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    Climbing Kilimanjaro: Everything you want to know

    11 minutes read
    Climbing Kilimanjaro Everything You Want To Know

    Climbing Kilimanjaro is a once-in-a-lifetime experience on Africa’s highest mountain—Mt Kilimanjaro. This adventure brings you to snow-capped peaks, which are dreamy and surreal and will never be forgotten for the rest of your life!

    Mount Kilimanjaro is also the world’s tallest free-standing mountain, a worthy challenge for an experienced mountaineer. If climbing Kilimanjaro is on top of your bucket list, you will need to know everything about the climb to increase your chances of a successful summit day.

    Is Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Possible During COVID-19

    Tanzania - is climbing mount kilimanjaro possible during covid 19 - climbing kilimanjaro: everything you want to know

    The short answer is yes. Successfully climbing Mt Kilimanjaro remains feasible despite the restrictions and safety measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, precautions are mandatory for this thrilling adventure, and as an explorer, it is essential to understand what these entail.

    Mount Kilimanjaro, the towering pride of Tanzania and the highest peak in Africa, attracts adventurers worldwide. Now, more than ever, most Kilimanjaro tour operators have implemented rigorous measures to continue facilitating safe and successful ascents, conforming with the World Health Organization’s guidelines on COVID-19 measures.

    Regular temperature checks are part of the new normal, helping screen for early symptoms among climbers and crew. Social Distancing — although challenging during the Kilimanjaro trek— is encouraged wherever possible, particularly at meal times, resting spots and campsites.

    Thorough hand sanitizing routines have also been established to prevent viral transmission through physical contact, especially considering the shared use of camping equipment and amenities. Furthermore, tour operators now offer a complete beginner’s guide to climbing Mt Kilimanjaro, tailored to the context of COVID-19.

    This includes educating climbers on preventive practices, providing clear protocols on mask-wearing, ensuring regular disinfection of high-touch areas, and offering robust medical support — all crucial assets for any endeavour to climb Kilimanjaro under current circumstances.

    You will have to stick to these safety rituals from the moment you land at Kilimanjaro International Airport and maintain them throughout all your days of trekking. If you feel unwell, it would be a bad idea to travel to Kilimanjaro International Airport, as a high body temperature will be the end of your attempt to enter Tanzania or any national park.

    You must conduct a PCR test on arrival to prove fit and healthy enough to enter Tanzania.

    Where is Mt. Kilimanjaro?

    Climbing kilimanjaro

    Centrally situated in Tanzania’s Northern Circuit, close to Moshi city, Mount Kilimanjaro strikes its pose as the world’s highest free-standing mountain. Easily accessible via Arusha or the dedicated Kilimanjaro Airport, it sets itself apart from Africa’s other peaks due to its solitary existence, not connected to any mountain range.

    Mount Kilimanjaro is more than just a mountain — its status as a dormant volcano adds a unique geological dimension to its allure. The biodiversity-rich northern slopes offer an inviting path for trekkers who select the famed Northern Circuit, considered one of the best routes to conquer Kilimanjaro.

    In addition to the mesmerizing views, this Kilimanjaro route gives adventurers an extended acclimatization period, making the journey less demanding. These fascinating aspects of Kilimanjaro, among others, will be unveiled further as we navigate this guide.

    How tall is Kilimanjaro?

    Tanzania - how tall is kilimanjaro - climbing kilimanjaro: everything you want to know

    Mt. Kilimanjaro is close to 6,000 meters tall and takes around 128,263 steps to reach its peak.

    It comprises three volcanic cones (Yes, you read that right), of which only one remains dormant. It has been dormant, with no significant eruption occurring for over 300 thousand years. Rest assured that there are virtually zero risks of an eruption.

    Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s tallest mountain and the world’s tallest freestanding mountain. It has an incredible amount of biodiversity and is scattered with forests along its slopes, and its peak is covered with snow all year.

    However, due to climate change, 80% of its snow has melted. We at Easy Travel implore our readers to read up on the impact climate change is having across the world and help us mitigate these challenges.

    How challenging is the climb of Mount Kilimanjaro adventure?

