Kilimanjaro for beginners guide: I want to climb Kilimanjaro, where do I start?
beginners starting to climb Mount Kilimanjaro

You want to climb Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, but you do not know how or where to start. We have put together a beginner’s guide for first-timers that want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

Although there are several ways to reach the peak’s summit, the Lemosho route is the best especially the 8 days Lemosho route itinerary.

Mount Kilimanjaro draws a lot of tourists because it is Africa’s tallest peak. The Lemosho Route, Northern Circuit offers novice climbers the best first-hand experience of Mount Kilimanjaro. If you are not into camping and stuff like that, you can choose the 6 days Marangu Route and you will sleep in A-shaped, dormitory-styled huts.

Why is a guide to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for beginners so important for beginners? Knowing the precise details of your trek plan, timetable, and other crucial destination information makes climbing Mount Kilimanjaro very simple.

We are aware that climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is something many tourists want to do and we will walk you through every single step of the way, answer all or any questions that you may have for us, build a nice itinerary for you, give you the helpful advice, pick you up at the airport, take you to the mountain until the day you descend and even depart to your home destination.

Mount Kilimanjaro is an amazing destination for people all over the world because it combines the thrilling experience of “conquering” one of the Seven Summits with accomplishing something extraordinary that will leave a lasting memory in your life, of course in a positive way.

A Beginner’s Guide to Mount Kilimanjaro

It is possible for beginners to climb Mount Kilimanjaro; many first-timers always go back for another ascent.

However, they must be mindful of the weather and what to anticipate while climbing.

Kilimanjaro is one of the most well-known high-altitude hikes in the world, rising to a height of more than 5,000 meters.

Tanzania’s majestic Mt. Kilimanjaro was blanketed in clouds, according to G Adventures.
The renown of Kilimanjaro is due to the fact that it is the tallest peak in the world that can be reached by foot. There are no requirements, such as the need for ropes, specialized climbing equipment, or prior knowledge.

October and November, during the brief rains, is the best time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Alternatively, you can climb the mountain in the shoulder season, which runs from March to June.

You’ll observe that during the dry months of July through September, there are many of people and it turns chilly, windy, and dusty.

How to safely climb Mount Kilimanjaro as a beginner

The main aim is to climb safely and safety is our main priority, not only just for beginners but for every climber. Even if you have all the necessary equipment and can begin your trek up Mount Kilimanjaro, you still need to be aware of a few safety precautions to guarantee a secure trip.

This is why it is recommended that you accompany a knowledgeable tour guide on your initial ascent; they will have all the required supplies on hand, such as emergency oxygen, pulse oximeters, etc., in case an emergency arises. Additionally, as you progress farther up the mountain, they may carry out routine safety inspections and make sure you’re doing okay.

While maintaining awareness and alertness during the hike will be necessary to guarantee the safety of you and everyone on your trip, taking personal responsibility for your own safety is as important. Following is some crucial safety advice for your trip:

1. Maintain a slow and steady pace:

Remember that hiking is a marathon, not a race, especially on multi-day, high-altitude hikes. You may prevent weariness by not rushing and taking your time. The journey, not the goal, is what matters.

2. Take frequent rests and breaks:

To prevent long-term burnout, it is far preferable to pause, take a breath, and unwind throughout the day. This becomes more crucial as you approach the peak since the air is thinner and the likelihood of getting altitude sickness rises with each step.

3. Acclimatize:

You will feel more physically strong and ready for what lies ahead on your ascent to the summit if you can adapt to higher altitudes before starting your climb. A great approach to accomplish this is to get there a couple of days early and prepare yourself with several day treks.

4. Drink more water

Maintaining proper hydration is perhaps the most crucial aspect of any Kilimanjaro climb. Throughout the day, sip water often, and then in the evening, when you’re relaxing. Water is the secret ingredient to beating altitude sickness.

What Level of Fitness Is Required to Climb Kilimanjaro?

For novice climbers of Mount Kilimanjaro, a certain level of fitness is required. The climb to the peak is difficult, although it is not very grueling.

Thus, Machame is a well-liked path to climb Kilimanjaro. It passes by Stella Point. This is the ideal route to go if you want to camp there.

For a novice climber, it is also the quickest and simplest.

However, you should be equipped with the necessary items, which must comprise the following:

  • Boots for hiking
  • 70-liter primary backpack
  • -20°F sleeping bag
  • Walking Sticks
  • Daypack with 30–40 liters
  • Insulated winter jacket, pants, and trekking gloves
  • Mattress pad

How Hard Is the Kilimanjaro Climb?

