Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa, rises on the Tanzania - Kenya border, well into the Eastern half of the African continent. Towering above the Tanzanian plains so close to the equator (3.04 degrees South), the snowclad mountain leads a spectacular existence on the African plains. So spectacular that well into the nineteenth century, much of mainland Europe refused to believe eyewitness accounts of its existence. In our own time, Kili (as it is affectionately called by the climbing community) is a proud member of two exclusive clubs viz. seven summits of the world (composed of the tallest mountain in each of the seven continents) and seven natural wonders of the world.
Rising to a height of 5896 meters (19344 feet) above MSL (Mean Sea Level), Kilimanjaro is a dormant volcanic mountain that hosts varied climate zones (on the way to its glacier summit, you will pass through cloud forests and alpine deserts), flora and fauna. First conquered by the German explorer Hans Meyer in 1889, Kilimanjaro is among the rare 15000+ feet mountains accessible to amateur (untrained) climbers. A fact that accounts for its huge popularity - well over 50000 people attempt to climb the Kilimanjaro every year.
Despite its non-technical nature and amateur friendliness, climbing Kili does not warrant a casual approach. With due preparation and the right attitude however, it can be one of the best experiences of your lifetime. The sheer number of people that have followed Hans Meyer, people aging from seven to eighty five (as of now), people who overcame severe disabilities would all vouch for this.
Route - Lemosho
Lemosho is perhaps the most scenic of all routes to climb Kilimanjaro. It also boasts a very high success rate possibly on account of the longer duration spent by hikers on the mountain thus enabling better acclimatization. Lemosho also happens to be the most versatile route to the top of Kilimanjaro. Unlike Machame or Marangu, as the route crosses the Shira plateau, different trails and camps may be chosen in the first half of the trail affording variety and privacy to the climbing groups.
The route starts from the Londorossi gate on the Western face of the mountain. The route crosses verdant forests and the expansive Shira plateau before eventually merging with the Machame route. It is the early part of the trail through the lush, serene greenery that lends the Lemosho route its characteristic charm. Beyond Barranco, the Lemosho route merges with Machame and traces an identical descent on the Marangu trail ending at Mweka gate.
Lemosho offers more flexibility in trail and itinerary compared to other Kili routes. So seven, eight, nine or ten day versions of the climb are possible. Western Breach ascent and crater camp options add more variety at the top though these are more demanding physically and financially compared with the regular ascent options.
In addition to the its scenic value, Lemosho route is preferred by climbers on account of its serenity. Lemosho is among the least crowded routes on Kilimanjaro, till it joins the Machame route. If you manage to camp at Kosovo instead of Barafu on your pre-summit day, you should not feel jostled for space for the better part of your trip. For both Machame and Lemosho routes, Miyar camps at Kosovo for this very reason.
- 2 nights hotel accommodation in Moshi (before & after climb), Breakfast at hotel
- Group transport to and from Moshi to the trailhead
- National Park fees, camping fees, and rescue fees
- Guides: Very experienced guides. Guide-client ratio 1-2
- Porters: 2-3 porters per client. You carry around 10 Lbs
- Accommodation in the Mountain in good quality tents and sleeping mat
- Fresh nutritious meals, cooked and served in dinner tent with table/chairs
- Bottled oxygen, only for rescue/emergency use
- Information sessions and Trip preparation assistance provided by US based guide
- Visa Application Fee
- Lunch or dinner at hotel
- Personal gear and equipment
For the price that it charges Miyar tries to offer maximum value. Few points worth noting are:
- We deliver an end to end experience, all inclusive. This means we assume responsibility from your arrival point near Kilimanjaro (Kilimanjaro, Arusha or Moshi) till when you depart the region after hike.
- Our US based team would work with you as you prepare for your trip. We are there to answer your questions related to health, safety, packing or just about anything related to climbing.
- We use our own local operator and lead guides in Tanzania to ensure that all aspects of the climb are in line with the expectations we have set with our customers and our own uncompromising attitude towards customer experience.
- Our US based guides personally lead climbs several times in an year to ensure that all ground operations are in accordance with our expectations. Usually US based guides accompany larger groups to ensure better coordination.
- Accommodation on nights before and after the climb is included. Stella Maris Lodge is our preferred choice. Depending on availability and logistics considerations, we sometimes use an equally reputable, comfortable and convenient facility. For more details please refer the day by day itinerary.
- Accommodation are in comfortable tents on twin share basis. We use Alps Mountaineering Taurus 3 Outfitter tent in all our expeditions. They are sturdy, spacious and comfortable and are ideal for the conditions on Kilimanjaro.
