Have you heard of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa? Mt. Kilimanjaro is 19,371 feet high, and is a doable hike for most people. It isn’t a technical climb, and for the most part no matter what route you take, it is a long trek. Read on, because you’ll probably want to put it on your bucket list of places to go! It’s on mine!
One High Peak!
Mt. Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa, one of the Seven Summits (check out this Hiking Lady book review about the first Scottish woman who hiked the Seven Summits), and is one of the highest free standing mountains in the world!
Despite its classification as the highest mountain in Africa, Mt. Kilimanjaro is a long trek. There are five popular ways up the mountain, and the most difficult route requires some bouldering, but nothing more technical than that.
What Is It Like to Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro?
When you hike Mt. Kilimanjaro, you travel through five climatic zones. The first is a tropical rainforest, which then becomes shrubland. Beyond that it is a typical alpine hike. The final stage is desert-like and it can get quite cold, especially on the summit! In fact, I have a friend who got a mild case of frostbite on her summit attempt.
How to Climb Kilimanjaro
Many people choose to use a guide to make their climb safer, easier (guides often can help line up porters; why not have helpers lug some gear!), and more social. There are numerous guiding companies, and one company called Mojhi can match you up with multiple guiding operators that suit your needs (i.e., are you a single hiker, or traveling in a group?; do you have a route preference?). Since Climbing Kilimanjaro is a once in a lifetime experience, it is worth using the Mojhi website, where they have already researched the guides for you. Alternatively you can try a google search, REI Adventures, or word of mouth from friends who have been.
The Highest Chance of Making It to the Summit
The hikers who have the highest success rates take the 6-7 day trek to the summit, rather than trying to do 4 days up and 1 day down for a 5 day trip. It takes the human body a long time to acclimatize. Be sure to check out my High Altitude Hiking tips!
Have you been to Kilimanjaro? When I go someday, I’ll be writing a detailed trip report!