How to prepare for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro
How to prepare for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro : Mount Kilimanjaro is among the seven summits of the world and is also the highest free standing mountain in Africa. The mountain is found in the northern part of Tanzania and is also described as a snow capped mountain. Mount Kilimanjaro is a popular destination especially for people interested in hiking to the summit of the mountain.
It could take about 5 or more days to get to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro and descend from the mountain depending on the route used for the hike. Conquering the steep slopes and getting to the Uhuru summit is an exciting experience to look forward to during a hike on Kilimanjaro.
The Uhuru peak is the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro at 5,895 meters and the hike to the top of the Kilimanjaro has some breathtaking views and the mountain can be visited by both experienced and non-experienced hikers. Uhuru peak is found on the Kibo volcanic cone and is the highest of the 3 peaks of Kilimanjaro mountain.
Mount Kilimanjaro also has 3 volcanic cones which are Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira. Mawenzi and Shira are extinct while Kibo is dormant and could erupt again. Mount Kilimanjaro is also referred to as a strato volcano.
Packing list for your hike on Mount Kilimanjaro
Here is a sample of the gear list to prepare you for your hike on Mount Kilimanjaro. You will need to separate the clothing you need for the hike from and carry only what you need as well as toiletries.
You could pack sunscreen, a camera, food, water, hiking shoes, waterproof bag among other personal needs. Remember to pack light but include all your necessary items that you travel with and also ensure your property will be safe during your hike on Mount Kilimanjaro.
It is also recommended that you pack light and breathable clothing and also quick drying. Cotton clothing is also discouraged and so are jeans as they are not suitable for hiking on Mount Kilimanjaro. Layering of clothes is also recommended so as to stay warm and dry during the hike.
Tour operators provide some of the equipment during hikes on Mount Kilimanjaro such as first aid kits, oxygen as well as tents for sleeping. During the hike on Mount Kilimanjaro, guides, porters, rangers and cooks also accompany you to the summit and back.
Porters can help to carry some of your luggage during your hike on Mount Kilimanjaro and the weight carried by porters is limited to 15kgs. If you have more luggage, it is recommended that you get another porter to help you with the luggage.
There are a variety of tour packages to choose from for a hike on Mount Kilimanjaro using the different routes on the mountain such as Marangu route, Lemosho route, Machame route, Rongai route, Umbwe route, Shira route and also the northern route.
After deciding the route you will use when hiking on Mount Kilimanjaro, it is important to consider factors such as the success rate for the route you will use for the hike, taking time for acclimatization, packing light and considering your comfort during the hike on the mountain, hydrating during the hike (taking at least 3 to 4 liters of water daily), training for the hike as a way of preparing for the actual hike which can be challenging.
Before travel to Tanzania for Tanzania Safaris where Mount Kilimanjaro is found, it is also important to consider the various vaccinations you will need to take such as the yellow fever vaccinations. It is also important to consider your health and ability to adapt to the altitude during your hike on the mountain. This is because of altitude sickness due to the change in altitude.
Also don’t forget your travel documents such as passport and visa when planning your trip to Tanzania.
Equipment needed for the climb on Mount Kilimanjaro
Some of the routes used for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro have hut accommodation where you can rest at the end of your hiking day such as along the Marangu route which has accommodation at Kibo hut, Horombo hut and Mandara hut.
Not all the routes used for hiking on Mount Kilimanjaro have such hut accommodations therefore it is recommended that you hire equipment for your hike on the mountain or plan the entire trip with a tour operator who can organize all that is needed for the hike.
Equipment you may need for a hike on Mount Kilimanjaro includes tents, sleeping bags, trekking pants, winter jackets, trekking poles, a scarf, a sun hat, sunglasses, a headlamp, warm gloves, socks, an insulated jacket, an adapter, spare batteries, snacks, ear plugs, binoculars, duffel bags among others.
Trekking poles help to keep your balance as you hike the mountain. Comfortable shoes during a hike on Mount Kilimanjaro are also good as they improve on your comfort during the trek.
How to get there
Mount Kilimanjaro is an attraction in the northern part of Tanzania and it can be accessed by flights to Kilimanjaro international airport. Another way to get to the mountain is by driving from Arusha or Moshi which is a town at the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro.
When to go
The best time to go for a hike on Mount Kilimanjaro is during the months of December to March and also from June to October. For those who prefer less crowds during their hikes, December to March is recommended while from June to October there are many people visiting Mount Kilimanjaro.
Tours to Mount Kilimanjaro can range from day visits just to experience a hike on the mountain and can also take 5 or more days of hiking to the summit and back. Depending on your preference on when to go for a safari, you can visit Mount Kilimanjaro at any time of the year.
During the hike on Mount Kilimanjaro, it is also good to remember that the weather on the mountain is unpredictable and can change from a sunny day to a chilly day or you can experience fog or even rain before you How to prepare for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
Book a hiking trip with us and we will ensure that your trip to Mount Kilimanjaro is a success during your stay in Tanzania.