Acclimatization refers to the process by which the body gets used to low levels of oxygen. The higher you climb, the thinner the air becomes, and this means that there are extremely low levels at high altitudes, making it hard to breathe. Mount Kilimanjaro has three altitude zones, and these include:

High altitude: 2500 meters to 3500 meters

Very high altitude: 3500 meters to 5500 meters

Extreme altitude: 5500 meters and above

A good and proper acclimatization strategy usually includes not hiking too fast or too high and also sleeping low when the options are available.

As you prepare for the Kilimanjaro hike, you need to remember that your body needs a lot of oxygen as you hike up the mountain, and the best advice we can give for the best acclimatization is to take more time during the hike. Although it might cost more money, the more days spent on the Kilimanjaro hike, the greater the difference.

Good acclimatization depends on the number of days spent, and we encourage our clients to spend at least 8 days on the hike. This means that you get to spend five nights climbing high and sleeping low to get accustomed to the reduced oxygen levels before hiking to the higher altitudes.

Is acclimatization on Kilimanjaro important?

Best acclimatization for Kilimanjaro climbing
Best acclimatization for Kilimanjaro climbing

This is one of the most frequently asked questions, and the answer is a very big yes. All you need to know is that when you get to an altitude that is more than 3000 meters above sea level, you will need to take lots of precautions to make sure that you do not get altitude sickness. We need to ensure that our bodies get used to the ever-changing altitude to make it to Uhuru Peak, the highest point in Africa.

An acclimatization line: an acclimatization line refers to the time when the symptoms start occurring. For example, each day has an altitude that is hiked, so if you hike for up to 3600 m a day and, after resting, climb to about 3500 m, you will still be asymptomatic, but if you climb to about 400 m, you will start to experience the symptoms of altitude sickness.

Your body will quickly adjust to the different altitudes, and some of the changes that happen as you ascend higher include breathing faster and deeper.

What is altitude sickness?

Altitude sickness is when our bodies badly react to the reduced levels of oxygen that come with high altitudes. This is the top reason why many hikers do not make it to Uhuru Peak after experiencing severe altitude sickness symptoms.

Altitude sickness varies from mild to severe, and the level will determine whether you can continue with your hike. The lead guide and the entire team, who are fully trained and well-versed in what to do in case of an emergency, will always check with you to make sure that you are not putting yourself in any danger. The team can provide first aid and also call in an evacuation when the need arises.

Some hikers will start experiencing altitude sickness symptoms as soon as they start hiking, especially if they are using the Shira route, but others start the higher they go. Some of the symptoms include erratic sleep, headaches, breathlessness, nausea, and dizziness.

Kilimanjaro tour operators use the Lake Louise Altitude Sickness Board to monitor altitude sickness. The scores of 3 to 7 show mild signs of altitude sickness, and if you have a score that is above 8, that means that you might not be able to continue with your summit ascent and need to descend immediately.

Checkout insights and advice on the best time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro successfully.

High-altitude Cerebral Edema

This is a condition that is associated with severe altitude sickness, which occurs when the brain tissues start swelling and fluid builds. This is a life-threatening condition, and some of the signs of HACE include hallucinations, comas, loss of consciousness, strong headaches, ataxia, and memory loss. All these are usually experienced at night. In case you start feeling any of the above symptoms, don’t wait until morning; prepare to descend immediately.

Altitude pulmonary edema

This is one of the symptoms that come with acute altitude sickness after a failure to acclimatize properly. High Altitude Pulmonary Edema, also known as HAPE, is a severe condition where fluids build up in the lungs, preventing the proper exchange of oxygen, which reduces oxygen levels in the bloodstream. The main cause of HAPE is ascending too fast and too high, and all hikers should note that this is life-threatening. Some of the symptoms include suffocation, especially when sleeping; shortness of breath when you are hiking and resting; hallucinations; extremely tight tests; coughing with frothy fluid; fatigue; weakness; confusion; and irate behavior. In case you start experiencing hallucinations, confusion, and irrational behavior, the pulmonary edema starts affecting the brain, and medication attention should be sought immediately after.

