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.



Two dry seasons - mid-December to March and July to early October


Flights into Nairobi in Kenya, Dar es Salaam or Kilimanjaro International Airport; outfitters normally based in Arusha or Moshi


Kilimanjaro 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 See

Must See

Dawn over Africa from the summit, the natural environment, the Crater
12 Feb 2018
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.5cm
  • Overview

    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.

  • Contents

    Preparations and practicalities
    Choosing a route
    Costs and budgeting
    When to go
    Pre-departure preparation
    Getting there
    Permits and visas
    Money and currencies
    Health considerations
    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
    Natural history
    Geology and volcanology
    Glacial recession
    Animal and plant life
    Acclimatisation trek
    Route X Mount Meru Momela Route
    Climbing Kilimanjaro
    Ascent routes
    Route A Marangu Route
    Route B Machame Route
    Route C Umbwe Route
    Route D Lemosho Route
    Route E Shira Route
    Route F Rongai Route
    Circuit paths
    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
    The summit
    Descent routes
    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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  • Reviews
    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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Alex Stewart

Alex Stewart

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'.

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