Mountain Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Hiking Adventures in East Africa

Mountain Kilimanjaro is Africa’s Highest Mountain and a dormant volcano located in Mountain Kilimanjaro National Park Tanzania elevating to 4,900 metres (16,100 ft) from the bottom and 5,895 metres (19,341 ft) above sea level.

It comprises of three different volcanic Cones i.e Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira with the extinct and highest being Mawenzi at 5,149 metres (16,893 ft) and Shira being the shortest at 4,005 metres (13,140 ft). Kibo is dormant and research has it that in future it will erupt.

The Mountain has numerous streams and rivers which flow especially on the wetter season and the most prominent Rivers on the Mountain are Lumi and Pangani on the Eastern and Southern Sides.

Mountain Kilimanjaro HikeFlora

Mountain Kilimanjaro has numerous vegetation types with Natural Forests covering about 1,000 square kilometres (250,000 acres), coffee part of the Chagga Home Gardens covers about 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) and 1,800 metres (5,900 ft) along the mountain, Native Vegetation lies in the Valleys and Gorges making it different from the vegetation in the higher altitudes of the Mountain.

Along the drier Northern Slopes you will find olive, Croton-Calodendrum, Cassipourea, and Juniperus form forests in order of increasing altitude

Fees and What to Carry For Mountain Kilimanjaro

  • You will pay from $500$1,500 on equipment and extra gear i.e an extreme weather sleeping bag, a duffle bag, Hiking Clothing.
  • Yellow Fever Vaccine needed for accessing Tanzania
  • Malaria Tablets
  • Tanzania Visa at US $50 to US $100(US Citizens)

Fauna

Mountain Kilimanjaro in Tanzania has numerous wildlife animals like the Elephants,Cape buffaloes,  Bushbucks, chameleons, dik-diks, duikers, mongooses, sunbirds and warthogs.

On the Shire Plateau Zebras and hyenas can be seen there. You will also watch the Kilimanjaro shrew and the chameleon Kinyongia tavetana.

Climate

Mountain Kilimanjaro has an average Temperature of −7 °C (19 °F) at the summit area, Day Time −4 °C (25 °F). At night, the temperatures at Northern Ice Field fall to −9 °C (16 °F).

The Mountain Kilimanjaro experiences two rainy seasons one from March to May and another around November with the Northern Slopes receiving more rainfall amounts compared to the southern slopes.

Snow fall can occur anytime around the year although, it usually falls during the two rainy seasons   that take place in the months of November- December and March-May.

How to Get to Mountain Kilimanjaro in Tanzania

Mountain Kilimanjaro is located in Tanzania and travelers interested in hiking the Mountain can transfer from Moshi and Arusha town. Travelers can transfer by both Road and Air Transport i.e

By Road

Travelers can transfer by car/ fleet to the Mountain through Arusha Town then proceed via Moshi to the Foothills of the Mountain.

They can as well as travel via Dar es Salaam then proceed direct to the foot hills of the majestic Mountain Kilimanjaro.

How to Get to Mountain kilimanjaroBy Air

Travelers can transfer from their countries by flight to the stunning Kilimanjaro International Airport where they will be picked up by a driver guide who will transfer you to the stunning foothills of Mountain Kilimanjaro.

Best Time to Visit Mountain Kilimanjaro in Tanzania

Mountain Kilimanjaro can be hiked/ climbed any time around the year although, the Best Time to Climb this majestic Mountain is during the two distinctive seasons in the months of January-March for the mountain is colder making it possible to see snow at the summit and June-October when it is summer time in Europe and North America making the Mountain very busy.

The Five Zones of Mountain Kilimanjaro

Zone 1: The Lower Country Side Slopes of Mountain Kilimanjaro

With less to offer, the lower Country Side Slopes of Mountain Kilimanjaro is the starting point for all travelers interested in hiking to the summit of Mountain Kilimanjaro with less to offer due to the absence of wildlife species but instead cultivated crops like bananas, yams, Coffee, Potatoes, Beans and maize, Pine trees for fuel and carbon, Wild flowers, the poisonous Lantana Camara etc. The Chagga People are also common in the area.

Zone 2: The Montane Forests of Mountain Kilimanjaro

This Zone comprises of the Tropical Forest Zone which begins from 1000 meters to 2800 meters with numerous wildlife animals which include; hyrax and bush babies as well as birds like the Bulbul, boubou, nightingale and robin chat, Sunbirds, Crested turaco.

You will as well as spot wildlife animals like the Nocturnal cats ie the Civets and Genets, Galago, Aardvark and Honey badgers, antelopes from duiker to suni, Leopard, Bush pigs, Elephants, Giraffes, Buffalos, Lions as well as Colobus monkeys, Blue monkeys and Baboons.

