We all have certain items that we want to check off of our bucket lists such as sky diving or visiting all seven of the continents. But for the avid hikers and the climbers out there checking off mountains tends to make it on the list. Mount Kilimanjaro found in Tanzania, is the highest mountain in Africa with the summit reaching 5,895 meters above sea-level. Kilimanjaro might seem like its a walk in the park compared to say climbing K2 or Mount Everest in the Himalayas but it is nothing to turn your nose up and is definitely not for the faint of heart. Here is how to climb Kilimanjaro the right way.
Book From A Reputable Company
You cannot climb Mount Kilimanjaro on your own. You will need to select a company that has seasoned guides, porters, and most importantly, equipment. How you go about this is up to you. A company can be booked in advance of your arrival to Tanzania or if you have some time on your hands you can show up and book one once you arrive, this can save you some money. G Adventures and Intrepid Travel have been doing this for a long time. If you find a tour for less than $1000 be very wary, it means that the operator has cut costs somewhere and you do not want that to be from the equipment you are using. Feel free to ask to inspect everything you will be using during your trek.
Select Your Route
There are two main routes that trekkers will typically choose from: the Marangu and the Macheme. There are seven routes in total but the Marangu is by far the most trafficked and one of the shorter ones. You will be finished in five days max. The Macheme, on the other hand, is a bit more of an experience. It takes about a week and you will be roughing it in tents, not tea houses like the Marangu. If you really despise crowds then you can choose one of the lesser traveled trails.
Be Prepared For AMS
AMS stands for acute mountain sickness which EVERYONE is at risk of as you go higher and higher up the mountain. It does not matter if you have been training for years a few months it can strike anyone. If you do start to experience symptoms it may mean that you don’t get to the summit but your health is worth everything just take some precautions like getting a prescription for Acetazolamide which can help you acclimate to the altitude and don’t push yourself.
In the end, this will be the kind of achievement you can look back on for the rest of your life which is why anyone who dreams of climbing mountains should attempt it in their lifetime.