14 Best Places to Take Photos on Kilimanjaro (My Recommendation)

Tristan Balme The 14 best places to take photos on kilimanjaro with pictures

As someone who has had the pleasure of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and relished its stunning vistas, I can attest to the fact that it is an incredible place to take photographs.

Here are some of the best places on the mountain to capture the perfect shot.

On the Mountain

  1. The Barranco valley
  2. The Shira plateau
  3. The Barranco wall
  4. The Lava tower
  5. The saddle
  6. The Mawenzi peak
  7. Crater camp
  8. The Southern Ice Field
  9. The Reusch crater
  10. The Uhuru peak

The Barranco Valley

The Barranco Valley is a lush, green area filled with giant heather and stunning views. It’s a great place to capture some of the unique flora and fauna of Kilimanjaro, as well as the surrounding landscape.

The Shira Plateau

The Shira Plateau is another beautiful spot on the mountain. It’s a high-altitude desert that’s home to some of the most unique plants and animals in the world. The views from this area are simply breathtaking.

Tristan Balme kilimanjaro shira plateu

The Barranco Wall

The Barranco Wall is one of the most iconic features of the Kilimanjaro climb. It’s a steep, rocky wall that requires some scrambling to get up. The views from the top are incredible, and it’s a great place to take some action shots.

The Lava Tower

The Lava Tower is another unique feature of the Kilimanjaro climb. It’s a 300-foot tall volcanic plug that offers some of the best panoramic views on the mountain.

The Kibo Saddle

The Saddle is the high-altitude plateau that connects Kilimanjaro’s two main peaks. It’s a great place to capture some of the more dramatic views on the mountain.

The Mawenzi Peak

The Mawenzi Peak is one of the most visually stunning features of the mountain. It’s a jagged, rocky peak that stands in stark contrast to the surrounding landscape. It’s a great place to capture some dramatic shots.

Stella Point

Stella Point is the first place on the mountain where you can see the stunning views of the crater rim and glaciers. Additionally, it is the last stop before reaching the summit, so it is often a place where climbers take a break and catch their breath before continuing on.

The lighting at Stella Point is also great for photography, with soft morning light and sunset often creating stunning colors in the sky and on the surrounding landscape. It can be a great place to capture images of fellow climbers and the camaraderie of a shared experience.

Tristan Balme coming up over stella point at the top of kilimanjaro

Crater Camp

Crater Camp is located near the top of Kilimanjaro, and it’s one of the most stunning places on the mountain. It’s a great place to capture some of the incredible sunrises and sunsets that occur on the mountain.

The Southern Ice Field

The Southern Ice Field is the largest ice field on Kilimanjaro. It’s a great place to capture some of the unique and otherworldly features of the mountain.

Tristan Balme the southern ice fields of kilimanajro

The Reusch Crater

The Reusch Crater is located near the summit of Kilimanjaro. It’s a great place to capture some of the most dramatic views on the mountain, as well as some of the unique geological features.

The Uhuru Peak

The Uhuru Peak is the highest point on Kilimanjaro, and it’s a great place to capture some of the most stunning views on the mountain.

Tristan Balme uhuru peak on kilimanjaro

Off the Mountain

  1. From Above
  2. Near Kilimanjaro Airport
  3. From Mount Maru
  4. From Moshi

From Above

One of the best ways to capture the beauty of Kilimanjaro is from above. You can take a helicopter or small plane tour, or even book a hot air balloon ride to get a unique perspective on the mountain.

Near Kilimanjaro Airport

Kilimanjaro Airport is located in the town of Moshi, and it’s a great place to capture some of the mountain’s beauty from a distance.

kilimanjaro from moshi plains
Photo by Sergey Pesterev on Unsplash

From Mount Maru

Mount Maru is a nearby mountain that offers some stunning views of Kilimanjaro. It’s a great place to capture some of the unique features of the mountain from a different perspective.

From Moshi

Moshi is a small town located near Kilimanjaro, and it’s a great place to capture some of the local culture and scenery. You can capture some great shots of the mountain from the town, as well as some of the unique flora and fauna in the area.

Photographic Tips

Now that you know some of the best places to take photos on Kilimanjaro, here are some tips to help you capture the perfect shot.

Remember the Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds is a basic principle of photography that can help you compose better shots. Essentially, it involves dividing the frame into thirds both vertically and horizontally, and then placing the subject of the photo at one of the intersections.

Ask Permission

If you’re taking photos of people or private property, make sure you have permission before you start shooting. Kili is so busy it’s hard to NOT get other people in your shot.

Remember if you want to use these commercially you need to get their permission first!

Use a Tripod

A tripod can be incredibly useful when taking photos on Kilimanjaro, especially if you’re shooting in low light conditions.

Shoot Away from the Sun

When taking landscape photos, it’s often best to shoot away from the sun. This will help you capture the colors and details of the landscape without the harsh glare of the sun.

Avoid Shooting at Midday

The light is often too harsh and direct during midday, which can make it difficult to capture good photos. Try shooting in the early morning or late afternoon for the best light.

Think About the Foreground

When taking landscape photos, it’s important to think about the foreground as well as the background. Including an interesting foreground element can help add depth and interest to your photos.

Shoot at Golden Hour

Golden hour is the period of time just after sunrise or just before sunset when the light is soft and warm. This is often the best time to capture stunning landscape photos.

