The Northern Circuit route is highly recommended for older people, children and people with minimal mountain experience. The Northern Circuit give you more time in the low oxygen to adapt and create the much-needed red blood cells to safely and successfully reach the summit of Kilimanjaro.
Join Ian Taylor Trekking on the journey to the Roof of Africa! We have full-time and professional staff on the ground in Tanzania and are ready to help you reach your goals on Mount Kilimanjaro. Our Northern Circuit Kilimanjaro climbs start at $4,250.
Tips & Advice
He has done it. Our Head Guide on Kilimanjaro has been awarded Kilimanjaro Mountain Guide of the year for 2019. Athumani has been working full time with Ian Taylor Trekking now for 10 years. We are lucky to have the best staff working for us on Kilimanjaro. He has trekked to Everest Base Camp & Island peak and also has dreams of climbing Mount Everest in 2025. DONATE HERE.
Furthermore, Athumani has worked hard to bring other staff with him. He coaches our team, promotes hard working team members and hand picks our team on the ground. We have invested in him and and he has invested in us! With the support of Ian Taylor Trekking, he has helped our team go to college, learn mountain skills, customer service and become mountain guides. As a result, he is well respected among his colleagues.
With Ian Taylor Trekking funding, Athumani has also set up 3 businesses in Tanzania. A small taxi company, mini market and safari vehicle rental business. Athumani has created so many jobs for his community and family.
Athumani, his wife Mariam and their two beautiful children have made a wonderful live for themselves in Arusha. He is a true testament to hard work, team work, persistence and doing it right, all while bringing others with him.
The Best of the Best
Athumani has proven himself to be the best of the best on Mount Kilimanjaro. He continues to show that the safety of our clients and teammates is his number one concern. Athumani has help us develop our service along with, our unique 8 day Lemosho route itinerary. Creating a safer journey up and down Kilimanjaro has been our goal and it is working. We are getting 100% success on our unique itinerary.
A Few Words from Athumani
How do you feel after winning the award: This Award means a lot to me, I feel highly recommended in my profession. After winning the award I feel more confident and I will keep working hard for my family, my country and my trekking company. Through winning the award I can raise the credibility of our company which means a lot to me.
This award will increase visibility of how we operate our quality Kilimanjaro climbs on the mountains and hopefully draw new customers. By winning this award I hope it will be a good motivator within our team. Most people who win an award are excited to share the news and I am so excited to about this award. I hope the award increases customer loyalty, by knowing that I am a skilled professional and recognized for my work, team and services we offer.
Why do I like working on Mount Kilimanjaro: I like working on the mountain because is job of my dreams. Since I was young, I was always thinking of working on the mountain and finally I found the amazing geological paradise of Kilimanjaro.
I choose the mountain because it is a physical job. It keeps me active and i stay fit mentally and physically. Also this job gives me a comfortable life and opens more doors to me, like getting a chance to visit some countries abroad.
Working on the mountain gives me a chance to meet with people from different parts of the world. I can learn from these people and they can learn from me. There is no greater gift. This makes my job so special.
Our goal is to make sure you have access to the best available information. We have helped over 3,000 people to summit on our 8 day Lemosho Route trips.
Important Pages you Need to Review
1). It’s official we have Kilimanjaro’s Number one Guide leading our team.
2). Pick the best acclimatization itinerary for your Kilimanjaro climb
3). Get training and learn the best way to prepare for your Kilimanjaro climb
4). Get FREE constant advice from our professional team
5). Understand the daily distances up and down Kilimanjaro
6). Have the right clothing and gear for your Kilimanjaro climb
7). Pacing each day on the trail is critical to success
8). Why hydration is critical at high altitude and in low oxygen environments
9). What sort of food will I be getting on my Kilimanjaro climb
10). These are the vaccinations needed for your Kilimanjaro climb
11). Get the Top 10 Tips available for your Kilimanjaro climb
13). What are the best trekking boots for your Kilimanjaro climb
14). Where do I get Insurance to cover my Kilimanjaro climb
15). What are the best months to climb Kilimanjaro
16). What is the summit night like while climbing Kilimanjaro
17). What is the easiest way to climb Kilimanjaro
18). 20 reasons to pick Ian Taylor Trekking for your Kilimanjaro climb
19). How difficult is it to actually climb Kilimanjaro
21). Our TOP 50 TIPS for a safe and successful ascent of mount Kilimanjaro
22). Find out more about going on Safari in Tanzania with us
23). What our key elements to a successful Kilimanjaro climb.
24). What is the most beautiful route up Mount Kilimanjaro.
25). The truth about climbing the Baranco wall on Mount Kilimanjaro
26). Learn more about the best acclimatization for your Kilimanjaro climb
27). What does a normal day climbing Kilimanjaro look like
28). What additional expenses will you have on your Kilimanjaro trip
After years of running trips on Kilimanjaro, we have decided to compile a list of some of the most important things we have learned. Here are our top 50 tips as you start working your way to the summit of Kilimanjaro. We have helped over 3,000 people reach the summit and have 95% success on our 8 day Lemosho Route trips.
Ian has climbed Kilimanjaro 40+ times and our head guide on the mountain was voted Kilimanjaro’s Number 1 Guide. At Ian Taylor Trekking we run over 30 quality Kilimanjaro climbs each year. We are a world leader in offering quality climbs on Mount Kilimanjaro and happy to schedule a free personal assessment with you.
You can read our Top 50 Tips here.
1). Our Team
We have our own full-time staff members on the ground in Tanzania. Our head guide was voted Best Kilimanjaro Guide in 2019. This gives us far more consistency in our service on the ground and offers you a safer and far more enjoyable experience.
