Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in Africa and a top destination for hiking tours in Tanzania. This is the world’s tallest free-standing mountain and Africa’s highest peak. People from all over the world from children to the elderly have successfully hiked Mountain Kilimanjaro.
Mount Kilimanjaro is found in northern Tanzania within Kilimanjaro National Park. The mountain is a dormant volcano that is comprised of three volcanic cones which are Shira, Kibo, and Mawenzi. The highest peak on which the Uhuru summit stands is on the Kibo volcano. Kibo volcano is classified as dormant but not extinct.
The highest peak of Mount Kilimanjaro is 5,895m or 19,341 feet. Reaching the Kilimanjaro summit takes about 8 days, however, the rapid ascent makes it a difficult and rather a dangerous mountain to hike with high risks of altitude sickness.
There are 7 official routes that hikers take to the peak of Kilimanjaro. These are the Lemosho route (7-8 days), Machame route (6-7 days), Marangu route (6 days), Northern circuit, Rongai route (starts in the north from the Kenyan border), Shira route, western breach, and Umbwe route. The Shira and Umbwe routes are not recommended due to their high starting points which make acclimatization opportunities poor.
When planning to hike Kilimanjaro, remember to pack light. Carry only luggage that is essential and avoid extra weight that porters must carry. If you do not have all the necessary gear, you can pack your essentials then rent only the necessary gear on the ground. Try to limit all of your gear to less than 40 lbs.
Altitude sickness is potentially fatal and some climbers will get some form of mild acute mountain sickness while hiking the mountain. During the whole hike, your guide will monitor you closely during the duration of the climb.
However, you should be aware of the symptoms of mild, moderate, and severe mountain sickness. Ensure to inform your guide of any symptoms immediately and never try to hide your symptoms in order to continue climbing. In case the symptoms are acute, you will not be able to submit to the peak.
The guides will perform health checks twice per day to monitor oxygen saturation levels and pulse rate. They will also administer Lake Louise Scoring System to help determine whether climbers have any symptoms of altitude sickness.
It is possible to pre acclimatize to altitude by having altitude training systems by simulating the high altitude found on Mount Kilimanjaro. The altitude training system reduces the percentage of oxygen in the air you breathe. Through regular use, the body undergoes physiological changes to cope with the lower oxygen level.
The best times to climb mountain Kilimanjaro in Mountain Kilimanjaro National park is during the warmest and driest months of January, February, September, June, July, August, and October. These months are dry and therefore easier to predict warm temperatures that ease hiking.
Temperatures and weather can, however, drastically change based on the time of the day and altitude. The long rainy or wet season is from the end of March to early June and the short rainy season from November to the beginning of December and advisable to avoid these times.
To hike Mount Kilimanjaro in Mountain Kilimanjaro National park, book a Tanzania hiking tour safari with us and get the best options for your hike. Other activities that can be done in Tanzania include wildlife tour game drives, beach holidays, chimpanzee trekking, and cultural tours. Wondering how to arrange a good tailor-made itinerary to suit all of your requests, then contact Acacia safaris for all queries.
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