Climbing Kilimanjaro- Trekking Tours: Car Rental Tanzania.
Car Rental Tanzania offers tours & information about mountaineering tours to climb Kilimanjaro mountain in Tanzania on a self-drive safari in the northern circuit.
At 5895m high, Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest peak, rising above the East African plains. It is also the highest free-standing mountain in the world and one of the highest peaks you can scale without technical expertise. As a high-altitude mountain close to the equator, Kilimanjaro kicks up plenty of surprises. Few other treks in the world offer rainforests with primates and game, alpine pastures, high moorlands of giant eerie plantlife, and snowfields at the summit. And once on Kibo peak, you are rewarded with unforgettable views from the roof of Africa!
As long as you are fit, healthy, and have determination, there’s every chance you’ll reach the top of Africa’s most famous mountain. Choose between four routes to the summit:
Machame Route (6 days trekking – camping)
The second most popular route, the Machame is also one of the most beautiful. This camping trail climbs the Shira Plateau on the west side of Kibo peak and ascends the imposing Barranco wall, below stunning icefields, before it converges with the other trails for the final route to the summit. It is more strenuous than the Marangu Route but you’ll be more than rewarded by the fantastic views all the way up!
Rongai Route (6 days trekking – camping)
This less frequented route approaches from the north. You’ll have great views across the Amboseli Plains in Kenya, letting you climb Mt. Kilimanjaro and game view at the same time! Passing through alpine meadows and giant vegetation, we camp near mountain caves before joining the steep route to the summit. The descent follows the southern Marangu Route, allowing you to trek right over Kilimanjaro!
Shira Route (6 days trekking – camping)
This, the longest trail, begins in the west of the mountain, following a path to Shira, Kilimanjaro’s third highest peak, before joining the Machame. It is one of the most beautiful areas of the mountain and on the lower pastures, buffalo, eland and even leopards have been seen. The start of the trail is only accessible by 4×4 and can become impassable during the wet season.
Marangu Route (5 days trekking – mountain huts)
The most direct and popular Kilimanjaro climb, this path is well defined and ‘climber friendly’ to make your adventure a little easier. Camps on the route have solar-powered sleeping huts and beds with pillows, in communal dorms. The trail runs via rainforests and waterfalls onto high moorland, where you trek amongst amazing giant plantlife! The final steep push takes place on the morning of the fourth day, before you stand, elated, on the Roof of Africa! The descent follows the same route down.
Join Car Rental Tanzania on our slightly longer routes on Kilimanjaro climbing which give our clients more time to acclimate in order to improve their chances of reaching the summit :
Kilimanjaro Shira/Southern Circuit/Mweka route – 8 days
Kilimanjaro Shira/Western Breach/Mweka route – 8 days
Kilimanjaro Shira/Southern Circuit/Mweka route – 7 days
Kilimanjaro Shira/Southern Circuit/Mweka route & Serengeti Safaris 15 days
Kilimanjaro Shira/Western Breach/Mweka route & Zanzibar 18 days
Kilimanjaro Shira/Southern Circuit/Mweka route & Ngorongoro Adventure 21 days
Luggage on the Mountain
Porters help us on a trek by carrying food and equipment, preparing group meals, and putting up our tents, where necessary. We use porters who come from the villages around the base of the mountain, to bring employment to local families and support their economy. There is a weight limit on the mountain, but luggage you don’t need can be kept in the hotel in Moshi while you trek.
Click here to find out about our Responsible Tourism Porter Policy
Although trekking up Mt. Kilimanjaro is not a technical climb, it does nevertheless require a reasonable amount of fitness and a strong will to succeed. Remember that you are walking between 4 and 8 hours a day, uphill to an altitude of 5895m (almost 20,000 feet). Training should involve long uphill walks (with a daypack) to accustom yourself to long distance hiking.
Altitude induced ‘illness’ may occur at heights over 3600m and affect different people in different ways. Typical symptoms are nausea and headaches, which at their extreme can be seriously debilitating. Gradual acclimatisation is the usual preventative measure and for those who suffer from extreme symptoms, a return to lower altitude is necessary. The majority of those who do not success in reaching the summit fail because of the affects of altitude. The best defence against this is acclimatisation although there are drugs on the market which may reduce the symptoms. Please consult your GP or travel clinic for professional advice on this subject. The usual advice given by your guide will be walk slowly – in Swahili ‘pole pole’. Walking slowly conserves energy and helps you acclimatise more easily. Also fluid intake whilst walking is very important as dehydration can occur very quickly, especially with physical exertion and exposure to the elements at high altitude.
When to visit Kilimanjaro
It is possible to trek Kilimanjaro all year round. However, certain months are characterized by colder weather, more rain, and potentially loads of snow on the summit.
There are two distinct trekking seasons that constitute the best time to climb Kilimanjaro. They are January-March and June-October.
January-March is generally colder than June-October and there is a higher probability of encountering snow on the summit. For some, this might be seen as a negative, but the benefit of a January-March trek is that the slopes are often quieter at this time of the year.
The June-October trekking season coincides with the summer holidays in Europe and Northern America and hence certain routes are often quite busy.
March, April, and November are the wettest months in Kilimanjaro, and not ideal for trekking although some clients wish to do the trekking at the time of a bit challenging.
Snowfall and cold temperatures are common during December-May.
Altitude and Climate Zones
Another factor that is important to consider is the variation in weather conditions as you ascend Kilimanjaro.
There are four distinct climatic zones on Kilimanjaro – the rainforest zone (~800m-3,000m) is warm and humid. Rain is common in the zone, particularly during the wet season and temperatures average around 12-15 degrees Celsius at 2,870m. The second zone is often called the low alpine area (~3,000m-4,200m) and is a semi-arid zone where average temperatures range between 5-10 degrees Celsius at 3,630m. The high alpine zone (4,200m-5,000) is desert-like. Here temperatures average around the freezing point at 4,970m, and at the summit in the glacial zone (above 5,000m) temperatures average around -6 degrees Celsius.
Although the summit temperature doesn’t sound too cold, wind chill is a major factor. You are almost guaranteed relatively high winds. Moreover, the effects of cold temperatures at high altitude are more pronounced as your body expends more effort trying to get your skin and vital organs well-oxygenated in an oxygen depleted environment. This results in vasoconstriction near the extremities (like your hands, feet and nose) and means that you will feel the cold a lot more at high altitude.