Climbing Kilimanjaro Tour

The team at Katikati Tours loves Climbing Kilimanjaro. It is a massive 5,895m tall and the highest free-standing mountain in the world. Everest is much higher overall but it starts at about 4,000m.

Kilimanjaro is also the highest mountain in Africa so is part of the very special club that mountaineers call the “Seven Summits” – the highest mountains on each continent.

Even with these awesome credentials, you can leave work on a Friday, climb to its summit and be back at work a week later. And more than anything this accessibility is what makes it so popular. So book your adventure now with the number one Kilimanjaro operator. If you climb with us, you are in safe hands – we have now helped over 150 climbers summit successfully.

Kilimanjaro Climbing Tours

Frequently asked questions

Mount Kilimanjaro Difficulty

For experienced climbers, Mount Kilimanjaro will take around 5 to 6 days to reach the top. But it is important to understand the while the trek is shorter than others, the length of the trek doesn’t mean it is any easier. In fact, Mount Kilimanjaro is incredibly difficult because of its short trek.

You ascend rapidly up the mountain, which means your body needs to acclimate to the changing conditions very quickly. Thus, can lead to acute mountain sickness and if you aren’t prepared for that, you can have to turn back to get help.

Mount Kilimanjaro Climb Difficulty

With an average of half of all climbers suffering from acute mountain sickness, Kilimanjaro is classified as an extreme altitude mountain trek. Because you scale the 19,341 feet, or 5,895 meters, so quickly and the angle is so great, you will need to prepare and train before attempting the climb.

Is It Hard To Climb Kilimanjaro?

On average, it takes eight hours alone to reach the summit on the last stage of the trek. This is because it is 4,084 feet or 1,245 meters of climbing at extreme altitudes over 18,000 feet and greatly increasing your risk of getting acute mountain sickness.

How Difficult Is It To Climb Kilimanjaro

If you are properly prepared for altitude sickness and know how to combat it, the trek up Kilimanjaro is relatively straightforward. If you don’t properly prepare your body for the altitude, you can come down with acute mountain sickness and have to turn around and head back to the base. But otherwise, the trek up Kilimanjaro is relatively easy with multiple routes and designated spots to camp and rest.

Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro Difficulty

The actual trek up Kilimanjaro is very straightforward and requires little climbing skills. This makes it an ideal climb for people of different ages and skill levels, provided that they prepare for and prevent altitude sickness as much as possible.

Climbing Kilimanjaro Difficulty

The actual climbing of Kilimanjaro is less like your standard mountain climb, and more like a hike. But while easier in terms of climbing skills, you can have just as much difficulty climbing Kilimanjaro as other, more complicated climbs. This is because of the higher altitude and greater risk of acute mountain sickness.

Second, you are climbing to nearly 20,000 feet at which altitude, air pressure and oxygen availability is about 60% of sea level. This means with every breath you are only getting just over half as much oxygen. To compensate for this you have to do everything slowly.  Finally, you will be camping for up to 8 nights, sleeping on the floor and washing and cleaning in tough conditions. This is nothing that a positive attitude can’t overcome, though.  For more about acclimatization see here.

The best training you can do is to get your boots on and cover as many miles as your can before your climb. If you follow this advice, most days will be pretty comfortable for you. However fit you are though, summit night is a very tough experience.  You will be climbing for 8-10 hours and descending for 6 – 8 hours.  For more advice on training see here

For a more technical answer, there are four aspects of fitness you need to work on.

  • First is pure cardio. As you ascend there is less and less oxygen in the air and this makes your cardio system work very hard. Prepare for this with an intense cardio exercise. We are big fans of High-Intensity Interval Training where you work very hard for a short period and the rest.
  • Second is leg strength. Consecutive days climbing puts a lot of strain on the legs and specific leg exercises like squats work really well.
  • The third is stamina. On summit night you need to keep going and going. Try and do some longer exercises that require real stamina like a long ride or a really long day hill-walking.
  • And finally, don’t forget your flexibility as lots of injuries are caused by a lack of flexibility.  So both before your climb, and on it, remember your stretches. For more detailed advice on training see here.

KPAP do great work to ensure porters are treated fairly on the mountain.  This is not just about wages, but food, clothing, tents and tipping policy. Sadly far too few Kilimanjaro operators are members of KPAP. We have been a leading member of KPAP since we started on Kilimanjaro. There is a KPAP porter on all our climbs to ensure that our treatment of porters always is up to high standards.

By the time you have reached the summit of Kilimanjaro air pressure is down to 49% of what it is at sea level. The first effect of this is that every lungful of air contains only half the amount of oxygen it would normally have. This makes any physical exertion very hard work. Slowly, slowly is the key.

The second and most dangerous effects of low pressures are on the parts of the body where fluid and air meet. The two most important are in the skull and lungs. With low air pressure fluid gets into the lungs and the gap between the brain and the skull. In the lungs, this causes something like pneumonia, where your lungs fill with water. In the brain, it causes bad headaches. Both of these can become so bad they will kill you.

The good news is that we plan our ascents very carefully to minimize the risk of you getting AMS and have well-tested emergency plans to evacuate you should you have any problems. You can read lots more about Altitude sickness here.

If you want the company of others while you climb Kilimanjaro then an open group is perfect for you. Our group climbs run every week during the main climbing season from June – October and December – March. They are limited to a maximum of 12 climbers to make sure you get the best chance of summit success. Particularly popular are our open group full moon climbs which run every month.