Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Itineraries
MOUNT KILIMANJARO CLIMBING
Mount Kilimanjaro is situated in Tanzania, right next to the country’s northern border with Kenya, in East Africa. At 5895m above sea level, it is the highest mountain in Africa. Although only 330 kms south of the Equator, on the northern boundary of Tanzania, its location on an open plain close to the Indian Ocean, and its great size and height, strongly influence the climate and this its vegetation, animal life and the climbing conditions.It is composed of three extinct volcanoes, Kibo 5895m, Mawenzi 5149m and Shira 3962m. It is also one of the world’s highest free-standing mountains.
Mount Kilimanjaro has 5 ecological zones namely: The lower slopes, Montane forest, heather and moorland, Alpine highland desert and The summit making it one of the most beautiful and varied peaks on Earth.
Because of its gradient, terrain and vegetation, Mount Kilimanjaro is the easiest of the major mountains of the world to climb and almost anyone, armed with sufficient fitness can climb and reach its summits. One does not require specialist technical mountaineering skills. Over the years, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro has become so popular and it is now one of the Seven Summits of the world, the seven highest and most sought-after peaks on each continent on the planet. It is as high as humans can go without requiring oxygen
Mt. Kilimanjaro has 5 climbimg routes to the summit ranging from 5 to 8 days. The climbing Itineraries are as follows:
- JKC 01: Marangu Route (6 Days/5 Nights)
- JKC 02: Machame Route (7 Days/6 Nights)
- JKC 03: Shira Route (Western Breach/Lemosho combination) (8 Days/7 Nights)
- JKC 04: Rongai Route (6 Days/5 Nights)
- JKC 05: Umbwe Route (6 Days/5 nights)
- JKC 06: Mount Meru Extension (4 Days/3 Nights)
Machame, Shira, Rongai and Umbwe are camping routes while Marangu accommodation is huts.
When planning a climb up Mount Kilimanjaro, it is important to note that any extra day you can spend on the climb is a worthwhile investment and will assist your effort to reach the summit. A night in Arusha on the slopes of the mountain before the climb and possibly one after the climb is also a good idea.
Medical advice and tips on acclimatization to altitude:
Acclimatizing to altitude is very importance because all climbers feel the effects of high altitude in varying degrees. Many experience a mild form of altitude sickness. But severe forms of altitude sickness can be debilitating even life-threatening if not treated immediately.
Following are suggestions on how climbers can speed up the acclimatization process and increase chances of a more enjoyable and successful climb:
Drinking lots of fluids is highly recommended as it helps flush out toxins from the body improving functions and circulations. Four to five liters of fluid a day are ideal mostly during the day to avoid disrupted sleep.
It is good to include sufficient rest days as every extra night spent en-route to the summit is a worthwhile addition and helps acclimatization.
Wherever possible, it is recommended climbers try to use their spare time in camps to walk to a point higher than the one at which they would sleep. Walking high, Sleeping low. This helps the body acclimatize to an altitude with lesser oxygen making the body suffer less, when you sleep.
Every minute spent on trail is helps the body acclimatize. Walk Slowly. There is often little to do when you reach the camps anyway. Slowly is the best way to absorb in the fabulous views and scenery of Kilimanjaro.
To use or not to use Diamox is something we prefer to leave to the guest. Tests have shown that it does not mask the symptoms of altitude sickness and is considered by many to be an aid to acclimatization. NOTE: Recent tests have showed GINGKO to be an effective herbal aid to acclimatization but this has yet to be confirmed by any recognized medical or mountaineering authority.
Climbers should consult their doctor for further information and advice.
RECOMMENDED CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES
Insulated, waterproof, well-broken-in hiking boots with rigid uppers and thick soles.
A pair of light weight walking shoes.
Several pairs of warm socks.
Several pairs of lightweight socks.
A pair of insulated hiking or ski gloves
A lightweight pair and a heavier second pair of thermal underwear to wear together
3 to 4 sets of underwear
A pair of shorts
A pair of lightweight slacks
A pair of warm, windproof slacks.
2 lighter-weight tee shirts
2 woolen or flannel shirts with long sleeves
2 warm sweaters (fleece-type)
A lightweight rain gear, coat with a hood and an umbrella.
Gore-tex rain and windproof jacket or duvet ski coat with 4season rating.
A Hat with brim to keep off the sun
Balaclava, fleece or woolen to wear beneath hat on summit day
A down-filled, hooded parka or gore-tex anorak.
Well-insulated sleeping bag suitable for temperatures of 20-degrees Fahrenheit
Optional camping pillow
Dark sunglasses with very high Ultra Violet rays protection or snow goggles
Sunscreen with high SPF and lip balm containing a sun block
A medium sized duffel bag for all your gear and clothing which will be carried by the porters for you.
Sturdy frameless bags, racksacks and duffel bags are ideal for porters to carry up. Porters always move ahead to the next camp so guests must carry what they need for the day unless they are paying for a trail porter.
A lightweight daypack of between 30 and 40 litres, to carry your own water, camera, valuables, film, etc. in.
It is recommended clients carry their daily requirements in a daypack including water, raingear, snacks, sun creams and personal valuables such as money and passports. Flashlight (with extra batteries); A head lamp would be ideal especially for the last part of the climb that is done at night
Walking sticks are especially useful on descents. Cramp-ons are optional and rarely needed.
Small hand towel, soap, matches, 2 rolls of toilet paper, tissue and ‘wet ones’.
Plastic bags/bin liners for keeping dirty or wet clothes and/or protecting the sleeping bag.
High energy snacks such as chocolate bars, muesli, instant hot drinks, etc.
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