Climb Mount Kilimanjaro 

Dominating the landscape like no other mountain, iconic and instantly recognisable, Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is the highest peak in Africa and the World's tallest freestanding mountain at 5895 metres. To climb Kilimanjaro is a great challenge, but entirely feasible for the active traveller, keen walker or for someone looking for a new challenge. In a matter of days you’ll climb Kilimanjaro from the hot plains of Africa through grasslands, tropical rain forest, alpine meadows, moorlands and desert uplands onto snow and ice.

As one of the premier Mount Kilimanjaro tour operators, we have regular climbs on four of the main routes. Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro via the Machame route in 7 days, is our preferred route as it offers excellent acclimatisation and views. The Lemosho route, is the same as the Machame route after the second camp (Shira Plateau), but gives an extra day on the mountain. Or there is the Rongai route, which approaches from the north of the mountain and is a less travelled option. It's also good during the rainy season as it's more sheltered. Or for those who have a bit of time we also have climbs via the 9 day Northern Circuit route. We also organise and runs lots of climbs for charities, walking clubs, groups of friends, universities and colleges. You'll find open, bespoke and private climb options on all our Kilimanjaro route pages below, alongside itineraries, altitude profiles and a photo gallery. 

Routes on Kilimanjaro

Below you'll find the main routes for our Kilimanjaro treks, We also offer bespoke treks on other routes like the Shira, Umbwe, Marangu routes and also climbs via the Western Breach and overnights at Crater camp:

 Kilimanjaro Route Map

Kilimanjaro route options
Click the image above to explore Kilimanjaro and all the routes in 3D on Google Earth!

Why Choose Us As Your Mount Kilimanjaro Tour Operator?

We’re a company run by mountaineers so you’ll find proper itineraries, safety measures and training for all our staff. We don’t employ ‘sales staff’ and all our office crew are outdoors people with a wealth of experience and knowledge on Kilimanjaro, however, they also remember what it’s like to dream of a climb to the roof of Africa and know that you’ll have lots of questions, excitement and nerves! So don’t be afraid to call us for a chat or drop us an email with any questions.

We've been running trips to Kilimanjaro since 1991 when company MD and founder Gavin lived in Nairobi and guided on this mountain and Mount Kenya, during this time he used the proceeds to fund the fledgling charity Moving Mountains. After some time he employed his friend and local guide Castro to start our own company in Moshi called Adventure Alternative Tanzania and we still work together three decades later. Our local guides are personal friends of all the UK and Irish staff and really lovely people who are qualified and very experienced. For many years we've been taking charity groups from all over the world up Kilimanjaro, Irish and UK walking club groups, schools, universities and even record breakers to the summit. We have to date had five clients propose to their loved one on reaching the summit, taken the youngest British person to the summit and our Kilimanjaro acclimatisation programme has given us an average 95% success rate to reach the highest point in Africa. 

Participate in a Kilimanjaro Charity Climb

In addition to our general routes, you can climb Mount Kilimanjaro for charity! We offer a Kilimanjaro Charity Climb on many of these routes. Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for charity can be done for our sister charity Moving Mountains or another charity of your choice. It's an extraordinarily rewarding experience to participate in a charity challenge. When you climb a mountain for charity you not only complete an amazing feat, but you support local communities as well. We are more than happy to help you organize your charity climb. 

Kilimanjaro Handy Links!

One of the most commonly asked questions we get is What to Wear on Kilimanjaro? It's really important that you look at our Kilimanjaro Kit List but be assured that you don't need to spend a fortune on kit and you can rent sleeping bags, trekking poles and other items from us! In the more information section on this and all the different Kilimanjaro route pages, you'll find details about Trekking boots amongst other Kilimanjaro Trip Preparation tips like Travel Insurance and of course Training For Kilimanjaro.  The second most commonly asked question is what are the Toilets like on Kilimanjaro and after a quick google you may be concerned, but don't be as they've improved a lot over recent years or we can bring up a private toilet for you!

Fitness and Altitude Sickness on Kilimanjaro

No doubt the trek is challenging and you are going to extreme altitude, however, the pace is slow due to going to altitude, which often surprises people, but it's essential for a safe and successful ascent. You'll find lot's of fitness info and tips in the training for Kilimanjaro section but you don't need to be super fit! The number of hours hiking each day differs depending on day and route; full details are on the different route pages. When you start to look at altitude and altitude sickness and what it can do to your body, people sometimes get concerned, however, our route, pace and how the guides look after you are designed to allow you to acclimatise well. There are also info pages about your health and altitudes affects on your body and acclimatising safely plus details about whether you should use the altitude drug Diamox on Kilimanjaro.

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Sunrise on summit day looking down from the edge of the main crater rim, to the lower summit of Mwenzi Peak

Best time to Climb Kilimanjaro?