2). Support the Community
We support a local orphanage, giving help and support to children in need. Why not join one of our climbs and then visit the children and brings books, toys and gifts. We also support our local team. We have also sponsored over 20 staff to go to college, some to learn English, others to become chefs and others to become guides. We have helped staff buy land and set up businesses on the ground.
3). Quality Run Trips
We only run quality Kilimanjaro climbs with more staff and better food. We use four and five star hotels in Arusha to make sure your stay in Arusha is very comfortable. Read some REVIEWS from our trips. We pay our staff correctly and we do not cut corners on any aspects of our trips.
4). Information and Advice Before your Climb
We offer personal service with training advice 5 days a week. A lot of people underestimate the Kilimanjaro challenge and, as a result, are coming underprepared. As an example, there are some long days covering over 22km with over 1,245m/ 4,085 feet of up and 2,800m/ 9,186 feet down hill, on steep terrain and at high altitude. This trip is strenuous and therefore you need specific physical strength and endurance.
5). Knowledgeable Staff
Sign up to one of our trips and you will have access to professional advice, from staff who have personally made the journey many times. Our office staff have climbed Kilimanjaro more than most people in all months of the year, therefore we are in the perfect position to help you understand the most important information in your Kilimanjaro preparation.
6). Access to Ian Taylor
Personal access to Ian and the rest of our team so we can answer all your questions. Ian has climbed Mount Everest to the top, led over 40+ Kilimanjaro climbs and led Kilimanjaro climbs on the Rongai, Marangu, Western breach, Machame and Lemosho Routes. However, most of our trips on run on the Lemosho Route because it gives the safest and most enjoyable experience climbing Kilimanjaro.
7). Building the Best Team
We have over 15 years of experience managing teams on the ground in Tanzania. As a result, this has helped us master the service and systems required to give people life changing experiences. Our head guide has been To Everest Base Camp, Island peak and the US. His goal is to climb Mount Everest and reach for the top of Everest after climbing Kilimanjaro over 260 times. Likewise, our team is well connected on the ground with access to all the key organization and authorities. All our guides and staff are passionate about the mountain, local history, culture and their home Country of Tanzania. In addition to this, our team will deliver the best and safest experience possible. We can guarantee that.
8). Safety is our Number One Concern
We carry oxygen and have fully trained medical support staff on all of our Kilimanjaro climbs. As we climb above 3,500m/ 11,500 feet and into high altitude, you need to be evaluated daily.
9). We Use Only High Quality Gear
We use quality Mountain Hard Wear tents. The tents we use are 4 person tents for sleeping and only 2 people per tent. This offers more warmth, comfort and space for you. We use Mountain Hard Wear dome tents for dining with quality chairs.
10). Two Nights in the Hotel in Arusha
We include two hotel nights at the Sheraton Hotel in Arusha, one before and one after your climb. These rooms are on a shared basis and also include breakfast! We use a range of four and five star hotels in Arusha, giving you a comfortable place to sleep before and after your climb.
11). More Comfort on the Mountain
After a long day of trekking, we want to make sure you have a comfortable spot to call home for the night! Therefore, we provide you with nice seating for your Kilimanjaro climb. Having comfortable tents to sleep in and a large mess tent to go to in the evenings, gives you a chance to sit with your teammates and enjoy the down time you have on the mountain. We want you to be in a comfortable position with as little stress as possible while on the mountain.
12). Excellent Food
We serve you three, three course meals each day on the trail. READ MORE information about our food service on our Kilimanjaro climbs. We can guarantee quality food throughout the climb. You will experience freshly made soup for lunch and dinner and we do not cut any corners. We know we need to fuel your adventure so we only serve professional grade meals each day, cooked by our amazing chefs Ede, Jumaa and Said. Furthermore, we also have 3 to 6 kitchen staff on any given trip. You will meet Nelson, Enock and Samuel. All the same staff, all the time on Kilimanjaro.
13). Excellent Chefs
We have a quality chef and sous chefs on all our treks. We have the same chefs on all our Kilimanjaro climbs and we pay them very well for their amazing work. That is why they keep coming back to work with Ian Taylor Trekking year after year. The service, food and quality are what is drawing people to our Kilimanjaro climbs. Our head chef is writing a book about the food and soups of Kilimanjaro. If you would like a copy let us know.
14). We Support the Communities we Work in
We support projects in all the areas we operate in. Above all, we want to give back to the areas that have provided for us! After Climbing Mount Everest to the summit, Ian and his climbing partner raised enough money to build the Mount Everest Primary school, which is located in the neighboring country of Uganda. In the Kilimanjaro area, we support an orphanage for children in need. In Nepal, we have built two schools and help the Goli Village Trust, which we helped establish. Ian is also aiming to climb Kilimanjaro 50 times to raise money for funds for water projects in East Africa.
15). Smaller Group Sizes
We only work with small group sizes. The maximum number of people per team will be 12 people. Most of our groups are between six and ten people, thus giving you are more personalized experience on your Kilimanjaro challenge. You can move as a team and experience more about the mountain from our staff. The only larger teams we have are when Ian Taylor is leading the team himself!
16). One to One Support Staff on the Summit
We have a ratio of 1 guide to 2 people on our trips and 1 to 1 support on the summit night. Therefore offering you a more personal service, safer experience and trip of a lifetime.
Preparation & Training
It\’s simple, if you are used to hiking and comfortable carrying a heavy backpack hiking up 1,000m/ 3,280 feet on a regular basic and training weekly and stay strong and active then you will find Kilimanjaro challenging but straight forward.
When deciding to climb Kilimanjaro, you need to consider your current ability, access to training facilities, and how much time you have to dedicate to training. All of these things will determine if you are successful on the climb. If you think running and walking on the flat with a weighted backpack are enough, you need to think again. Leg strength and endurance training in your endurance heart rate zone is important for safety and success. We can help you build a training plan.
