Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is on the top bucket-list of many adventurous travelers. A combination of ‘conquering’ one of the Seven Summits, and achieving something remarkable makes it a truly compelling destination.
“The best view comes after the hardest climb”
Climbing Kilimanjaro is no easy feat. And the Kilimanjaro Success Rate is relatively low. This usually comes down to lack of preparation and the effects of Kilimanjaro Altitude Sickness. However, with proper precaution, correct training, and taking certain measures you can easily attempt a successful climb!
Here are 10 tips on how to increase your chance to reach the top of Kilimanjaro.
1. Start your Kilimanjaro Training Today!
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is a physical challenge but, well within the reach of most people. That’s why it is important to start training as early as possible before your scheduled climb to Kilimanjaro. So, you must be willing to do the specific Kilimanjaro Training for success no matter your level of fitness.
· Regular training is the key to increase your resistance and boost endurance. Most people go for quick workouts that can be easily squeezed into the everyday work schedule. That means short training. However, research shows that the best way to build endurance is to do low-intensity exercise for longer time frames.
· It is important to start training as early as possible before your scheduled Kilimanjaro Climb. It is the key to build strength, fitness, and stamina.
· Start walking up and down hills with a weighted backpack to build endurance. If you do not have access to hills you can start with staircases or treadmills to gain the required strength and endurance.
· Go on training hikes. Hiking up and down hills with weight is by far the best DIY training you can do.
·When out on training hikes, always wear the boots you’re planning to take to Kilimanjaro. You need to get used to it. Moreover, breaking in your trekking boots will assist in making you as comfortable as possible on your climb.
· It is also good to train in the same backpack you will be taking with you on the climb to get accustomed. Afterward, you can gradually add weight to the pack to build strength.
· Start doing day hikes where you are out for several hours.
· Get used to being on your feet.
· Create a daily plan to be continuously active for a certain time or distance, not speed.
2.Visit Your Doctor
Before you take on a strenuous trek like Mount Kilimanjaro, it’s always a good idea to visit your doctor for a check-up. We recommend you to ask your doctor for malaria tablets and Diamox (the drug that helps combat altitude sickness) too.
3. Avoid Kilimanjaro Altitude Sickness
The air is thinner at high altitudes. Acute Mountain Sickness aka AMS is an illness caused by exposure to low air pressure, the especially low partial pressure of oxygen, which many climbers experience at high altitudes. AMS is the main reason that people fail to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Kilimanjaro Altitude Sickness is common for all climbers on Mount Kilimanjaro but there are tricks to prevent it.
Three Golden Rule to prevent Kilimanjaro Altitude Sickness:
· Rule 1: If you feel unwell, you have altitude sickness until proven otherwise.
· Rule 2: Do not ascend further if you have symptoms of altitude sickness.
· Rule 3: If you are getting worse then descend immediately.
Prepare Before Ascend:
· Start with some altitude training before Kilimanjaro Trekking like Aerobic exercises, running on a treadmill, strength training, hiking, walking “up & down”, and breathing exercises.
· Pre-acclimatize yourself before attempting to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
· Choosing the Best Kilimanjaro Routes is very important as it grants you additional time for acclimatization. You should prefer routes that allow more time to climb high, and with ample sleep opportunities.
· Go as slowly as possible, do not overexert yourself, even on the lower elevations.
· Drink sufficient fluids (4 litres a day).
· Avoid consumption of alcohol, caffeine, stimulants, or smoking while Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
At Kilele Climb, our team conducts health checks twice a day to monitor our clients. These health checks consist of monitoring pulse rates, oxygen saturation readings, and a survey of symptoms. The data is recorded and further evaluated constantly.
If the Kilimanjaro Guide determines that it is too risky to continue, you will be escorted down the mountain for your safety. We also carry bottled oxygen and a portable stretcher on every climb and can coordinate an evacuation on foot or by helicopter in case of a medical emergency.
4. Make a Kilimanjaro Packing List
For a successful hike, pack light and pack right.
· The ideal outfit for Kilimanjaro is layers & layers of warm, comfortable, quick-drying, and breathable clothing. Avoid anything heavy like jeans!
· You should wear your boots as much as you can before you go! Because you don’t want to get stuck with blisters and be plagued by it every step of the way.
