It’s all about proper planning
Be sure climbing to the highest point of Africa at 5,895 m/19,340 f. is not like ordinary safari or trekking or simple hiking tour. trekking of this magnitude requires special/certain attention so as preparations. how ever still its adventure of the life time as this is often the highest altitude many climbers do ever achieve. In this way, Kilimanjaro adventures are dangerous but unless the trekking party is staffed professionally by the professional guides and equipped with proper equipment, the hikers are exposed to certain high altitude-related risks. So this guide is about making you aware on how to do this lifetime Adventure enjoyable and safely.
1. Choose the right operator
Agents just take your bookings – all the major adventure travel companies offering treks all around the world are just agents. They take your booking and then someone else you do not know is then subcontracted to run your climb.
This may work out fine if you are lucky but the agent cannot control what actually happens on the mountain so you just have to hope. Not only that, but agents get commission from the operator that bumps up the price you pay. So when you are deciding which company to choose for your Kilimanjaro climb choose one of the best operators: they can give you a good price and can directly control the quality of your climb.
Booking with Greatpelican Safari is infallibly the best way to ensure that you are booking with the right people. Every year we take uncounted number of trekkers to the Roof of Africa. We personally manage, control and supervise each and every departure, we never subcontract and so as to make sure every part of your safari is in our hands and control and further more any questions or concerns we will address directly – no third parties!
2. Choose best itinerary (longer itineraries) for your trip
Kilimanjaro itineraries can be done in various routes and my vary from short 5-day treks to longer 7 and 8-day adventures. Some trips with other special characteristics such as Crater Camping may even take 10 days or more. however its obviously you may be tempted to choose a shorter itinerary, by the way all routes leads you to the peak, right? So why paying more and spending more time for the same end point? well, maybe these reasons can convince you not quite so with short vs longer itineraries.
Well, there are two main reasons:
Better acclimatization. The higher you ascend on your trek, the lower oxygen saturation level in the air becomes, this might lead to altitude sickness (in summary the higher you go the lower oxygen). However it happens human body can cope with this situation, but however body needs enough time to do this adaptation. That is why staying longer on the mountain is important as to ensure your 100% success rate.
It is also important to note that ‘rushing’ up Kilimanjaro, and not allowing sufficient time for acclimatization (your body’s adaptation to lower oxygen levels at higher altitudes) could result in altitude sickness and risk you needing to return to a lower altitude before successfully reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro.
Better scenic experiences. The whole point of climbing Kilimanjaro is not only to reach at the peak, if was so we could build ropes or any other way to drop you to the top, but however the experience you get on your way up adds up to your adventure such as sunset, Kilimanjaro is one of the most beautiful places on the planet! Why not linger a little longer on points like Shira Plateau or Barranco , enjoy a beautiful view and take stunning and memorable pictures. Or just make a little siesta with a cup of tea in the company of your friends right in the middle of a hike from one camp to another.
3. Check what is included in a quote from your selected operator
Big things that matter are whether airport transfers are included both coming and going, whether you have a good quality hotel before and after the climb and whether all the park fees are included. Proper stay and rest before your trekking is very important as this can in many way affect your performance on trekking, so making sure you have no worry before and after you trekking.
4. Choose the right time for your adventure
Tanzania is an East African country that lies just below the equator and Mount Kilimanjaro is just 330Km from the equatorial line. It has only two main seasons, which are dry and rainy seasons. where climb is much better in dry seasons rather than in rainy one.
The dry seasons are:
From late December to early March – because it is also the Christmas holidays period, this time is especially popular for many visitors and tourists.
From early June till early October – This is a extreme cooler and dry season, where the weather is sunny and the sky is clear.
The rainy seasons are:
From mid-March till late May is the rainy season. Its longest rainy season and accompanied with very cold winter and so makes this season much difficult for climbers than in dry season.
From mid-November till late December is the shorter rainy season.
5. Ask what guide to client ratio, what food and what kit the operator provides
This is critical to your safety. We always have a minimum ratio of 1 guide for every 2 clients. And really good tents are essential, there is nothing worse than a leaky tent and of course you need good food and plenty of it to have the energy to summit.
6. Spend some time training for Kilimanjaro
One needs to hike an average of three to five miles every day through a rugged terrain on a Kilimanjaro climb. This requires good stamina, and a strong cardiovascular system. If you currently spend most of your time sitting in an office, you should get out and have some workouts as to prepare your body for upcoming trekking.
- Running and bike-riding are excellent exercises to prepare for Kilimanjaro
- Running on a treadmill will be helpful Also
- long hikes cross-country if possible (6-10 miles)
7. Pack the right gear
With that altitude of Mt. Kilimanjaro, do not expect it to be mercifully, its very brutal, its cold its extreme, its terrain is unforgivable, so you must have proper gear to take you there. You will traverse several climatic zones as you make your way from the starting trailhead to Kilimanjaro’s summit. In fact, the Kilimanjaro trip is like a journey from the tropics to the Arctic over the course of seven days. The weather, vegetation and environment will change dramatically and a hiker should be ready for this, we will always guide you on this.