Of course, time of year and weather conditions aren’t the only factor to consider as you start to plan your ascent of Africa’s highest peak. Here are a few more variables you may want to learn more about before you decide the best time to climb Kilimanjaro:
Choosing the Best Kilimanjaro Route
The three most popular Kilimanjaro routes are the Machame Route, the Lemosho Route and the Rongai Route. Each have their advantages and disadvantages:
The Machame Route
The popular Machame Route offers a shorter, but more challenging, trekking duration, as well as stunning scenery on the ascent to Uhuru Peak. Read our full Mount Kilimanjaro Machame Trek itinerary to find out more.
The Lemosho Route
The Lemosho Route is longer, more gradual and also less popular, but certainly not less beautiful, which is why we highly recommend this route for those taking on the Kilimanjaro challenge, especially if you have limited trekking experience. Read our full Mount Kilimanjaro Lemosho Trek itinerary for details.
The Rongai Route
The remote Rongai Route approaches the summit from the north, on Kenya‘s side of Kilimanjaro. Less popular, with options of faster or gradual ascents, you may also be treated to sightings of big game, such as antelope, elephant and buffalo. Contact us directly to enquire about this route.
Preparing for your Kilimanjaro Hike
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro may be a feature on many traveller’s bucket list (over 30,000 people climb to the summit every year), but it’s no easy feat and it’s essential that you are prepared.
Train your strength and stamina as far in advance as you can, with focus on conditioning your legs, preparing your cardiovascular system, muscles and joints.
The most common factor that stops many climbers from reaching the summit is not the fitness required for the hike, but altitude sickness (the inability to acclimatise to the high altitude). This can be brought on by ascending too fast, which is why we recommend the Lemosho route’s more gradual ascent.
Also, keep in mind that the risk of altitude sickness increases if you’re already suffering a cold or the flu, so wait to climb Kilimanjaro once you are fully recovered.
Camping equipment and food is provided and carried by the porters, but it is wise to invest in and bring quality hiking gear (clothing, footwear etc.) in order to have the best chance of reaching the top and enjoying the hike – there’s nothing worse than blisters
Kilimanjaro Trekking & Responsible Travel
When it comes to Kilimanjaro and responsible travel, the biggest issue to consider is porters’ rights. Local porters are essential guides for the Kilimanjaro trek and their expertise and support (especially in carrying bags and camping equipment) makes a huge difference between reaching the summit or not.
We’re proud to support KPAP (Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project), an organization dedicated to porter welfare and fair salaries, which are far and away over the industry average.