The trekking season on Kilimanjaro is actually all year round, however the main seasons are traditionally December to March and June to October with temperatures in Moshi averaging 22 degrees C and summit temperatures around - 7 degrees C. The rains are in April, May and November but nowadays climate change has changed this pattern and sometimes the rains don't come or come at differing times of year. During the rains we run our Rongai climbs as the northern side of the mountain is more sheltered then. 

A full moon climb of Kilimanjaro, or indeed a new moon climb, is often a popular time to climb due to either walking under the light of the moon or since Kilimanjaro is on the equator, under a new moon stargazing is particularly beautiful with both north and south constellations visible. To avoid crowds at this time we recommend that you offset your summit by one or two days either side of the actual new or full moon.

 

Month  2018 New Moon  2018 Full Moon 2019 New Moon  2019 Full Moon
Jan

16

1 & 31 6 21 Super Full Moon
Feb 15 N/A 5 19 Super Full Moon
March 17 1 & 31 6 21
April 15 29 5 19
May 15 29 5 19
June 13 27 3 17
July 12 27 Total Lunar Eclipse 2 17 Partial Lunar Eclipse
Aug 11 26 1 & 30 15
Sept 9 25 28 14
Oct 8 24 28 14
Nov 7 23 26 12
Dec 7 22 26 12

Other notable dates:
Valentines Day Summit: Arrive Tanzania on the 7th Feb New Years Eve / Day Summit: Arrive Tanzania on the 25th Dec 

Full moon and new moon climbs on Kilimanjaro

How much does it cost to climb Kilimanjaro?

Each route is different in price due to the number of days and transport costs. A full breakdown of Kilimanjaro trip inclusions and exclusions is on each route page but generally the price includes 3 nights B&B in a good Moshi hotel (2 nights before the climb to re hydrate and relax after your flight and one after), all national park - park fees and camping / hut fees, all guides, porters, cooks and assistants, three excellent meals a day on the climb, transport to and from the mountain for you and all staff, all group kitchen, dining and camping gear (tents, tables, chairs and mattresses). You need to bring your own personal clothing and sleeping bag (though you can rent one from us). Extra costs are flights (we can help you organise this if required), visa, insurance, travel vaccinations, tips and meals in Moshi.

Do drop us an email or call us if you'd like more details about the different Kilimanjaro route options, for private Kilimanjaro climbs or for a copy of our trekking guide.

What is the terrain like on Mount Kilimanjaro?

The terrain on Kilimanjaro varies throughout; in a period of seven or eight days, traversing the mountain over about 38 miles, ascending from 2000m to 5895m and back down, you will pass through cultivated farmland, equatorial forest and alpine heath, across a lunar-like volcanic desert and up to a glaciated summit. Climbing Kilimanjaro is not a technical climb and there are no precipitous drops along the way, no rock climbing or specialist equipment needed. 

The paths are in good condition and well trodden; some are steeper than others (in particular the Great Barranco Wall on the Machame route is an exciting scramble) and you will most likely meet people all along the way. On summit day the path is mostly screed, which can be loose and unrelenting, especially on the descent when your knees will probably suffer.

What experience do I for Mount Kilimanjaro?

Climbing Kilimanjaro is a non-technical trek but it does offer a full mountaineering experience. Experience in hill walking is a benefit but not absolutely necessary, since this is a supported climb. You will have however be outdoors constantly and living in tents so any sort of experience with camping will be useful and a good level of training is expected, especially on the thigh and calf muscles. 

It is not necessary to have any experience of high altitude to climb Kilimanjaro, and there is nowhere in the United Kingdom or Ireland to possibly train for it. The important factor will be to go slowly and allow your metabolism to adapt to the lower air pressure and the thinner air, and be aware of altitude health at all times. Also visit our blog on fitness for climbing Kilimanjaro

What support will you get on Mount Kilimanjaro?

The staff will carry your main bag up to a maximum weight of 15 kgs plus all the tents, kitchen equipment, food, fuel, tables and chairs. They will cater for all the group needs, providing excellent meals and putting up the tents. The guides will also brief you daily on the climb and they will assist you all the way to the summit and back down again. They have been working for us since 2001 and are fully trained and very experienced.

Castro Capelo is our operations manager in Moshi and Director of Adventure Alternative Tanzania. He organises all the staff, equipment, permits and hotel arrangements. You will have his telephone number, or the staff at the hotel desk can call him for you. He is the main link between you and the UK office. He talks to the guides every day on the mountain and can make arrangements while you are up high. You also have continued support from the main office in Northern Ireland. Should a problem arise of significant proportion then you only need to call us.

Kilimanjaro Summit Smiles

Summit of Mount Kilimanjaro!   

Why Choose us as your Kilimanjaro Tour Operators?

We're now in third decade guiding on Kilimanjaro and run our own company in Tanzania which is based in Moshi at the foot of Kilimanjaro called Adventure Alternative Tanzania and our dedicated team provide an excellent service.

