There are more than just a few route options to get to the top of Kilimanjaro.
Yes, all of the routes involve a long hike to the top!
Being a paragliding pilot we’re fairly certain you’d prefer to be flying rather than hiking. So there’s a good chance your flying skills outweigh your hiking endurance. With this in mind we have carefully designed a route for these expeditions, aiming to have you feeling as strong as possible at the top - an altitude of around 19,000ft. Drawing on our past experiences, our route is ideal for even novice hikers and works in the much needed extra time to properly acclimatise.
Why did you want to join Paraglide Kilimanjaro?
"Who WOULDN’T want to? A chance to see Kili and fly off of it? With nice side-benefits
of meeting great people, both pilots and guides." Jeff Wishnie from
the United States of America.
Overview of 10 day journey with start & end at Kilimanjaro International Airport:
On arrival at Kilimanjaro International, you will be met at the airport and transferred to Moshi for overnight. Pilots will be given a full briefing with an orientation to familiarise themselves with the area and possible landing zones. A scenic drive from the bustling town of Moshi (890m/2,919ft ASL), situated at the southern foothills of Mt Kilimanjaro, takes you to the start of the hike on the north side of the mountain (still in Tanzania). Making your way through the beautiful rain forest where one can occasionally see Colobus monkeys, Blue monkeys, abundant bird life and flora including giant ferns and ‘Old man’s beard’, you reach our first night’s camp just outside the rain forest (2,700m /8,858 ft ASL).
A gradual ascent over the next few days, where one can expect to hike an average of 4-6 hours a day, brings you to the base of the other peak on Kilimanjaro - Mwenzi Peak (4,300m/14,107ft ASL). Spend a night at this rugged peak before crossing the flat saddle towards Kibo camp (also referred to as Kili base camp) (4,700m/15,419ft ASL). It is from here that we lead you to the summit via the crater rim. Uhuru Peak (5,895m/19,341ft ASL) dominates the landscape offering you a breath taking sunrise and chance to take a photo at the highest point in Africa! If weather permits you have an opportunity to launch from the top straight away. Should conditions not allow you to spread your wings, you will spend the night at base camp and pilots will have another shot.
If you are an experienced paragliding pilot you are surely familiar with the term ‘para-waiting’ and understand that paragliding activities are weather dependent, even more so when attempting to launch a paraglider at extreme heights from the World’s highest freestanding mountain. Though our team will make every effort to ensure a successful and safe flight, there is always the chance of walking back down. A descent on foot down towards Moshi with one night en-route is included as a contingency plan for any unlucky pilot(s) who did not manage to get off in a safe flying window.
If you managed to launch successfully you get to enjoy a magical flight from the Roof of Africa that should last more than 90 minutes (top to bottom). On landing at one of the designated landing spots, our retrieve crew will collect you and take you back to the hotel in Moshi for a shower, celebrations and overnight.
Namibia's paragliding legend, Chris Lotter, flew off Kilimanjaro September 2011. When asked what inspired him to take up paragliding his answer was short and sweet: "Freedom!".