This article consists of all the important information about Kilimanjaro, for everyone looking forward to climbing Kilimanjaro. You are about to get an overview of the climate, lodging, climbing, safety and costing involved in hiking Kilimanjaro.
If you do not know how to hike Kilimanjaro, this article will guide you throughout your Kilimanjaro expedition.
Kilimanjaro is located in northern Tanzania, very close to Kenya’s frontier. Climbing Kilimanjaro is the most popular adventure activity amongst people all across the world. Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in Africa.
Climbing mt Kilimanjaro is not as easy as it sounds. Some people, during an adrenaline rush, might venture out without a guide. Kilimanjaro climb needs some groundwork and a licensed guide, to begin with. If you want your climb to be a successful and fun-filled one, follow the rules and plan well before the trek.
Preparation before Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro
You need to take some time out to plan your trip. Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro requires the following planning and preparation:
- Suitable time, considering the weather and the climatic conditions
- A number of days/nights of stay
- Arrangement for a licensed guide for your Kilimanjaro hike
- Setting of budget
Selecting a Suitable Time
Visiting Kilimanjaro in the dry months of the year is ideal and the best. Months of January/February and August/September are specifically the perfect months for a hike on Mount Kilimanjaro. January to the mid of March and June to October are months of fairly nice weather on Mount Kilimanjaro.
If you are concerned about your climb on Mount Kilimanjaro because of the weather conditions, then you don’t have to worry much. There are hardly any temperature fluctuations on the mountain. Seasons don’t affect the climate up there. The weather conditions are affected and determined by the height and altitude. The time of the day also affects the temperature. Altitude greatly affects the air pressure and oxygen level, which can bring weather changes. Hiking Mt Kilimanjaro is almost like trekking towards the North Pole from the Equator.
Since you are traveling from one climate zone to another, you will experience temperature changes. Below is a short sum up of the same:
- Bushland: Bushland is a highly humid region, with a temperature ranging from 25°C to 28°C. It is about 1400m above the sea level. While walking up the Kilimanjaro, you will discover huge expanse, which was once covered with forest and natural bush. Now you will find vast grasslands and crops all over. There are a few wild animals scattered across the zone.
- Rainforest: Kilimanjaro mountain climbing will make you witness the mighty rainforests. The rainforest zone supports diverse flora and fauna. The variety of wildlife gets its support from the 2m of rain, which the region annually receives. The temperature here fluctuates a lot, making the nights extremely cold. As soon as it starts getting dark, humidity increases. The rainforest climate zone blossoming and warm throughout the year. It shelters some very rare species that are not found anywhere else on the planet.
- Heath and Moorland: As you cross the 4000m milestone of your Kilimanjaro hike, Heath and Moorland begin. Tropical rainforest ends with fog and haze. But, as soon as you cross the end of that zone, clear and fresh landscape catches the sight. Heath and Moorland are home to Heather and other healthy plants.
- Highland Desert: This climate zone is water deprived and very dry. Hiking up Mount Kilimanjaro gets real when you reach Highland Desert. The vegetation here is very sparse and temperature fluctuations very extreme. The daytime temperature crosses 35°C and it gets freezing cold during the night. The alpine desert has a rocky topography. The region is dry, windy and cold. Many people compare the Alpine to the moon.
- Arctic Zone: This is the final milestone, about 5500 m from where the Kilimanjaro trek starts. This region will make you question, ‘Why do people climb Kilimanjaro?’ The region has zero vegetation and no signs of fauna. It is rocky and icy up there, with extremely cold nights and baffling sun rays during the day. The final steps of the trek give an explorer like feeling, which makes climbing the Kilimanjaro summit worth the effort.
Number of Days/Nights of Stay
Before you start your packing for your Mt Kilimanjaro trek, decide on the number of days and nights you want to give to your trip. Ideally, five days are required for a Kilimanjaro expedition.
There is an alternate route to Kilimanjaro, which is the most popular route amongst the Kilimanjaro hikers. This route is called the Machame route.
If you keep an extra day for the Machame course, it will add up to the fun and make your summit even more thrilling. For adjustments and emergencies, keep two more days. This will make up a total of 8 days.
Therefore, if you plan for 8 days, you are more likely to have a successful and hassle free Kilimanjaro trek.
