Details about Mt. Kilimanjaro & Mt. Meru

Mt. Kilimanjaro

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro takes between five and nine days. Although Mount Kilimanjaro's terrain is not technical, in other words, it is not a climbing mountain, but a hiking mountain, all the way to the summit. But the risks are real, and they mostly come from the altitude. Mount Kilimanjaro National Park's own 2006 statistics show that the summit rate is not great:
All routes 45%
5 day routes 27%
6 day routes 44%
7 days routes 64%
8 day routes 85%
9 day routes (no data)
The longer you spend at the higher altitudes, the greater your chances of summitting. Each route has a minimum number of days just to walk through, but we also give a recommended number of days for each route. We encourage our clients to take seven or more days to increase their acclimatization, and have an optional Mt. Meru climb to 4,600 metres to begin the acclimatization process before even going near Mt. Kilimanjaro. 
You can see from the statistics that taking more than seven days dramatically increases the chance of summitting. No company can guarantee a summit, and companies claiming over 85% summit rates should be looked at with some doubt. If you are seriously looking to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, you should only be considering companies that are recommending longer routes that help you acclimatize and those companies that clearly take care of their guides, cooks and porters. If a company is not willing to look after its own people, it will probably not really look after you properly. Your safety and the safety of everyone on the mountain should be the highest concern of everyone in the company you choose. Our guides sometimes have to make the uncomfortable decision to take someone off the mountain as soon as possible. This is hard for a guide knowing that thousands of dollars have been paid to reach the top. Our guides know we back them up in their decisions for being safe.
We pre-screen our climbers and suggest ways to help them meet the challenges of Mt. Kilimanjaro. That still does not mean we have anywhere near a 100% summit rate. We will not mislead you with false claims. Each individual reacts differently at altitude, and can react differently at different times. 
All this being said, we recommend 8 or 9 days for climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Mount Kilimanjaro or just Kilimanjaro, with its three volcanic cones, "Kibo", "Mawenzi", and "Shira", is a dormant volcano in Tanzania. It is the highest mountain in Africa, about 4,900 metres (16,100 ft) from its base to 5,895 metres (19,341 ft) above sea level. The first European people known to have reached the summit of the mountain were Hans Meyer and Ludwig Purtscheller in 1889. The mountain is part of the Kilimanjaro National Park and is a major climbing destination. The mountain has been the subject of many scientific studies because of its shrinking glaciers and disappearing ice fields.
There are seven official trekking routes by which to ascend and descend Kilimanjaro: Lemosho, Machame, Marangu, Mweka, Rongai, Shira, and Umbwe. Of all the routes, Machame is widely proclaimed as the most scenic, albeit steeper, route. This was true until the opening of Lemosho and Northern Circuit routes, which are equally scenic if not more. The Machame route can be done in six or seven days, Lemosho can be done in six to eight days, and the Northern Circuit routes can be done in seven or more days. The Rongai is the easiest and least scenic of all camping routes. The Marangu is also relatively easy, but this route tends to be very busy, the ascent and descent routes are the same, and accommodation is in shared huts with all other climbers.
People who wish to trek to the summit of Kilimanjaro are advised to undertake appropriate research and ensure that they are both properly equipped and physically capable. Though the climb is technically not as challenging as when climbing the high peaks of the Himalayas or Andes, the high elevation, low temperature, and occasional high winds make this a difficult and dangerous trek. Acclimatization is essential, and even the most experienced trekkers suffer some degree of altitude sickness.
The climate of Kilimanjaro is influenced by the height of the mountain, which allows the simultaneous influence of the equatorial trade winds and the high altitude anti-trades, and the isolated position of the mountain. Kilimanjaro has daily upslope and nightly downslope winds, a regimen stronger on the southern than the northern side of the mountain. The flatter southern flanks are more extended and affect the atmosphere more strongly.
Kilimanjaro has two distinct rainy seasons, one from March to May and another around November. The northern slopes receive much less rainfall than the southern ones. The lower southern slope receives 800 to 900 millimetres (31 to 35 in) annually, rising to 1,500 to 2,000 millimetres (59 to 79 in) at 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) altitude and peaking "partly over" 3,000 millimetres (120 in) in the forest belt at 2,000 to 2,300 metres (6,600 to 7,500 ft). In the alpine zone, annual precipitation decreases to 200 millimetres (7.9 in).
The average temperature in the summit area is approximately −7 °C (19 °F). Nighttime surface temperatures on the Northern Ice Field (NIF) fall on average to −9 °C (16 °F) with an average daytime high temperature of −4 °C (25 °F). During nights of extreme radiational cooling, the NIF can cool to as low as −15 to −27 °C (5 to −17 °F).
Snowfall can occur any time of year but is associated mostly with northern Tanzania's two rainy seasons (November–December and March–May). Precipitation in the summit area occurs principally as snow and graupel (250 to 500 millimetres (9.8 to 19.7 in) per year) and ablates within days or years.

