Ascent preparations, practicalities and trekking routes to the 'Roof of Africa'
By Alex Stewart
Guidebook describing all the trekking routes on Kilimanjaro (5895m), one of the Seven Summits. With 6 ascent routes, 3 summit ascents, the Circuit Path and descent paths, the guide also provides comprehensive information on preparation and access, a route on Mt Meru, as well as information on accommodation and other facilities.
SeasonsTwo dry seasons - mid-December to March and July to early October
CentresFlights into Nairobi in Kenya, Dar es Salaam or Kilimanjaro International Airport; outfitters normally based in Arusha or Moshi
DifficultyKilimanjaro is a big mountain, but the normal trekking routes are not technically difficult. Altitude and acclimatisation are the main problems and AMS can kill if not taken seriously.
Must SeeDawn over Africa from the summit, the natural environment, the Crater
At 5895m, Kilimanjaro is Africa's highest point and the highest freestanding mountain in the world, yet it is possible to reach its summit, Uhuru Peak, without any technical climbing ability. However, that is not to say that it is an easy undertaking: each year, many people fail in their attempt, often due to poor preparation or insufficient acclimatisation. Those who do make it to 'the Roof of Africa' are richly rewarded, enjoying outstanding views, the unique experience of being 'on top of the world' and, of course, a tremendous sense of achievement.
Alexander Stewart's guidebook is packed with advice to maximise your chance of reaching Uhuru Peak. The first chapter covers preparation and practicalities, offering guidance on how to choose a route and an outfitter, along with extensive information on travel, equipment, health considerations, guides and porters and ethical trekking. The second chapter tells the story of Kilimanjaro and the people, plants and wildlife of the region, presenting a fascinating insight to enrich your trip. This is followed by a description of the six main ascent routes – the Marangu, Machame, Umbwe, Lemosho, Shira and Rongai Routes, plus three summit routes, two descent routes and the circuit path which circumnavigates the mountain.
As a result of its height and location six hours from Nairobi, trekkers climbing Kilimanjaro move from the lush tropics, through temperate climes, alpine moorland and barren high-alpine desert to the permanently snow-capped, volcanic summit – and back – in the course of five or six days. The stunning natural beauty of the scenery, the warm and friendly locals and the unique sense of achievement make for a truly unforgettable experience.
Preparations and practicalities
Choosing a route
Costs and budgeting
When to go
Permits and visas
Money and currencies
Selecting an outfitter
Guides and porters
Environmental and cultural considerations
Using this guide
The story of Kilimanjaro
People of the region
Origin of the mountain’s name
Kilimanjaro National Park
Geology and volcanology
Animal and plant life
Route X Mount Meru Momela Route
Route A Marangu Route
Route B Machame Route
Route C Umbwe Route
Route D Lemosho Route
Route E Shira Route
Route F Rongai Route
Route G Southern Circuit Path
Route H Northern Circuit Path
Summit ascent routes
Route I Normal/Marangu Route
Route J Barafu Route
Route K Western Breach Route
Route L Marangu Route
Route M Mweka Route
Appendix A Accommodation
Appendix B Useful contacts
Appendix C Further reading
Appendix D Language glossary
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If you're planning a trip to Africa's highest peak then do yourself a favour and arm yourself with this book first!
Kilimanjaro remains one of the world's most popular treks, and deservedly so. After all, it's Africa's highest point and the highest freestanding mountain in the world, yet it is possible to reach its summit, Uhuru Peak, without any technical climbing ability. Although almost everyone experiences Kili with a guiding company these days (in fact, it is a requirement to hire local guides and porters), it's still a good idea to gen up on the peak before you book a trip, not least to decide which route will suit you best, but also to get a flavour of the region, its nature and culture. Enter the updated edition of Cicerone's 'Trekking Kilimanjaro' guide, which gives you all the information you need to plan your trip, and what you can expect when you get there.
The main meat of Alexander Stewart's guidebook is, of course, descriptions of the six ascent routes, three summit routes, two circuit trails and two descent routes. These are covered in the usual diligent Cicerone style, with detailed descriptions complemented by essential stats box-outs, maps and photos. Getting properly acclimatised is essential to a successful summit of Kili, and the book also includes info on the ascent of nearby Mt Meru, which is a fantastic trek in its own right and serves as the perfect preparation for a Kili ascent. If you're planning a trip to Africa's highest peak then do yourself a favour and arm yourself with this book first!
Trek and Mountain Magazine
This book is a godsend
The Seven Summits are a mountaineer's centrepiece, but Some may find the heady heights of Everest or the technicalities of Carstensz Pyramid a tad too daunting. Kilimanjaro, or as we know it, 'the Roof of Africa' is the highest freestanding mountain in the world at 5,895m, and requiring no technical climbing ability, is the perfect summit from the illustrious seven to complete first. This guide is booming with knowledge about the six ascent routes available in your quest to reach Uhuru Peak. In vivid detail, it takes you through a cloud forest, onto the Shira plateau, up and over the alpine desert, until you reach the snow-capped peak in time for a radiant sunrise over the African savanna. This book is a godsend for preparation, acclimatisation techniques and important equipment recommendations, while it also delves into life on the mountain - telling tales of campsites and the mountain's remarkable wildlife.
Adventure Travel magazine
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Alexander Stewart is the Online Marketing Manager for WEXAS, the World Expeditionary Association. He has a particular interest in Africa and a passion for mountains. All his adult life he has walked in them, written about them and photographed them. Kilimanjaro made a significant impression on him during his first ascent in 1999, and he has often been drawn back to the 'Roof of Africa'.View Articles and Books by Alex Stewart
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