Trekking and Climbing Kilimanjaro I Hiking Kilimanjaro I Walkopedia (2023)

At 5,896m, the 'roof' of Africa and the world's highest free-standing mountain: Mount Kilimanjaro is spectacular, romantic and a famous 'bag'; But the tens of thousands of people who climb each year mean that crowds flock to the popular trails at peak times. You will feel the triumph and euphoria if you are one of those who reach the summit that your misery of the heights will not completely ruin. However, many are too weak from headaches, nausea, or worse to complete the final ascent. That's one tough mom.

Remarkably, although Kilimanjaro is now dormant, it is less than a million years old, the blink of an eye in geological terms. The enormous central massif of Kibo was until recently covered by a layer of ice up to 100 m thick, the "snow" that inspired Hemingway. The last dying glaciers are expected to disappear by 2040.

You can understand why Kilimanjaro has been so admired and attracts adventurers from all over the world. A glimpse of it, perched in all its majesty above the acacia plains of East Africa, brings that tired word 'iconic' to life.

You'll climb through some of Walkopedia's most popular vegetation zones: dense (and often wet) rain forest and then cloud full of competing trees including Podocarpus, Fig, Hagenia and a tall, arid giant heath on the upper part, with giant ferns, dense undergrowth and Flowers in glades, including the beautiful head and trunk of an elephant and shapedkilimanjari impatience; vast damp heathers fringed with lichens, dominating the billowing cloud tops over the lowlands; beautiful scrubland moor; alpine desert; then rock and ice, deep within the summit complex of craters, cliffs and glaciers. Above 4,500 m we find it quite shady. You'll enjoy spectacular views of a region teeming with natural wonders and should spot some interesting wildlife: eagles and buzzards will soar overhead, but big game is rare, unlike neighboring Mount Meru. Smaller antelope and leopard can be found in the forest, but you'll be lucky enough to catch a glimpse as you may spot colobus and blue monkeys and sunbirds, hornbills and turacos. At higher elevations, you may also see the adorable Kilimanjaro shrew and chameleons. HepioneerThe guide has an excellent section (with color photos) on flora and fauna.

the summit areait is really exceptional. The southeast rim is a long stretch of sharp rocks on steep slopes on either side between Gilman's Point (5685m), where the combined trails from Kibo Huts and Outward Bound Hut Camp east (more or less) meet the rim, and Stella Point, where the trail arrives from Barafu Camp to the south, and finally Uhuru Peak (5,896 m) to the southwest. From Gilman's Point it is a wonderful walk along the inside of the crater rim to Stella Point, although it is mostly done in the dark and is a steep up and down in places over cliffs and long rocky slopes down into the crater . The last hour, breathless as you climb the edge of Uhuru Peak, is excruciating for most, though the beautiful light, views, and cloud effects can be distracting at almost every step, so progress can be even slower. than necessary. Kili's crater is huge, though the image blurs with ancient lava beds filling most of the void, with another inner crater somewhere. You can explore it and actually masochists can camp there. The actual summit is slightly Baden, a nondescript hump on the ridge with a board stand announcing its stats and a dozen or more people waiting to take their photos with it. see oursKilimanjaro summitPage for details and beautiful photos of the summit and ascent.

The authorities take very good care of the area: its high parking fees are well spent, the scenery is generally pristine, the trails are superbly maintained, and the campgrounds are fairly clean considering the number of visitors that visit. Compares well to (say) Ethiopia's Simien Mountains, where the campsites were pretty gross as of 2019 and park fees clearly didn't translate to on-site maintenance.

Most of the locals you will meet are from the Chagga tribe, a happy, friendly and independent people. Much of his traditional lifestyle has been overwhelmed by the influence of Western culture - knowing his history is still valuable in his time with his support team. HepioneerThe guide has an excellent section (with color photos) on flora and fauna.

Hiking opportunities and costs.

There are a variety of ways to hike Kili, whether you are heading to the summit or not. Even if you don't feel up to the summit, a hike up the massif that reaches about 4,000m, so you suffer (relatively) less but avoid the crowds on the roads to the summit, is extraordinarily rewarding.

Those wishing to scale the summit should choose their route carefully: the longer it takes to climb this tough mountain, the more you will enjoy your experience and the more likely you are to reach the top. If possible, follow the slowest and least traveled routes. While factors such as cost and available time will matter, we recommend taking a week or so to slowly circle the intermediate slopes, taking your time to enjoy the scenic and natural splendor and acclimatize, and then tackle the summit. All routes except Marangu require camping and therefore a larger and more expensive expedition. (Those with the time and money might first climb Mount Meru or Mount Kenya (both challenging in their own right) to warm up.)

