Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the world’s greatest outdoor challenges. It is the highest trekking mountain in the world; the highest mountain in Africa and the world’s highest free standing mountain.
Which route should i choose?
Kilimanjaro route Map.
There are six established routes to climb Mount Kilimanjaro - Marangu, Machame, Lemosho, Shira,Rongai and Umbwe. The Marangu, Machame, and Umbwe routes all approach from the south of the mountain (Mweka is used only for descent). The Lemosho and Shira routes approach from the west. The Rongai route approaches from the north. Selecting a route is a tough choice for most. To find the best route for you, considerations should be taken for the route's scenery, difficulty, traffic and its altitude acclimatization characteristics, as described below. You should plan spending at least 6 days (5 nights) on the mountain (5 days on the Marangu Route if already acclimatized). This is a Kilimanjaro Park guideline.
On a typical day on the mountain, you will be awaken from your tent around 6:30AM by your waiter/porter, who will bring you a warm pan of water to wash your face and hands. Breakfast will then be served. For all group tours with more than one person, meals are served in a dining tent - complete with chairs, tables, dinnerware and silverware. After you assemble your day pack, you will begin walking by 8:00AM, while the porters stay behind to clean up the campsite, and pack up the tents and other equipment.
While the hours vary from day to day, your average walking time will be around four to five hours per day. During the walk, your guide will decide the pace and when to take a break depending on his assessment of the party's performance. The porters consistently move ahead of the group in order to prepare food, boil water, and set up tents so that everything is ready when the party arrives. Lunch may be a picnic lunch box or on occasion a hot lunch if the day's hike is a short one. Once you arrive at the campsite,Hot Coffee and snacks are served to warm up. Then, before dinner, a pan of water is again provided for clean up. Dinner is served around 6:00PM. The guide will discuss the next day's activity schedule with the group after dinner. Down time is spent chatting with your fellow climbers, staff and others sharing the campsite, reading, or otherwise relaxing. You will sleep in four-season, warm, waterproof mountain tents with a rain fly. Each three-person sized tent will comfortably house two climbers and their gear. Summit day is a tough, 11 to 16 hour day. This monumental effort is what makes climbing Kilimanjaro an achievement. It begins very early as guides try to time their trekking party to reach Uhuru peak at sunrise. Climbers go to sleep after an early dinner the night before and are awaken around midnight to prepare for the summit attempt. After a light snack, climbers ascend in the darkness, cold and wind. It goes without saying that under these conditions, climbing is difficult, especially on loose rock and up a very steep slope. Once you reach the summit, a short time is spent celebrating and taking photos, before returning to high camp, either Barafu or Kibo Hut. There, you eat lunch and regain your strength, before continuing the descent to a much lower camp. During the trek, it is common that someone may have to turn around on the mountain due to altitude sickness, exhaustion or a variety of other matters. Each group will have a lead guide, a number of assistant guides depending on the party size, and lead porters - all of whom are able to escort climbers down. Therefore, if a person cannot continue the ascent, one of the staff members will accompany this climber while the lead guide takes the group onward. The remaining party is unaffected and continues their climb as scheduled.
What are the Trail Conditions?
Climbing Kilimanjaro through the Machame route
The trails on Mount Kilimanjaro are well marked and maintained. Technical skills are not required on our routes. There are only a couple spots where scrambling (climbing on hands and feet) is required, such as the Barranco Wall, the Western Breach approach (now closed) and optional Lava Tower climb. The path to and from Uhuru Point is on scree, which can be especially tiring and slippery.
Among the differences between these routes:
The routes have starting points located on multiple sides of the mountain.
The routes vary distance and accordingly so do the completion times.
There are relatively easy trails, difficult routes, and even dangerous ones.
Certain routes are favorable for altitude acclimatization due to their route profile.
There are routes that are better when climbing during the rainy season.
One route offers hut accommodations while the rest are camping routes.
Picking the wrong route can mean an unnecessarily difficult trek, a failed summit, or getting sick and/or injured. So it is necessary to compare the different elements that makes each route unique. Pick the best Kilimanjaro route that is rightfor you.
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