Mount Kilimanjaro Trekking: An Adventure With A Life Lesson

Mount Kilimanjaro Mountain

Wondering why you should climb Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro Mountains? There are a few reasons for this:

1. Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa 5,895 meters above sea level.

2. Because of its proximity to the Equator, it doesn’t have a huge snowcap. In fact, the trail(s) to the top are hiking trails. This means you don’t need to learn technical ice climbing to scale Kilimanjaro. This is probably the single biggest reason for its popularity. As a compared to Mount Blanc in Europe is much shorter than Kilimanjaro, but permanently covered in snow, and climbing requires you to be an expert in technical alpine ice climbing.

3. There are a lot of tourist guides, porters, hotels etc. in the areas that make the logistics of the hike very simple.

4. You can pool it with an African safari in the Serengeti, which makes traveling to Tanzania for the hike more attractive.

The Best Time To Climb Mount Kilimanjaro;

The mountain can be climbed all year round, however, there are a couple of rainy seasons April-May and November-mid-December these are best avoided. The best time of the year recommended to trek is January-March and July-October. These are favourite’s months for two main reasons. Firstly, the weather is usually good and the sky is often clear during these months. Because they both fall just before the rainy seasons, they tend to be quieter than other months.

Note that early in June and late December, though they fall outside of the rainy seasons, but are not such good times to be on Kilimanjaro as the clouds tend to linger after the rainy season, even if the rains have stopped, the view is restricted. Secondly, Full Moon and New Moon treks, the final push from Kibo to the summit a walk that is traditionally done at night is best done under the light of a full moon. Visibility is that much greater, of course, due to the brightness of the light reflected by the full moon.

Mount Kilimanjaro Routes

As the popularity of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro continues to increase, potential climbers are uncertain as to which route to take. There are seven major routes used to climb Kilimanjaro. Each route has its own advantages and disadvantages. When selecting the route, make sure it is the appropriate route for your desires, physical ability, aptitude and comfort level.

Things To Consider When Choosing The Route;

To choose the best Kilimanjaro route for you, there are plenty of variables to be mindful of.

WHO: Who is climbing? The whole group’s abilities must be factored into choosing a route. Are there novices in your group? Are there people who have never been to high altitudes? Pick a route that best fits everyone.

WHAT: What limitations surround your climb? Are you bound by a budget? Or the number of days on your trip? There are cheaper and more expensive routes and shorter and longer itineraries. Get an idea of how much money and how many days people are willing to spend on the mountain.

HOW: How do you see your trek? Do you want the most challenging route or a less strenuous one? Kilimanjaro can bring out a lot of discomfort and suffering. Some people don’t want to be pushed too hard. These answers will affect which route is for you.

WHERE: Where do you want to begin your climb? The routes start from all sides of the mountain. Where you begin affects cost, scenery and scenic variety. For instance, the western routes are more scenic because they cover more of the mountain.

WHY: Why are you climbing? Is it very important to the summit? Then choose a route with a high success rate. Do you want to take the best photos? Then pick a scenic route. Do you just want to be there? Then choose a quick, inexpensive route.

WHEN: When are you climbing? If you are climbing during dry season great. But if you are climbing during the rainy season or the shoulder seasons, then the route you select can play into the climb’s difficulty. Climbs around holidays and full moons are especially crowded.

Is climbing Mount Kilimanjaro dangerous?

In today’s age, it’s rare for the average person to be to be in real danger by being in the outdoors. Kilimanjaro is a real threat, from the terrain to the altitude sickness, a threat that is unpredictable. When you are sitting at your desk reading this that doesn’t seem scary, just a statistic, but when you are on the mountain it is a real threat. Your hometown mountain probably doesn’t require you to walk three to five days at a very slow pace just to reach the summit, or constantly monitor yourself and your group for symptoms of altitude sickness.

You probably don’t have to get up to use the bathroom three times a night because your body is having difficulty adjusting to the altitude.  Mental and emotional breakdowns are common, people just give up before reaching the summit and have to be escorted back down. The mental side of the battle is just as important as the physical, and according to many previous climbers, even more so.But for all the difficulty, expenses, and danger, most climbers wouldn’t trade their experiences climbing Kilimanjaro for the world. The life lessons that are taken away from a Kilimanjaro climb are as varied as the people who have climbed it. Simply put, it truly is the climb of a lifetime.

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