Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Kilimanjaro Climbing Routes
Kilimanjaro Routes | Routes to the Roof of Africa

There are six established routes to climb Mount Kilimanjaro - Marangu, Machame, Lemosho, Shira, Rongai and Umbwe. The Marangu, Machame, and Umbwe routes all approach from the south of the mountain (Mweka is used only for descent). The Lemosho and Shira routes approach from the west. The Rongai route approaches from the north.

Marangu ("Coca Cola") Route
Known as the "Coca-Cola" route, the Marangu route is a classic trek on Mount Kilimanjaro. It is the oldest, most well established route. Many favor the Marangu route because it is considered to be the easiest path on the mountain, given its gradual slope. It is also the only route which offers sleeping huts in dormitory style accommodations.
The minimum days required for this route is five, although the probability of successfully reaching the top in that time period is quite low. Spending an extra acclimatization day on the mountain is highly recommended when climbing Klimanjaro using the Marangu route.
However, despite its immense popularity, we avoid leading climbs on the Marangu route. The route has the least scenic variety of all the routes because the ascent and descent are done on the same path and it is the most crowded route for that reason. Marangu is favored only during the rainy season, where the hut accommodations are preferred over wet ground, or for those who only have five days to climb Kilimanjaro (which we do not recommend anyhow). Otherwise, the Marangu route is a poor choice.

Machame ("Whiskey") Route
Known as the "Whiskey" route, the Machame route is now the most popular route on the mountain. Compared with Marangu, the days on Machame are longer and the walks are steeper. The Machame route is considered a difficult route, and is better suited for more adventurous folks and those with some hiking or backpacking experience.
The minimum number of days required for this route is six days, although seven days is recommended.
The Machame route is scenically beautiful and varied. However, due to the heavy crowds, it loses some of its spendor.

Lemosho Route
The Lemosho route is one of the newer routes on Mount Kilimanjaro. The route begins in the west and rather than simply intersecting Shira Plateau (like Machame), Lemosho crosses it from Shira Ridge to Shira Camp. Climbers encounter low traffic until the route joins the Machame route. Afterwards, Lemosho follows the same route through Lava Tower, Barranco and Barafu, known as the southern circuit.
The minimum number of days required for this route is six days, although eight days is ideal.
Lemosho is considered the most beautiful route on Kilimanjaro and grants panoramic vistas on various sides of the mountain. It is our favorite route because it offers a great balance of low traffic, scenic views and a high summit success rate. Thus, Lemosho comes highly recommended.

Shira Route
The Shira route is another path that approaches Kilimanjaro from the west, and it is nearly identical to the Lemosho route. In fact, Shira was the original route and Lemosho is the improved variation. While Lemosho starts at Londorossi Gate and treks through the rain forest to Shira 1 Camp, the Shira route bypasses this walk by using a vehicle to transport climbers to Shira Gate, located near the Shira Ridge.
On the first day on the mountain, climbers begin their hike from 11,800 feet (3,600 m) and spend their first night at the same elevation at Simba Camp. Then, the route merges with Lemosho and follows the southern circuit route.
Although Shira is a varied and beautiful route, Lemosho is recommended over Shira due to the high altitude of Shira's starting point. It is possible that climbers will experience altitude related symptoms on the first day due to failed acclimatization. Climbers using Shira should be confident of their ability to acclimatize.

Rongai Route
The Rongai route is the only route that approaches Kilimanjaro from the north, close to the Kenyan border. Though gaining popularity amongst climbers, Rongai has low traffic. It is the preferred route for those looking for an alternative to the crowded Marangu route, for those who would like a more remote hike, and for those who are climbing during the rainy season (the north side receives less precipitation).
The minimum number of days required for this route is six days, and seven days are recommended.
Although the scenery is not as varied as the western routes, Rongai makes up for this by passing through true wilderness areas for days before joining the Marangu route at Kibo camp. This route descends down the Marangu route. Rongai is a moderately difficult route, and is highly recommended, especially for those with less backpacking experience.