The ascent trails on Kilimanjaro are not particularly steep, thus most days are not particularly difficult. The summit night, however, is particularly challenging because it is the coldest and windiest time of your ascent.

Approximately 4,084 feet of elevation and a descent of over 7,000 feet. It can take 12–14 hours on foot.

However, for beginners, hiking Mount Kilimanjaro might be exhausting.

How hard is it to climb Mount Kilimanjaro?

How Long Does Climbing of Kilimanjaro Take?

It takes five to nine days to complete the lengthier routes to Uhuru on Mount Kilimanjaro.

The longer you spend acclimatizing on the mountain, the better your chances are of reaching the peak. Less than five days on the trek results in the lowest success rate at the top.

However, carrying all of your gear is one of the most challenging components of long-distance, multi-day walks.

For novice climbers of Mount Kilimanjaro, the weight on their backs causes them to move more slowly.

However, the majority of tour guides prefer to carry the majority of the walking-related gear, including tents, chairs, and tables.

How long does it take to climb Kilimanjaro?

How Cold is it on Mount Kilimanjaro’s Summit?

Uhuru Point, at its peak, experiences nighttime lows of -20 degrees Fahrenheit (-7 to -29 degrees Celsius).

The weather on Mount Kilimanjaro is unique due of its elevation.

About Mount Kilimanjaro’s weather

What Is the Price of Climbing Kilimanjaro?

For $2,440 to $6000, you can experience a nine-day, seven-day ascent to the summit.

The price of climbing equipment is just one factor that affects how much it costs to scale Mount Kilimanjaro.

However, watch out for both outrageously expensive and absurdly inexpensive packages.

Cheap implies a compromise, which you shouldn’t take a chance on. On the other side, exorbitant pricing offers absolutely no value for the money.

How much does it cost to climb Mount Kilimanjaro?

Top things to note if it is your first time climbing Kilimanjaro

  • Despite the 5895m elevation, climbing Kilimanjaro is a strenuous hike that doesn’t require any technical expertise.
  • The lengthier trips among the popular six itineraries offer the greatest potential for acclimatization.
  • Kilimanjaro is short for White Mountain. Kili means “white” and Manjaro means “mountain” in Swahili. One of the most intriguing Mount Kilimanjaro facts is this one.
  • Risk of acute mountain sickness and altitude sickness if unprepared.
  • You cannot climb Kilimanjaro on your own. You must do the trek with a licensed tour operator.
  • All of your luggage, excluding the daypack you use every day, will be carried by porters.

Best Routes to choose if you are a novice climber

The aim here is to choose the longer routes that will offer you enough time to acclimatize if you are not an experienced mountain climber. The longer the route, the better because the extra acclimatization time will help in combating altitude sickness, giving you a higher chance to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. The ideal time you should spend on the mountain if you are a newbie, should not be less than 7 days. 7-9 Days are recommended but if you do not enough time in your hands you can even go on a 6 days trek along the Marangu route.

How to choose the best Kilimanjaro route.

LEMOSHO ROUTE:

Lemosho Route, which approaches from the west side of Kilimanjaro, has one of the best acclimatization profiles on the mountain. While climbing Kilimanjaro for the first time, you may take in the beautiful scenery while at the same time it guarantees you a high summit success rate especially if you choose the 8 days Lemosho route itinerary. 

NORTHERN CIRCUIT ROUTE

The Northern Circuit Route, which approaches from the southwest side of Mount Kilimanjaro, is the newest and longest route with exceptional beautiful vistas and has the greatest success summit rate which is perfect for first-timers in the mountaineering field. Tranquil Kilimanjaro offers this route on the 9 days Northern Circuit itinerary.

MARANGU ROUTE :

Marangu Route, commonly known as the “Coca-Cola route,” offers hut accommodations and is approached from the southern side. This is one of the most popular routes on the mountain that is ideal for novice climbers that are not familiar with the camping environment. Choose the 6-day Marangu route itinerary as it has an extra day for acclimatization.

MACHAME ROUTE

We recommend the 7 Days Machame Route itinerary which begins at Machame Gate, where the hike starts at the mountain’s southwest corner. On the southeast side of the mountain, the Mweka route is where the descent takes place. Machame provides stunning views of Kilimanjaro because of the elevation in the west and the descent in the north.

