15 Reason’s to Climb Kilimanjaro in 2015

With just a few days to go until we step into a new year, now is the perfect time to start thinking about your 2015 adventure, and if next year is going to be your year to do something amazing, Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro should be right at the top of your bucket list!

One of the few Seven Summits that anyone can climb, Mount Kilimanjaro is neither technically challenging nor expensive to climb, so providing you have a relatively good level of physical fitness and buckets full of determination, there is no reason why you shouldn’t reach Uhuru Peak.

If you dream of scaling Africa’s highest mountain, here are 15 reasons why you should do it in 2015…

Total Lunar Eclipse – 28th September 2015: It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, it is a spectacular sight! Make sure you Climb Kilimanjaro under the Total Lunar Eclipse in September 2015 for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Easiest Mountain of the Seven Summits: Ticking one of the Seven Summits off your bucket list is an amazing achievement, and Kilimanjaro is the easiest one to climb.

Affordable: Climbing Kilimanjaro is not cheap, but it is not terribly expensive either when you consider what is included in your climb.  A Private 7-Day Machame Route Tour with pre and post hotel accommodations, airport transfers and fully organised mountain expedition can cost as little as £1995.00 per person – and that includes flights from the UK!

Glaciers: Some scientists believe that Kilimanjaro’s Glaciers will be gone in less than 20 years – so don’t leave it to chance (or global warming), conquer Kili in 2015 and see these magnificent walls of ice for yourself.

Accessible: Getting to Kilimanjaro is now easier and cheaper than ever before.  Emirates, KLM, and Turkish Airlines all offer flights from the UK, and you can get some real bargains if you shop around.

Supports the local Economy:  If you book your Kilimanjaro Climb with a KPAP registered tour operator, you can be confident that your visit to Tanzania will support the local community and provide the locals with much-needed jobs.

Raise Money for Charity: Many people climb Kilimanjaro to raise funds for their favourite charity – what better excuse could you need!

Feeling of Accomplishment: Climbing Kilimanjaro is a life-changing experience, and the sense of achievement you feel when you stand at Uhuru Peak is indescribable.

Raise Awareness: Tanzania is Ebola free!  Climb Kilimanjaro in 2015 and spread the word that Tanzania is a safe country to visit.

Climb on any day of the year: The fantastic thing about Mount Kilimanjaro, is that you can climb it on any day of the year.  So you can celebrate a special birthday, anniversary or climb on New Year’s Eve – the choice is yours.

The View: When you are standing at 5,895metres above sea level, you really do feel like you are standing on top of the world and the views are spectacular.

Make new friends: If you cannot persuade any friends or family members to join you on this epic adventure – join a group tour instead.  You will meet many new people along the way, and may make lifelong friends.

Escape from Everything: With no computers, limited mobile access, and no internet connection, Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the few places left on earth where you can escape from everything!

Honeymoon with a difference: If you are looking for a truly unique honeymoon, climbing Kilimanjaro ticks all the right boxes. The challenges you face will bring you even closer together, and who better to have in summit photos that your best buddy!

Become a Storyteller:  Once you have climbed Kilimanjaro, you will become a storyteller – believe me!

Kilimanjaro Gets a New Summit Sign (Again)

When we climbed Mount Kilimanjaro back in 2012, the bright green sign of Uhuru Peak was very welcoming indeed, but it did look more like a motorway sign than the iconic wooden signal we were expecting…

Private Tours Kilimanjaro and Safari

The original Kilimanjaro Summit sign was a wooden symbol of success that thousands of people across the world hang on their office or living room wall with pride. Over the years, Kilimanjaro conquers added stickers, flags and just about anything else they could think of to this slightly wonky yet authentic looking sign, but in 2011, Kilimanjaro National Park decided it needed a makeover.

Kilimanjaro’s new summit sign was unveiled in January 2012 to coincide with Tanzania’s 50 Years of Independence, and while some people loved the bright green structure, many climbers and mountain crew were disappointed with the modern design.

A bright green metal object with yellow writing, it was certainly made to last, but the new Kilimanjaro Summit Sign did not photograph well, especially during the early morning sunlight when most climbers reach Uhuru Peak, and the complaints came in thick and fast.

Fortunately, the Kilimanjaro National Park authorities took notice, and in July 2014, they gave Kilimanjaro back its authentic looking summit sign, which is basically, a new version of the original weatherworn signpost.