Walking Kili is expensive, which means that people try to keep their climb short, with dire consequences for their acclimatization and thus enjoyment (and indeed safety) and increased risk of not reaching the top. top: Many climbers are too weak from headaches, nausea, or worse to complete the final ascent. That being said, we recommend taking a longer route if time and finances allow. Also remember that cost savings tend to come out of the pockets of the support team, so ethical travel means avoiding the cheapest options. The Marangu route with huts is a (relatively) cheap option as much less equipment is needed, so less assistance is needed, which contributes to its popularity and therefore the crowds. The Machame Route is the cheapest (but most used) camping route. See "Practical Information" below for more information.

Remember: most routes can be extended or connected to create longer climbs and traverses of the high shoulders of the volcano. If you're not aiming for an eventual summit ascent, you have even more freedom to choose varied and discursive routes from the (relatively) lower slopes.

Kilimanjaro National Park requires a Tanzanian guide to ensure safety and arrange accommodation/camping, food and appropriate porters (you really don't want to carry everything yourself at this point).

Direct routes to/from the summitcontain:

day 5 or 6Marangu(or "Coca Cola") (from the east) is one of the shortest routes to the summit and the only one with continuous huts, and a (relatively) inexpensive option. It's busy, with overcrowded cabins and some nose-to-butt hard work at the end. It has the highest failure rate of any mainline. We recommend that you avoid this if possible. They unite the summit of theKibo Cabinsat 4,703 m above the Saddle in the east.

The particularly beautiful 6 or 7 days.Ruta Machame(from the southwest), rapidly gains elevation, but then turns eastin a circletaking more time to reach the final climb through Barafu Camp, which helps in acclimatization. It's a (relatively) cheap option, and as of 2020, the most popular route on the mountain.

Heroute settervia Barafu Camp in the south is arguably the most direct route of all to/from the Kili summit, so it is mainly used for the descent; the climb would be relentlessly hard and bad for acclimatization. It is beautiful and fascinating, but long (more than 4000 m) and steep. You will pass through different ecosystems, from rock and ice just below the summit; to the bleak and rugged alpine desert amid the remains of lava flows; to a sparsely beautiful, scrubby moor, then to rich, damp giant heather, with a view of billowing cloud-tops over the lowlands; to a dense and leafy forest. 1.5 day descent from the summit.

there are those tooFormRutafrom the south. This is the most direct of all the ascent routes, leading up the Great Ravine to join the Southern Circuit to meander to Barafu Camp and from there to the summit. but it is used much less since it is steeper, harder and worse for acclimatization. You can do it in 5 or 6 days in total.

Traditionally, most climbers would approach from the east or south and fight their way to the top in a 5-6 day round trip, with much misery and wear and tear from altitude sickness. More and more people are taking a longer hike, approaching the Shira Plateau from the west, as Walkopedia did, or from the northeast on the Rongai route.Less direct routes to the summitcontain:

HeLemosho and Shira Routesrise to the remarkableMeseta de Shirawest of Kilimanjaro, and meet at Shira 2 Camp to connect withNorth and South Circuitsto guide hikers over most of Kibo's main peak to the east and south ascent routes. This makes the Lemosho route the longest/slowest approach possible, 6-7 days to the base of the summit if you then take the northern route, meaning you have a much better chance of acclimatization than on more direct routes. It is also significantly less crowded than the well-known routes. The 'regular' Shira route has the same number of days as the popular Machame route and starts quite high up, so although relatively empty, it's not really a good acclimatization option as you head towards the top. It would be a good option if time is short and you want to get high quickly and spend a night or three in the mid elevations to experience the many wonders of Kilimanjaro. The Shira plateau is an exceptional site, the caldera of the massif's first collapsed volcano, filled in by millions of years of eruption and erosion by the juvenile Kibo. Its vegetation is a big part of its fame: beautiful, vibrant bushland that rarely obscures the view, particularly of Kibo, looming in its icy glory. There are some great side trails from the main plateau campsites - to the stunning views ofShira-Kathedraleand talllavaturmIn particular.

