5 Top Tips for Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

January 8th 2024  |   Mount Kilimanjaro Climb, Travel, Countries, Experiences, Unique Experiences, Miscellaneous, Tanzania  |  by   Alice Gully
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro with zebra in the foreground - AndBeyond

You don’t have to be a mountain goat to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.  With the right planning and a bit of training, the summit of the world’s tallest free standing mountain is entirely accessible to anyone.  We share our 5 top tips for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro:

Go with a reputable company

Summits Africa tent on Kilimanjaro

Summits Africa tent on Kilimanjaro

There are dozens of operators who claim they’ll get you to the top of Kilimanjaro.  But choose wisely – there’s a big difference in what they all offer in routes, equipment, ethics and safety.

Make sure that care of both climbers and the climb crew is taken seriously, ask what sort of tents are used and what equipment is provided.  Try and find out how experienced the guides are; your safety depends on them.

Take your time

Trekking on Kilimanjaro walkers taking their time

Enjoy the scenery, there are some spectacular views on the way up

This isn’t just about the speed you walk, but the route you take too. There are several routes up the mountain.  The longer your route, the better you will acclimatise, increasing your chances of reaching the summit.

The Machame Route is a nine day climb, with great scenery and a high success rate.

The ten day Lemosho Route is a little-climbed route, one of the longer, and most scenic, routes available and gives a very good chance of success as it allows a slow steady acclimatisation to the altitude.

While you’re on Kilimanjaro try to walk slowly too – stop and enjoy the views as often as you want.   Listen to your guide – they’ll know the right pace.

Eat and drink lots

Sunny lunch on Kilimanjaro with Summits Africa

Picnic breakfast – Francis, guide Ake Lindstrom, guide Joseph Kumbau and trekkers on Kilimanjaro

Eat plenty at every meal and drink more than you think you need.  Take snacks with you to keep energy levels up – dried fruit and energy bars are ideal. Ask what is provided for you and decide if you want to take your own favourites.

It can be quite dusty while you walk, so take some sweets to suck on to help clear your throat.

Get fit – physically and mentally

Trekkers nearing the icy summit climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro climbers nearing the summit

It’s wise to do some training before you go – particularly in the walking boots you plan to wear.  But as much as anything, getting to the top is about mental strength too. Get out and walk (slowly) for a number of hours on a few occasions to get used to being on your feet for some time.

Choose your camera wisely

Kilimanjaro summit view - Ake Lindstrom climbing mount kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro summit view –  credit Ake Lindstrom Summits Africa

Take a camera that fits in your pocket or an outside pocket of your day pack. On the last two days it is much colder at altitude so try and get a camera that fits inside your internal jacket pocket or include hand warmers to keep your camera kit warm. The scenery climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is fabulous and there will be lots of photo opportunities.  The last thing you’ll want to do is rifle through your pack each time you want to take a picture.

Aardvark Safaris’ senior sales consultant, Francis Naumann, has climbed Kilimanjaro twice.  Here are his thoughts after his last successful Kilimanjaro ascent completed in his fifties.

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro – what next?

We would be delighted to help you plan a your Mount Kilimanjaro trek, or answer any questions. Whether you are planning a group climb, a charity climb or a solo climb we can help. Our team can also offer expert advice on every type of safari from family and beach holidays to riding and primate safaris. If you would like to talk to someone who has summited Kilimanjaro, please just send us an email or give us a call.

2 responses to “5 Top Tips for Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro”

  1. Melony says:

    I would like to come in and speak with someone in your Scottish office in Musselburgh please regarding a trip up Mount Kilimanjaro this year.

    • Richard Smith says:

      Thanks for your message. I will ask one of the team to contact you and find a convenient time for you to speak to someone who has not just planned trips for others, but climbed Kilimanjaro herself.

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