If you were looking for this article then you probably want to head to the Kilimanjaro National Park Tanzania.
There is nothing better than this mountain to tickle your wanderlust if you want to do something adventurous in Africa.
Located in Tanzania National Park, this is the ultimate African gem and remains the highest peak of the continent. The mountain boasts 19,341ft in height, and it’s meant to make your jaws drop and take your breath away at first sight.
So, if you are ready to climb Mount Kilimanjaro National Park in Tanzania, we have all the essentials listed out for you!
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro In Certain Curcumstances – Are You Ready To Go?
Well, let’s address the elephant in the room first!
It is fully safe to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro during the pandemic because there is a safe social distance on the mountain, and it’d be less crowded. Keep in mind that there will be canceling of a few flights, but once you reach there, you won’t have to struggle with social distancing.
There are high chances that camps will be more secluded and the toilets will be empty, which makes them very suitable for traveling.
As far as the airport screening is concerned, the airport authorities will measure the temperature, and there will be a questionnaire to be filled out.
As soon as you reach Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania, the temperature is recorded, and if it’s too high, you will be put in quarantine, and the authorities also take your health very seriously during the climb.
Also, as I have written before about Tanzania, you need to be aware of other things like vaccines and medications, although not everything is obligated.
Time Needed To Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro
Climbing this highest peak of the continent takes around five to nine days, depending on the acclimatization and route you take. Keep in mind that if you are too hasty, you might get tired and nauseous and won’t be able to reach the top. Also, there are various routes that have huts for accommodation (don’t worry, we will share the routes with you below!).
Before we go further, I would like to share this fantastic video of someone’s journey to climbing to the Kilimanjaro:
The Right Time To Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro
If you are wondering about the right time to visit this peak, there are various “right” times available because there are no closing times, so you can start the climb whenever you want.
If you plan on visiting from January to March, there are high chances that you will see snow, but there are a lot more people during June and October – yup, the latter is summertime in the continent, and it’s all beautiful.
However, if these timeframes aren’t appealing to you, you can also visit during the low season, such as November, April, and March, but there will be rains, so the slopes might be muddy (you can opt for the Rongai route during this time).
Is It Hard To Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro?
If you have made up the mind to visit the Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania, and want to climb that mountain, you must be wondering, “oh boy, but how hard will it be?”
Honestly, it’s not a cup of tea, but there are ways to make it easy, such as doing proper research, having enough information about different routes, and gaining insights into acclimatization while having sufficient climbing and trekking gear.
Also, it’s always best to have a guide with you!
The Best Routes For Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro
With this route, you will be able to reach the top in six days, and there are various stops, including Horombo Hut, Uhuru Peak, Kibo Hut, and Mandara Hut. Marangu route is one of the most popular routes and is also known as the Coca-Cola route. However, it has a gradual slope, which makes it a crowded one. On top of everything, it has various huts for making your hiking experience more convenient.
Machame route takes eight days, and it’s a bit more difficult route, but it has a higher success rate, accrediting to better acclimatization. There are two amazing huts, including Mweka Hut and Shira Hut, along with other stops, such as Uhuru Peak, Barafu, and Barranco. The best thing about this route is the picturesque views.
Lemosho route takes around eight days and has a span of 70 km. The Lemosho route has Mweka Hut, along with Uhuru Peak, Karanga, Moir, and Shira Plateau. Truth be told, this isn’t a very popular route, and you will witness some mesmerizing wildlife on your way. In fact, it’s one of the most appealing routes out there, and there won’t be much crowd, either.
Rongai route takes seven days and covers 73km of area. If you are someone who seeks comfort and convenience, there are two amazing huts, such as Horombo Hut and Mawenzi Tarn Hut. In addition, there is a Simba Cave for you to make a stop. However, it is a remote route and has less crowd while having a higher chance of you completing the summit.
