One of the world's most iconic peaks, Mt. Kilimanjaro -- located in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania -- really needs no introduction. Travelers come to Tanzania, even to Africa, just to climb it. At just under six thousand meters, Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa. Unlike most of the world's highest peaks, Kilimanjaro is not part of a range; it is a free-standing, dormant volcano.
Kilimanjaro's summit was first reached in the late nineteenth century; trekking the mountain is a serious undertaking and around twenty-five thousand visitors per year try it. There are seven official routes up -- Machame is regarded as the most scenic, but it's also one of the steepest ascents. Whichever route trekkers choose, the trip to the top and back will take around seven days and must be done with licensed guides and porters. Kilimanjaro can be climbed year round, but April and November, the rainiest months, are best avoided. There are many, many operators that organize climbs and they are not cheap, due to the length of the trip and the equipment required. Most of the operators are based in Moshi, but a climb can be arranged in Arusha, too.
Accommodation options in Moshi and nearer Kilimanjaro National Park are plentiful, due to the numbers of visitors who come to this area. The nearest hostels to Kilimanjaro are in Moshi, and there are many of them. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania hostels are good places to get recommendations for the best operators to take you up the mountain, and to meet others to form a group and make it more economical. The hostels in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, and the surrounding area are spread around Moshi town, so get directions before you arrive and book ahead, as they are very popular.
If you are not visiting Tanzania, you can still get spectacular views of Kilimanjaro from Kenya. Visitors to Amboseli National Park will get magnificent views with the plains game in the foreground, and if you're lucky, a snowy mountain, too.
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