ABOUT THE CLIMB • WHAT TO EXPECT
CLIMBING ROUTES • DATES & PRICES
ABOUT THE CLIMB
The Seven Summits are known as the highest mountains on each of the seven continents. Kilimanjaro’s summit is the fourth highest of the group and is among the most diverse and rewarding of the world's great climbs. As Kilimanjaro is not technical, most people in good physical condition can take the multi-day challenge to reach its summit. It is also one of the world's highest volcanoes, first summited in 1889 by German climbers, Meyer and Purtscheller. Few things in life are as rewarding as climbing the tallest mountain in Africa. It's easy to understand why summitting Kilimanjaro is so remarkable that you will carry the experience for the rest of your life.
AFRICA'S HIGHEST PEAK
Kilimanjaro is in the heart of Tanzania's Kilimanjaro National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park contains not one - but three volcanic peaks, Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira. Kibo and Mawenzi are part of Kilimanjaro’s magic, rising like islands in a sea of clouds, and where you can see the shimmering glaciers from miles away.
Climbing Kilimanjaro is just one of Tusker Trail's many amazing adventures that awaits you in Tanzania. Adding an extension to your climb, you can embark on an exciting wildlife safari and immerse yourself in the greatest animal migration on earth, or you can travel back in time to the mystical island of Zanzibar. Either adventure is a great way to round off your successful climb to Kilimanjaro’s summit.
Tusker's Kilimanjaro climb narrated by Will Lyman from National Geographic.
The Rainforest is an incredible first day immersion into the spectacular habitats on Kilimanjaro. You hike up and down narrow trails, under a vast canopy of giant trees, with black and white Colobus monkeys barking at you from the upper branches.
On The Climb
Emerging from the rainforest on your second day, the new habitat zone opens up spectacular views. You pass three more vegetation zones on your way to the summit, each zone getting more and more sparse, opening up incredible landscapes.
This is your reward for humping many days on the trail, up through the thinning atmosphere. The feeling of euphoria and accomplishment is palpable as you gaze on on the wilderness below you, from the crown of Africa.
TANZANIA IS ADVENTURE
Little known fact about Tanzania is that one of Kilimanjaro’s most dramatic features are the glaciers. They’re diminishing but still incredibly dramatic, especially on your last day as you climb to the summit, hiking amongst them toward the crater rim. Another spectacular experience is to hike down into the crater, then up to the Ashpit, the second highest point on Kibo peak. On two of our climbing routes – LEMOSHO and TUSKER SPIRAL, we camp down inside the amazing crater, which allow you to wander amongst the glaciers and up to the Ashpit, where fumaroles are evidence of Kilimanjaro’s dormant state.
KILIMANJARO NATIONAL PARK
- Discover Kilimanjaro National Park, UNESCO World Heritage Site
- The highest mountain in Africa, and one of the Seven Summits
- Discover 5 distinct vegetation zones
- Discover Kilimanjaro’s extraordinary flora and fauna with expert guides
- Camp beneath a vast canopy of stars
- Finally check off that Africa bucket list item
You’ve seized the challenge. You’re laser focused. You’re in the best shape of your life. Now what? KILIMANJARO, THE ROOF OF AFRICA! Now it’s all up to you and your guides. Along with the challenge, your mountain guides are the heart and soul of your adventure. They bring a richness of knowledge, experience, and training, critical to the success and safety of your Kilimanjaro climb. As you rise to the challenge, your guides ensure that you meet it head on. They are your backstop all the way to the summit, keeping you healthy, strong and accomplished.
Before you sign up, you should call our office to speak with EDDIE FRANK, Tusker’s owner and founding guide. You’ll get an insider’s view and knowledge that will turn your Kilimanjaro adventure into a life-changing experience. Eddie has climbed Kilimanjaro 54 times over the past years. He has a ton of experience and a wealth of Kilimanjaro knowhow.
Question? Ask Us Anything • +1.775.833.9700 • 1.800.231.1919
REACHING THE SUMMIT
If you listen to more than 10,000 Tusker Trail climbers, they say that reaching Kilimanjaro’s summit was one of the most incredible personal accomplishments they had ever achieved. 98% of them reached the summit on an adventure which changed them forever, empowering them to do greater things in their lives. And many have come back for more, recapturing the powerful emotions at the summit. This is the magic that Eddie has injected into all of his treks, especially on Kilimanjaro. It’s the magic that all of his guides and crew understand. It’s the magic that he learned from his father.
When Tusker’s founding guide EDDIE FRANK was growing up in Africa, his adventure-seeking father, Mike, would take him out into the bush, tracking animals and exploring the epic African savannah. They thrived on adventure. Over his lifetime, Mike handed down this family adventure-recipe to Eddie, who has used it over the decades in designing Tusker’s treks and expeditions.
