Mt. Kilimanjaro : The highest free standing mountain of Africa
At 19,341 feet (5,895m), Mt. Kilimanjaro is not only the tallest mountain in Africa, but also the highest free-standing mountain in the world exhibiting five delicate ecosystems as you snake through them one after the other.
Remember this picture?
If you do then you really had the most idyllic childhood days! May be you should relive the childhood for a moment. The song ‘He lives in you’ will make you feel nostalgic and the scene of Mt. Kilimanjaro cannot be more appealing than the one in this song.
So how about a trek to kili and see with your eyes Simba’s mighty jungle from top of it. Standing atop the Uhuru summit on Mt. Kilimanjaro, you won’t be able to comprehend the overwhelming sense of accomplishment until you get down the sanctuary gates, turn around and look back at the beautiful snow-capped mountain. And no wonder if the first thought that struck your mind is ‘Whoha! Have I really made it up there?’
It is said that out the seven tallest summits on seven continents, Mt. Kilimanjaro is perhaps only second to Mt. Everest’s fame and the number as high as 40000 people a year, seeking to climb this highest free standing volcanic mountain, makes it famous as ‘Everyman’s Everest’. Unlike Everest, there is no technical climbing involved. Wait.. but don’t be complacent. Kili, with an altitude of 5895 meters (19, 340 ft) is a serious challenge to even the fittest athlete. And she is notoriously known for claiming on average two lives per year. So the bottom line is, you have to dedicate time to train, be familiar with basic backpacking skills, and be properly equipped to have a successful summit.
Mt. Kilimanjaro, aka Kili, is the highest free standing mountain of Africa and is one of the seven summits. Each year as per the statistics, 35000 climbers attempt the summit. Out of them, depending upon the route chosen max. success rate is 85% and the success level drops to as low as 27%. Approximately 5-10 members die each year mainly due to HAPE or HACE. Again the fundamental remains the same. That the mountain holds the last authority and allows well trained and well acclimated climbers to embrace her only in her best times.
GGIM puts paramount focus on Thorough Preparation, Absolute Safety and Sufficient Acclimatization of the team. For that purpose, we have chosen Machame route with 7 climbing days which makes it an optimally paced trek with enough acclimatization.
Here's a link to know about high altitude challenges and how to deal with them.
With detailed planning and preparation, we intend to give our climbers best possible climbing experience on Kili. Please go through the brochure for more details.
GGIM has a 9 days tour.
9th Sept - 17th Sept 2019. (Participants are expected to report at Kilimanjaro airport on 9th Sept 2018)
We also conduct customized special batches for this trek provided the group size is 4 and above.
When to go for Kilimanjaro climb?
Generally Kili can be attempted throughout the year. But each season has its own unique features to offer.
January – March: Weather is dry after a mild rains. However less crowded.
April – May: Rainy season, but the rains are a bit irregular since the past few years.
June – September: Early June could offer you some rains but rest of the season is very almost rain free. That means it is the busiest season on the mountain.
November – December: Mild rains. If they don’t bother you much, then it’s a great time to climb Kili.
DAY WISE ITINERARY:
|1||Pick up from Kilimanjaro Airport. You will stay in a hotel and do the preparations for the trek.||B||Hotel||NA|
|2||Drive to Mt. Kilimanjaro National Park. Its around 50 min journey and it will take us through the base village Machame. From Machame gate, we will begin trekking through the rain forrest.||LD||Macame Camp||5-7 hrs|
|3||Today we walk through the moorland, crossing the valley along the steep rocky ridge.||BLD||Shira Camp||4-6 hrs|
|4||From Shira plateau we continue up the ridge, towards the Peak Kibo. As we continue, our direction will change to the south east, towards the Lava Tower. It is also known as 'Shark Tooth'.After the Lava Tower, we head to Barranco Hut.||BLD||Barranco Camp||5-7 hrs|
|5||Today we continue on a steep ridge up the barranco wall to the karange valley. It is a relatively easier trek through the alpine desert.||BLD||Karanga Camp||4 hrs|
|6||From Karanga Camp, we walk upto the Barafu hut. Another smaller trek through the alpine desert.||BLD||Barafu Hut||4 hrs|
|7||Early in the morning , by 2:00 AM, we leave for Summit attempt via Stella point. From Stella Point the hike to summit is approx. 1 hr. After the summit,we descend down to Barafu for lunch and after the lunch, we head down to Mweka Hut.||BLD||Mweka Hut||15-16 hrs|
|8||Next day, we descend down to Mweka gate. At Mweka village, a bus will drive us back to the Hotel||B||Hotel||3-4 hrs|
|9||Departure to Airport||B||NA||NA|
Total cost for the expedition per person is INR 1,45,000 plus service tax at actual. (Ex Kilimanjaro International Airport)
Following services are included in above cost
- Transfers as per itinerary
- Accommodation according to the itinerary ( in Hotel bed & breakfast only. In tents, all meals will be served as per itinerary)
- Full board throughout the trip
- Experienced English-speaking Mountain guide
- Outdoor cook
- Visa support, passport registration
- Purified water during the climb
Following services are NOT included in above cost
- Flights to/from Kilimanjaro International Airport
- Equipment rent
- Porters for personal equipment
- Personal expenses, alcohol
- Portable toilet
- Visa costs
- Extra beverages and mineral water during the trek
- Personal expenses during trek like wi-fi, battery charging, hot water bath, etc
- Emergency Medical Evacuation
- Tips for guides and porters
- Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances like bad weather, flight delay and any other circumstances beyond our control
A NOTE ON 'WHY CLIMBING KILI IS EXPENSIVE'
The prices for Kilimanjaro climbs vary wildly depending upon the company you go with. Generally in the range of 1200$ - 4500$.So, this trek is not a cheap holiday! Of course you try to save money where you can. But do not start your search for a Kilimanjaro climb by looking at the cost first. If you do, you may end up paying the ultimate price, or someone else may have to pay it for you.
