If you’re planning to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, it’s best to know that it wouldn’t be an easy feat. There are various things you must deal with like altitude sickness, fatigue, and more.
So, are you fit enough to climb Mount Kilimanjaro? If not, how can you train? Climbing Kilimanjaro doesn’t require any technicalities as it’s essentially a hike. However, some routes are too hard to trek, especially due to the addition of acclimatization. Thus, you must have extensive hill-walking experience, or you need to have been doing regular aerobic exercises.
If you’re not particularly fit, there are training programs specifically crafted for the trek up Kilimanjaro. The training could last for at least three to four months.
During your training, you’ll be hiking progressively and gain elevation at least 10% per week. This is to ensure building good trekking conditioning, as well as guarantee your safety and success.
How easy is mount Kilimanjaro to climb
Kilimanjaro climb isn’t the easiest mountain to climb, but it’s not the hardest either. As long as you pick the most suitable route and undergo months of training, you can ensure your success on your Kilimanjaro climb.
The trails of this mountain aren’t steep, so anyone who’s physically fit can climb the highest free-standing mountain in the world. However, dealing with the altitude can make the trek hard.
The 4,084 ft ascent has 49% less oxygen and descent of approximately 6,870ft. Summit night is particularly tough as it’s the windiest and coldest part of your Kilimanjaro adventure.
Apart from that, you’ll also be start trekking at around midnight to the summit, so you can’t see anything except for the reflections of headlamps in front of you.
However, you’ll be taking frequent, short breaks to prevent straining yourself. This way, you can reach Uhuru Peak safely and securely.
The success rate
Kilimanjaro has an overall 65% to 70% success rate. However, this significantly depends on the route you choose for your trek.
As you might already know, there are seven routes up Kilimanjaro, which are:
- Marangu Route
- Rongai Route
- Shira Route
- Lemosho Route
- North Circuit Route
- Machame Route
- Umbre Route
Each of these routes has their pros and cons and are best evaluated to see which trail suits your adventure appetite and capabilities. To help you decide, we have put together respective route information to help you decide which route to take.
Marangu route success rate
Furthermore, this is also the only route with dormitory-style accommodations instead of camping.
- Only takes five to six days to summit.
- Cheapest compared to all other routes.
- Best choice for rainy treks
- Diverse terrains
- Easy to trek / least difficult out of all trails
- Low acclimatization
- Low success rate
- The same ascent and descent trail
Rongai route success rate
The Rongai Route success rate is 60% for the 6-day trek and 80% for a 7-day climb. This trail is remote, so it’s the least visited.
However, it offers unique and stunning vistas. The longer your trek option is, the higher your success rate will be.
- The only trail approaching Kilimanjaro from the North
- Superb panoramic views with calm tracks
- One of the easiest routes on Kilimanjaro
- High success rate
- Less traffic
- Diverse trek via Marangu route descent
- Receives less rainfall during the low season
- Long drive from the starting point
- Summiting could be difficult
- Not best for acclimatization
Shira route success rate
The success rate via the Shira route is 85%. This route is tougher than other trails but has more spectacular views to offer.
Though the trek of this route is a bit rough, you’ll be well-compensated with beautiful scenery as you hike. However, this path is best for those who can quickly adjust to the high altitude starting point.
- Less traffic
- Great views
- Start at a high altitude
- More expensive than other routes
Lemosho routes success
The success rate of the Lemosho route varies, depending on the number of days to summit. The average success rate for an 8-day trek is 90%, while the 7-day hike is 85%.
This route offers the most striking views of Kilimanjaro on various sides.
- Deemed as the most beautiful out of all routes
- High success rate
- Varied day options (7 to 8 days to summit)
- Less traffic
- Higher chance of experiencing wildlife
- Longer trek days
North circuit route success rate
This route is the longest trail in Kilimanjaro, with a 95% success rate. This course has the highest success rate out of Kilimanjaro routes.
It’s usually a nine-day trip and offers 360-degree views of the stunning and rarely visited northern slope. This route gives the most acclimatization opportunities and is thus highly recommended for this reason.
- 360-degree panoramic view
- The best route for acclimatization
- Superb climatic conditions
- Longest route
- You may experience trekking fatigue
Machame route success rate
On average, the Machame route has a 73% success rate for a 6-day trek and 85% for a 7-day hike. This trail is relatively hard, but it’s all worth it due to the scenic landscapes that you can see along the way.
This route gives more time to acclimate and lets your body get used to the lack of oxygen on progressing elevations.
- Exceptional views
- Reasonable challenges for thrill-seekers
- Good acclimatisation opportunities
- High traffic
- Little to no wildlife experience
- Relatively hard trek
Umbwe route success rate
The average success rate for the Umbwe route is 70% for all Kilimanjaro tour operators. It’s the hardest of all trails and ideally best for those most experienced trekkers.
- The shortest trail up Mount Kilimanjaro
- The steepest and most difficult compared to all routes
- Less time for acclimatization
- Low success rate
How should I train for my Kilimanjaro climb?
You can train for your Kilimanjaro climb by training regularly, at least for two to three months before your trek schedule. Ensure to make an exercise routine that includes aerobic exercises, progressive hiking, and strength training.
You may also search for Kilimanjaro’s training climb programs to ensure summit success.
How long should I train for my mount Kilimanjaro climb? What training do I need?
The training for the climb to Kilimanjaro peak is ideally three to four months. Training includes aerobic exercises, strength training, and progressive elevation hike.
So there you have it, dear hiker. Now that you know that Mount Kilimanjaro is only a few months of training away from being possible, which route will you take? The beautiful Lemosho Route or the infamous Rongai Route? There are limitless options available, and Easy Travel can help you craft your dream trek up Africa’s tallest mountain. Contact us today to begin planning your life-changing adventure up Mount Kilimanjaro!