Mount Kilimanjaro, with its three volcanic cones, “Kibo”, “Mawenzi”, and “Shira”, is a dormant volcano in Tanzania. It is the highest mountain in Africa, and rises approximately 4,900 m from its base to 5,895 meters above sea level. To climb Mt. Kilimanjaro you have to do some planning and some preparation.
Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.
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The best times to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro are the driest months of the year, especially Jan/Feb and Aug/Sep. But any time between January and mid March or between June and October offers reasonable chances of good weather on Kilimanjaro.
There are several climb routes up Kilimanjaro. They vary in length and difficulty. All except one require you to camp. If you use the Marangu route your accommodation is in huts and camping is not allowed.
Five days is the absolute minimum duration for a Kilimanjaro trek, six is better. For the popular Machame route six days is the minimum, seven days is recommended. Taking an extra day for acclimatization will greatly improve your chances to reach the summit. There are longer treks available for those who can afford them.
Most people book their Mount Kilimanjaro climb from overseas. For the majority of climbers this is certainly recommended over selecting a climb operator in the last minute when you get there.
You can only climb Kilimanjaro with a registered guide/trekking agency. A good climb operator will supply guides, a cook, porters, food, water, and camping equipment if you are camping.
There is no need, indeed no opportunity, for you to worry about the details. You don’t need to carry anything but your day pack, you don’t need to cook or put up your tent or anything. You just choose your Kilimanjaro tour operator.
The selection of Mt. Kilimanjaro tours to choose from is overwhelming. The quality varies wildly, from irresponsible “cowboy” outfits to luxury climb operators who just about carry you to the top.
What you should be looking for is a quality and responsible operator who also treats their staff well. Do NOT pinch pennies on Kilimanjaro. Do NOT climb Kilimanjaro with a lower end budget operator.