Kilimanjaro routes offer the best acclimatization.

An important aspect of the best acclimatization is choosing the right route leading up to Kilimanjaro Peak. When choosing a route, we recommend that you choose one that will enable you to acclimatize properly. Mount Kilimanjaro has seven routes that are usually used: Lemosho Route, Northern Circuit, Shira, Marangu, Machame, Umbwe, and Rongai. To know more about these routes, check out our website for Kilimanjaro hike routes.

The Machame route, the Northern Circuit, the Rongai route, and the Lemosho Route are the best Kilimanjaro acclimatization routes.

6 Rules to follow to avoid risks while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

Hiking Mount Kilimanjaro is risky, but it can still be a joyous adventure as long as you follow a few rules, including the following:

  1. Take lots of water during the hike—at least 4 liters a day.
  2. Acclimatize properly, and if possible, try acclimatizing before the Kilimanjaro hike (you can use Mount Meru).
  3. Go slow while hiking on the mountain.
  4. Make sure that you follow the guidelines of climbing high and sleeping low to acclimatize.
  5. Avoid taking alcohol, caffeine, or smoking during the hike.
  6. Carry some altitude sickness medicine with you, and we recommend Diamox.

If you start feeling unwell, it means that you have altitude sickness until proven otherwise. When the symptoms persist, make sure that you do not ascend anymore, and in case you get worse, we advise that you descend immediately

Mount Kilimanjaro is an all-year-round destination. The best time to climb is during the dry months of December, January through March, and June through September, because these months have the best weather conditions with clear skies and good hiking routes that are not slippery and flooded. The wet months, that is, March to May, are a bit dangerous, but since the weather is unpredictable, expect a change at any given time.

Mount Kilimanjaro experiences two seasons, the low and high seasons, and both see a series of hikers planning their hikes to the summit of Kilimanjaro. Both seasons have their advantages and disadvantages, and we are going to look at both of them so that you get to choose the best time.

The advantages of the high season on Mount Kilimanjaro include the favorable weather and the fact that you get to explore the rest of Tanzania, especially the National Parks. The disadvantage is that it comes with large crowds, which leads to a hike in the cost of the hike. The low season is of great advantage because of the green season, which brings out the beautiful scenery of the surrounding areas and the low number of people during this period. It becomes stressful to hike when the routes are slippery during the wet season and there is low visibility as well.

Month-by-month overview of the best time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro

Best time to climb Kilimanjaro
Best time to climb Kilimanjaro for best views

Mount Kilimanjaro is never closed and is open throughout the year, although you will need to be well prepared for the climb due to the weather changes that happen in the different months.

January to March: This is the best time for hikers who wish to avoid large crowds during the dry months. The mountain receives occasional rainfall, although it is generally mostly dry, and hikers get to see the summit covered in snow. It can be considered a high season for climbing Kilimanjaro, but with fewer crowds and decent weather.

March to May: March is the start of the rainy season with a clear start, and as the month progresses, the heavy rains set in. The trails become muddy, the heavy rains cause poor visibility, and the clouds that threaten all the time make it hard for hikers to enjoy the hike, although you get to experience some dry months. April and May, on the other hand, have long rains, and we usually don’t recommend anyone climbing during these months. These months are best suited for experienced hikers who don’t mind the weather and would like to avoid the large crowds, and for those willing to hike from March to May, we highly recommend the trek routes on the northern side of the mountain.

June to September: This is the dry season and one of the busiest times to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. This is the time when Europe and the USA have their summer vacations, hence the large crowds, with July and August being the popular months among tourists. There are occasional showers in September, and if you are not bothered by a little bit of rain, October is the month for you. As you plan your hike in these months, note that the trek routes are extremely busy, and this tends to make the hike more expensive as compared to other months. We recommend the Machame and Marangu routes.

October and November: The short and sparse rains start in October till November and usually last a month. The rains are not as heavy as the April to May rains and are mainly experienced in the afternoon hours. It is the best time for hikers to avoid crowds and tourists who are not deterred by a little bit of rain. The Rongai route is best during this season since it receives less rainfall than the Northern Circuit route.