The Two Main Factors
Firstly, In my opinion you need a minimum of 8 days on Kilimanjaro. Taking eight days on Kilimanjaro will give you the best acclimatization process and the best experience possible. Climbing Kilimanjaro is truly one of the great trekking experiences. So why not spend more days on the mountain to get the most out of your experience. I know it costs more, but you will come away with a much richer experience.
Secondly, you need to make sure that you are coming with the right training and preparations. We are available 5 days a week, to make sure you are getting the best information on the climb. We want to make sure that you have the tools to be safe and successful.
The Long Descent Down Kilimanjaro
Think about the elevation gains and lack of oxygen so you can build the correct training plan.
Day 1: Hike from 7,545 feet to 9,186 feet
Day 2: Hike from 9,186 feet to 11,500 feet
Day 3: Hike from 11,500 feet to 13,123 feet. Sleep at 12,795 feet
Day 4: Hike from 12,795 feet to 15,223 feet down to 12,795 feet
Day 5: Hike from 12,795 feet to 13,780 feet up and down to 13,123 feet
Day 6: Hike from 13,123 feet to 16,076 feet
Day 7: Hike from 16,076 feet to 19,341 feet back down to 10,170 feet
Day 8: Hike from 10,170 feet to 5,577 feet
When you think about these elevation gains and long steep descents you need to review the daily distances, elevations gains up and down. Consider the incline on ascent and descent and think how you train for low oxygen environments. We can help you understand the key elements to this and how you can map out a training plan for climbing Kilimanjaro.
Hiking up and Down Hills is the Best Training
Hiking up and down hills with weight is by far the best training you can do. Try to build up from 3 hour to 8 hour hikes once a week. Taking regular and increasingly longer hikes will help develop the muscles that you need when you arrive on the side of Kilimanjaro. This can not be on the flat. You need to trying to gain 500m/ 1,640 feet, building up to 1,000m/ 3,280 feet ascents and descents. However, very few people are lucky enough to have access to hills every weekend. Try to find some local hills or stairs to walk up and down if possible. Gradually increasing the duration of your walks will help to develop your stamina and also assist in preparing you for being on your feet over long distances.
When out on training hikes, ensure that you always wear the boots you intend to take to Kilimanjaro. Getting used to and breaking in your trekking boots will assist in making you as comfortable as possible on your climb. It is also good to train in the same backpack you will be taking with you on the climb. This will help you feel at ease with it and gradually add weight to the pack to build strength. Building up gradually from 6kg/ 13lbs to 12kg/ 26lbs over a 6 month period. Learn more.
Day 1). 3 Hour Drive to the Lemosho Gate and 3 Hours Hiking
You will be up early for breakfast as the goal is to leave by 8am for the three and a half hour drive to the Lemosho Gate. The Gate sits at 2,300m/ 7,545 feet. On our climbs you will have a full 3 course meal for lunch at the gate before starting of the trail. After trekking for 3 hours you will then reach Big Tree Camp at 2,800m/ 9,186 feet. You are now at high altitude, therefore, it is important to take your time with everything you do. You will hiking up 500m/ 1,640 feet and covering 3.9 miles/ 6.2km on this day.
Day 2). The Journey up to the Shira Plateau
Breakfast will be served at 7 am. Your bags will need to be packed and ready, so tents can be dismantled and moved to the next camp, Shira Camp 1, at 3,500m/ 11,500 feet. At 8 am you will be moving, hiking through the rain forest. Once you hit 3,000m/ 9,842 feet, you will exit the rain forest, and the route up to the Shira Plateau reveals itself. Today, you cover 700m/ 2,296 feet over 5.7 miles/ 9.1km.
Day 3). Moving Across the Shira Plateau
Today is an easier hike, but you are still at high altitude and therefore you still need to be drinking 4 to 5 liters of water. The route today leads across the Shira plateau to Shira Camp 2 at 3,900m/ 12,795 feet. Once you arrive at Shira Camp 2 you will have lunch and then continue up to 4,000m/ 13,123 feet for additional acclimatization. After this acclimatization hike, then you will return for the evening in Shira Camp 2. Today, you will cover 500m/ 1,640 feet for ascent and 100m/ 328 feet of descent, over a distance of 6.2 miles/ 10km.
Day 4). The Critical Acclimatization Day
Today is one of the big acclimatization days. You will need to leave camp at 8am for the 4 hour hike up to the Lava Tower at 4,640m/ 15,091 feet. Our team will have the mess tent erected at the lava tower for you to rest in the shade and be served a three course meal. After lunch, then you will descend all the way down to Barranco Camp, at 3,900m/ 12,795 feet. This is a long day where you hike up 740m/ 2,428 feet and also down 740m/ 2,428 feet and cover 6.7 miles/ 10.8km.
Day 5). The Barranco Wall to the Karanga Camp
After a good nights rest, then you will be right back at it! For many trekkers, today is a favorite day, as you climb up and over the Baranco Wall. We think that the Barranco Valley is the most beautiful valley on Kilimanjaro. This is an easier day and the Barranco Wall should not scare you. Most people are ready to do it again after they complete it as they have so much fun scrambling through the rock in the amazing and unique place.
The elevation gain on the Barranco Wall is 300m/ 984 feet. Once on top of the wall, you make a series of ups and downs before dropping 140m/ 460 feet, into the Karanga Valley. From there, you will continue moving back up the trail another 120m/ 400 feet, before arriving at the Karanga Camp at 4,050m/ 13,287 feet. The total amount of elevation gain today is 450m/ 1,476 feet. Also, the descent is a total of 220m/ 721 feet. Therefore, you will cover a distance of 3.5 miles/ 5.6km today.
