Mount Kilimanjaro Trekking Tanzania
Mount Kilimanjaro National Park
Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s tallest and free standing mountain, unlike other national parks in the northern tourist area, Kilimanjaro offers an opportunity to explore and stand on Africa’s highest peaks. The park is located in Tanzania just near the South Kenyan border, rising from farmlands, rain forests, to the alpine snow capped summits where the whole African continent can be viewed at glance at an elevation of 5,895 meters above sea level. Being one of the accessible tall mountains by many climbers around the world, the incline of the lower slopes is a typical climatic world tour climbing through the 5 distinct vegetation zones. Most climbers reach the summit by strength of mind, proper clothing and a simple walking stick. Several routes leading to the top are all walkable but for the physically fit climbers.
Apparently Kilimanjaro is no longer an active volcano that protects moorland and highland zones on great three peaks of kobo and Mawezi peaks, Shira plateau which make the landscapes eye catching with each of the climatic zone habiting different species of wildlife (plants and animals). The lower slopes are mostly dominated by ever green rain forests at about 3,000 meters giving way to the scrub like savannah grasslands that slowly disappears into arid and rocky landscapes at an altitude of 4,000 meters. The top of Kilimanjaro is snow capped by huge glaciers and ice caps sprinkled between crater lakes and peaks that tower above in the clouds.
The lower slopes of the mountain are teemed with herds of buffalos, leopards, elephants, monkeys and the largest African antelope the eland making the park an intriguing and naturally diverse region on earth where both climbers and wildlife enthusiast can enjoy the mystical nature. Kilimanjaro is very rich in terms of wildlife traversing through the five distinct climatic zones from bush lands to the snow peaks in just a number of days; climbers protected by armed rangers will encounter buffalos, elephants, leopards and rare species of plants including the giant lobelias.
Access To Mount Kilimanjaro
All climbs to the mountain start from Moshi or Arusha towns which are approximately 45 km away from the Kilimanjaro Airport; there are direct international flights that fly to Kilimanjaro International Airport, from Kilimanjaro Airport drive for one hour to the starting point of hiking. Transfers from the air port to your hotel and back you will have to pay additional costs. A number of domestic flights are also available within Tanzania which can be hired to fly from different Nairobi to Kilimanjaro Airport.
Ground transportation can also be arranged with shuttle buses transfers from Nairobi town to Moshi or Arusha towns which are closely located near the Kilimanjaro just about 45 km. Buses usually depart Nairobi at 08:00 am and arrive 14:00 hours daily at US$ 35 per person visitors who stay in Nairobi city can be picked up or dropped off in their hotels in the city centre. At an extra cost private transfers from Nairobi or Dar Es Salaam cities to Arusha or Moshi towns.
Activities For Mount Kilimanjaro Trekkers
Tanzania safari climbers must be accompanied by licensed guides and visitors who may not be well versed with Mount Kilimanjaro trekking should organize with particular tour operator. There are six hiking routes that lead to the top of the summit which demand a relative level of fitness and determination. Different routes have different hiking duration and mostly tents and huts are offered Nature trails are also available including overnight on the lower slopes of the mountains. The beautiful Chala Crater Lake can be visited on the extreme southern slopes of the mountain.
On the Western part of Kilimanjaro using Lemosho route game drives can be arranged to encounter various species of wildlife such as buffalos and elephants, natural waterfalls can also be seen teemed with birds, monkeys and on the lower slopes visitors can explore the local people and their traditional cultures, the Chagga tribe inhabits lower slopes of the mountain.
Things to pack before Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro
Every climber must understand the nature of the mountain range in advance so as to get enabling equipments and climbing accessories including extreme weather sleeping bags, waterproof clothing, solid hiking shoes, walking sticks, gloves, sun glasses, hats to protect you from sun burn.
Climbers must have yellow fever vaccination cards, or you advised to see a physician for related sickness such as malaria and acute mountain sickness since you shall spend days over a high altitude. Note that those prone to acute mountain are advised to take longer treks of up to 6 or 7 days but it depends on a certain route. Every climber should have a guide, a cook and porters depending on the kind of packaging a climber has and tipping is standard.
Porters are available for hire to help support you by carrying heavy backpacks. Porters are paid US $10 per day, cooks US$ 15 per day and US$20 for guides per day.
Note that fees inclusive of all packages differ depending on the choice of the hiking route and time taken to complete that route.
Best Time to go Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro
The mountain can be hiked all year round but preferably December to February is the dry and warmest months of the season that most climbers like because the weather is generally good. April, May and November tend to be rainy and wet colder conditions dominate characterized by frequent rains. Travelers should note that the mountain is near the equator thus does not experience extreme winter or summer conditions but moderately the normal African wet and dry seasons. Climbers will prefer the dry months of January, February and September. This is the time when much of the routes are clear with fewer rains which enables the hiking journey.
The wettest months are April, May and early August but still mountain climbing enthusiasts will pay no attention to the frequent rains but rather endure the challenging hiking routes that become slippery and muddy sometimes.
Why Choose the Northern Tanzanian Tourist Area
Specific National parks are visited for a particular interest in certain species of wildlife, figuring out an absolute classic African safari, northern Tanzania is the best place to be but more importantly is the timing of the great wildebeest migration in Serengeti national park, canoeing on numerous lakes and climbing the tallest mountain over the course of 5 to 6 nights of stay in the region. The region can be discovered by road or by air depending on the visitor’s itinerary.
The park can easily be accessed from several Airports such as Arusha, Kilimanjaro and Moshi Airports. Therefore it’s within a short travelling distance to each of the national parks.
The region hosts the tallest mountain on the African continent Kilimanjaro, in Serengeti where the annual wondrous Wildebeest Migration across the unfenced borders of Tanzania and Kenya where the great Serengeti and Masai-Mara National parks meet with endless plains of savannah.
Explore the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater with the world’s most threatened species of wildlife such as the rare and nearly extinct Black Rhinos and get an insight into the facts of human evolution footprints dated 3.6 million years ago in the archeological sites of Olduvai Gorge.