Once you commit to conquering Africa's rooftop, you will need to figure out when is the best time to climb Kilimanjaro for you. Since Kilimanjaro sits near the equator, it does not see drastic changes in weather along it's five vertical climate zones, however at certain times of the year there will be heavier rain fall, which occurs only below 10,000ft.
Before you can book a Kilimanjaro Trek with a tour operator, you will need to decide on which Kilimanjaro route you want to take to Uhuru Peak. There are 7 distinct routes that get you to the top, each varying in length, difficulty and of course popularity! Below we have summarized the 7 routes: Marangu, Umbwe, Rongai, Northern Circuit, Shira, Machame & Lemosho and you can click the "See Route Details" button for more information on each route. Oh and don't overthink because you can't really go wrong, it doesn't matter which route you take, it'll exceed your expectations!
Once you've decided when to go and which route to take, you'll need to choose a tour operator. Below we've shown examples that represent the price of Kilimanjaro tours by booking directly with local tour operators in the Kilimanjaro region. If you are booking through a climbing agency, partner or travel agent you will likely end up paying the ‘luxury’ tour operator rate for a tour that is ultimately subcontracted out to a ‘mid tier’ tour operator. Regardless of how you end up booking your Kilimanjaro climb, be sure to ask what exactly is included on your climb to justify the cost.
You've figured out when to go, which route to take and who will take you, now the journey really begins! Training for your Kilimanjaro climb is critical to your success of reaching Uhuru Peak. Trust us, not training and leaving your successful summit to chance is not something you want to experiment with! First step will be to see your doctor and make sure you are healthy to complete the trek, next formulate a training plan that consists of both physical training and high altitude training. Do these things and climbing Kilimanjaro will be a much more exhilarating experience.
• Definitley consult a doctor for a check-up before attempting to summit Kilimanjaro
• A good question to ask is if High Altitude trekking is okay for your age, fitness level and health conditions
• Ask if Diamox or any other drugs may be prescribed for you to use to help combat altitude sickness
• Prepare to walk 6-8 hours a day
• Start training 3-6 months in advance
• Carry a daypack with 15-20 pounds of weight while doing practice hikes
• The best way to train is to hike on hills and mountains
• Don’t have access to trails? Climb stairs or hop on a stair master machine
• Your ability to adjust to varying levels of oxygen content is largely genetic
• It is almost impossible to know how you will react to the high altitudes on Kilimanjaro until you are actually experiencing it
• High altitude training at home will allow you to preacclimatize and can help improve your success rate/ enjoyment of the climb
• High altitude training typically is defined by training above 8,000ft (2,400m)
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Once your Kilimanjaro trek is booked and training is underway, you'll want to consider the other logistics. A couple of items you'll need to take care of in advance are things likes immunizations and vaccinations, flights and of course travel insurance. As you get closer to departure date, get our your Kilimanjaro packing list and lastly for Tanzania Visa we recommend purchasing it at arrival in Tanzania.