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Mount Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania

If hiking to the summit of Kilimanjaro is not on your bucket list yet, it should be. Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa, and the largest free-standing mountain in the world. Uhuru Peak, the highest point on the dormant volcano, your ultimate goal, stands majestically at 5,895m / 19,340ft.

Mt Kilimanjaro is located on the border of Tanzania and Kenya and dominates the area with its presence. The mountain is located inside the Kilimanjaro National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And if you want to hike to the top you have to start in Tanzania.

Considering its height, it is a relatively easy walk to the top, as long as you don’t get hit by altitude sickness. No technical climbing is needed, nor are crampons or other technical equipment. This makes it a very popular mountain to summit.

Main Attractions

Kilimanjaro NP is a beautiful area around the highest peak of Africa. Some of its main attractions are:

  • Fulfill your dream and hike to the summit of the world’s highest free-standing mountain
  • After you finished your trek to the top of Mt Kilimanjaro you can spoil your body by having a dip in the nearby Kikuletwa hot springs
  • Immerse yourself in the local Chagga culture and visit the Chagga Live Museum and the nearby Chagga caves
  • Relax at the beautiful crater Lake Chala, on the north-eastern slope of Mt Kilimanjaro


Summit the highest peak of Africa, Mt Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro has lured thousands of people young and old, from far and wide to reach its summit since the first recorded ascent by Hans Meyer, Ludwig Purtscheller and a local guide called Lauwo in 1889.

There are 6 routes to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, with some routes partially overlapping the final stages and the Mweka route only used for the descent. Most people take between 6 and 8 days to reach the summit and come back down again, depending on route choice and fitness level.

The most popular routes are the Marangu and the Machame route. The Marangu route is the only one that offers the option of sleeping in huts every night. The Machame route is considered one of the most scenic and has a good acclimatisation profile.

Guides are compulsory and porters are available to turn this trek into a less arduous journey, even carrying portable toilets on the more luxurious tours. You do not need crampons and oxygen. However, falls, rock slides and altitude sickness can be fatal and should be considered seriously. Take as long as possible to make your ascent and use the advice of your guide and go ‘pole pole’, meaning slowly in Swahili.

Spoil your tired muscles with a dip in the Kikuletwa hot springs after your hike to the top of Kilimanjaro

Post climb you can soak your weary legs in the hot spring pools at Kikuletwa. Surrounded by large fig trees, it is a true natural oasis.

Cultural visits near Kilimanjaro

The Chagga people traditionally live in the foothills of Kilimanjaro. If you are interested to find out more about this local tribe you can visit the Chagga Live Museum and the nearby Chagga caves.

Relax at Lake Chala

You can relax after your hike to the top of Kilimanjaro by taking a dip in Lake Chala, a crater lake on the south-eastern side of Kilimanjaro. Or experience the bird life there whilst out for a paddle.


How to get there

Fly to Kilimanjaro NP

Kilimanjaro has an international airport with flights directly coming from many countries. Another option is to fly to Arusha airport. Most accommodation is in or near Arusha town and many trips to the top of Africa start there.

Book your cheap flight to Kilimanjaro with Tripindigo today and feel what it is like to stand on top of the world.

Drive to Kilimanjaro NP

From Arusha or Kilimanjaro airport you will have to drive to the start of your hike. From the gate of the national park you can start the hike to the top.

Depending on the route you take to the top, there are several villages that can be used as a base as well, for example, Marangu village which sits not far from the start of the most popular Marangu route.

Best time to visit

The Kilimanjaro NP can be visited any time of the year. But if you have come to hike to the summit it is best to stick to the two dry seasons to ensure better views and more pleasant hiking.

High season

The best time to summit Kilimanjaro is in one of the two trekking seasons. The first one is from January to March (although at some point in March the wet season starts, so don’t go too late) and the second is from June to October. January to March is usually a little colder and gives you a higher chance of finding snow at the top.

Low season

April and May, as well as November to mid-December, are best avoided as those are the rainy seasons on Mt Kilimanjaro.


  • Swiss Karl Egloff holds the record for the fastest ascent and descent of Mount Kilimanjaro in 6 hours 42 minutes for the men and German Anne-Marie Flammersfeld holds the record for the ladies with 12 hours and 58 minutes
  • Russian Angela Vorobeva is the oldest person to have reached the summit at the age of 86, the oldest male to summit is Robert Wheeler at age 85
  • It is not certain where the name originates from, but a fact is that ‘kilima’ is the Swahili word for ‘little mountain’
  • The highest game of cricket was played in the crater at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro

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