Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro / Marangu Route
One of the main attractions of Tanzania is Mount Kilimanjaro. This gigantic mountain stands 5,895 meters tall and is the highest mountain in Africa. This mountain is most famous for its three summits which include Shira, Kibo, and Mawenzi. While the two other summits of Mount Kilimanjaro suffered significant erosion; Kibo, being the youngest and highest peak remains an almost-perfect cone. Climbing mount Kilimanjaro is enjoyable and should be on every one’s bucket list. The trail takes the marangu route.
Scaling the mountain’s heights is a feat that takes plenty of perseverance and it’s important to undergo acclimatization before climbing the mountain to reduce the risk of altitude sickness. Climbing mount Kilimanjaro can be under taken privately accompanied by the mountain guide and porters or in group subject to availability.
We will spend the nights in mountain huts. We buy fresh produce and other food locally, and to ensure high standards of hygiene the food is prepared by our own staff. We can cater for special dietary requirements with advance notice at no extra charge.
You only require bottled water on the first and last day. The other days we will boil water or add purifying tablets then filter using MSR water filtering pump before refilling in your water bottles in the morning.
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Itinerary
Moshi – Mandara Hut
A representative from goshawk tours will meet you at your hotel or pick you up from the airport and he or she will introduce you to mountain guide. The guide will brief you on what to expect while climbing mount Kilimanjaro.
Drive to Marangu gate for registration and begin climbing through the rain forest to Mandara hut which is at 2700 meters above sea level.
From its low rim you can see above the trees and should be able to see the main summit, although in the afternoon it will almost certainly be cloud-capped. Dinner and overnight at Mandara hut.
[Time: 5 hours] Covering twelve kilometres.
Mandara Hut – Horombo Hut
An early breakfast followed by an ascend through the moorland and Maundi crater to Horombo hut which is at 3720 meters above sea level.
Once you reach Horombo it is noticeably colder and you will need to have a fleece jacket or sweater with you. At this point you might experience altitude sickness. Dinner and overnight at Horombo hut.
[Time: 6 hours] Covering fifteen kilometres.
Horombo Hut (Acclimatization Day)
The day is spent acclimatizing, hike towards Mawenzi hut, passing the Zebra Rocks on the way (about 3 hours up and 1.5 hours down), is strongly recommended.
This hike will further assist with the process of acclimatization. Remember to drink enough water and move slowly. Retire to bed early and get a last good night’s rest. All meals and overnight Horombo hut.
Horombo Hut – Kibo Hut
After breakfast begin the days hike through the Alpine forest up to the “Last Water Point” where you should fill your bottles.
The peak is visible as you head to Kibo hut which is at 4703 meters above sea level. You might experience headaches at this altitude and the night is also very cold. Dinner and overnight at kibo hut.
[Time: 6 hours] Covering fifteen kilometres.
Kibo Hut (Acclimatization Day)
The day is spent acclimatizing, a morning hike to Hans Meyer cave the half way point Gillman’s point which stands at 5150 meters above sea level.
Remember to drink enough water and move slowly. Retire to bed early and get a good night’s rest. Meals and over night at Kibo hut.
Kibo Hut – Summit – Horombo Hut
Wake up at 0000hrs and have some biscuits and tea. Begin the ascend to Uhuru peak which is at 5895 meters above sea level. The first section of the On the Summit trail consists of a rocky path to the Hans Meyer Cave (5150m), also a good resting spot.
The path then zigzags up to Gillman’s point (5 681m), which is located on the crater rim. This section is very steep with a lot of stone scree, requiring a great physical and mental effort. Probably the most demanding section of the entire route.
From Gillmans Point you will normally encounter snow all the way up to Uhuru peak (5895m), the highest point in Africa. After a photo session descend to kibo hut (3 hours) and after a short rest descend further to Horombo hut (3 hours) for dinner and overnight.
[Time: 14 hours] Covering twenty seven kilometres.
Horombo Hut – Moshi
After breakfast descend to Marangu gate via Mandara hut where you will sign out and be awarded with Summit certificate.
Those climbers who reached Gillman’s Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m), receive gold certificates.
Transfer to moshi and check in to your hotel. A hot shower and rest is most rewarding after conquering Kilimanjaro.
[Time: 7 hours] Covering twelve kilometres.
- Transport to and from the base of the mountain.
- Park entrance fees.
- Accommodation in mountain huts.
- Meals as described in the itinerary.
- Services of a mountain guide, porters & a cook.
- Rescue fee.
- H.F Radio communication for backup in case of an emergency.
- All government taxes.
- International airfares.
- Climbing equipments.
- All expenditure of personal nature such as telephone calls, hard drinks, soft drinks and laundry.
- Travel Insurance.
Mount Kilimanjaro Accommodation
Mandara hut is a group of wooden huts in a forest clearing. Each has 6-8 sleeping bunks with solar generated lighting. The total capacity of the camp is 60 climbers. Water is piped into the camp from springs above and there are flush toilets behind the main hut.
Horombo hut is a village of huts perched on a small plateau, with buildings similar to Mandara, but with a total capacity of 120 climbers. Horombo is normally bustling with hikers, guides and porters, with an atmosphere of adventure and excitement.