Umbwe Route
The Umbwe Route is widely regarded as the hardest trail, a tough vertical slog through the jungle, in places using the tree roots as makeshift rungs on a ladder. Having reached the Southern Circular Route, trekkers can continue north-west to tackle Kibo from the west and the difficult Arrow Glacier Route; or you can follow the Southern Circular Route east round to Barafu and approach the summit from there. The entire walk up and down takes a minimum of five days if going via the Barafu Campsite (though this is entirely too rapid; take six minimum, with a day at Karanga Valley); or five minimum (six is again better) if going via the Western Breach/Arrow Glacier, with more days if sleeping in the crater.

Mweka Route

This, the shortest route from a roadhead to the summit is now only used in descent. The upper section to the summit is called the Barafu (Swahili - ice) Route. It is normally descended having approached the mountain by the Lemosho, Machame, Umbwe or Shira Routes. These routes are linked to the Barafu-Mweka Route by the high-level traverse beneath the Southern Icefields, the Kibo South Circuit. This traverse is one of the more scenic walks on Kilimanjaro.

                                                      K  A   R   I   B  U (welcome) 

                                                     T     A    N    Z   A   N    I   A

Monday, March 16, 2015

BARAFU TEAM celebrating & Singing on Mount Kilimanjaro after the Summit of Uhuru Peak 5895m.

Just outside Barafu Hut, descending down there is the Millennium Hut that's where the BARAFU TEAM was singing & celebrating after achieving a successful climb to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro's Uhuru Peak 5895 meters. What a lifetime adventure.....

I wake up each day to see the beautiful Mount Kilimanjaro and my dream is that someday the whole world will get to experience this lifetime adventure through Barafu Tours & Safaris.
I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you all to experience the best trekking and safari tours adventure of a lifetime! 

Your adventure starts with us. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Important GEARS to bring for Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing


  1. Sun hat & warm hat (or balaclava) that cover the ears                   
  2. Trainers/slippers for relaxing
  3. Thermal underwear
  4. Warm long-sleeved shirt
  5. Waterproof outer trouser
  6. Walking socks (several pairs)
  7. Walking shorts
  8. Warm mid-layer (fleece or down jacket)
  9. Waterproof walking boots
  10. Gaiters(to protect scree and snow to get in the shoes)
  11. Waterproof thing-length jacket ( Gore-tex or similar )
  12. Warm walking trousers (not jeans!)
  13. Gloves ( waterproof warm outers + thin liners) especially for summit day
  14. T-shirt (synthetic material are best as cotton retains moisture)
  15. Warm sleeping bag (3/4 –seasons)
  16. Sleeping bag liner
  17. Sleeping  mattress 
  18. Trekking pole(s) - 
  19. Head-torch, pocket touch + spare batteries
  20. Water carrier(s) –bottles or bladders (minimum 3-litres capacity)
  21. Glacier glasses (or good quality sunglasses – preferably with side shields)
  22. High factor sunscreen(SPF 30 for your face ) & lip-salve ( SPF 33 for your lip)
  23. Personal first aid kit + essential medication**
  24. Water purification tablets or drops
  25. Small towel
  26. Wet wipes
  27. High energy snacks, dried fruit, nuts, throat sweets, etc
  28. A small bottle of cordial or squash concentrate(to lived up the ‘flat’ taste of boiled water)
  29. Notebook and pen, playing cards or book
  30. Light and rugged camera; remember spare batteries and film/memory card
31. Toilet paper: take your favorite from home and keep in a plastic bag-in your day    sac
32. Tips for the crew.

  • Rucksack/Soft trek bag- large enough for all you need on the mountain, which will be carried on a porter’s head. Pack light-max 15kg.
  • A large daypack (to carry warm clothing, at least 3 water-bottles, camera etc. in comfortable)-we recommend minimum 25-35 litres capacity.
  • Waterproof cover (or pack clothes in plastic bags to ensure they stay dry).


  1. Aspirin or paracetamol (acetaminophen in the USA)-for pain or fever
  2. Loperamide or diphenoxylate-blockers for diarrhea
  3. Prochlorperazine or metaclopramide-for nausea and vomiting
  4. Antihistamine-for allergies, eg, hay fever, to ease the itch from insect bites or stings; and to prevent motion sickness
  5. Cold and flu tables, throat lozenges and nasal decongestant
  6. Antibiotics-consider including these if you’re traveling well off the beaten track; see your doctor, as they may prescribed, and carry the prescription with you.
  7. Insect repellent, sunscreen, lip balm and eye drops
  8. Antiseptic (such as povidone-iodine) –for cuts and grazes
  9. Bandages, Band-Aids ( plasters) and other wound dressings
  10. Water purification tablets or iodine
  11. Scissors and tweezers
  12. Calamine lotion, sting relief spray or aloe vera-to ease irritation from sun-burn and insect bites or stings
  13. Rehydration  mixture- to prevent dehydration, which may occur, for example, during bouts of diarrhea
  14. Diamox (acetazolamide)-thought to be helpful for prevention of HACE and HAPE, prevention and treatment of symptoms of  AMS
  15. Malaria medication
  16. Wet wipes and/ or antibacterial gel

