Reaching the Kilimanjaro summit, Uhuru Peak, at 19,341 ft of elevation is certainly a bucket list trip. It is the highest point in Africa, one of the world’s seven summits, and the tallest freestanding mountain in the world. Kilimanjaro is a majestic background on Safaris and offers a life-changing experience too.
Is climbing Kilimanjaro something you are looking to conquer?
While climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is a feat, planning it doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are a few tips to plan for a successful Kilimanjaro Hike.
Book in Advance
For multiple reasons, we suggest planning at least 6 to 9 months in advance. It ensures you find availability during your preferred time of travel and with your company of choice. It also allows you to properly train for it.
Prepare for it
Physical fitness is imperative for a successful summit. Your tour may give you training guidelines, if so follow them. You can also pick up Polepole: A Training Guide for Kilimanjaro and Other Long-Distance Mountain Treks.
When to visit
The best time to climb Kilimanjaro is during the dry season from December to March & from June to October. Keep in mind that the high season is between August & October - something to consider if you prefer fewer people on trails.
Choose a Route
There are various routes to choose from when it comes to climbing Kilimanjaro. Each route can take anywhere from 5-11 days. While choosing the shortest route might be tempting, isn’t always the best and especially so if you aren't used to high altitudes. The longer the route, the more acclimated you will get to the altitude and the higher the success rate. You can find our comparison of some of the most popular routes here.
Extend your stay
If you have the time and resources, we highly recommend extending your stay. Consider adding a safari trip and/or a visit to Zanzibar after your Kilimanjaro trek. What a reward for summiting Kilimanjaro, right?
Talk to your doctor
Before you go, be sure to talk to your doctor about vaccinations & medications such as anti-malaria medications and potentially altitude medication if you choose to.
While a lot of gear is needed for the trek up Kilimanjaro, the good thing is that most tour operators will provide a lot of that gear (such as tents, mattress chairs, tables, etc). You can also consider renting some gear if you prefer to not travel with all of it. And finally, wonderful porters will help to carry your gear, making summitting more feasible, but they are also great support encouraging you along the way. My favorite part is getting to know them and connect with them over the several-day hike. (P.S. There are weight limits on how much you can bring on the hike, planning carefully is essential)