    Tanzania - how difficult is the kilimanjaro climb - climbing kilimanjaro: everything you want to know

    Many consider the climb relatively easy, but the real challenge is the altitude sickness and summit night.

    It is widely agreed that Mount Everest Base Camp is easier to overcome than the last stretch of Kilimanjaro. The average summit success rates are at around 60%. You can take various mountain routes (Rongai Route, Marangu Route, Lemosho Route, Machame Route, etc.) catering to experienced hikers and beginners.

    However, no matter your mountaineering experience, you must train and improve your aerobic fitness levels to climb this giant without getting acute mountain sickness. The oldest person to ever climb Africa’s highest mountain was an 89-year-old woman, Anne Lorimor, who machined her way up the slopes of this beast.

    It took her nine days to complete the climb, and she reached the summit. If that isn’t your motivation, I’m still determining what it will be!

    On the other hand, the youngest person to reach Uhuru Peak was Coaltan Tanner, a six-year-old from New Mexico.

    Can an average person do a Kilimanjaro hike to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro?

    Tanzania - can a normal person climb kilimanjaro - climbing kilimanjaro: everything you want to know

    The short answer is yes. Anyone can overcome Africa’s tallest mountain, but not everyone will succeed. You will want to be as fit as possible to increase your success rate of reaching the summit.

    Altitude sickness is a guaranteed challenge when reaching extreme altitudes on Kilimanjaro, which can ruin your climbing experience. You will also be faced with sub-zero temperatures at an extreme altitude, so make sure to complete adequate training before you climb.

    Make sure to read about each route, as Kilimanjaro has three official peak locations.

    Do I need a guide to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro?

    Tanzania - do you need a guide to climb mt kilimanjaro - climbing kilimanjaro: everything you want to know

    Absolutely and without question. There is a law in Tanzania that forbids climbing Kilimanjaro without certified trekking experts. Kilimanjaro is a dangerous climb that should not be taken lightly, but once you put your foot down on the summit peak, it will be well worth it.

    You will want to choose the best trekking agency for this expedition, and Easy Travel has been getting hikers to the summit for decades. You can trust Easy Travel to ensure the ultimate Kilimanjaro experience.

    We will do all that we can to increase your chances of a successful climb, helping you every step of the way.

    How long does it take to climb mount Kilimanjaro?

    Tanzania - how long does it take to climb mount kilimanjaro 1 - climbing kilimanjaro: everything you want to know

    The go-to rule of thumb is to take at least seven days. This is to make the altitude transition between the low ground and mountain peak as easy on your body as possible.

    If you rush the climb, you put yourself at a higher risk of altitude sickness. We recommend taking around nine days to finish the hike. Contact us if you would like to discuss what options you have and what we can advise.

    How much does it cost to climb Kilimanjaro?

    Tanzania - how much to tip on a safari - climbing kilimanjaro: everything you want to know

    The average cost to climb Kilimanjaro ranges depending on which route you climb, how many days you decide to climb for, and how many people are a part of the expedition. Kilimanjaro National Park also has park fees to pay before entering.

    Your choice of accommodation, routes, and time to climb will be the most significant determining factors. You will also have to consider the cost of the flights to and from Tanzania, the equipment you will need when climbing Kilimanjaro, and the cost of living expenses while staying in Tanzania.

    This may seem a hefty price, but it will be an unforgettable experience. We recommend saving a little extra to spend a few days in Tanzania. There are many different wildlife to see, places to go, and things to experience.

    Zanzibar beaches and coral reefs, life-changing safaris in the Serengeti or honeymoon walks in the Ngorongoro Crater. Your options are endless.

    When is the best time to climb Kilimanjaro?

    Mount kilimanjaro

    Whether you come during the wet or dry seasons will make little difference to your overall climbing experience. Mount Kilimanjaro is so incredibly tall that it creates its own water cycle and weather patterns!

    If you want dry weather for your climb, the optimal time to climb Kilimanjaro tends to be during the driest months. Thus, the best times to undertake this adventure are typically between January to March and June to October.

    However, there is a peak season and a low season for mountain traffic. Most tourists and hikers visit Tanzania during the dry seasons for safaris and Zanzibar’s beaches.

