Kilimanjaro climb is an ultimate adventure and an expedition for everyone that loves adventure. Kilimanjaro is the tallest freestanding mountain which is also known as the mountain of greatness. Everyone that climbs this mountain has their reasons for climbing, but one common reason they share when asked is that they want to stand on the summit of the highest peak of Africa.
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is demanding and challenging, but regardless of its height, it can be climb by any reasonably fit person. No technical skill is required to climb this mountain because of its accessibility but the essential thing that could determine a successful hike Kilimanjaro is getting quality guide service.
Thousands of visitors dare to climb the mountain every year, but unfortunately, 50% fail to stand on the summit. To successfully stand on the summit, we will be considering the best time to climb Kilimanjaro.
There are many logistical factors to be taken into account before climbing Kilimanjaro. Planning to climb this mountain is not something you can do overnight. The most common concern to be considered here is the best time to climb. The time or climbing season of Kilimanjaro have been categories according to the two dry seasons, which are December to the beginning of March and June to the end of October. These two seasons brings more stable weather to the mountain.
Information on the internet has shown that June to August is the best time to climb Kilimanjaro. If you climb Mount Kilimanjaro in the non-climbing season, you get a bit wet going through the rain forest. The worst time considered to climb Kilimanjaro is between April to June. This period is the worst because there is heavy rain and the night is bitterly cold. This increases the chance of heavy cloud and thick snow that reduces visibility, thereby making it difficult to climb the mountain. So with the rain and snow during the day and icy temperature at night, it is not advisable to climb the mountain this season because if you get soak during the day, there are chances of your equipment and clothes freezing at night.
January to mid-march are the warmest months with clear skies in the morning and evening. From mid-June to the end of October, the mountain is a bit colder but also drier. The long rainy season span is between March to June. It is not advisable to climb during this time unless you are an experienced backpacker that has trekked in a similar condition.
Please note that with climate change, rains are unpredicted and may come earlier or extend beyond the time frame. It is also possible to experience dry weather conditions during the raining season just as it is possible to have heavy rain during the dry season.
Kilimanjaro is preferable to climb during the dry season. So if you choose to climb during the two dry seasons, you will see a lot of people who are also climbing. To mitigate this, choose one of the less popular routes. It is preferable to use the northern circuit at this time of the year. If you choose to climb when its raining or when it is quieter, consider the Rongai route which lies in Kilimanjaro rain shadow. It is drier all year round.
How hard is to climb Kilimanjaro?
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is not easy. We hear it repeatedly quoted that only 50% of the climbers make it to the summit but very recently statistics have shown that more people above 50% are reaching the peak yearly. People who are healthy, fit and are used to hiking and trekking adventure might find climbing Kilimanjaro easy. Those who are not used to walking up and downhill with a pack bag will spend 4 – 6 times a week struggling to succeed on Kilimanjaro. Different people have different opinions on how hard it is to climb Kilimanjaro. For me, I think to climb this mountain; you need a specific strength, conditioning and endurance which is required by the body to manage the climbing uphill and down of the mountain.
Several tough challenges make climbing Kilimanjaro difficult. You will be hiking for about 4 – 7 days continually. This put a big strain on your joints and muscles. Also, the oxygen content in your air drops rapidly as you climb. What this means is that for every breath, you are getting less and less power. Even though most days are not overly complicated, summit night is tough.
Because of how hard it is to climb Kilimanjaro, you need to eat well and drink enough water. Every day as you climb, you burn about 4000 calories, and on the summit night, you will burn over 6000 calories. So even if you lost appetite, you have to keep eating because of the effects of altitudes. Drinking is more important than eating when climbing.
How much does it cost?
The price of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro varies because several hundred climb operator is competing for business on mount Kilimanjaro. Tour package for instead ranges depending on the number of days you will spend climbing the mountain. The package range from 5 days trek to 10 days across the six different routes. If you are trying to budget for the climb, I will recommend six days trek. 6 days trek has acclimatization day that increases your chance of reaching the summit.
There is a lot to consider when budgeting for the Kilimanjaro climb. When planning for the climb, you should find out how much it will cost you to get good food, shelter, safety and even the equipment. You also need staff for the journey who also need good food, shelter safety etc. These should be considered and planned for when planning your budget. To get the best success as you climb Kilimanjaro, you will pay anything from $2500 to $4000 for seven-day machine route climb including airport pick up, drop off and hotel night off. The prices vary and depend on the hotel. Do not forget to consider the staffs that are working for you; they need to be paid correctly.
To make a good plan for the Kilimanjaro climb, I decide to break it down so you can have a proper calculation. Find out the cost of the tour package, visa, vaccination, equipment, tips for guide and Porter and other miscellaneous. If you can find out the cost for each one, you can make a better calculation of what it will cost for the Kilimanjaro climb. If I am to budget for this climb, I will budget $4500.
Though the challenge of climbing Kilimanjaro is a big one, it is also rewarding. If you prepare well, you will be fine.
Is Kilimanjaro safe?
Climbing Kilimanjaro is not safe but dangerous. If you tell anyone that knows much about Kilimanjaro that you want to climb the mountain, they advise you against it and if you insist, you become a concern to such a person. Every year, thousands of people are evacuated from the mountain, and some are reported death. The main cause of death in Kilimanjaro is altitude sickness.
Though there is risk in climbing Kilimanjaro, people don’t need to worry much because about 30,000 people climb the mountain yearly. Of the vast number of people that climb the mountain annually, only 0.03 per cent die per year.
Most people who die on this mountain die of altitude sickness. Altitude sickness though scary is a manageable risk. As this sickness becomes worst, it gives the climber ample time to turn back. If the climber goes back to a lower elevation, the altitude sickness subsides quickly.
How long does it take to climb it?
This is a question that is often asked about Mount Kilimanjaro. The number of factors and the route you take when climbing the mountain determines how long it will take to get to the summit. For someone with average fitness and depending on your trekking experience, it will take about five to nine-day to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Five days is the minimum number of days on the mountain. Kilimanjaro national park authority made this rule when they declared it mandatory to spend a minimum number of days on different routes. Tourists are expected to spend five days on the Marangu and Rongai routes and a day which is the sixth day on the rest.
The purpose of this is to increase the safety of those climbing Kilimanjaro, prevent ascending beyond the acceptable climbing limit and also to reduce the number of emergency evacuations from the mountain.
The longer the trek on Kilimanjaro, the more its cost. This has made climbers choose a shorter route. This choice, however, should be made with caution because taking a shorter adventure simply because you want to save cost might put your entire expenditure at risk. Knowing and deciding the number of days to climb Kilimanjaro should be considered first when planning your Kilimanjaro adventure.
Related articles to read:
Kilimanjaro Climbing Routes