Kilimanjaro safari Tanzania : A safari to Kilimanjaro national park is truly an exciting experience which can be done during tours in the northern part of Tanzania. Hiking is among the popular activities that are carried out when visiting Kilimanjaro national park in Tanzania and these hikes are done on Mount Kilimanjaro which is the highest mountain in Africa.
Mount Kilimanjaro is a snow capped mountain which is at an altitude of 5,895 meters and the highest point on the mountain is Uhuru peak. The mountain has 3 volcanic cones namely Shira, Mawenzi and Kibo.
There are five climatic zones on the mountain and they include the Bushland zone, the rainforest zone, the moorland zone, the alpine desert zone and the arctic zone. During hikes in Kilimanjaro national park, you go through the different zones to get to the summit of the mountain.
Kilimanjaro national park has diversity in biodiversity, flora and fauna and beautiful scenery and views to enjoy during tours at the destination. You can also enjoy photography while on the mountain and even at the summit to capture your victory.
During hikes on Mount Kilimanjaro, you are accompanied by guides, porters and chefs or cooks who are in charge of your wellbeing during the whole tour. These tours on the mountain can take about 5 or more days depending on the route which is used for hiking.
Day tours are also carried out during tours to Kilimanjaro national park and some of the costs incurred during the safaris to the destination include park entrance fee costs, guide fees, rescue fees, hut fees among others.
Hiking routes for Mount Kilimanjaro
Different routes are used during hikes on Mount Kilimanjaro and they include Marangu route, Machame route, Lemosho route, Rongai route, Shira route and also the Umbwe route which can be used for hiking at any time of the year.
- Machame route is the most popular route which is used during hikes on Mount Kilimanjaro and when hiking using this route, there is enough time for acclimatization. You can also enjoy stunning views along this trail. The hike along Machame route during Kilimanjaro safaris starts from Machame gate to Machame camp which takes 5 to 7 hours, Machame camp to Shira camp which takes about 4 to 6 hours, Shira camp to Lava tower to Barranco camp which takes 6 to 8 hours, Barranco camp to Karanga camp which takes about 4 to 5 hours, Karanga camp to Barafu camp, Barafu camp to the summit (Uhuru peak) which takes 7 to 8 hours and then from the summit to Mweka camp which takes about 4 to 6 hours and finally from Mweka camp to Mweka gate which takes 3 to 4 hours, Kilimanjaro safari Tanzania.
- Marangu route is another route which is used during hikes on Mount Kilimanjaro and it is also the oldest route used on the mountain. This route is also popular and has amazing views and it is the only trail that offers hut accommodation during hikes which include Mandara hut, Kibo hut and Horombo hut. The route is also the easiest to climb in Mount Kilimanjaro and the ascension profile is gradual and steady. Hiking on Marangu route takes 5 or 6 days and this hike starts from Marangu gate to Mandara hut which takes 4 to 5 hours, Mandara hut to Horombo hut which takes 6 to 8 hours, Horombo hut to Kibo hut which takes 6 to 8 hours, Kibo hut to Uhuru peak which takes 6 to 8 hours and from the summit you continue to Horombo hut which takes 4 to 5 hours, Horombo hut to Marangu gate which takes 5 to 7 hours.
- Lemosho route is a very beautiful trail used for hikes on Mount Kilimanjaro and it joins the Machame route along the way. The trail goes through a rainforest where you can encounter black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys as well as various bird species. the climb using Lemosho route takes 7 to 8 days and it starts from Londrossi gate to Mti Mkubwa which takes 3 to 4 hours, from Mti Mkubwa to Shira 2 camp which takes 8 to 10 hours, from Shira 2 camp to the Lava tower which takes 4 to 6 hours and from the Lava tower to Barranco camp which takes 2 to 3 hours, from Barranco camp to Karanga camp which takes 4 to 5 hours, from Karanga camp to Barafu camp which takes 3 to 4 hours, from Barafu camp to Uhuru peak takes 6 to 8 hours and the hike from Uhuru peak to Mweka camp takes 4 to 6 hours and finally the hike from Mweka camp to Mweka gate takes 3 to 4 hours, Kilimanjaro safari Tanzania.
- Rongai route is on the north eastern part of Mount Kilimanjaro and on the border of Kenya and Tanzania. the hike on this route takes about 7 days and starts from Rongai gate to Simba camp which takes about 4 to 5 hours, from Simba camp to the 2nd cave camp which takes 3 to 4 hours, from 2nd cave camp to Kikelewa camp which takes 3 to 4 hours, from Kikelewa camp to Mawenzi hut which takes about 4 hours, from Mawenzi hut to Kibo hut which takes 5 to 6 hours, from Kibo hut to Uhuru peak which takes 6 to 8 hours and from Uhuru peak to Horombo hut which takes 4 to 5 hours, from Horombo hut to Marangu gate which takes 5 to 7 hours.
Other routes which are used during hikes on Mount Kilimanjaro include Shira route and also the Umbwe route
How to get to Mount Kilimanjaro
Kilimanjaro national park can be accessed by driving and also by flight during safaris in Tanzania. You can book flights to Arusha airport or Kilimanjaro international airport to get to the destination.
The closest town to Mount Kilimanjaro is Moshi town which also has many other destinations to visit in Tanzania like waterfalls and you can also do a tour around Moshi, interact with the locals among others.
The distance between Arusha town to the park gate is about 80 kilometers and the drive can take about 1 hour and 30 minutes.