Tips for a successful climb on Mount Kilimanjaro : Congratulations! You’ve made the decision to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, and you’re probably wondering how to guarantee that you reach Africa’s highest peak.
These seven suggestions can help you achieve your objective of acquiring that much-desired picture of yourself on Uhuru Peak. Opt for a longer route to the top instead of a shorter one for the best probability of success and the lowest chance of altitude sickness. It is important to note that the longer you stay on Kilimanjaro, the higher your chances of success. At 85%, those who choose an 8-day climb have the best success rate. On 7-day routes, the success percentage drops to 64%, on 6-day routes to 44%, and on 5-day routes to 27%.
People frequently opt for shorter trips in order to save money or to give themselves an additional challenge. But, if taking a shorter path ultimately reduces your chances of success, it will be far less expensive to add an extra day at the beginning than to return to Tanzania and try again later. Aside from that, Kilimanjaro will be difficult enough without you adding to the difficulty.
The Lemosho route, which is 8 days long and offers great scenery and less crowds, is the route that we advise most climbers to choose in order to maximize their chances of success. The nine-day Northern Circuit is our second most popular safari. See here for maps and further details about the several routes up Kilimanjaro.
Take a hike.
Although Kilimanjaro is not a technically challenging peak, it is nonetheless a physically taxing and exhausting climb. The trek becomes more challenging just because of the height. Since hiking is what you will be doing on Mount Kilimanjaro, it is the greatest exercise to prepare for that ascent. Running and weightlifting are useful additions to your training, but hiking safari should make up the majority, if not all, of your regimen.
You can also train by taking a rucksack with some weight when you go on outdoor outings. If you are not a seasoned hiker, begin with several shorter excursions and work your way up to longer ones. You want to prepare yourself for the amount of exercise required of you because you will be hiking Kilimanjaro for 4-6 hours each day and for 12–14 hours on summit day. Train for duration rather than intensity since endurance is crucial.
If there aren’t many great day walks close by where you live, a stair master can serve as a suitable replacement. Starting your training programme at least two months prior to your departure is preferable.
H20 is your friend.
It takes much longer to dehydrate at high altitudes. Drink lots of water because dehydration can worsen headaches, Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), general weariness, and even irritability.
Since altitude changes, it is not uncommon for many climbers to experience a little headache. By consuming enough water, you can prevent the exacerbation of headaches caused by dehydration. The surrounding mountain streams are used to gather water, which is then treated with Aqua tabs water purification tablets. We advise bringing at least three litres of water with you on your hike to stay hydrated as it is only available at campsites. Drinking a minimum of one litre of water both before and after your daily ascent on the mountain is also a smart idea.
It could be a good idea to pack a water bottle in addition to a bladder. You can sip from a water bladder similar to a platypus while climbing, which is convenient. It’s a good idea to carry a backup water source though, as bladders can freeze as you get closer to the summit. Bringing electrolyte packets to add to your water bottle rather than your bladder, which might harbor mold is also a good idea. When it becomes difficult to consume fluids constantly, they flavor your water and maintain the proper balance of electrolytes. See here for our safety instructions or for additional details on the symptoms, signs, and prevention of Acute Mountain Sickness.
Take it slow.
You’ll hear the words “pole, pole” a lot when climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. It means “slowly,” “gently,” “softly,” “quietly,” “be calm,” or “take it easy” in Swahili.
A challenging climb such as Kilimanjaro requires careful planning and execution, as it might be the difference between reaching the summit and having to turn back before reaching the top. You must be patient with your body in order for it to adjust to the low oxygen levels in the mountains. It takes time for your body to adjust. Stay away from racing to the next campsite; being first is not beneficial at all. Enjoy the view and take your time.
You should be walking at a rate that allows you to converse with people for the most of the excursion. To preserve energy on summit night, you will walk at a leisurely pace, pausing between each step. Professional mountaineers use a method called rest-stepping to assist them reach the tops of mountains like K2 and Everest. It performs. Summit night will be low in energy for conversation, so keep in mind to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Possessing the appropriate equipment is crucial when climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. A good pair of waterproof boots that you’ve broken in with socks that match the style you intend to wear is one of the most important items you’ll need for your climb. An additional pair of warm socks and liners is essential because blisters and chilled feet are the enemy. Protection for the hands and neck is also required. It’s not enjoyable to have frozen fingers, toes, or a cold neck, so pack extra warm clothing to avoid becoming too cold. There’s always the option to remove layers afterwards, as you will do on your descent.
