How Hard Is It To Climb Mount Kilimanjaro? 2023–2024 updates on how hard it is to climb “the Roof of Africa”—Mount Kilimanjaro: Many tourists want to hike to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest free-standing peak in the world and the highest mountain in Africa. In order to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, an estimated 30,000 individuals travel to Tanzania each year, and statistics indicate that more and more of them succeed in reaching the top.
It is a challenge to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, and if you’re unfamiliar with trekking, camping, outdoor living, or high altitude, you might find it difficult. However, the specific challenges are primarily brought on by the altitude, your attitude, and your fitness. With the right preparation and a good guide team, the vast majority of people will successfully summit.
The majority of hill walkers and trekkers are physically capable of climbing Kilimanjaro, but it must be done properly. You must have a good guide and support team to make sure you have the right gear and are well-rested, fed, and guided so that by the time you reach the high camp, from which you’ll launch your summit bid, you’ll be in good health, well-acclimatized to the lower levels of oxygen in the air, hydrated, and full of energy. In general, you should be in decent shape to climb Kilimanjaro if you can comfortably walk 6 to 7 hours a day over uneven terrain for several days in succession at home.
Unless you choose to climb the Western Breach, which calls for helmets owing to unstable rocks, there are no technical requirements for climbing Kilimanjaro. You won’t need any specialized equipment or expertise for the common routes; it’s just a matter of walking one step at a time. Some people find the Barranco Wall on the Machame and Lemosho routes to be a little “lofty” because you meander up a marked trail that occasionally requires three points of contact and some scrambling, but it’s not risky and the guides are there to make sure of that. Instead, you can bypass it by taking the Northern Circuit or Rongai routes.
If you are not well-prepared, Mount Kilimanjaro is challenging to climb, although it is not extremely difficult; in fact, it is a hike. Depending on the route used, Mt. Kilimanjaro’s summit can be reached in anywhere from 5 to 10 days.
Although the hike is shorter, reaching the summit is more challenging. In actuality, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro requires a short ascent and has a low success rate, so you must be well-prepared. If you weren’t well-prepared, this could lead to acute mountain sickness, in which case you might need to go back for assistance. In this way, the difficulty of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro can be determined; longer routes have a higher success rate.
Being comfortable, prepared, and experienced with everything before you arrive can make the climb easier for you. This includes everything from your gear to camping, living outdoors, and walking. There are several ways to accomplish this; continue reading as this section is discussed below. How precisely do you reach the peak of Kilimanjaro, and what is the best path to take in order to do so?
HOW MANY ROUTES ARE THERE TO THE SUMMIT OF MOUNT KILIMANJARO?
There are seven ways to reach the top of Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro. Lemosho, Machame, Marangu, Rongai, the Northern Circuit, Shira, and Umbwe are among them. The Mweka route is another route that only involves descents.
Because of its gentle rise, the Marangu route is one of the easiest route to reach the mountain’s peak. Also, it’s the only route up Kilimanjaro that provides dormitory-style sleeping huts with Coke service. It has earned the moniker “the Coca-Cola route” as a result. It has been said that travelers can reach the top of the mountain via “the Coca-Cola Path” in five to six days. The oldest and possibly most well-known path is this one.
There may be one or more paths to the summit, depending on your tour operator. You should go slowly so that you can adjust to the shifting altitude. The main reason most people are unable to reach the top is altitude sickness.
CAN A BEGINNER CLIMB MOUNT KILIMANJARO?
Yes. As it is merely an uphill stroll, there is no technological expertise needed. You don’t need any specialized ropes or climbing gear, and you don’t require any prior hiking knowledge. Your chances of having a successful summit can be improved by making a reservation with a reputable Tanzania tour operator such as Focus East Africa Tours.
That is not to argue, however, that having prior trekking experience has no bearing on your likelihood of succeeding in reaching the summit. There is little doubt that those who have hiked up mountains in the past will find climbing Kilimanjaro simpler than others who have never done so.
The altitude is the biggest challenge when climbing Kilimanjaro. The higher you climb, the less oxygen there is, and it takes days to reach the summit. Those with prior experience are better able to assess the demands of such a trek and alter their pace so that they can walk for long periods of time. They could also be able to pace themselves better. A steady pace and a pleasant attitude can go a long way for beginning hikers. A further piece of easy advice for acclimation is to get a good night’s sleep every night.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO CLIMB MOUNT KILIMANJARO?
It typically takes five to nine or ten days to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, after which one must climb back to the starting point. The more time you spend climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, the more likely you are to reach the summit because you will be less exhausted and more acclimated to the altitude.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO CLIMB MOUNT KILIMANJARO?
The warmest and driest parts of the year, which are from December to mid-March and mid-June to the end of October, are the finest seasons to climb Kilimanjaro. The weather is ideal for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro at that time, with beautiful skies, stunning views, nearly no rain, and lots of sunshine. And yet, despite having the finest weather for a Kilimanjaro trip, these are also the busiest months.
Mount Kilimanjaro does not “close,” therefore, you can climb it all year round. Only April and November should be avoided because they are the beginning and end of the main rainy season, which makes the paths more treacherous for hikers. So, it is generally not a good idea to go climbing during the rainy season.
HOW TO TRAIN AND PREPARE FOR MOUNT KILIMANJARO
The best training recommendation for Mount Kilimanjaro is to simply go hiking. To imitate climbing Kilimanjaro, try to hike as frequently as you can up hills or mountains. Better yet, if you can hike while wearing a weighted backpack. Naturally, not everybody has quick access to the great outdoors.
If that describes you, a good substitute is to simulate hiking on a machine like the Stairmaster at your neighborhood gym. Running or cycling are both excellent cardiovascular exercises that can help you get ready for the Mount Kilimanjaro hike.
Keep in mind that you will be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro while carrying a daypack weighing roughly 20 pounds. Decrease the time interval and distance while maintaining a modest pace during your workout.
Aim to go on hikes three times a week, for a minimum of an hour each time. Naturally, the trails in your area will determine the length, elevation, and distance of your excursions. The ideal “training trail” would be a few miles long with a slight ascent that takes an hour or so to complete.
Moreover, try to schedule some time on the weekends to hike longer trails that last four to six hours and have mild elevation changes while toting a 20-pound pack. This will help you become ready for the demanding physical and mental conditions at high elevations. Keep in mind that the purpose of this exercise is to mimic climbing Kilimanjaro, so use caution and wear a day pack while moving slowly for a longer amount of time.
How hard is the Kilimanjaro climb then? Depending on the path you take, if you climb on a longer route with a reputable tour company like Focus East Africa Tours, you probably will succeed in reaching the summit—and unlike Hans Meyer, you probably won’t need more than one attempt.