Why is Kilimanjaro such a popular mountain to climb? Firstly, all the major routes are non-technical treks. You don’t need any special climbing equipment other than suitable clothes and boots. No need for ropes or crampons. Kilimanjaro also has easily reached trails. There’s no two week walk to reach the mountain base before your begin your ascent. It’s a super-high mountain that can be climbed within a week or so. Very few mountains of such proportions offer this opportunity.
To have climbed to almost 6000m above sea level is an achievement on a grand scale. One that can re-define your life. You’ll need to draw on all of your inner resources to reach the summit. Climbing Kilimanjaro stretches your endurance on every level, physically, mentally and emotionally. Described by many climbers as a life-changing experience, you’ll test and build your inner strengths.
Sharing the Kilimanjaro experience with others frequently creates and cements life-long friendships. Along the journey you’ll support each other through the tough times and learn to laugh in the face of adversity.
Over the last few years it’s become an increasingly popular way to raise money for charity. There are many companies who arrange charity climbs. Of course, you can climb and raise money for your favourite charity independently. If your goal is fundraising let us know on booking and we’ll spread the news through our social media links.
Who can climb
Lots of people can climb. Currently over 40,000 people a year attempt the summit challenge.
Climbers must be over 10 years old but there is no upper age limit. The current record holder for the oldest to reach Uhuru peak is an impressive 86 years.
You must be reasonably fit. Your climb experience will much more enjoyable if you have properly prepared yourself. You don’t need to be at athlete level, it’s about endurance not speed. As long as you can do multiple days walking of at least 6 hours per day you should meet the basic fitness levels needed. You can read more about fitness and preparation here.
How to climb
It is not possible to climb Kilimanjaro on your own. You must be accompanied by a Kilimanjaro National Park (KINAPA) registered guide for any walks or climbs within the National Park. Only TALA (Tourist Agents Licensing Authority) licenced operators can buy the permits that are required for entry to the Park. There are some climb companies that ‘sub-contract’ the permit buying to get around being fully licenced.
When to climb
There are two main climbing seasons, Mid June to late October and mid December to mid March. You can climb at other times of the year but you’re more likely to have inclement weather, especially in the April and May rainy season. Over recent years ,however, the rains have been less likely to follow the typical patterns and you might have a climb in mid November with no rain at all.
June and July are the coldest months, but the weather is often more stable with a greater chance of days with clear skies and fabulous views of Kibo.
August and September tend to be very busy. Mid December, January and February are warmer but usually wetter. With a peak in climbers on the mountain over Christmas and New Year.
Mountain weather is inherently unpredictable so you must always be prepared for the worst possible conditions and hope for the best.