Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is a demanding endeavor, and can be expensive. A six-day trek typically costs around $2000 for a solo climber. The cost increases when more people are climbing together, or when other services such as a guide or porters are required. Equipment rental and additional meals can add to the cost as well. Furthermore, those looking to climb Mount Kilimanjaro usually budget extra money for souvenirs, tips, and hotels.
For more budget-conscious climbers, there are cheaper alternatives. Companies that take climbers to the base of Mount Kilimanjaro on the cheap offer packages for around $700-800. Keep in mind, however, that these companies provide little more than transportation, and all other expenses such as meals, guides, porters, and equipment will have to be paid in addition to the cost of the package.
Acclimatizing to the mountain’s difficult terrain and conditions is essential for a successful climb. Hence, climbers must budget for additional days on the mountain, which will significantly increase the cost.
Best Time to Go
Where the temperature and climate is concerned, the best time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro is during the dry season, which falls between mid-January and end of March. During this period, sunny weather is abundant and the likelihood of being hit by a rainstorm is decreased.
Another ideal period to do the climb is during late July to early September when there is a chance for a climber to spot the caldera at the summit.
Permits and Reservations
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro requires the purchasing of a special permit and making the necessary reservations. The cost of the permit usually amounts to $126, with certain climbs demanding more. In addition, climbers must pay park entrance fees which add up to around $50.
The mountain is usually crowded during peak season, and so climbers have to book their climb far in advance to make sure they get the date they’re after. It is also wise to make sure that the company you are traveling with is registered with the Tour Operators Association of Tanzania, as doing so will ensure that the climb is managed in a professional and ethical way.
Safety and Health
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro involves passing through different climate zones. As such, it is important to be well prepared for the rugged terrain and dangerous weather conditions in the higher elevations. Climbers should equip themselves with the right clothing and equipment, and should make sure to bring plenty of food and water.
Climbing Kilimanjaro also involves a certain degree of physical and mental preparation. A visit to a doctor is advisable in order to make sure that a climber is fit to make the journey. Furthermore, some climbers find it beneficial to hire a guide who is familiar with the lay of the land and can help them out when trouble strikes.
Guided vs Un-Guided
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro can be done either with a guide or without one. An un-guided climb means that the climber is on their own, and so is responsible for carrying out all the necessary preparations and arrangements. A guided climb, on the other hand, involves enlisting the help of a professional to help navigate the trail and provide assistance and safety.
Guided climbs usually include meals, accommodation, experienced guides, and porters to carry the equipment. The benefit of going on a guided climb lies in the fact that thecompany is typically licensed and has personnel who know the terrain and the climate and will be able to provide support and assistance.
Choosing the Right Route
When it comes to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, there is a range of different routes that can be chosen. These routes vary in terms of difficulty and expense and so it is important to pick the one that is most suitable for the climber.
Climbers should pick a route based on their skill level, physical health level, fitness level and how much time they can dedicate to the climb. Furthermore, the route should be considered in relation to the weather conditions, since strong winds and rain can make even easier routes difficult to traverse.
It is important to make sure that a climber has adequate insurance for their climb. This means checking if the insurance covers rescue missions or medical treatments in the event of an accident. It is also important to note that some insurance companies do not cover accidental death on a mountain and hence, climbers should read through their policies carefully before setting out.
Furthermore, signing up for a policy with a reputed outdoor travel insurance company is advisable as they usually have better coverage in the event of an accident.
When packing for the climb, it is important to keep in mind the necessity of lightweight, durable items. Some of the most important items for the climb are comfortable shoes, thermal clothing, a sleeping bag, wet weather gear, and a backpack.
In addition, a head torch, a water bottle, and a tiny medical kit containing the essentials should also be part of the packing.
Altitude sickness is a common ailment that affects climbers attempting to ascend Mount Kilimanjaro. It is caused by the climber not being able to acclimatize to the sudden decrease of oxygen in higher altitude.
In order to minimize the chances of getting altitude sickness, climbers should take periodic breaks and avoid overexertion. Furthermore, they should be sure to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated and to take it slow on the trails. Furthermore, it is wise to bring along medication for altitude sickness just in case.
When looking for accomodation on Mount Kilimanjaro, climbers should opt for ones that are run by a legitimate company and meet the necessary safety standards. While there are a variety of cheaper options available, there is a chance that these may not be maintained properly and may not provide the climber with the necessary amenities.
Climbers should also make sure to check reviews of the accomodations before making a decision, in order to make sure they are choosing an accomodation that is clean, safe and comfortable.
Getting travel insurance is never a bad idea when climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Not only does it give climbers reassurance in the case of unexpected events, but it also provides them with financial protection in case all their preparations go to waste.
When looking for travel insurance, climbers should look for policies that provide extensive coverage and include provisions for medical evacuation. Furthermore, they should read through the policy carefully and be aware of what they are covered for. Knowing all the details pertaining to their policy can make all the difference when climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.