National Parks

Kilimanjaro National Park in Tanzania

Home to the famous Mount Kilimanjaro, Kilimanjaro National Park has emerged as one of Africa’s stand-out highlights, offering itineraries well suited to the most intrepid of travellers from around the world.

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Everything you need to know about Kilimanjaro National Park

Kilimanjaro National Park is undoubtedly one of the most memorable experiences you can find in Africa, but there is so much more to the national park than its towering snow-capped peaks. Perfect weather throughout the year attracts some of Africa’s most spectacular wildlife – herds of wildebeest stampeding across the plains, families of elephants flocking to steaming watering holes, and flocks of rare birds gliding through the air. Kilimanjaro national park has emerged as one of Africa’s stand-out highlights, offering itineraries well suited to the most intrepid of travellers from around the world. The spectacle of the great migration can be combined with an endurance climb to the peak of the surrounding mountains with Ker & Downey® Africa.

The name ‘Kilimanjaro’ is a combination of the Swahili word for mountain ‘Kilima’ and the KiChagga word for white ‘Njaro’.

Where is the reserve located?

Kilimanjaro National Park is located in the north of Tanzania, straddling the Kenyan border at approximately 3.0674° S, 37.3556° E. The area is dispersed across three extinct volcanoes, Shira in the west, Kilbo in the middle, and Mawenzi in the east. The closest airport to the national park is Kilimanjaro International Airport, located between the towns of Arusha and Moshi, south-west of Kilimanjaro.

What can you expect of the terrain?

The park’s most notable landmark is the towering Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa standing at 5,895 metres tall. The views from the mountain over the plains of Tanzania and Kenya are simply spectacular, but the park is more than just rugged mountain peaks and windswept grassy plains. There are numerous untamed rainforests and impressive ice fields just waiting to be discovered.

About the reserve

Top experiences to enjoy in Kilimanjaro National Park

If you have ever researched adventure travel in Tanzania, then no doubt you have stumbled across exhilarating multi-day Kilimanjaro climbing itineraries. This once-in-a-lifetime activity takes at least six days, depending on which of the three main trekking routes you choose – the Lemosho Route crosses the spectacular Shira Plateau over eight days, the six-day Machame trek passes through tropical rainforests, endless heather and moorland to the peak, and the Grand Traverse route takes you between the towering Mawenzi and Kibo peaks. Of course, there are more manageable day-long hikes along the shores of Lake Duluti near Arusha, sheltered from the sun’s rays by the wildlife-rich forest canopy. You can explore the culture of the authentic Mto Wa Mbu village, brave the surprisingly choppy waters of Momella Lake in Arusha National Park with a canoe, or spend the day cycling over the rough terrain of the national park on a mountain bike.

When to visit

Kilimanjaro’s location on the equator ensures that the weather is excellent throughout the year, but certain months are more suitable for climbing the mountains or tracking the wildlife. In general, the dry season between January and March is your best bet for mountain climbing and hiking as this period sees fewer rain showers. If you are hoping to track elephants and giraffe, time your journey to fall between June and October – this is when the wildebeest migrate and the big 5 concentrate around waterholes.

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