Tanzania – Mt Kilimanjaro
Mt Kilimanjaro (5895m), lies just 3° south of the equator, is the famed snow capped mountain in Tanzania. Being the highest mountain in Africa and the highest freestanding mountain in the world, it has earned itself another well known name as The Roof of Africa. Mt Kilimanjaro towering over the surrounding African plains has long been Tanzania’s most famous and remarkable landmark. The majestic view of the mountain on the flat African plains on a clear cloudless day, especially during sunrise or sunset, is simply breath taking.
Mt Kilimanjaro is also the fourth highest peak of the Seven Summits and has many interesting aspects. These are some of the more distinct ones :
- It is a giant stratovocano that began forming a million years ago when lava spilled from the Rift Valley zone.The mountain was built by successive lava flows.
- It is composed of three distinct volcanic cones: Kibo (5895m); Mawenzi (5149m); and Shira (3962m). Uhuru Peak is the highest summit on Kibo’s crater rim.
- It is one of the few mountains on earth that supports five ecosystems: tropical jungle, savannah, and desert to montane forests, subalpine plants, and the alpine zone.
- The glaciers on top of the mountain are constantly evolving. They melt and shrink in dry season but regenerate in the wet. However, the glaciers are diminishing and have lost more than 80 percent of their mass since 1912.
About The Climb
There are six main routes leading up the slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro. They are: Shira route, the Lemosho route, Machame route, Umbwe route, Marangu route, and Rongai route. They are all named after the places from where they begin.
Of the routes choices, the Marangu route has sleeping huts for overnights but the least scenic. The huts are basic but have solar lighting. On the other routes, tents are used for overnights. Shira route is rarely used by trekkers because of the dirt motorway for rescue vehicles. The more popular and scenic routes are the Lemosho route, Machame route and Rongai route.
The Lemosho and Shira routes approach from the west. The Marangu, Machame and Umbwe routes approach from the south. The Rongai route approaches from the north. Mweka route is used for descent only.
The Northern Circuit is a relatively new route that runs along the north side of Mt Kilimanjaro and allows almost a complete circumnavigation of Kibo. The gradual route provides for better acclimatization to help the body to cope better in the mountain. This route isn’t incorporated as a standard section of most of the routes. It has lower traffic, avoiding the main stream of trekkers. The circuit begins in the remote west, following the Lemosho route up to the Shira Plateau before turning into the north eastern direction around the back of the mountain and onto the circuit itself. The remoteness of part of the circuit allows trekkers to see the more “un-touched” part of Mt Kilimanjaro.
Due to its proximity to the equator, Mt Kilimanjaro does not experience wide temperature changes from season to season. Instead, the temperatures on Mt Kilimanjaro are determined more so by the altitude, time of day and the dry and wet seasons. While it is possible to climb Mt Kilimanjaro at any time of the year, it is best to avoid the raining season from mid March to June and November.
The popular trekking seasons are:
- December – March (warmest months with the low rainfall)
- July – October (Cooler months withe the low rainfall)
Good to have above 3500m high altitude trekking experiences. While Mt Kilimanjaro is the least difficult to climb of the Seven Summits and a superb first 5000m peak for those who have not trekked beyond 5000m, the success of ascending to the summit is not a given and requires great effort. For the most part, it takes just putting one foot in front of the other. Although this sounds simple, it requires excellent physical fitness and the ability to endure the extreme cold and rough conditions of the mountains . The biggest challenge and danger of climbing Mt Kilimanjaro is the high altitude.
You will be trekking at above 3000m in undulating mountain terrain with a personal backpack load of 5-6kg for 8 to 10 hours each day for up to 8 days . For summit day, be prepared to trek fo 12 – 15 hours starting at midnight and in extreme cold temperature of -10°C to -15°C.
Equipment and Gear
You will need thermal base layers, a fleece jacket and an outer shell jacket. When at the campsites, after sundown and for the summit, a down jacket will help keep you warm. A down sleeping bag is also needed and provided.
