MT Kilimanjaro

What does it take to climb this mountain…. To start with a desire, then solid preparation, and most importantly a great team working with you on the mountain.

 

Why Kili ?  Why with Wild Frontiers?  There are plenty of reasons given to climb Kili – the most obvious is that it’s the highest point in Africa… but there is something about Kili that draws you into her magic… maybe it’s because of the people that live off the mountain, gentle folk that literally live from her generosity whether it be from the fertile lands.. or the ‘tourism dollar’.  Perhaps it’s the idea of walking on a glacier on the equator.  Maybe it is a challenge between friends or family, or a special birthday milestone….. or even part of a 7-Summit challenge.   Whatever your reason, its critical to make sure you go with a reputable tour operator.

 

Like any challenge – if you are not fully prepared (physically and emotionally) things can easily go wrong…  don’t cut corners.

 

We have partnered up with Cape Union Mart in South Africa – for people who live in SA, to access discounts on technical clothing for the climb.  Together we also do ‘Kili-evenings’ throughout the year.  Webinar presentations are done, for those of you who prefer an ‘armchair’ climb up Kili – answering all those tricky questions about this amazing mountain.

 

We have been sending literally thousands and thousands of guests from all over the World, up Kili during the last 24 years, and feel we know a thing or two about what it takes to summit.  Apart from the fact that most of us at Wild Frontiers have climbed, we have developed in-depth, first-hand information documents to assist you with full and thorough preparation ensuring a high success rate to the top.  From training programmes to equipment required – advice on the various routes and the suitability of each option for you.

 

We have a selection of ‘scheduled’ departure dates – if you want to join a group.. some of which are designed for ‘ladies only’ or ‘singles only’ – some of them tie in with the Migration, and a Serengeti safari – and even the Kilimanjaro Marathon (a great excuse to really test your stamina!)

 

Read on for more information on how we can get you to Uhuru Peak, the highest point in Africa.

 

WHY BOOK WITH WILD FRONTIERS

A word from the Director However you choose a climb or adventure operator there are certain points that should be checked before you place your life in their hands. Everyone has their own set of criteria – we list below some important issues regarding a Wild Frontiers Kilimanjaro climb that may be of interest.

 

We have the experience – operating since 1990 – and over 10 000 successful summits of Wild Frontiers guests, a 90%+ success rate, and all our guests home safe.

 

A good number of our Safari Designers (and management) have climbed, and can give first hand advice – with many successful climbs between us.

 

We are members of ASATA (SATOA division South African Tour Operators Association) and in Tanzania of TATO (Tanzania Association of Tour Operators), and ATTA – watchdogs of the travel industry and we have operations and offices in Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe and South Africa – so you have peace of mind when paying your money over that you are dealing with an approved long term member of the industry, who undertakes annual industry led financial analyses to prove viability.

 

Our guides and crew are looked after to international standards, following guidelines laid down by Porters Protection Association in Moshi, and part of that is our undertaking to ensure that porters are properly kitted out for their climb. Our South African partners, Cape Union Mart, often assist by donating mountain outer wear to the porters.

 

Guide to climber ration is one to 2 or 3 guests for groups, but with a senior support to the guide if you are only one climber.

 

Guides are qualified and trained in Mountain Rescue and CPR etc. Some guides have well over 400 summits in their name.

 

We carry portable oxygen on all climbs, and a Finger Pulse Oximeter.

 

We have available on the mountain portable hyperbaric chambers for groups. Please enquire for details.

 

Guides check guests’ medical condition daily, and monitor this.

 

Our guides are local – e.g. from Moshi, the regional center, as are our porters. We do not bring in other people from Arusha etc. to work on our climbs, ensuring the area gets the benefit of the income.

 

There is a lot more information you will be sent when booking your climb with us (suggested pack list, suggested medical kit, information on how altitude may affect you, equipment rental (if you reside in South Africa), how to train for the hike etc.), but the below should answer many of the questions that you SHOULD be asking before climbing Kilimanjaro / Mount Meru (or booking any travel package).

 

There are a few more points that may help you in this decision:

Price issues – these always come up when groups research trips and then compare options. Some will want to go for the cheapest option, some want the better quality and peace of mind of booking through an experienced, reliable licensed operator.

 

At the end of the day, you all buy safe vehicles, put safe tyres on them, and plan to live a long life – don’t compromise on something as important as summiting Kilimanjaro.

 

Temperatures drop to minus 20C, and if you don’t have the correct gear, crew, food and so forth, you may be putting your life, and others, at risk. You want to get to the top, safely – and have a good time doing it.

 

Just looking at our success rate of 90% +, and the AVERAGE success rate of about 50-60% you have about a 30% better chance with us than a budget operator. You don’t want to waste your money. This is where our experienced staff, kit lists, detailed presentations at our offices and with Cape Union Mart, help a LOT.