A LIFE-CHANGING EXPERIENCE
Just as Eddie and his dad fed their souls on adventure, you too can kickstart your dreams and feast on the excitement of taking on a new quest. It will change your life in ways you can never imagine, and you will see the world very differently, building a whole new sense of yourself on this magnificent planet.
ON YOUR BUCKET LIST
Creating your bucket list propels you on a journey of self-discovery by saying to yourself, “the hell with it.” This forces you to shed your inhibitions and live life to its fullest. These were the first life-lessons that Mike Frank taught his young son Eddie, while exploring the magnificent savannahs of Africa with him in the 1950’s. It’s a journey on the inside, and a journey on the outside. And these are lessons you can learn your entire life.
Climbing Kilimanjaro is much more than a just bucket list experience, something to be checked off before you move onto the next. With your first footstep on this epic journey, you are transported you to an inner personal place that you wish you had experienced earlier in your life. It’s a feeling of empowerment, a feeling that you can accomplish anything, and it stays with you the rest of your life.
RECHARGE IN TUSKER’S SIGNATURE CAMP
Rising to the challenge of your personal quest does not mean suffering during the journey. Your path up the mountain - both inner and outer and needs to be supported and nourished. On expedition your meals need to offer you more than sustenance. They should thrill your taste buds and feed your soul, fueling your long days on the climb. That’s why all your mountain chefs have been trained by the Culinary Institute of America, and built our incredible Adventure Kitchen. Your camp should also be a refuge from the day’s tough hike uphill – a place to retreat and replenish your strength. It should be a haven where you can relax and recount your day’s achievements with your fellow climbers, building camaraderie. That’s why Eddie has perfected ideal Walk-In Mountain Tents, and designed them specifically for Kilimanjaro’s needs.
HOW TUSKER TRAIL WAS BORN
Founding Guide Eddie Frank's own Kilimanjaro adventure began over 4 decades ago, when he first started leading wild expeditions across Africa. While he was traversing the continent, Kilimanjaro always beckoned. That was when he led his first group to the summit. Back then only a very few adventurers climbed the mountain, and almost everyone used the Marangu route. It was the wild 1970's, a time before the Kilimanjaro was designated a national park, and before the Kilimanjaro climbing world became what it is today.
Ferrying across the Congo River on a Trans-Africa expedition in 1983
On that first adventure across Africa, Eddie fell in love with the unique adventure that climbing Kilimanjaro offered. He knew then that he’d be leading climbers through this paradise for many years to come. Since those days Eddie has climbed Kilimanjaro 54 times, exploring every corner of the mountain, helping to establish the reputation of the Lemosho route that thousands of climbers use today. His climb in 2004 was a fateful climb. He met mountain guide, Amy Micks who became a guiding light for Tusker, as the two them joined forces and explored other parts of the globe.
With more and more climbers attempting the summit, they mapped a new and more extensive climbing route, the “Tusker Spiral Route.” On this route you trek around the entire mountain, well acclimatized, and spend your night after the summit camping in the rarely visited crater, just beneath Uhuru Peak. In fact, every one of Tusker's climbing routes are designed to instill the same sense of awe that one experiences on an adventure for the very first time.
Today Tusker leads thousands of adventurers on journeys of discovery around the globe, including Everest Base Camp, Greenland's Fjords, Mongolia's Nomad Trek and on Eddie & Amy's favorite routes on Kilimanjaro.
"When I was a kid growing up in Africa, I spent most of my childhood with my dad on safari in the African bush. He instilled the thrill of adventure in me at a very early age, and it’s never left. I share this same excitement on every trip I design for Tusker, and the typical response from our trekkers is “wow!"
KILIMANJARO NATIONAL PARK
As you gaze out across the savannah toward Kilimanjaro, it’s hard to miss the great mountain rising out of the plains like a massive island in a sea of clouds. This is where you start your climb, slowly trekking through five vegetation zones to the summit. On your climb you pass through some of the most spectacular landscape and scenery on the planet. The flora and fauna in Kilimanjaro National Park are unique, unlike any other on the earth, and this is where your expert Tusker mountain guides call home. While guiding you on your adventure to the summit, they share their wealth of knowledge of the natural history and wilderness of Kilimanjaro.
A FIELD GUIDE TO THE FLORA OF KILIMANJARO
Fascinated by the diversity of the vegetation on Kilimanjaro, Amy and Eddie Frank teamed up with Swiss biologist Thomas Rüegg and published a comprehensive field guide to Kilimanjaro's flora that has become a must-have for climbers from around the world. The variety of flora on Kilimanjaro is breathtaking, and took them ten years to complete the book. This is a great resource for your own climb, and you’ll gain a greater appreciation of the diversity Kilimanjaro's vegetation.