If you are short on time, this route takes around six days to help you reach the summit. This route is around 53km long, and you will find some amazing stops, including Uhuru Peak, Karanga, Barranco, and Umbwe Cave. The route is pretty direct and steep, which results in less time needed to climb. However, the acclimatization profile is not great, which leads to a low success rate, so the choice is yours.
The Must-Haves To Pack
Long story short, if you have selected the most suitable route to choose from Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania, it’s time to start packing, and we are sharing some essentials to make sure your climb is as seamless as it can get. So, shall we see?
- Bottom base and top base layer
- Four to five pairs of underwear
- Short sleeves
- Insulated trekking pants
- One to two full-sleeves hiking shirts
- Two pairs of hiking pants/trousers
- One insulated jacket
- Hardshell gear
- Rain gear
- You could need a knit hat for the cold nights!
Good hiking shoes:
One of the necessities to go on a hike, and I’m experienced you might say, is getting some good quality hiking boots. These boots will have built-in support for your ankles and feet to ensure that you remain comfortable at all times.
Also, there are specific hiking boots for all kinds of climate, but we will dive deeper into this in a future blog post.
For other specific things to pack for Africa, I have written another blog post here. Besides the swimwear, ( I don’t think you would need that on a mountain haha) , you should probably pack all of these other things as well.
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Without A Guide
If you are thinking of going to the top without a guide, hold your thoughts because it’s not permitted to climb Mount Kilimanjaro without a guide. In fact, the Tanzanian government and authorities of Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania, have made a policy against unsupported climbs and treks on the mountain.
Having said that, hiring a guide is essential, and it’s actually safer this way.
Other FAQ About Kilimanjaro National Park Tanzania.
- Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the “seven summits“. This means that it is the highest mountain in Africa. What is also peculiar about this mountain, is that it is the worlds tallest free standing mountain.
- It is on The Equator, which is an imaginary line dividing the Northern Hemisphere from the Southern Hemisphere
- The mountain was created by vulcanic activity and it used to have three volcanic cones – Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira
- Half of the people trying to climb this mountain, sadly fail to do so. But why not give it a try anyway, because people from any age have managed to get on top!
That being said, some fantastic athletes have managed to climb it incredibely fast! The Swiss athleet Karl Egloff did it in just 6 hours and 42 minutes in 2014.
- There is an ice-cap on the Kilimanjaro, but because of climate change it is almost gone.
- The first person to climb mount Kilimanjaro was Hans Meyer, a German geologist in 1889 , accompanied by Ludwig Purtscheller, an Austrian climber and a local guide called Yohani Kinyala Lauwo.
- What does Kilimanjaro actually mean?
Well, there are doubts about the meaning of the word Kilimanjaro, but some say that it is derived from the Chagga term: Kilelema, which means difficult or impossible. While Jaro may come from the word Njaare, which means bird. So in other words: that what is impossible for a bird, figurely speaking. The masai call the mountain Oldoinyo Oibor, meaning “white mountain”.
- Africa can get warm, but the mountain can get cold! It can get freezing at night!
- You don’t need any technical skills to climb the Kilimanjaro, it is basicly “just” a hike!
- Mountain sickness can get dangerous, so beware to have you guided by professionals!
- There is no wifi on the mountain, why wouldn’t that be a good thing haha?
- Be aware that you will not be able to climb the Kilimanjaro in a cheap way, I’m sorry to break it to you!
- The Kilimanjaro mountain has a varied ecology, because of its height and the isolated location from other mountain ranges. The savannas surrounding the mountain are dry and warm and the slopes have a very diverse vegetation, from tundras to tropical rainforests.
- In the picture below, you can see how people use the “toilet” on the mountain , you do have some privacy lol 🙂
My Final Conclusion.
So, are you ready to trek your way to the top? I am pretty sure that you can do this, even without having much climbing experience!
Myself, I actually stood in front of the Kilimanjaro, but the climb was not included in the travel route. So I will just have to go back one day and finally climb it, right? Are you joining me?
I hope that you enjoyed this blog post and I wish you happy travels to Africa!
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