Mt. Kilimanjaro is a highlight of most Tanzania tours. With its diverse ecosystems and breathtaking views, it is an unforgettable experience. The climb is great for seasoned trekkers and for well prepared and fit first-timers. Below you’ll find some practical information to start planning your Mt. Kilimanjaro trek.
When to Visit
It is possible to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro year round, though some seasons are better than others. Going during rainy season can be dangerous and lower your chances of reaching the summit. The weather can be somewhat unpredictable, but usually the best months to trek Mt. Kilimanjaro are mid-December through February. Mid June through September is also a good time. During mid February, late September, or early October climbers can enjoy good conditions and moderate crowds.
Peak seasons occur around Christmas and New Years and during summer time in the northern hemisphere. It can be very crowded during these times. From mid March to mid June there is heavy rain and sometimes snow. These are very difficult and dangerous climbing conditions, and travelers should avoid this time of year.
With the increasingly popularity of the Inca Trail Trek, obtaining permits, especially during peak season, can be particularly difficult. We offer two incredible alternative eco tours to Machu Picchu: the Weavers’ Way to Machu Picchu and the Inca Quarry Trail.
The Weavers' Way to Machu Picchu
Behind the Urubamba mountain range in southern Peru there is a region of high altitude valleys, where the Quechua people preserve an ancient way of life. They herd alpacas and llamas, farm the Andean slopes, and make and wear beautiful textiles.
Day 1 to Lares/Huacahuasi
The trek is rated moderate and day 1 will take you to Lares/Huachahuasi. Travelers leave from Cusco early in the morning and drive to the town of Calca in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, then climb north to a beautiful high pass before descending to the villages of Lares located on the east slope of the Andes. Enjoy a dip in the hot springs and a picnic lunch outside of town. This is followed by a relaxing half day hike up the valley of the rushing Rio Trapiche, which will lead to the highland village of Huacahuasi, where the first camp is located.
Volcanoes Safaris, our in-country partner in Uganda and Rwanda recently added a new eco lodge to the Volcanoes Collection. The new lodge, Kyambura Gorge Lodge, is located in western Uganda on the border of the Kyambura Gorge and Queen Elizabeth National Park offering incredible views with the peaks of Rwenzori Mountains in the background. The lodge was carefully constructed to ensure practical ecotourism initiatives were in place and that the lodge could help further conservation efforts and work with the local communities.
Kyambura Gorge Lodge participates in a wide array of community projects that educate the local people. Projects emphasize wildlife preservation, increased tourism income for the communities, and community development. Some initiatives in place are creating football, netball and fitness classes for local children, working with women’s groups to produce organic coffee and a vegetable garden, restoring a wetland, and creating a buffer zone along the gorge to protect the 20 endangered chimpanzees living on the gorge. Kyambura Gorge Lodge differentiates itself from other accommodations by playing a pivotal role in the community and expanding ecotourism initiatives to protect the area. The lodge has created a 150 acre mini wildlife reserve which protects the chimpanzees, preserves a wetland, and minimizes human wildlife conflict.
Mainland Ecuador is often just a stopping point before travelers embark on a Galápagos cruise. However, mainland Ecuador travel, with the colonial capital of Quito, lush cloud forest of Mindo, and tropical rain forests in the East should not be overlooked. October and November is typically the off season in Ecuador, meaning travelers can avoid the crowds and take advantage of reduced rates. Further, travelers can avoid the rainy season, which begins in December in most regions of the country.
As part of our new Tanzania safari options, we work with Nasikia Luxury Camps to offer our clients an affordable Tanzania safari that includes all the highlights. Nasikia Camps are mobile and semi-permanent luxury camps situated in the prime wildlife viewing areas of Tanzania. The tents utilize high quality canvas and have comfortable beds and hot showers, allowing you to experience the sights and sounds of Africa while still enjoying comfortable accommodations. There are 2 camp options, Nasikia Luxury Mobile Camp and Nasikia Central Camp.
Inside the tents will be a desk, chair, storage chest (with extra blankets), matting, luggage racks, bedside tables and beds. Travelers can choose from double, single, triple and family tents, each with beds that are fully netted to protect from mosquitoes and insects. Each tent has its own bathroom with running water, a toilet, and a shower. The tents have an extensive solar lighting system as well as a patio area. The camp grounds have a separate lounge tent and dining tent. Chefs prepare delicious bush cuisine using fresh produce from Tanzania. Breakfast is buffet style, lunch at the camp is 2 courses, or a lunchbox for those that will be on game drives, and dinner is 3 courses.