Want to Climb Kilimanjaro? Check Out these Inspiring Stories!

Some people climb Kilimanjaro for a reason, while others climb for no reason at all, but every adventurer who attempts Africa’s highest mountain has one goal in mind, and that is to reach the snow-capped peak of Uhuru.

Climbing Tips KilimanjaroClimbing Kilimanjaro is no easy task, and you need both mental and physical strength if you are to summit the ‘Roof of Africa’, but Kilimanjaro is not technically challenging (you do not need crampons or ropes), and if you are physically fit, mentally prepared, and willing to follow the ‘Poley Poley’ pace set by your Mountain Guide, the chances of reaching the top are high.

Some 50,000 travellers attempt to climb Kilimanjaro each year, and while most of us are more than happy with a 7 to 10 day tour along the Machame Route, the Lemosho Route or the Umbwe Route, it seems not everyone is prepared to take the easy route…

Wim Hof, otherwise known as Iceman, is a Dutch extreme sports enthusiast with 26 Guinness World Records under his belt.  In a bid to add one more title to his impressive collection of extreme challenges (which include running a full marathon above the arctic circle wearing just a pair of pants!), Iceman recently ran up Mount Kilimanjaro – and did so in a record time of just 31 hours and 26 minutes! In true Iceman style, Wim opted for a rather skimpy climbing outfit consisting of a pair of shorts and shoes!

Meanwhile, a Russian adventurer by the name of Valery Rozov, has become the first person in the world to BASE JUMP from the top of Kilimanjaro.  After hiking all the way to the top of the Western Beach Wall, Valery decided to take the quick way down, gliding some 3 kilometres in his rather colourful Red Bull sponsored base-jump suit! He captured his entire jump on camera, so head over to the Red Bull website to watch it for yourself.

Finally, the most inspiring Kilimanjaro story of all goes to Alex D’Jamoos, who recently climbed Kilimanjaro for the second time – despite being a double amputee!  The University of Texas student scrambled his way to Uhuru peak, despite suffering from bleeding knuckles and endless ant bites, and did so to raise awareness and money for his favourite charities. Alex said, “The purpose of the trip was to demonstrate that children with disabilities have the ability to overcome great challenges”.

 

 

 

 

 

Camping on Kilimanjaro – What you Can Expect on the Machame Route

If you are going to be one of the 50,000 or so people to attempt the mighty Mount Kilimanjaro in 2015, you have probably got a million questions, and could well be asking yourself, “What am I letting myself in for!”

Climbing Kilimanjaro is a dream come true for many, but you need to be well prepared if your trip to the Roof of Africa is to be every bit as spectacular as you imagine.

Most of Kilimanjaro’s most popular routes involve camping mountainside for the duration of your time on the mountain.  There are some exceptions, such as the Marangu Route where you sleep in very basic shared huts, but the longer, more successful routes are all about camping – so be prepared!

Climb Kilimanjaro

I had never been camping prior to our 7-day Machame Route Expedition in September 2012, and while we invested in top quality sleeping bags, thermal sleep suits, and plenty of hats, scarves, gloves and socks to keep the minus temperatures at bay – we were not quite prepared for the rock hard floor.

The camping sites on Kilimanjaro’s Machame Route, namely Machame Camp, Shira Camp, Barranco Camp, Karanga Camp and Barafu Camp are well-prepared and spotlessly clean, but at the end of the day (literally), your tents are set up on the mountain floor with little more than a ground sheet and mat for comfort.

Next time we climb Kilimanjaro (Lunar Eclipse September 2015!), we will be taking an inflatable mattress of some sort, and swapping our high-tech but somewhat restrictive sleeping bags for a regular down duvet!  We will need to take an extra bag – but that’s one more job for one more porter, and that’s always a good thing in Tanzania!

If you book your Kilimanjaro Climb with a reputable company, they will provide a port-a-loo for your climb, which includes a tent, a flushable portable loo, and toilet paper. They also provide a mess tent with tables and chairs where you will enjoy three hot meals per day.

If you have booked with the cheapest operator you can find – well, you shouldn’t expect the same level of comfort.  You will have to carry your own packed lunch each day, and perch on a rock to eat it, and you will need to take your own loo paper and make do with bushes during the day!

There is really nothing else to see/do on Kilimanjaro’s campsites, except admire the views and keep saying to yourself – I can do it!!