Climate zones

  • Bushland, 800 m – 1,800 m (2,600 ft – 5,900 ft);
  • Rainweald, 1,800 m – 2,800 m (5,900 ft – 9,200 ft);
  • Heath and Moorland, 2,800 m – 4,000 m (9,200 ft – 13,100 ft);
  • Highland Barrens, 4,000 m – 5,000 m (13,100 ft– 16,400 ft);
  • Ice Cap, 5,000 m – 5,895 m (16,400 ft – 19,341 ft).


Weather on Kilimanjaro
The temperatures on Mount Kilimanjaro range from hot to bitter cold. The journey from the gate to the peak is like traveling from the equator to Antarctica in a matter of days. This is because the routes to the Uhuru peak cross different ecological zones. Mount Kilimanjaro has five major ecological zones, each approximately 3,280 feet (1,000 m) in altitude. Each zone is subject to a corresponding decrease in rainfall, temperature and life as the altitude increases.
January and February are the warmest months, April and May are the wettest months, June and July are the coolest months, and August and September are the driest months. 
Due to its proximity to the equator, Mount Kilimanjaro does not experience wide temperature changes from season to season. Instead, the temperatures on Mount Kilimanjaro are determined more so by the altitude and time of day. At the beginning of the climb, at the base of the mountain, the average temperature is around 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 27 degrees Celsius). From there, the temperatures will decrease as you move through Mount Kilimanjaro's ecological zones.
At the summit, Uhuru Point, the night time temperatures can range between 20 and -20 degrees Fahrenheit (-7 to -29 degrees Celsius). Due to Mount Kilimanjaro's great height, the mountain creates its own weather. It is extremely variable and impossible to predict. Therefore, regardless of when you climb, you should always be prepared for wet days and cold nights.
Below are the five zones from the lowest to the highest altitude along with the average annual precipitation, zone characteristics, and links/feeds to the current weather in each particular zone. 

Altitude: 2,600 to 6,000 ft (800 to 1,800 m)
Precipitation: 20 to 70 in (500 to 1,800 mm)
Cultivated land, grasslands and populated human settlements characterize this zone.

Rain Forest
Altitude: 6,000 to 9,200 ft (1,800 to 2,800 m)
Precipitation: 79 to 40 in (2,000 to 1,000 mm)
The forest receives 6 feet of rain annually, supporting a variety of plants and wildlife while clear nights can produce low temperatures.

Machame Route

Altitude: 9,200 to 13,200 ft (2,800 to 4,000 m)
Precipitation: 51 to 21 in (1,300 to 530 mm)
This semi-alpine zone is characterized by heath-like vegetation and abundant wild flowers. The unique Senecio trees are abundant here. 

A person sitting on a rock  Description automatically generated with low confidence

Alpine Desert
Altitude: 13,200 to 16,500 ft (4,000 to 5,000 m)
Precipitation: 10 in (250 mm)
The alpine desert receives little water and correspondingly light vegetation exists here. The temperature can vary from over 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the day to below freezing at night. 

A group of people walking on a rocky path in the mountains  Description automatically generated with low confidence

Altitude: 16,
500+ ft (5,0
00+ m)
Precipitation: <4 in (100 mm)
Characterized by ice and rock, there is virtually no plant or animal life at this altitude. Nights are extremely cold and the day's unbuffered sun is powerful. The oxygen level is half that of sea level. 

A picture containing outdoor, nature, ice, shore  Description automatically generated

Snow Forecast
View detailed snow forecast for Mount Kilimanjaro at:

Equipment and Safety

Mountain Safety
The main considerations for safety are Acute Mountain Sickness, dehydration, overuse injuries, and hypothermia. Energy plays a big role in all of these considerations. Managing energy is crucial for any activity. The main considerations for managing energy are food intake, liquid intake, proper sleep, and pace. Kilimanjaro Bliss guides and staff help you manage all of these to maximize your chances of summitting. 
The gear you have also plays a role in safety because what you bring assists with energy management. We also help you properly prepare for climbing Kilimanjaro by giving you advice on what and how much to bring. Being in incredible physical shape is not essential, but being in reasonably good shape by being regularly active, even a little bit, is essential. We also help you with how to train for your climb.
Click on the link What to Bring to get a list of what you will need.
What to Bring
Our cooks are trained in providing nutritious and balanced meals which will help you maintain the calorie intake you need on Kilimanjaro. We serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, which consist of western and traditional Tanzanian style meals.  We send you a food questionnaire prior to your trip, so that we can cater to your specific dietary need.  The effects of altitude can cause you to lose your appetite, however it is important for you to eat at all mealtimes in order to maintain hiking strength and health. 
Water Purification:
Your guiding team will ensure that you are sufficiently supplied with purified (boiled) drinking water every day.  If you plan to use a dromedary bag, you should also bring a water bottle for summit day as dromedary hoses may freeze at altitude on summit day.  It is important that you drink plenty of water regularly while hiking Kilimanjaro to reduce chances of dehydration and improve your ability to acclimatize and ultimately summit.  Your guide will regularly ask you to drink, and you SHOULD DRINK!
We provide up to date tents and thick, foam sleeping mats to keep you warm and dry. You will need to bring a sleeping bag, although we can rent you a sleeping bag if you need.
At each campsite, we set up a private toilet tent, which contains a plastic toilet. Each campsite also has public "long drop" toilets. If you need to use the bathroom on the trail, find a spot behind a tree or rock. We recommend bringing pee bottles so that you do not have to leave your tent multiple times during the night to urinate.

