Mount Kilimanjaro stands 330 kilometres south of the equator, on the northern boundary of Tanzania. Its location, on an open plain close to the Indian Ocean, and its great size and height strongly influence the climbing conditions. Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain on the African continent. It is composed of three extinct volcanoes: Kibo at 5,895 metres (19,3400 feet), Mawenzi at 5,149 metres (16,896 feet), and Shira at 3,962 metres (13,000 feet). It is also one of the world’s highest free standing mountains, its bulk looming 4,800 metres above an undulating plain that averages around 1,000 metres above sea level. Its long axis lies in a north-west to south-west line for 60 kilometres and, at its widest part, Kilimanjaro is 40 kilometres across. The Machame Route is a fantastic opportunity to combine mountain skills and experience. It maximises the time and options available for climbing and allows for a more leisurely pace. The nights are spent camping, and we provide top mountain guides, porters and safari chefs to look after you. Camping equipment is provided and it is carried by the porters. There are no shower / bath facilities while doing the climb, and toilets will be long drops. You will be provided with a bowl of warm water each morning, on request, to wash with. It is advisable to “walk high, sleep low” – so after a short rest at the camps, walk up another few hundred metres and then return to camp for the evening. This will help you with acclimatisation to the altitude and assist with a successful summit. Kilimanjaro National Park comprises the area above the 2,700 metrecontour. It includes the moorland and highland zones, Shira Plateau, Kibo and Mawenzi peaks. In addition, the Park has six corridors, or rights of way, through the Kilimanjaro Forest Reserve. The Forest Reserve, which is also a Game Reserve, was established in 1921. The Park was established in 1973 and officially opened in 1977. The Park exists to preserve Mount Kilimanjaro outstanding scenic and geological features and its flora and fauna for the use and enjoyment of all people, present and future. This is also the aim of the Forest and Game Reserve below the Park itself, and these different agencies are co-operative in the conservation of all the mountain’s resources.
The best time to climb Mt Kilimanjaro is during its two dry seasons, January to mid-March and June to October. You can trek Kilimanjaro in the rainy season but not only is there a much higher chance of trekking in the rain, the summits of Kibo and Mawenzi are likely to be wreathed in thick cloud too. Christmas and New Year, when the weather is far from perfect, are actually the most popular times for climbing Kilimanjaro.
The January to March season tends to be colder and there is a much greater chance of snow on the path at this time. The days, however, are often clearer, with only the occasional brief shower. It is usually an exceptionally beautiful time to climb and is often a little quieter than the other peak season of June to October.