Questions to ask before climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro

If you’re a mountain fanatic your life and bucket list will not be complete without climbing Africa’s highest mountain: at 19,341 feet above sea level Mount Kilimanjaro is quite a challenge.

Can I climb Kili?

Anyone who has a lot of determination and is reasonably fit can make the climb. There are people of all ages who have managed to climb it, so, if you pace yourself and don’t get altitude sickness, you can join them.

How long is this going to take?

The average climb takes approx 7 days if you’re taking proper time to acclimatize and covers 50km-60km.

But how will I find my way to the top?

You cannot climb Kili without a guide, so don’t worry, you won’t be left on your own. There are 6 routes leading up to the mountain’s summit and the men from the nearby Chagga tribe will act as porters and guides on your trip.

Ok, but which of the 6 routes do I pick?

First up is the Machame Route, the mountain’s most popular trail along with the Marangu Route. There is also the Shira Route, the Lemosho Route, the Rongai Route, which is preferred for wildlife viewing and the Umbwe Route, the mountain’s toughest trail.   Before you make your decision it is best to speak to experts who will be able to advise on which is best for you.

What do I take with me?

A lot of the gear you will need you are probably already familiar with; hiking boots, waterproof trousers, sleeping bag, hat, gloves, fleeces, and a very warm jacket. Do make sure when buying it’s all good quality. There are some things though that you might not think of: water purifiers, a headlamp, sun-cream and, most importantly, your thermal underwear.  The company you book your climb with will have a packing list for you.

When’s the best time to climb?

You can take on Kilimanjaro at any time of the year. However at different times there are different things happening on the mountain. The most peaceful climbs are found between the months of January and February, whereas from July to September the mountain becomes very busy, it’s also the best time to catch some sunshine. From April to late May and mid-October to late December the mountain is drenched in rain, so if you decide to go in these months make sure to take your waterproofs.

Alright, I’ve done my climb and conquered Kili, now what do I do?

Now it is time to relax. Kick back and enjoy a safari in Kenya or Tanzania or, if you really want to pamper yourself, take a trip to the island of Zanzibar. Found in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean you’ll be in for a whirlwind of luxury and why not, you’ll probably deserve it.

If you feel like you have what it takes to climb this famous mountain, book a trip to Africa with Mahlatini today!

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