Mount Kilimanjaro, with its three volcanic cones, Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira, is a dormant volcanic mountain in Tanzania. It is the highest mountain in Africa and the highest free-standing mountain in the world at 5,895 metres (19,341 ft) above sea level.
There are seven official trekking routes by which to ascend and descend Mount Kilimanjaro: Lemosho, Machame, Marangu, Mweka, Rongai, Shira, and Umbwe. Of all the routes, Machame is considered the most scenic, albeit steeper, route. It can be done in six or seven days. The Rongai is the easiest and least scenic of all camping routes. However, you get a better chance to acclimate to the altitude and you still get to pass through all 5 temperate/climate zones. The Marangu is also relatively easy, but this route tends to be very busy, the ascent and descent routes are the same, and accommodation is in shared huts with all other climbers.
Our partner company, Jande Adventures, offers three climbs: Lemosho which is a 9 day climb, Machame which is 7 days, and Rongai which is 7 days. Per request we also offer a fourth climb which is 3-4 day day climb. This is a straight shot up and back and can be quite grueling. These climbs were chosen specifically for their scenery and least busy. Many times along the Rongai route, you might encounter only one or two groups in passing making it feel like you are the only ones in the world on this beautiful and vast mountain.
People who wish to trek to the summit of Kilimanjaro are advised to undertake appropriate research and ensure that they are both properly equipped and physically capable. Though the climb is technically not as challenging as when climbing the high peaks of the Himalayas or Andes, the high elevation, low temperature, and occasional high winds make this a difficult and dangerous trek. Acclimatization is essential, and even the most experienced trekkers suffer some degree of altitude sickness. Kilimanjaro summit is well above the altitude at which high altitude pulmonary edema or high altitude cerebral edema can occur. All trekkers will suffer some type of discomfort, typically shortage of breath, hypothermia, and headaches. Trekkers can fall on steep portions of the mountain, and rock slides are possible on a few of the routes. For this reason, the route via the Arrow Glacier was closed for several years, reopening in December 2007.