The main seasons for climbing Kilimanjaro are traditionally December through to March, and June through to October. At this time temperatures in Moshi, at the base of the mountain, are typically around 22 degrees C and summit temperatures around - 7 degrees C.
It is generally advised to try and avoid November and April / May, which are when the short and long rains come. However, there is a caveat as the seasons are shifting and the timing of the rains is definitely less predictable when compared to the past. However, you must be prepared (as per any mountain) for rain (and snow as you go higher up) at all times of the year.
We'd recommend either the Lemosho 9 day route, the Lemosho 8 day route or the Machame 7 day route. Lemosho is considered the most beautiful route on Kilimanjaro and grants panoramic vistas on various sides of the mountain. It is our favourite route because it offers a great balance of low traffic, scenic views and a high summit success rate. Lemosho is a longer route, best done in 8 or 9 days whereas the Machame is a shorter, steeper route that can be done in 7 days. The two routes join higher up and they both offer similar views as you climb. In addition, the Machame is quite popular therefore there is more 'traffic'.
Generally speaking, we recommend the 'Luxury Specification' for most guests. Why? Because it is the right level of comfort for most people when spending a week or more at altitude. It is great to have at least some creature comforts such as a pillow and a comfy 3-inch mattress and a private toilet.
Standard Specification: This has a lightweight mess tent with a table and stools, smaller client tent and 2” foam pad. Clients will provide their own sleeping bag or rent one from the company at an extra cost. This is our most adventurous specification and also lowest priced.
Luxury Specification: This comes with a larger mess tent than the lightweight specification, backed chairs instead of stools, a larger client tent with a 3” foam mattress. A pillow and -18°C rated sleeping bag with a comfy liner is also included in the package. There is a private portable toilet for use at the campsites. Evening meals have an additional course (entrée) and there is fresh pressed coffee available. All in all, a perfect blend of raw adventure and creature comforts.
VIP Specification: While the Mess Tent and meals are similar to Luxury Specification, each client will have their own walk in 6-man tent unless they are sharing as a couple. The tents are furnished with a camp cot so that guests are raised from the ground to negate the usual burden of crawling in and out of a sleeping bag on the ground. The camp cot is then loaded with a 3” mattress, Maasai blanket, -18°C rated sleeping bag and luxurious fury liner to ensure clients are as comfortable as possible. For clients with enduring injuries or require just prefer to be as comfortable as possible while trekking, this is the specification to choose.
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