Mt. Meru

Mt. Meru has very similar details to Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Mt Meru difficulty Note:
As stated above, the majority of the hike is relatively easy going, with steep trail in places. The night ascent to the summit stage contains a few short, exposed sections, some of which have a chain rope to provide some security on these semi-climbing passages. A good head for heights and sure footedness are necessary for this final ascent to Mt. Meru Summit. Those wishing to hike on Mt Meru as part of an acclimatization hike for Mt. Kilimanjaro, but not wishing to make the full summit ascent, due to the exposed sections, will find equal enjoyment in the ascent to 'Little Mt. Meru'.
In adverse weather conditions (heavy rain, icy rocks and paths or thick fog) the park ranger may call off the hike to the steeper, exposed Meru summit. We do not advise climbs in the rain season (April and May).

HIKE START TIMES (Strictly enforced): There are set hiking start times from Momella Gate, which are scheduled to avoid conflicts with the wildlife in the park.  The start times are strictly between 9:00am and 3:00pm. If you plan to hake Meru in 3-days, you will need to start your hike by 10:00am on the first day. Especially if you plan to take the 10km "long road" route up to Miriakamba Hut.

Get In Touch

For more information, please contact us. We will be happy to answer any questions you have for us. You can send a direct email to us from the email form. We should answer your questions within 24 hours.

4865 Bench Rd
Cowichan Bay, BC

Ethiopia Street, Kaloleni

E: info @
P: +1 250 715 0034

What Our Guests Say

  • Very nice trip with Ari, on recommandation from a friend we went with him for a safari after our climb to Uhuru peak, and it was a pleasure, very nice, very professional, and also very friendly. A safari very close to the animals, where he took time to explain all about everything, and provided all the confort, picking us at the hotel, and even bringing us to the airport in the middle of the night.

    Adrien, France
  • My two friends and I had an incredible time on the safari with our guide ari and our driver (“lion”)!! We would highly recommend this safari. We did a three day safari and three parks and an incredible hotel and food was all included! Our guides were very knowledgeable and helpful and allowed us to have so much fun and adventure along the way. We were able see all the animals we wanted to (rhino!) and it was a wonderful experience out in the parks. Such an incredible and magical place, full of life and wonder. The resort hotel we stayed at was also wonderful and relaxing. Thank you Ari and “Lion”!

  • I was impressed by Aristarick, one of our gides. He was very helpfull, motivating and knows a lot. Thanks to him we made it to the top.

  • We enjoyed amazing safari's in Arusha, Tarangire, Ngorongoro and the Serengeti National Park, thanks to Kilimanjaro Bliss & Ari. Guide & driver Ari was very flexible and accommodating for our family (5people). Every day again, we were amazed by the beauty of the country, the hospitality of the people and the guidance of our guide & driver.

    Marijke, Belgium
  • Ari of Kilimanjaro Bliss was an amazing host. We had signed up to do our climb to the top of Kilimanjaro with Kilimanjaro Bliss and got so much more than we expected...Ari and his crew took great care of us on the seven days that we took to get to the top and back down again. The food was incredibly delicious and the crew were awesome. It was an amazing adventure and we made it back a day early, so we decided to do a safari to Tarangire National Park. We ended our day with a visit to a Masai village. A truly incredible experience with exceptional service by Ari.

    Gabe, Minnesota, USA
  • The most incredible adventure, with the most amazing people! Two women, aged 55 and 59, apprehensive of the gruelling journey, but hoping for bragging rights of reaching the top; we anticipated sacrificing all comfort to get there. Instead, we were blown away with the great lengths the team went through to, not only make us comfortable, but make us feel like royalty. Meals were better than I have had in 5-star restaurants. Although summit day was tough, the journey getting there will be what I remember best. I miss the team already!

    Brenda, Ontario, Canada