Climbing Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is a once in a lifetime experience, and many people travel from all parts of the world to attempt the feat. Getting ready both mentally and physically is the key to success, and in this piece, we shall try to outline the eight things you need to understand before embarking on your hike.
Health and fitness
There is no need for stressing the importance of being healthy and fit for this strenuous hike. Since you will be hiking 6 to 8 hours a day, getting ready for the trek through practice is a great way to improve your fitness levels. If you lack time for practice, then you can do the necessary cardio at a gym, such as cycling and running.
Get the right kit and equipment
These items are a must for a successful hike:
- Thick clothing
- Hiking boots
- Trekking Poles
- Sleeping bags
Know the routes
Seven routes reach the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro. These are:
- Northern circuit
Your body needs to get used to changes in altitude to avoid falling sick while on the hike. To prepare for altitude is essential to prevent mountain sickness.
Know when to climb
The rainy season in Kilimanjaro is March through the end of May and November through February. The southern slopes are wetter than the northern slopes, and this makes the Rongai Route a favoured starting point when it is wet. The rain lessens when you reach 3000 meters which means you can only experience rain on day 1. You may, however, encounter snow and sleet on the upper reaches of the mountain.
Eating well during the hike is the key to success as you’ll need lots of energy. The team accompanying you prepares the food. Typical breakfast consists of coffee/tea, bread, and eggs, sausages and porridge. Lunch includes soup, cooked stew, and starchy accompaniments. Supper is similar to lunch. You can consume energy bars several times a day. The more energy you have the better it is for you.
Drink lots of water
Water is essential during the hike. On day one you’ll receive 3 litres of water from your guide. During the hike, porters will add more water. Aim to drink at least 3 litres of water every day. Dehydration is a significant cause of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) so ensure to remain hydrated.
Reaching the top is not easy, and many times you’ll want to give up and opt out. You will feel sick and exhausted, so it is important to remain determined if you aim to reach the top. Remember that it is not everybody’s cup of tea, only those that are determined will reach the summit. The exhilaration that you feel when on top of the summit is enough motivation for everyone to complete the climb.
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