The summit of Kilimanjaro stands at 19,341 feet (5,895 meters), the highest point in all of Africa and one of the famed Seven Summits. Our expedition travels away from the crowds by climbing the Rongai Route. While somewhat longer than the busier routes, the trek is stunning. As it climbs from the trailhead at 6,000 feet (1,829 meters) to the summit, it passes through every ecological zone found in this area of East Africa. You begin in rainforest, pass through alpine pines, then into grassland, alpine tundra, and eventually the barren world of the crater itself. And over the first 5 days on the mountain, you will see few other climbers or camps.
Kilimanjaro is the perfect place to experience climbing a high-altitude peak without needing years of experience or training. While the days can be strenuous, our route is non-technical (there is no rock climbing, ice, snow, or ropes). We will also be assisted on our climb by a stellar team of local Tanzanians acting as porters, kitchen staff, and local guides. Their experience and local knowledge will not only make your trip more comfortable (each day you carry only a light day pack, and the food is hearty and tasty), they will also add to your understanding of this mountain and the local people.
Summiting Kilimanjaro is a proud and attainable accomplishment (our teams have over a 90% success rate on this mountain). The climb and summit are only half the fun of this expedition. After descending the Marangu Route on Kilimanjaro (on the other side of the mountain from our ascent), we say goodbye to our Tanzanian mountain staff and meet our safari guides and Landcruisers. Safaris in East Africa are unparalleled in the world for seeing big game and huge herds. For us, it is the perfect way to pamper ourselves after the hard work on the mountain. We spend three full days exploring two of Tanzania’s most famous game parks –Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti. Nights are spent in luxury eco-lodges inside the parks, while during the day our local guides will help us to find and better understand the incredible wealth of big game. We will see huge herds of zebra and wildebeests and also spot more solitary animals like giraffes and cheetahs. With three days of safari we will experience most or all of the “big five” animals – lions, leopards, rhinoceros, cape buffalo and elephants.
While many tour companies take groups on Kilimanjaro, it is important for you to understand the difference you are choosing by climbing with a mountaineering guide service and with certified guides. Our itinerary allows ample time to acclimatize so that you can actually enjoy this peak (we take seven days when many companies take only five). Our guides are full-time mountain professionals which means they understand the hazards involved in climbing a peak this big. While the route itself is not technical, Kilimanjaro is still a very serious undertaking. Accidents do occur each year on the mountain, and generally they are on teams without experienced western mountain guides. Choosing to travel with Alpenglow Expeditions will increase both your safety and your enjoyment of Africa’s tallest peak. Our Kilimanjaro Expeditions will be led by one of Alpenglow’s AMGA certified lead guides. AMGA (American Mountain Guides Association) certification is the highest possible training available to guides, and only the most experienced and dedicated attain it. Our lead guides have been climbing and guiding around the world for at least a decade, including multiple trips to Kilimanjaro. We combine our North American guides’ experience with the local expertise of one of Tanzania’s best climbing and safari logistics operators. This ensures we have the best in private transportation, food, naturalist guides, and lodging and that your experience will be one you will never forget!