 

 

Climbing Kilimanjaro’s Barranco Wall – How Challenging is it?

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is every bit as exciting and thrilling as it may seem, but if there is one obstacle on Africa’s highest mountain that seems to get everyone panicking, it would have to be the mighty Barranco Wall.

Many of Kilimanjaro’s popular routes such as the Machame Route and the Lemosho Route meet up at the Lava Tower, and as such, most climbers will face the Barranco Wall during their ascent – but is it really as bad as some climbers make out?  Well, after tackling the Barranco Wall on a rather frosty and chilly September morning – I would have to say the answer to that questions is no.

Yes, Barranco Wall is steep, and yes, you will need to use your hands in some parts to clamber your way up and over this imposing wall of rock, but the hike is short at just over an hour, and the views from the top of Barranco Wall will take your breath away (and I’m not talking about the altitude!).

The main ‘problem’ with climbing Kilimanjaro’s Barranco Wall is the traffic.  You have hundreds of porters laden with supplies trying to navigate the wall alongside the climbers, and this can make it a slow process.  However, if you choose your Kilimanjaro climbing company wisely, you will start later that day (after 10am), and by doing so, you will miss the ‘rush hour’ and have Barranco Wall practically to yourself.

Once you reach the top, your trek to Karanga Camp is along a relatively flat path, and the views of the summit on a clear day are just amazing!  Take a moment to take some pictures before the clouds come rolling in – you won’t regret it!

Here are some photos taken on the Barranco Wall during our 7-Day Machame Route Kilimanjaro Tour…

IMG_0251_copy Climb Kilimanjaro Lunar Eclipse IMG_0250_copy IMG_0014_copy IMG_0035_copy IMG_0283_copy IMG_0289_copy IMG_0307_copy

 

 

Kilimanjaro Training – Mount Meru 4 Day Adventure

Are you going to be one of the (+/-) 50,000 adventurers that will attempt to climb Kilimanjaro in 2015? If so, why not do a ‘trail run’ on Kilimanjaro’s little sister – Mount Meru, and get some altitude training in before you tackle Africa’s highest Mountain.

Mount Meru is fantastic training for those who have little experience in climbing at high altitude, and after your 4-day fully inclusive expedition to the top of this not so tiny 4,565-metre peak, you will be more than ready for your mission to the Roof of Africa!

Climb Mount Meru

Here’s what a typical 4-day / 3-night Mount Meru Expedition Itinerary looks like:

Day 1: Arusha – Mount Meru

After breakfast in the hotel, your driver will collect you from the hotel reception and transfer you to Arusha National Park. At the Momella gate, you will register before setting off with your guide and armed ranger through the wildlife abundant forests!  The forest section of the Meru trek is particularly scenic with strangler figs and the possibility of spotting giraffe and buffaloes grazing in one of the clearings. In the late afternoon, you reach a viewpoint before heading onto Miriakamba Hut. Walking Time: approximately 4 – 5 hours

Day 2: Mount Meru  

After a delicious cooked breakfast, you will set off from Miriakamba Hut towards Saddle Hut in the alpine desert zone. The route is relatively steep and you will gain a lot of height – great for acclimatisation.  After lunch, you will have the opportunity to walk to the summit of Little Meru where you will enjoy stunning views of Arusha National Park, and your next big challenge – Kilimanjaro, before heading back to Saddle Hut for dinner and overnight. Walking Time: approximately 3 – 4 hours

Day 3: Mount Meru   

Today, you wake up early for tea and biscuits, before making your summit attempt. While the trek is challenging in some parts, with occasional climbs, your efforts will be rewarded at dawn as the sun rises to the East. Kilimanjaro is clearly visible from here on a clear day and the views are breathtaking (quite literally!). You will also have fantastic views of Mount Meru’s crater, with its sheer cliffs that fall dramatically 1000 feet or more. After taking photos from the summit, you will return to Saddle Hut for brunch, before continuing down to Miriakamba for a celebratory dinner and overnight.  Walking Time: approximately 10 – 12 hours

Day 4: Mount Meru – Arusha

The final section of your Meru Trek will take approximately 3 hours. Upon arrival at the park gate, your driver and mountain crew will be waiting for a picnic lunch and game drive, before returning you to Arusha for a well-deserved shower!  The evening is at leisure to prepare for your Kilimanjaro Expedition

A double bucket list adventure – why not climb both Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro before heading off on an Ngorongoro Crater Safari!

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.