Finding out how long it takes to climb Kilimanjaro is one of the first things to do when planning your trip. Many of the popular routes will take a minimum of six days, but this can vary considerably according to your selected tour. In general, it is preferable to add a day or two in order to adjust to the altitude. Additionally, if you’re going to Tanzania, it makes sense to combine a Kilimanjaro trek with a safari, beach holiday or perhaps a bike ride
The difficulty levels for climbing Kilimanjaro vary depending on which route you take and your personal fitness level. Most trekkers find climbing Kilimanjaro at the moderate-very difficult level on the trail rating system. The biggest factor is how your body handles altitude. Kilimanjaro peaks at 5,895m (19,340’), which makes even simple trekking much more difficult
Once you’ve decided on your trip, you’ll need to factor in some time for training to climb Kilimanjaro. Training is essential for everyone, but will vary depending on your personal health and fitness. In general, it is recommended to train by engaging in frequent challenging hikes in the months prior to your climb.
The first people to successfully climb Mount Kilimanjaro were Hans Meyer and Ludwid Purtscheller in 1889.
Estimates range from 35,000 to 50,000 people, with that number expected to increase in the coming years.
The best airport to fly into to climb Kilimanjaro is the Kilimanjaro International Airport (JBO), located southwest of the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park. The nearest town is Moshi
The easiest way to climb Kilimanjaro is to book a tour before you leave. Planning the logistics, ensuring there is space at camps and hiring all the necessary guides and porters is a lot of work, and you should budget a few days at minimum if you want to do it once you arrive in Moshi. You’ll also need to be more flexible with your dates if you book your trip once in Moshi. As with all tours, book your Kilimanjaro trek with a reputable tour operator to maximize your chances of success.
You need no technical mountaineering skills for many of the routes that ascend Kilimanjaro, which is good to know, especially for beginners. You do not need any mountaineering expertise in order to navigate a Kilimanjaro trek. However, while it’s only a hike, it is at high altitude, and the trail can be challenging, requiring the use of hands in some places.
Due to the changes in altitude and switchback trails winding up the mountain, it’s advisable to have a decent, moderate level of fitness. Physical fitness isn’t the determinant factor for success, however, as both a 7-year old and an 89-year old have been known to successfully summit Kilimanjaro. Rather, a successful climb is determined by your overall health, your body’s ability to adapt to altitude, and most importantly, a positive attitude.
Check out this feature article about a 68-year-old Colorado woman who does all the training and planning for an eight-day group tour of 11 guests with three guides and 33 porters. Her inspiring story takes very unexpected turn when she reaches the to the top
You will cross at least 5 sub-climates to reach the summit. Mount Kilimanjaro is a world of its own, and as a free-standing mountain, it has no neighbors. Yet, on its own it stands tall and proud with a ring of perpetual snow and ice at the top. To reach it, you must trek across several different climate zones, from the hot, dusty desert all the way to the icy summit of Uhuru’s Peak. So pack wisely, and pack light, as there are weigh-in stations along the Kilimanjaro trek in order to control foot traffic and regulate how much climbers can carry.
Choosing a trusted Kilimanjaro Guide or tour operator is your best chance at success. Of the many people attempting to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, estimates suggest that only 65-70% will actually make it to the summit. Many people underestimate the challenge of climbing Kilimanjaro. But with the right tour operator, those chances increase to over 90%. Since the market is competitive, be sure to do your research in choosing a trusted Kilimanjaro tour operator Or Guide who will both challenge you, but keep your health and safety a priority.
Ultimately, climbing Kilimanjaro is a once in a lifetime achievement for most people. While getting to the top of Kilimanjaro is no easy feat, it is a remarkably satisfying experience for all those who attempt it.