Day 6). Kosovo Camp and Launching Pad for the Summit
Today the team will move up to Kosovo Camp 4,900m/ 16,076 feet. The goal is always to get to the Kosovo Camp, however this is weather dependent. This is putting you in to the best position for the early morning hours for your summit attempt. The goal is to get to high camp early to aid in the acclimatization process.
Once you reach high camp, then you will be served a full three course meal. Then you will have time to get your clothing ready for the summit attempt before trying to get as much rest and sleep as possible. You will be up again at midnight preparing for the push to the summit. There is no down hill today, therefore, you will just go uphill 900m/ 2,953 feet if we go up to Kosovo Camp. Aiming to arrive into high camp around mid day. You will cover 2.7 miles/ 4.3km today, getting into high camp.
Day 7). One of the Biggest Trekking Days of your Life
This is it, all that you have been preparing for over the past year or more! Today is your summit night, with a full day of hiking up and down the mountain. Summit day is approximately a thirteen hour journey. You will travel up to the summit 1,095m/ 3,592 feet if we leave from Kosovo Camp, and then drop down 2,795m/ 9,170 feet. This is a VERY tough day, even for the most seasoned trekker! Therefore, you MUST be prepared!
After reaching the summit and heading back down to the camp, then you will get a two hour break. There, you will have time for a full lunch, some rest and time to pack up your bags. Then, you will be moving down to Mweka Camp, at 3,100m/ 10,170 feet. On this very long day, you will cover a distance of 11.2 miles/ 18.1km.
Day 8). The Rewarding Walk Down Kilimanjaro
After an amazing nights sleep at lower altitude, then you will begin your final day on the mountain. Today, you will drop from Mweka Camp at 3,100m/ 10,170 feet, down to the Mweka Gate at 1,676m/ 5,500 feet. This is a beautiful walk, down hill through the rain forest. However, your legs will be tired from the day before! You will descend down 1,424m/ 4,671 feet today and will cover a total distance of 5.8 miles/ 9.3km.
All of our 8 day trips on Kilimanjaro start the summit night from Kosovo Camp 4,900m/ 16,076 feet. Kosovo Camp gives our clients the best chance of success.
Everything Comes Down to Summit Night
Kosovo camp is at 4,900m/ 16,076 feet. Your Kilimanjaro climb will come down to one long summit night and day. If you are leaving from Kosovo Camp, you will leave around 1am. No matter where you leave from, it is a long, slow and mental challenge to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro at 5,895m/ 19,341 feet.
Our Approach to Summit Night on Kilimanjaro
After 17 years of climbing on Kilimanjaro we have developed the best approach to summit night to maximize safety and success. If weather allows and winds are low, we will be taking off from the higher camp of Kosovo. The reason that our teams can do this is because we have taken adequate time to acclimatize lower down on the Shira Plateau. If you are only on a 5-7 day trip, it can be risky going all the way to Kosovo Camp for the night. The reason for this is that your body would not be able to cope with the altitude with less acclimatization.
Our teams aim Kosovo camp at 12 mid day. Indeed, this will give our bodies the time for additional acclimatization and most importantly rest and sleep. By staying at the higher camp, we will also position ourselves away from the noise of the main camp.
Kilimanjaro’s Number 1 Guide
At approximately midnight it will be time to get up and to start getting dressed and your gear ready. It is important to start slowly drinking water. The goal would be to try and drink 1/2 liters of water before you leave on the summit night. At 12:30pm we will be served light breakfast in the dining tent and you can fill your Nalgene bottles with boiled water for the night ahead. Some people like to have 2 Nalgene bottles (2 liters of water) for their summit attempt. This is a personal choice on how much you carry. Make sure you keep well hydrated during the whole trip and even prior to joining the Kilimanjaro climb. Our Head Guide is Kilimanjaro’s Number 1 Guide so you will be in good hands.
Start Hiking to the Summit of Kilimanjaro
At 1am, we will start hiking towards the summit. We will aim to gain 200m/ 656 vertical feet, per hour on route to the summit. Our goal on the summit night is to keep a very strict routine while going up. We will walk for an hour and then stop, drink water, eat some snacks and go to the toilet just off the trail. Each stop will be 5 to 7 minutes, depending on the weather. We will repeat this for the next 5 hours as we slowly edge our way above 5,500m/ 18,000 feet. As we reach this elevation we may need to stop every 30 minutes as the lack of oxygen becomes more challenging. At this stage, we will begin to slowly move towards Stella Point, as light hits the horizon.
Steep Terrain up and down
The last section up to Stella point is one of the hardest during the night. The pace will be slow and steady as you focus on deep breathing. Once we get to Stella Point, it will likely be very cold, so we will rest for 5 minutes and have some hot tea. Then, we will continue the 50 minutes to the true summit. The terrain is now a little easier than the previous hours to reach Stella Point. The lack of oxygen is challenging, so you need to make sure you are focusing on deep breathing all the way up to the summit. Getting oxygen into your body is the most important thing you should be thinking about on your summit attempt. After 6 hours of walking up hill you will reach the summit of Kilimanjaro!
Standing on the Summit of Kilimanjaro
Enjoy the achievement of reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro!! You will have dreamt of this moment for months even years. Savor the moment, as it will stay with you for the rest of your life. After the struggle and challenge to reach the summit is over, remember you are only half way. The descent is steep and takes a lot of focus as the terrain is challenging under foot.
The Steep Descent
Next, we will begin to move as a team back to high camp, which should take about 2 to 3 hours. It is extremely important to get back down below 5,500m/ 18,000 feet as quickly as possible. Depending on what time we reach high camp, you will have some time to rest, re-hydrate, eat a full lunch, pack your bag and slowly make your way down the trail. We will make our way all the way down to Mweka Camp at 3,100m/ 10,171 feet. From the summit, this is a 2,795m/ 9,170 feet drop down to the camp! This will likely be one of the most challenging days of your life to cover this distance!
