Mount Kilimanjaro Guide – Gain Valuable Information Before Climbing
Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro is a lifetime opportunity that must not be missed at any cause. Tourist from all around the world travel here to stand on the ‘Roof of Africa’. To make your climbing trip a successful one it is vital to be prepared appropriately.
Key to successful summit attempt
The voyage Kilimandjaro trekking program is for minimum 5 hours daily. You do not have to be a marathon runner, but practice hike at home like cycling and running can help you build fitness level.
Trekking covers 4 climatic zones, therefore to stay comfortable and warm while climbing it is wise to have –
- At least three layers of clothes – outer jacket, middle fleece layer and base thermal layer.
- Right kind of hiking boots, warm socks and water-proof & woollen gloves are needed.
- Water bottle, head lamp/torch, warm headgear, lip balm, toiletries, snacks, are some of the basic necessities.
- Trekking poles help trekkers to balance and take off pressure from the knees especially while descending.
Detailed route description
- Marangu route – It is the easiest route, affordable and accommodation is in huts, so no camping gear is needed. It is the only route that is used for climbing up and descending.
- Machame route – Economical and most scenic route, but has higher difficulty level.
- Rongai route – Approaches Kilimanjaro from dry side, so it is easy and rapid option for trekking.
- Shira route – It is very scenic with high difficulty level and less crowded.
- Lemosho route – It is beautiful, remote, long and expensive route allowing plenty of time for trekkers to get accustomed to the climate.
- Umbwe route – It is a steepest route suitable for experienced mountain climbers.
- Mweka route – It is not an ascend route, but just used for climbing down.
Kilimanjaro has two rainy seasons – March to May and November to February. The northern slopes are dryer than the south, so Rongai route is popular during monsoon months. Basically, you will probably experience rain during the first day because above 3,000m it is less prevalent. However, the chances of experiencing sleet and snow on the upper slopes increase.
Given sufficient time, your body gets acclimatized to regular change in altitude. Several people experience worse altitude sickness, which is not due to factors like age, gender fitness, etc. It is vital to remember three key things.
- Go ‘Pole Pole’ – Avoid overstressing yourself. The guides and porters always shout ‘Pole Pole’. In Swahili it means ‘Slow Slow’. Listen and walk slowly.
- Drink fluids & eat well – The main cause of mountain sickness is dehydration. Three litres of water is the daily recommended intake. Taking adequate meals, snacks and energy bars is key to reach the summit successfully.
- Sleep low – Sleeping low will allow your body to get familiar with the altitude for some time before you go to sleep.
Guides and porters
Guides are necessary for trekking or else you are not permitted. Each group has one guide and each trekker has three porters carrying their tents, gear cooking goods and water. Each porter carries 20 kg on their back.
Reaching the top needs determination!