10 tips for a successful climb to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro

Facts about mount Kilimanjaro
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    Aiming for a successful climb to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro? If so, we’ve prepared some valuable tips for you!

    As you might know, taking on Kilimajaro isn’t an easy task, so we ensure to equip every trekker with some knowledge they can use to have a triumphant climb to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

    So, without much further ado, here are ten tips for a successful climb to the summit of Kilimanjaro:

    Tip #1: Choose the right route up the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro

    Summit of mount kilimanjaro

    To have the highest chance of climbing success, you’ll have to be at the lowest risk for altitude sickness. This is because altitude sickness is a significant reason why some trekkers don’t succeed in climbing to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

    However, this wouldn’t be a problem if you acclimatize to the mountain’s conditions while you climb. The key here is to take the longer routes to the summit rather than choosing the shorter ones as you’ll be giving your body a higher opportunity to cope with the lack of oxygen on higher elevations, increasing your chance for summit success. Thus, taking the 7-day Machame route or the 8-day Lemosho route will offer a much higher chance of success than taking the five to six days route.

    Those who choose the 7-day climb have a success rate of 85%, while those who take the 6-day climb have 44% and 5-day climb with only 27% success rate. Thus, the routes you choose and the number of days you spend on the mountain play a significant part in your summit success.

    Therefore, choose your route wisely.

    Tip #2: Train yourself well before climbing the summit of mount Kilimanjaro

    Tanzania - train yourself well before climbing the summit of mount kilimanjaro. - 10 tips for a successful climb to the summit of mount kilimanjaro

    Although Kilimanjaro is deemed as a trekking peak and doesn’t require any technical training, this doesn’t mean you don’t need to train yourself. To have a successful climb up to the summit of KIlimanjaro, one has to be fit enough. After all, this is the highest mountain in Africa.

    But, exactly how do you train yourself? Ideally, you should start your training by hiking mountains or hills at 10,500 feet altitude.

    Doing daily hikes at this altitude will simulate the Kilimanjaro climb for your body. So, to get the best training results, make sure the mountains you climb beforehand have enough elevation. If you can’t find trails near your place, you can train yourself by going up and down a staircase. But, know that hills or mountain hikes are the best ways to train.

    You can also train by using a bike or treadmill for about 30 to 40 minutes, 3 to 4 times a week. It’s recommended to train yourself for at least 2 to 3 months for your Kilimanjaro climb.

    In particular, you’ll need to do:

    Tip #3: Water is your friend: Hydrate regularly

    Tanzania - water is your friend hydrate regularly - 10 tips for a successful climb to the summit of mount kilimanjaro

    When you’re at a high altitude level, you tend to get dehydrated quickly because of the dry air. This can increase the risk of headaches, overall fatigue, and Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS).

    Thus, drink a lot of water to prevent dehydration that can potentially contribute to mountain sickness. Although a slight headache is common for most hikers, it can turn into AMS if not handled early.

    Drinking a lot of water can help prevent additional discomfort linked to dehydration and headaches. Water is provided for each hiker at the campsite, so it’s best to carry with you at least 3 liters of water at all times to keep yourself hydrated.

    Tip #4: Be comfortable with the wilderness and hike at a slow pace

    Tanzania - be comfortable with the wilderness and hike at a slow pace - 10 tips for a successful climb to the summit of mount kilimanjaro

    Tip number four would be preparing yourself mentally. You need to be comfortable with the wilderness as you’ll have to stay in the bush for several days.

    You’ll literally be sleeping outdoors in a tent, under a chilly night condition, and you’ll also be experiencing rugged conditions along your adventure. You’ll take a baby wipe shower, encounter dirt all day long, and face bugs of all sizes.

    However, never worry about your comfort as Easy Travel will ensure to give the best that we can to make each of our clients comfortable. Although most of the accommodation on our Kilimanjaro trips is camping (except the Marangu route), we ensure to provide the best sleeping conditions for our hikers. We also have a private toilet, so you don’t have to use the public ‘squat toilet’, which is usually uncomfortable and dirty.

    When it comes to the trekking pace, it’s ideal to climb to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro at a slow pace. This will make a significant difference because it won’t strain your body. As a result, your body can cope up with the lack of oxygen in higher elevations. So, never try to race your way to the campsite as it can negatively affect your body.

    Take time to enjoy the scenery and talk with other fellow trekkers to make your journey up Kilimanjaro more memorable and fun. After all, you’re here to experience Mount Kilimanjaro.

    Tip #5: Pack and wear the right gear to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro


    It’s essential to pack and wear the right gear to have a successful climb to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Thus, it’s best to have a list of gear you need to bring to make your summit journey a lot easier.

    So, to make it easier for our clients, we made a list of equipment to refer to. Some of the gear involved can be found in the box below.

    Headlight/ torch1Balaclava1
    Sunglass1Warm Hat1
    Sun Hat1Base Layer2
    Top Fleece2Warm Jacket1
    Poncho1Long Underwear2
    Ski Pant1Rain Pant1
    Thin Socks2Thick Socks3
    Mountain Boots2Tennis Shoe1
    Gators1Warm Gloves2
    Ski Gloves2Duffel Bag / Rucksack1
    Day Packs1Scarf1
    Walking Poles1  

    With the right gear, you’ll keep yourself warm and make the trekking journey more manageable and bearable.

