Many people travel to Tanzania in hopes of summiting Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest freestanding mountain in the world with its five volcanic cones reaching above 5000 meters (16,500 feet). With 90% of the mountain being above 1500 meters (5000 feet), high altitude trekking can pose some serious health risks, particularly Altitude Sickness which can be fatal if left untreated. Here are some tips to avoid altitude sickness while hiking Mount Kilimanjaro and how to treat it if you do get it.
Symptoms of Altitude Sickness
In order to understand altitude sickness, it’s important to know what symptoms to look for. The most common symptoms of altitude sickness include:
loss of appetite
shortness of breath (dyspnea)
difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
nausea and vomiting
dizziness and lightheadedness,
rapid heart rate (tachycardia).
All of these symptoms have a lot in common with severe acute mountain sickness: HACE or high-altitude cerebral edema which can lead to death as well as AMS or high-altitude pulmonary edema which is highly dangerous if left untreated and can cause extreme respiratory distress that could result in death.
Prevention tips while climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro
3 Tips for climbing kilimanjaro If you’re planning on climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, you might want to think about bringing some of these tips along with you:
1. Learn about altitude sickness ; If you’re used to being around sea level, climbing up a mountain that’s 19,340 feet above sea level can be pretty dangerous. That’s why it’s important that you prepare by learning as much as possible about altitude sickness and its symptoms. This will help your doctor know what treatment (if any) he needs to administer for your climb.
2. Work on your cadence : Maintain a similar cadence as you climb
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro has been on your bucket list for ages, but you haven’t managed to book the trip yet because you can’t decide when it’s best to climb the mountain. There are various factors that come into play when determining the best time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, from temperature to rain and wind patterns, making it difficult to pinpoint the exact month or season in which you should set out on your trek. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about timing your Mt. Kilimanjaro adventure.
Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro (or Uhuru Peak, as it’s known) is something a lot of people want to do—but not everyone knows when that is. With 5 seasons, each with its own weather patterns and difficulties, it can be tricky knowing which time of year is best for climbing Tanzania’s highest peak. It depends on your level of fitness and experience, but here are a few general tips that should help: in order from earliest departure date to latest, aim for March through May (rainy season), June through August (dry season), September through November (cloudy season), or December though February (cold season).
Best time to climb Mount Kilimanajro : November – January
During these months, you’ll avoid some of the crowds, which will make your journey more enjoyable. And weather is less likely to be a problem at that time of year. The average temperature during November and December is around 60 degrees F (15 degrees C). It starts cooling off in January and February, with an average high of 55 degrees F (13 degrees C) in January and 61 F (16 C) in February. You’ll want good equipment during these months though – sleeping bags should have a rating of at least 20 degrees for November-December or 15 for January-February.
The Best Time to Trek on the Marangu Route
The Marangu route is one of two main routes up Mt. Kilimanjaro, and it’s also known as the Coca-Cola route. It’s not just one trail—it is a combination of trails that interconnect with each other. The best time to take on Marangu is during March or April, which coincides with Tanzania’s winter season. This timeframe makes for great weather, but it can get very busy on weekends and holidays as many people choose to climb when school lets out. If you are looking for a less congested trekking experience, consider choosing a different route such as Machame or Rongai (in peak season), which starts later in the year around June or July.
February – March
The best time to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro is between February and March, when summer brings clear skies and moderate temperatures. The reason for climbing in February or March is that by April, there’s a high chance of an ice cap being present on Tanzania’s highest peak. If you’re planning on hiking/climbing under these conditions, make sure you have a few months of mountaineering experience under your belt before attempting it. It’s not impossible, but they tend to be more challenging than other times of year.
Climbing in April – June
The best time for climbing Kilimanjaro is from April to June. These months are considered low season in Tanzania (which also happens to be one of Africa’s coolest, rainiest times). However, keep in mind that you still need good weather for climbing. Ideally, it should be sunny but cool most days, so long as it isn’t raining too hard or at all. This is prime time for summit attempts, though you should remember that climbing can still be difficult during these months if there’s snow on any of the trail sections between your camp and Uhuru Peak—in which case it might not be a safe time to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro at all without additional gear and support teams.
July – September
The best time to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro is between July and September when most of its permanent snow has melted. The weather will be pleasant, with highs around 70 degrees and lows around 45 degrees. This makes for a perfect combination of cold nights (which allow your body to rest) and warm days (so you don’t have trouble acclimating). Plus, it means there won’t be as many other people on your trek!
How hard is mount kilimanjaro climb? Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, draws thousands of adventure seekers each year, who want to summit Africa’s tallest peak and see one of the world’s most famous views – the view from the roof of Africa. However, Kilimanjaro’s altitude makes it one of the hardest climbs on earth, and the complexities of climbing an active volcano are no less than daunting.
It sits about 19,000 feet above sea level on the border between Tanzania and Kenya. Climbing Kili requires more than just extreme physical ability, it also requires proper acclimatization and planning to ensure you have an enjoyable and safe experience.
The Facts About Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro
It’s impossible to say exactly how hard it is to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro because there are so many factors, including your fitness level, how long you’ve been preparing for your trip and even your travel company (some are better than others). However, we can tell you that Mount Kilimanjaro should not be taken lightly. This climb requires both physical and mental strength. And while there aren’t any technical aspects to worry about on Kili, difficulty level lies in its altitude—which means you must be prepared for life at high altitudes. In fact, acclimatization is one of Kili’s most critical components.
Who Can Climb Kilimanjaro?
Anyone who’s reasonably fit can climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. That said, you do need to get your body in peak shape before attempting one of these epic treks. You should be physically active, able to jog several miles comfortably and have no pre-existing medical conditions that might hinder your ability to complete a strenuous mountain climb. As far as age goes, it’s not uncommon for senior citizens (in their 70s and 80s) to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro; however, those with advanced age or compromised health will likely struggle more than young adults who are acclimated to high altitudes.
The Best Route for Climbing
Planning your route for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro can be difficult. Climbing routes are influenced by several factors, including weather conditions, timing, ability level and more. That’s why it’s important to select a climb that matches your experience and ability level. For example, a beginner may want to start off with an easier climb like Marangu, which takes between five and six days to complete. Climbers who have climbed other peaks like Denali or Elbrus may choose an alternative route known as Rongai Route; it’s one of the easiest but still offers stunning views.
What’s the Best Time to Scale Mt. Kilimanjaro?
Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro can be quite a challenge due to its difficulty level and height. Many first-time climbers are surprised at how difficult it really is to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. The best time of year to scale Mt. Kilimanjaro is during its dry season, which usually runs from mid-November through March or April, although late September through early October are also good months for climbing, especially if you’re after clear skies and little precipitation. Click here for more details.