Tanzania experiences two main climbing seasons: June to October and December to February. During these periods, you'll encounter the best Kilimanjaro weather conditions, with clear skies and manageable temperatures. January and February are particularly popular due to their excellent visibility.
If you prefer a quieter experience, consider trekking during the shoulder seasons of March to May or November. While these months can be chillier and wetter, they offer a more solitary journey.
Securing Necessary Travel Documents
Ensure your travel documents are in order before embarking on your Kilimanjaro adventure.
You can get a local tourist visa upon arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport or other entry points or apply for an e-visa in advance. Your passport should be valid for at least six months beyond your intended departure date.
Selecting the Most Convenient Kilimanjaro Route
At Skyhook, we offer different Kilimanjaro routes, each with unique character and challenges. Here are some of the top Kilimanjaro routes you can choose from:
While it's one of the less physically challenging routes, its short duration can make acclimatisation more difficult.
The Whiskey route is a bit more challenging with diverse scenery. It takes 6-7 days to complete.
This trail takes you through lush rainforests, moorlands, and the famous Barranco Wall, providing a range of stunning landscapes.
The Kilimanjaro Lemosho route is a longer, scenic route with fewer trekkers, providing better acclimatisation. It takes 7-8 days to complete. This route starts on the western side of Kilimanjaro, offering diverse landscapes, including rainforests, heathlands, and expansive Kilimanjaro views.
The Northern Circuit Route
The Northern Circuit Kilimanjaro route is the longest and offers a circular trek around Kilimanjaro's northern slopes. It is less crowded and provides an extended period for acclimatisation. It takes 9-10 days to complete.
The Rongai route is a serene and less-frequented path. It's the only route approaching Kilimanjaro from the north, a moderate, gradual ascent suitable for novice trekkers. It takes 6-7 days to complete.
This is the shortest and steepest route up Kilimanjaro, known for its challenging terrain. The Kilimanjaro Umbwe route takes 6-7 days and is considered one of the more challenging routes due to its limited acclimatisation time.
The Shira route starts on the Shira Plateau, which you can reach by vehicle for a higher starting point and quicker ascent. It takes 7-8 days to complete and is considered moderately challenging. However, the fast climb due to the high starting point can pose acclimatisation challenges.
Preparing for Kilimanjaro Accommodation
Kilimanjaro has a variety of accommodation options nearby. You can find comfortable lodges and tented camps for pre- and post-climb stays in Moshi, a town at the mountain's base.
When selecting your accommodation in Moshi, consider your budget, the comfort you desire, and the experience you want before or after your Kilimanjaro climb.
It's advisable to book accommodations in advance, especially during the popular climbing seasons.
Preparing To Climb Mount Kilimanjaro - Physical Fitness
Though Kilimanjaro's technicaldifficulty is relatively low, you must prepare physically for the climb. The mountain poses various challenges, including high altitude, long trekking days, and uneven terrain.
Your physical fitness will determine how well you cope with these challenges. Adequate preparation significantly reduces the risk of altitude sickness, exhaustion, and other health issues, making for a safer and more enjoyable climb.
While you don't need to be an elite mountaineer to conquer Kilimanjaro, a reasonable fitness level is essential. You'll trek for several hours each day (here's how long it takes to climb Kilimanjaro), so having a good level of cardiovascular endurance is crucial.
We recommend various Kilimanjaro training exercises, including hiking, running, and cycling, to build stamina. Squats, lunges, and leg presses strengthen your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calf muscles for the ascent.
A strong core can help you with balance and stability, which are vital when navigating uneven terrain. To strengthen your core, incorporate planks, crunches, and leg raises into your routine. Don't neglect to include stretching exercises to enhance your flexibility and prevent muscle tightness.
You may also want to consider using altitude training equipment or visiting higher altitudes to acclimatise your body to reduced oxygen levels before the trip.