The highest peak and most famous mountain in Africa, scaling the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro is a heavy challenge, more from the rigours of altitude than the actual difficulty of the hike itself. The climb, which takes on average five days (you’re more likely to reach the top if you pace yourself), takes hikers through thick forests and alpine grasslands, desolate rockface and brilliant white glaciers.
Views of Kenya and the Masaai Steppe, the Crater Highlands, and the Eastern Arc Mountain Range expand from the summit, and unlike other comparable peaks, you don’t need ropes or climbing equipment to make it to the top. As long as you pace yourself and take it easy at high altitudes, you have every reason to think you can reach the summit.
General Information for Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
This section introduces you to Kilimanjaro's fascinating natural history and special points of interest. It offers information on all the major, and some minor routes, guidelines for successful exploration of the mountain, as well as information on services.
The highest mountain in Africa (5,895 meters) and the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, Kilimanjaro has tantalized and intrigued since the first organized ascent by Hans Meyer in 1889. It took Meyer six weeks to reach the summit, these days it is usually done in six or seven days, five days if you’re pushing the pace.
And although people talk about having “climbed” Kilimanjaro, the vast majority of routes are hiking routes with no technical climbing involved at all.
Whether or not you have ever had the yen to climb big mountains, or even see any sense in it, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is an absolute must for anyone who has the time, the money and the physical fitness.
Although climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro does not require any particular climbing skills, as it is basically a long, steep trek, this is not to say that considerable planning and forethought are not required. The ascent usually takes about five days and cannot be undertaken without hiring a guide. Porters should also be considered and hiring people as well as the necessary equipment and purchase of provisions can be arranged by Bobby Tours. Although an ascent can be made at any time of year, most people prefer to attempt it during the months of January, February, August and September when there is a greatest chance of cloudless mornings and evenings, and hence better views.
Kilimanjaro. The name itself is a mystery wreathed in clouds. It might mean Mountain of Light, Mountain of Greatness or Mountain of Caravans. Or it might not. The local people, the Wachagga, don't even have a name for the whole massif, only Kipoo (now known as Kibo) for the familiar snowy peak that stands imperious, overseer of the continent, the summit of Africa.
Kilimanjaro, by any name, is a metaphor for the compelling beauty of East Africa. When you see it, you understand why. Not only is this the highest peak on the African continent; it is also the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, rising in breathtaking isolation from the surrounding coastal scrubland – elevation around 900 metres – to an imperious 5,895 metres (19,336 feet).
Kilimanjaro is one of the world's most accessible high summits, a beacon for visitors from around the world. Most climbers reach the crater rim with little more than a walking stick, proper clothing and determination. And those who reach Uhuru Point, the actual summit, or Gillman's Point on the lip of the crater, will have earned their climbing certificates.
But there is so much more to Kili than her summit. The ascent of the slopes is a virtual climatic world tour, from the tropics to the Arctic.
Even before you cross the national park boundary (at the 2,700m contour), the cultivated footslopes give way to lush montane forest, inhabited by elusive elephant, leopard, buffalo, the endangered Abbot’s duiker, and other small antelope and primates. Higher still lies the moorland zone, where a cover of giant heather is studded with otherworldly giant lobelias.
Above 4,000m, a surreal alpine desert supports little life other than a few hardy mosses and lichen. Then, finally, the last vestigial vegetation gives way to a winter wonderland of ice and snow - and the magnificent beauty of the roof of the continent.
Cooking at Eland Camp
Who can climb ? Kilimanjaro can be climbed with a relative ease by any reasonable fit adult. This does not mean climbing it is a picnic; adequate preparations are necessary and there are serious health risks attached to being at such a high altitude.
But as the highest point in Africa, Kilimanjaro's peak offers an irresistible challenge to many people. Dozens of tourists, ranging from teenagers to people in their sixties, set off up its slopes every day. For those who reach it, being at the summit of the Kilimanjaro is often the highlight of the trip.
Climbers on the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro No technical expertise is required to climb Kilimanjaro on its easier routes; however, because the altitude is so high, climbers need to acclimate and be in good shape if they plan to ascend to the top of Kibo. Many tourists do not acclimate long enough and they become sick, (nausea, headaches etc).
It is recommended that the hiker takes at least 6 days, preferable 7 days, to reach the top. We do offer both 5 and 6 days climb, but its better to arrange an extra day (best spent at Horombo to acclimate). The extra day costs more but its worth to have a safer and more enjoyable climb.
In the forest
One of the main attractions of the ascent of Kilimanjaro is that it doesn't require mountaineering experience, nor is any special climbing equipment needed for Kibo, if the normal route (Marangu) is followed, to make the ascent. Almost any time is suitable, except during the long rains in April and May. The best months are January, February and October, when there are very often cloudless days.
Climb slowly to increase your acclimatisation time and maximise your chances of reaching the summit.
To avoid altitude sickness, allow a minimum of five nights, preferably even more for the climb. Take your time and enjoy the beauty of the mountain.
Ik heb 16 dagen gereisd met Bobby Tours; de Kilimajaro beklommen en op safari geweest in Ngorogoro, Serengethi en Lake Manyara. Bobyy Tours is een
goede betrouwbare partner. Alle afspraken worden nagekomen, men zorgt goed voor je en men heeft goede gidsen: Abbas op safari en voor de berg kunnen
wij Simon Mayunga (incl. Saffiri en Bruno) van harte aanbevelen. De lodges tijdens de safari waren geweldig!! Martin van Alfen
We climbed the Kilimanjaro. It was a wonderfull experiance. We enjoyed it very much. It was very hard but we made it to the top. we had a good guide :
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we are Annamaria - Giuseppe (Italy). We had a beatiful travel and we want to thank you for all.We were also satisfied with our guides ( Nuru for
Kilimanjaro trekking, Germano and Gaspar for safari): They were always very kind and available with us. THank you for all. We will recommend your
Agency to our friends and we hope to come again in Tanzania.
After receiving the wonderful TTB 2009 Media Award for Print this year, I wanted to extend sincere and specific thanks to Bobby Tours. Everyone involved in organizing and guiding our trip was fantastic. Bobby Tours offers thorough, flexible itineraries that take care of every aspect of a first-time-in-Africa travelers\\\' needs. I also found their services to be of excellent value compared to other operators. Our guides were simply excellent. Nuru and Temi kept us motivated and in high spirits during even the most arduous elements of our successful Kilimnajaro ascent, while John our safari guide ensured we missed nothing during our safari tour of Lake Manyara, the Ngorogoro Crater and the Serengeti. I would have no hesitation in recommending Bobby Tours services to friends and readers - thanks to all at TTB for connecting us. Sincerely, Eloise Parker Writer/Broadast Journalist
Beaumont Martin told us:
I would like to acknowledge the tour guide for making the tour educational as well as FUN. He was very friendly and was always available to assist us.
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Not only did our guide show us where to go on tour but also assisted other travelers. He really made everything go smoothly and went the extra mile for everyone.
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