  • We are a mountain company run by mountaineers

  • We take safety on Kilimanjaro seriously and our staff are trained to deal properly with emergencies 

  • We have a 95% success rate to the summit because of a seven day minimum policy which assists proper acclimatisation

  • All our guides are personally trained by Gavin Bate, company director, International Mountain leader with over twenty years of experience guiding trips to the Greater Ranges

  • We do not outsource our trips to the cheapest local operator. Instead we run our own company in Tanzania and invest in our staff directly. Our guides have worked with for us for over a decade.

  • All the staff in our UK office have climbed Kilimanjaro so you can chat to people who understand what it is like to go up for the first time, before you go. We spend time on the phone and we are happy to make personal visits to meet groups or individuals where possible. We provide all the Kilimanjaro facts, under the gloss!

  • We are passionate about responsible tourism and our company supports sustainable development in Tanzania and Kenya in a real way. We have won the World Responsible Tourism Awards twice now.

  • Financial security is guaranteed as we are fully financially bonded so your money is secure.

Kilimanjaro Camp Heights

Kilimajaro_Route Sketch Map_Lemosho Route.jpg

 

Kilimanjaro_Route Sketch Map_Machame Route.jpg

 

Kilimanjaro_Route Sketch Map_Rongai Route.jpg

Kilimanjaro Books and Maps

Altitude and it's Effects

Travel at High Altitude, Medex, ISBN 0-901100-76-5 (free to download at http://www.medex.org.uk/v26%20booklet.pdf)
Altitude Illness: Prevention & Treatment, The Mountaineers Books, Bezruchka, ISBN 0-89886-685-5 (pocket sized guide)
Medicine for Mountaineering, The Mountaineers Books, Wilkerson et al, ISBN-10: 1594850763, ISBN-13: 978-1594850769

British Mountaineering Council website : http://www.thebmc.co.uk/Feature.aspx?id=3158
International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation website : http://www.theuiaa.org/medical_advice.html

Kilimanjaro Region Guides

Kilimanjaro Trekker's Guide, Cicerone, ISBN-10: 1852844132, ISBN-13: 978-1852844134
Kilimanjaro, Trailblazer Publications, ISBN-10: 1905864248, ISBN-13: 978-1905864249
Kilimanjaro & East Africa: A Climbing and Trekking Guide, Mountaineers Books, ISBN-10: 0898866049, ISBN-13: 978-0898866049
Kilimanjaro & East Africa: Climbing & Trekking Guide, Cordee, ISBN-10: 190420743X, ISBN-13: 978-1904207436
Trekking in East Africa, Lonely Planet, ISBN-10: 1864502894, ISBN-13: 978-1864502893
The Rough Guide to Tanzania, Rough Guides, ISBN-10: 1848360754, ISBN-13: 978-1848360754
Tanzania, Lonely Planet, ISBN-10: 174104555X, ISBN-13: 978-1741045550

Mt Meru Region Guides

Kilimanjaro & East Africa: A Climbing and Trekking Guide, Mountaineers Books, ISBN-10: 0898866049, ISBN-13: 978-0898866049
Kilimanjaro & East Africa: Climbing & Trekking Guide, Cordee, ISBN-10: 190420743X, ISBN-13: 978-1904207436
Trekking in East Africa, Lonely Planet, ISBN-10: 1864502894, ISBN-13: 978-1864502893
The Rough Guide to Tanzania, Rough Guides, ISBN-10: 1848360754, ISBN-13: 978-1848360754
Tanzania, Lonely Planet, ISBN-10: 174104555X, ISBN-13: 978-1741045550

Maps

Kilimanjaro, 1:62,500, ITMB Publishing, ISBN-10: 1553415507, ISBN-13: 978-1553415503
Kilimanjaro: Map and Guide, 1:75,000/1:30,000 West Col Productions, ISBN: 0906227666
Kilimanjaro, 1:80,000, Climbing Map, ISBN 13: 9783952329412
Kilimanjaro National Park, 1:125,000, Maco Editions
Arusha National Park, 1:44,000/1:20,000, Veronica Roodt Publications
Arusha & Mt.Meru National Park Tanzania, Harms Verlag, ISBN 13: 9783927468276

Climbing and Mountaineering

Mountains of the Mind: a History of a Fascination, Robert Macfarlane, Granta Books, ISBN-10: 1847080391, ISBN-13: 978-1847080394
The Shadow of Kilimanjaro, Ridgeway, Bloomsbury, ISBN-10: 074758575X, ISBN-13: 978-0747585756
The Snows Of Kilimanjaro, Hemingway, Vintage Classics, ISBN-10: 0099460920, ISBN-13: 978-0099460923
Seven Summits, Bass, Gramercy Books, ISBN-10: 0517227509, ISBN-13: 978-0517227503
Born Free, Adamson, Pan Books, ISBN-10: 0330391909, ISBN-13: 978-0330391900
Out of Africa, Blixen, Penguin Classics, ISBN-10: 0141183330, ISBN-13: 978-0141183336