            *** Some of the equipments are hired locally at Moshi in a very reasonable price incase you don’t be able to get from there.

                                                YOU ARE MOST WELCOME.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

The annual wildebeest migration in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park

The annual Wildebeest migration in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park and Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve is one of the most spectacular wildlife events on the planet. Sometimes referred to as the ‘Greatest Show on Earth'.
PHOTO : The great migration by Nicole Cambré ‪#‎northserengeti‬‪#‎tanzania‬

Cheetah Cubs

Cheetahs are the fastest land animals in the world and can reach speeds of over 60 mph. Often mistaken for leopards because of their spotted coats, cheetahs are also known for their long legs and graceful bodies. Most of what is known about baby cheetahs is based on observations of these reclusive and endangered animals in the wild.
Baby cheetahs are called cubs and are usually born in litters of three to five. They are blind at birth and are covered with a thick coat of fur, called a mantle, which helps to protect them from predators. In the wild, cheetah cubs have a high mortality rate, approximately 90 percent, and it is estimated that 50 to 75 percent of cheetah cubs die before they reach three months of age.

Serengeti National Park

From the mightiest beasts in the jungle to the tiniest microorganisms swimming in our pond water, Earth is home to some amazing life-forms.
Michael Nick Nichols won the grand prize at londons natural history museums 2014 wildlife photographer of the year competition with this black and white photo of snoozing lions in ‪#‎Tanzanians‬ ‪#‎Serengeti‬national park.
Barafu Tours & Safaris

Ngorongoro Crater

It is believed that Ngorongoro once rivaled Kilimanjaro in size. The lava that filled the volcano formed a solid "lid," which subsequently collapsed when the molten rock subsided, forming the caldera that we see today. 
"Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania, is the world's largest inactive volcanic caldera. It is a collapsed volcano that harbors a range of African wildlife that live in relatively close proximity and competition with each other. Zebras are amongst the most common animals in the crater, along with wildebeests, gazelles, hyenas, and lions. On a clear day, a 360º view of the crater rim can be seen whilst being inside."
PHOTO : Honorable Mention, Nature: “Zebras and the rim of the Crater," Zik Teo, ‪#‎NgorongoroConservationArea‬‪#‎Tanzania‬

Mount Kilimanjaro National Park.

Since its official opening in 1977, Mt Kilimanjaro National Park has become one of Tanzania’s most visited parks. Unlike the other northern parks, this isn’t for the wildlife, although it’s there. Rather, coming here is all about gazing in awe at a mountain on the equator capped with snow, and to climb to the top of Africa.
At the heart of the park is the 5896m Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain and one of the continent’s most magnificent sights. It’s also one of the highest volcanoes and the highest freestanding mountain in the world, rising from cultivated farmlands on the lower levels, through lush rainforest to alpine meadows, and finally across a barren lunar landscape to the twin summits of Kibo and Mawenzi. (Kilimanjaro’s third volcanic cone, Shira, is on the mountain’s western side.) The lower rainforest is home to many animals, including buffaloes, elephants, leopards and monkeys, and elands are occasionally seen in the saddle area between Kibo and Mawenzi.
A trek up Kili lures around 25,000 trekkers each year, in part because it’s possible to walk to the summit without ropes or technical climbing experience. But don't be fooled by the number of people who climb Kilimanjaro – this is a serious undertaking. While many thousands of trekkers reach Uhuru Peak without major difficulty, many more don’t make it because they suffer altitude sickness or simply aren’t in good enough shape. Come prepared with appropriate footwear and clothing, and most importantly, allow yourself enough time. If you’re interested in reaching the top, seriously consider adding at least one extra day onto the ‘standard’ climb itineraries: accepted medical advice is to increase sleeping altitude by only 300m per day once above 3000m – which is about one-third of the daily altitude gains above 3000m on the standard Kili climb-routes offered by most operators.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Mt.Kilimanjaro Climbing (www.barafutours.com)