A packing list will be provided to all our participants. Please refer to our Resource Centre page to learn about the layering system and choose the right gear/equipment for your trek.
|Route||2-4 people||5-9 people||10 people and above|
|10 Days Northern Circuit via Lemosho Route||$3350 per person||$3250 per person||$3150 per person|
|10 Days Lemosho / Machame Route||$3300 per person||$3220 per person||$3120 per person|
|9 Days Rongai||TBA||TBA||TBA|
You can form a private group for any of the Mt Kilimanjaro itineraries. For enquiry, send an email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Northern Circuit route is most recommended by us. This route isn’t incorporated as a standard section of most of the routes. It is more "un-touched", has lower traffic and avoid the main stream of trekkers. This route is also more scenic with almost a complete circumnavigation of Kibo. The more gradual ascend provides better acclimatization. The ascend to the summit from School Hut, unlike the rest of the routes, which ascend to the summit is from Barafu Camp.
|Day||Description||Meals||Altitude at Rest Point|
|Day 1||Arrive Moshi||D/-/-||950m|
|Day 2-7||Transfer to Londorossi Gate (2250m) for registration before transferring to Lemosho Gate (2100m) to start the trek. For the next 6 days, trek towards northwest and through the less visited northern circuit to School Hut (4715m) – one of the two last campsites on the north side of Kilimanjaro before the summit trek.||B/ Packed L/D||Big Tree - 2800m
Shira Camp 1 - 3570m
Moir Hut - 4100m
Buffalo Camp - 4150m
3rd Cave - 3880m
School Hut - 4715m
|Day 8||Summit day. Start the trek to Uhuru Peak (5895m) from School Camp at around 12am. Descend to the south side via Barafu Camp (4680m) to Millennium Camp.||B/ Packed L/D||3820m|
|Day 9||Descend to Mweka Gate (1640m). Transfer to Moshi.||B/L/D||950m|
|Day 10||Depart Moshi||B/-/-|
The Lemosho route is our 2nd recommended route. It is one of the newer routes and fast gaining in popularity. It is equally, if not more, scenic, than Machame route with a more gradual and less challenging start. The start of the route typically has low traffic until the route joins the Machame route from Shira Camp onwards through Lava Tower, Barranco and Barafu.
The Machame route is also known as the "Wiskey" route. It is one of the better known and more popular route. Because of its popularity, this route can get over crowded, especially during the peak seasons. The name "Wiskey" route came about as it is considered a tougher and more difficult route.
|Lemosho Route||Machame Route||Meals||Altitude At Rest Point|
|Day 1||Arrive Moshi||Arrive Moshi||-/-/D||950m|
|Day 2-7||Transfer to Londorossi Gate (2250m) for registration before transferring to Lemosho Gate (2100m) to start the trek to Big Tree(2800m). For the next 6 days, trek south-west on the standard route to Shira Camp, Lave Tower, Barranco and Barafu Camp. Barafu Camp is the last campsite on the south side before the summit trek.||Transfer to Machame Gate (1790m). After registration start the trek to Machame Camp (3010m). For the few days, trek south-west on the standard route to Shira Camp, Lave Tower, Barranco and Barafu Camp. Barafu Camp is the last campsite on the south side before the summit trek.||B/ Packed L/D||Big Tree- 2800m
Machame Camp- 3010m
Shira Camp 1- 3570m
Shira Camp 2- 3900m
Barranco Camp- 3960m
Karanga Camp- 3963m
Barafu Camp- 4640m
|Day 8||Summit day. Start the trek to Uhuru Peak (5895m) at around 12am. Descend the same way down to Barafu Camp (4680m) and continue to Millennium Camp.||Summit day. Start the trek to Uhuru Peak (5895m) at around 12am. Descend the same way down to Barafu Camp (4680m) and continue to Millennium Camp.||B/ Packed L/D||3790m|
|Day 9||Descend to Mweka Gate (1640m). Transfer to Moshi.||Descend to Mweka Gate (1640m). Transfer to Moshi.||B/L/D||950m|
|Day 10||Depart Moshi||Depart Moshi||B/-/-|
The Rongai route is the only route that approaches Mt Kilimanjaro from the north, close to the Kenyan border. This route, like Lemosho route, is also fast gaining popularity. Though not as scenic as the western routes, it has low traffic and pass through more "un-touched" wilderness of Mt Kilimanjaro on the ascend. It also ascend to the summit from Kibo Camp, unlike the rest of the routes, which ascend to the summit from Barafu Camp. The descend is through Marangu route, again, something different from the rest of the routes, which descend through Mweka route. This route, which has a shorter ascend, is more difficult and challenging than the rest of the routes.