Factors considered when choosing the best time to climb Kilimanjaro

Altitude is one of the factors that need to be taken into consideration when deciding on the best time to climb Kilimanjaro. The four climatic zones that are experienced along the mountain include the following:

The rainforest zone: This is the first zone characterized by rain, warm and humid conditions with temperatures ranging between 12 to 15 degrees Celsius and is between 800m to 3000m. Drizzles and rain are common in this zone, which is experienced at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro.

The low alpine zone: lying between 3000 and 4200 meters, this is the second climatic zone, a semi-arid area experiencing a temperature between 5 and 10 degrees Celsius. The temperatures are a bit high during the day but drop to freezing point at night.

The high alpine zone: experiencing a temperature of around 6 degrees Celsius, the high alpine zone is desert-like, lying between 4200m and 5000m.

The glacial zone: experienced at the summit, the glacial zone, which is above 5000 meters, experiences a temperature of 6 degrees Celsius at a freezing point of 4970 meters. Not everyone gets to experience the glacial zone, but it is the best and most rewarding, especially when you get to the summit.

Check out our guide on the best way to acclimatize for Mount Kilimanjaro climbing.

The crowds also determine when one can go mountain climbing on Kilimanjaro. There are a lot of crowds during the popular dry months of June to September and January to February, and these are considered to be the best months for a hike up Mount Kilimanjaro. Hikers who wish to avoid the crowds should use the shoulder season, which is from March to May and from October to December.

The full moon climb: climbing Mount Kilimanjaro during the full moon is extremely popular among hikers and nature lovers. The full moon is a good time to hike because your destination is illuminated easily, not to mention the great views around the mountain.

Your choice of the best time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro should depend on all the above-stated factors and personal reasons. Get in touch with us to help you properly plan for your Kilimanjaro climb to ensure that your trek is gratifying, safe, and fun throughout your hike.

One of the most frequently asked questions is where one will poop when hiking on Mount Kilimanjaro, and the question is always directed at us. Before we look at the different options you can choose from, we are going to describe the different types of toilets found on Mount Kilimanjaro.

The first thing you need to note is that every campsite along all routes of Mount Kilimanjaro has long drop toilets. Long drops public toilets on Mount Kilimanjaro are basically, just holes drilled in the ground with a shelter built around them. Also known as latrines, you can either squat or stand, but squatting is more convenient, especially if you are going to do number two. The latrines are under the management of the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority when it comes to cleaning, but don’t expect them to be clean all the time. Sometimes the toilets are dilapidated and you might find, the toilets with broken doors.

The portable private toilets offer all the privacy that you need and have a flushing system and toilet cover.

Toilets on Mount Kilimanjaro – Options to choose from

Long drop Kilimanjaro Toilets
Long drop Kilimanjaro Toilets

Expect to find a lot of toilets scattered all over the different camp stops along Mount Kilimanjaro, but do not expect to get luxurious washrooms with warm running water and marble sinks, you might find that some do not even have doors. There are three options that you can use while hiking on Mount Kilimanjaro, and these include the following:

The native way

This might sound weird, but we need have the need to go, they use the bushes along the route. If you are to use the bushes to go while trekking before you get to the next camp, do not leave your toilet paper lying around to keep the mountain clean. Instead, carry a plastic bag with you and dispose of it when you get to the camp. You need to carry some biodegradable plastic bags to keep Mount Kilimanjaro clean for other trekkers to safely use. The reason why you should use biodegradable plastic bags is that there is a restriction on the importation of single-use plastic bags.

Use the toilets on Mount Kilimanjaro

Many hikers use this option since it is cheaper, and that is why you will find that sometimes they are dirty or there is no toilet paper to use. Do not raise your standards if you are planning on using public toilets, but we suggest that you carry personal wipes and enough toilet paper. These toilets consist of a deep hole in the ground surrounded by a hut. The toilets are usually smelly, but the guides usually make sure that they are clean enough to use.