Kibo hut is a a stone build block house which has bunk beds for 60 climbers, but no streams with water nearby. It is however possible to buy mineral water and soft drinks at the camp office. There are platform toilets behind the hut.
MT. KILIMANJARO NATIONAL PARK
Africa’s highest mountain and the world’s highest free standing mountain, Mt Kilimanjaro which is also referred to as “The Roof of Africa” stands at 5895 metres above sea level. The mountain is a dormant volcano and has three outstanding peaks namely shira at 3962m, mawenzi at 5149m and kibo at 5895m. Uhuru Peak is the highest summit on Kibo’s crater rim.
Kilimanjaro is a giant stratovolcano that began forming a million years ago, when lava spilled from the Rift Valley zone. Two of its three peaks, Mawenzi and Shira, are extinct while Kibo (the highest peak) is dormant and could erupt again.
The last major eruption has been dated to 360,000 years ago, while the most recent activity was recorded just 200 years ago. Although it is dormant, Kibo has fumaroles that emit gas in the crater. Scientists concluded in 2003 that molten magma is just 400 m (1,310 ft) below the summit crater. Several collapses and landslides have occurred on Kibo in the past, one creating the area known as the Western Breach.
Kilimanjaro was first climbed in 1889 by German geographer Hans Meyer and Austrian mountain climber Ludwig Purtscheller.
There are six routes that one can use to climb the mountain that is Marangu, Mweka, Umbwe, Machame, Shira and Rongai. Only four of these routes are commonly used.
MOUNT KILIMANJARO ROUTES
Marangu route is the most Shortest and easiest route while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to the summit.It is used by 90% of climbers. This route is very scenic and has a well defined path. Accommodation on this route is mountain huts. This is the only route, which provides comfortable sleeping huts, equipped with beds and mattresses at every campsite. All the camps on this route have radio contact with the Park Headquarters.
MOUNT KILIMANJARO TOPOGRAPHY
Mount Kilimanjaro vegetation zones are characterized by tropical forest, open moorland, alpine desert and finally rocks and ice fields. From 1850 m – 2800m we have the montane forest. The area is usually damp or wet due to rainfall. Notably there isn’t a bamboo forest on mount Kilimanjaro. From 3200m the montane forest paves way for moorland which extends beyond the heath.
The nights on this zone are cool while the days are sunny and the air thins. Giant groundsels and lobelia thrive on this zone. The moorland gives way Alpine desert at 4000m, this zone is characterized by minimal vegetation, the sand is loose and the weather is intense. Above 5000m there isn’t any vegetation and you can find are rocks and ice fields.
Mount Kilimanjaro is only 3 degrees south of the equator and is influenced by the passage of the Inter-tropical Convergence Zone. There are two rainy seasons. The long rains occurs from March to the end of May and the short rains occur from October to November, but can extend into December.
Apart from these factors, climbing Kilimanjaro remains fairly constant throughout the year. The maximum rainfall occurs in the forest belt, where it can reach up to 2000 mm per year. At the summit, which can be describe as a “high altitude desert”, the rainfall is less than 100 mm per year. Rain and snow at higher altitudes can however be encountered at any time of the year.
The average temperatures at the foot of the mountain are 25° – 30° C and on the summit, it can range from minus 10° – 20° C. At 3000m the day temperatures range from 5° – 15° C, and at night frost is normally encountered; clearly a large variation, making it more interesting to summit the mountain.
CLIMBING GEAR & EQUIPMENTS
- Walking trousers synthetic material is recommended.
- Long Underwear Tops – Light synthetic.
- Women’s sports bras Synthetic material.
Light fleece with a warm layer.
- Long sleeve polypropylene shirt.
- Medium weight polypropylene/thermal leggings.
- Wind – waterproof – breathable jacket.
- Gloves- light weight.
- Warm Hat or Balaclava Sun hat – wool or synthetic.
- Face mask or neck gaiter.
- Medium or large duffel bag to pack your town clothes with a lock, this can be left at the hotel or we can store them for you.
Medium duffel bag to pack your hiking stuff with a lock. [ The porter will carry this bag. ]
- A day pack to store your essentials with a capacity of about 25 to 35 liters is recommended.
- Walking/hiking shoes – comfortable and waterproof.
- Socks – Fitting socks one thick and one thin pair.
- Head lamp with extra batteries & bulbs.
- Adjustable trekking poles.
- Sleeping bag – Rated 3 – season.
- Gaiters – make sure they will fit over boots.
- Purification tablets or filters – water for drinking is fetched from mountain streams.
- Water bottle preferably one litre.
- Female or male hygiene supplies.
- Hand wipes and camp towel.
- Personal toiletry kit.
- Lip balm.
- Sun glasses.
- Camera & extra battries.
- Passport, flight ticket, travel insurance, visa, cash & credit card.
- Basecamp entertainment i.e books, board games, playing cards or ipod.
- Favorite Snacks, candy bars or protein bars.
Kindly don’t forget your patience, have an open mind, positive and relaxed attitude as things in this part of the world may be very different to what you are accustomed to but in the end the experience is price less and will always be memorable.