If you are making your way to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in 2015, you can expect to take some fantastic photos against the new summit sign, and while we are still very proud of our green and yellow summit pictures, we feel obliged to climb Kilimanjaro again during the Lunar Eclipse next September so that we can get some great shots of the new ‘old’ sign!

 

 

Kilimanjaro and Ngorongoro Safari – The Perfect Adventure Holiday

Climbing Kilimanjaro is an amazing adventure in its own right, but if you are heading down to Tanzania on this epic expedition, it makes perfect sense to extend your trip with a 3 or 4 day safari in the Ngorongoro Crater or Serengeti Plains.

climb Kilimanjaro and 3 day safari

If you have plenty of time and plenty of dollars in your back pocket, a Serengeti Safari is a great choice, especially during the Great Migration, but the most comfortable way to get to your safari lodge in the Serengeti is by a small charter plane, and these flight tickets will push up the cost of your safari significantly.  That said you can reach the Serengeti by road, so if you are prepared for some 4 x 4 action and approximately 8 hours in a jeep, then you can definitely save a few bucks doing it that way.

The Ngorongoro Crater is a UNESCO World Heritage site situated just two hours from Arusha (your base for Kilimanjaro).  A conservation area covering some 8,300 square kilometres, the Ngorongoro Crater is often described as one of the world’s natural wonders, and as it is home to Africa’s Big 5 and a variety of other species, it is one of the best places in Tanzania for game viewing.

Due to its strategic positioning, the Ngorongoro Crater attracts thousands of Kilimanjaro adventurers each year, and while you can expect to see more ‘traffic’ that you would in the Serengeti, chances are, you will see more animals too, so it all depends what kind of experience you are looking for.

If you want to tag a 3-day safari onto your Kilimanjaro climb, the Ngorongoro Crater is the perfect choice. It’s close, affordable, and bursting with lions, elephants, wildebeest and zebra, so your next photo opportunity is never far away.  Plus, on route to Ngorongoro, you will have chance to visit Lake Manyara, Karatu Town, and visit a Maasai tribe – so you can see far more of Tanzania that just Kilimanjaro and its surrounds.

Mount Meru – Warm Up on Kilimanjaro’s Little Sister

Training for Mount Kilimanjaro is no easy task, especially if you live in a city, but you could do a trial run by climbing Mount Meru the week before your planned ascent.

Mount Meru is the 5th highest mountain in Africa and the 2nd highest mountain in Tanzania, so it is great ‘training’ for those who have had little time or opportunity to train at home, and as it is right next door to Mount Kilimanjaro in Arusha National Park, it offers spectacular views of Kili and its snow-capped peak.

Climb Mount Meru

At 4,566metres above sea level, Mount Meru is no walk in the park, and most respected climbing companies ask you to allow at least 4-days to climb Kilimanjaro’s little sister. During those four days, you will have the opportunity to test out your climbing gear, get a feel for climbing at high altitude, and take the most amazing photos of Kilimanjaro on a clear day – a highlight for any photographer.

As Mount Meru is situated in Arusha National Park, there is every chance that you will see Elephants, Giraffe, Buffaloes, Warthogs, Monkeys and Bird life as you make your way to the bottom of this mighty mountain. Your ascent passes through a variety of different vegetation zones too, so you will get a real feel of what life is like on Mount Kilimanjaro.

While not everyone has time to climb both Mount Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro, a few extra days in Tanzania could make all the difference to your success, and by climbing Kilimanjaro’s little sister in preparation for your ‘big’ African adventure, there will be no surprises on the way to Uhuru Peak!

 

 

Private Kilimanjaro Climbs – Available 365 Days of the Year

If you want to climb Kilimanjaro, but are struggling to find a scheduled group tour that fits in with your annual leave, a private Kilimanjaro climb could be the perfect solution.

A Private Kilimanjaro Climb can actually cost you less than a large group tour, especially once you have added on all those little extras such as accommodations before/after the climb, airport transfers, and mountain rescue fees that group tours rarely advertise, and as it is tailor-made to suit your needs, it can start on any day of the year.

Private tours kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro National Park is open 365-days per year, so you can climb Kilimanjaro over Christmas and New Year, climb Kilimanjaro to celebrate a special birthday, climb Kilimanjaro on your honeymoon, or climb Kilimanjaro under a full moon or total lunar eclipse – the possibilities are endless.