    Tip #6: Eat more food and have some snacks

    Tanzania - eat more food and have some snacks - 10 tips for a successful climb to the summit of mount kilimanjaro

    Another tip to ensure a successful climb to the summit of Kilimanjaro is to eat your meals and have some snacks along the way. When you’re at a high altitude, you tend to lose your appetite, so eating may not be tempting no matter how delicious the food looks.

    However, you need to eat your meals to keep going. You’re going to need a lot of energy for this expedition, and you can get enough fuel from eating more food.

    As much as possible, bring some high-calorie snacks from home with you to keep you filled on your climb. At the campsite, we’ll also provide delicious meals, snacks, and beverages to make sure that you’ll not lack nutrition on the mountain.

    If you have some favorite protein bars, you can bring them to your Kilimanjaro expedition to munch on your climb. You can also bring some nuts, M&M’s, and hard candies.

    Tip #7: Research

    Travel solo in tanzania

    When going to an unknown place, it’s always best to do some research before you go to make sure that you’re prepared for what’s to come. It’s best to read materials that can help you know how to handle the possible challenges ahead.

    This way, you can reduce your anxiety as you’ll be anticipating situations and somewhat know what to do. It’s best to start reading blogs related to Kilimanjaro and familiarise yourself with the things that can happen at high elevations.

    It would also help to visit travel forums related to the Kilimanjaro climb to see the experiences of other trekkers. Moreover, you can also watch YouTube videos of the Kilimanjaro climb expedition to learn more about the climb and know what to expect.

    Tip #8: Get enough sleep

    Tanzania - get enough sleep - 10 tips for a successful climb to the summit of mount kilimanjaro

    Another essential tip is to get enough sleep on the mountain. Sleep is very important to help your body recover from the long hours of hiking.

    When you’re on the mountain, you’ll get used to the routine of waking up, eating breakfast, hiking, eating lunch and dinner, sleeping, and then repeating the cycle. However, sleeping on the mountain can be challenging during the chilly nights and some hikers report being able to sleep altogether.

    This can be considered normal as your body is adjusting to the mountain conditions. But, as the days pass by your body will begin to cope and the quality of your sleep will improve.

    To recover faster, don’t needlessly overspend your energy throughout the day. Take a break if you think you need one and take time to relax in your tent once you arrive at the campsite.

    Furthermore, change from your trekking clothes to sleeping clothes after some rest, and in order to replenish your energy, make sure to also eat your dinner even if you don’t feel like eating.

    Tip #9: Choose a reliable & trustworthy tour operator for your Kilimanjaro adventure

    Tanzania - trip advisor hall of fame easy travel cover - 10 tips for a successful climb to the summit of mount kilimanjaro

    Choosing a reliable and trustworthy tour operator for your Kilimanjaro adventure is another key to a successful Kilimanjaro climb. Thus, when choosing a tour operator, make sure that they’re well-established and have a long-standing reputation for high-quality and excellent services.

    Avoid choosing shady companies that don’t have standardized procedures as it can result in a hit or miss service. Protect the money you invest in your Kilimanjaro adventure by ensuring that you’re with the right company.

    An experienced and excellent guide knows how to set the right pace for the group and can detect early signs of altitude sickness. This way, AMS or altitude sickness won’t get worse and can get treated right away.

    Most importantly, it’s best to associate with a company with good guides who can coordinate effectively during rescue emergency situations since they’re highly trained in safety protocols. Although it can be tempting to choose the cheapest option possible, you need to get the services from reliable and established companies when it comes to your Kilimanjaro adventure.

    That way, you can rest assured that you’re safe and protected throughout your Kilimanjaro climb.

    Tip #10: Stay positive!

    Tanzania - stay positive - 10 tips for a successful climb to the summit of mount kilimanjaro

    To climb successfully up to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, you have to stay positive at all times. Doubts will surely come to you, particularly on the summit day, and things will get more challenging.

    Thus, whenever you think of quitting, remind yourself that you’re almost there. You came way too far to turn back now. Think about your hard work to reach a particular elevation of the mountain and the challenges you have overcome.  

    As long as you keep a positive attitude and mindset, you’ll overcome all the challenges on Kilimanjaro and have a successful summit. Just believe in yourself and take it one step at a time.

    How to train for Kilimanjaro?

    Tanzania - how to train for kilimanjaro - 10 tips for a successful climb to the summit of mount kilimanjaro

    To train for Kilimanjaro, it’s ideal to hike a mountain or hills with an elevation of 10,500 ft. to simulate the Kilimanjaro climb. However, if you don’t have a mountain or hill near you, you can go up and down using your stairs with a backpack.

    In addition, train using a bike or a treadmill for about 30 to 40 minutes, 3 to 4 times a week. Do this for at least 2 to 3 months.

    Moreover, make sure to do warm-up, aerobic exercises, and strength training. This way, you can ensure that your body can cope up quickly with the mountain’s conditions.


    Ready for your adventure up the highest mountain in Africa? Got your dates set? What about your gear? We know preparation, planning and arriving can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve never been to Tanzania before. We recommend getting in touch with one of our Kilimanjaro specialists who can help you plan your adventure from begging to end. We at Easy Travel are here to help build your dream adventures.

    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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