- We serve great food on the trek, food that is fresh, hygienic and nutritious. We will serve you fresh fruits, veggies, chicken, meat, eggs, sausages, pancakes, juice, soups, fish, rice, pasta etc. We have logistics arrangements to get fresh supplies delivered while we are into our trek. We take care of a wide range of dietary restrictions or preferences like gluten free, lactose intolerant, vegetarian, vegan, kosher, halal etc.
- We carry private commodes / toilets for the use of our guests. Toilets provided by the Kilimanjaro Park Authority at camping sites are not exactly clean or hygienic. So this can be a big factor if such facilities put you off for the day (as is the case with most of us).
- We carry our own safety equipments including oximeters and oxygen cylinders. Hopefully they would not be used but this is an expenditure we would rather waste than avoid.
- All our local guides are carefully chosen for their Kilimanjaro experience, English speaking ability and professionalism. We ensure that all of them are Wilderness First Aid trained.
While comparing Miyar Adventures with other guide companies, please bear the above advantages in mind. We are confident that for the amount you pay, no one else would offer you as much value. Should you still have questions, do not hesitate to contact us.
Total duration is ten days. Day 0 is arrival. Days 1 to 8 are spent on the mountain. Day 9 is departure.
Londorossi Gate (2360 m / 7742 ft) to Big Tree Camp (2785 m / 9137 ft)
Distance covered: 4.8 km Altitude Gain: 1395 ft / 425 m
Compared to Marangu or Machame routes, you have a longish drive to the Londorossi gate which is the entry point to the Kilimanjaro park on the Lemosho route. After completing your entry formalities at the gate, you would drive for another 30-45 minutes to the trailhead. You would then have a very enjoyable walk through lush green rainforest to your campsite for the first day call the big tree camp (Mti Mkubwa) or the Forest camp.
Big Tree Camp (2785 m / 9137 ft) to Shira 1 Campsite (3504 m / 11,496 ft)
Distance Covered: 7.9 km Altitude Gain: 2359 ft / 719 m
Today you will pass from rainforests to moor lands. Expansive views of the Shira plateau should greet you as you make this transition. Having started from the west side of Kilimanjaro you would generally be walking eastwardss till you reach the Shira camp.
Shira 1 Camp (3504 m / 11,496 ft) to Moir Hut (4161 m / 13651 ft)
Distance Covered: 9.4 km Altitude Gain: 2155 ft / 657 m
You would start moving South East today, aiming as you are to meet the Machame trail at Barranco. The ascent would be steady and demanding. You would be savoring more of the moorland as you move. Kibo, the volcanic peak of Kilimanjaro, should be an inspiring sight ahead of you for the better part of the day. You would camp at Moir hut, more than 2000 feet above your starting point of the day. You might be feeling some effects of altitude sickness setting in. As you would be sleeping at lower altitudes for the next couple of days, this should help your body’s acclimatisation process overall.
Moir Hut (4161 m / 13651 ft) to Barranco Camp (3986 m / 13080 ft)
via Lava Tower (4633 ft / 15200 ft)
Distance Covered: 7 km Altitude Gain: 1550 ft / 473 m (to Lava Tower)
We continue with our acclimatisation bid. We will descend briefly from Moir Hut and then make our way up the Lava Tower which is at an altitude of 15200 ft. By this time the Lemosho route has merged with the Machame route. After the steep ascent to the Lava tower, we will descent by about 2000 feet to the Barranco valley. This climb high, sleep low approach would help us with acclimatisation. We are now well into Alpine terrain. Barranco camp offers great views all around.
Barranco Camp (3986 m / 13080 ft) to Karanga Camp (4034 m / 13230 ft)
Altitude Gain: 150 feet / 46 m Distance Covered: 5 km
Immediately after leaving the Barranco camp, we would tackle the Barranco wall also called the breakfast wall since you would be hitting it soon after breakfast. Once the wall is scaled (about 14000 ft), it should be downhill and easy to the Karanga camp. You would again savor great views from the top of the wall. You should reach Karanga camp in time for lunch and can spend rest of the afternoon enjoying the scenic views around.
Karanga Camp (4034 m / 13230 ft) to Kosovo Camp (4863 m / 15950 ft)
Altitude Gained: 2720 / 829 m feet Distance Covered: 5 km
Hopefully you have acclimatized well by now. From Karanga we will move towards Barafu where we will stop briefly for lunch. While most other groups would be camping at Barafu, we will ascend another 1000 feet after lunch and camp at Kosovo for the night. Kosovo is far less crowded than Barafu. This would also mean that your summit push is shortened by that much. You should turn in early today as we would be getting up close to midnight for our summit push.
Kosovo Camp (4863 m / 15950 ft) to Uhuru Peak (5896 m / 19344 ft) SUMMIT!