 

Many of the reasons for our success rate boils down to money – we pay enough to good guides, crew, and to buy you good food, and use decent equipment (which is maintained/upgraded regularly). When you consider that about USD 710 per person on a 6-day climb goes to park

fees alone, and you work out what a budget operator has got left to run a business on, you can see that on budget trips corners will possibly be cut. All to the detriment of YOU, the guest.

 

This could be done in many ways: from underpaying staff, to avoiding paying full park fees, compromising on food quality and quantity, shoddy equipment, misleading quotes even, and things that may only become apparent when it’s too late i.e. once you have financially committed. Overloading porters is also another area which worries us… some unscrupulous operators cut corners here.

 

It has been estimated that in GOOD weather, your summit chances with a budget operator are probably only slightly less than if you climb with a decent operator.

 

In BAD weather, the chances of summiting – indeed surviving without injury – are 40% better with a higher standard of climb. Basically a good, qualified, well paid crew, with decent leadership and good gear, is what you need – and get – from our standard of climb. It is not a luxury trip, but we ensure that both standards and service are maintained to a high level.

 

Our trips are not cheap – and they never will be. We pay our crew well, use good gear, pay local taxes, operate ethically etc. You will however, get good value for money and a strong chance of achieving your goal i.e. the summit.

 

Consider the above points well – they are ALL questions you should be asking.

 

THE DIFFERENT ROUTES

Rongai route

A great option for ‘first time’ hikers – or mixed groups of differing fitness levels (like corporate groups)

This route begins on the northern slopes of the mountain, and is one of the least travelled routes. It is a long drive to the starting point, but the rewards are the fantastic views and the likelihood that you will be the only climbers. The descent is as per the Marangu route.

  • Not so frequently used route.
  • Ideal for novice hiker if done as 7 day hike – shorter distances and less steep per day compared to other routes.
  • Ascent on north side of mountain (views into Kenya) and descent on south-eastern side of mountain.
  • A little more expensive due to additional transport costs.
  • Camping on the mountain

 

Route Summary:

Trail length: 6 day/5 night or may be done as a 7 day/6 night hike

Start: Rongai Gate (1,950 m/6,397.6 ft)

Highest point reached: Uhuru Peak (5,895 m/19,340 ft)

Finish: Marangu Gate (1,843 m/6,046 ft)

Total trail distance: 6 day approx. 70 km / 43,3 miles

Pre/post night accommodation: Keys Hotel, Moshi

Departs: Daily or join a scheduled trip.

Nearest international airport: Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO)

 

Best time to go: January-March and the end June-October, but can be climbed any time

Best time to go: January-March and the end June-October

Marangu Route:

It is the only route where you stay in communal mountain huts..

 

The Marangu route takes you on a five or six day round journey of about eighty kilometres to Mt Kilimanjaro’s summit. It is the only route where one could you stay in communal mountain huts., all other routes are based on tented accommodation. The route begins at Marangu Gate at 1 860m, and passes through the tropical rain forest to the Mandara Hut at 2 752m, close to the Maundi Crater. The lush green rainforest is home to Giant tree ferns which flourish underneath huge tropical trees decorated with Oldman’s Beard (usnea lichen) and pretty flowers including a variety of lilies and hibiscus. Colobus and Blue Monkeys are often seen jumping between these old trees with an abundance of birdlife and these forests are never quiet. From here we ascend into the alpine zone and finally the summit.

 

  • Frequently used route.
  • Same route for ascent and descent on south-western side of mountain.
  • The route may be undertaken in 5 or 6 days, and involves walking about 80 kilometres.
  • Accommodation is in dormitory-style huts during the hike, plus two nights at the base hotel.
  • Route Summary:

Start: Marangu Gate (1,843 m/6,046 ft)

Highest point reached: Uhuru Peak (5,895 m / 19,340 ft)

Finish: Marangu Gate (1,843 m/6,046 ft)

Total trail distance: approx. 80 km / 49,7 miles

Pre/post night accommodation: Keys Hotel, Moshi

Departs: Daily or join a scheduled trip.

Nearest international airport: Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO)

Country: Tanzania

Best time to go: January-March and the end June-October, but can be climbed any time

Best time to go: January-March and the end June-October

 

Machame Route:

A pretty option, traversing from the south-western side of the mountain.

As you hike through the lush green rainforest from the Machame Gate you realize that you have just embarked on an adventure of a lifetime. Giant tree ferns flourish underneath huge tropical trees decorated with Oldman’s Beard (usnea lichen) and pretty flowers including a variety of lilies and hibiscus. Colobus and Blue Monkeys may often be seen jumping between these ancient trees and there is with an abundance of birdlife and …. these forests are never quiet.

 

A minimum of six days hiking is recommended (we strongly suggest an additional night on the mountain for acclimatisation, particularly if you live at sea level) for this route that starts on the very scenic southwest side of Kilimanjaro, and follows the contours along the southern face, finally ascending from the southeast up past Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak. You will see Kilimanjaro from many angles and the scenery is spectacular!

