Climbing Africa’s highest mountain is not an easy challenge. But that doesn’t mean you have to be a serious hiker with years of experience under your belt. With the right training, the right guides and the right mind-set, you’ll be well set to reach that summit! If you’re thinking of climbing Kilimanjaro, read on for what you can expect on the sacred African mountain…
How hard is it to climb Kilimanjaro?
We give all of our expeditions a level rating, to help you determine its level of difficulty. Our Kilimanjaro expedition is ranked as a level 5. That means…
“An average of 6 to 8 hours per day at altitudes not usually exceeding 6,000 metres. Typically, it will involve one long day of 10 to 15 hours to reach a summit. Typical elevation gain per day would be 500 – 1000 meters, with at least one day over 1000 metres. As a rough guide, you should be comfortable hillwalking for 7 hours per day for two days in a row.”
Can beginners climb Kilimanjaro?
Absolutely. But, like with any trekking expedition, you need to train. We have plenty of advice about how you can train for climbing Kilimanjaro in our blog post here. And we’ll give you lots of advice before you set off. Don’t forget, we have a training weekend in Ireland too, so you can get a taste of what the expedition will be like.
Is it difficult to climb Kilimanjaro?
In terms of the technicalities, no. You don’t need specialty climbing equipment, or training in techniques like ice climbing or using crampons. But that doesn’t mean it’s an easy feat. Although this is not a technical climb, it is very steep in places and you will be gaining height very quickly. For many people it will be the hardest physical challenge of their lives.
How hard is summit day?
Summit day on Kilimanjaro is notoriously long. We set off in the very early hours (usually rising at around midnight) and trek for six hours in the dark. While tough, reaching Stella Point by dawn and watching the sunrise makes up for it! From there, it’s a two-hour hike, often on the snow, to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. All in all, you’ll be hiking for 15-18 hours. But don’t worry – the day before summit day includes plenty of time for rest (and an early night!)
There’s no doubt that climbing Kilimanjaro is a huge challenge. But if you’re dedicated, committed to training and ready to take it on, the mountain is right there waiting for you.
To read more about our expedition to Kilimanjaro, click here.