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Mt. Kilimanjaro

Travel to Mt. Kilimanjaro

When to visit

January, February, August and September are the driest and most
suitable months. Conditions are wetter and less favorable over March- May and November-December, but it’s still possible to climb, and there’s less crowding on the more popular routes.

Visas and paperwork

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

The origin of the name Kilimanjaro is hotly disputed. Kilima is Swahili for hill, but njaro could derive from the Chagga word for a trade caravan, a Maasai word meaning water, or the name of a Swahili ice demon.

At a Glance/Highlights

As the tallest mountain in the world that can be climbed without specialist equipment or experience, Kilimanjaro is an irresistible goal to peak-baggers. Any reasonably fit and determined adult should be able to summit, but the thin, cold highland air often induces headaches and other altitude-related symptoms.

Kilimanjaro supports a sequence of altitudinal vegetation zones. The well-watered slopes below the 10,000ft contour support dense Afromontane forest. At higher altitudes, heath-like Afroalpine moorland, punctuated by stands of otherworldly giant lobelia and groundsel, gives way to a barren rockscape above 15,000ft.

Several routes can be used. Most popular and affordable is the five-day, four night Marangu Route, but it is busier and less scenic then the relatively little-used Machame, Shira, Lemosho and Rongai Routes, all of which require a minimum of six days and five nights, and tend to be costlier because of greater logistical complications.

For the ultimate Kilimanjaro experience, the Northern Circuit takes nine days to hike, and it can be extended to camp overnight inside Kibo Crater – well worth it, both for the incredible glacial scenery and for the relative ease of the final ascent to the peak.

An instantly recognizable landmark and UNESCO World Heritage Site, snowcapped Kilimanjaro is Africa’s tallest mountain and the highest freestanding massif anywhere in the world. Capped by the 19,341ft-high Uhuru Peak, ‘Kili’– as it’s referred to locally – is a popular goal with hikers, requiring no technical ability but at least five days to climb.

Practical Stuff

Getting there

A busy hub for international and domestic flights, Kilimanjaro
International Airport lies about an hour’s drive from most of the main

Health and safety

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