As the tallest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the Seven Summits and soars to a staggering 19,340 feet. The mountain is flanked by African steppe and protected lands, and is home to many iconic animals of Africa: elephants, lions, giraffes, zebras and more. To see a lanky giraffe dwarfed by the silhouette of Kilimanjaro is a breathtaking juxtaposition.
The equatorial bearings of Kilimanjaro lends to warm climes year-round, so the mighty mountain can be conquered in any month or season. However, it is best to climb only in the dry months of June to October, or January to March.
The summit may be temperate, but the mountainside can undergo serious temperature drops — many hikers have reported being surprised at how chilly the mountainside is, including this recent hiker with Acanela Expeditions, who wrote, “My double pair of socks, extra layer of thermals, fleece top, and warm hat helped – but I wished I had even more layers to keep me warm.” Acanela offers a local-guided trip up the Marangu route to Uhuru Peak, with porters and a chef to make the hike a bit less strenuous.
Kilimanjaro trekkers should prepare for the altitude changes and take Diamox (and drink lots of water) to avoid altitude sickness, a common plague affecting first-timer and veteran hikers alike.