Are you thinking about climbing Mount Kilimanjaro? It’s a great option if you’re looking for an adventure, and it’s definitely a challenge. But don’t worry, we’re here to help make your climb as smooth as possible.
In this post, we’ll outline everything you need to know before embarking on your journey to the top of Africa’s highest mountain. Read on to learn how to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
What Is Mount Kilimanjaro?
Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa. This 8,895 meter-high mountain is also the tallest freestanding mountain in the world. Climbing this giant is a challenge for anyone, but when you adhere to these simple hiking tips, it will make your climb safer and easier.
Mount Kilimanjaro is located in Tanzania, Africa and is the highest mountain in that continent. It is also the tallest freestanding mountain on earth, rising 8,895 meters from its base to summit.
How To Climb Mount Kilimanjaro: Hiking Tips
To climb Mount Kilimanjaro, you’ll need to prepare yourself physically. It’s no surprise that you’ll be walking uphill for a majority of the trail. The trail only gets steeper as you climb to higher campsites.
However, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro isn’t just about hiking; it’s also about acclimatizing.
To acclimate to higher altitudes, you must adjust your breathing pattern. Start by exhaling slowly through your nose. You’ll soon notice that it’s hard to inhale enough oxygen for normal breathing at high altitudes without deep breaths.
Another tip is to eat food rich in carbohydrates during the climb. Carbs give you energy for long hikes, but also help you adapt to high altitudes by releasing more oxygen into your bloodstream.
To help keep yourself hydrated, drink water often and carry plastic bottles with you along the trail. An extra method of staying hydrated is to eat fresh fruits like bananas. They are full of electrolytes that’ll replace minerals lost through sweat.
Keep in mind that dehydration isn’t just unpleasant. It’s also can dangerous, potentially leading to life-threatening altitude sickness.
Reduce Altitude Sickness
Another way to avoid getting sick is to drink coca leaf tea. Coca leaves grow at high altitudes in South America and are known for their medicinal properties. Many mountain climbers chew on the leaves or brew them into a tea for safety during climbs.
Coca leaves reduce the symptoms of altitude sickness and give you an energy boost. The most important thing to remember is that it takes time to acclimate to higher elevations, so don’t rush it! You’ll need at least a couple of days to adjust to each ascending camp site.
Finally, practice proper mountaineering etiquette throughout your climb. Don’t litter, don’t mar the landscape, and always follow your guide’s instructions!
How Long Does It Take To Climb Mount Kilimanjaro?
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro takes an average of seven days. On the way up Mount Kilimanjaro, hikers may experience night blindness because their body is not producing enough vitamin A. Without this vitamin, the cornea in the eye cannot absorb light properly, causing vision loss.
After three to four days, your muscles start to consume energy faster than they can replenish. This is called muscle glycogen depletion.
The consequence of this condition is the hiker losing strength and having trouble walking. This is due to their muscles essentially turning to mush.
When you reach Uhuru Peak, the air is so thin it becomes difficult to breathe. This makes resting in between climbs even more of a challenge.
By the time you reach Stella Point, hikers begin to experience pulmonary and cerebral edema. This is when the air sacs in your lungs fill with fluid, causing shortness of breath and confusion as your brain struggles to get enough oxygen. This isn’t an easy climb, but it’s doable!
With that said, click the highlighted link to learn more interesting facts about Mount Kilimanjaro.
How to get to Mount Kilimanjaro
The first thing you want to do is find your adventure company or tour operator. There are many companies that have agreements with hotels around the park. They can pick you up and drop you off, which makes the whole experience much more convenient.
When it comes to food, there are plenty of small cafés around, so no need to bring anything on the mountain itself.
In order to get from your country to Tanzania, you have a few options, especially if you live in Europe or America. Flights go from many cities and range from $1400-$5000 USD for one person round trip. However, that depends on where you’re flying from and when you book the flight.
You’ll want to fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA), which is about 45 minutes from Moshi. Once you’re in Moshi, get on the bus and head for Marangu gate. Alternatively, if you have a tour operator, they can pick you up from the airport and take you there directly.
About an hour after you arrive at Marangu gate, you’ll be ready to enter the park and start your ascent. Your tour company should provide you with a porter and a guide. The 5 day hike from Marangu Gate up to Stella Point is a pretty easy hike and can be completed by anyone in reasonable shape.
Hiking Tips: Making It Up Mount Kilimanjaro
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is no easy feat. It takes time, preparation and a lot of effort to make it to the top. But with the right knowledge on how to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, anyone can do it.
We hope you enjoyed reading this content and that it has given you the information you need to start planning your climb up Africa’s highest mountain.
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