The park is located in Kilimanjaro region, in Tanzania, 3000km south of the Equator, it lies close to Moshi city. The park incudes Mountain Kilimanjaro, and the surrounding montane forest. The park was established in 1973 and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987, and it covers 1688sqkms. The highlight of the park is the existence of this breathtaking mountain. Not only does the park have a mountain and montane forest, it is also a home for several bird species and wildlife. A safari too this adventurous park will reward you will an experience of being in the wilderness.
How to access the park
The park can be accessed by road or air transport.
Air Transport– you can get a direct flight from Julius Nyerere International Airport to Kilimanjaro International Airport, then used road transport to the park.
Road transport-You can use private or public means to get to the park. If you’re from Arusha, it takes 2 hours and if you’re from Moshi, in an hours’ time you will be at the park.
What to carry
Among the several things you might, these are some of the must-haves once you visit this park. Some items can be hired at places of residence, at an affordable fee, in case you don’t want to carry a lot of luggage. Items include: warm clothing,- the nights are normally cold, light clothing for the sunny days, a rain jacket, a light one will be better, a hat, sun screen, sun glasses, a pair of binoculars, a notebook, a guide book, a water proof bag, a mosquito net, a very good camera, (with spare charged batteries), drinking water, gloves, snacks, insect repellent, hiking books, among other things you may need.
Things to do
This is the highlight of the park. The most important reason the park receives visitors if for them to try and climb the highest mountain Africa. The activity is so enjoyable whether you’re a first timer or an expert, you will enjoy every minute of this journey. The mountain has snow-capped peaks and the experts that get to reach the Kibo peak, are amazed and rewarded with the best views on the area. You will feel like you’re in the clouds. It should be noted that the activity is tiring, so you will need to be physically fit. This is however easy, have routine exercises before you embark on the safari to this beautiful park. This activity can be enjoyed on foot or by cycling. There different routes for climbing this beautiful mountain that is: Machame, Umbwe, Lemosho, and Kilema route for cycling, while on your way you will meet the amazing Lake Challa, a volcanic caldera and glacial ice fields that lie close to the Uhuru surmit among other amazing things.
The park is a home for wildlife. The park has big numbers of primates, which include, black and white colobus monkey, vervet monkey, bush babies, blue monkeys, among others and also other animals like elephants, red duikers, leopards, grey duikers, cape buffalos, among others. These animals will be sighted during mountain climbing, or on a guided walk safari.
The park is a home of many bird species. It has been registered that over 150 bird species have been seen. As you enjoy other activities, you will be amazed at sight of these flying creatures with your binoculars. Guides will direct to the best views of this activity. You will be able to see most of the unique flying creatures that migrate from Europe.
Guided Nature walks
The guide will lead for this activity to explore the different corners of the park on foot. There various trails that lead to different places in the park. Along this walk you will see wildlife, birds and the vegetation of the park. You will visit farms of Chagga people, enjoy their way of life. Along the slopes of the mountain you will meet primates running around.
There’s an opportunity for you to climb the mountain while cycling. This activity is however mostly done by experienced mountain climbers on bikes. The park has Kilema route that will be used for this activity. You will need to hire a good mountain bike and then you will enjoy all that you will see on the way. You will see farms for the locals in the areas, see wildlife in a distance and birds.
The park is spacious enough to accommodate this activity. The park has 32 camping sites which are well facilitated with clean resting grounds, toilets and delicious meals. During mountain climbing, rest assured that you will have a conducive ground for camping
The park is a perfect ground for a picnic with family or friends. The park have 13 picnicking grounds, like Kilimamchele, Last water, Wona, among others, where visitors can enjoy. Even in the high season, you will still have an interrupted moment with your friends or family. As you enjoy your lunch, you will be viewing birds and wildlife close to you.
The park is a beauty and the existence of snow-capped mountain is just icing on the cake. The environment is perfect for shooting adventure movies. The ground has already been used and yielded results. In 1952 the Snows of Mountain Kilimanjaro was shot and it won an award. These grounds have constantly been utilized by photographers.
When to Visit the Park
The park can be visited throughout the year and is enjoyable all the time, but according to varying seasons, the dry season is more enjoyable compared to the wet season.
Dry Season (June to October)
The weather during this season is sunny almost throughout, the grasslands in the park are short and trees aren’t so thick. The park most of the time is dry enough, thus favoring visitors and wildlife.
Wildlife in the park is easy to spot during this period. The common places are known by guides, but in this season they can be seen around water bodies.
Mountain climbing in the dry season is easier than in the wet season especially for first time climbers. The mountain is dry enough and during the night it’s not so cold.
The period is the busiest in the park and thus tourists are advised to book tickets and accommodation places in time to avoid disappointments.
It should be noted however that, weather can change any time. So visitors are advised to be equipped with rain coats.
Wet Season (November to May)
The season is composed of short, long and sometimes heavy rains towards the end of the season. If one must visit during this time, they should be equipped with warm clothing especially in the morning and evening.
Wildlife can still be enjoyed in the park especially when it’s not raining and during January and February is when migratory birds visit the park.
Mountain climbing can also be enjoyed, though with more care since sometimes it gets slippery.
This is the low season of the park, prices for tickets and accommodation are discounted, though some places of accommodation close down hence visitors are limited to few, during heavy rains climbing is challenging.
The park is a home to wildlife. These concentrate more at the side of the forest. Animals in this park can be watched all the time with ease. Enjoy views of the likes of primates like, vervet monkeys, white and black colobus monkeys, bush babies, baboons, among others, elephants, water bucks, red duikers, cape buffalos, leopards, grey duikers, aardvark, honey badger, genet cat, among others. Along a mountain climb or on a guided walk safari, you will have clear views of these creatures that call the park home.
The park has birds that have a home and also migrant birds that visit the park during the early wet season. In the early wet season, that park has so many bird species and is most visited by bird lovers. The likes of long tailed trogon, white necked Raven, blue napped mouse bird, grey hornbill, African fish eagles, Gabar goshawk, African pygmy Kingfisher, resident black shouldered kite, red capped ribbon chat, white cheeked barbet, among others won’t be missed.
The self-standing mountain stands at an elevation of 5896. It’s the highest mountain in Africa and is World’s free standing mountain. This beauty has pulled crowds to have a glimpse. The mountain has 3 peaks such as: Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira. The highest peak is Kibo and once you manage to climb up to this point, you will enjoy magnificent views of the surroundings. The slopes of Mountain Kilimanjaro are composed of glaciers shimmering above the rising clouds. On the lowland slopes of the beautiful mount, are farmlands. You will see coffee farms, bananas, maize, and cassava farms, among others.
- Arusha Hotel
- Kibo Palace
- African Tulip
- Onsea & Machweo House
- Arusha Coffee Lodge
- Planet Lodge
- Karama Lodge
- Moivano Coffee Lodge
- Tulia Lodge
- The Secret Golden Hotel
- Golden View Hotel
- Tumaini Guest House