To summit Kilimanjaro is the most remarkable to ever experience. People travel from different parts of the world to Tanzania in order to trek Kilimanjaro and hundreds of thousands successfully summit the Roof of Africa annually. But it’s by no means a simple feat.
Proper preparation is important for a successful experience. This article will help you on how to prepare for trekking mount Kilimanjaro.
Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro: How to Prepare?
For Tanzania, you need to have a visa which in most cases you can get it on arrival day, for instance, European citizen and North American citizens. you can get it once you arrive. But also, I would suggest contacting your ministry of foreign affairs if you need to apply for a visa whether you can get it or not before start your safari.
MONEY AND TIPPING.
It is always important to carry dollars with you because it is widely accepted in Tanzania in your tour, you’ll get a chance to withdraw money from local bank through credit card; so make sure your credit card is loaded and will not stuck in the local bank during transactions. Everything will be included in the in the money charged for instance the meals, accommodations before and afterwards are all inclusive; what’s only excluded in the price is the pickups and drop off (it’s usually charged separately).
Tips your handing out to the trekking guides and porters depends on your experience with your tours. The general rule is to handout 10% tip to the tour guide; Of course, you can decide to give less or more tip.
Every trekking group which goes up to Kilimanjaro usually starts around Moshi so u will fly up to Kilimanjaro airport that located between Arusha and Moshi so after your arrival there is need to make private transfer pickup arrangements with the tour operator.
You will need to have proper insurance if you need to book a safari with most companies in Tanzania. I highly recommend you to get a good healthy insurance because speaking active travel because you will be on foreign country hiking on highest mountain so anything can happen so its best advised to get a travel insurance.
It is always advised to take a yellow fever vaccination before starting your safari and everything beyond that I recommend you to check the latest online status with your ministry of foreign affairs.
Also, Tanzania has very high risk of malaria, but as for Kilimanjaro area has to about a high-altitude of 1500 meter and with this altitude there are no mosquitoes, so it highly depends on your travel plans may be if you go for a safari to national parks you will be at a high risk of having malaria, before you do a trekking to Mount Kilimanjaro. I highly recommend you to consult your doctor in order to determine which medicine to take. This will enable you be at a lower risk of malaria and also is necessary to take right medicine that will not negatively impact your success rate to the summit.
The camps are super pictorials and colorful its always worth it to wake up very early in the morning and have a clear view of the amazing and impressive mountain. If you’re not into camping then I will recommend you to take the shorter route (Marangu Route) despite it’s really hard to acclimatize on that route however the huts are really not luxurious and basically you stay in huge downs with lots of people. Therefore, I highly recommend the longer route.
It is very important to choose the right registered company like Taralight Safari Tours with registered trekking guides and porters, only and only registered companies are the only ones allowed on safari to national parks and safari. It should be noted that half of the money paid for the tour is directly paid to the park fees charged by the government it can range from $800 – $1000 depending on the duration of your tour and its always included in the tour prices. I would recommend you should book a tour below sheer price from $2000 – $3500 dollars depending on which route you choose because the money will be saved elsewhere i.e. wages or equipment.
And as for Taralight Safari Tours you can get the tour up to 20% cheaper depending on how many days and routes you choose, we tend to use local employees and suppliers, we also have good and neat and up to dated equipment’s like tents. we renew our equipment’s every after 3-4 months. It is very important to know how other companies they treat their employees that’s how you’ll get special attention too. As for Taralight Safari Tours; treats very well guides with high quality foot wear proper hiking boots unlike other companies where guides and porters wear snickers.
HIGH ALTITUDE SICKNESS
It is actually a dizziness that everybody can get it doesn’t matter how old you are or how fit you are or how experience you are because you will be living at a mountain with more that 3000 meter high, your chances of having syndromes of high attitude sickness are high but you can have stronger syndromes or weaker syndromes but you can get certain distinct of high attitude sickness,
Also, Good tour operator like Taralight Safari Tours will always check your oxygen with a pulse oximeter oxygen checker; also, our guides are really experience they can notice when client is not feeling very well because high altitude sickness can be life threatening so it’s always important to tell your guides how your feeling. Also, it is not highly advised Not to take Diamox dosage after feeling dizzy because it may result to peeing a lot and leads to dehydration of your body and you will be forced to drink a lot of water in order to cope with the acute high-altitude weather. Its only advised to take Panadol.
WORKOUT & DIET
It’s always advised 6 months preparations before your plans for trekking safari to Kilimanjaro mountain, you should increase your body training sessions, in a month twice or 3 times a week, run 10 kilometer every second a day to strength your body, it’s also advised to quit alcohol, change food to more healthy diet in order to boost your immune system. This will enhance you to trek easily to the top with a strong and well-prepared body.
