Welcome to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the website dedicated to the Roof of Africa. For comprehensive information on climbing the mountain, from how to book and prepare for your Kilimanjaro trek to what to take on the mountain and descriptions of the best route up to the summit, you’ll find it all here.
Kilimanjaro News January-March 2014
Posted 4 March 2014
As the experts predicted, Kenyans dominated the Kilimanjaro marathon on Sunday, winning all the medals in both the men's and women's events. David Ruto took the top prize in the men's event in a time of 2 hours, 16 minutes and 4 seconds, with Julias Kilimo and Victor Serem in second and third respectively.
While in the women's evening, Frida Lodepa stormed home in 2 hours, 40 minutes and 11 seconds, beating off the challenges of fellow Kenyans Joah Rutich and Jackline Kithia.
The host nation Tanzania didn't leave entirely empty-handed, however, with Jackline Cynthia winning the half marathon - though only after stiff competition from the chasing pack that included an Ethiopian and another eight Kenyans!
Man leads 26 people to the summit - in their shorts!
Posted 18 February 2014
News has just reached us that Dutch daredevil, guru and all-round show-off Wim Hof has successfully led an entire team of 26 people to the summit of Africa's highest mountain. According to reports, all 26 people are said to have miraculously made it safely without suffering any effects of altitude.
Perhaps even more remarkable, however, is the fact that 11 members of the team, who were aged between 28 and 65, joined Mr Hof in making it to Uhuru Peak in their shorts!
Mr Hof is renowned for such exploits in which he claims to be able to exert an unusually high level of control over his mind and body in even the most extreme of conditions. Indeed, his nickname is the Ice Man after he successfully broke the world record for sitting in an ice bath, managing 1 hour and 13 minutes.
Using just the power of his mind, he claims, he is able to control the temperature of his body.
We do of course congratulate Mr Hof and all his team on a truly incredible achievement.
Posted 14 February 2014
According to a story in the Daily News, Erastus Lufungulo, the boss of KINAPA (Kilimanjaro National Park Authority), warned that too many people were visiting the park and could cause damage to the mountain.
His statements were backed up by the boss of Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA), Allan Kijazi, who said that while the 50,000+ tourists who climb every year was a manageable number, the damage to the environment arose from the estimated 200,000 porters and other crew members who accompany them.
Backing up his words with actions, Mr Kijazi stated that this year measures would be taken to limit the size of the crews taken up by trekkers.
Mr Lufungulo actually has some form on this matter, having introduced restrictions on the size of the crews on neighbouring Mount Meru, where the park fees for crew members was increased.
A similar measure may be difficult to introduce on Kilimanjaro, however. For one thing, the trekking agencies who make a living on Kilimanjaro will argue that a reduction in the number of crew members on Kilimanjaro could reduce the chances of people making it to the summit and risk their safety too.
Furthermore, many of the villages surrounding Kilimanjaro rely on the mountain for their livelihoods, with many of the men working as porters and guides on the slopes. A reduction in the numbers allowed on Kili may have a significant impact on their income.
It could also be argued that the measures introduced on Meru had mixed results: though we have no official figures to back this up, in our experience fewer people seem to climb that mountain these days, leading presumably to a loss of revenue for both TANAPA and the local villages.
Posted 14 February 2014
This March, Eve-Anadel Coronado, a lawyer from Montreal in Canada, and three friends will be attempting to reach the top of Africa's highest mountain, Kilimanjaro. The quartet are climbing for the charity 160 Girls Project.
As Ms Coronado explains: "As you may know, a child is raped every 30 minutes in Kenya. One of the reasons is the misguided thinking of many men in sub-Saharan Africa who believe that having sex with a virgin will cure them of HIV/AIDS.
"The 160 Girls Project is a legal initiative that represents 160 Kenyan girls between the ages of 3 and 17 that were victims of rape and were ignored by the police when they reached out for help. With the help of the equality effect, these 160 Kenyan girls brought a constitutional challenge against the Kenyan state, holding it accountable for the police treatment of their rape claims.