Here are some of the reasons for the high cost of Kili climb.
- National park fees: Depending upon the number of your trekking days, the park fee varies. But minimum for 6D/5N trek it is 800$!! No cost cutting here.
- Climbing Staff & guides: Your trek success depends mainly on how well your guides and porters are treated. If underpaid or poorly respected, their performance and guidance during the climb cannot be up to the mark. Then do you think they will even care if you summit or not if treated badly? Your safety depends on guides/assistant guides on your team and how well trained they are by the company. There training & welfare cost money.
- Equipment & food: If you can't sleep at night because you are cold and miserable, then how do you will make it to the summit? Along with the equipment, you need quality food to sustain the seven days on the mountain. It should not only be nutritious but also tasty. So, how well is the cook trained? And the rest of the staff are? What about food hygiene? All this training costs money.
So, in a nut shell, yes. Kili climb is surely expensive but a once in a lifetime experience. And you surely want this lifetime experience to cherish forever. 🙂
HOW TO REGISTER:
You can register for this trek throughout the year. The initial booking has to be done before 3 months of the reporting date. Following are simple steps for registration.
Step 1: Fill up Online enrollment form. (The form should be filled only once. If you have filled it already you need not to refill.)
Step 2: Download, print and fill up Medical form from a medical practitioner.
Step 3: Download Indemnity bond. Print first page of the form on 500 Rs. stamp paper, fill the form and get it notarized by a legal practitioner. (Please note that the indemnity bond should be submitted only once)
(Please note that there are separate indemnity bonds for adults and minors. In case of minors, participant has to procure a consent letter from parents. We will share the format once you register.
- Valid passport
- 2 Copies of first page + visa page of passport
- Airline tickets
- Visa invitation.
- Yellow fever vaccination certificate
- Sleeping bag rated to -25 °C
- Sun screen lotion (30 - 40 SPF)
- Sun glasses (UV Polaroid)
- Toiletry kit
- Personal medication
- Insulated parka/jacket, down or synthetic, rated to -10°C and able to fit over other sweater layers
- Rain jacket and pants(side-leg zippers are helpful), roomy and water repellent
- Midweight fleece jacket
- Thermal underwear tops and bottom
- Hiking pants/skirt
- Long-sleeve shirts/blouses
- Hiking socks, Liner socks
- Hiking boots, floaters/ snickers (for camping)
- Walking stick
- Yellow Fever (Mandatory) – This can be contracted by being bitten by a contaminated mosquito.
- Hepatitis A – This dangerous ailment can be spread via contaminated food and water.
- Tetanus – tetanus is often present in the soil, and can contaminate open wounds easily. Tetanus vaccine should be used every ten years if travelling.
Climbing Kili doesn’t require any superhuman fitness let alone any climbing skills. However mind you its 5895 m tall. Almost a six Thousender!! So never underestimate the mountain.
To be able to comfortably enjoy climbing and summit the peak you should have good number of hikes, walks or any other cardio workouts under your belt.
Activities such as walking, jogging, cycling, spinning could be great ones to put in force. If you are lucky to have hills and mountains nearby, they are your best weekend hiking destinations.
Along with cardiovascular training, it is equally essential to put in strength training. Particularly, lower body, back and core muscles. Thrice a week you can engage in doing pushups, crunches, squats, lunges etc. Suryanamaskaars & Yog will give maximum benefits.
After every workout, and even after the treks, never forget to stretch your muscles to relieve the stresses and pulls created during the activity. This will help you keep injuries at bay.
KNOW MORE ABOUT KILI:
Kilimanjaro is 5895 metres (nearly 20,000 feet) high, the tallest mountain in Africa, and one of the ‘Seven Summits’, the highest mountains on each of the world’s continents. It is the tallest free-standing mountain on planet. Free standing peak means that the mountain is not a part of any range.
First Ascent of Kilimanjaro occurred in 1889. Kibo summit was first reached by Hans Meyer, a geographer from Germany, Ludwig Purtcheller, a mountain climber, and Yohannes Lauwo, a guide hailing from nearby Marangu. It took six weeks to scale the mountain. The fastest recorded ascent of Kilimanjaro is held by Wim Hof aka 'The Iceman'. In January 2015 he claimed the fastest title with a time of 31 hours and 25 minutes!
Kilimanjaro has three distinct peaks: Shira at 3962 metres, Mawenzi at 5159 metres, and Kibo at 5895 metres, and each is a separate volcanic formation. The highest point is the Uhuru Peak area at the top of Kibo crater’s rim, and this is the ‘target’ of almost all ascents.
Kilimanjaro is what is known as a stratovolcano. The Shira and Mawenzi peaks are extinct, but Kibo is classed as only ‘dormant’, so future eruptions are indeed possible. There is little need to fear, though, as geologists tell us that is has not had a major eruption in some 200 thousand years. Another one any time soon is quite unlikely. Kibo is not entirely asleep, though. It emits gas from several fumaroles in the crater, and is subject to occasional landslides like the one that created the Western Breach.