If you are planning to climb Africa’s highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro is the ideal place for you. Located in Tanzania in East Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa and among the Top five highest peaks in the entire world. The Kilimanjaro is estimated to have an altitude of 19340 feet or 5895 meters. Most tourists love touring this area, especially the hiking enthusiast because it gives a lifetime experience. Mount Kilimanjaro’s popularity is because both the first time hikers and the experienced ones consider this mountain to be the easiest of the other seven summits.
Mount Kilimanjaro hiking does not require any technical skill or appliances such as harness, rope, ice axes or crampons. What you are required to do is just trek through various routes as you climb. Most people ask how long does it take to hike Mount Kilimanjaro. Well, many factors will determine the number of days one will take before getting to the Summit. for instance, the climbing route and hiking experience. If you take short courses, you will get to the Summit earlier compared to someone who would go for long routes.
How Long Does it Take?
For someone with average fitness, Kilimanjaro climb ranges from 5-9 days to get to the Summit. Note that spending more days in Kilimanjaro guarantees you comfortable hiking experience. However, climbing via shorter routes will take you from 5-6 days of adventure. The essence of taking long routes, especially for the first time hikers, is to enable your body to get used to the abnormal Kilimanjaro altitude. A more extended climb is further characterized by camps situated at lower altitudes lower than the trekking routes.
To reach peak Uhuru, you need confidence, stamina, determination, and passion.
There are very many routes a hiker may opt for as you climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Beware that any course you choose has its merits and demerits. Others are amazing for scenery but not considerable for acclimatization. Some routes offer high rates of summit success, but they could be quite busy, especially during the peak seasons.
Lemosho Route – This Route is the best option for Alatza Travel. This Route is considered least crowded because most hikers don’t take this Route.
-Located in the South-Western slope of Mount Kilimanjaro, this Route features trekking experience that is intimate and finally converges with Machane in Shira 2 camp.
Lemosho is ranked as one of the few routes that have perfect sleep-low walk-high styles where people sleep in huts.
Lemosho trails are of good quality and well defined, although some sections of the forest are slippery at the same time the paths at the moorland become very wet, especially when there are poor weather conditions.
Machame Route – This Route is the most known for Mount Kilimanjaro climbing because it’s faster than other routes such as Lemosho. This route climb is considered severe because of its trails are steeper and strenuous. However, this route trek has recorded about 60% of climbers getting to the Summit. Machame route has a trekking option of 6 or 7 days with an extra day of acclimatization benefit.
Rongai Route – The Rongai route is one very easy climb with a high rate of success. It is the only route that starts from the Northern Foothills of Kilimanjaro with 6 to 7 days climb. One of the disadvantages of this Route is crowds, which is hard to get away from. In this seven day route, there are camps where you can spend the night.
Marangu Route – This was the first Route used by climbers on Kilimanjaro Expedition. It is categorized as the only Route where climbers stay in the huts all night, and for this reason, it is the most preferred route by low-profile operators in Kilimanjaro. This Route has recorded the lowest climbers who get to the Summit. The Marangu trek takes between 5-6 days.
These are just some of the Mount Kilimanjaro routes; other routes include Umbwe Route, the Shira Route, the Northern Circuit Route, and the Northern Breach Route. Note routes that longer routes are a perfect choice. Those who take shorter Routes majorly want to cut on costs, which may put them into risks.
How Much Does it Cost?
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro has a wide price range because of the different services offered. The amount of money paid will also depend on the season you choose to tour the area. Usually, the peak season is more expensive compared to the low seasons. This is because, at such times, climbers are crowded, thus causing an increasing demand for products and services.
The cost of Mount Kilimanjaro trekking will depend on the Route taken. For example, it is estimated that an individual pays between 350 to 450 dollars per day to be attended to by quality staff, get safety equipment, quality tents, good food, and any other requirement.
For the seven days Machame Route climb, the payment range from 2,700 to 3,500 dollars airport drop off and pick fee included. For Lemosho 8 day trek, one will be required to pay from 3,000-4,500 dollars concerning the hotel services the company offers days before the climb. A western guide could get more expensive.
If you are anticipating climbing in a budget, consider looking for cheaper operators who have adequate services. In line with that, don’t risk your life for more affordable prices because the low prices mean your safety will be a stake. Don’t make such a critical decision vaguely by basing it on prices.
The difficult level of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is getting to the Summit. There has been a meager success rate of climbers who got to this point. Kilimanjaro level of difficulty is subject to factors such as;
-The number of days you choose to climb, which will massively depend on the Route taken.
-The route you choose to use wisely.
-The rate at which you have equipped yourself with the right gears, which consist of clothing gears, camping gears, and hiking gears.
-The extent of training done on your body, such as cycling, going to the gym sometimes or jogging. Hiking a smaller altitude will also give you a better chance of hiking Mount Kilimanjaro.
-Your state of mind is how much determination you have. You have to be mentally and physically prepared for this climb. Be ready for challenges because the climb won’t be easy.
When To Visit Mount Kilimanjaro?
Just like any travel preparation, going on a tour during a peak season is a wrong choice. This is because all destinations are full of tourists from different places making the place overcrowded. This scenario will result in the provision of substandard services with a hike in prices because of the high demand.
Therefore, the perfect season to go on trekking on Mount Kilimanjaro in January, February, and July to October. January to March is colder compared to June to October. Also, there is a high chance of snow encounter on the Summit. Most people may not want to climb during this season of January – march, but on the brighter side, this season few people go hiking during this time.
June – October is quite a busy season because it coincides with some country’s summer holiday. Between March, April through November is a month characterized by wetness Making these months not ideal for trekking. Therefore, January- March are the best seasons to go climbing since the weather is friendly with no humidity encountered with few clouds and brief showers once in a while.
Is hiking Mount Kilimanjaro worth the hustle?
Well, depending on your motive behind climbing. Mount Kilimanjaro, statistics have shown that going on any kind of a hike, especially like the one in Mount Kilimanjaro, improves and prevents most health-related conditions.
Also, Kilimanjaro is the easiest climb of the Seven other Summits. Just imagine a six-year-old was able to get to the Summit; ask yourself how much potential you possess.
Climbing Kilimanjaro could be a perfect opportunity to do something extraordinary in your life just to prove to yourself that you have so much potential within you waiting to unleash. Besides, it’s fun going on hikes. It is not something you get to do every day. This is a perfect chance to get out of your comfort zone.
Apart from fun and experience, some people go on these hikes with an agenda of raising funds for special groups of people such as cancer patients. Even people with disabilities have participated in these hikes just to prove to the world that their disability cannot limit them. How inspiring is that? If you haven’t climbed Kilimanjaro, start planning for the next low season.
Finally, before even going on hiking, there are some very essential tips to keep in mind because they will determine your safety and the experience you will get.
Things To Remember While Visiting Mt. Kilimanjaro
–Book in advance a local tour company.
–Dry seasons are best for climbing. Have that in mind.
–Choose your route keenly weighing the advantages and disadvantages.
–Budget extra cash in case of any emergencies.
–Pack the right gears.
-Have your travel insurance.
–Prepare mentally and physically.
-Find good allies.
–Train in advance to get the body ready.
Don’t be left out; this is an experience you should get once in a lifetime. One key factor to note is that safety is paramount while hiking Mount Kilimanjaro.
Ensure to be safe for the next trip.