To climb Mt. Kilimanjaro and stand on ‘The Roof of Africa’ is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. However, being properly prepared to take on the highest mountain in Africa is key to a successful and safe summit.
Standing at 5896 meters (19,341 feet), Mt. Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest mountain, and undeniably, one of the continent’s most magnificent sights. If you are planning to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, the trek is not easy, but the views are incredible and the achievement will be a point of pride forever.
However, to make this journey as safe and enjoyable as possible, it takes plenty of planning. Here are 7 tips to help you prepare:
1. Choose the right route
The length of your trek will depend on your chosen route, with the shortest taking 5 days, and the longest taking 10 days. The routes with the highest success of summiting are the longest and slowest ones, which allow you to ascend at a more gradual rate.
Acclimatization on Mt. Kilimanjaro is the most vital part of your trek and without doing this successfully, you’re unlikely to make the summit. No matter how fit you are, even if you’re a pro-athlete, acclimatization can affect anyone.
What does this mean? It’s best to choose the slower routes, which allow you to properly acclimatize and successfully reach your goal. Some of the most popular routes include: the Northern Circuit, Rongai, Lemosho and Marangu.
2. Select the right time.
While you can climb the mountain all year round, it is not recommended to do it in the wet months (April, May, and November). Some of the best months for a Mt. Kilimanjaro trek include:
- January – March: The weather is much cooler and the routes are likely to be less crowded.
- June- October: While the days during this month are warm and pleasant, it is peak season, and so the mountain routes will be much busier.
Just remember, no matter the time of year you choose to climb the mountain, you’re
likely to encounter freezing temperatures and snow closer to the summit, so pack smartly!
3. Train, Train, Train
While you don’t need any climbing skills for this trek, reaching the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro does require a certain level of fitness and training, including both physical and mental stamina. To prepare your body and mind for this trek, you should do some:
- Aerobic Training, which includes activities such as long-distance jogging, walking, swimming, and cycling. This will build your cardiovascular system, so you can process oxygen in a more efficient way.
- Strength Training: This includes exercises such as squats, lunges, situps, shoulder presses, and kettlebell rows. Building your core strength, legs, and upper shoulder muscles are important for the most enjoyable and easy trek.
- Build your mental stamina. There are times during your Kilimanjaro summit that you may want to give up, which is why mental stamina is so important. To build this, you may want to consider running a marathon, or half marathon, so you know how to push through your limits and achieve your goals.
4. Break in Your Walking Shoes
It may seem obvious, but many trekkers unfortunately forget to to do this. There is nothing worse than arriving to your climb with new and unworn boots. These can seriously hinder your success and summit attempt, as you will get blisters and sore feet early on.
5. Stay Hydrated
Staying well hydrated during your Mt. Kilimanjaro climb should be one of your top priorities. At higher altitudes, your body will dehydrate much faster, so you should be drinking plenty of water.
Remember: A fit, strong, and well-hydrated body will ultimately help you function better with less oxygen as you climb the mountain. It will also help you withstand the stress of consecutive days of strenuous activity.
Stand on the Roof of Africa
Do you want to challenge yourself and experience an adventure of a lifetime? At Let’s Go Travel, we can help plan your Mt. Kilimanjaro trip to ensure the safest and most enjoyable trek. To find out more, call our travel agents at +254 722 331 899.