April are the rainiest months, June and July are the coldest months, and July and August are the driest months. These generalities about the weather in Moshi hold true for Mount Kilimanjaro as well but can vary slightly from year to year.

Due to its short distance to the equator, Mount Kilimanjaro has a quite constant climate all year around. Temperatures are more defined by the time of the day and altitude. Sunrise is about 7AM and dawn at around 7PM. In Moshi town, at the beginning of your climb, it is quite humid and the average temperature will be around 25 to 30 °C (77 °F to 86°F). From day to day you will cross Kilimanjaro’s 5 ecological zones and temperatures will decrease until you arrive Uhuru Point at 5.895m asl. At summit night temperatures can range between -10 °C and -30 °C (-14°F to -22 °F). Additionally there can be strong winds around the crater. Due to Mount Kilimanjaro's altitude the mountain creates its own weather that can change quickly. You should always be prepared for wet days and cold nights!

Please see the current weather conditions for Moshi & Uhuru Peak below:


Kilimanjaro knows Five Ecological Zones:

Below are Mount Kilimanjaro's zones from the lowest to the highest altitude along with the average annual rainfall and zone characteristics.

Cultivated Zone

Altitude: 800m to 1.800m (2,600 to 6,000ft)
Rainfall: 500 to 1.800 mm (20 to 70in)

Cultivated Zone Around KILIMANJARO

The lowest elevation climate zone is a cultivated area, mostly used for coffee plantations and farming by surrounding villages up to an altitude of 1.800m (6,000ft).

As the mountain provides fresh water all around the year, the soil is very fertile and ideal for farming for all kind of tropical fruits, coffee, tea and animals. The Chagga people have cultivated the land around the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro for centuries. Therefore wild animals are rarely seen, but many bird specied can be spotted and monkeys in the rainforest areas.

Rain Forest Zone

Altitude: 1.800 to 2.800m (6,000 to 9,200ft)
Rainfall: 2.000 to 1.000 mm (79 to 40in)

Rain Forest Zone on KILIMANJARO

The rain forest zone around Kilimanjaro is hot and humid throughout daytime, but temperatures can already drop down significantly at night. Here is where the entrance Gates of Kilimanjaro National Park are located around the mountain and here is where you will start climbing. The area is rich of ferns, sycamore figs, palm trees and enormous camphorwood trees. Blue and Colobus monkeys can be see and heard at night at your first campsite. Climbers arriving from the Rongai, Lemosho, Shira or Northern Circuit routes may be lucky enough to spot elephants and antelopes that are sometimes passing the rain forest zone.

Moorland Zone

Altitude: 2.800 to 4.000m (9,200 to 13,200ft)
Rainfall: 1.300 to 530mm (51 to 21in)

Moorland Zone on KILIMANJARO

You will leave the rain forest zone and notice that the trees are getting smaller and then suddenly disappear as you are reaching this semi-alpine zone that is characterized mostly by shrubs and moorland. After breaking through 2.500m (8,200ft) the first symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) may start to show up. We will take several short stops to give your body enough time to adapt to the dryer and cooler climate at high altitude. We regularly advise our clients to spend several days at this altitude to gradually acclimatize properly to the decreasing oxygen and the higher elevations to come. It is very important to choose the right climbing route and right number of days for your climb.

Alpine Desert Zone

Altitude: 4.000 to 5.000m (13,200 to 16,500ft)
Rainfall: 250mm (10in)

Alpine DESERT ZONE ON KILIMANJARO

This region is extreme, impressive and intense. There is hardly any water and vegetation. During daytime temperatures can reach more than 35 °C (95° F) and solar radiation is harmful. It is necessary to protect your skin and eyes, and to drink enough water to prevent your body from dehydration. During night temperatures can drop down below freezing of -5 °C (40 °F) so don’t be surprised to see some ice on your tent when you wake up. According to mountain medicine definition this zone is defined as “very high altitude” and can initiate some first stronger symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). You should communicate any kind of discomfort immediately to our guides. It will take time for your body to acclimatize to this region.

Arctic Zone

Altitude: 5.000 to 6.000m (16,500+ ft)
Rainfall: 100mm (<4in)

ARCTIC ZONE ON KILIMANJARO

The final region of the climb up Kilimanjaro is the arctic zone which is the most remarkable area as you are still in a tropical region but now only surrounded by rocks and ice. Nights on Kilimanjaro are extremely cold and windy with temperatures down to -25 or even -30 °C (-13 °F to -22 °F).

Mountain medicine classifies this zone as "extreme altitude." Oxygen levels are roughly 50% of what they are at sea level, making breathing exhausting and difficult. You literally have to earn every step to the summit but you will be rewarded with the most spectacular view that Africa has to offer.

