Is Summiting Mount Kilimanjaro Difficult?
If you are planning a trek to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, there are a few things you should know before you go! First, hiking Mount Kilimanjaro is tough. Even though you don’t need mountaineering experience or special equipment to make it to the top, you do need to be prepared and in shape. Second, you will need to join a Kilimanjaro guided tour. It is illegal to hike this mountain without a guide, plus you will need porters to carry some of your gear on this multi-day adventure.
What To Expect When Hiking Mount Kilimanjaro With A Tour Group
Mount Kilimanjaro is a fairly difficult mountain to climb. Some statistics suggest that over 50 percent of the people who attempt the climb suffer from motion sickness and that 65 percent of them are unable to make it to the summit. If you plan to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, you must be prepared for three to eight hours of hiking a day for five to 11 days straight (depending on which tour you book). On summit day, you will be on your feet for much longer and the elevation gain will be the greatest you will experience during the entirety of the trip.
That being said, one of the most important things you can do when asking how to plan a trip to Mount Kilimanjaro is to ask how to acclimate to the region’s altitude. Kilimanjaro is not a technical summit, but the climb involves 19,340 feet of elevation gain. Hikers need to be able to trek long distances and be used to the low oxygen in the air if they want to be successful. Altitude training is one of the best ways to maximize your chance of handling the altitude, but many people still struggle with this variable even when well-trained. However, because you will be part of a Kilimanjaro guided tour, your guide will be able to help you if you experience difficulties during the trek.
Finding The Right Guide Service For Your Adventure
You can’t hike Kilimanjaro without a guide. In Tanzania, it is illegal to do so, but there are many other good reasons to hike Mt. Kilimanjaro with a tour. You can pick between a group tour, which is a more affordable option, or book a private trip with a guide service. Most guide services offer longer trips with built-in acclimatization days for novice and intermediate climbers, while experienced climbers can opt for a quick ascent. Kilimanjaro guided tours generally include porters, meals, group gear (like tents, cooking gear, and treated water), and the entry fee to Kilimanjaro National Park.
A knowledgeable guide can make your trek more pleasant. Here are some examples of insider information that an experienced guide will be able to share with you:
- Terrain – the terrain and trail conditions on Mount Kilimanjaro can vary from day to day. Having a guide who knows how to approach each evolving landscape means that you will be ready for anything.
- Weather – the weather on Mt. Kilimanjaro can change rapidly from sun to rain, and will get colder the higher up you climb. Having a guide who knows how to approach these variable weather conditions can make or break your summit attempt.
- Safety checks – a professional, experienced guide knows the value of routine safety checks throughout an expedition. This helps monitor any health risks you may be experiencing, such as altitude sickness or fatigue, and makes sure you are following all mountaineering protocols.
There are many tour agencies available to help you on a Kilimanjaro guided tour. If this is your first attempt at summiting Mount Kilimanjaro, it may be a good idea to book with a local guide service. Climbing to an altitude of more than 19,000 feet is a challenge, but can be accomplished by most hikers with the assistance of a guide who knows the terrain and is an expert in the local environment.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Mt. Kilimanjaro?
If you are struggling with the details of how to plan a trip to Mount Kilimanjaro, don’t worry! Once you book with a guide service, they will handle all the details for you and provide information about what to pack and when is the best time to visit. The good news is that Kilimanjaro’s temperate and equatorial climate means you can book your climb almost any time of year! However, there are a few rainy times of year to avoid – mainly from March to May and November to December. But even if you book your trip during the rainy season, trail conditions are difficult – but still very doable.
An Adventure Of A Lifetime!
When you decide to hike Mount Kilimanjaro with a tour group, you can be sure that you’re going to have an adventure of a lifetime. Just be sure to prepare for the experience by getting in shape – Mount Kilimanjaro may not be difficult but, it is strenuous. And most importantly, get ready to enjoy this epic getaway.