Awe-inspiring and imposing, holidays to Kilimanjaro are a life changing experience. There is a wide range holidays to Kilimanjaro on offer - climb and treks, and are all committed to preserving this majestic mountain.
Although there are signs of human habitation and animal life in the area that dates back to the beginning of humankind, the history of Kilimanjaro National Park dates back to the early 1900's. In 1957, the Tanganyika National Parks Authority receives support from local and international conservation organizations and interest groups to establish a national park surrounding and including Mt Kilimanjaro.
Most visitors come to the park to climb the highest mountain in Africa made up of 3 extinct volcanoes, Mt Kilimanjaro. Kilimanjaro rises 16,000 feet above the surrounding plains, and its massive snow-capped summit dome can be seen for hundreds of kilometers in all directions. The two main peak areas are Kibo - the flat-topped dome at the centre of the massif - and Mawenzi - a group of jagged points and pinnacles on the eastern side. In fact, the top of Kibo is not flat, but dips inwards to form a crater with spectacular ice scenery. Kibo and Mawenzi are separated by a broad plain named The Saddle.
For walkers, trekking up Mount Kilimanjaro is particularly attractive because, with the right preparation, it's possible to trek all the way to the summit without technical climbing gear or experience. There are a total of six trails leading up the mountain with the most popular being the 34-kilometer-long Marungu Route on the east side of the mountain. This route is probably the easiest way to reach the summit and is clearly marked with red paint on trees and rocks. The trail has three hut complexes along the route providing accommodation, a dinning room and toilets. The best way to reach the summit is to take 4 nights and 5 days and be accompanied by guides.
There are several ways that the guides can help you enjoy a holiday in Tanzania in general and your Kilimanjaro climb in particular. They know the country well - take advantage of their knowledge. Mount Kilimanjaro has a special place in most people's imagination and the guides have climbed it many times and have helped several hundred people trek to its summit.
For those taking holidays to Kilimanjaro with a lack of climbing experience, the Shira Plateau is a good option. One of the most fascinating and scenic areas in Kilimanjaro, because of its ridges and moorland, Shira can only be accessed by 4 wheel drive vehicle. The drive to Shira is stunning with magnificent views of Mt Meru, Longido and the Great Rift Valley. The plateau is grassland, heath and moor and you may see game such as eland, buffalo and leopard. On the northern most edge of the plateau is a hiking trail system starting from the Londorossi Gate. There is a short day trail that provides commanding views of Kibo Peak, Shira and Southern Kenya.
Because the ascent of Mt Kilimanjaro generally takes no longer than a week, you can combine holidays to Kilimanjaro with trekking, a safari and even add on a side-trip to Zanzibar in order to get the best out of your Africa travel.