Mt Kilimanjaro

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Mt Kilimanjaro

Post by chongkie » Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:21 pm


Just wondering if anyone here has done the Mt Kilimanjaro Climb/Hike.

Busy doing a tentative plan and any input on this would be much appreciated, i.e. Costs, package costs, the experience, pros & cons, when to go, etc.

Also planning on going to Zanzibar afterwards for some R&R so any info on that would also help!


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Re: Mt Kilimanjaro

Post by izzypzee » Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:26 am

kili is one of the most popular climbs in the world.
There are numerous companies in the country that organize trips up.
Generally they will cover ALL logistics, ie. flights, accoms, Zanzibar, safaris etc.
We dealt with Sean Disney's company Adventure Dynamics.

I believe Sean is on an expedition to ChoOyu at the moment. Speak to Jenny.


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Re: Mt Kilimanjaro

Post by Hilton » Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:34 pm

You don't have to go the package tour route. My partner and I sorted it all out ourselves, including hiring porters and a guide. You don't get a choice about hiring a guide - it's a park requirement.
To do the thing yourself fly in to Arusha's airport Kilimanjaro International, take a taxi to your hotel in Arusha and contact a supplier of guiding/porter services.
We hiked up the Machame route to the contour path level which is around 12,000 feet. Then we walked around the mountain. It took us about 8 or 9 days as it's somewhere between 100 and 200 kilometres. We then tried to climb the Messner ice route on the Breach Wall which is on the SW side. After some near misses by rock and ice falls we retreated (it was too warm and the thing was falling apart) and did one of the hikes up to the top. We went from Baranco up to Arrow Glacier and then up the Arrow route which was really nice but I heard it got closed.
From the summit we went down to Barafe and then down the Umbwe route. Very nice.
I wouldn't recommend the north side of the mountain - it's very dry and bleak. The best part is the west side of the mountain from Machame in the north going down to the standard walking route (can't remember the name, but often called the coca-cola route).
The highlights are the Baranco Valley and walking beneath the great Breach Wall - those are 'must see'. Just stay away from the coca cola route.

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Re: Mt Kilimanjaro

Post by chongkie » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:45 am

Hey, thanks for the info. much appreciated!
I really would like to do a DIY trip, but seems like taking packages will be much cheaper.

How fit does one need to be to do Mt Kili? Must you be a marathon runner to be able to climb / hike Mt Kili?

When is it the best time (month) to go up? would be cool to be on the summit when there is still snow on it, especially since "global warming" is happening... might not be snow capped for much longer :cry:

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Re: Mt Kilimanjaro

Post by shorti » Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:02 am

I climbed Kili at the end of 1998. I know things have changed a lot since then, but maybe this will help. We also didn't do the coca cola route. We called it something else, can't remember what, something about puke. We took the Machame route like Hilton, but didn't go all the way around to the North. We joined the coca cola route at the last camp before summit. This part sucked - puke, shit and rubbish everywhere. You don't need to be very fit to do it. It's more of a mind thing than anything else. We tried to make the mountain bigger by acclimatising on Zanzibar for a week, just before we went to the mountain. I remember really enjoying the lower parts of the mountain. Pretty much up to the Breach Wall. From there all I remember is utter despair until we got to the rim of the volcano. The view was great and the ice fields interesting. The slog to get to the rim was just down right awful.

We did all the arrangements and travelled in a big group (33). We drove up and visited everything we could think of along the way - Zim Ruins, Lake Malawi, Zanzibar, Vic falls amongst others. The trip took us 35 days to complete and we drove 10 000km. We went as cheap as possible, camping most of the time and we had a chef that cooked us decent but cheap meals every day. We mostly ate bread, fruit and fresh fish when we could find some. The whole trip cost us R5500 each (including permits for the mountain, guides, porters and rafting down the Zambezi at Vic Falls. We stayed in a very cheap hotel in Zanzibar - it cost us $1 per night for bed and breakfast. The owner claimed to be the East African Chess champion. We all managed to beat him :)

Enjoy it, and try to pick up some rubbish while you are at it. That's something worth sponsorship, rather than being the youngest, ugliest, fattest or whateverest to walk up the mountain :thumright

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