Helpful Tips As You Prepare To Climb Mount Kilimanjaro

August 17, 2015 at 2:20 pm Leave a comment

What could possibly be more thrilling than the chance to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the world’s tallest walkable mountain?

Make no mistake, this journey will be hard, but so very worthwhile. Passing through 5 different climate zones before reaching an elevation of 19,341 feet, or 5,895 meters, above sea level.

So how do you get ready for such an adventure?

  1. Choose a Good Tour Operator: This is essential as Kilimanjaro can only be climbed along established routes, with an organized trek. Now you’re one step ahead, because award-winning Zara Tours is one of the best tour operators in Tanzania, with more than 25 years of experience and over 80 guides who speak English, German, and Spanish.
  2. Select a Route. There are several different routes up the mountain, taking anywhere from 5 to 11 days, varying in difficulty and cost. Longer routes give you a greater chance of success, as you have more time to acclimate to the altitude changes. Marangu and Rongai are considered less difficult, while Machame, Shira, and Limosho are harder.
  3. Plan Ahead. January-March and September-October are considered “high season”, when the weather conditions are ideal for climbing. Choose your dates and book your climb well in advance to ensure your spot.
  4. Get Into Shape. The more walking and hiking you do now, the easier you will find your hike up Kilimanjaro. Break in a pair of good hiking boots, hike in nearby hills, climb lots of stairs–anything to build up stamina and get ready. Have a basic medical check-up done as well, to make sure you are fit and healthy.
  5. Pack Carefully. Pack light while also bringing everything that you will need to deal with variations in altitude and temperature. You can also rent equipment and clothing locally if needed. Leave all important documents, passport, and credit cards at the hotel, you won’t need them on the mountain.
  6. Prepare for Altitude Change. As you reach greater heights, pace yourself, taking the Swahili “pole, pole”–slowly, slowly–well to heart. Acute Mountain Sickness comes with headaches, nausea, and disorientation, so descend if you feel any of these symptoms! Drink lots of water, ask a doctor about medicine, and confirm your guide has additional supplies.

Some recommend that climbers walk high and sleep low, taking a walk ahead of your camp before coming back down for the night.

  1. The Final Ascent. This will be the hardest part of your climb so focus on your goal and stay determined, you are almost there! Watch the sunrise, take lots of photos, and head back down the mountain before the high altitude takes its toll.
  2. Celebrate! Once you’re back down the mountain, it’s time to celebrate! You did it! Consider this an impressive accomplishment, order a drink, and then take a nap!

This climb will be a life-changing event for you, so do all you can to prepare before you begin!

Entry filed under: African Safari Tours, African Safari Trips, Hiking Kilimanjaro. Tags: .

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