Summit Mt. Kilimanjaro via the Nalemuru Route

Summit Mt. Kilimanjaro via the Nalemuru Route

Rongai Gate

Distance

44.7 Miles

Elevation Gain

12942.9 Feet

Activities

Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking, Fitness

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Year Round

Type

Point-to-Point

Forest
Picnic Area
Scenic
Wildflowers

Mt. Kilimanjaro is the highest peak on the African continent, and it is one of the world's Seven Summits. You don't have to be an experienced climber to reach the summit either because this is a non-technical climb.

So first off, to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, you have to hire a licensed guide as it is illegal to climb Africa's highest peak without one. The trip can take anywhere from 5-9 days depending on what trekking agency you are with, so do your research and choose from one of the many who offer guided trips to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Because of the fact that each trekking agency is different and every group sets their own pace, I'm not going to list the various places that we stopped to camp on our trip or the distances that we traveled each day. Instead, I will describe the scenery and what to expect when climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Your first stop will be for everyone in the group to organize their gear. Only pack what you need for the day, and give the rest of your belongings to the porters (No more than 50 lbs.). The porters will set off early to reach camp before the rest of the group, so when you are done for the day, you will have the luxury of arriving to a hot meal and an already established camp with all of your gear waiting for you by your tent.

After having set off on the trail, you will wind through a lush green haven of pine forests for a ways before trekking through the mundane vegetation of African scrubland. A few noteworthy plants to look out for are the Giant Heathers and St. John's Wort. After a while the vegetation starts to disappear as the path begins to steepen slightly. This point in the trek is bumpy and rocky. You will round a few cliffs and hills and cross a number of false summits. Then the trail flattens out to reveal little but bare rock and long grasses, with Mt. Kilimanjaro getting ever closer in the background. As you approach the base of the mighty mountain, the bare rocks grow in size until you are surrounded by giant boulders to your left and right.

Your last night before the summit push will be right at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro. You will eat dinner late and start your trek around midnight. Walking all through the night, you will wind your way up the mountain, making your way closer and closer to the summit. It gets cold up towards the top. You even trek next to some glaciers, getting pretty close to one of them. In the early morning, you watch the sunset on the tallest peak in Africa, right around the time that you reach the summit, Uhuru Peak. This is the part of the trip where you want to celebrate, but you're just too tired to care. You still have to descend the mountain and trek another 4 hours before you are finally done. Then you get shuttled back to your hotel to shower and sleep like you never have before.

If you are interested in climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, there is a lot of good information about it at www.climbmountkilimanjaro.com. I bought my guide book there, and it helped me know what steps to take and what to expect from the trip. 

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

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Overall rating: 

A life changing experience.

This was the best travel decision that I have ever made, and I am grateful that at that time I could afford such an opportunity.

Distance

44.7 Miles

Elevation Gain

12942.9 Feet

Activities

Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking, Fitness

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Year Round

Type

Point-to-Point

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