Kilimanjaro. The name itself is a mystery wreathed in clouds. It might mean Mountain of Light, Mountain of Greatness or Mountain of Caravans. Or it might not. The local people, the Wachagga, don't even have a name for the whole massif, only Kipoo (now known as Kibo) for the familiar snowy peak that stands imperious, overseer of the continent, the summit of Africa.
Kilimanjaro, by any name, is a metaphor for the compelling beauty of East Africa. When you see it, you understand why. Not only is this the highest peak on the African continent; it is also the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, rising in breathtaking isolation from the surrounding coastal scrubland – elevation around 900 metres – to an imperious 5,895 metres (19,336 feet).
Kilimanjaro is one of the world's most accessible high summits, a beacon for visitors from around the world. Most climbers reach the crater rim with little more than a walking stick, proper clothing and determination. And those who reach Uhuru Point, the actual summit, or Gillman's Point on the lip of the crater, will have earned their climbing certificates. 
And their memories.
But there is so much more to Kili than her summit. The ascent of the slopes is a virtual climatic world tour, from the tropics to the Arctic. 
Even before you cross the national park boundary (at the 2,700m contour), the cultivated footslopes give way to lush montane forest, inhabited by elusive elephant, leopard, buffalo, the endangered Abbot’s duiker, and other small antelope and primates. Higher still lies the moorland zone, where a cover of giant heather is studded with otherworldly giant lobelias.
Above 4,000m, a surreal alpine desert supports little life other than a few hardy mosses and lichen. Then, finally, the last vestigial vegetation gives way to a winter wonderland of ice and snow – and the magnificent beauty of the roof of the continent.
About Kilimanjaro National Park
Size: 1668 sq km 641 sq miles).
Location: Northern Tanzania, near the town of Moshi.
Getting there
128 km (80 miles) from Arusha. 
About one hour’s drive from Kilimanjaro airport.
What to do
Six usual trekking routes to the summit and other more-demanding mountaineering routes. 
Day or overnight hikes on the Shira plateau. Nature trails on the lower reaches. 
Trout fishing. 
Visit the beautiful Chala crater lake on the mountain’s southeastern slopes.
When to go
Clearest and warmest conditions from December to February, but also dry (and colder) from July-September.
Huts and campsites on the mountain. 
Several hotels and campsites outside the park in the village of Marangu and town of Moshi.
Climb slowly to increase your acclimatization time and maximize your chances of reaching the summit. 
To avoid altitude sickness, allow a minimum of five nights, preferably even more for the climb. Take your time and enjoy the beauty of the mountain.

Barafu Tours & Safaris (www.barafutours.com)

Scientific name: Giraffa camelopardalis
Gestation period: 400 – 460 d
Speed: 50 km/h (Endurance Running)
Daily sleep: 4.6 h (In captivity)
Rank: Species
Height: 1.8 m (Newborn), 5.2 m on average (Adult, Male), 4.6 m on average (Adult, Female)
Mass: 1,600 kg on average (Male), 830 kg on average (Female)
The giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) is an African even-toed ungulate mammal, the tallest living terrestrial animal and the largest ruminant. Its species name refers to its camel-like appearance and the patches of color on its fur. Its chief distinguishing characteristics are its extremely long neck and legs, its horn-like ossicones, and its distinctive coat patterns. It is classified under the family Giraffidae, along with its closest extant relative, the okapi. The nine subspecies are distinguished by their coat patterns.
The giraffe's scattered range extends from Chad in the north to South Africa in the south, and from Niger in the west to Somalia in the east. Giraffes usually inhabit savannas, grasslands, and open woodlands. Their primary food source is acacia leaves, which they browse at heights most other herbivores cannot reach. Giraffes are preyed on by lions; their calves are also targeted by leopards, spotted hyenas, and wild dogs. Adult giraffes do not have strong social bonds, though they do gather in loose aggregations if they happen to be moving in the same general direction. Males establish social hierarchies through "necking", which are combat bouts where the neck is used as a weapon. Dominant males gain mating access to females, which bear the sole responsibility for raising the young.