Hire a portable toilet:

Private Portable Toilets Kilimanjaro
Private Portable Toilets Kilimanjaro

Portable toilets come with their private tent and fall into the luxury category. A portable toilet is small, fits in a mini tent, and is the best option to use if you have the extra money to spend. They can go for around $150, which comes off as expensive, but if they will make your journey more comfortable, then pay and hike in comfort. The beauty of using these toilets is that you have privacy while taking nature’s call. Unlike the public restrooms, they are usually set up at each camp you go to and exclusively used by those that paid for them. They are also well-maintained and clean.

How do ladies pee in between treks?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions, and the only way to go about it is to use the bushes along the route. To avoid squatting, use a Shewee that allows you to urinate while standing. You can also get a similar gadget that is worn inside your pants, and when the need to urinate arises, you just have to pull it aside and urinate (the urine will drop a few meters from your feet).

Note that due to the high altitude and frequent water intake, peeing will be frequent, and this is the only way to avoid squatting. Read more about

Will I be able to shower while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro?

No, unfortunately, there are no shower facilities or even bathrooms on Mount Kilimanjaro, and you will have to use other alternatives.

In conclusion, nature’s call can happen anywhere and at any time, so you will need to go at any given time using the different options stated above to be able to continue hiking peacefully without any inconvenience.

There is more to visiting Tanzania than climbing Kilimanjaro. A Mount Kilimanjaro hike is always planned for but why not enjoy other safari destinations within the country that offer unique sights after the hike? A safari to some of the top tourist destinations in Tanzania is a must-do on every tourist’s bucket list and all you need to do is get in touch with our staff to plan your safari after the Kilimanjaro climb. There are so many outdoor activities carried out in Tanzania some of which include cultural visits, exploration of the National Parks, enjoying the beaches, and, hikes to other mountains.

Explore Zanzibar

Zanzibar is one of the best destinations to visit and unwind after the Kilimanjaro Climb. You can spend days exploring the island, relaxing along the beaches, and deciding whether you will just take a dip in the Ocean or sunbathe and enjoy the authentic cuisines prepared by the locals.

Stone Town: known as the oldest town along the coast, Stone Town is a must-see for tourists who would wish to see the town that was constructed by the Oman Arabs after the expulsion of the Portuguese in 1699. Exploring the narrow streets of Stone Town will take you back in time because most of the buildings are still in the same format that they were constructed in.

The beaches in Zanzibar: Zanzibar has several white sand beaches and some of the activities you can carry out while here includes swimming, snorkeling, tasting the spicy coastal dishes, enjoy yachting, getting that tan, enjoying the sunset and any other water activity you can think about.

Spice farm: Zanzibar is a spice town with most of the food prepared using the different spices grown on the farm. If you are not a fan of spiced food, you will need to learn because it is always tasty and good food. Zanzibar is also known as the spice Island and some of the spices grown here include cloves, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg among others.

Climb Mount Meru: Mount Meru is the second-highest mountain in Tanzania with a height of 4566m above sea level. It is a good hike that will maximally take you 4 to five days to complete the hike with stopovers along the way. It is an adventurous hike that is almost similar to the Kilimanjaro climb but at a cheaper cost.

Climbing Mount Meru is however recommended to be done before climbing Kilimanjaro, to serve as a rehearsal and offer acclimatization to to climbers.

Wildebeests Migration Safari Serengeti
Wildebeests Migration Safari Serengeti

Safari to Serengeti: Serengeti National Park is a top safari destination in Tanzania where the wildebeest migration starts before the wildebeests cross into Masai Mara and then back to Serengeti. This heritage Site is home to predators like lions, leopards, spotted hyenas, and other species like buffalos, dik-dik, elephants, impalas, zebras, wildebeests, and elephants among others. Best visited during the dry season, your safari to Tanzania will not be complete if you do not visit and explore Serengeti National Park.

Cultural safaris: Tanzania is rich in culture and tourists get to experience it by visiting the villages to get to know more about the traditions and culture of the local people. The Masai people are the most visited locals in Tanzania because of their unique culture.

