"Climbing Kilimajaro" Kilimanjaro Region by kucha

Kilimanjaro Region Travel Guide: 179 reviews and 379 photos

The Marangu Route

The three easiest routes, Marangu, Rongai and Machame can each be climbed by a person of good health and require no mountaineering experience. I've climbed Kilamajaro twice now and have gone both times of the Marangu route. In fact, I'm not sure where the other two routes are, nor why they are not offered up to hikers wishing one of these three non-technical climbs. Another route is the Western Breach, which is much more technical in nature.

The Trek

Those who travel on the Marangu route usually take 4-5 days to complete their climb. Huts with cooking facilites, bathrooms, and (sometimes) electricity are available at the end of each day's journey. Due to the equatorial location as well as huge height, climbers can experience almost every climate type on earth during the journey to the top.

The final part of the climb, from Kibo hut at 15,500 ft. to the summit, is generally undertaken at night, because the scree is frozen together, making the climb significantly easier. This is a really, really cold climb. Indeed, the biggest obstacle for me was not altitude sickness nor symptoms, rather the extreme cold -- which, no doubt, is made to seem worse by the altitude.

Gilman's Point, on the rim of the crater, but about 1½ hours hike from Uhuru, is attained at 5:00 - 6:00 am; those who have the strength to continue may then hike on to Uhuru in the growing sunlight and rising temperatures.

The Summit

At the summit, there is a sign posted by the Tanzanian government. The sign (printed in English only) reads "Congratulations! You are now at Uhuru Peak, Tanzania, 5,895 m. AMSL. Africa's Highest Point. World's Highest Free-Standing Mountain. One of World's Largest Volcanos. Welcome." The sign is covered in travel stickers from past trekkers who have left their mark on the top of the peak. Near this famous sign is a box containing a log that many climbers have signed, including me -- twice!

  • Last visit to Kilimanjaro Region: Jun 1993
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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