Pick 8 Days on the Lemosho Route
We highly recommend our 8 day climbs as you want to give yourself the best and safest chance at trekking to 5,895m/ 19,341 feet. Watch the video above to see some raw footage from the summit night on Kilimanjaro. Read some REVIEWS from our trips.
Not everyone will have access to hills, but this is the best way to train your body and legs for down hill hiking. Depending on your chosen adventure you do need to assess the level of downhill. We have elevation gains available for all of our key trips. I encourage you to review the daily elevation drops and what type of terrain you will be walking on.
For example, on our Inca trail treks you will be drop 700m/ 2,296 feet to 1,000m/ 3,280 feet on different days all on steep rocky stairs. On Kilimanjaro you will drop 2,800m/ 9,186 feet in one day on scree and rock and this is very challenging on your legs and joints.
You have just walked for days on end you have reached your goal but not you have to retrace your steps, often in a quicker time frame. Hiking downhill will take its toll on your joints. Fore sure, the downhill hike will take more wear and tear on your joints and muscles than the uphill.
You do need to use effective training techniques to minimize the impact on your body. Descending using good technique means that you move faster and feel lighter. Remember, 80% of accidents happen on the way down.
Keeping Knees Healthy
We live in Eagle-vail Colorado with amazing access to altitude and a wide range of mountain terrain to train on. In Colorado we can train all year round on hilly terrain preparing for Kilimanjaro, Himalayan trekking and mountaineering trips. I know most of you are joining our trips from sea level and with minimal access to hill training. I encourage you to get out to Colorado doing some multi-day hiking in preparation for your chosen adventure.
If you do not have access to hills and mountains, you must figure out other ways to prepare your knee joints to handle downhill stress. From a knee perspective, downhill hiking means eccentric loading and typically thousands of repetitions of it. Eccentric loading (the lengthening phase of a contraction) is especially challenging to what is called the patellofemoral joint of the knee. This is where the knee cap, meets the femur. Inadequate strength, poor mechanics and lack of exposure to this type of loading can turn downhill forces into injury producing stress. Prior to your trekking trip you need to start implementing sport specific training into our general preparedness programming.
Hiking Uphill and Downhill
Hiking uphill is all concentric muscle action (muscle active while shortening) at the knee joint without any eccentric loading (loading while muscle is lengthening). Concentric only exercises tend to cause less mechanical stress, load and pain to joints and tendons than do exercises that have eccentric phases. What goes up must come down.
You must prepare our body and specifically your knees to handle downhill hiking. Depending on the trip, you really need 6 months of some sport specific training into our general preparedness programming.
The strength movements below are similar but slightly different in specific ways. We purposely only hit each one once per week because too much volume of these exercises could quickly lead to an over training injury, so be careful. I would recommend adding in additional hip flexor and quadriceps mobility work at the end of your training sessions as well to maintain good length tension relationships and to protect your spine.
The Point of These Exercises
Increase vertical loading volume of the knees with a sight posterior to anterior (back to front) force vector. Get exposed and accustomed to decelerating the vertical and forward forces using primarily a knee strategy. Transition from doing most lunges and squats with a 3 points of contact foot position to a more heel elevated position where we contact and press through the forefoot.
The 3 points of contact foot position is the most stable position for the foot and encourages a balance of hip and thigh musculature – great for general preparedness training. Transitioning to a heels elevated position where the forces are applied through the forefoot places most of the stress on the quadriceps and knees – optimal for downhill hiking training.
Exercises for Downhill Hiking
You should consider adding these movements into your weekly training 2 times per week. Add 3-5 sets of 10-15 repetitions (per leg)
One of the best ways of mitigating the risk of musculoskeletal issues is by carrying a light pack. Then build up the weight you carry over time. An overly heavy backpack is not recommended in the early stages of your training.
Extract its biggest toll on your body during steep and/or long downhill sections, so a hiker should always aim to travel as lightly as the dictates of their skillset and the environment into which they are venturing allow.
If you are carrying weight on longer hike you should slowly build up the weight you carry. You should also consider carry water uphill and dump as much water/ weight as possible for your downhill. Always assess the weight you are carrying for each hike and always build up slowly over time. You do not want to get injured.
Our Unique Itinerary
Day 1 - Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport
You should aim to arrive as early as possible this day or you are welcome to arrive in earlier if you choose. Once you arrive, you will be picked up from the airport and taken on a 50-minute transfer to the hotel in Arusha, where you will be booked on a shared bed and breakfast basis. You will have a group briefing in the evening with our head guide to prepare you for the journey ahead. Our head guide was named the Mountain Guide of the year in 2019 on Kilimanjaro and you can read more about him here: https://iantaylortrekking.com/blog/kilimanjaro-mountain-guide-of-the-year-2019/
Day 2 - Lemosho Gate to Mti Mkubwa (9,186ft / 2,800m)
After breakfast at the Sheraton hotel, our local team will be there to pick the team up to start the journey! Normally, the meeting time will be 8am, but this will be confirmed at the briefing the night prior. A 3 to 4 hour drive from Arusha takes us to the LemoshoGate, located on the western side of Kilimanjaro. We should arrive by midday, to register at the gate and enter the Kilimanjaro National Park, this process can take up to a couple of hours. While we wait, we will have our lunch at the gate and sign in to the National Park. Here you will begin to realize that we are on one of the least trodden routes compared to the \"standard\" lines of ascent such as Machame and Marangu. The flora and fauna are richer here and in places the vegetation is so untouched that it grows right across the narrow track. Our trek today will be along a little used track known as Chamber\'s Route. In approximately three hours, we will reach our camp in the forest at Mti Mkubwa, otherwise known as Big Tree Camp, at 2,800m/9,186ft.