Enjoy the wildebeest migration: This is an annual event that takes place between Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Millions of wildebeests and thousands of gazelles and zebras start their trek in Tanzania to Kenya and then back to Tanzania and it is believed that they move due to a change in weather conditions. Just a glance at these animals crossing the Grumeti and Mara Rivers infested with crocodiles and surviving is an experience each person should experience.

Ngorongoro Crater: Ngorongoro crater is a top tourist destination in Tanzania and part of the Northern Circuit. Take a guided walk or drive through the Crater where you will be able to see wildlife like zebras, wildebeests, spotted hyenas, Rhinos, Buffalos, elephants, lions, buffalos, and elephants among others.

Visit Lake Manyara National Park: After the Mount Kilimanjaro climb, one of the places that you can visit and relax is Lake Manyara National Park famous for its tree-climbing lions located just half an hour’s drive from Arusha. It is also home to other wildlife species including baboons, over 350 bird species, and many more others. Since the National park mainly consists of water, you can enjoy canoeing, biking, and abseiling once you have a permit.

Visit Tarangire National park: Tarangire National Park is the 6th largest National Park in Tanzania best known for having a large number of African elephants and other wildlife including wildebeests, leopards, giraffes, and hyenas among others. It was established in 1970 and with the Tarangire River, hundreds of bird species can be seen throughout the year, especially in the wet season.

Gorilla trekking: Mountain gorillas can only be found in three countries that is Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the Virunga regions. They are endangered species living in families or groups with the silverback as the head of a group. The best time to go gorilla trekking is during the dry season which is June to October and December to February note that you will have to book the gorilla permit in advance since it is a tight activity that many tourists engage in.

The Mount Kilimanjaro Climb should never be underestimated because it is not an easy climb, but this is not the case with most climbers who think it is just a walkover. Preparation is key if you plan on climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Carry out enough research, ask all the necessary questions, and make sure that you choose the best tour operator. Almost 50% of the climbers make it to the summit, whereas thousands are evacuated for various reasons. To answer the question, yes, it is safe to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, but only if you are educated on the risks and how to avoid them.

Kilimanjaro Climbing is not without risks and considered dangerous. Approximately 10 people pass away while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, while more than a thousand others are evacuated by the authorities for various reasons. Land evacuation is the responsibility by Kilimanjaro National Park personnel while air evacuation is available from a private helicopter evacuation services.

Safety overview on Mount Kilimanjaro

When climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, safety always comes first, because if it is not the top priority, hikers might stop attempting the Kilimanjaro summit. Safety in this instance means a lot of things, including the type of clothes, equipment, good meals, proper accommodation, choosing the best route, and hiking with experienced guides.

Food on Mount Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro is not an easy climb, which means that you need to eat properly and get enough food into your system to be able to effectively continue with the climb. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are prepared by the cooks and served hot, and you can carry your favorite snacks as well.

Choosing the best route

Mount Kilimanjaro has seven routes that are all used to get to the summit, but only a few of these offer proper and better acclimatization. The Shira route has a high starting point altitude, offering poor acclimatization; the Umbwe and Lemosho routes also have a low summit success rate, and climbers don’t have better acclimatization, whereas the Northern Circuit, Lemosho, and Machame routes offer better acclimatization.

Another better way of quickly adjusting to the high altitude is by climbing high and sleeping low, although not all routes offer this. The Marangu, Rongai, and Umbwe routes don’t have this offer, but Lemosho, Machame, and the Northern Circuit do. Climbing high and sleeping low simply means you climb to a higher altitude and hike down to a lower altitude for the night to let the body adjust accordingly to the ever-changing altitude and reduced levels of oxygen.

Acute Mountain Sickness

Hikers who take on places with high altitudes are always prone to getting acute mountain sickness, which can also be referred to as altitude sickness. It is mainly caused by the body failing to get used to the low levels of oxygen found at high altitudes, and most hikers will experience it at some point while hiking up Mount Kilimanjaro. The symptoms of altitude sickness include fatigue, nausea, abnormal sleeping patterns, headaches, shortness of breath, and loss of appetite. If your symptoms are mild, then you are good to go, but if they become more serious, the only solution is to descend the mountain.