Zone 3: The Heathland and Moorland of Mountain Kilimanjaro

This zone lies between 2800 meters to 4000 meters with tall, silky heathers, Giant lobelias, Groundsel, Moorland, Heath, Grassland etc as well as Wildlife animals like Elephants, Elands, Lions, mice and mole rats, leopards that have been seen at the Shira Plateau. This is the medium zone of the stunning Mountain Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

Zone 4: The Towering Alpine Deserts of Mountain Kilimanjaro

The fourth zone lies between 4000 meters to 5000 meters with ground hugging jewels like sky blue gentians, Tiny golden buttercups, Helichrysums and asters which have fine silvery hairs to insulate them and catch both sun and moisture.

At this zone, you will spot the craters of Mawenzi and the snow capped Kibo peak, Mount Meru as well as numerous species of Birds i.e the Wedge-tailed Lammergeyers.

Zone 5: The Arctic Ice Cap Summit of Kilimanjaro

This zone is the final zone of the stunning majestic Mountain Kilimanjaro and includes; the Mawenzi Peak with beautiful Dykes and Rock Walls which are pinnacles of lava from which soft rocks eroded. You will reach the Summit where you will spot ice and porous Rock and Glaciers as well.

Activities in Mountain kilimanjaro

Climbing

The most common activity done in Kilimanjaro is mountain climbing, Climbing africas free standing mountain will give you a thrilling experience you never imagined Kibo peak is the highest peak snow capped through out the year offering magnificent views of the surrounding towns from a far, one of the peaks and the oldest known as shira peak formed up a plateau providing spectacular grasslands and various plant species with a lot of wild life.

Wildlife Watching

A number of various animals can be seen at Mount Kilimanjaro national park though it can not be compared to other national parks in Tanzania, some of the wild lives to expect while on safari at Mount Kilimanjaro are; vervet monkey, genet cat, honey badger, aardvark, baboon, Columbus monkey, bushbaby, elands and elephants in the Shira plateua  plains.

Bird Watching

Mountain Kilimanjaro National Park is believed to be a home to over 150 bird species some of which are migratory birds and others endemic to this area, some of the birds include; white necked Raven, resident black shouldered kite, long tailed trogon, Gabar goshawk, blue napped mouse birds, grey hornbill, African fish eagles, white cheeked barbet, African pygmy kingfisher and red capped robin chat among the rest.

The best time to do bird watching is in November to April when migratory birds from Europe and North Africa are present

Visiting the Chala Crater Lake

Located on the edge of Mount Kilimanjaro, Lake Chala is inside a high crater rim. The lake covers an area of 1.6 square miles and is one of the park’s most famous sights because of its incredible waters, which range in color from turquoise to emerald green depending on the time of the year.

Lake Chala Safari Camp is the only accommodation available near the lake, where visitors can rest or choose to join a tour of the area.

Hiking  Adventures

Travelers can also join hiking tours that explore the lower levels of the mountain, around the Shira Plateau. Most hikes take three days and require you to sleep in mountain camps.

Hiking Tours at Mountain KilimanjaroExpect steep trails and lots of climbing over rocks and tree roots, as these are not well maintained, smooth trails. Hikes will take you to see craters, giant ferns, wildlife and plenty of scenic views.

Cycling

Tourists can make their safari more experimental by cycling to the highest peak of Africa through the Kilema route; additional fee might be added for this activity.

There are three main stations. The cycling will expose you to farmlands of the chagga people. However this activity should be done by well experienced mountain bikes accompanied by a tourist’s guide who’s knowledgeable about Kilimanjaro.

Camping

To have an exclusive bush experience, camping within the 32 camping sites along the second hiking routes will be memorable. The campsites provide comfortable accommodation and bush toilets as well as mouth watering meals to suit your hiking experience.

Nature guided walks

Guided nature walks can be done at the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro forest canopy and tourists can encounter a lot of primates like the red tailed monkey, olive baboon, white and black Columbus monkey and a lot of plant species not forgetting the panoramic views of the chagga farmlands and neighbouring towns.

Picnicking

Mount Kilimanjaro national park boasts with the 13 picking sites where tourists can enjoy this activity in the uninterrupted wilderness, the picnic sites are; Daraja refu, Kilimamchele, Wona, Last water, Machame half way and Jiwe la mbula among the rest. Tourist can enjoy their packed lunch from one of this site.

Filming

Mount Kilimanjaro being Africa’s free standing mountain offers panoramic views suitable for filming adventure movies, one of the famous films that scooped an award was done from Kilimanjaro this was done in 1952 and the title was the snow’s of Kilimanjaro.