Day 3 - Mti Mkubwa to Shira One Camp (11,480ft / 3,500m)
After breakfast, we start the climb through the rainforest towards the giant moorland zone. Today is a full day\'s trek with a significant gain in height. So it will be tough, even at a relatively low altitude. We will take a lunch stop at the crest of a ridge, just below the Shira Crater at approximately 3,000m/9,850ft. After lunch, we follow the ridgeline steadily upwards towards the Shira Caldera, a high altitude desert plateau, which is rarely visited. Shira is the third of Kilimanjaro\'s volcanic cones, and is filled with lava flow from Kibo Peak. The crater rim has been massively eroded over time by weather and volcanic action. Today we\'ll get our first close views of Kibo - the central volcanic cone and literally \"the Roof of Africa\". The second of the 3 volcanic spouts that make up Kilimanjaro is Mawenzi, but this lies hidden for the time being to the east of Kibo. Today’s walk will be approximately 6 hours before reaching the
camp at 3,500m/11,480ft.
Day 4 - Shira One Camp to Shira Two Camp (12,795 ft / 3,900m)
After breakfast, we continue to hike east across the Shira Plateau past the Shira Cathedral (12,470ft / 3,880 m), towards Shira Two camp. The views of the plateau, across the mountain and to the plains below are nothing less than spectacular. After lunch we will hike up to 4,000m/13,123 ft. for some additional acclimatization.
Day 5 - Shira Two Camp to Moir Hut (13,652 ft / 4,161 m)
Today is a tough seven-hour hike in superb country. We start the day before lunch in a steady uphill ascent towards the Lava Tower. Today, we will focus on a similar pattern/pace that will happen on the summit night. Once we reach the Lava Tower at 4,640m/15,223ft, we will stop for a hot lunch and rest. We will then divert from the main trail to Moir Hut. Moir hut is a little used campsite at the base of the Lent Hills. A variety of hikes are available on Lent Hills making this an excellent acclimatization opportunity. We will set up camp and you will enjoy a nice dinner and overnight at Moir Hut.
Day 6 - Moir Hut to Buffalo Camp (13,200ft / 4,023m)
After breakfast, we trek out of the Moir Valley with a moderately steep climb, then hike to the summit of Lent Hills before returning to the main trail. The path crosses a rock field and gently undulates before reaching Buffalo Camp. This section of the trail offers great views across the plains that lie north of Kilimanjaro and stretch out to the Kenyan/Tanzanian border. Dinner and overnight at Buffalo Camp.
Day 7 - Buffalo Camp to Third Cave Camp (16,010ft / 4,880m)
As we head up Buffalo Ridge, the terrain becomes increasingly sparse. This route is rarely traveled, and we will enjoy its mountain wilderness feel. We trek through remote valleys on to the northern slopes of Kilimanjaro until we arrive at Third Cave. Dinner and Overnight at Third Cave.
Day 8 - Third Cave Camp to School Hut (15,748 ft / 4,800m)
We climb steadily up and over the “Saddle,” which sits between Kibo and Mawenzi. We will continue to our camp, School Hut. Once here we rest, enjoy an early an dinner and prepare for the summit day.
Day 9 - School Hut to Uhuru Peak (19,340 ft / 5,896m) to Mweka Camp
When we wake up at 11/11:30pm at School Hut Camp, we will get ourselves dressed in all of our warmest summit gear as we will begin walking well before dawn, and the coldest part of the day comes just before sunrise. This summit day proves to be the steepest and most demanding part of the mountain, and we will be taking it very slowly as we move up the trail. The moon may provide some light, but we'll be using head-torches for several hours until the sun rises. We will aim to reach Gilmans Point on the Crater Rim by sunrise after approximately 5 hours of constant up-hill walking. At dawn, from the Crater rim, rugged Mawenzi is a thrilling sight, with the Kibo saddle still in darkness beneath you, and the crater's ice-walls looming ahead. From Gilman Point, we turn left, and continue along a good path for approximately one hour more, cresting the top of the crater, until we reach Uhuru Peak, the summit of Kilimanjaro! The crater wall stands steeply over the crater floor about 200 feet below us to our right. As the sun rises, light hits the crater floor, illuminating the Furtwangler Glacier and the warmth of the sun will be a welcomed feeling! This will be by far the toughest day you will have on the trek and the views from the summit will make you realize why you decided to put yourself through the pain! After about thirty minutes or so on the summit, we will begin the long slog back down on a different trail. It will take us approximately 3 hours steep walking before we arrive at Barafu Camp, and you will be welcomed with tea and brunch and a quick rest before we continue our way down the mountain. We will have another 4 hours of walking from Barafu camp to reach our final destination of the night, Mweka Camp.
Having started this extraordinary day out as early as mid-night, and not finishing the day until the sun is setting, you can imagine how exhausted your body will be as you rest in celebration of your success on the highest point in Africa!
Day 10 - Mweka Hut to Mweka Gate to Arusha
We will wake early in the morning today to begin our final walk off of Kilimanjaro. The walk today will take us approximately 3 hours to get from the Camp to the Mweka gate. When we arrive at the gate, we will say ‘kwaheri’ or goodbye to our porters and take a short 5-minute ride in the vehicle to our final lunch spot, where you will also have a chance to do a little souvenir shopping before getting back in the vehicle for the two-and-a-half-hour journey back to Arusha. Here you will get to enjoy a well-deserved shower and bed to sleep in!
Day 11 - Arusha
Today will be spent at leisure in Arusha. You can decide to sit by the pool at the hotel or exploring the town of Arusha. We will transfer you back to the airport to catch your international flight home. There is also an option for you to stay on in Tanzania and do one of our Safari options, sampling some of the world’s most unique wildlife: https://iantaylortrekking.com/kilimanjaro-treks/safari-in-tanzania/.
