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Kilimanjaro Na. Park

Located in Tanzania, Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s tallest mountain at about 5,895 meters (19,340 feet). It is the largest free-standing mountain rise in the world, meaning it is not part of a mountain range.

Also called a stratovolcano (a term for a very large volcano made of ash, lava, and rock), Kilimanjaro is made up of three cones: Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira. Kibo is the summit of the mountain and the tallest of the three volcanic formations. While Mawenzi and Shira are extinct, Kibo is dormant and could possibly erupt again. Scientists estimate that the last time it erupted was 360,000 years ago. The highest point on Kibo’s crater rim is called Uhuru, the Swahili word for “freedom.” The mountain is also known for its snow-capped peak; however, scientists warn that the snow might disappear within the next 20 years or so.

In 1889, German geographer Hans Meyer and Austrian mountaineer Ludwig Purtscheller became the first people on record to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro. Since then, Kilimanjaro has become a popular hiking spot for locals and tourists. Because mountaineering gear and experience is not needed to reach the peak, tens of thousands of climbers ascend the mountain each year. The climb is still dangerous, however, because of the risk of altitude sickness—a condition climbers experience if they ascend too quickly, which can be deadly if not treated right away.

In 1973, the mountain and its six surrounding forest corridors were named Kilimanjaro National Park in order to protect its unique environment. The park was named a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage site in 1987. A variety of animals live in the area surrounding the mountain, including the blue monkey (Cercopithecus mitis).

Kilimanjaro Routes Overview

Climbing Kilimanjaro is not a simple case of going up and heading back down again. There are a number of route options to choose from. Considerations such as climate, scenery, difficulty and foot traffic ultimately play a large role in the route a climber decides to take. Find the route that works best for you to start planning your ideal Kilimanjaro experience:

Kilimanjaro routes:

This 70km route will take most climbers at least 7 or 8 days to complete. It is considered by many as the most beautiful route up Kilimanjaro and has also become popular due to the low foot traffic, high summit success rate and incredible panoramic views. This route is highly recommended.

Most climbers will take a minimum of 6 days to complete Kilimanjaro on this route. It is considered fairly difficult and is well suited to the more adventurous and those with hiking experience. Nicknamed the ‘whiskey route’, it is the most popular route with our guests thanks to its challenging conditions and spectacular views of the summit.

Perhaps the oldest but also the easiest route up Kilimanjaro, the Marangu route follows a gradual slope up the mountain. The route can be completed in 5 days but Kilimanjaro-Experience takes the 6-day option to allow for better acclimatisation. 

The route is 69km in length and is nicknamed the ‘Coca Cola route’ being the most classic trek up the mountain. It is favoured during the rainy season and ascends and descends using the same path.

Regarded as one of the best routes up Kilimanjaro, the Northern route is also among the newest. It is one of the longest routes available, which allows for more climbing time and is great for acclimatisation. 

This means it has one of the highest success rates for reaching the summit. The route offers incredible varied scenery and, generally, a low number of visitors.