One of the most commonly prescribed drugs used to prevent altitude sickness is Diamox, also known as Acetazolamide. Diamox helps in increasing the breathing rate, thereby preventing altitude sickness for whoever has taken it.

Travel Insurance for Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro is over 5895 meters high, and if you plan on climbing the mountain, make sure that you have travel insurance because no reputable company will work with you if you do not have it. Discuss the risks you will be taking by hiking, the existing medical conditions if you have any, and any potential threats that might arise. Make sure that the travel insurance you get covers medical, lost luggage, evacuation, and cancellations.

Malaria on Mount Kilimanjaro

Tanzania is located in a malaria zone, which means that Kilimanjaro hikers will need to take all the necessary precautions to avoid malaria. We advise that you visit your local doctor to get antimalarial drugs and follow their advice on what to do. Other ways of preventing malaria, especially in the rainforest zone, are by wearing long-sleeved shirts and trousers, using insect repellent, and sleeping in a treated mosquito net.

Safe drinking water

Safe drinking water is provided by the crew throughout your journey. The water is carried by the crew from the lower parts of the mountain to the different camps. The water is used both as drinking water and for cleaning. Purifying tablets are used to make drinking water safe, and in case you don’t like the taste of the tablets, there are different flavors of water that you can use. You should also note that no one will carry your drinking water in the hydration pack or water bottle, which you must fill before leaving the camp.

When it comes to hiking on Mount Kilimanjaro, hydration is key because if you are dehydrated, you will not make it to the summit. We always tell our clients to carry at least 3-liter water bottles for the hike, take two to three cups of water before leaving the camp, and not stop taking water even after the hike. The higher you go, the more water you should take since it helps in alleviating altitude sickness, and do not mind about the constant urination (this can be done in the nearby bushes).

Climbing equipment

The climbing equipment used on Mount Kilimanjaro is provided by the tour operator, who does an inspection a day before the climb. Equipment provided includes sleeping tents (if you are not using the Marangu route), chairs, tables, cooking equipment, trekking poles, and sleeping mats, among others.

Trekking poles:

The trekking poles are a necessity when it comes to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro because of the valleys, the steep slopes, and the rocks, which are sometimes slippery, especially in the rainforest zone and when descending the mountain. The poles also help by keeping the pressure off your legs and knees during the descending period.

An oximeter:

Kilimanjaro Health SafetyA pulse oximeter is used to test the levels of oxygen in one’s blood during the climb, and it is placed on the climber’s fingertip.

First-aid kit:

The kit is used to treat minor injuries and must have all the necessary medicines and items to clean blisters, cuts, and other illnesses that are not serious.

Bottled oxygen

Bottled oxygen is rarely used and is only carried as a precaution. The main treatment and solution for severe altitude sickness are descending, and this works for all the different routes used to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.


The weather keeps changing the higher you go, and the types of clothes that you should carry should include both light-layered and warm clothes. The light-layered clothes are for when the weather is warm; the warm clothes help with the ever-fluctuating cold weather, and you will also need some waterproof clothing as well. (Note that the clothes should be long-sleeved shirts and trousers.) Footwear is also important, and it should be waterproof, worn in, have good traction to prevent slipping, and fit well. Do not bring new hiking boots because they will not be suitable and you do not want to put on ill-fitting shoes, causing blisters on your feet.

Sun protection

There are lots of sunscreen types on the market to help with the sun, and our advice is that you get sweat-resistant sunscreen and do not forget a sunhat as well.

Climbing with experienced guides

Trained and experienced guides are part and parcel when climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, and we always make sure that all our staff is experienced to safely take you to the summit and back. They are trained to deal with altitude sickness, offer first aid, and also have the necessary skills to make an emergency evacuation when necessary. Guides and the mountain crew are your support system throughout your hike, and you must use someone you are comfortable with so as not to put your life at risk.


There are no specific vaccination requirements needed to enter Tanzania, but a yellow fever vaccination book will be required. And just to be on the safe side, talk to your doctor about the different vaccinations, especially hepatitis A and B, tetanus, polio, meningitis, typhoid, measles, mumps, and rubella, among others.