"On May 27, 2013, the High Court of Meru in eastern Kenyan found in favour of these 160 Kenyan girls. The 160 Girls Project is now monitoring to ensure that the police follow the court’s ruling and is also bringing similar suits in Malawi and Ghana."
You can follow the progress of Eve-Anadel and her friends by visiting the website she has set up: www.160girls.com .
We will of course keep you up to date with their progress and wish them luck with their Lemosho climb.
Posted 11 February 2014
It appears that there has been some unseasonably bad weather on Kilimanjaro over the past few days. February is normally a great time to climb - quieter than the 'summer' months of June-September and yet with (usually) clear skies and dry conditions.
This year, however, there has some unseasonable 'precipitation' with the mountain slopes being lashed by some torrential downpours.Of course, further up the mountain on Kibo this precipitation falls as snow and last week we heard of one group having to turn round at Gilman's Point due to the snow being so deep.
Usually I hear stories like this in late December/January after the short rainy season but to happen now - almost exactly half way between the two main rainy seasons - is unusual.
Unfortunately, the forecast is for more to come for the next week at least. One hopes this doesn't prevent too many people from reaching the summit - it's a long way to come - and a lot of money and effort spent - just to be turned back before your goal.
Posted 22 January 2014
The Kilimanjaro Marathon is once again almost upon us. This year the race will be run on 2 March and this year, for the first time, it's been possible to register and enter online. Online entrants must register by 18 February at www.kilimanjaromarathon.com .
Last year there were 400 foreign entries, with the USA boasting most foreign runners, with the UK second. The race has been run since 2003 and this year, once again, there will be four different events including a half-marathon, disabled race and 5km 'fun run' in addition to the main marathon. The mountain keeps an eye on events from above but doesn't actually have much to do with the race itself, with the course never reaching more than 1150m in altitude.
Mountain an economic lifeline for local community
According to a report out this month, Kilimanjaro is believed to be contributing about Ts80 billion (US$50 million) to the national coffers.
A magnificent amount, but even this vast figure doesn't really explain just how much the mountain contributes to the local economy. It is estimated that 30,000 people directly earn their living from the mountain, with the mountain providing Ts20 billion per annum (US$12.5 million) to the local economy.
Indeed, according to one NGO, the Dutch-based SNV, Kilimanjaro provides the most successful transfer of resources of any world attraction into its local communities.
The report, "Making success work for the poor: Package tourism in Northern Tanzania!", was written for SNV and ODI by Jonathan Mitchell, Jodie Keane and Jenny Laidlaw, who interviewed locals, tour operators and other concerned parties.
Much of the Ts20 billion earned by local communities is derived from the wages of the porters and guides, though over 90% of the food consumed on the mountain is also sourced from the local markets, where the overwhelming number of beneficiaries of the expenditure are poor local farmers and stallholders.
Interestingly, though the park fees of any trek are about US$1000 on average per person, only 5% of these are said to be 'pro-poor' - that is to say, the money directly benefits the poor of the local community. The percentage is so small because, of course, TANAPA and KINAPA staff are all very well paid, as anybody who has seen their cars (and stomachs) will testify.
Still, the study on the whole seems largely positive - though the US$13 million 'pro-poor' earnings still seem fairly measly when compared to the US$103 million spent by tourists on the whole Northern Circuit.
Posted January 3, 2014
As much as I would rather write about something more cheery, hot on the heels of Monday's news that scientists predictions that the snow of Kilimanjaro will be gone within 30 years comes another doom-laden ecological report.
In the UK's Guardian newspaper yesterday there was an article on the warnings issued by climate-change expert Prof Willy R. Makundi. There are nothing new in what he said - the thrust of which was that the number of tourists visiting Kilimanjaro is likely to fall in the near future as ecological damage depletes the glaciers (this we are already aware of) and human activity ravages the forests that beard Kili's lower slopes.
The professor goes onto explain that the fires that occasionally rage in Kili's cloud forest - and which are nearly always the result of human activity - leads over time, by a convoluted process, to a downward shift in the treeline as a result of a drier (warmer) climate.
All of which is pretty familiar to those of us who make our living on the slopes of Africa's highest mountain; but which makes it no less depressing.
Hopefully I'll have some happier news to bring you in the coming weeks and months.