10 Essential Kilimanjaro Facts to Know Before Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest point of the African continent is a dream to many climbers. Attempted by 30,000 trekkers each year the volcanic dormant adds a great contribution to the economy of the country. Each year Kilimanjaro trekking adds $50 million to Tanzania’s economy. If you willing to a safari tour to Tanzania and want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, You should know it’s facts.
However, many trekkers are dreaming to make their way to Uhuru peak, the peak point of Kilimanjaro. For all of them who are dreaming of Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro here are some trendy facts to know.
List Of Mount Kilimanjaro Facts
Kilimanjaro is well known worldwide due to its majestic height. The mountain’s peak touches 5,895m high from sea level. This is the world’s largest start volcano comprising various layers of lava, tephra, and volcanic ash.
The mountain has 3 peaks; Kibo, Shira, and Mawenzi. Shira at the height of 3,962 m is relatively flat. Around 500,000 years later Shira ceased erupting and collapsed which result in forming Shira plateau.
Mawenzi is situated on the peak of 5,149 m towards the east of Kilimanjaro. The eruption has occurred in the last millennia and towards the top of Mawenzi, you can find crags, pinnacles, and dyke swarms.
Kibo is the most recent summit and had the last major eruption around 360,000 years ago. The last activity however occurred 200 years back only.
Kilimanjaro Weather Facts –
Kilimanjaro Weather is the most unexpected one. Despite the proximity to equator the mountain forms glaciers on the top towards the summit and rainfall patterns are quite hard to understand.
The mountain goes through basically 2 types of weather; the dry and the wet weather. The dry season usually gets divided into 2 types; the long dry season and the short one. The long dry season continues from June throughout October.
During this time there is very little rainfall encountered with lower snowfall. The sky stays almost clear and this is considered as the most appropriate weather for Climbing Kilimanjaro.
The long rainy seasons continue throughout April and May, which are the wettest month of Kilimanjaro with thunderstorms & heavy downpour.
January-March is the short dry season, during which there is a chance to face rain, however not heavier ones. Likewise, November and December are the short rainy season with light rainfall.
Who Can Climb Kilimanjaro –
This is a tricky question to answer. The age limit is 10 years for the younger and older generation in their 60s or 70s can climb the peak of Kilimanjaro. However, many times we have seen exceptional records of kids at a very tender age or people in quite old age have summited the peak of Uhuru, You can counted these as Kilimanjaro Facts.
There are 7-year-olds as well as 80 years old who have touched the snow-capped summit of Kilimanjaro. So, there are no specific age criteria for rising to the top of Africa. If you have decent physical endurance and mental strength you can climb Mount Kilimanjaro without much worry.
Mountain/Altitude Sickness –
Mountain sickness or Altitude sickness is a health issue felt by many trekkers who opt to climb the top of any mountain. As we climb the higher altitude oxygen level gets lowered and in lower oxygen level body starts reacting.
As Kilimanjaro is one of the highest mountains of African continents while climbing to its peak many trekkers feel Acute Mountain Sickness often known as AMS.
Once reaching a height of 2000m trekkers usually feel some form of symptoms of altitude sickness. The symptoms can be light headache, dizziness, vomit, or feeling tired.
Sometimes it gets more complicated like; a severe headache that is not curable in medicine, chest pain, breathing problems, an increase in a heartbeat, loss of appetite, and getting unconscious.
In this case, the trekkers get evacuated by the team of guides and porters with help of Kilimanjaro National Park authorities.
Kilimanjaro Routes –
The mountain has 7 official routes for Climbing Kilimanjaro to reach its peak. We recommend choosing the route according to your physical stamina.
Lemosho is the most scenic route of Kilimanjaro. It traverses through the most panoramic ways of the mountain. It goes through a 7 to 8 days itinerary. The route offers a great opportunity for acclimatizing with an 85% success rate.
Machame is the most popular route of Kilimanjaro that receives 50% of the total trekkers coming to Kilimanjaro every year. Machame is though appropriate for those who have good physical stamina. Known as the Whisky route, Machame offers a great opportunity to acclimatize. A seven days hike is recommended through Machame that brings an 80% success rate.
Marangu or Coca-cola route is the oldest and most established routes of Kilimanjaro as well the most direct route with 5 days itinerary. It offers around a 50% success rate as it has a less acclimatizing opportunity.
Rongai is the only route that starts towards the northern side of the mountain. The route has low traffic having 6 to 7 days of the itinerary. The route offers good acclimatizing opportunities and an 80% success rate.
It is the shortest, steep and direct route to Uhuru Peak of Kilimanjaro. The route takes 6 days of itinerary and very rare traffic. It is truly ideal for them who are looking for less traffic during Kilimanjaro Trekking and loves challenges.
The route approaches the mountain from the west side and identical to Lemosho. Shira is a varied and scenic route, however, it offers less acclimatizing opportunity.
Northern Circuit Route-
the most exciting, longer, and highly acclimatizing opportunity provider route in Northern Circuit Route. It goes through 10 days itinerary and offers a great opportunity to acclimatize.
Standing On Top of Kilimanjaro –
There is another Kilimanjaro Fact that, Standing on Uhuru Peak, the top of Kilimanjaro is a dream to many. 30,000 climbers are trekking to ultimately reach the point above on 5,895m. The peak of the mountain is filled with glacier and the mesmerizing view is enough to let you feel like landing on a fairy-tale world.
You’ll see Very Little Wildlife on the Trek –
If you are expecting an abundant of wildlife during your trekking you may get disappointed. You can spot some of the wildlife during your trail way however, it is not abundant as you may spot in the national parks of the country.
You may get a chance to meet some elephants, Blue Monkey, Colobus Monkey, Four Striped Mouse, Bush Baby, and more.
Prepare Yourself for Squat Toilets –
The most complained element in Kilimanjaro is the toilet facility. Some toilets are existing at the campsites. However, all these toilets are squat toilets and keep your expectations low about the toilets.
Apart from these, another option you can opt for a toilet is renting a portable toilet with a toilet camp. It is the more adaptable, easy and cleanest way of going toilet on Kilimanjaro.
Summit Day is Brutal –
Summit day is the most dangerous and tiring of the whole journey. As it’s been said, “the beautiful view comes after the hardest climb”. Summit is the most beautiful destination of the mountain so it takes the hardest climb as well.
The final journey to the summit starts at midnight. The aim of reaching at the top point of Africa till morning is to watch the mesmerizing sunrise view. Walking on the glaciers in the temperature of minus 28 degrees C. is the most difficult part of the climbing.
Learn Some Swahili –
Pole…Pole… this is what you may hear many times during your trekking which means slow. Your Swahili speaking guides and porters may speak a few Swahili words to you.
Swahili is the official language of Tanzania. So, while coming to the country intended to climbing Kilimanjaro learning Swahili can be a bonus for you. It will help you have a better connection with the local guides and porters. However, they know English and can easily communicate in English.
While coming to Tanzania for Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, keep in mind that you are going to do the hardest yet the most mesmerizing journey of your life. Make sure to make it a hassle-free one. Armour yourself with information and choose a perfect trekking company to ensure a sure success.
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