Is Hiking Kilimanjaro Dangerous


Hiking Kilimanjaro is one of the most popular and challenging activities that people undertake. It’s a great way to experience the majestic African landscape, but is it dangerous? In recent years, more hikers have turned to the mountain and over time, accidents and fatalities have increased. This article looks at the risks associated with the hike and offers some advice on how to stay safe while on the mountain.

What’s Involved

Hiking Kilimanjaro is no easy feat. The mountain is over 19,000 feet (5,800 metres) high and situated in the East African Rift Valley. It can take anywhere from four to seven days to reach the summit, depending on which route you choose. The air gets thinner as you ascend and the higher you climb, the thinner the air is and the greater the risk of altitude sickness. To reach the summit safely, it is imperative that you are well acclimatized, have adequate equipment and supplies, and are physically prepared.


When undertaking a Kilimanjaro hike, there are a number of risks to consider. As mentioned earlier, altitude sickness is one of the most dangerous risks. Hikers who fail to acclimatize adequately can experience nausea, headaches and dizziness. In severe cases, it can be fatal. Weather conditions can also have a major influence on the success of a hike. High winds, rain and freezing temperatures can make the hike more treacherous, especially for those that are ill-equipped. Another risk is slipping and falling due to the dangerous terrain. While the risk of injury or death is relatively small, hikers should still take the appropriate precautions to stay safe.

Safety Advice

The first and most important step is to ensure you have the right type of clothing and equipment. You should take plenty of layers to keep you warm at high altitude and shoes with good grip to prevent slipping. Make sure you have plenty of food and water and let people know your plans ahead of time. Additionally, it’s important to not push yourself too hard and take frequent rests.


While Kilimanjaro can be hiked without a guide, it is highly recommended to hire one. Not only will a guide help you navigate the mountain, but they can also provide you with useful tips and advice on how to stay safe. Furthermore, hiring a guide can be beneficial in terms of finding accommodation and arranging transport.


Hiking Kilimanjaro can be an adventure of a lifetime, but it is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with it. By taking the time to prepare and equip yourself adequately, you can help ensure your safety while on the mountain. Additionally, hiring a guide can be a wise decision and can help make your hike as safe and enjoyable as possible.

Altitude Sickness

Altitude sickness is a common issue that hikers face when ascending Kilimanjaro. Symptoms typically include nausea, headaches, dizziness and fatigue. Generally, these symptoms can be managed with rest and rehydration. In more extreme cases, altitude sickness can be fatal, which is why it is important to acclimatize properly before beginning your hike. Pre-trip medical reviews, proper hydration and break days can all help reduce the risk of altitude sickness. If you experience any symptoms during the hike, it is important to rest and get medical attention if needed.

Experience and Preparation

If you’re planning on hiking Kilimanjaro, it’s important to be well prepared. The key to successfully completing the hike is knowledge and experience. Doing some research ahead of time to familiarize yourself with the mountain, terrain, and local weather conditions is highly recommended. It is also a good idea to take a guided hike if possible. This will help you gain valuable experience and knowledge that will aid in your success. Additionally, it’s important to ensure you are physically fit before beginning the hike. Speak to your doctor to make sure you’re ready to undertake such a grueling challenge.


When planning a Kilimanjaro hike, it’s important to make sure you have accommodation arranged. Many hikers choose to stay in a base camp on the mountain, but if you’re feeling adventurous, there are many other accommodation options available. Camping is a popular choice for those looking for a budget-friendly option. Alternatively, you can opt for a hotel in Moshi or Arusha. When choosing a hotel, it’s important to look out for the necessary amenities such as hot showers and Wi-Fi.


Transportation is another key consideration when hiking Kilimanjaro. It’s important to ensure you have reliable transport to and from the mountain. Although it’s possible to take public transport, it’s much more convenient to book private transport with an experienced operator. Private transport will also save you time and is generally cheaper than a public option.

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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