Ascending Uhuru: A Kilimanjaro Hike Preparation Information

As Africa’s highest and most prestigious mountain, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is a large enterprise that takes a good bit of preparation. Even for those who’re a comparatively match and wholesome particular person, climbing a mountain of this measurement will take a look at you each mentally and bodily.

With this in thoughts, it’s one hundred pc achievable to achieve the summit of Kilimanjaro with sufficient preparation. Actually, summiting success charges hover across the mark, relying on the route you select.

When you’ve all the time dreamed of conquering a Mount Kilimanjaro hike, that is the last word information that will help you put together.

Getting To Know Mount Kilimanjaro

Located in Northern Tanzania, Mount Kilimanjaro sits slap, bang in the midst of the Kilimanjaro Nationwide Park because the world’s tallest free-standing mountain. With an altitude of 19,341 toes (5,895 meters), you can’t mistake its grand presence that watches over the open Tanzanian plains beneath.

The mountain is definitely a dormant volcano and boasts three separate volcanic cones, referred to as Shira, Mawenzi, and Kibo — with its iconic summit referred to as Uhuru (which suggests ”freedom” in Swahili).

When you needed to examine the dimensions of Mount Kilimanjaro to Mount Everest, most individuals are shocked to know that it’s not that far off. Whereas the summit of Kilimanjaro stands at 19,341 toes, the summit of Mount Everest stands at 29,029 toes. In meters, Mount Everest is simply 2,950 meters taller.

This would possibly offer you a tough concept of why preparation is so necessary once you plan to climb Kilimanjaro. And your first place is to begin is to know the completely different routes to select from…

Choosing the Proper Route for Your Kilimanjaro Hike

Formally, there are 7 completely different routes to select from as a way to summit this iconic peak. The important thing to summiting success is selecting the best route, as every one has its personal stage of problem and talent necessities. All in all, the advisable period of time you want to submit this mountain is 7-8 days.

Southern Circuit Routes: Lemosho

That is most likely one of the in style and profitable routes for climbers of all capabilities. With the Lemosho route, you start your hike on the far western finish of the mountain, and it ought to take a complete of 7-8 days to summit and descend the mountain.

That is one of the best route for acclimatization, particularly if that is your first main mountain hike. This route has an excellent summit success fee, so that you need to go for the Lemosho route as a rookie hiker.


Starting on the southwest aspect of the mountain, you begin at a decrease altitude than the Lemosho route, so acclimatization is slightly simpler. You too can full a profitable summit and descent of the mountain in 6-7 days, relying on how properly you acclimatize.

Identical to the Lemosho route, this is among the hottest selections amongst hikers of all capabilities and health ranges. It’s additionally superbly scenic.


When you’re on the lookout for a couple of creature comforts of residence alongside your hike, then that is one of the best route to decide on. The Marangu Route is the one one that provides hut lodging alongside the way in which and never tents. Therefore the explanation it’s the most well-liked.


It’s an excellent route and slightly cheaper than a number of the others, nonetheless, the summit success charges aren’t as excessive. It is because acclimatization could be a little extra strenuous. For this reason you need to go for an extended itinerary, such because the 6-day route, and never the 5-day route.

The Northern Circuit

When you’re curious about climbing Kilimanjaro and never encountering any crowds alongside the way in which, that is one of the best route to decide on. It’s the quietest route by a mile, but it surely’s additionally the longest.

Beginning on the Lemosho path, you then traverse throughout the north aspect of the mountain and method Uhuru Peak by way of a monitor referred to as Gilman’s Level. When you have the time and might afford the expense of this circuit, then go for it.

The Rongai Route

That is the one circuit that doesn’t start in Tanzania, however fairly, from the north on the Kenyan border. When you’re strapped for time on when to climb all year long, this is among the finest routes to contemplate.

This northern route tends to take a seat within the rain shadow, so you possibly can even climb it in the course of the wet season. You too can snap a number of the finest low-lying photos of Mount Kilimanjaro from this route.

