Often misinterpreted as an easy climbing mountain, Kilimanjaro offers multiple routes with difficulty fluctuating between being for the casual mountaineer and more experienced ones. With its main peak reaching 5,895 meters (19,341 feet), the climb is nothing to be taken lightly.
Being one of the Seven Summits, Kilimanjaro is part of a must-do set of climbs for avid trekkers, climbers, and adventurers. And even though it is one of the fan favorites, it’s also one of the most under-rated expeditions.
Kilimanjaro’s climb is somewhat of a starting point for people that seek to conquest peaks such as Everest. At a lower elevation, acclimatization isn’t as difficult as on Everest, which itself isn’t a technical climb. Everest’s height is its greatest challenge. Kilimanjaro serves as a great starting point for climbers looking to eventually go higher.
With a 30 mile (28.38 Km) hike, spanning over a period of 7 to 14 days, an expedition to Kilimanjaro offers a vivid and lively scenery of the Safari surrounding it. Be prepared for the different levels of climate changes that most people aren’t accustomed to.
First Summited by Hans Meyer, 1889
Kilimanjaro was first conquered in 1889 by Hans Meyer accompanied by Ludwig Purtscheller. And, even though it might be common knowledge nowadays, back then it wasn’t known that Kilimanjaro had multiple major volcanic cones. Kibo is where the Uhuru summit stands, and it is the highest point on Kilimanjaro. Its other two peaks are Mawenzi and Shira. The view from above is breathtaking. But at the time, was probably more confusing than anything.
Hans and Ludwig were baffled when they reached the Kibo peak only to see that another peak, Mawenzi, was in front of them. They did attempt to conquer it, but failed, as Mawenzi is somewhat of a more difficult technical climb. But that’s a story for another time.
Already having spent 16 days on their expedition, they descended due to illness and headed home. In 1912, the Mawenzi peak was finally conquered by Eduard Hans Oehler and Fritz Klute. In honor of Hans Meyer, they named it the “Hans Meyer Peak” after him.
The Chagga Tribe of Kilimanjaro
The mountain itself is surrounded by plains, which makes it the tallest freestanding mountain in the world. In those plains, the Chagga tribe lives and thrives. Having arrived somewhere around 300-years-ago as nomads, they settled as hunter/gatherers and then as farmers in the Kilimanjaro slopes. They don’t have specific village names, but, they are spread around the mountain and are consisted of a population of around 2 million. They’ve been featured on many documentaries and are often friendly to visiting climbers.
Common Expeditions Packages to Kilimanjaro
There are multiple agencies and expedition crews that offer different package deals and ways of conquering this peak. Using two examples, this is what you can expect when planning an expedition to Kilimanjaro using a guiding company.
Starting with The Adventure Consultants, they currently offer two types of package deals. Their first option is the regular expedition/climb, costing around $7,200 (€6.373, £5,570) per person, with a Safari tour included. If you prefer just the climb, they have a package for $4,950 (€4,382 £3,830).
A lot of guiding companies will offer luxury versions of their most popular expeditions. These come with an extra cost but include excursions and longer stay times. For example,
AC offers a Luxury Kilimanjaro Trek Safari, which offers you the choice of including 4,6 or 8 people. The price for a 9-day luxury expedition respectively ranges between:
- $8,600 (€7,613, £6,663)
- $9,700 (€8,586, £7,515)
- $11,800 (€10,445, £9,140)
Do some research and look around. Some guiding services will offer lower prices, but the makeup of the packages are different. For example, Mountain Madness offers three packages for a Kilimanjaro expedition. These cost between $7.425 (€6,572, £5,650) for just a climb to $10,675 (€9,449, £8,267) for safari and Serengeti excursions.
Have you climbed Kilimanjaro? What was your story? If you’d like to contribute, drop us an email.
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