Kilimanjaro is the highest free-standing mountain in the world, and is Africa’s highest peak. A dormant volcano located in Northern Tanzania, its summit Uhuru Peak stands at 5,895m or 19,341 ft. Trekkers on fast routes can conquer Kili within 4-5 days, with other routes lasting around 8 days. The success rate for reaching the peak is around 67%, and you could easily be one of the 50,000 thrill-seekers who climb this beauty each year. |
Routes to the Summit
With six different options, it can be slightly overwhelming to decide which to go for. Around two thirds of climbers opt for the Machame or Marangu routes, with the latter being arguably the most luxurious as it’s the only route with sleeping huts rather than tents. It can be hiked in only 5 days, which can also make it the cheapest because of its short length. The Machame is the most successful route for summiting, and it’s recommended that you take 7 days on this trek to acclimatise properly for the best chance of reaching the peak.
If you want to get off the beaten track and miss the crowds, you’d be better going for a combination of existing routes by using the little-known detour known as the Northern Circuit. This links part of Lemosho to a section of Rongai, thus avoiding the busiest areas on the mountain and making for an even more memorable adventure away from the hordes of people.
The Shira route is arguably the most scenic, but is only open to those who have been acclimatised at 4,000m by hiking either Mt Kenya or Mt Meru a few days before attempting to summit Kilimanjaro.
It’s important to consider your general overall fitness as well as time for acclimatisation to the altitude, as the routes vary in terms of difficulty and the length of time it takes to complete them.
Choosing a Tour Company
As you’re not permitted to climb Kilimanjaro independently, finding the right tour company is essential. Read all the reviews you can, ask every question you can think of and try to get in touch with previous trekkers. Take into consideration the route you want to take and the length of time you have to make the ascent. Also bear in mind that cheaper options are probably less expensive for a reason — they have to make a profit somewhere so they may be cutting corners on kit or underpaying their staff.
Although Kilimanjaro requires no specialist climbing training, your general overall fitness needs to be good in order to reach the summit, so get on the treadmill or in the pool a few months in advance of your trek. You may also want to look into medication for altitude sickness, and basically read everything you can get your hands on about the climb.
Ensure you’re insured before you go – with my specialists on hand you can get travel insurance for Africa easily so you have one less thing to worry about. When it comes to travel insurance, for Africa (and especially for climbing Kilimanjaro!) you need to be sure you’re covered for all medical eventualities – you don’t want any mishaps spoiling this epic adventure.
Patrick Chong is the Managing Director of InsureMore, an award-winning team of specialists in global single trip, family and annual travel insurance for those planning to travel for business or leisure. If you're looking for the best deal on travel insurance for Africa or policies for Europe, Asia, USA, Australia and anywhere else in the world, InsureMore can help. Besides offering great deals on travel insurance, Patrick also collects and shares the best free travel competitions to help his clients get the most out of their holidays.
Related Articles -
Travel, insurance, for, Africa,