|Lemosho Route||Meals||Altitude At Rest Point|
|Day 1||Arrive Moshi||-/-/D||950m|
|Day 2-6||Transfer to Nalemoru Gate (1990m) for registration and start trek to Simba Camp (2625m). For the next few days, trek southwards to 2n Cave, Kikelewa Camp, Mawenzi Tarn Hut and Kibo Hut. Kibo Hut is the one of the two last campsites on the north side before the summit trek.||B/ Packed L/D||2nd Cave- 3480m
Kikelewa Camp- 3630m
Mawenzi Tarn Hut-4310m
Kibo Hut- 4700m
Barranco Camp- 3960m
Karanga Camp- 3963m
Barafu Camp- 4640m
|Day 7||Summit day. Start the trek to Uhuru Peak (5895m) at around 12am. Descend to Horombo Hut.||B/ Packed L/D||3700m|
|Day 8||Descend to Marangu Gate (1860m). Transfer to Moshi.||B/L/D||950m|
|Day 9||Depart Moshi||B/-/-|
- Return airport transfer in Moshi
- All land transfer as indicated in itinerary
- Meals as indicated in itinerary
- Twin/Trip sharing accommodation in Moshi
- Camping equipment: Three-season sleeping tents, kitchen tents, portable chemical toilet, dinning tables and chairs, sleeping mats and sleeping bags
- Trek support: Climbing guide, assistant climbing guide, cook and porters
- Day 1 of trek 1.5 liters of bottled mineral water; Day 2 until the end of the trek -filtered water
- Permits & fees: Park fee, camping fee and rescue fee
- Emergency medical supply support - Supplemental Oxygen, Pulse Oximeter and Gamov bag (at Millennium Camp)
- Tree donation in support of our environmental conservation projects
- International air tickets, airline taxes and fuel surcharge
- Visa Fee (if any).
- Single Supplement
- Meals not indicated in itinerary
- All tipping (Budget around $300 - $500 per trekker for the tip for the trekking crew)
- Personal porters
- Personal travel insurance (mandatory to cover travel agent insolvency and trekking up to 6000m)
- Personal expenses like shopping, laundry etc
- Personal travel & trekking gear – warm clothing, shoes, backpacks etc
- Compensation for damaged or lost of personal items (eg: climbing/trekking gear and equipment, cameras and any valuable items etc)
- Emergency evacuation and medical expenses
- Any expenses including accommodation, meals & transfer outside the stipulated trek/climb itinerary – i.e. any person leaving the group for personal travel, illness/injury or any form of extension of stay
Support from Ace Adventure Expeditions
We provide pre-trip support to prepare you for the climb:
1. Trip briefing and information kit
2. Gear list and gear discount from selected Singapore outdoor outfitters
3. Training guideline kit
4. Rope skill workshop (For climbs that require rope up and/or fixed rope skill)
We carefully select and establish strong working relationship with our local trek operator to ensure safe participation by everyone. Our local climbing guides have extensive experience in guiding treks in Kilimanjaro, possess intimate knowledge of the local surroundings, conditions and culture and are trained in wilderness 1st aid and emergency rescue.
Our local climbing guides carry walkie talkies during the trek to communicate with one another and report back to the company headquarter on a daily basis. Our local operator will send their private rescue vehicle should there be an emergency situation and the National Park's rescue vehicles are not available.
Training: Regardless of your level of fitness and physical conditions, it is advisable to train prior to embarking on a trekking or mountain climbing trip.
Pure cardiovascular fitness is NOT enough.
Focus your training effort in the following areas, assuming that you are in good health and injury-free:
- Climbing conditioning – stairs and load training.
- Cardio training - Jogging/running and interval training like CrossFit or HIIT.
- Strength training for the lower body, shoulder, back and core
- Flexibility training - eg: Yoga and stretching exercises
A good five to six months of training would be a good preparation for this trek.
A recommended training guide specific to the trek or climb will be given to you upon signing up.
Refer to our Grading chart for an overview on the technical difficulty and fitness required for this trek.
Refer to our Training Guide for tips on trekking and mountain climbing training.