Where will I sleep while climbing Kilimanjaro?

All our climbers will sleep in four-season mountain tents during the trek. These tents are checked before and after each climb to maintain good quality. They are warm, waterproof and roomy, according to the needs of climbing Kilimanjaro. We usually accomodate tents for 2 people, but we can arrange individual tents according to your needs. You don’t have to worry about camping for several days. Tanzania Horizon Safaris is using sleeping bags that are made for temperature up to -30 degrees Celcius and is providing sleeping mattresses for all climbs. If you wish to add some additonal comofrt to your climb, we offer softer inflatable sleeping mattresses. Please contact us for further information and check our Gear List.

KIlimanjaro 7 Days Lemosho Route

KILIMANJARO CLIMBING TENTS / TANZANIA HORIZON SAFARIS

All our tents will accomdate you, your Daypack and your Duffel Bag so that you will keep all your personal belongings with you at night. Inside the tents we provide small lamps in additon to your headlamps. In front of your sleeping room there is a small space that can be covered to wash yourself and also to place your shoes and Duffel Bag at night.

OUR PORTERS WILL CARRY ALL CLIMBING EQUIPMENT AND YOUR DUFFEL BAGS FOR YOU / TANZANIA HORIZON SAFARIS

OUR PORTERS WILL CARRY ALL CLIMBING EQUIPMENT AND YOUR DUFFEL BAGS FOR YOU / TANZANIA HORIZON SAFARIS

FOUR SEASON SLEEPING BAGS ARE NEEDED FOR KILIMANJARO

FOUR SEASON SLEEPING BAGS ARE NEEDED FOR KILIMANJARO

Four season sleeping bags are available for rent on location in Moshi Town, Tanzania. Our warm, winter synthetic sleeping bags are specified for the needs of high altitude climbing. They are soft and can be closed from the inside to eliminate cold spots. The nylon shell is waterresistant from the outside and durable while the polyester lining from the inside keeps away moisture, keeping weary climbers dry and warm. Please make sure that you always cover yourself well at night as feeling cold will decrease your success of climbing Kilimanjaro. This is extremely important as temperatures will drop drastically during night, especially at high altitude and there is nothing more dangerous than waking up at night because of feeling cold.

How long does it take to Climb Kilimanjaro?

TIME IS A MAJOR KEY TO SUCCESS FOR EVERY CLIMB

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro usually takes between five to nine days to complete. Overall statistics show that not even 50% of all climbers reach the summit. The reason is mostly because of bad preparation, altitude sickness or bad weather situations. While the weather can’t be changed, climbers can be well prepared and avoid altitude sickness by spending enough days on the mountain to adapt to low oxygen levels. Why should you travel all the way to Tanzania and then fail to climb Kilimanjaro because of not spending an additional day more to climb it?

The more days on the mountain, the better your chances of reaching the top.

 

SUCCESS RATES ACCORDING TO THE DAYS SPENT ON KILIMANJARO

We highly recommend to take enough time to enjoy this great mountain, its atmosphere, its wonders and the beauty of its unique nature. Not only will you enjoy it more, you will also drastically increase your chances to make it successfully to the highest peak of Africa. Please don’t try to reduce costs and risk your health by rushing to summit - take the time needed to make your dream come true! We are proud to say that we have a very high success rate on all our climbs and all our offered routes, which is not a miracle, it is a question of good communication with our clients, our guides, porters and of choosing the right route and right number of days for your climb. We are happy that our success rates are higher than the average success rates presented by Kilimanjaro Park Authorities. Your success is our success and your safety and health are most important to us!

Please read the information on our website to be well prepared.

All Kilimanjaro Routes:

How do I workout to Climb Kilimanjaro?

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While climbing Mount Kilimanjaro you will basically face 4 main challenges:

  1. Many hours of hiking (6-8 hours per day)

  2. Carrying your Daypack (10kg / 20lbs)

  3. Cold temperatures (summit at -25 °C / -13 °F)

  4. High Altitude

It will be a physical and mental challenge to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and not a walk in the park. This is what makes it a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Almost 50% of all climbers fail to arrive Uhuru Peak. Tanzania Horizon Safaris is proud to have very high success rates on all routes. This is because of our safety standards, our experienced guides and our communication prior to climb Kilimanjaro. In the following steps we will explain to you how you can prepare yourself in the best possible way before arriving Tanzania and before climbing Uhuru Peak. We advise you to start your workout 2 months or at least 1 month before climbing Kilimanjaro.

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The best ways to train for Kilimanjaro:

  • The easiest and best way for climbing Kilimanjaro is to go hiking!