Routes to avoid if you are a beginner

Some routes like the Umbwe Route, Shira Route, and the Western Breach Route are not recommended for beginner climbers on Mount Kilimanjaro. In fact, the Western Breach Route should be avoided totally as it is risky even to experienced climbers, having caused a number of deaths on Mount Kilimanjaro in the recent past prompting the park authority to close it for a long while.  We will explain why you should avoid these routes if it is your first time climbing Kilimanjaro, below.

More about Mount Kilimanjaro routes.

UMBWE ROUTE

This is Mount Kilimanjaro’s shortest and steepest ascent path, coming from the southeast. This Umbwe route is the hardest and should only be taken by experienced hikers.

SHIRA ROUTE

Since the Shira route begins at a very high elevation, it is not recommended for beginner climbers as the symptoms of altitude sickness will wear you down in the very early stages of mountain climbing.

Can you climb Kilimanjaro without prior experience?

Yes, you can! Although Kilimanjaro is not a difficult climb and is ideal for novices with little to no experience, you must be physically prepared for the challenge. Success depends on preparation, which necessitates taking your time as you ascend (altitude sickness is not to be underestimated). It also entails preparing beforehand and using the proper tools, such as a pair of well-worn boots.

HOW DO YOU GET THERE?

Most Kilimanjaro treks begin in one of two towns. Moshi is directly south of the mountain, and Arusha is southwest of it. Giant waterfalls, black and white colobus monkeys, and volcanic waterholes are just a few of the wonderful and wildlife-rich national parks that can be found nearby. There is so much to discover!

Both settlements are easily accessible by air from Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). There are numerous buses available from Dar es Salaam, as well as flights from the idyllic island of Zanzibar and neighboring Kenya.

Where is Mount Kilimanjaro located?

BEST TIME TO CLIMB MOUNT KILIMANJARO

The warm, dry season of the year is the ideal time to climb Kilimanjaro. The optimum times to climb Mount Kilimanjaro are from late December to mid-March and from late June to early October. In the rainy season, you will encounter challenges on the lower slopes. But there is a difficulty if you choose the Rongai path.

Best time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro

PREPARING TO CLIMB MOUNT KILIMANJARO

Since Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest point in Africa and is extremely rugged, climbing it is a challenge for beginners. It requires stamina, confidence, physical stamina, strength, and great determination. You must get ready for this excursion by exercising your joints, muscles, and cardiovascular system.

From our Beginner’s Guide for planning and preparation for climbing Kilimanjaro, you may learn all you need to know about the training regimen.

You can download the training plan for Kilimanjaro here.

ACCLIMATISING TO KILIMANJARO’S HIGH ALTITUDE

Altitude sickness on Mount Kilimanjaro is the sole yet most difficult barrier to the summit. Rapid ascent can result in acute mountain sickness (AMS). So take a long route and give your body enough time to acclimatize to the higher altitude to avoid getting altitude sickness.

Read about acclimatization for the mountain

Do I need Oxygen to climb Kilimanjaro?

To climb Kilimanjaro, you don’t need oxygen, but you do need to stay away from altitude sickness, which is one of the primary reasons climbers don’t reach the peak. Pacing oneself is the key to avoiding it or dealing with it. You have more opportunities to become used to walking at this height on longer excursions. Your safety is their top priority, and your guides are exceptionally knowledgeable and vigilant about the symptoms of altitude sickness.

It’s like walking with one lung since there is around 40% less oxygen in the air at the top than there is at sea level. Therefore, before trying the climb, anybody with heart disease or pulmonary issues should see a doctor.

Where will I sleep on the mountain?

There is no luxurious way to climb Kilimanjaro, but if you go with a reliable tour company, they will have excellent mountain tents and offer good meals. You must be ready to spend at least five days in the mountains, sharing a tent with one or two other people (though some single tents may be available). There is no such thing as a lie-in. It is beneficial to become accustomed to camping before you travel. This includes sleeping on a heated mattress, wrapping up in a sleeping bag, and extending your muscles till they awaken in the mornings.

More about the campsites on Mount Kilimanjaro

What if I don’t want to sleep in tents?

The Marangu Route has mountain lodges where you may stay if you don’t believe you can manage a tent. And there are a few encouraging developments. On the first and last nights of your journey, most excursions will put you up in a hotel around Moshi, and you’ll smell fresh Arabica coffee, which is frequently produced right there on Kilimanjaro’s slopes when you wake up every morning.