  • Frequently used route.
  • Ascent on the south-western side of the mountain, traversing around the southern slopes of Kibo and descending on the south side.
  • Camping on the mountain

Route Summary:

Trail length: 6 day/5 night or may be done as a 7 day/6 night hike

Start: Machame Gate (1,490 m/4,890 ft)

Highest point reached: Uhuru Peak (5,895 m / 19,340 ft)

Finish: Mweka Gate (1,980 m/6,500 ft)

Total trail distance: 96.3 km / 59.8 miles

Pre/post night accommodation: Keys Hotel, Moshi

Departs: Daily or join a scheduled trip.

Nearest international airport: Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO)

Best time to go: January-March and the end June-October, but can be climbed any time

Best time to go: January-March and the end June-October

 

Umbwe Route:

Route Overview Without any doubt, the most scenic.. but probably the most difficult ‘hiking’ route up Kilimanjaro. Ideal for experienced hikers.

 

Lose yourself in the incredible beauty of the lush rainforest of the Umbwe route as you make your way towards the Umbwe Caves.

 

The Umbwe route is challenging, though the shortest in distance it is the steepest and you ascend at a rapid rate.

 

A steep hike on the first two days lead you up to a picturesque alpine desert where the harsh terrain ensures that only the toughest of plants survive. From here the summit beckons – permanently iced – Kili tempts you to reach the highest point in Africa – Uhuru peak. A magnificent feeling.

 

On the route, great photo opportunities unfold with red sunlight playing on the cliffs and ice fields. Hikers can expect to wake up above the clouds on the fourth day on the mountain with breath-taking views into the distance below.

* One of the quieter routes going up the mountain

  • Incredible scenery
  • A tough, steep ascent (first 2 days) but with plenty of time to acclimatise on days 3 & 4
  • Additional day may be built in
  • Camping route

Trail length: 6 day/5 night or may be done as a 7 day/6 night hike

Start: Umbwe Gate (1,800

Highest point reached: Uhuru Peak (5,895 m / 19,340 ft)

Finish: Mweka Gate (1,980 m/6,500 ft)

Total trail distance: approx. 81 km / 50,3 miles

Pre/post night accommodation: Keys Hotel, Moshi

Departs: Daily

Nearest international airport: Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO)

Best time to go: January-March and the end June-October, but can be climbed any time

 

Lemosho Glades Route:

Really off the beaten track – before you start your hike, enjoy a drive to the western side of Kili – through a natural game corridor, possibly seeing game along the way. This route is seldom used, and with that comes the possibility of not bumping into others on your first few days of your hike. Definitely a bonus!

 

Drive to the trailhead at Lemosho Glades and start your trek through the rain forest. In places the vegetation is so untouched that it grows right across the narrow track. The flora and fauna are richer here than on the other more popular routes through the rain forest.

 

From here we continue to the giant moorland zone. As we continue our hike, we enjoy beautiful scenic valleys and a high altitude desert plateau near Shira.

 

We then join the more popular route on the last section of the climb, via Barranco and Barafu to Uhuru Peak.

 

* A long, but quiet first few days on the climb – incredible scenery

Unlikely to meet other hikers

Good chance of seeing some wildlife

  • Camping route

Trail length: 6 day/5 night or may be done as a 7 day/6 night hike

Highest point reached: Uhuru Peak (5,895 m / 19,340

Finish: Mweka Gate (1,980 m/6,500 ft)

Total trail distance: approx. 81 km / 50,3 miles

Pre/post night accommodation: Keys Hotel, Moshi

Departs: Daily

Nearest international airport: Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO)

Best time to go: January-March and the end June-October, but can be climbed any time

 

CLIMBING PREPARATIONS

DATES TO DIARISE

Kilimanjaro Scheduled Hikes 2016

January    

7 Day Machame Climb, 9 Day Trip Sat, 23 January 2016  Ladies only

February    

6 Day Machame Climb, 8 Day trip  Mon, 29 Febuary 2016  Marathon / Post Race

June    

6 Day Machame Climb, 8 Day Trip  Sat, 18 June 2016  Full Moon

July    

6 Day Machame Climb, 8 Day Trip  Sat, 16 July 2016  Full Moon

August    

6 Day Marangu Hike, 8 Day Trip Sat, 13 August 2016  Full Moon

September    

6 Day Machame Climb, 8 Day Trip Sat, 10 September 2016  Full Moon

October    

7 Day Machame Climb, 9 Day Trip Sat, 01 October 2016  Ladies Only

6 Day Machame Climb, 8 Day Trip Sat, 22 October 2016

 

General – Full moon dates for 2016

Jan. 24 Su. 03:46

Feb. 22 Mo. 20:20

Mar. 23 We. 14:01

Apr. 22 Fr. 07:25

May 21 Sa. 23:16

June 20 Mo. 13:04

July 20 We. 00:59

Aug. 18 Th. 11:29

Sept. 16 Fr. 21:07

Oct. 16 Su. 06:25

Nov. 14 Mo. 15:53

Dec. 14 We. 02:06