Mount Kilimanjaro Travel Guide

Discover the best places to visit, things to do, where to stay, and how to get to Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, East Africa. This comprehensive travel guide includes in-depth information about the cultural attractions, natural wonders, hiking and biking routes, food and drink scene, local culture and customs, and safety and health tips.

Introduction to Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the highest free-standing mountains in the world, towering over 19,000 feet above sea level, and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Located in Northeast Tanzania, Mount Kilimanjaro is located in the Kilimanjaro National Park and is a sought after tourist destination for the adventure seekers, hikers and nature enthusiasts.

In this comprehensive travel guide, we will explore the best places to visit, things to do, hiking and biking trails, food and drink scene, local culture and customs, and safety and health considerations when visiting Mount Kilimanjaro.

List of Places to Visit in Mount Kilimanjaro

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  1. Kilimanjaro National Park Museum: This museum is located near the Marangu Gate and provides visitors with an in-depth understanding of the mountain’s history, flora, fauna, glaciers and the different tribes living around the mountain.

  2. Old Moshi Railway Station: This museum showcases the history of the railway, which linked Moshi to Tanga during the colonial era. Visitors can take a look at the old locomotive engines, now abandoned and decayed.

  3. Marangu Village: Known as the “Coca-Cola” route, Marangu village is one of the starting points for climbers heading towards the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. The village offers cultural tours showcasing the Chagga tribe’s culture and traditions.

Natural Attractions of Mount Kilimanjaro: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  1. Shira Plateau: The Shira Plateau is located on the western slope of Mount Kilimanjaro and is known for its stunning views of the mountain, vegetation, and wildlife.

  2. Mawenzi Peak: Mawenzi Peak is one of the three volcanic cones of Mount Kilimanjaro and offers a challenging climb for experienced hikers. It also offers fantastic views of the mountain.

  3. Lemosho Route: Lemosho Route is one of the less crowded routes to climb up Mount Kilimanjaro, beginning in the lush forest and passing through the Shira Plateau before joining with other routes further up.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Mount Kilimanjaro

  1. Marangu Route: Known as the “Coca-Cola” route, this is the easiest and shortest route up to the summit, ideal for beginners in climbing. It starts from the Marangu village on the southeast side of the mountain.

  2. Machame Route: Machame Route is known for its scenic views of forests, valleys and glaciers, although it is more challenging than some other routes. It starts on the southern side of the mountain and climbs steeply through the forest zone.

  3. Lemosho Route: This is known as the “up-and-down” route offering the best chance for acclimatization as it has more time to climb high and sleep low, starting on the western side of the mountain.

Best Things to Do in Mount Kilimanjaro: Activities and Tours

  1. Climb to the Summit: Climbing to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the most popular activities. The breathtaking views of the mountain and sunrises will make the climb worth it.

  2. Safari Tours: Mount Kilimanjaro is home to an array of wildlife, including elephants, buffalo, leopards, and even the rare black rhino. Visitors can embark on a safari tour in the Kilimanjaro National Park.

  3. Cultural Tours: Visitors can immerse themselves in local cultural tours that showcase the Chagga tribe’s traditions and way of life.

Week-Long Itinerary for Mount Kilimanjaro

Plan for seven days to hike Mount Kilimanjaro using the Lemosho Route:

Day 1: Arrive in Tanzania, overnight in Moshi town.

Day 2: Transfer to the Londorossi Gate and complete registration and park fees payment, start trekking to Mti Mkubwa.

Day 3: Trekking from Mti Mkubwa to Shira 1 Camp.

Day 4: Trekking from Shira 1 Camp to Shira 2 Camp, which is located at the base of Shira Plateau.

Day 5: Trekking from Shira 2 Camp to Barranco Camp, through the Lava Tower and the Western Breach.

Day 6: Trekking from Barranco Camp to Barafu Camp, resting during the day, and preparing for the summit climb at midnight.

Day 7: Trekking from Barafu Camp, climbing towards the Uhuru Peak, and returning to Mweka Camp.

Food and Drink Scene of Mount Kilimanjaro

Must-Try Dishes

  1. Ugali: A staple food made from cornmeal, similar to a thick paste, often served with meat or vegetables

  2. Nyama Choma: Grilled meat, usually goat or beef, served with a spicy tomato sauce and ugali.

Local Beverages

  1. Kilimanjaro Beer: A locally brewed beer with a light flavor

  2. Kilimanjaro Coffee: The region is famous for coffee production. The coffee beans here are grown on the mountain’s slopes and are known for their rich and aromatic flavor.

Where to Stay in Mount Kilimanjaro: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

  1. Sal Salinero Hotel: Located in a quiet, serene environment in Moshi, within a few minutes’ drive to the Kilimanjaro International Airport.

  2. YMCA Moshi Hostel: Affordable accommodation located in Moshi town, offering standard and family rooms, and dormitories.

  3. Honey Badger Lodge: Located at the heart of Moshi town, a walking distance to restaurants and shops.

What to Buy in Mount Kilimanjaro: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  1. Maasai Beaded Jewelry: The Maasai tribe is a semi-nomadic tribe that values jewelry and beadworks. Visitors can buy jewelry made from cowhide, glass beads, and bones.

  2. Coffee Beans: Freshly ground coffee beans are available from the Kilimanjaro region.

Local Culture and Customs of Mount Kilimanjaro

  1. Greetings: The most common greeting is “Jambo,” followed by “Habari gani?” which means “How are you doing?”

  2. Dressing: Visitors should dress modestly, particularly when visiting religious sites.

Best Time to Visit Mount Kilimanjaro

The best time to visit Tanzania is from June to February when the weather is warm and dry.

Do’s and Don’ts of Mount Kilimanjaro


  1. Plan and prepare for the climb beforehand, including physical fitness, vaccinations, and travel logistics.

  2. Follow the designated trail and keep the park clean.

  3. Respect the local culture and customs.


  1. Litter Climb off the designated trail because it damages the environment.

  2. Ignore altitude sickness symptoms.

Safety and Health

Safety in Mount Kilimanjaro

  1. Take the necessary precautions to prevent theft while in Moshi town or while out and about on the climb.

  2. Avoid the rainy season, especially from April to May and October to December, as the routes can be slippery.

Health in Mount Kilimanjaro

  1. Before the climb, make sure you have taken the necessary vaccinations.

  2. Watch out for signs of altitude sickness, including headache, dizziness, and nausea.

Getting to Mount Kilimanjaro: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Mount Kilimanjaro

  1. Kilimanjaro International Airport: Located about 45 minutes from Moshi town, it is the main airport in the region.

  2. Arusha Airport: Located about two hours from Moshi town.

How to Get Around in Mount Kilimanjaro

  1. Private car hire or taxi services are available in Moshi town.

  2. Public buses and minivans are also available and are cheaper than taxis.

Where to Go Next from Mount Kilimanjaro: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  1. Serengeti National Park: Known for the annual wildebeest migration

  2. Ngorongoro Conservation Area: Home to the Ngorongoro Crater, a UNESCO World Heritage site.


Mount Kilimanjaro is a popular destination for tourist boasting breathtaking views, exciting hikes and outdoor adventures, and rich traditional cultural heritage. With proper planning and preparation, visitors can enjoy an unforgettable experience full of nature, wildlife and local culture.