To ensure you remain well hydrated and starve off the symptoms of altitude sickness you need to drink between 2-3 litres of water each day. We recommend drinking 500ml before starting your trek in the morning and then refilling before you set off.To carry 1.5-2 litres of water you will either have to take 2x water bottles or use a hydration bladder, which sits inside your daypack with a tube direct to your mouth.
It is common for water to freeze during summit night. To avoid having frozen water make sure that each bottle is well insulated. A good solution involves placing your water bottles inside a thermal sock, and then keeping the bottle inside your daypack (instead of exposed to the elements in the mesh pockets that sit on the outside of most daypacks). Another useful tip is to keep your water bottles upside down as liquid freezes from the top.
Water bottles/Platypus Hoser system We recommend you carry at least three litres of water per day. Make sure your bottles are thermally protected or they will freeze on the summit.Regular army-style water bottles are fine, though these days many trekkers prefer the new Platypus Hoser-style systems, or CamelBaks, a kind of soft, plastic bladder with a long tube from which you can drink as you walk along. They have a number of advantages over regular bottles in that they save you fiddling about with bottle tops and you can keep your hands in your pockets while you drink – great on the freezing night-time walk to the summit.But while they encourage you to drink regularly, which is good for dealing with the altitude, they also discourage you from taking a break, which is bad.
What’s more, these systems usually freeze up on the way to the summit, especially the hose and mouthpiece. One way to avoid this – or at least delay it – is to blow back into the tube after you have taken a drink to prevent water from collecting in the tube and freezing. (One reader suggested adding diarolyte which also helps to delay freezing.) So if you are going to bring one of these with you, make sure it’s fully insulated – and don’t forget to take frequent breaks!
Never measure the height of a mountain until you have reached the top. Then you will see how low it was and great things are done when men and mountains meet; This is not done by jostling in the street- Emmanuel
The Machame route is our most popular and successful route leading to the summit of Kilimanjaro. Hikers sleep in tents which are carried up the mountain by porters. The Machame route is a very scenic and beautiful route, which can be completed in 6 days, however we strongly recommend hiking the route in 7 days, allowing for more time to acclimatise. The key to the success of the Machame route is its topography, allowing hikers to climb high and sleep low, helping towards better acclimatisation.
Also known as the “Coca Cola route” – the Marangu route is one of the most popular routes leading to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Many hikers believe that the Marangu route is the easiest route to Uhuru peak, since it is the only route which can be hiked in 5 days (making it the cheapest option). It is also the only route offering accommodation on the mountain, in A-frame huts.
It is unfortunately a well-known fact, that the 5 day Marangu route has one of the lowest summit success rates of all the routes up mountain. If you choose the Marangu route, we strongly recommend hiking the route over 6 days, to increase your chance to reach the summit successfully. This is the only route, which provides comfortable communal sleeping huts, equipped with beds and mattresses at every overnight site. Mineral water, soft drinks, beer and chocolates are also sold at most sites. The Marangu route utilises the same route for the ascend and descend.
The Umbwe route is known for its caves. The first night you actually sleep at the Umbwe Cave Camp with two more caves that can be visited en route the following day. The Umbwe route is one of the shortest routes to the Southern Glaciers and the Western Breach. It is probably one of the most scenic, non-technical routes on Kilimanjaro. There are however higher risks involved when attempting to summit via the Western Breach / Arrow Glacier and overnight at the Arrow Glacier camp.
The Shira Plateau is one of the most scenic and most fascinating areas on Kilimanjaro. Depending on the weather conditions you can drive by 4 wheel drive vehicles, to within a 1/2 hours walk of Shira Hut (4000m). Even this drive is very spectacular indeed and offers some magnificent views of Mt Meru and the Great Rift Valley in general. Game is often sighted and the road features some striking vegetation changes ranging from forest, grassland, heath to moorland. The fast ascend by vehicle to about 4000m will require additional acclimatisation, after which it will be possible to ascend Uhuru Peak either via the Western Breach or via the Barafu hut.
The Shira route is only offered to hikers who are already acclimatized to 4 000m, by hiking either Mt Meru or Mt Kenya a few days before attempting Kilimanjaro. Depending on the weather conditions you can drive by 4 wheel drive vehicle, to within a ½ hours walk of Shira Hut (3 850m).
The Lemosho Route is a very beautiful and unspoilt route and sightings of wild game in the forest section is possible. The Lemosho route is one of the quieter routes up Kilimanjaro, this advantage however disappears when the route combines with the Machame route on the 3rd day of the hike.
For those seeking a quiet route away from the crowds, the route is a superior option to the Rongai route. Unlike the Rongai the Lemosho route has the same excellent pro-acclimatization features of the Machame route, which it joins just before reaching Lava Tower.
We do not recommend hiking the Lemosho route during the rainy season as the start point of the Lemosho Route is particularly inaccessible during the wet season. Climbers should be prepared to walk the final 2-5 kilometers of the road following heavy rains.
The Rongai route ascents Kilimanjaro from the north-eastern side of the mountain, along the border between Tanzania and Kenya. This route retains a sense of unspoilt wilderness and offers a different perspective on Kilimanjaro by approaching it from the north.
The Rongai route’s premier advantage is that it is one of the quietest routes on the mountain.
A disadvantage is the long travel time to the starting point of the route. The route also becomes busier when it connects with the Marangu route just before reaching Kibo hut.The Rongai route descends along the Marangu route as well, however you still sleep in tents, and do not use the A-frame huts of the Marangu route.