“Snow at the equator?” – no-one could believe the German scientist J. Rebmann when he reported about what he had experienced in East Africa 1848. Especially his British colleagues did not want to give this any belief. In France, on the other hand, he received a medal for his observations.
The first successful ascend to the top was done 1889 by a German, an Austrian and their local guide. For the native peoples living in the area, the “Kili” is a sacred, God-like feature which they would never try to get on top of.
If you look to the history of Kilimanjaro you do not wonder that the mountain is one of the most famous destinations for adventure holidays for European travelers. So Intakt-Reisen, the oldest European Internet tour operator offers a tremendous selection of Kilimanjaro climbing and trekking tours.
The mountain rises over the East African plateau which itself reaches a height of 750 to 1,000 meters. Its highest peak, Uhuru Peak (“Uhuru” meaning “Freedom”), masters 5,895 meters, and is the highest point of the African continent.
The lower slopes are covered by thick rain forest vegetation. The higher you get the growth becomes more and more scarce, and at a certain point all that is left are giant senecias or grass. Below the three peaks of volcanic origin you only find dry rubble which makes the last meters on the ascent a little difficult. Still, the Kilimanjaro is considered relatively well to ascend.
The Kilimanjaro is a major freshwater reservoir serving millions of people living in the surrounding areas in Tanzania and Kenya. The border between the two countries touches its lower slopes on the northernmost side.
The mountain can be climbed via four different major routes. Most of the visitors choose the so-called “Coca Cola Route” or Marangu Route. It takes you in 6 days or more to the top and back down again. The same route is used on the way up and down. The accommodation is in wooden huts to protect the ascenders from the harsh cold temperatures up there.
The slightly more difficult “Whiskey Route” uses the Machame Route on the way to the top, and the Mweka Route on the way down. So you can collect a different set of views and impressions. You are accommodated in 2-persons-tents that are erected by the porters before you reach the camp. Your individual porter, as well as a cook, belongs to the team supporting you on the way, headed by a trained and skillful mountain guide. All you need to carry up yourself is a little knapsack with your daily needs like camera, drinks etc.
The third route, Lemosho, is supposed to be the one with the most beautiful impressions. Besides, this route is less crowded than the two aforementioned ones. The peak itself is reached via serpentines at Stella Point (5,745 m).
The fourth route, Rongai, starts near the Kenyan border in the north of the mountain range. At a height of 2,200 m you start through lush green rain forest inhabited by rare Colobus monkeys. Later on the way up you reach a high plateau consisting of black lava. This makes it a bit dusty but on the other hand the constant but calm ascent is seen as the easiest route.
Kilimanjaro climbs can be booked through us either with or without a completing game safari and/or some relaxing days on the famous sand beaches of the spice island Zanzibar. The national parks in the northeastern parts of Tanzania belong to the most famous animal parks all over the world. Just read these names: Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, Tarangire or Selous.
The ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro can also be completed with the preceding ascent of its “sister mountain”, Mt. Meru (4,566 m) and/or the third-highest mountain in Africa, Mt. Kenya (4,985 m).