Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and the World’s highest free standing structure at an altitude of 5896 meters (19,336 feet) above the sea level. Hiking on the rooftop of Africa is the adventure of a lifetime, and anyone who is physically fit can scale this snow capped mountain.
Mount Kilimanjaro is located inside the Kilimanjaro National Park outside of Moshi town in a beautiful accessible village of Marangu where the headquarter of the park is located. There are different routes to the top involving different villages and scenarios. These routes includes Marangu route, Machame route, Rongai route, Lemosho route, Umbwe route, Shira route and Mweka route which is used for descent only.
With all these routes to the top Mount Kilimanjaro is however not only the highest free standing peak in the world but also highest accessible point. The chagga who inhabit the area of the mountain hasn’t yet managed to give the meaning of Kilimanjaro with the exception of kipoo (now known as Kibo) for the familiar snowy peak that stands imperious, overseer of the continent, and the summit of Africa.
The vegetation of Mount Kilimanjaro varies accordingly with the nature of the altitude you are, basically from tropics to the Arctic. At the level of 2700 m the cultivated foot slopes give way to lush montane forest, inhabited by leopard, buffalo, elephant, antelope and other primates. As you ascend the moorland zone show up where a cover of giant heather is studded with other worldly giant lobelias. Above 3900m, the zone changes to alpine desert which support little life to the fauna and flora. Popular signboards of no water here are experienced in this zone as you trek Kilimanjaro. The final vegetation is of winter wonderland of ice and snow and the magnificent beauty of the roof of the Africa.
Unlike other snow caped Mountain in the world, Mount Kilimanjaro isn’t a technical climbing mountain and need less equipment on trekking. Walking stick, proper clothing, sun glass, enough drinking water and determination are the key to a successfully Kilimanjaro climber. A successfully climber is the one who prepare himself/herself properly before ascending and ask as many questions as they can during trekking as well as been attentive to the Kilimanjaro mountain guide.
Mount Kilimanjaro is regularly ascent in five days using Marangu route, but for those who wants to make a record they can do less provided that they should pay for a minimum of five days. Climbing Kilimanjaro is a breathtaking activity and mostly it’s recommended for an extra day for acclimatization. Acclimatization day gives an alpine more chance to reach on the roof of Africa as experience the climatical changes gradually. Other routes offer a minimum of five days as Marangu and others six days such as Machame route.
The team which will take you to the mountain will comprise a cook(s), mountain guide and mountain porters. Depending on the nature of the group but a minimum of two porters per person carrying less than 15 kg of your luggage, cooking facilities and sleeping tents depending on the route selected. One guide for four to five people with one assistant guide and one cook. Additional of the team members will be done according to the situation of the group and luggage taken to the mountain.
While climbing Mount Kilimanjaro the Marangu route is referred as the luxurious route due to the fact that it has huts for accommodation, European toilets and sufficient water tape. Other Mount Kilimanjaro routes are subjected to the mobile camping tents whereby all the facilities are carried by your porters and in most cases they will trek faster than you for the preparation of accommodation, food and water on your arrival.
Mount Kilimanjaro is accessible while you are in Tanzania only and above mentioned route are the only official routes up Kilimanjaro. Mount Kilimanjaro is operated by Kilimanjaro National Park Authority (KINAPA) and obtains its main offices in Marangu village. Trekking/Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro normally starts in the morning around 9:00 a.m to 10:00a.m that you should be at the entrance gate for the registration as well as park fees payments. Please observe all the national park regulation especially environmental issues. On your successfully trekking to Uhuru Peak (5895 m), Stella Point or Gilman’s Point you will earn your climbing certificated from KINAPA offices.
Mount Kilimanjaro can successfully attempt by eligible 12 years to 70 years people and this is what the authority advice the alpine. Different people from different countries have trek/climb Mount Kilimanjaro in different ways to make different records and you can read them on your arrival especially the Marangu and Machame gate.
Due to Tanzania’s proximity to the equator (between 1 and 11.45 degrees latitude south of the Equator and 29.20 and 40.35 degrees longitudes east), this region does not experience the extremes of winter and summer weather, but rather dry and wet seasons. The local Weather conditions on Kilimanjaro can be somewhat unpredictable to say the very least. Rainfall varies from 2100 mm per year in the rainforest belt to less than 120 mm per year in the summit zone. Similarly, daily temperature changes are unexpected when compared to normal weather cycles, and are largely dependent on Altitude.
Mount Kilimanjaro has five major ecological zones, each approximately 3,280 feet (1,000 m) in altitude. Each zone is subject to a corresponding decrease in rainfall, temperature and life as the altitude increases. At the beginning of the climb, at the base of the mountain, the average temperature is around 70°F to 80°F (27°C to 32°C).
From there, the temperatures will decrease as you move through Mount Kilimanjaro’s ecological zones. At the summit, Uruhu Peak, the night time temperatures can range between 0°F to -15F (-18°C to -26°C). This make Kilimanjaro weather very dynamic and you should always be prepared for wet days and cold nights.
We recommend to our clients who wants to climb Kilimanjaro that the long rains typically occur from February to May, and basically it is at this time when visibility is bad and the mountain becomes slipperyand treacherous. The shorter rains occur during November and December white June though October it is a summer time and conducive for climbing the Mountain.
NB: Provided that February through May is long rain season mountaineers climb this mountain to the top without any problem so long as they have all required climbing gears.
Weather Conditions near the base of the mountain tend to be tropical to semi-temperate and are relatively stable all year round. The lower plains are hot and dry with average temperatures of around 90 degrees Fahrenheit. As one heads away from the Lower Plains towards the Rain Forest, conditions become increasingly warm and humid.
Mount Kilimanjaro is divided into five distinct zones: Cultivated farmlands on the lowest levels, next is the rainforest zone, followed by heath and moorland with alpine vegetation, and just before the barren, snowy summit is lunar-like desert. The climate and animal life is dependent on the zone.