Kilimanjaro hike is an awe-inspiring journey. It is the tallest mountain in Africa, standing at an incredible 5,895 meters above sea level. It’s a challenge of mind, body and spirit and is a popular adventure amongst mountain climbers from all over the world. The summit of Kilimanjaro is its latter crown, and the hike there is difficult but incredible. Reaching the summit is a feat that gives those brave enough to attempt it a rush of accomplishment and satisfaction. But how many miles is the typical Kilimanjaro hike?
The Average Kilimanjaro Hike
The average Kilimanjaro hike usually takes approximately five to nine days, depending on how long it takes you to climb the mountain. If you’re in top physical condition and don’t need many rest days, the hike may take six to seven days. The usual Kilimanjaro hike follows the Lemosho Route which goes for a leisurely pace and passes through heavily forested areas and ascends slowly before leading climbers to the summit.
With the Lemosho route, the total hiking distance of the entire trek is around 52 miles, taking an average of around 8 days to complete. Climbers are advised to spend acclimatizing the first few days of the journey. This involves taking shorter walks and allowing the body to become accustomed to the altitude before beginning the longer days.
What’s The Highest Point of the Hike?
The highest point of the hike that climbers typically reach is known as Uhuru Peak, which sits at 19,341 feet above sea level. The Uhuru Peak is where the true challenge lies and takes the utmost commitment and courage to reach. Many say standing on the peak is worth every step and every minute spent clawing to get there.
Other Factors to Consider
The total distance of the Kilimanjaro hike is only a fraction of what it takes to reach the summit — there are a number of other factors that play a significant role in how difficult and successful the climb will be. Weather plays a big part in any big mountain, and depending on the conditions, the hike can be more difficult than normal.
In addition, the terrain of the route will vary as well, with some paths leading to more difficult portions than others. The time of year you choose to climb Kilimanjaro also plays a key role — some months are notoriously more wet and muddy, making for a more challenging hike. Climbers need to consider these factors when planning their trek up the mountain.
Perils Of The Hike
While Kilimanjaro is a majestic mountain, attempting the hike is not without risk. Altitude sickness is something that hikers need to be aware of, as it affects how long it takes to hike up. Altitude sickness occurs when the air is less oxygenated, dehydrated and colder due to the elevation, and it can affect anyone regardless of their experience, age, gender and prior level of fitness.
It’s for this reason that most guides recommend a more leisurely pace when ascending Kilimanjaro, as it gives the body more time to adjust to the altitude and get stronger as you climb higher. Dehydration is another risk, so hikers should drink plenty of water while ascending the mountain.
You’ll also need the right gear and equipment during the Kilimanjaro hike if you want to stand a better chance at completing it successfully. Good gear helps keep you warm, dry and comfortable at all times, which is key when tackling Kilimanjaro. Basic equipment such as a comfortable and waterproof hiking boots, a sleeping bag, warm layers and a hat and gloves, durable outdoor gear and trekking poles can all be helpful.
Having warm clothes is an absolute must on Kilimanjaro, as temperatures can dip significantly when you reach the peak, dropping to as low as -10° Celsius. A technical shell jacket can be particularly useful against the cold elements at the top of the summit.
Kilimanjaro hike is a rewarding experience and provides several benefits to climbers. Hiking provides an opportunity to explore nature, test physical fitness and mental stamina, and gets climbers out of the routine of everyday life.
Reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro also provides a great sense of accomplishment and brings about a deep sense of joy and satisfaction. Those who succeed in completing the Kilimanjaro hike come away with a new perspective on the world, a greater appreciation of nature and a feeling of pride.
Equipment And Training
Climbers should invest in quality equipment and gear before attempting the hike up Kilimanjaro. It is also important to be physically and mentally prepared for the trek as it can take a toll on the body. A physical evaluation and various hiking practice sessions must be considered before beginning the journey.
It’s also important to train the body to become more acclimated to the altitude before hitting the trail. Acclimatization can be achieved through hikes in moderately high altitudes and by performing more intense activities such as running or taking part in aerobics classes.
Guides And Porters
Hiring an experienced guide and porter team is also necessary as they can help to take the load off, ensuring that the journey is successful and enriching. They also provide invaluable support and guidance, which is essential for completing the hike in a safe and efficient manner.
Pre And Post Trip Preparation
Finally, climbers should also factor in pre and post trip preparation. Pre-trip preparation should involve detailed research and planning, such as gaining an understanding of the terrain and the weather, packing the right gear and equipment and obtaining permits and licenses.
Post-trip preparation is equally important and should involve rehydrating the body and replenishing energy, limiting or even stopping smoking or alcohol consumption, having a balanced diet and getting plenty of rest. Taking care of the body before and after the Kilimanjaro hike will improve the overall experience and make the journey more enjoyable.