READ THE BOOK FOREWORD by Dave Bunn, Director of the California State Department of Conservation.
“Few people have experienced the flora of Kilimanjaro as Eddie and Amy have. As two of the most well-known and successful trekking guides on the mountain, they have shared the beauty of its extraordinary plants and landscape with thousands of clients. The Flora of Kilimanjaro – a Field Guide, the culmination of a life's work on the mountain, which includes a combined 72 climbs by the authors, is now essential. Speaking as a seasoned wildlife biologist, I know that this volume will become an indispensable resource for anyone climbing Kilimanjaro. It allows you to immerse yourself in the unique, compelling world on this mountain, the highest solitary peak in the world.“ -David Bunn
You will receive a signed copy of the field guide included in your pre-climb package.
"I have always been amazed by the diversity of the Flora on the lowlands and slopes, of Kilimanjaro. It was a shame that no compendium of the Flora existed as a learning tool. As luck would have it Eddie and I met Swiss biologist Thomas Rüegg who also felt the same. 10 years and dozens of summits later, our field guide The Flora of Kilimanjaro was published"
THE BEST ROUTES
While there are seven routes through Kilimanjaro national park to the summit, Tusker climbs 4 routes, each one particularly distinct in its own way. Tusker Trail pioneered the new TUSKER SPIRAL ROUTE a couple years ago. On this, the longest of all our routes, you circumnavigate the entire summit hiking rarely traveled trails on the north, west, south and eastern slopes, spending extra days acclimatizing to the altitude - critical to a successful summit.
A DAYTIME SUMMIT CLIMB
As a rule most companies climb to the summit at midnight. However, we have found that our climbers prefer to climb in daylight, taking advantage of the magnificent views and warmer temperatures. This also allows climbers to get a full night of rest, essential for a successful summit bid after many tough days on the trail. That's why on all of our tented climbs we climb to the summit in daylight.
ELITE GUIDE TRAINING
Just as Eddie Frank trained the US Army’s elite Special Forces at high altitude, he and Amy drilled Tusker’s team of expert mountain guides. Our team has led thousands of climbers up Kilimanjaro over the last years, with a 99% summit success rate.
PRIVATE CLIMB OPTIONS
If you prefer a to climb with a select group of friends, co-workers, family, couples, or a solo climb, any one of our routes can be converted into a private climb. You can also chose the dates you want to climb. Just call and ask about our private climb options.
ON YOUR OWN TWO FEET
Your daily distance varies from 2.5 mi/4 km – 7.5 mi/12 km a day. You'll be traversing varied types of terrain, and as you get higher, the days get longer. Don't worry though, our experienced trekking coordinators will make sure your prepped and ready.
You are in seasoned hands the minute you arrive in Tanzania. In addition to your transport to and from the airport and your lodging, Tusker transports you and your climbing team to and from the National park gates in vehicles designed for the rugged terrain.
KILIMANJARO'S CLIMBING SEASONS
The weather on Mount Kilimanjaro varies by season, altitude, and each season has a unique appeal. See the summary below to see what the weather is like throughout the year. After years leading climbers to the summit in all kinds of weather, we’re happy to talk to you about the best time to climb.
Summer weather in the southern hemisphere is in December, January and February. This time of the year is usually hot and dry. It has become a busy season on the mountain, as foreigners prefer to climb in the traditionally dry weather. As the weather is changing globally, we have found in recent years that there has been more precipitation during this season than there has been historically.
Fall begins in March and goes through April and May. As the weather starts cooling the rainy season approaches. For safety reasons (slippery ice near the summit) Tusker does not run any climbs from Mar 15 to May 30. It is typically very wet at lower altitudes, and starts to get dangerously icy on the crater rim towards the summit.
Winter begins in June, July and August, where you experience the beauty of snow-covered peaks and glaciers. This is the most pleasant, coolest time of the year, and is one of the more popular seasons to climb.
Spring occurs in September, October and November. It brings new life as the countryside welcomes you with colorful blooms. As this is the short rainy season, Tusker does not run any climbs from November 15 to December 10th.
KILIMANJARO REALTIME UPDATES
We’re in the business of staying on top of Kilimanjaro’s weather conditions. From days to months out, we adjust our climb logistics according to predictable weather conditions. Additionally, as a Kilimanjaro first, Tusker Trail has been operating a live Kilimanjaro Webcam since 2004. We also provide a weekly 10 Day Kilimanjaro Weather forecast on our YouTube channel for climbers about to set out on their adventure.
KILI WEATHER UPDATE
Tusker Trail tracks weather conditions to plan our upcoming treks. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for our Weekly 10-Day Kiimanjaro Weather Update.
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WHAT TO EXPECT
Discover What it's Like Climbing Kilimanjaro with Tusker Trail