PACKING LIST (gear & clothes)
Normally in you packing list A bottle of water is very necessary which will carry to about 3 liters and another bottle of 1 liter. It’s very important to also having a proper hikking boots, a neat sleeping bags which goes to -10°C, also two strong walking poles for final push to the summit is very important that will assist you to through trekking. Also, you need a water proof duffel bag to carry your stuff just in case it rains, all the items will be safe dry clothes because you never know when it will start to rain. You will also need protective clothes and jackets to keep you warm from the cold weather. Water proof day pack is also very essential because you’ll need to protect your cameras and phones on high altitude, there is snow and pouring rains. Other necessities like Vaseline for you lips and sun sunscreen for your skin is a must to carry because the sun is really strong at a high-altitude peak area
What it is like to trekking up Mount Kilimanjaro?
Mt Kilimanjaro is well known as the highest mountain in Africa with its summit about 4,900 meters (16,100 ft) from its base, and 5,895 meters (19,341 ft) above sea level
to about with its three volcanic cones, Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira, is a dormant volcano in Tanzania; it’s very difficult to predict weather condition; a heavy fall of snow during the night. Temperatures will be below freezing (max -5°C on Through the afternoon, min -6°C in the early morning) also at the summit -20°C at the summit and +30°C in Moshi. Wind will be generally light thus changes of weather should be highly considered: therefore, you should come well prepared. It is not a winter and summer just like Europe; there is wet season and dry season due to its proximate to the equator.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The best season to climb Mount Kilimanjaro depend on your calendar and plans to visit Tanzania but also the mountain terms and conditions can make other months better than the rest. During the dry season from January and February and again from June till October this is when the inter trade winds will occurs, they tend to blow from north east and carry very little moisture and rains thus makes the routes be clear with lowest rainfall and less clouds and during this season its always clouded thus makes it easier to trek up the mountain. Generally, January and February are the best time to trek and succeed your summiting, this makes the time of the year the perfect time to climb but if your more interested to trek on cloudy season the best time is during July and 20th December (on a shorter season).
THE TIME TO AVOID TREKKING
The time to avoid trekking is during rainy season, normally bad weather tends to drain your strength thus success rate of climbing becomes more lower and lower. Rainy season lasts from March to May also November is not a good month to do it because of high rainfall and less clouds. Trade winds tends to travel far and wide over the Indian ocean from the south east and collect water on the way; by the time they collide with the mountain it bursts into a mass of rains thus makes March through May the wet time of the year thus makes it the hardest time to trek up the mountain.
WHICH IS THE BEST ROUTE UP KILIMANJARO
It is well known that the longer the route the better the acclimatization because when you choose longer route like (lemosho route) your body will have more time to adjust to the higher attitudes; the higher you climb the higher the attitudes thus increase higher chances of reaching the summit. It is known that when trekking lemosho and machame route, you will approach the mountain from the west side you will have a pictorials view of a beautiful valley just below with a view three volcanic cones, Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira, is a dormant volcano then go up to the Alpine desert hence the summit. Longer route is more relaxing than the rest.
· Marangu route
It’s the oldest and the most popular route with the most gradual elevation gain to climb that route in 5-days hence makes it with a low success rate of summiting in a low gradiant then gets more and stepper up the elevation. One thing that the Marangu route has but the rest of the routes don’t have is the series of the huts along the way, you’re not allowed to camp but stay in different huts with other people. It’s well known to offer hut accommodations
· Umbwe route
The most spectacular route which is directly from the south, it’s the shortest route and very steep and more technical and its now climbed very often by aggressive type trekkers up to the west bridge then up the highest Mount Kilimanjaro. It’s the most difficult demanding route on Kilimanjaro compared to the rest.
· Machame route
It’s the most scenic route which has the highest successive rate because you end up going up to the lava tower then you will descend down to the barranco camp where you will lose 13077 ft of elevation and you will camp at a lower altitude within 2-nights, letting your body to acclimatize and get some recovery time before summit, it should be noted that the world wild trekking preferred route
· Rongai Route
It’s the easiest and quite route with a gentle in its elevation ascend, this route Comes from Kenya; the north east side of the mountain where It joins up with marangu route at the Kibo huts; then you’ll ascend to the top up the crater rim and on to Uhuru peak from there you will trek all way up to the peak of the highest mountain of Africa.
· Shira Route
This route comes all the way from the west and joins onto the lemosho route that comes across in front of Kilimanjaro, from there is a couple of junctions where by some people do what’s called northern circuit that goes all way around the back then all the way up the mountain. Most people never use this route because its longer than the rest of the routes maybe people who opt for 9-days climb.
· Lemosho Route
It’s the most worldwide trekking preferred alternative route that its often time to climb this route is in July to August which is very quiet and not crowded. On the second day you join the Machame route but you’ll offset those camps so where the people on the Machame routes are will be having lunch, you will be camping for the night; hands down to the most beautiful route to climb yet expensive. This route is known to be one catapults to you to some serious altitude on the first days.
It is a real test to climb mt Kilimanjaro but through the above briefing; they will undoubtedly push you beyond your comfort zone. But take comfort in the knowledge that every step along the journey will be worth it! Trekking to the summit of Kilimanjaro is a once in a lifetime experience. These hints will give you a Proper preparation will be important for a successful safari as you plan for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, Follow the tips above and I guarantee you will have an amazingly memorable time.