Altitude Gained: 3290 ft / 1003 m Distance: 7 km
Descent: Uhuru Peak (5896 m / 19344 ft) to Millenium Camp (3810 m / 12500 ft)
Altitude Lost: 6840 / 2085 m ft Distance: 10 km
Shortly past midnight we would start our summit bid. We will ascend steadily but very slowly (pole pole) and should gain Stell Point by day break. From there is a saunter to the actual summit. We would spend some time here photographing and exploring before we head down. After a brief stop at Kosovo, we will proceed to Millenium camp where we will spend the night.
Millenium Camp (3810 m / 12500 ft) to Mweka Gate (1800 m / 5900 ft)
Altitude Lost: 6600 / 2010 m ft Distance: 10 km
We bid adieu to the mountain today. We have a short and easy descent to the Mweka Gate. We then drive back to our hotel in Moshi.
Kilimanjaro is so much of an every (wo)man’s mountain that avalanche, falls and other mishaps that we usually associate with mountaineering accidents are extremely rare. Despite this a handful of folks die every year while climbing Kili. AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) also called Altitude sickness is the most common ailment that affects climbers of Kilimanjaro. As we go up in altitude, atmospheric pressure drops. Near the surface of earth this variation is about 0.1 Bar for each 100 meters of height gained. With this drop in pressure, the partial pressure of Oxygen in atmospheric air also drops. Net effect of all these gaseous physics is that as we go up, the amount of Oxygen that our body extracts from each breath comes down significantly.
Given adequate time, our body adapts its breathing apparatus to the reduced Oxygen availability in air. This is the essence of acclimatization. The classic strategy of climbing high (gain an altitude of 1000 feet or so) and sleeping low (sleeping no higher than 300 feet) assists the body in this adaptation process. Unfortunately climbing Kilimanjaro is usually done in a time frame that does not allow this strategy to be followed comprehensively. However the climbing route and schedule followed by Miyar go a long way in helping the body adapt. In addition, pacing your ascent carefully (Pole Pole) and following instructions from your guides would help materially in your progress towards the summit.
Suggested fitness routine
Despite its reputation as an easy climb, it is always a good idea to keep in good shape for your Kilimanjaro hike. Please bear in mind that how you cope with altitude is not connected to your fitness level. However keeping yourself in shape can help you cope with and enjoy the seven days of trekking that you need to undertake. In your workout plan, aim for general fitness with some emphasis on your climbing and walking ability. A typical suggested routine would be:
- 2-3 cardio sessions every week (cycling, running or swimming)
- Two full-body workout sessions of 30-45 minutes every week (focus on compound exercises like squats, lunges, step ups, dips, pull ups, rows, bench presses etc)
- Flexibility training (stretching) for 10-15 minutes at the end of each session
- For trekking / climbing, start with small (1500-2000 ft elevation) hikes. Progressively ramp up the time, distance and elevation gains.
- Try to go on a bigger hike (around 4000 ft gain) once every month. Your objective should be to hike through an ascend of 4000 ft in 3-5 hours carrying around 20 pounds in your backpack
- If possible, aim for a couple of big climbs before your Kili expedition. Hikes with an altitude gain of 8000-10000 ft that require you to spend a couple of days in the mountains would be great. Do not worry if this is not feasible. Regular workout routine as above should keep you in good stead.
- Use your hikes as an opportunity to break in the climbing shoes and any other gear that you intend to use on Kili.
- Please carry a copy of your passport in your luggage. In case your passport is lost or misplaced this can help you deal with the contingency
- While in major cities (like Nairobi or Dar-e-Salam) or on empty beaches (especially in Pemba and Zanzibar) do not venture out alone
- Do not wear expensive (or apparently expensive) jewellery
- Do not carry too much cash with you. We have indicated approximate cash requirements in the Pricing section.
- Do not wear a money belt conspicuously. In case you use one, please wear it beneath your clothes
- Do not carry lot of camera equipments visibly in public places
- Beware of thieves posing as police officers. Should you stopped by any official, please refer to your local guide and request to contact them.
For your Kili climb, ensuring a safe and enjoyable trip is our highest priority. Ensuring that the Kilimanjaro ecosystem is not damaged unduly on account of our trip is an equally important mission for us. To be honest, it is impossible to have a zero damage expedition on any mountain. In the case of Kilimanjaro, it is a popular destination that attracts more than fifty thousand tourists every year. With such traffic no ecosystem would remain unaffected. What we can strive for is responsible tourism that leaves absolutely minimum impact on the environment. And for the minimal damage that we cause, we try to make up in conservation efforts elsewhere and by contributing to the local socio-economic system.
