This comparison table has holidays from the following holiday companies:
Oasis Overland, Exodus and The Adventure Company.
Prices range from £545 to £4850, and departure dates months are December 2012, June 2013, July 2013, August 2013, September 2013, November 2013, December 2013, January 2014, February 2014, March 2014, April 2014. Prices are updated frequently from data supplied by the tour operators and are subject to change and availability - confirm with the tour operator before you book. Last updated: 13:32 18/May/2013.
In a nutshell
When to visit
Good for ...
Not great for ...
Compare dates and prices
Mount Kilimanjaro In a Nutshell
Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in Africa, rising to a summit of 5895(19,340ft), from the plains of northern Tanzania. The highest free-standing mountain in the world, it comprises three exctinct volcano cones: Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira.
Kilimanjaro is the highest “walkable” peak in the world. There are several trekking routes up to the summit at Uhuru Peak (on Kibo) , each taking from 6 to 8 days and each one being strenuous, with steep climbs and descents at very high altitude.
Within just a few days, trekkers will hike from an equatorial climate up to one resembling the Arctic.
Getting To Mount Kilimanjaro
In order to climb Kilimanjaro, it is mandatory to have obtained a permit for entrance into the national park; this will be included in your booking through an international or local Tanzanian tour operator. The Tanzanian authorities do not allow solo-climbs of Kilimanjaro; trekkers must be accompanied by guides and porters.
Most people will book their Kilimanjaro trek from their own country of residence, sometimes as part of a longer travel package incorporating a safari or beach extension. The fastest access to Kilimanjaro is by flight to a nearby African city (eg Dar Es Saalam in Tanzania, or Nairobi in Kenya; about 8-9 hours from Europe) and a connecting flight to Kilimanjaro International Airport (1 hour from Mount Kilimanjaro). A popular and cheaper route for many agencies is the overland drive from Nairobi, which involves border crossings from Kenya into Tanzania.
Private transport to the start of the trek and from the finish, will be organised through the tour operator.
Your Holiday To Mount Kilimanjaro
A trek up Kilimanjaro is a huge challenge, due to the rapid high altitude ascent, basic camping conditions and cold nights.
Fitness levels and time available will dictate the route chosen up Kilimanjaro and
the main trails offered are: Rongai, Marangu, Machame, Shira and the Northern Route. The more days allowed for acclimatisation at altitude, the better the chances are of a successful summit.
Kilimanjaro has its own micro-climate and so trekkers will experience unique flora and fauna on their trek through distinct eco-zones: equatorial rainforest at the start of the trek, followed by heath and moorland (which hosts the oddly-shaped Giant Lobelia), alpine desert and, at the summit, a glacial zone.
Mount Kilimanjaro: Staying There
Trekkers will stay and eat in designated campsites or huts (depending on the route chosen) on their way to the summit.
The tour operator organises all the logistics of the trek, including all camping equipment and cooking facilities (carried by porters). Toilet and washing facilities are very basic at the campsites along the trail.
There are no hotel options along the trail, but for those needing pampering at the end of the trek, there are some high-end options around Moshi and Arusha, some incorporating golf courses and swimming pools.
For locally produced textiles (wood carvings, wall hangings, Maasai beads, masks) and other souvenirs, there are many markets and shops in Moshi and Arusha. Many of the upmarket hotels have their own shop attached.
Mount Kilimanjaro Food & Eating Mini-Guide
Along the trek, the local guides and crew will prepare excellent food for the trekkers. There will be plentiful soup and high carbohydrate content for energy!
More authentic Tanzanian food – soups, fried plantains and spicy curries – can be found at the hotels and restaurants at the end of the trek.
There are also several restaurants serving international food.
When To Visit Mount Kilimanjaro
The main trekking seasons are from mid-December until February (clearest and warmest) and from July until September (still dry, but colder).
Out of these months, there is more chance of encountering rain.
Mount Kilimanjaro Is Good For ...
- Those looking for a challenge;
- Strong, fit hikers;
- Those prepared to be cold;
- Those prepared to camp in basic conditions.
Mount Kilimanjaro Isn't Great For ...
- Those with a known history of Acute Mountain Sickness;
- Those who are unfit;
- Those who do not enjoy camping in the cold, in basic conditions;
- Those with small children.
About Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)
If you have never trekked at altitude before (or even if you have), you should exercise caution when climbing Kilimanjaro; ignoring symptoms of high altitude that persist (severe headache, vomiting and nausea, fatigue, decreased coordination, coughing) will lead to an immediate evacuation (a bumpy ride on a stretcher) or even death.
Lower air pressure at altitude means that the body most adjust to having less oxygen in the breath and fluid is leaked from the capillaries in both the lungs and the brain, which can lead to fluid build-up (pulmonary and cerebral edema accordingly).
Trekkers are advised to consult their GP before embarking on this challenge, but the main advice is to choose a route that allows the body to acclimatise to its max on such a short ascent, to walk slowly, remain well-hydrated and – most importantly – to listen to any changes in one’s own body.
For more information on AMS: Travel Doctor
Trek up Kilimanjaro if you would like to experience hiking up one of the seven highest summits of the world, to “the rooftop of Africa”.