Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is on top of many travellers’ bucket lists. And since this isn’t easy to do, we made this simple guide to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
Each year, around 50,000 tourists attempt to climb the summit of the iconic mountain.
This is not a surprise, as Kilimanjaro provides the thrill and adventure that many adventurers want. Apart from that, it’s also a remarkable feat to hike the highest free-standing mountain in the world, and many successful hikers consider this a badge of honour.
However, there are many things involved in hiking Kilimanjaro, and these things can help you succeed in your endeavour in climbing the famous mountain. So, without much further ado, here’s a simple guide to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
Before climbing the tallest mountain in Africa, it’s best to know the essential things before attempting its summit. Knowing these things will equip you to successfully reach Uhuru Peak—the highest point on Kibo’s crater rim.
So, what do you need to know about climbing Kilimanjaro?
Climb during dry season
Although you can climb Kilimanjaro year-round, it can get muddy and stormy during Tanzania’s wet season—March to May and November through December. Thus, it’s best to avoid these months and go for January and February or June and October.
Book a tour from a reliable local tour operator
When you go on an African adventure, it’s best to book a tour with a reliable local tour operator in Tanzania. The Tanzanian government specifies that climbers should get a local tour guide for various ecological reasons.
It can also help boost the country’s economy if you choose a local guide outfitter to climb Kilimajaro. With the best and recognized tour operator in Tanzania, you can get the best experience in your Mount Kilimanjaro adventure!
In addition, you can also enjoy the safari through the Serengeti and its renowned Ngorongoro Crater for a few extra thousand dollars.
Pick your route carefully
This factor can make or break you. Thus pick your route well. In Kilimanjaro, there are seven established routes, and these are the following:
- The Marangu Route
- The Machame Route
- The Lemosho Route
- The Shira Route
- The Rongai Route
- The Northern Circuit Route
Among the seven established routes in Kilimanjaro, the Marangu route is the quickest, easiest, and most affordable. Meanwhile, the Machame route will take six to seven days to the top and is undoubtedly one of the challenging routes.
Furthermore, the Lemosho route can take up to seven to nine days to the top, but the long journey is all worth it due to its scenic route. It’s also best to know that the more days you spend in the mountain, the more expensive it gets.
However, it’s all worth it in the end, as the longer routes have more success rates than those fast ascent routes. The long journey gives your body the time to acclimatize, increasing your chances of a successful climb.
Make sure to have sufficient money to budget
Climbing Kilimanjaro isn’t a cheap expedition. Although you can find tour packages, they’ll still cost around $2000, and you can’t find tours cheaper than that.
It’s also not common to spend up to $3,000, plus your lodging fee, to a nearby town prior to the trek. If you’re also thinking about safari after your Kilimanjaro climb, it’ll cost additional fees, so make sure you have sufficient money to budget.
Don't forget to give a tip to the porters
After the climb, make sure to tip all the porters and guides. Although it’s not mandatory, it’s customary.
Bring cash with you and give it to porters and guides at the end of the climb. This helps them support their families.
Pay extra for an optional bathroom tent
Paying an extra $236 for an optional bathroom tent can guarantee your camp is furnished with a waterproof, zippered, and portable bathroom tent. However, you don’t have to do this if you’re okay getting stuck with the limited shelter of volcanic outcroppings and the old hole-in-the-floor wooden outhouses scattered in the trail camp.
Prepare your gear thoroughly & bring medicine
To have a successful climb, prepare the required gear for the ascent and bring along medicine. As you might already know, summiting a 19,000-foot mountain isn’t a joke.
Thus, you better come prepared for anything. So, it would be best to bring the following with you:
- Reusable water bottles
- Inflatable sleeping bag
- Thermal leggings
- Fleece pants
- Quick-drying clothes
- Waterproof hiking boots
- Pair of socks and more
- Day bag
- Trekking poles
- LED Headlamp
Make sure to also bring some cash with you and your documents.
It takes time to acclimatize
Some climbers don’t succeed in climbing the top of Kilimanjaro summit due to altitude sickness. This is why it’s essential to give your body time to acclimatize better, and you can attain that using the longer routes.
How hard is it to ascend mount Kilimanjaro
Nowadays, it’s not that hard to climb Kilimanjaro because there are well-established and accessible trek routes, like the Marangu route. Thus, the most challenging thing you’ll face in your journey is altitude-related problems.
When is the best time to scale Kilimanjaro
The best time to climb Kilimanjaro is between January to February or June and October as these are the dry months of Tanzania. As much as possible, avoid trekking from March to May and November through December as these are the wet seasons of the country.
Do I need a guide to hike Kilimanjaro?
Yes. It’s a requirement to have a guide licensed by Kilimanjaro National Park to climb Kilimanjaro. Most climbers have a team that consists of porters, lead guides, assistant guides, and cook.
What must I pack in Kilimanjaro?
In climbing Kilimanjaro, it’s important to pack the following climbing essentials:
- Insulated Trekking Pants
- Long Sleeve Hiking Shirts
- Pairs of Hiking Trousers
- Top Base Layer
- Bottom Base Layer
- Pairs of Underwear
- Short Sleeve
- Insulated Winter Jacket
- Polartec Fleece Jacket
- Hard Shell Jacket
- Daypack bag
- Waterproof duffle bag
- Sleeping bag
- Trekking poles
- Water bottles
- Neck gaiter or scarf
- Warm beanie
- Sun hat
Hands & feet gears
- Warm gloves or mittens
- Lightweight gloves
- Trekking boats
- Trekking shoes
- Pairs of socks
- Plug adapter
- Camera and extra batteries
So, there you have it! These are the things that you should know about climbing Kilimanjaro. So, start packing up for your next African adventure with this guide in mind. If you have any questions about climbing Kilimanjaro, visiting Tanzania, or planning your dream safari, get in contact with Easy Travel today to turn your dreams into reality.