Planning a trek to Kilimanjaro is not as hard as it sounds, but it does require some forward-thinking. As the largest free-standing mountain in the world and the highest peak in Africa, Kilimanjaro has become one of the most desirable destinations for ambitious hikers worldwide. It’s not something you just decide one day and then off you go on your way. If you want to have the best time, consider these nine tips when planning your trek to Kilimanjaro.
Here we explain How to plan a Trek to Kilimanjaro in detail, Grab some snacks and start reading this article.
How to Plan a Trek to Kilimanjaro
1) Decide on an itinerary
Depending on your time constraints, you’ll have to either plan ahead or plan while you’re out there. If you have just four days, you probably won’t be able to visit both parks. Instead, focus on one; it should make your planning process easier. In that case, start by deciding which park you want to see first: Arusha National Park or Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
This will help give you a head start when booking transportation and lodging. The most important thing to keep in mind when planning your trip is safety. Africa can be an intimidating place with its aggressive wild animals—but it doesn’t need to be dangerous if you know what precautions are necessary and which ones aren’t worth worrying about too much.
2) Research the trek
How much does it cost? How long will it take? Is there a minimum fitness level required? What kind of guides are available? Will I be able to go by myself or do I need a group, or perhaps a tour operator? These are just some of the questions you should ask yourself before planning your trek. Research all your options thoroughly; in addition to price, consider accessibility and itinerary. If you’re new to hiking and want someone else to help guide you along, that’s perfectly acceptable—but make sure you understand exactly what your package entails. Trekking can get dangerous if you aren’t prepared, so consult an expert before embarking on any journey.
3) Don’t skimp on safety
Trekking up Mount Kilimanjaro can be a fun, adventurous way to enjoy beautiful views and an active holiday. However, as with any trekking trip, safety should always be a priority. To make sure your trip is safe and enjoyable, you’ll need to plan ahead: Keep in mind that preparation is key. Before you go trekking up Mount Kilimanjaro it’s important to check what gear you’ll need—and hire out any equipment you can’t take with you (like crampons, ice-axe, etc). You should also be aware of your physical limits and get medical advice before travelling.
4) Book a Local Trekking Agency
Don’t go on safari or any trek in Tanzania without booking a tour with an agency. All-inclusive trips ensure that you have everything is taken care of and worry-free from start to finish. That way, you can focus on enjoying yourself during your trip rather than trying to sort out logistics. These guided trips can cost upwards of $4,000 but are worth it if you aren’t comfortable trekking alone. A reputable travel agency will also book your flight and coordinate transportation between cities in Tanzania.
These guided trips include guides, porters, cooks, and camping equipment. In our experience, it’s well worth it. Guides know where to set up camp each night so you can sleep soundly and always have access to clean water from streams that are as pure as snow. Plus, they provide valuable information about local flora and fauna—which can be critical if you get lost or injured in remote areas of Tanzania.
5) Pack appropriately
One of the most important things you can do when planning a trek is to properly pack. Staying warm and dry is key, so make sure you’re well-stocked with warm clothing, rain gear, and appropriate shoes. Depending on where you’re trekking, it might also be a good idea to bring an emergency beacon or some other means of communication just in case something goes wrong. And remember that not all tours include meals, so make sure you have plenty of food and water; energy bars are great when trying to keep your weight down. Staying well-fed will also help you keep up with your group and better enjoy your trip as well!
6) Weather will affect your climb
Kilimanjaro is an 18,000-foot mountain located in one of the wettest places on earth: tropical east Africa. The bulk of rainfall occurs between December and April, and when it does rain (or snow), it pours. There are almost 50 inches of rain during that six-month period. If you hope to reach Kilimanjaro in December or January, good luck—the summit will be under cloud cover 80 percent of those days. If you plan on summiting in February or March, consider bringing cold-weather gear because temperatures can dip below freezing at night. Even if you choose a less rainy month like June or July, expect some bad weather and put together appropriate clothing accordingly. Check our Essentials Trekking Gear Checklist, which helps you select the right gears for your adventure treks.
7) Climb Mount Kilimanjaro at all costs!
The summit of Mount Kilimanjaro is Uhuru Peak (5895m), which means freedom peak in Swahili. This name stems from how freedom was first achieved on Mount Kilimanjaro, when on October 3, 1889, Hans Meyer and Ludwig Purtscheller reached their highest point at Uhuru Peak. Today, thousands of tourists can attest that climbing to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro is not just about reaching freedom but also about experiencing how beautiful Tanzania is and learning more about its culture.
8) Remember it’s about the journey, not the destination
Regardless of whether you’re on a trip up Mount Kilimanjaro or taking your first steps toward setting up your new business, it’s important to remember that it’s about what happens on your journey, not how far you get. The truth is you don’t have to climb every mountain in front of you. Instead, set small goals and celebrate each win as it comes. That way, if (or when) something goes wrong along the way—you won’t be devastated by failure. If you have your life back, you will get many chances ahead.
9) Travel Insurance
Getting travel insurance before you head out on safari is an important part of planning a successful trip. If something were to happen—and as much as we wish it wouldn’t, these things do happen—having proper insurance can make all of the difference. Always check with your doctor about any pre-existing conditions and get travel insurance that will cover your medical costs abroad. You’ll also want travel insurance that covers evacuation from foreign countries; if you have major problems in Africa, it may be difficult to get back home without that coverage. Also look into trip cancellation, baggage coverage, and whether or not you need worldwide or country-specific plans.
10) Tipping your Guide and Porter
When it comes time to reward your guide and porter at the end of your trek, there’s no hard-and-fast rule on what you should tip them. It depends on how much you paid for your trek, how good they were and where you are in. The range is about $20-$30 per day, per person. You can give one big tip at the end or dole out smaller amounts throughout your trip. Whatever works best for you!
After reading this article you have clearly understood how to plan a trek to Kilimanjaro. If you still have some questions regarding trekking to Kilimanjaro or any other places all over the world then ask your questions in our Hiking Forum, we will answer shortly all of your questions.