Kilimanjaro Mountain Life

Climbing Kilimanjaro is an unforgettable experience and an opportunity to climb the world’s tallest free-standing mountain.

Once you have chosen which route to climb, you will want to know more information about Kilimanjaro and what to expect from the trek. The are important factors to consider such as; what is the best month for climbing Kilimanjaro, what are the temperatures on the mountain, what are the trail conditions like, how far will I walk and how do I cope with altitude sickness? The answers to these questions any many more can be found on the following pages of the website.

Kilimanjaro Weather

There are two wet seasons a year on Kilimanjaro that you will want to avoid. The trail conditions in the rainforest can deteriorate quickly with heavy rainfall making the paths difficult to negotiate; you may have to start your trek further down the mountain if the tracks for the vehicles become impossible to drive on. Temperatures in the various climate zones on the mountain remain fairly constant all year round; however the range in temperatures between the rainforest and the arctic summit zone is vast and can differ by up to 50 degrees! For more information please visit the Kilimanjaro weather page.

Mountain conditions

The paths on Kilimanjaro are clearly marked and well maintained by the Kilimanjaro National Park staff, but the trail conditions on Kilimanjaro change in the various ecological climate zones. The ascent through the rainforest is fairly steep and the trail can be slippery if there has been heavy rainfall. The heath zone contains smaller shrubs lining the trail and is drier than the rainforest and is easier to walk on. The alpine desert zone has a mixture of good clear paths and more challenging sections where you will have to scramble over large rocks such as the Barranco Wall. The ascent to the summit, Uhuru Peak, is covered in loose scree which can be slippery under foot; the use of walking poles can help with balance and save energy on the descent and finally the ice caped summit. For more information please visit the Kilimanjaro climbing conditions page.

Daily Routine         

The daily routine when climbing Kilimanjaro will generally remain the same regardless of the route you choose. You will be woken by your porters at around 7am and you will have around 30 minutes to dress and pack your camping gear away. Breakfast is then served and you will begin walking around 8:30am. Depending on the length of your days walk you will either have a packed lunch, or a hot lunch served at the next camp. Dinner is typically served around 6:30pm and after dinner your guide will brief you about the next days schedule. After dinner you are free to relax and rest, either will your fellow group members or in your tent. Summit night is an exception to this routine, you will have an early dinner and should try to get some sleep after sorting out your clothing and water. You will be woken around 11pm for tea and a snack before setting off around midnight, aiming to reach the summit or Stella Point to watch the sunrise; you will then descend back to camp to rest and eat. For more information please visit the daily routine page.

Altitude Sickness

Altitude Sickness and Acute Mountain Sickness are caused by the reduction in oxygen levels at altitudes above 10,000 feet. To help with the affects of altitude sickness you should allow your body time to acclimatise and cope with the lack of oxygen. The best way to do this is by choosing to climb Kilimanjaro using a route that lasts for 6 or more days, or climb Mount Meru before attempting Mount Kilimanjaro to give your body more time at altitude. There is medication that you can take that will help with the symptoms of altitude sickness; however the only cure is to descend from altitude as quickly as possible. You should never underestimate the dangers of Acute Mountain Sickness and must always follow the instructions of your guide. For more information please visit the altitude sickness and acclimatisation page.

Kilimanjaro Food & Water

The food on Kilimanjaro is carried and prepared by your porters and cook. You will be served a hot breakfast, either packed lunch, or lunch at camp and an evening meal. In addition to your three meals a day you will also have afternoon tea, with popcorn or biscuits and fresh fruit. You will have a flask of hot water at meal times to make tea, coffee or hot chocolate with. Water is collected by the porters from the streams near the camps, which is boiled and cooled for drinking. You should ensure that you are drinking at least three litres of water a day, more when at high altitude. For more information please visit the Kilimanjaro food & water page.

Kilimanjaro Guides & Porters

We have an excellent team of Guides and porters to look after you on Kilimanjaro. The guides have many years of experience on the mountain and are registered with Kilimanjaro National Park (KINAPA). We use local guides who receive excellent training in all aspects of mountain safety including; first aid, mountain rescue, flora and fauna and the history of Kilimanjaro. We also support Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP) which ensures that the porters on Kilimanjaro are well looked after, are properly clothed and equipped for Kilimanjaro, and only carry a maximum of 15kg of equipment each. For more information please visit the Kilimanjaro guides page.

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