  • Being in a good physical shape will definetely make it easier for you to climb 6-8 hours per day as your legs are stronger and carrying the weight of your Daypack will feel easier for you. You don’t have to spend endless hours in the gym or do all kind of crazy exercises.
    Your body will adapt to walking, hiking and climbing many hours and your mind will get used to it so that it becomes more natural to you. It will give you a big advantage to wear your climbing shoes so that your feet won’t suffer when actually climbing Kilimanjaro. We advise you to go hiking for several hours, uphill & downhill, preferably at higher altitude. The more you hike before, the easier it will become. You will also gain more confidence in your abilities as you will develop experience and your body becomes more resistant to small aches and pain that will occur. You should consider to carry a realistic Kilimanjaro Daypack with a maximum of 10kg / 20lbs at least from time to time. If you are a beginner you can start without a Daypack and few hours and then step by step increase the distance and carried weight by using a small Daypack. Try to push your limits and go for a long hike about 10 to 7 days before arriving Tanzania.

  • It depends on where you live if you are used to the cold climate on Kilimanjaro. This is something that you might not be able to simulate. But if you are living in a very warm area you might consider to add some extra layers to your luggage. That can be an additonal longsleeve shirt, long underwear, warmer socks and other ways to protect yourself from the cold. Temperatures will drop drastically at night and the wind can be freezing. Catching a cold on the mountain or waking up at night feeling cold can be dangerous for your health and might even stop you from climbing so please be aware of that. However, our mountain equipment will keep you warm at night as we are using materials specified for temperature up to -30 °C / -22 °F.

  • A healthy lifestyle definetely helps to successfully climb Kilimanjaro. You should try to eat healthy, avoid drinking too much alcohol and smoking at least 2 weeks prior to your climb. Sleep at least 8 hours and get adapted to the wake up hours on the mountain. Everyday starts at 6:30 AM and you will go to sleep at around 8PM or 9PM except summit night. You can see climbing Kilimanjaro as a motivation to change your habits and to do something good for your body by working out regularly, go hiking frequently and be more conscious about the food that you are eating.

  • By following the above steps you are increasing your chances of reaching Uhuru Peak at 5.895m. Even though, there is hardly any way to prevent your body from Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). It can happen to beginners as well as experienced climbers. It occurs when you are climbing too fast, so that your body can not adapt enough to the change of oxygen level at high altitude. If you have the chance to train at high altitude before climbing Kilimanjaro it can help you, but AMS only occurs above 2.500m / 8202ft and your body needs several days to adapt your blood cells to carry more oxygen. Altitude Mountain Sickness (AMS) is the biggest challenge on the mountain and is not a joke. It is the main reason why climbers do not make it to the top of Kilimanjaro and can even cause death! Therefore it is essential to choose enough days spend on the mountain to give your body enough time to adapt to high altitude. Your safety is our first priority, your success is our success!

    Our team will assist you 100% and our guides will make sure that you will reach your goal so please listen to your guides at all times!

You can read more about related topics:

Altitude Mountain Sickness (AMS)

How to choose the best Route to climb Kilimanjaro?

What are the Accommodations Before and After climbing Kilimanjaro?

VIEW OF KILIMANJARO SEEN FROM MOSHI TOWN

VIEW OF KILIMANJARO SEEN FROM MOSHI TOWN

You will arrive in Moshi town before climbing Kilimanjaro. We provide transport from Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) to your accomodation. Your accomodation before and after your climb is included in your booked service. Here is also where our guides will meet you before climbing Kilimanjaro and will explain to you what to expect on the mountain, your climbing route, to check your equipment according to our Gear List, your health condition and to let you ask all further questions that you might have. You will be able to leave the luggage that you don’t need during your climb at your accomodation where it will be kept securly.

Tanzania Horizon Safaris offers 3 different categories of accomodation according to your individual preferences.

Please see some examples of our categories below:

The accomodation categories are:

  • Adventure
    You will stay in a clean, calm, budget accomodation with a pool to relax before and after your climb. The accomodation offers a private restaurant and a garden. It is the perfect choice for all budget travellers to climb Kilimanjaro. 2** - 3***

  • Comfort
    This category offers a big variety of spacious rooms, a roof top terrace and a big pool to relax especially after your climb. It meets international standards of 3*** - 4 ****

  • Luxury
    Our luxury accomodations offer a big garden on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro. You will enjoy all comforts of a 4 **** - 5***** hotel & restaurant in a calm and friendly environment. It is the perfect choice for climbers that want to add some special architecture and environment to their Kilimanjaro climb.

After climbing Kilimanjaro you might want to add a Daytrip or a Safari to complete your Tanzania Experience!

Feel free to contact us for further details!