    If you decide to come during the rainy seasons, coming across other hiking groups on your trekking adventure is less likely.

    What are the best Kilimanjaro routes?

    Lemosho route 8 days

    1. Acclimatization​

    When considering the best Kilimanjaro routes in terms of acclimatization, there are few paths that are more favorable.

    The Machame Route, recommended for its scenic value, comes with a high success rate especially when choosing the 7-day itinerary.

    Then there’s the Lemosho Route, praised for excellent acclimatization and easier summit night, and is considered one of the best, especially when taken over 7 or 8 days.

    For climber success, routes that allow for a slower ascent and longer time on the mountain are frequently recommended. This allows for better acclimatization, reducing the risk of altitude sickness.

    2. Scenic views

    The Lemosho Route is a top choice for those seeking remarkable panoramic vistas during their Kilimanjaro adventure. As you traverse this route, you’ll be presented with diverse, stunning landscapes that feast for the eyes.

    The journey through distinct ecological zones offers a variety of spellbinding views, enhancing the overall trekking experience. Majestic sunrises, vast plains, and the awe-inspiring sight of the mountain are just a few sights you’ll witness along the Lemosho Route.

    This route will make your climb visually spectacular, leaving you with unforgettable memories. Rest assured, selecting the Lemosho Route comes with no regrets but an abundance of breathtaking views.

    3. All of them

    With its diverse routes, Mount Kilimanjaro offers a uniquely breathtaking experience for every climber. Trekking up the mountain rewards you with stunning sceneries that captivate your senses and fill you with an insatiable desire for more exploration.

    Choosing among such incredible options can be a challenge. To give you a personalized climbing experience, we can help you choose the route that best suits your abilities, preferences, and expectations.

    Feel free to contact us today. We’re here to ensure your Kilimanjaro adventure is the perfect blend of challenge, discovery, and joy.

    What is the shortest route up Kilimanjaro?

    The Rongai Route offers the quickest ascent to the tip of magnificent Mount Kilimanjaro. It’s ideal for those pressed for time but eager to conquer the mountain.

    Rongai is also the preferred route during the rainy season due to its lower rainfall. So, if you’re planning a quick trek up Kilimanjaro, especially amidst the drizzle, Rongai Route awaits you!

    What is altitude sickness?

    Tanzania - what is altitude sickness - climbing kilimanjaro: everything you want to know

    Altitude sickness is the body’s physical response to sudden adjustment of oxygen pressure at extreme altitudes. Extreme altitudes start at around 18,000 feet above sea level, and you will be exposed to these altitudes during the summit day.

    This is why following an altitude training program before you arrive in Tanzania is essential. Signs of mild to moderate altitude sickness can include shortness of breath, dizziness, fatigue, and mild to severe headaches.

    Bad altitude sickness can cause significant respiratory difficulties even when resting and may require you to take an emergency exit off the mountain to receive medical assistance. You may become extremely confused and delirious, a safety hazard on the mountain.

    If you train sufficiently beforehand, you shouldn’t get severe altitude sickness. Unfortunately, however, nobody is guaranteed to walk away without experiencing altitude sickness.

    Getting fit and exposing yourself to higher elevated altitudes can dramatically increase your chances of reaching Kilimanjaro’s peak.

    Signs of mild to moderate altitude sickness can include shortness of breath, dizziness, fatigue, and mild to severe headaches.

    Bad altitude sickness can cause major respiratory difficulties even when resting and may require you to take an emergency exit off the mountain to receive medical assistance. You may become extremely confused and delirious, which is a safety hazard on the mountain. If you train sufficiently beforehand, you shouldn’t get severe altitude sickness.

    Unfortunately, however, nobody is guaranteed to walk away without experiencing altitude sickness. Getting fit and exposing yourself to higher elevated altitudes can dramatically increase your chances of getting to the peak of Kilimanjaro.

    How do you train to climb Kilimanjaro?

    Tanzania - how do you train to climb kilimanjaro - climbing kilimanjaro: everything you want to know

    Your fitness level determines your success rate at reaching the summit. It helps you get your body comfortable with low oxygen.

