How Difficult To Climb Mount Kilimanjaro


Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa, standing at 19,341 feet above sea level and located in northern Tanzania. It is one of the world’s most challenging treks and has become an iconic event for most people. The appeal of this mountain stems from its beauty, its uniqueness and the challenge to hike it. The climb can be a tough and risky one, which is why it is important to plan ahead and come prepared in order to maximize the experience and the chance of success.

Physical Endurance

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is an extreme physical challenge. The steep incline and altitude difficulties require one to be in top physical condition in order to complete the climb. Most climbers problematize with extreme fatigue from the reduced oxygen content at high altitudes, increasing the challenge. In addition, the trails include climbing over uneven surface, scrambling up rocks and traversing through icy crevasses making the need for endurance even more important.

Mental Strength

It takes more than just physical stamina to climb Kilimanjaro. Having a strong mind is just as important as the physical strength. Hiking can be strenuous, exhausting and very demanding both physically and mentally. It is important to have a “never give up” attitude and stay motivating in order to make it to the summit. As the trail becomes more difficult, keeping the motivation going becomes more important.


Weather is one of the biggest factors when planning to climb Kilimanjaro. It is wise to check the forecasts before starting out and adjust the gear and clothing accordingly. This can also help with picking the best route for the most favorable weather. The mountain can experience everything from sunny days to snow storms, so climbers should come prepared for any situation.

Gear and Equipment

Having the right gear and equipment is key to a successful climb. The gear must be appropriate for the weather and terrain the climbers will be encountering, as well as suited to the climber’s own ability and comfort level. This includes everything from tents, sleeping bags, and appropriate mountaineering boots to protection from the elements such as rain gear, snow gear, or sun protection as well as a proper sleeping bag and clothing.


One of the most important strategies for climbing Kilimanjaro is acclimatization. After arrival in Tanzania, it is advised to take a couple of days to get used to the climate and the altitude. Taking time to adjust gives the body a chance to adapt and acclimatize, reducing the risk of altitude related issues like Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS).


Preparing for such a climb is essential. This means being physically and mentally in the best shape possible and being mindful to stay fit and healthy in the months leading up to the journey. In addition, climbers should research the routes, weather conditions and different gear options to be aware of the technical aspects.

Hiring a Guide

Hiring a local Kilimanjaro guide is a popular option, as they have the knowledge of the mountain and the region and can provide important advice and support. Getting the right guide is essential; it must be a service you feel comfortable using and viable for your budget.

Cost of Climb

Climbing Kilimanjaro can be an expensive endeavor, depending on a variety of factors such as the route chosen and the services required during the climb. It is important to factor in the gear that you may need to purchase and the cost of hiring a guide, porters and other associated costs before embarking on the climb.

Pre and Post Trip Vaccines

Before beginning the climb, getting the recommended vaccinations is critical. This includes immunization from diseases such as malaria, typhoid, and hepatitis A and B. After the climb, it is also wise to get vaccinated for altitude sickness, as it has been known to affect some climbers.

Finding a Group to Climb With

Going on a hike can be intimidating, especially if it is alone. To make the experience far more enjoyable, it can be beneficial to join a group. There are several tour operators that offer organized treks up the mountain and climbing with a group offers the comfort of support and socializing while on the way.

Final Prep

In the days before the climb, final preparation is needed. Most people choose to spend the first night in Moshi before beginning the climb. It is important to get a good night’s rest and start the morning with a good breakfast before starting the climb.

Emergency Planning

One should plan for the worst case scenario, in case of an emergency. This includes having an emergency contact, having the right medical supplies and downloading tracking apps to the phone.

Food, Water, and Carrying Supplies

Climbers should make sure to pack enough food and water, as well as ways to heat water for drinking. It is important to plan ahead, so you don’t run out of resources on the way. It is also important to pack light but adequately, so you are able to carry the necessary gear without the extra necessarily.

Oxygen Levels and Altitude Sickness

Hike slowly and steadily to give your body time to adjust to the altitude. It is important to pay attention to the oxygen levels in the air and to monitor your body for signs of altitude sickness. Symptoms of altitude sickness include nausea, headaches, dizziness, and lack of energy.

Stay Hydrated and Listen to the Body

It is essential to stay hydrated at high altitudes and to listen to your body when it tells you to stop and rest. Take regular breaks during the hike to ensure you stay hydrated and to avoid any potential health issues.

Enjoy the Views

As daunting as the challenge of climbing Mt Kilimanjaro may be, it is equally rewarding. Allow yourself to take in the views, marvel at the beauty and appreciate the achievement of having conquered the trek.

Herman Shaw is a passionate traveler and avid photographer who has seen many of the world's most awe-inspiring monuments. He has developed expertise in various aspects of world architecture and culture which he enjoys sharing with his readers. With deep historical knowledge and insight, Herman's writing brings life to these remarkable artifacts and highlights their importance in the grand scheme of human history.

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