Ethical tourism is as much desireable as responsible tourism especially when you travel to a developing destination like Tanzania. Supply of labor far exceeds the demand, potentially driving wages lower and lower. With Miyar, we guarantee that all stipulated and published wages reach the deserving hands. With Miyar we encourage you to hand out tips to individual members of the crew. More than ensuring that the tip reaches the intended hands, we believe the crew members would appreciate the personal touch of appreciation. Should you however fail to muster the energy (there is all the climbing to be done, after all) please feel comfortable in handing over the amount to your lead guide and he will ensure a fair distribution. Please see Price section for Kilimanjaro tipping guidelines.
Tanzania uses square shapes power sockets (UK style) as shown. We recommend you carry a suitable adapter or use a universal power socket.
I climbed Kilimanjaro via the Machame Route with Miyar Adventures in Jan. 2016. Sandeep did a lot of hand-holding before and during the trip in terms of providing information and answering questions. He also took care of all the logistics and made everything hassle free. I was concerned about joining a big group but was relieved to find some quiet time on my own during the hike. My favorite thing about the hike was the local guides, especially Aaron and Sunday. They're very kind and supportive.
Really enjoyed the experience in Kili - staff are extremely nice. The tour guides, and even the porters, are very helpful and experienced. I feel safe throughout the trip. Would definitely recommend Miyar!
LOVED the Kili Climb! Very well organized, the food was amazing! FRESH fruits and veggies at every meal, and they even accommodated dietary restrictions!! GF, Vegan and dairy (just to name a few) in our group of 14! The morning ritual of GINGER TEA was my fav, for sure!!! Sandeep is a great team builder, the group or climbers were so amazing, helpful and cheery the entire time!!! I will climb with Miyar again! Wish you could experience this for yourself, it is a once in a lifetime experience!!!
Climbing Kili was a mind opening experience thanks to Sandeep, our group, and local guides. It's not just about breathtaking scenery, which you will experience. It's about the people. Sandeep and the people he works with are genuine, knowledgeable, wonderful people. I can't wait for my next trip with them! Love you guys!
I climbed Kilimanjaro with Sandeep, it was an amazing experience. The trip was really well arranged, and we did not need to do much planning-wise. Sandeep was super friendly and helped us train for the climb, with the visas, vaccinations. He even brought some extra "just in case" jackets for the climb - which I ended up borrowing :) The mountain guides were awesome, the food was exceptional. It was a great trip and I look forward to my next trip with Miyar
Climbed Kilimanjaro with Miyar a few months ago. It was an awesome trip. Everything was very well organized, and we didn't have to worry about a single thing. In fact Sandeep went out of his way to make things go smoothly. He was available months in advance to provide/discuss trip details and answer any questions that we had. He was also very flexible about the trip plan. And finally, he was willi...ng to organize training hikes for us as well, although that didn't work out due to the conflicting schedules of the group members. He made sure that all the group members met and got to know each other beforehand, which I think was really helpful. The trip itself (climb, safari, the group I went with) was one of the most enjoyable and fulfilling experiences of my life.
I joined Sandeep on a climb to the highest free-standing mountain in the world - Kilimanjaro in Africa not quite knowing what that meant or what was involved and gained more than what I could have ever imagined. It was a rather long climb and the last day was very tiresome for me. Sandeep continued to encourage me when I was tired and truly exhausted and felt like I could not move an inch. Thanks to that, I did end up summiting and got safely back down to basecamp. I truly appreciated how the climb was coordinated by Sandeep with the guides and porters and it was really pain free for the clients with great food and all conveniences one can expect on a mountain. The pre-planning and gear check sessions all helped me immensely and thought the price was by far the best I had observed for the services provided.
After having been part of climbs with other leaders, I think Sandeep's climbs are very accommodative to a wide set of climbers with varied skill set and preferences. I highly recommend his climbs and would definitely join on future climbs to some of the most beautiful places in the world.
Kilimanjaro was my first mountain excursion outside of the US. I was equally excited and nervous. Sandeep and Miyar Adventures set up the most phenomenal trip I could have imagined! The plan fell perfectly into place upon arrival: hotels were lovely, food was delicious and the mountain guides were marvelous. Sandeep left nothing out when coordinating all of this. He was also available for the months prior to the departure to meet and make sure we had the correct flight plans, gear and clothing, vaccinations, passports, visas and any thing else we might need. Lastly, Sandeep set up local hiking treks prior to our big trip to ensure that we are all physically ready for the trip and so that we may meet one another before the big climb. I know this is a long review, but I wish I could write even more! I felt so comfortable in the hands of Sandeep and Miyar Adventures the entire time! There is nothing that could have gone better and I will certainly be booking another trip with this company soon!