Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest Mountain in Africa whereby it is 200 miles south of the equator and is an extinct volcanic Mountain measuring up to 19,341 feet in height /5,895 meters above the sea level. Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest peak and the world’s highest free-standing mountain which is walk able summit. Mount Kilimanjaro is located in northern Tanzania and is the crown of Tanzania. Rising abruptly from the open plains, capped by snow and frequently fringed by clouds, it is one of Africa’s classic images.
Kilimanjaro is a dormant, but not extinct volcano. Worrying thunder can sometimes be heard and gases emerge from the fumaroles in the crater. The diameter of its base is an incredible Forty (40) kilometers. Mount Kilimanjaro can only be safely attempted while you are in Tanzania and any assistance due to health problem can be easily overtaken by experienced guides in Tanzania.
Kilimanjaro today’s Weather
Weather Conditions near the base of the mountain tend to be tropical to semi-temperate and are relatively stable all year round. The lower plains are hot and dry with average temperatures of around 90 degrees Fahrenheit. As one heads away from the Lower Plains towards the Rain Forest, conditions become increasingly warm and humid.
Mount Kilimanjaro is divided into five distinct zones: Cultivated farmlands on the lowest levels, next is therainforest zone, followed by heath and moorland with alpine vegetation, and just before the barren, snowy summit is lunar-like desert.
We recommend to our clients who wants to climb Kilimanjaro that the long rains typically occur from *End of February to 1st May*, and basically it is at this time when visibility is bad and the mountain becomes slippery and treacherous. The shorter rains occur during November and December, June through October it is a summer time and conducive for climbing the Mountain.
The Mount Kilimanjaro is attempted using its six popular routes, of which one is commonly used for descending only the Mweka route. Another routes include the Marangu , which is both used for climbing and descending after climbing using other routes such as Machame, Rongai, Lemosho, Umbwe, Shira and itself.
Marangu is the only route with huts as accommodations leaving others to accommodate hikers using the mobile tents. Each route in Kilimanjaro has its different challenge and view and landscape but the bottom line is to reach to the Roof to of Africa which is Uhuru Peak.
Climbers during their time on the mountain, pass from a tropical to arctic environment in just a few days. The various trails first pass through lush rainforests before reaching heather and open moorland where giant lobelia and huge, cactus-like groundsel grow.Above this moorland is the almost lunar landscape of an alpine desert which stretches between the two peaks of Kibo, the flat-topped dome at the centre, and Mawenzi, a group of jagged points and pinnacles on the eastern side.
The guides on the trip have all received first aid training from the Kilimanjaro National Park authorities. Our guides are all highly experienced in dealing with the problems of altitude and their decision will always be final. If there is a problem, the guide will take precautionary action and inform both the national park and our office in Arusha. Contact is usually made by mobile phone, as there is some network while climbing Kilimanjaro. There are a number of national park ranger posts on Kilimanjaro and they also have radios to contact park headquarters in Marangu.
Evacuation from Kilimanjaro is initially either on foot or wheeled stretcher. This is until the highest access point that the national park rescue car can reach – either Shira Plateau, below Mandara Hut or Rongai Gate. The rescue car will transport the client off the mountain usually, but often our vehicle meets the rescue car to complete the journey. During the rescue an assistant guide would accompany the sick client.
If the client is very sick the chief guide would accompany the sick client, and leave the group on Kilimanjaro under the charge of his assistant. The client is taken to either a doctor (KCMC Hospital in Moshi) or as in many cases if the client has recovered due to the decreasing altitude / increasing oxygen, they will be taken to rest at Moshi Hotel.
All guides have had first aid training. We do not carry Gamow bags or oxygen on our climbs. We pay special attention to avoid altitude sickness by maximizing acclimatization and the guides training means they can recognize the symptoms of serious altitude sickness and organize immediate descent, which is by far the best treatment, on the occasions when this is necessary.