When Was Mount Kilimanjaro First Climbed?

When Was Mount Kilimanjaro First Climbed? A Journey Through Time with Lyimo Expeditions

Greetings, fellow adventurers! Are you ready to embark on a journey through time and history? Today, we delve into the fascinating story of Mount Kilimanjaro’s first climb. As the highest free-standing mountain in the world, Kilimanjaro is not just a geological marvel but also a symbol of human endurance and achievement. And guess what? You too can be a part of this incredible legacy with Lyimo Expeditions. Let’s dive into this captivating tale while showing you why your next adventure should be with us!

The Mystical Beginnings of Mount Kilimanjaro

Before we get to the exciting first climb, let’s set the stage. Mount Kilimanjaro, towering at 5,895 meters (19,341 feet), is a majestic giant situated in Tanzania. Known for its three volcanic cones—Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira—this iconic peak has been the subject of numerous myths, legends, and scientific explorations.

Indigenous Chagga people who live in the foothills of Kilimanjaro consider the mountain sacred. It was often cloaked in an aura of mystery, with its snow-capped peaks visible from the equatorial plains below. But what about the first daring souls who ventured to its summit? Let’s unravel the mystery.

The Historic First Ascent

The official history of Kilimanjaro’s first successful ascent dates back to the late 19th century. It was on October 6, 1889, that German geographer Hans Meyer and Austrian mountaineer Ludwig Purtscheller became the first recorded climbers to reach the summit of Kibo, the highest point of Kilimanjaro, which they named Uhuru Peak.

Hans Meyer: The Visionary Geographer

Hans Meyer was a man with a vision. Born in 1858, Meyer was a German geographer and professor with an insatiable curiosity about the world. He was particularly captivated by Africa’s varied landscapes and decided to make it his mission to conquer the continent’s tallest mountain.

Ludwig Purtscheller: The Mountaineering Maestro

Ludwig Purtscheller was an experienced Austrian climber with numerous alpine ascents under his belt. His expertise in mountaineering was the perfect complement to Meyer’s geographical knowledge.

The Journey to the Summit

Hans Meyer’s first attempt to climb Kilimanjaro was in 1887, but it ended in failure due to harsh weather conditions and insufficient equipment. Undeterred, Meyer returned in 1888, this time with better preparation and more advanced gear. However, he faced another setback when he was captured and held for ransom during the Abushiri revolt.

Finally, in 1889, Meyer teamed up with Ludwig Purtscheller. With a well-equipped expedition and the invaluable assistance of local Chagga guides and porters, they set off on their historic journey.

Overcoming Natural Challenges

Navigating through dense rainforests, traversing moorlands, and ascending rocky terrains, the team faced numerous challenges. The thinning air at higher altitudes tested their physical endurance and determination. Despite these obstacles, Meyer and Purtscheller displayed remarkable resilience.

On October 6, 1889, after weeks of grueling effort, Hans Meyer and Ludwig Purtscheller stood atop Uhuru Peak. They planted the German flag, marking the first successful ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro. Their triumphant climb was a testament to human spirit and perseverance.

Why Climb Kilimanjaro with Lyimo Expeditions?

Feeling inspired by Meyer and Purtscheller’s incredible feat? Now, let’s talk about how you can make your own history with Lyimo Expeditions!

Expert Guidance

At Lyimo Expeditions, we have years of experience guiding climbers to the summit of Kilimanjaro. Our team of professional guides are not only experts in mountaineering but also deeply knowledgeable about the local culture, flora, and fauna. They will ensure your safety and provide insights that will enrich your climbing experience.

Tailored Packages

We offer a variety of tailored packages to suit your needs, whether you’re a seasoned climber or a first-time adventurer. From the Marangu Route known for its scenic beauty to the challenging Machame Route for the more adventurous, we have something for everyone.

Comprehensive Support

Our support doesn’t end with the climb. From the moment you book your tour to the moment you stand atop Uhuru Peak, we are with you every step of the way. We provide all the necessary gear, acclimatization schedules, and even pre-climb training if needed. Your success is our success!

Sustainable Tourism

We are committed to sustainable tourism and ensuring that Kilimanjaro remains pristine for future generations. We work closely with local communities and adhere to strict environmental guidelines. When you climb with Lyimo Expeditions, you’re contributing to the conservation of this natural wonder.

Book Your Adventure Today!

There you have it—the thrilling tale of Kilimanjaro’s first ascent and a glimpse into how you can be part of this storied adventure. Feel the same rush of excitement and accomplishment that Meyer and Purtscheller felt over a century ago. Let Lyimo Expeditions be your trusted partner on this incredible journey.

Ready to make history? Don’t wait! Book your Tanzania tours and safaris with Lyimo Expeditions today. Reach out to us at info@lyimoexpeditionskilimanjaro.com or call us at +255718442953. Your African adventure awaits—let’s create unforgettable memories together!


Mount Kilimanjaro is more than just a mountain; it’s a symbol of human determination, exploration, and triumph. From its mystical beginnings to the historic first climb, Kilimanjaro has captivated the hearts of adventurers worldwide. With Lyimo Expeditions, you too can be part of this legacy. Whether you’re dreaming of reaching the summit or exploring Tanzania’s rich landscapes and wildlife, we are here to make your dreams a reality.

So what are you waiting for? Embark on your Kilimanjaro adventure with Lyimo Expeditions and let’s conquer the Roof of Africa together!

United Kingdom
Travel to

United Kingdom

Quick booking process

Talk to an expert