CLIMBING MT. KILIMANJARO, The Great White Roof of Africa Towering 19,340 feet in the air, Mount Kilimanjaro is - quite literally - the "roof" of Africa. The tallest point on the continent, Kili's Uhuru Peak is not only one of the Seven Summits that all professional climbers seek to conquer, it is one that thousands of amateur hikers experience each year as well. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just a weekend athlete, however, you need to be prepared and informed before tackling Kilimanjaro
There are several different routes up the mountain, so choosing the one that's right for you is very important. This guide seeks to explain a few things that every Kili climber needs to know. As a Kili climb provider, we specialize in mountain expeditions that make your journey safe, informative and comfortable. Our guides not only know the routes, the sights and the shortcuts, they supply the personality and attitude that greatly enhance your enjoyment of Kilimanjaro.
Besides choosing your route, there are several other things to consider before hitting the trail.
At the top of Kilimanjaro, the amount of oxygen available is roughly half that at sea level. That means your lungs are literally working double time. Most organized climbs allow for one to three days rest on the ascent to allow your body to acclimatize. However, altitude sickness can still be a problem for some, and that means headaches, dizziness, nausea and stiffness. While all climbers should bring aspirin and/or ibuprofen along, those prone to altitude sickness should their doctor about the prescription drug Diamox.
When reviewing information about climbing Kili, you'll hear about a variety of huts that are available for overnight stays. The word "hut" is misleading - these building are closer to chalets, the largest sleeping up to 200 people. They are also only used for the Marangu Route
If you choose to travel with an organized tour, be prepared to tip your guide, your cook and your porters for their hard work. A good guideline (in US dollars): $10/day for the guide, $8/day for the cook, and $5/day for your porter.
Time of Kilimanjaro can be climbed at any time of year, although you may want to avoid the two rainy seasons (late March to mid-June and October to the beginning of December) when the route becomes slippery.
Unfortunately, every year brings one or more fatalities on the mountain due to heart attacks, exposure, falling rocks and other calamities. Be informed, be prepared, follow the rules, and you should have a safe climb.