Is Kilimanjaro A Hard Climb

What is Mount Kilimanjaro?

Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and the tallest free-standing mountain on the African continent, standing at 19,341 feet. It is located in the northeast of Tanzania in the Kilimanjaro National Park, an area encompassing some 4,000 square miles of natural beauty, towering rainforests, montane grassland and moorland.
Climbing this iconic peak typically takes 1-7 days, depending on the route and the level of fitness of the climber. It is a time-intensive task, and for many climbers, it is a test of strength and endurance, climbing through a variety of terrains and climates.

Physically Demanding

Mount Kilimanjaro has a reputation as a physical challenge, and with good reason. The climate shifts on the way up the mountain can be difficult to maintain, and the elevation adds additional difficulty. On the mountain, the climber will experience temperatures ranging from 25℃ at the base to -20℃ at the summit. To make matters harder, the air becomes increasingly thinner on the way up, resulting in an uncomfortable level of oxygen deprivation in the higher altitudes.
In addition, the climb takes its toll on the body due to the combination of physical and mental strain. Long hours of hiking at a slow and steady pace can be strenuous and mentally draining. As a result, climbing Kilimanjaro can take both mental and physical strength and is considered more difficult than other high altitude climbs of a similar elevation.

Professional Advice

Mountain guides and trekking companies advise that trekkers should be in good physical condition and have adequate preparation and equipment to be able to make the arduous climb up Mount Kilimanjaro. Climbers should also be ever vigilant and listen to professional advice. It is recommended to expedite the ascent by avoiding overnight stops at higher altitudes, such as at the crater’s rim. Additionally, proper acclimatization is key to avoiding acute mountain sickness.


The ascent is a lengthy and often strenuous affair, with most climbers taking anywhere from five to seven days to reach the summit. Thus, trekkers need to be adequately rested and prepared before undertaking the climb.
This means starting in good physical shape, strengthening the muscles and aerobic capacity, practicing for uphill and downhill running, and becoming familiar with and bringing the necessary equipment for the trip, such as mountaineering boots, technical clothing, ice axes, crampons, and so forth.
Having a good diet to boost energy, strength, and endurance is also essential for a successful ascent. Packing some tasty snacks and high energy cereal bars helps to ensure there is an ample supply of energy, even when times get tough.

Decisive Moment at the Summit

The ultimate purpose of any climb of Mount Kilimanjaro is to reach the summit, and upon reaching it, the climber will be rewarded with stunning views and possibly the feeling of a great accomplishment.
The summit is generally reached early in the morning in order to avoid the afternoon storms and snowfall, and climbers may experience what is often referred to as a ‘moment of truth’, as the last few hundred meters of the actual summit ascent requires an additional level of strength and courage.

An Epic Adventure

A trek up Mount Kilimanjaro is an epic adventure and a great way to challenge yourself both physically and mentally. As with any kind of physical challenge, it is important to be adequately prepared and to stick to professional advice. With the right training and preparation, a successful summit of Africa’s highest mountain is certainly within reach.

Trekking Styles

The way you choose to tackle the mountain will depend on your fitness level, budget and preferences. Popular routes include Marangu, Lemosho, Umbwe and Rongai, and each route has its own unique character and scenery.
Marangu Route is one of the most popular routes because it offers accommodation in huts instead of tents and it is considered to be the easier option with its gradual ascend. The Lemosho route is the longest and most remote, offering the hike of a lifetime while providing opportunities to spot wildlife. For a less traveled path, the Rongai route is a good choice, offering the least crowded approach to the Summit. The Umbwe route is for more experienced trekkers and climbs straight up to the Southern Glaciers.

Pros and Cons of Climbing Kilimanjaro

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is a unique and impressive experience, but it should not be taken lightly. There are pros and cons to attempting the climb, and planning ahead will help with making an informed decision.
Some of the main benefits of climbing Kilimanjaro include the incredible landscapes, a sense of accomplishment, and an unforgettable personal experience. Additionally, the mountain can also be climbed with relative ease compared to other mountains of its size due to the mild climate, the availability of rescuers, and the regular supply of porters and guides.
On the other hand, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is a challenging endeavor with its extreme heights, rocky terrain, and unpredictable weather. Furthermore, while services may be widely available on the mountain, comfort is not always guaranteed. Finally, one must also consider that the cost of the trek could be considerable, as food, transport and guide fees all add up.

Environmental Impact

Despite its natural beauty, Kilimanjaro’s environment is fragile and susceptible to damage from the tourism activities it receives. Hikers must ensure that their steps are respectful of nature and that no trash is left behind.
In recent years prospective hikers have become more conscious about the risk of their footsteps having a negative impact on their destination. As such, organizations have put more emphasis on environmental protection, discouragement of littering and most importantly, the promotion of sustainability during the Kilimanjaro trek..

Wildlife and Safaris

The Kilimanjaro National Park is renowned for its wildlife. While the main focus of the park is the mountain itself, many trekkers find themselves coming back to the park to experience its other wonders.
The park is home to big game such as buffalo, eland, elephant, and leopard, as well as a variety of tropical birdlife. Aside from the typical seven-day Kilimanjaro trek, local companies also offer a variety of safaris which include game drives, photography tours and guided wilderness walks.

Insider Tips and Tricks

Be sure to read up on the different routes and plan your trip accordingly. It’s also important to book your tour with a reputable guide and plan the trip in advance to make sure everything goes smoothly. Additionally, it’s advisable to bring a hat, a flashlight, a whistle in case of an emergency, and snacks for energy.
Finally, be sure to take the time to appreciate the stunning vistas and natural beauty of the mountain. The journey up the mountain can be long, but the views along the way are worth savoring.

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.

Leave a Comment