    You should do plenty of strength training, incorporating pushups, squats, and even weight lifting if you can. On top of that, we recommend a thorough cardio regime of intense aerobic exercises.

    Aim for one hour of training a day, four days a week, for at least three months before you plan on climbing. You can read more on training for Kilimanjaro here.

    What should I pack for Kilimanjaro?

    Tanzania - 31 technical gear - climbing kilimanjaro: everything you want to know

    Packing the right equipment for Kilimanjaro is a necessity. It would help to get yourself a pair of quality hiking boots, trekking poles, and other things.

    Our most undervalued packing item for Kilimanjaro is a scarf or buff beanie. They have proven to be invaluable time and time again to our hiking guides and countless customers. We recommend reading this list of essential items to pack for Kilimanjaro.

    Make sure you layer up properly, too. You will need various pants and tops, a quality rainproof jacket, and many other layers.

    These may seem unnecessary, but trust us when we say you will need everything. You won’t only be walking through snow and rain. You will be trekking through frozen wastelands and dense forests, so prepare as best you can for every situation.

    Tipping ceremony on mount Kilimanjaro

    Tanzania - tipping ceremony on mount kilimanjaro - climbing kilimanjaro: everything you want to know

    Tipping your mountain crew is not only a ceremony that we encourage but also a common courtesy. Your food, luggage, equipment, and spirits will be carried on the backs of a crew from the get-go, and they rely on tips from Kilimanjaro climbers.

    All porters are from Tanzania. You will be accompanied by a chef, dozens of porters, a mountain guide, and their assistant. They work unbelievably hard to ensure you are cared for and deserve recognition.

    When you book through Easy Travel, you support Kilimanjaro porters through KPAP. KPAP is the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project, which aims to guarantee safe and fair working conditions for every porter on Kilimanjaro.

    What should I do after climbing Kilimanjaro?

    Tanzania - what should i do after climbing kilimanjaro - climbing kilimanjaro: everything you want to know

    So, you’ve just summited the world’s tallest freestanding mountain, reached heights that many dream of running, and have some more time to spend in Tanzania. Now what?

    Tanzania is one of the most beautiful countries on the planet, and if you are a wildlife lover, you are in wildlife heaven.

    Tanzania has many massive National Parks teeming with African wildlife and the famous Big 5. You can now witness lions taking down prey, leopards sleeping in trees, birds migrating worldwide, and, most importantly, The Great Wildebeest Annual Migration.

    The Great Wildebeest Migration, otherwise known in Africa as The Great Migration, is a natural phenomenon where (literally) millions of wildebeest follow the rain across Africa, moving from the mighty Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti to the majestic lands of Kenya. It is an incomprehensible experience that is almost impossible to describe with words.

    Tanzania has boundless beauty to explore if you are unavailable for The Great Migration. Zanzibar is sitting on the country’s coastline with white sandy beaches and turquoise waters waiting to be soaked up.

    You can travel down to Stone Town to explore Tanzania’s culture in its rawest form. You can go snorkelling in the afternoon and stroll down the beach during sunset with your loved one or yourself. This land smells of magic.

    Getting you there

    Interested in Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro? We can take you there!

    Our experienced guides will lead you on an unforgettable journey up Africa’s tallest mountain. You’ll see some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, and when you reach the summit, you’ll be able to say that you’ve conquered one of the Seven Summits.

    Easy Travel has taken countless climbers to the peak of Kilimanjaro and has been KPAP certified for years as well as winning the Top Rated Tour Operator on Trip Advisor for a number of years, we pride ourselves in delivering once-in-a-lifetime experiences that will leave your heart and soul dreaming of Tanzania.

    So contact our trekking specialists today and see how we can help you start planning your trip to conquer Africa’s highest peak!

    Musaddiq Gulamhussein - Owner - Easy Travel Tanzania

    About the author: Musaddiq

    Meet Musaddiq Gulamhussein, owner of Easy Travel Tanzania, a tour company creating life-changing safari experiences for over 35 years. Musaddiq has explored Tanzania, developing a deep understanding of the local cultures and traditions. Follow his journey and gain insights into the African Safari experience through Easy Travel's social media and blog.

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