Kilimanjaro's Number 1 Guide
We have a 95% success rate, second to none. Although Mount Kilimanjaro is not a technical peak, the success rate is normally 55% – 65% make it to the summit People are continually underestimating the high altitude and trying to climb it in less than seven or eight days with little understanding of how the lack of oxygen affects their bodies. Acute Mountain Sickness is a real danger for climbers in high mountains, causing dizziness, headache, nausea, and shortness of breath. That is why we offer the Northern Circuit route. It gives your body the time and acclimatization it needs to safely go into high altitude.
The extra day allows you to rest before the summit, giving you time to eat a good meal and get some sleep before the climb to the peak begins. The Norhern Circuit Route is one of the easiest Kilimanjaro routes, there is no technical climbing involved, so you don't have to worry that you won't be able to keep up with the group. We encourage you to check our preparation and Training sections to see what our 9-day Northern Route entails.
The Northern Circuit Route on Kilimanjaro has a lot to offer. Breathtaking views, lots of fun on the trails, and a lower level of difficulty make it a perfect first Kilimanjaro route to try by climbers with some to less experience.
Additionally, it's a less popular route than, for example, Machame Route, which means it's not as crowded. You can fully appreciate the whole experience, admiring stunning scenery and enjoying the accessible level of difficulty on this route on Kilimanjaro.
More About the Northern Route on Kilimanjaro
The Kilimanjaro's Northern Circuit route has 9-days on the mountain. The route itself is 75 km /46 miles long, with the total elevation from the entry gate to the summit being 3,645 m /11,958 feet. After flying into Kilimanjaro International Airport, we spend our first night in the town of Arusha. We use the Sheraton hotel or the similar as our base. We will begin the trek from the Lemosho Park Gate, located on the western side of Kilimanjaro.
After breakfast at the hotel, we drive to the beginning of the trail. We will check in at the national park gate - Lemosho Gate - and have a hot lunch. A couple of hours later, we start the hike through the beautiful rain forest trails to reach the Mti Mkubwa Camp. Kilimanjaro National Park is rich in flora and fauna. Our route leads you up to the Shira Plateau. The Plateau offers spectacular views before we head up the southwestern side of Mount Kilimanjaro.
On day three, we go from Shira Camp 1 across the Shira plateau to Shira Camp 2 at 3,900m/ 12,795 feet. On day four, after three nights of good acclimatization, we reach the height of 4,640m/ 15,223 feet. This gives our teams some of the best views of the western breach of Kilimanjaro.
From there, we trek to Lava Tower, and switch to the Northern Circuit trail, moving to Moir Hut. Moir hut is a little used campsite at the base of the Lent Hills. A variety of hikes are available on Lent Hills making this an excellent acclimatization opportunity.
Summit Night on Kilimanjaro
On the summit day, we will leave around 1am in the evening for the steady but very strenuous ascent to Uhuru Peak. The last 200m/ 657 feet to the crater rim are the most difficult. You need to get your breathing right when attempting the summit push, and you will make it. Many climbers stop at Gilman's Point, but with the right mindset and guidance, you'll be able to reach the summit. It takes another hour to the summit, and you are there, taking in the incredible view from the Roof of Africa.
After enjoying the summit, we return to Barafu Camp for Lunch. After a rest and lunch, we will move lower, following the Mweka route, till we reach the Mweka Camp at 3,100m/ 10,170 feet, where we stay for the night. Our final day of trekking will see us heading towards the Mweka Park Gate and back to Arusha and the Sheraton hotel by 4 pm. Before that, when signing out with the authorities of the Park, you will receive a certificate, so you can memorize this achievement and share it with your loved ones.
Why Climb Kilimanjaro With Us
We have Kilimanjaro's Number 1 Guide and the amazing Dream Team. We only run high quality Kilimanjaro trips with better food, tents, guides and support. Additionally, we support our team on the ground and have sent over twenty staff from our Team to college to learn English, and become chefs and guides.
Not to mention, spending nine days on the Northern Circuit Route up Mount Kilimanjaro will change your life.
Climb Mount Kilimanjaro and have the adventure of a lifetime with a group of people who also love the thrill of reaching new highs and pushing their boundaries to discover something new at the top.
Climbing Kilimanjaro on the northern Route is an experience that you don't want to miss out on! Challenge yourself on one of the most unforgettable climbs of your life, discover the beauty of the Kilimanjaro's Northern Route and bring home some amazing memories.
1). La Sportiva Trango Tech GTX
In our opinion, La Sportiva have great footwear options at the moment. Finding a boot that will last a long time, be comfortable, waterproof and have good support, is always our goal. This option is both a great trekking boot as well as a light mountaineering boot for alpine climbs. They are crampon compatible, however still a lightweight option good for a Kilimanjaro climb. Having the slightly more rigid sole helps keep your foot sturdy and protected on the trails on Kilimanjaro. They will also be a warm option for the cold night spent going up to the summit! These boots would be a great option for the trekking portions on Mount Elbrus or Aconcagua as well.
2). Salomon Quest 4 GTX
Another great option is the Salomon Quest 4 GTX Trekking boots. More and more people are using these trekking boots on a wide range of our trekking adventures in Nepal and around the world. They are comfortable, sturdy, waterproof and a very resilient trekking boot for Kilimanjaro. They will give you the warmth you need on the cold night walking to the summit as well!
3). Scarpa Kenesis
Ian has used the Scarpa Kenesis pro GTX trekking boots for a few years. They are a little heavier than other trekking boots but a great boot for Kilimanjaro. If you maintain them well, you will have them for years. Scarpa are always re-inventing trekking boots and if they fit your foot correctly, then they may be the right boot for you. They work great and last a long time.
