Mount Kilimanjaro, located in Tanzania, is Africa’s largest mountain. It was first successfully climbed in 1889 and is now a major destination for amateur and professional thrill-seekers alike, with 50,000 climbers trekking to East Africa every year.
Here’s everything you need to know before ticking this mountain off your bucket list:
Ensure you have the right equipment for the climb – and prepare for all eventualities. At the very minimum, you should have walking boots, tent, a sleeping bag, a down jacket, waterproofs, gloves, hat and scarf, although you may want to consider emergency provisions, such as a change of clothes.
Make sure you have more than enough food and water to last the climb too; hydration is particularly important for avoiding headaches when the altitude starts to thin.
You should also make sure you’re physically and mentally prepared for the climb – exercise plenty and talk yourself through the task ahead.
Take your time
A climb of Mount Kilimanjaro should take between five and nine days, but over half the people who attempt to conquer the mountain never reach the summit. According to Ultimate Kilimanjaro, those who take the longer routes have a higher success rate, so it’s important to take your time, rather than rushing.
The higher you get, the thinner the altitude gets and the harder it is for blood to circulate round your body, so you’ll need to walk slower than you usually would.
You’ll meet plenty of people during your climb, so it’s important to remember to enjoy yourself! You’ll walk between four and six hours most days, so there should be plenty of time to relax and have a laugh at camp with other travellers. Going into the climb with an open mind will help you to have a better time.
Best of luck – and happy climbing!