Arranging for a Licensed Guide for the Hike
Kilimanjaro is surrounded by a belt of greenery. This greenery is Kilimanjaro National Park and entry to this area is prohibited.
You can’t go about climbing the highest peak in Africa all by yourself. Only a registered guide will tell you how to climb Kilimanjaro.
A good trek agency will guide you throughout your trek to Mount Kilimanjaro. From licensed guides to food and water supplies, they will equip you with everything you might require during your camp. If you are associated with a good agency, all you will have to carry is your backpack. Everything else will be on them. You do not have to worry about the cooking or the camp. They are skilled enough to take care of everything required during trekking in Kilimanjaro.
Most climbers book their guides months before their expedition. It is always better to book your agency well before the trip. This saves time and last minute hassles.
You much watch out for a few things, before you spend your pennies on guides and agencies. Agencies differ in quality. These are available in diverse quality. Some are responsible and superior quality agencies that take their jobs seriously. Some provide luxury Kilimanjaro trek services, while others just lurk around.
You must watch out for responsible in-charge. Do not fall prey to low budget agencies. This will not only ruin your trek, but also put your life at risk.
Setting of Budget
In the above section, we discussed low budget agencies. Setting a budget before venturing out doesn’t mean compromising on quality. Before you set out to Mount Kilimanjaro Trekking, make a budget of how to spend on other things. You wouldn’t want to end up running short of money. Avoid spending too much on things that are not significant. Save money for emergency situations.
Trekking Kilimanjaro is fun, but has potential risks. If you want to steer clear of undesirable situations, set a budget and spend wisely.
Hiking Kilimanjaro: All that is required
How to hike Kilimanjaro?
This one question intrigues every hiker, who wishes for a Kilimanjaro day hike.
In order to trek to Kilimanjaro, you need to get done with the preliminary procedures. These procedures include:
– Booking flight
– Getting Visa approved
– Arranging for essentials
If you have hired a reputable agency, you don’t have to worry about your tickets and reservation. They take care of your bookings. However, if you doubt your agency, make sure you do your bookings well in advance. Kilimanjaro is a hot tourist destination. A lot of people expedite to Kilimanjaro during vacation.
Visa approval is another crucial step. In order to enter Tanzania, you would require a valid passport and a visa. Visit Tanzania embassy in your country to obtain your visa. Alternatively, you can check their website to find out the procedure to obtain Tanzania visa. Visa upon arrival is also an option for those who do not have Tanzania embassy in their country of residence.
There are certain essentials that you must carry with you while summiting Mt Kilimanjaro. Backpack, sleeping bags and down jackets are very important. Apart from these, make sure you carry light yet warm winter clothes. Thermals are generally ideal for this purpose. Also, make sure you keep socks, gloves and caps to protect yourself from chilly winds.
Should I climb Kilimanjaro?
This is yet another question many people ask themselves before their Mount Kilimanjaro expedition. Mountain climbing, specifically Kilimanjaro, requires strength and stamina. If you are not in a good shape, you are more likely to doubt your decision of trekking Mt Kilimanjaro. A good body with great stamina and resistance is required to meet the harsh challenges of the Kilimanjaro hiking trip.
If you are in doubt whether you should climb Kilimanjaro, you must make it clear within yourself whether you can climb Mount Kilimanjaro or not.
Kilimanjaro walk is simply a walk to remember. Climbing Kilimanjaro is definitely worth it. With so many people rushing towards Tanzania to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the thrill and adventure become very evident. ‘How to climb Mount Kilimanjaro’ is probably the most searched phrase on Google. Only an expedition will tell you how many people climb Kilimanjaro in a day.
The estimate of how many people climb Kilimanjaro each year is astounding. In 2017 alone, an astonishing number of people have set their ways to trek Kilimanjaro.
The success rate of climbing Kilimanjaro is 50%, but it all comes down to your will and spirit. If you have the ‘I want to climb Kilimanjaro anyhow’ spirit, do not wait. 2017 has come up with new hopes and opportunities. Make 2017 worth your while and climb and trek up Mt Kilimanjaro. Walking Kilimanjaro sure demands efforts, but will give you an experience of a lifetime. Plan a Kilimanjaro day trip and have the time of your life.