Kilimanjaro is arguably the most romantic mountain on Planet Earth. Very few locations in our planet ignite such a mysticism and symbolism. It is, after all, the roof of Africa and the tallest free standing mountain in the World. It has also been a symbol against Global Warming and maybe there will not be many years left before the Glaciers on top of Kilimanjaro melt.
Park history In 1910 the area was declared as a game reserve and a forest reserve in 1921 before being gazetted as a national park in 1973. It was not until 1977 when Kilimanjaro was opened for public access. The park was declared by UNESCO as a world heritage site in 1987 and voted as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa in 2013. Kilimanjaro is located in Northern Tanzania 48 km from Moshi town and covers an area of 1,668 square km. How to get there By road:123 km, a two hour drive from the city of Arusha or 48 km, an hour drive from Moshi town to Marangu Gate and 86km one hour and half drive from Kilimanjaro International Airport. Best time to visit Mountain climbing can be done throughout the year. However, the best time is mid June-October and December-mid March. Tourism activities Mountain climbing –Climbing Kilimanjaro is not just a climb but a journey from the tropics to the Arctic.The higher you climb,the colder it gets with change in vegetation zones.
There are 31 camping sites along the seven hiking routes: Off all the camping sites are wilderness with toilets and a park staff house
* Londorosi Route
This is an ascending route located on the western side of the mountain and it comprised of five stations namely Shira I, Shira II, Baranco, Karanga and Barafu. It also offers the chance of using the Northern circuit and Western breach.
* Lemosho route
This route is also for ascending located on the western side of the mountain and it comprised of six stations of Mti Mkubwa then join Londorosi route at Shira I.
* Machame route
This is an ascending route as well located on the South-West of the mountain and it has five stations namely Machame hut, Shira cave, Baranco, Karanga and Barafu.
* Umbwe route
It is an ascending route located on the South-West of the mountain and it has four stations, the Umbwe cave inside the forest belt and the other three after join Machame route at Baranco camp.
* Mweka route
This is a descending route located on the southern side of the mountain. It comprised of three stations namely Mweka hut, High camp (Millenium) and Barafu. Visitors form Londorosi, Lemosho, Machame and Umbwe descent using this route
* Kilema route
This route is for cycling. It has three stations namely Kilemamchele, Maua and Kibo; it is two way traffic.
* Marangu route
This is route is for ascending and descending with provision of huts along the trail. It has three stations namely Mandara, Horombo and Kibo. On the mountain stations, there are toilets, kitchens, dinning and rooms for clients. Advance booking through a licensed mountain tour operator is mandatory.
* Rongai Route
It is ascending route with an option of using four or five stations depending on the choice of the climber. Visitors who ascend through this route will descend through Marangu route. Option of four stations includes Simba camp, second cave, third cave and school hut and the second option for five stations is Simba camp, second cave, Kikelelwa, Mawenzi tarn hut and School hut.
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