Kilimanjaro Summit: Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa at 5895 meters which is also snowcapped. This mountain is a large stratovolcano with 3 peaks namely Shira, Mawenzi and Kibo.
The Kilimanjaro summit which is Kibo was first reached by Hans Meyer and Ludwig Purtscheller in 1889. The climatic zones on the mountain include bush land, the rainforest zone, moorland, alpine desert zone and the arctic zone.
There are 5 routes which can be used to access the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro and they include Marangu route, Rongai route, Machame route, Shira route and Lemosho route.
The different routes used to get to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro vary in the level of difficulty, number of climbers using the route and the scenery which can be seen on the routes is also different.
The Marangu route is referred to as the oldest route on Mount Kilimanjaro. It takes about 5 to 6 days to get to the peak using this route with stops at Mandara hut, Kibo hut and Horombo hut. This route is considered the least difficult route to hike and it has a gradual slope coming from the south eastern direction. Despite being much easier to climb, this route is less scenic than other routes used by climbers on Kilimanjaro mountain.
Rongai route is another route which is used during hiking experiences on Mount Kilimanjaro. Climbers using this route get to the mountain from the northern side which is close to the Kenyan border. It takes about 6 to 7 days to get to the top of the mountain using this route. This route is least crowded compared to the Marangu route which is use during descent and it is also a moderately difficult route to use during a climb on Mount Kilimanjaro.
Machame route on Mount Kilimanjaro has steeper slopes as compared to other routes. It is also recommended for the more adventurous hikers and it reaches the mountain from the southern side underneath the ice before getting to the summit. This route take about 6 to 7 days or more to get to the top of the mountain and it also has very scenic views.
Lemosho route is also used during a hiking adventure on Africa’s tallest mountain. This route gets to Mount Kilimanjaro from the western side and crosses to Shira camp, the lava tower, Barranco hut, and Barafu. This route is also referred to as the southern circuit and it takes about 8 days to get to the top of the mountain. The climbers using this route also enjoy many scenic views during their climb of various sides of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Shira route also comes from the western side of Mount Kilimanjaro and it is a very scenic route which passes through the Shira ridge, Simba camp, Moir hut, Barraco camp and then continues to the southern circuit. The starting point using the Shira route can be accessed by vehicle. This route takes about 7 to 8 days of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
Summit points of Kilimanjaro mountain
- Gilman’s point on Mount Kilimanjaro is found at 5685 meters is one of the three summit points of the mountain. It is situated at the edge of the crater rim next to Stella point and Uhuru peak.
Climbers who reach the Gilman’s point are rewarded with certificates for completing the challenge of hiking Mount Kilimanjaro and conquering the altitude, rocks and the scree to get to the top. It is about 1 hour following the trail to get to Uhuru peak from the Gilman’s point.
- Stella point is another one of the three summit points of Mount Kilimanjaro near the Gilman’s point at 5756 meters. It is found south of the crater rim of Kibo and is found in the arctic zone.
Climbers who get to this point during their adventure on Mount Kilimanjaro are also awarded with certificates.
The trails from Gilman’s point, Uhuru peak and Barafu hut meet at Stella point during the summit attempt. This route has solid non sloping ground which is also free of loose gravel.
- Uhuru peak is at 5895 meters on Mount Kilimanjaro and is Africa’s highest point. It is the highest point on the crater rim of Kibo
Using the Machame route during a hike on Mount Kilimanjaro, climbers get to the rim from Stella point and the climbers who use the Marangu route get to the rim from Gilman’s point.
Climbers can enjoy views of the snow from Uhuru peak as they enjoy reaching the highest point in all of Africa. The terrain during the hike to the Uhuru peak also varies and climbers also go thought 5 climatic zones before getting to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Glaciers on Mount Kilimanjaro
The glaciers on Mount Kilimanjaro are unaffected by the tropical sun and the heat from this sun is absorbed by the rocks underneath the rocks. The ice can be seen on the upper part of Kibo. These glaciers include the Furtwangler glacier, the Rebmann glacier, the Arrow glacier and the Credner glacier.
How long it takes to reach the summit
Depending on the route used during a hike to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, it takes about 5 to 8 days to get to the top of this mountain. It can also take up to 10 days of hiking the mountain to get to the top.
Some of the hiking routes are more gradual than others and others are also more scenic. Getting to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro is worth it as you get to reach the highest point in Africa and also be awarded with a certificate.
Hiking adventures on Mount Kilimanjaro can take place at any time of the year however, the warmer months are recommended such as in June and October.
Visit Mount Kilimanjaro and experience some of the amazing and adventurous hiking safaris in Tanzania.