Selecting the Finest Time of 12 months for Your Climb

Climate is a large consideration to remember once you plan a hike of this caliber, on a mountain this measurement. It’s so necessary that it will possibly really decide your summit success.

With this in thoughts, you need to plan your Kilimanjaro hike throughout the next months:

  • January-March — this time of 12 months the climate is secure and dry, nonetheless, it may be chilly and there is likely to be snow on the summit
  • June-October — that is the busiest season on the mountain because the climate coincides with the European summer season holidays. That is one of the best time to hike Kilimanjaro because the climate is nice, secure, and dry


If you wish to keep away from the wet season, then don’t plan your trek in the course of the months of April-Might. Not solely will you expertise heavy rainfall, however heavy cloud cowl might impair your visibility.

November-December is the shoulder season and is definitely an excellent time to schedule your hike for those who plan on taking the Rongai route. It’s calmly wet and may be very chilly on the summit, however in any other case, the climate performs alongside.

Planning Out Your Funds

It’s no secret that embarking on any vital mountain trek is not any low-cost endeavor. Whether or not you propose on climbing Kilimanjaro, the Swiss Alps, or Mount Everest, your finances is a large consideration.

So, what does a Kilimanjaro hike price, roughly? As of 2021, you need to finances anyplace between $2,000-$3,000 for the trek alone. This doesn’t embrace your journey bills, potential visas, and any onward journey after your hike.

Again within the Nineteen Nineties, it price little or no to summit the mountain, however again then, the climb was all on you, and also you alone.

These days, your Kilimanjaro trek contains a large amount of assist within the type of porters, registered trek guides, and cooks. In addition to your park entrance charges. All of those prices add up.

Understanding the Summit Success Price

As with all main hike you embark on, there’s all the time an opportunity that you just gained’t make it to the summit. It is a actuality you’ll have to consider and settle for earlier than you embark on a Kilimanjaro hike.

At instances, summit success is likely to be out of your fingers. This is likely to be as a consequence of poor climate, however for those who select the precise time of 12 months, these chances are high minimal. Different instances, you may not be capable of acclimatize such as you thought you’d, and summiting will not be an choice for you as a consequence of well being considerations.

When you go together with a dedication that you just’ll summit, it is a nice angle. But it surely’s additionally necessary to make peace with the truth that you may not make the summit, and the expertise of all of it is what counts.


Summit success charges fluctuate between 45-65 p.c, relying on the route you select, as talked about. What’s necessary to remember is that success charges are typically increased once you select to spend longer on the mountain. These further days give your physique time to acclimatize and you may keep away from them.

Sadly, it is a actuality that many climbers face, and it’s one of many foremost points that some individuals don’t make it to the summit. The trek up Kilimanjaro is at a excessive altitude, whereas the ascent itself is fairly speedy, particularly for those who select a shorter route.

Earlier than you select your route, take into consideration the fact of altitude illness versus consolation versus how a lot time you must spend on ascending. On the finish of the day, the longer your trek, the decrease your danger of altitude illness.

All of the Gear and No Concept: What You Actually Must Pack

The very last thing you need to do earlier than a climb like Mount Kilimanjaro is over-pack. The porters that carry your gear up the mountain are super-human match. However solely as a result of they’re one hundred pc acclimated to the mountain and have accomplished every route quite a few instances.

However, they’re nonetheless human and they’re those that must lug your gear up and down — so if something, spare a thought for them! Nevertheless, there are some essential gadgets you’ll undoubtedly want alongside the way in which:

