For many, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is a life-long goal. Kilimanjaro is the world's tallest free-standing mountain at 5,895 metres. Despite its height, Kilimanjaro is not very steep, making the climb relatively painless. The mountain is located in the Kilimanjaro National Park, which is home to a variety of African wildlife and amazing plant life. The thick snow and ice at the peak make for a unique sight, as the mountain sits in the plains of the Savannah. It is easy to reach, due to the direct flight from Canada to Kilimanjaro. Check out the SkyScanner flight search tool to find options for cheap flights to Kilimanjaro.
The mountain is located in Northern Tanzania, along the border of Kenya. Due to the proximity to the equator, the climate doesn't experience the typical extremes of summer and winter. Instead, there are wet and dry seasons; April/May are the wettest, August/September the driest, January/February are the warmest, while June/July are the coolest. It is possible to climb the mountain during any season, but the ideal conditions are during January, February, and September.
The mountain is divided into five different climate areas, each with different flora and fauna. The ascent showcases a mix of alpine deserts, moorlands, evergreen forest, and rainforest, while a thick layer of ice covers the peak. Climbing the mountain is a unique experience, as you walk through the five separate climate regions in a matter of days.
The entrance to Kilimanjaro National Park is located in a town called Moshi, home to about 150,000 people. Moshi is about 45 minutes south of Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), and it can be accessed by bus, shuttle, or car. JRO acts as the main connection between other African airports such as Dar es Salaam or Nairobi Airport. There are daily flights from AirKenya and Precision Air that fly in to JRO to allow for an easy trip into town.
While it can be expensive to fly to Kilimanjaro and climb the mountain, it is a small fee to pay for an unforgettable experience. Equipment must be purchased before travelling, which can often run between $1000-1500. On top of that, it is important to obtain Yellow Fever and Hepatitis A and B vaccinations. Overall, these can cost around $250. Licensed guides are required to climb the mountain, since most people are not well-versed in Kilimanjaro's terrain. While many experienced climbers can finish the trip in five days, it is recommended to climb in six or seven, to adjust to the altitude. A basic six or seven day trip will cost around $1,100, while a more luxurious experience is closer to $3,000. Credit cards are not widely accepted in Tanzania and Kenya, especially for lower denominations of money. Therefore, it is important to bring plenty of cash.
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