The Best Cameras for Taking on Kilimanjaro

When it comes to taking photos on Kilimanjaro, you’ll want a camera that’s lightweight, durable, and capable of capturing high-quality images. Here are a few of the best options:

  • Canon EOS Rebel T7i
  • Sony Alpha a6000
  • Fujifilm X-T2
  • Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III
  • Nikon D5600

Learn More: When it comes to taking photos on Kilimanjaro, you’ll want a camera that suits your specific needs. Here is my full list of recommendations for the best camera to climb Kilimanjaro.

Best Lightweight Camera

If weight is a concern, the Fujifilm X-T2 is a great option. It’s a mirrorless camera that’s compact and lightweight, making it easy to carry with you as you climb the mountain. Despite its small size, it still delivers high-quality images thanks to its 24-megapixel sensor and 4K video capabilities.

Best High-End Camera

For those who want the best of the best, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is a great option. It’s a professional-grade DSLR that delivers stunning image quality and is built to withstand harsh conditions. It features a 30-megapixel sensor, 4K video capabilities, and a weather-sealed body that can withstand rain, wind, and dust.

Best Battery Life

If battery life is a concern, the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III is a great option. It features a high-capacity battery that can last for up to 420 shots per charge. It’s also a lightweight and compact mirrorless camera that’s easy to carry with you on the mountain.

Best Wet Weather Camera

If you’re expecting to encounter wet weather on your climb, the Nikon D850 is a great option. It features a weather-sealed body that’s resistant to dust and moisture, so you can capture great shots even in challenging conditions. It also features a 45.7-megapixel sensor, 4K video capabilities, and a tilting touchscreen for easy composition.

Conclusion

Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the most stunning places on Earth, and it’s a photographer’s dream come true. With these tips and some of the best places to take photos on the mountain, you’ll be able to capture some truly incredible shots. So grab your camera and get ready for an unforgettable adventure!

Kilimanjaro Travel Planning Cheatsheet

 

🚑 Should I buy travel insurance for Tanzania?

100% YES! — Tanzania has now introduceed “free” healthcare but it’s only for citizens! Tourists need travel insurance in case anything happens on your visit. Also be aware many policies won't cover high altitude hiking as it's a high risk activity!

(that's right, check the t&c's on your complimentary credit card insurance

I highly recommend World Nomads as you can get specific add-ons for high altitude hiking UP TO 6000m (Which most travel insurance companies don't offer!)

🎫 Do I need a visa for Tanzania?

Probably not — Tanzania now provide a visa on arrival (VoA) for most western countires which allows you stay for up to 90 days. However, some other countries do need a pre-approved eVisa (check here!). VoAs cost $50 USD for a single entry - Note, US Citizens are required to get a Multi-Entry visa which costs $100 USD. (View visa prices here)

If transiting through Kenya (a lot of people fly via Nairobi), you'll need a Kenyan visa too. Visa's cost $20 for a 3 day transit visa and $50 for a toursit visa

(By the way, on both my interactions with the imigration officers in kenya they tried to scam me, so know what your obliged to pay and BRING THE EXACT CASH for the visa!)

💉Do I need any vaccinations for Tanzania?

YES! Make sure you are up-to-date with all your vaccines. Common travel vaccines include Hep A/B + Typhoid, and Diphtheria + Tetanus.

A yellow fever vaccination isn't a requirment to visit Kilimanjaro but is for neighbouring areas in East Africa. In reality, you will might not be allowed back into your home country on your return (I was asked for proof of vaccination upon returning to Australia) so getting this jab prior made for good peace of mind. 

Rabies is an issue in Tanzania but the vaccine is expensive and ineffective as a preventative measure (it only lasts a few years and you'll need to get them again if you require treatment). If bitten by a stray dog seek immediate medical attention!

As always, talk to your GP or specialised travel doctor a few weeks BEFORE you leave.

🏩 What’s the best Kilimanjaro Tour operators?

Your only realy two options here are Kumano Travel and Booking.com. Its a complicated process so I wrote this guide here on the best kumano kodo accomodation options

If you don't want to figure it all out (it's meant to be a holiday after all) you can book a package tour. Here are my recommendations for both guided and self-guided.

🚌 What's the public transport like in Tanzania?

There is a good basic network of local and inter-city busses in Tanzania and travel this way is very cheap. Domestic flight are also very affordable and a far more comfortable option. Checkout Busbora for booking bus tickets online.

📲 How do I get internet/data/wifi in Tanzania and on the mountain?

This one needs a whole nother article, but the short version is prepaid SIM cards are cheap and availible to tourists and locals alike (You don't need a pricey tourst SIM!)

Your cheapest option is buying a physical sim card on the street corner once landed and getting the shop assistant to help you set it up. I went with Vodacom and had generally good coverage, even up on Kili!

Another option if you're visiting other African countries is the Nomad eSIM. This is a little more expensive but gives you connectivity across 14 neighbouring African Countries!

✈️ What’s the best site to buy flights to Tanzania?

For finding cheap flights, I recommend Skyscanner. Once you find the flight you're looking for, I'd then suggest booking directly with the carrier (even if it costs a few $$ more than with one of the agreggators/agencies).

💧Can you drink the water in Tanzania?

Safest not to — tap water in Tanzania may be OK (the locals drink it) but is generally untreated and not reccommended for tourists. Purchase bottled water for drinking and teeth brushing.

🏔️💧Can you drink the water on Mount Kilimanjaro?

Yes — Your tour company with ensure the water provided to you is safe to drink by either carrying in bottled water, or by treating stream water with purification tablets or by boiling it. If you want to drink water from the rivers and streams you generally can but should do so at your own risk. ALWAYS follow best practice and drink from fast flowing water as far up stream as possible. I'd also recommend a Brita Water Bottle for rehydrating on the trail safely. 

 

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