When climbing with a group, you mountain guide or guides have to set the pace so that you all move at the same time and reach certain points on the mountain by certain times of the day, but with a private Kilimanjaro climb, it’s all about you!  If you want to stop and take photos, learn about certain plant species, or simply take a break and admire the view, a private tour gives you the freedom and flexibility to do as you please.

We opted for a private tour when we climbed the 7-day Machame Route back in 2012, and can highly recommend it to others.  Those climbers we met along the way could see there was a huge difference between our tour and the group tour that they were on, and many were surprised to find that they had actually spent more on their trip than us, even though they were climbing with a big group.

Best of all, private Kilimanjaro climbs can run with just one person, so if you cannot persuade anyone to go with you, you can make your way to the Roof of Africa with your own team of certified Mountain Guides, Cooks and Porters, who will do everything in their power to make sure you have a safe and successful journey to Uhuru Peak.

Kilimanjaro Total Lunar Eclipse – Book Your Climb for September 2015

If you dream of climbing Kilimanjaro under a full moon, now is the perfect time to book your September 2015 Mount Kilimanjaro Expedition.

On 28th September 2015, a rare Total Lunar Eclipse is set to take place, and Tanzania just happens to be one of the best places in the world to see it. So why not combine that lifelong dream with a real African adventure, and watch the total lunar eclipse from the Roof of Africa – Kilimanjaro’s 5895-metre peak!

private climb kilimanjaro 2015Most international airlines have released their seats for September 2015, but demand will inevitably push the prices up (they increase by around 40% over Christmas and New Year!), so if you want a cheap flight ticket to Kilimanjaro, now is definitely the time to book for next year.

The wooden lodges on Kilimanjaro’s Marangu Route (coca-cola route) are likely to sell out soon too. There are limited spaces available, and special occasions such as New Year’s Eve, Full Moon climbs and Lunar Eclipse climbs are usually booked up well in advance.

If you want a more ‘authentic’ Kilimanjaro climbing experience, opt for one of the camping routes such as the highly successful Machame Route or the slightly more challenging Umbwe Route. You can book both these routes as a private climb, and it may well cost you less than a scheduled group tour with one of the larger operators – so do some research!

If you can’t think what to buy yourself for Christmas this year, why not book that flight to Kilimanjaro for September 2015, and be one of the select few who get to witness a total lunar eclipse from the top of Africa’s highest mountain.

 

 

 

Planet Lodge Arusha – Karibu to Kilimanjaro’s Friendliest Hotel

Many Kilimanjaro Climbing companies use hotels in Moshi as a base for their Kilimanjaro climbs, but if you want to see a little bit more of the ‘real’ Tanzania; it is worth heading into the city of Arusha, where you will find some great hotels and restaurants that serve traditional food to local people.

img_0115Arusha is just a 45-minute drive from Kilimanjaro International Airport and a 2-hour drive from Kilimanjaro’s Machame Gate.  A popular stopover for those climbing Kilimanjaro or heading off on a Serengeti or Ngorongoro Crater Safari, Arusha has everything you could possibly need in terms of banks, shopping centres and eateries, and it’s a lot less ‘touristy’ than Moshi.

Climb Kilimanjaro and Serengeti Ngorongoro SafariWhen it comes to hotels, there are plenty of options to choose from in Arusha, but if you are looking for a clean, comfortable and friendly hotel with a good internet connection and on site restaurant, you might struggle to find anywhere better than the Planet Lodge Hotel.

While not in the centre of Arusha, the Planet Lodge Hotel is just a 5-minute ride away, and the hotel provides complementary shuttles throughout the day.  There is free (safe) parking on site, laundry service is available if you need to refresh any items before starting your Kilimanjaro climb or safari, and there is a great bar and restaurant where you will meet other travellers from across the world and, quite possibly, share your adventures into the early hours of the morning.

img_0111The Tanzanian people are known for their friendliness, and in the Planet Lodge Arusha, you are greeted with warm smiles, a cool towel, a delicious fruity beverage and the traditional welcome – Karibu!

img_0113While checking in, your luggage is whisked away to your room, so the only thing you have to do is fill in the check-in form, enjoy your drink, and explore the beautiful gardens and pool area before heading to your cosy chalet.  Planet Lodge Arusha has its own bar, pool bar and restaurant, so if you want to kick back and relax, you do not have to venture far for a refreshing G&T or a delicious snack.

img_0109We stayed in the Planet Lodge before and after our Kilimanjaro climb, and would have no hesitation in recommending it to others, and after passing through Moshi, we are glad we stayed on the other side of town!