  • Clothes — you’ll want totally waterproof gear, and layering your clothes is finest because the climate adjustments shortly on the mountain. Select moisture-wicking materials akin to wool, and keep away from cotton
  • Headgear — this contains peaks and beanies in addition to a dependable headlamp and trekking sun shades
  • Footwear — that is most likely your most necessary factor to contemplate. Put money into high-quality and socks, and ensure to put on them in earlier than your hike!
  • Climbing equipment — put money into a pair of top-quality gloves for early mornings, evenings, and the summit, in addition to trekking poles
  • A Kilimanjaro duffel bag — this may embrace your entire private gear and is carried by your porter (on their heads!). Ensure it doesn’t weigh greater than 44 kilos (20kgs).
  • A daypack — you carry this bag your self and it’ll embrace your water, rain gear, snacks, and extra. Maintain it light-weight and follow a 20/22 liter capability
  • A sleeping bag — all the time go for a heat sleeping bag, regardless of the time of 12 months you select to climb. Go together with a down sleeping again that’s appropriate for detrimental temperatures

Different Important Objects

The above gadgets are your absolute trip or die necessities and can decide your success and luxury alongside your hike. However other than these necessary bits of substances to pack, you’ll additionally want these necessities:

  • A great-quality water bottle, ideally with a straw attachment
  • A water bladder for inside your daypack
  • Water purification tablets
  • Sweat-proof sunscreen
  • Loads of moist wipes and hand sanitizer
  • Earplugs to assist change off and sleep properly at evening
  • Spare batteries in your headlamp and an additional energy financial institution for a cellphone or digicam
  • Ziploc baggage shield your valuables akin to your digicam, cellphone, pockets, and so forth.
  • Vitality drink sachets and power bars
  • All crucial medicines (together with anti-inflammatories)
  • Blister Band-Aids
  • Insect repellent
  • A small first-aid equipment

A professional packing tip to remember: separate your foremost gadgets into dry baggage. This fashion, you’ll find issues simply as you want them and separate soiled from clear clothes. Take notice that plastic baggage are a no-go on the mountain, so that you’ll must buy separate dry baggage.

Bodily and Psychological Coaching for Kilimanjaro

So, by now, it’s best to already know that climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is not any straightforward feat. When you can submit the mountain with comparatively good health ranges, you’d be a idiot to not put together in your trek with some coaching, beforehand.


On the finish of the day, it’s this coaching that will increase your possibilities of summit success and reduces your danger of altitude illness. Ideally, you need to start coaching in your climb 6-8 weeks beforehand.

It’s best to goal to enhance your cardiovascular health. A number of the finest workouts contains long-distance path strolling, incline strolling up hills, cardio fitness center exercises, working, and swimming. It’s additionally a good suggestion to strengthen your leg muscle groups with some power/weighted work.

Psychological Preparation

Summiting a mountain like Kilimanjaro is a bodily feat, but it surely’s additionally a psychological recreation. Actually, some individuals would possibly argue that it’s way more strenuous in a psychological capability than it’s bodily.

For this reason psychological preparation is so essential to your summit success. A great way to problem your psychological capability and construct power is by pushing your self in your bodily coaching. This helps to extend your capability for overcoming stress and pressure.


One other nice method to improve your psychological stamina is. This will help you to discover a sense of calm and level-headedness when the climb begins to really feel overwhelming. You additionally need to work on adopting a constructive angle. That is the easiest way to beat sudden obstacles alongside your trek — and sure, there will probably be lots.

It’s an excellent concept to check your gear earlier than you employ it, too. Ensure to put on your trekking boots everytime you go on long-distance walks or smaller hikes. Put on them in in order that your toes get used to them earlier than Kilimanjaro!

Take a look at out your sleeping bag and what your daypack looks like when it’s packed to the brim. Determine how your water bladder works analysis one of the best snacks for power and eventually, get some good relaxation within the lead-up to your trek.

Are You a Journey Fanatic?

Planning for a Kilimanjaro hike begins at the least 6 weeks earlier than you embark on this once-in-a-lifetime journey. This would possibly sound extreme, however the higher ready you’re, the higher your likelihood of reaching Uhuru and ticking off that unimaginable achievement!

When you have a ardour for journey, make sure to discover the remainder of this website in your repair. Study extra in regards to the world’s hottest summits, climbing routes, and extra…