Gates of mountain Kilimanjaro national park
Gates of mountain Kilimanjaro national park: Mountain Kilimanjaro national park situated in the north eastern region of Tanzania is one of the remarkable tourist destinations in Tanzania famous for hosting mountain Kilimanjaro the highest mountain in Africa standing at the elevation of 5,896 meters. Mountain Kilimanjaro national park covers an area of 756 square kilometers offering mountain hiking safaris as the highlights of the park.
Mountain Kilimanjaro national park is accessed using many gates acting as entry and exit points, these gates are explained as below.
- Marangu gate
Marangu gate is an entry gate in mountain Kilimanjaro national park and also offers access to mountain Kilimanjaro itself, this gate is also used as an exit gate, the start of Marangu hiking trail and the end of both Marangu and Rongai hiking trails. Marangu gate is the most popular hiking route on Mountain Kilimanjaro and used by many hikers in their hiking expedition on the mountain.
Marangu gate is situated in the south eastern foothills of mountain Kilimanjaro in the suburb of Marangu village and it is in a distance of about one hour’s drive from Moshi city and 2 hours from the nearest airport. The gate hosts the largest number of TANAPA park authorities offices and at the gate you get to meet your guides and porters, the area of gate is surrounded by many houses, shops, small restaurants , a large secure car park, and hotels.
Marangu gate is situated in the distances of 6.8 kilometers from Mandara huts campsite, 7.3 kilometers from Maundi crater, 14.5 kilometers from Horombo huts campsite, 16.3 kilometers from Zebra rocks and 19.3 kilometers from Mweka hut campsite.
- Machame gate
Machame gate of Kilimanjaro national park is one of the entry point of the park located on the southern foot hills of mountain Kilimanjaro in a remote suburb of Machame , the gate is on the edge of the montane forests and despite its remote location the lodge has many paved roads connecting the gate to the neighboring locations.
Machame gate is a location for several offices of TANAPA park authorities and it is the administrative starting point for all hikers using the Machame trekking route to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, as climbers you are required to register at the gate before the beginning you’re your hike and entering Kilimanjaro national park and payment of park fees. When compared to other gates of the park like Marangu gate this gate is smaller and serves as both ascending and descending point for climbers of mountain Kilimanjaro.
Machame gate is surrounded by few scattered houses, Umbwe gate in a distance of 4.8 kilometers, Machame hut campsite in a distance of 9.2 kilometers, Umbwe cave campsite in a distance of 9.8 kilometers and Mweka gate in a distance of 1.5 kilometers.
- Umbwe gate
Umbwe gate is another gate of Kilimanjaro national park serving as the starting point for Umbwe trekking route exclusively, Umbwe trekking route is an ascent only route that is why it is less used when compared to other routes such as Marangu gate. Umbwe gate lies in the southern foothills of mountain Kilimanjaro hundred meters from the edge and amidst the montane forests, the gate is situated in the suburb of Umbwe a sparsely populated area with a few scattered houses and it is accessed using paved roads.
Umbwe gate is accessed in about one hour’s drive from Moshi, regardless of the small size of the gate, its facilities and low usage Umbwe gate serves as an administrative check point for tourists of the park and they have to register and meet all the necessary requirements. And also you can pay for park fees and permits at the gate (the gate has no cash system where credit/debit cards are used)
Umbwe gate is strategically located in a distance of 4.8 kilometers from Machame gate, 7.6 kilometers from Mweka gate, 8.2 kilometers from Umbwe cave campsite, 10.4 kilometers from Mweka hut campsites and 10.6 kilometers from Machame hut campsite.
- Mweka gate
Mweka gate is an exit point of mountain Kilimanjaro national park and is used by hikers on the Mweka route, Mweka route is only used by descending hikers as an exit point and for entrance they can use other gates. Mweka gate is located on the southern border of Mount Kilimanjaro near Uru west ward of Moshi rural district, the gate is surrounded by a number of residential houses and green vegetation with patches of forest trees.
- Mweka gate is accessible by use of road means of transport include vehicles and cycles, the gate hosts a few park authorities offices and many routes such as northern circuit, Lemosho shira, Machame and Umbwe routes use the gate as an exit point. Most hikers who use the gate are coming from Millenium campsite or Mweka hut, Mweka gate is situated in the distances of 7.6 kilometers from Mweka hut campsite, 7.6 kilometers from Umbwe gate, 10.3 kilometers from millennium campsite, 11.1kilomters from Umbwe cave campsite and 12 kilometers from Karanga Hut campsite.
- Lemosho gate
Lemosho gate also referred to as Lemosho glades trail head is an entry point to mountain Kilimanjaro national park, this gate is located on the north-western foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in Lemosho village and it is surrounded by nearby plantations. Lemosho gate is a starting point for Lemosho hiking trail and as hikers using the gate you register with the park’s authorities , also final packing for the safari and meeting your porter happens at this gate.
Lemosho gate is very much accessible by road and it is situated in distances of 7 kilometers from Mti mkubwa camp, 4.6 kilometers from Londorsi gate, 9.5 kilometers from shira 1 campsite, 15.7 kilometers from shira 2 campsite and 16.3 kilometers from shira cave campsite.
- Londorsi gate
Londorsi gate is an entry point into mountain Kilimanjaro national park located on the north-western foothills of mountain Kilimanjaro, the gate lies in a remote area dominated by big trees of montane forests and 40 kilometers from northern border of Kenya and Tanzania
Londorsi gate hosts many TANAPA and park authority offices and serves as administrative and starting point for Shira and Lemosho hiking routes, the gate is the only gate in mountain Kilimanjaro situated in a long distance from hiking routes and it is used by hikers of Lemosho glades trailhead (Lemosho gate) or murram barrier gate. At the gate you are required to register and go through complete inspection before granted access to the park and the mountain using this gate.
Londorsi gate is accessible by road and it is situated in a distances of 4.6 kilometers from Lemosho gate, 5.9 kilometers from Mti Mkubwa campsite,11.9 kilometers from Shira 1 campsite, 18.7 kilometers from Shira 2 campsite and 19.6 kilometers from Shira cave campsite
- Rongai gate
Rongai gate is an entry gate of mountain Kilimanjaro national park located on thin Kilimanjaro e north-eastern foot hills of Mount Kilimanjaro and situated so close to Kenya – Tanzania border, the gate lies amidst green vegetation and is surrounded by plantations and trees. The area near the gate is where several rivers originate, also there is a small town near by the gate.
Rongai gate is serves as a starting point for Rongai gate exclusively leading to Uhuru peak of mountain Kilimanjaro, this gate hosts a few offices of TANAPA and park authorities serving as an administrative checkpoint for all tourists accessing mountain Kilimanjaro national park and mountain Kilimanjaro. At the gate tourists under go through document inspection and the following inspections are done
- verification of passport and visa
- itinerary as proof for your safari to mountain Kilimanjaro
- proof of use of a registered tour/safari guide
- Proof of resources to assist you on your safari and stay in Kilimanjaro national park such as a porter, food, tents and many more.
Because of the remote location and small size Rongai gate is seldom used, also the gate is situated far from major tourist a city that is 3 hours’ drive from Arusha and 2 hours’ drive from Moshi thus its seldom state. Tourists from these cities connect to Rongai gate using a paved tarmac road, the gate is situated in the distances of 5.9 kilometers from Simba campsite, 10.7 kilometers from second cave campsite, 11.7 kilometers from Kikekelwa campsite and 13.2 kilometers from third cave campsite.