Safarilink operates a daily scheduled flight to Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. This flight allows passengers returning from Amboseli and the Maasai Mara to connect to Kilimanjaro, as well as allowing passengers returning from northern Tanzania to connect to the afternoon flight to the Maasai Mara.
Safarilink operates a year-round daily scheduled flight to Kilimanjaro near Arusha. Kilimanjaro International Airport lies on the plains just to the south of the iconic Mt. Kilimanjaro. From here passengers can conveniently connect onto scheduled service flights to Arusha Manyara Seronera (central Serengeti) and Grumeti (western Serengeti) operated by their Arusha based partner airlines.
Africa’s highest mountain, Mt Kilimanjaro, stands at 5,895 metres. The mountain is the highest freestanding mountain in the world, not being part of a mountain range, and is a dormant volcano. Mt Kilimanjaro is in the north of Tanzania, just south of the border with Kenya, and can be seen from many parts of both Kenya and Tanzania.
The mountain has three volcanic cones: Kibo – the highest –, Mawenzi and Shira. Uhuru Peak is the highest point on Kibo’s crater rim. Although the last major eruption was between 150,000 and 200,000 years ago, and Mawenzi and Shira are extinct, it is believed that Kibo is dormant and could erupt again.
Where the name Kilimanjaro came from is still debated. Some claim that it comes from Kilima-Njaro – Kilima being hill in Swahili, and Njaro meaning one of either greatness, or caravans, or whiteness, or shining. Others claim the name comes from the tale of an elder of the Wachagga tribe who tried to climb the mountain but never returned, thus Kilelema, meaning difficult or impossible. Shortly after Tanzania became part of German East Africa in 1880, Hans Meyer reached the peak and named it Kaiser Wilhelm peak – a name that was used until Tanzania gained independence in 1964 when the peak’s name was changed to Uhuru, meaning freedom.
There are seven official routes for climbing the mountain: Lemosho, Machame, Marangu, Mweka, Rongai, Shira and Umbwe. The Marangu route is the busiest and the Machame considered the most scenic. Anyone wishing to climb the mountain should have a good level of fitness, clothes designed for icy weather and suitable camping equipment. Although most people take between six and ten days to ascend and descend the mountain, the fastest ascent-descent was made by the Swiss-Ecuadorian mountain guide who, in August 2014, ran up and down the mountain in 6 hours and 42 minutes.
The bustling little town of Moshi, on the lower slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro, serves as the base for people climbing the mountain. Guides, porters and cooks can be booked here to accompany climbers on their trek. The Kilimanjaro Marathon, established in 2002, is held annually in late February. The event includes a full marathon, a half marathon and a 5km fun run.