HeNorth and South Circuits: More people approach the Shira Plateau from the west, as Walkopedia did, and then circumnavigate Kibo on the northern and southern circuits to climb it on the main east-south routes. The North Circuit used to be lightly traveled but has developed a lot in recent years, with good campsites, but it is still emptier than the South route, and a bit longer, with 4 nights to the summit compared to the South Circuit 2 or (more usual) 3. And easier to walk without crossing the Great Ravine. Both routes are consistently well above the tree line, in truly beautiful heath, moorland, tundra and rocky desert. They have many delicacies to enjoy along the way, includinglavaturmnear the road junction and the Lent Hill formation above Moir Hut on the Northern Circuit.

Drogenweg: This relatively remote route from the northeast is one of the most scenic approaches to Kilimanjaro and has many benefits and many beauties. It is the driest of the main climbs, with less risk of getting wet and muddy on the middle slopes and good in rainy seasons. The easy Rongai is one of the most direct routes of all, so it is very hard and bad for acclimatization. But you can turn east and explore the Saddle area and the base of great Mawenzi (camp in the beautiful Mawenzi Tarn) before tackling the summit via the Kibo Huts on the Marangu Route. This longer variant is one of the easier approaches to Kili and is good for acclimatization and therefore likely success at the summit, plus it's beautiful. If Walkopedia were to go back to Kili, we would take this route. The Rongai has a reputation for being less scenic than other routes, but that's mostly true on the first day: you'll then ascend through beautiful heath and scrubland, alpine tundra, and high desert, with some of the best views of both. flying Mawenzi and the gigantic mass of ice of the famous Kibo. 4-5 bays to the base of the summit.

Perhaps the best route of all, if you have the time and money to take more climbing time, is to climb the western flank to the Shira Plateau and then around the little-visited northern slopes to the beautiful Mewenzi Pool and walk along the the second shattered of Kilimanjaro. peak, then traverses the desert saddle and attacks the summit.

To explain a bit more, therethree main hiking trails to the summit, to which all of the above routes converge:

Of theKibo Cabinsat 4,703 m above the Saddle in the east. These are in theMaranguRoute ("Cola-Cola"), one of the most popular routes to the summit, and also the "longest" Rongai. As a result, they can get crowded.

Of theEiscampat 4,600 m in the south. This is a huge and rather bleak place in a beautiful setting above the romantic valley to the south-east. you come hereRuta Machame, or Umbwe route or along thein a circlefrom the longer routes to the western Shira Plateau. It is said that this route reaches more than 80% of all summit walkers.

Of thecabin tied away(actually another desolate high altitude camp) to the northeast. This is fed from the bottom up.Drogenweg, and thenorth circuitof the Shira Plateau. The trail from here merges with the Kibo Huts Marangu, but until then you can imagine you are in a remote countryside.

There are several other routes for hardcore and adventurous scramblers, including the famouswestern lesion. See more in ourkili summitpage of book.

Height:The top of Kilimanjaro is excessively high, making this a very strenuous, potentially fatal hike. Acclimatize properly, prepare to evacuate people in extreme cases. Altitude stops more than half of those attempting to summit on shorter ascents (ie don't get depressed if altitude still beats you) and kills in most years. It is unpredictable and can affect fit, tough and experienced people. Remember, the slower you climb throughout your time on Kili, the less miserable you'll end up being. Get fit, prepare, stay hydrated and obey your guide. If he tells you to stop/dismount, do so. Watch your friends for signs of acute mountain sickness (AMS).

(Note on the Walkopedia rating for hiking here: Kili patriots will be surprised that the most recent climb of this famous mountain isn't in our top 100. In the end, though, the drama and swagger don't make up for the swagger well. misery of life.above 19,000 feet We rate several of the other hikes at this incredible site highest (and we'll drop the negative altitudes), which justifies the massif's spot in our top 100).

Best book:Kilimanjaro – The trekking guide:Henry Stedman for Trailblazer. We like that a lot - great route descriptions and photos and very clear what a complex and varied mountain is - the condensed overview of the different options is particularly helpful. We also like the history of the mountain and the discussion and photos of the fauna and flora.

www.tourdust.comOrganize an expedition here: We have traveled with Tourdust and we loved it. They were very friendly and flexible in their dealings and obviously cared about quality as your trek was meticulously prepared and our support team was outstanding in every way. We are proud to be your partner.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Delena Feil

Last Updated: 06/18/2023

Views: 5528

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (45 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Delena Feil

Birthday: 1998-08-29

Address: 747 Lubowitz Run, Sidmouth, HI 90646-5543

Phone: +99513241752844

Job: Design Supervisor

Hobby: Digital arts, Lacemaking, Air sports, Running, Scouting, Shooting, Puzzles

Introduction: My name is Delena Feil, I am a clean, splendid, calm, fancy, jolly, bright, faithful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.