· You should prefer lighter shoes. Go for comfy walking Boots with good ankle and arch support with room for thick socks. Get waterproof ones or get them waterproofed.
· Take an extra bag to store any non-Kili clothes for the days before and after the Climb To Kilimanjaro. Because you would want something nice to wear if you’re going out in Moshi before/after your climb.
Kilimanjaro Porters will transport your gear from camp to camp. So carry what you need between campsites only. Just carry your water, snacks, extra clothing, and accessories. For most people, it is around 15 lbs. of gear. Evaluate what you carry carefully and lose the excess.
5. Get Your Kilimanjaro Travel Insurance
It goes without saying that Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro comes with obvious risks. So a Kilimanjaro Travel Insurance is a must-have, especially while you are above 6000 meters. So make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance covering all aspects of your trip.
We recommend World Nomads, Outbacker, or InsureandGo.
6. Choose Your Kilimanjaro Routes Carefully
It might seem like a good idea to Climb Kilimanjaro in the fastest time possible. But taking longer to climb will help your chances of success to reach the top of Kilimanjaro. There are seven Routes To Climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
· Marangu: The Marangu AKA the “Coca-Cola” route is considered to be the easiest due to the gradual slope. Having said that, it has one of the lowest success rates, probably because people choose to do it over 5 days. Also, the only route with huts you can stay in.
· Machame: Also known as the “Whiskey” route. Although difficult and busy, one of the most scenic routes!
·Lemosho: It uses some of the same paths as Machame Route. It is very scenic but with less traffic. Plus, you can do this over 8 or 9 days which helps for acclimatization.
· Rongai: An easier route than Machame, Lemosho, and Shira, but less crowded than the Machame Route.
· Northern Circuit: This is the newest and the longest Kilimanjaro Route. But so far, it has one of the highest success rates. Albeit the furthest drive from Moshi, the route is filled with great scenic spots.
· Umbwe: A very direct and extremely challenging route.
7. Pick the Right Trek & Trekking Company
You cannot Climb Kilimanjaro without a licensed Kilimanjaro Guide, so you will need to book your trek through a registered company. Along with guides, you will also have porters and a chef. You won’t be able to climb Kilimanjaro without the Kilimanjaro Porters. Because they carry all your equipment, food, and clothing up the mountain, so all you have to carry is your daypack.
There are a number of great operators out there. Primarily you should look for established operators with a long-standing reputation for excellence. So compare and do your research well. Just make sure your tour operator abides by the KPAP regulations and are on this list.
8. Arrive a Few Days Early
Give yourself at least a day or two to recover from your flight, get organized, and acclimatize. So you can mentally prepare yourself for your trek, especially if you are coming from a very different time zone. This will also give you time to run some basic errands like getting a local SIM card and changing money. This way you will also get a chance to take an acclimatization trek to the beautiful Materuni Waterfall.
9.Drink Lots Of Water On Climb TO Kilimanjaro
Drink as much water as you can. You will sweat a lot while trekking. So maintaining your hydration level will in turn help you with acclimatization. When you drink water, the body simply functions better. The heart pumps better. The muscles function better. Both of these are important to increase your chance of reaching the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Drink at least 3 litres on the trek and more at camp. You may also want to add electrolytes to your water too, to ensure you stay hydrated. When you sweat, you not only lose water but also salt and minerals. That’s why to ensure that your electrolyte levels remain balanced, we recommend using electrolytes on your climb.
10.Hike, Eat, Sleep, And Recover
While on the hike to Mount Kilimanjaro, you will involuntarily find yourself falling into a routine. Wake up, eat breakfast, and hike. You eat lunch, hike. You eat dinner, sleep.
Sufficient sleep is important on the mountain, but easier said than done. Because your body is simultaneously adjusting to the altitude and overcoming jet lag. In the first few nights, you may wake up frequently throughout the night or not be able to sleep altogether. Don’t worry, your sleep quality will improve as time passes.
On your Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, you will easily feel overwhelmed and exhausted, but remember, you are on vacation. Enjoy yourself! Kick back and relax. Enjoy the company of your fellow climbers during the evenings and have fun. Because trust me when I say this, feeling amazing after your Kilimanjaro Trek, both physically and mentally. Yes, granted you’ll be tired, but there’s nothing like being disconnected from the world and in nature whilst accomplishing something amazing.