How do you go to the toilet on Kilimanjaro?

On Kilimanjaro, using the restroom is not the most enjoyable experience. The mountain campgrounds include restrooms, although they are rather rudimentary. Consider a basic hole in the earth. Many tour companies carry their own portable toilets, which they enclose in a tiny tent and give the unenviable task of emptying into the public restroom to one of the porters. Bring eco-friendly baby wipes, then. In an emergency, biodegradable diaper bags are also useful.

As you can expect, water is a major concern on Kilimanjaro, so forget about taking showers. Porters transport any used water on your behalf. The greatest advice you can receive is to carry a couple high-quality towels because hot water is typically given for washing. If necessary, get those baby wipes out once more. More about Kilimanjaro toilets

Is climbing Kilimanjaro worth it?

A true sense of accomplishment comes from having successfully ascended Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain on the African continent. If you go there at sunrise and there are no other mountains in the area, you can truly see the curvature of the planet.

Kilimanjaro is also only an hour’s flight from Zanzibar and is located on the fringe of the Serengeti National Park. So if you want, you can climb, go on a safari, and go snorkeling all in ten days.

Is Kilimanjaro worth it to climb?

How long will I spend at the summit?

Normally, you won’t spend more than 15 to 30 minutes at the peak, giving you plenty of time to take in the scenery, take some pictures, have a food and a drink, and take a break. In order to get to the summit in time for sunrise, summit day typically starts in the middle of the night.

Congratulations, you have reached the highest point in Africa if you have made it to Uhuru Peak, which is 5,896 meters high. You won’t feel too bad about starting the two-day descent so soon after waking up because it will be so chilly.

More about Uhuru Peak

Can I climb Kilimanjaro without a guide?

A guide certified by the Kilimanjaro National Park must be with anybody climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. They go through a three-year training program and summit up to 30 times a year, so these men are the best in the industry. Responsible travel agencies frequently conduct in-person interviews with guides to confirm that they are qualified.

In addition to showing you the way, the guides are there to make sure you are safe on the mountain and that the surrounding ecosystem is not harmed. They’re also a great source of information on the mountain itself, Tanzanian culture, and the history of climbing Kilimanjaro.

KILIMANJARO GEAR LIST FOR BEGINNERS

Can A Beginner Climb Kilimanjaro? Yes, you can climb Mount Kilimanjaro to the summit on your first attempt even as a beginner.

Personal Kilimanjaro equipment is crucial to overcoming the challenge and can ensure your summit achievement. During the walk, some people left their gear behind, which caused them to struggle and fail. Check all equipment each day before setting out on the hike.

In your hand luggage, pack an insulated wet jacket and pants, toiletries, prescription drugs, a camera, a power bank, and your personal documents like passports, etc.

Kilimanjaro Gear List contains apparel as well as trekking equipment. Hats, ski jackets, fleece jackets, hard shell, and waterproof jackets, sunglasses, shirts and base layers, soft shell and down jackets, gloves, ski pants, rain pants, fleece pants, and sports shoes are among the apparel accessories.

Gaiters, socks, hiking boots, microspikes, trekking poles, headlamps, duffle bags, ski goggles, hand warmers, hydration packs, sleeping bags, cloth bags, and other items are examples of hiking gear.

View the full Kilimanjaro hiking gear that is recommended.

WHAT TO DO AFTER CLIMBING KILIMANJARO?

  • Enjoy time with your old and new friends after the summit is accomplished. Take some memorable photos at the summit. On the floor of a full cloud, you and your guests can take in the stunning panoramic vista of the dramatic sunrise all the way from Stella Point to Uhuru Peak.
  • To show your appreciation for the porters, guides, and cooks who worked so hard to make your dream a reality, give them gratuities or tips.
  • You can opt to go on a safari to the best parks you will find in Africa. Our safaris take you to the Serengeti National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, Tarangire, and even the Ngorongoro Crater! Because what is the point of coming to Tanzania and not having a taste of a classic-style safari?
  • Relax on one of the cleanest, pristine beaches in Africa, the Zanzibar spice Islands. A beach getaway after a challenging attempt at the roof of Africa is a rewarding experience as you soak in the equatorial sun, and enjoy the breeze.

As one of the best Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Guides, Tranquil Kilimanjaro provides Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for Beginners, which will assist you in reaching the summit and provide you with an unforgettable, rejuvenating experience that will last a lifetime.

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