4). Mammut Trovat
Ian has also used a range of Mammut trekking boots over the years. He really likes the Mammut Trovat guide High trekking boots. They are really durable, reliable and will last a long time. The high ankle support is great for the rocky terrains you will encounter and all around a great boot for Kilimanjaro. All these boots will last a long time if you look after them well.
5). Meindl Vakuum
You could also consider using the Meindl Vakuum trekking boots for your Kilimanjaro climb. These are also a good option a wide range of trekking peaks and multi-day trekking adventures. These are a very popular boot and we see a lot of clients arriving to Tanzania in this option. They are an excellent choice for mixed rocky terrain and long distance hiking. These boots will be with you for many miles as they are an extremely durable boot. Also, this could be a good option for you if you feel the cold in your feet as they will be a warmer option.
Once you have signed up to one of our Kilimanjaro climbs, then we will send you our 35 page trip Dossier. The Dossier includes an itemized kit list, training advice and other relevant information to help you come fully prepared to Tanzania.
Chat With the Experts
We are your best resource for getting the right gear for your climb of Kilimanjaro and will be available to you 5 days a week to assist you. If you want to have the best experience on Kilimanjaro, then GET IN TOUCH today.
Q). Can we leave baggage and do laundry at the hotel?
A). We use the Sheraton hotel in Arusha and they have a secure room for baggage that you need to leave at the hotel. The hotel has a laundry service.
Q). Is it difficult to climb Kilimanjaro?
A). The question how difficult is it to climb Mount Kilimanjaro is a very tough one to answer! If you are used to hiking long distances weekly covering 1,000m/ 3,280 feet, carrying your backpack with weight. Along with, training 5 days a week and in good physical conditioning. You might find it straight forward. Also you have 8 days on the mountain, this gives added acclimatization and safety. We use Kosovo Camp at 4,900m/ 16,076 feet which helps on the long and challenging summit night. Learn more.
Q). What are the best months to trek Mount Kilimanjaro?
A). Traditionally, the weather on Mount Kilimanjaro is fairly predictable. Kilimanjaro has dry seasons and rainy seasons. Some months have more sun, some months have to more cloud cover and other months are colder than others higher on the mountain. We highly recommend January, February, June, July, August, September, October and we like a New Year trip from December into January. Learn more.
Q). How difficult is the Barranco wall?
A). A lot of people have fears when it comes to the Barranco Wall. However, the truth about the Barranco wall is that 95% of this infamous place on Kilimanjaro is just slow walking. There are just a couple of scrambling sections on the lower and upper most part of the wall. They do not require any technical experience, just a bit of extra focus, good balance and core stability. Learn more.
Q). What will the food be like on Kilimanjaro?
A). Every company is different. We only run Kilimanjaro tours to the high quality. We only serve hot meals each day with 3, 3 courses meals a day on Kilimanjaro. Learn more.
Q). How much is the visa fee to enter Tanzania?
A). Right now the visa fee ranges from USD $50 to $100. For US clients it is $100, while most European countries will pay $50.
Q). What vaccinations do I need to enter Tanzania?
A). Tanzania does NOT have Yellow Fever in the country, so they only require you to show proof of vaccine for Yellow Fever if you are from a country that does have Yellow Fever. Or transiting for more than 12 hours in an airport located in a country with risk of Yellow Fever Virus transmission. Here are some recommended for vaccinations entering Tanzania: Tetanus, Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Hepatitis B, Poliomyelitis, Cholera, covid19 and tablets to protect you from getting malaria. Learn more.
Q). How much does it cost to climb Kilimanjaro?
A). After putting over 3,000 people on the summit we have developed a quality system and unique itinerary for a successful Kilimanjaro Summit. If you want to give yourself the best chance of success you will be paying $400 to $500 per day to have 35+ quality staff, quality tents, equipment, safety equipment, quality food and all the systems in place. So, for a 7 day Machame route tour you will pay anywhere from $2,500 to $4,000 including airport pick up and drop off and hotel nights on either side of the trip. For a 8 day Lemosho route climb you will pay anywhere from $2,900 to $4,500 depending on the hotels, service the company offers prior to the climb. If you have a western guide it can cost even more. Remember 8 days on the mountain gives you the best and safest chance of standing on the summit. Learn more.
Q). What additional expenses will I incur?
A). Here are some additional expenses that you will incur. Visa Entry, meals in Arusha, Tips, laundry, souvenirs, insurance, helicopter evacuation cover.
Q). How much should I tip the staff and can I give individual tip for the porter who carried by backpack?
A). We recommend tipping the staff as a group on the last morning of the trip in Mweaka Camp before descending to the gate. The tips can be given to Athumani or Head Guide and they will distribute to the Dream Team. We recommend $300.
Q). What insurance do I need to have?
A). We recommend having Global Rescue Helicopter evacuation along with their or any insurance that covers trip cancellation cover, repatriation along with medical expenses.
Q). What challenges will I face climbing Kilimanjaro?
A). You will possibly experience rain, wind, hot, cold temperatures all in one week. High UV levels from the sun, so stay covered up. The higher realm of Kilimanjaro sits in Extreme altitude. The biggest summit day of your life! Going up 1,000m/ 3,280 feet from Kosovo Camp to the summit and back down to Mweka Camp. Possible physical fatigue, depending on physical preparation. You will not sleep as well as you would at home. It can be challenging to sleep in a sleeping bag and tent if you have experience doing that. Learn more.
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The Ian Taylor Trekking office team has climbed Kilimanjaro over a combined 50 times. Our Head guide was voted Kilimanjaro’s Number 1 Guide. We have the knowledge, team, and experience to deliver the safest and the best experience on Kilimanjaro.
We are here with the information and assistance you need to be successful. Get in touch today for more information on climbing Kilimanjaro on the Lemosho Route.