Additionally, make sure you have sunscreen and UV protection, such as a sun hat. High altitudes make it easier to get burnt, and sunburn exacerbates discomfort and increases the likelihood of dehydration. On your ascent to the summit, you’ll want to pack a lot of additional stuff. Get a comprehensive list of all the items here.
People frequently experience appetite loss at high altitudes. It can be very difficult to consume enough calories to sustain you, even at really high levels of effort. We advise you to pack some of your favorite high-calorie foods for your journey so that a drop in appetite won’t prevent you from having enough fuel to reach the summit. We will feed you very well, but you might want to bring some comfort food from home to munch on. The goal is to bring treats that you will consume even if you’re not hungry. Candy and junk food are fine, yes!
You will burn off every last calorie, so don’t worry. The sweets will give you the extra energy you need to push through and reach the top. Additionally, items that don’t melt or freeze should be packed. Among the personal favorites we see our clients bring are protein bars, chocolate, nuts, and hard candies. When paired with mixed nuts, M&Ms make a great combination because they don’t melt as other chocolates would in the lower parts of the climb.
Learn what you can.
It is a good idea to have expectations while venturing into uncertainty. You can prepare for potential mountain hazards by reading as much as you can before your journey. Essentially, it lowers the level of worry or anxiety that potential obstacles may normally generate by priming the mind to deal with them beforehand.
We strongly advise anyone planning to climb Kilimanjaro to familiarize themselves with the experiences of others by reading their trip reports. This could take the kind of YouTube videos, travel-related forum posts, or personal blogs. You most likely have a friend or friends of friends who have done it if you ask around. Ask them about their experiences when you give them a call. You might discover that a lot of the comments individuals make about their climbs are similar.
Hike, eat, sleep, and recover.
You will get into a rhythm quite quickly on the mountain. Get up, have breakfast, and go hiking. You walk and eat lunch. You sleep after dinner.
On the mountain, getting enough sleep is crucial, but it’s easier said than done. You might find yourself waking up a lot during the night or not being able to fall asleep at all while your body adjusts to the altitude and gets over jet lag. Somewhat typical throughout the first few evenings is this. If the quality of your sleep gets better over time, that’s a good indicator. It indicates that you are both acclimating and recuperating more quickly from your daily routines.
You can take a few steps to facilitate your recuperation. First of all, avoid wasting energy during the day. As needed, take breaks. Once you arrive at a camping, take some time to unwind in your tent by resting down. Put on your sleeping clothing after changing out of your trekking attire. Even if you don’t feel like eating dinner, do it. Calories are what you need to regain your energy.
Choose a good company.
Very few top-notch businesses operate on Mount Kilimanjaro, despite an apparently never-ending list of “recommended” Kilimanjaro firms. Asking friends and family for suggestions is always a good idea, but you should also conduct your own research. Many businesses nowadays lack standardized processes, which makes it difficult to predict how well they will perform as a service. Therefore, the only guide services you should think about are those that are well-established and have a lengthy history of excellence.
A knowledgeable guide knows how to pace the group appropriately. He or she is skilled at identifying and managing altitude sickness. The guide knows how to increase your chances of making the ascent safely and effectively. Perhaps most crucially, because they have received training in safety procedures, knowledgeable guides are able to organize a rescue in an emergency.
Selecting the option with the best deal is frequently alluring when making reservations. When it comes to climbing Kilimanjaro, resist this impulse. You can’t trust unreliable or inexpensive businesses to provide high-quality, safe services.
Believe in yourself.
Have faith in oneself. Keep in mind that you walk the route one step at a time rather than all at once, and that you will reach the summit as long as you continue to take that one step. It is simple to become overworked and worn out, but keep in mind that you are on vacation. Have a blast. In the evenings, enjoy yourself and your fellow climbers by lounging back.
Summit day may seem overwhelming, but you may completely change your perspective. Remind yourself that you are stronger than you realize and that you are capable of anything if you are experiencing uncertainty. Several folks confide in us that they did not think they would survive.
Recall that climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is a difficult endeavor, but you can succeed if you are ready, patient, and have confidence in your abilities.