Choosing a registered and qualified tour operator

Finally, the most important thing you need to do to keep safe while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is to get a trusted and local tour operator who follows all the above-mentioned aspects. We value your safety and promise that you will get value for your money. Avoid getting companies that are too good to be true because you might be scammed, and by choosing a good tour operator, you will have a safe climb with an operator who has extensive knowledge about Mount Kilimanjaro and a head guide who is well-trained in all aspects.

Mount Kilimanjaro is a safe place to take a hike, although there have been some deaths almost every year. There are several causes of these deaths, and in this article, we are going to look at what could cause death on Mount Kilimanjaro and how to avoid them.

Mount Kilimanjaro experiences two seasons, the dry and wet seasons, and has unique zones as you go higher, including the rainforest zone, the low alpine zone, the high alpine zone, and the glacial zone. The weather keeps changing with a zone change, so it is better if you are ready for the drastic changes.

What causes Kilimanjaro deaths?

The main cause of death on Mount Kilimanjaro is altitude sickness, although there are other illnesses like heart attacks. We always advise our clients to ask their doctors, especially if they have underlying health issues, before attempting to get to the summit to avoid deaths. Altitude sickness, on the other hand, is when the body fails to adjust to the ever-reducing levels of oxygen as you go higher. Some medications can be used to reduce the symptoms, but in case they become severe, the guides have the right to evacuate you before the situation worsens.

How many people have died while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro?

Almost every mountain in the world has deaths, and the documented deaths along Mount Kilimanjaro are approximately 3 to 10 from over 300,000 people who attempt to climb to the summit. Unlike other mountains, especially Mount Everest, where it is hard to evacuate people, it is very easy to evacuate hikers by helicopter on Mount Kilimanjaro, reducing deaths, and that is also why you won’t find any dead bodies along the mountain.

It is not easy to tell the exact number since some deaths are not documented, especially for the locals, but just continue keeping safe, and you will enjoy one of the best views when you get to the Uhuru peak.

How to stay safe while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro?

Mount Kilimanjaro Evacuation AmbulanceOccupation hazards happen everywhere in the world, and the same applies to Mount Kilimanjaro. Some of how you can avoid tragic moments like death include the following:

Drink lots of water to keep hydrated while on the mountain. Forget about going to the toilet all the time because keeping hydrated is key to staying alive since you keep changing zones with the altitude, and it also helps in preventing altitude sickness.

Your hike guides and the whole mountain crew are always on alert to make sure that you are safe, so in case you start feeling sick, we advise that you inform them immediately for a solution.

The higher you go, the cooler it becomes, and that is why you need to pack warm clothes to avoid hypothermia. The warm clothes also extend to the mountain crew, including porters and guides, so make sure that you use a reputable company that cares about the needs of their staff.

Take each step one at a time, and just like the guides usually tell hikers, “pole-pole,” meaning slowly, slowly. When you walk slowly, you give your body a better chance to acclimatize to the low levels of oxygen and the high altitude.

Is climbing Mount Kilimanjaro safe? Read more on his link to know how safe it is to climb mount Kilimanjaro.

In conclusion, even though there are deaths on the mountain, they do not happen every day, and the only way you can avoid this is by staying safe. Do not let a few statistics deter you from getting to the highest point on the African continent as long as you keep safe and follow all the rules given by the guides.

This is an extremely hard question to answer because every person has their own opinions, but in this article, we are going to look at some of the reasons why you should visit Tanzania and get to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. The moment you set foot on the mountain, you go through the five climatic zones. Arrival at most camps is always before sunset, and you get to enjoy warm meals prepared by trained cooks, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner because you will be starving after the hike. The first two days are almost similar with a slight change in zones, and the best day, known as the summit day, is brutal but still worth it.

Trekking through the different zones of Kilimanjaro

One of the attractions as you climb Mount Kilimanjaro is the beautiful scenery that keeps changing as you go higher. Hikers go through the rainforest, which is the first zone on the mountain, through the moorlands and Alpine Desert to the Arctic, the last zone that marks the topmost part of the mountain. Every zone on Kilimanjaro comes with its unique characteristics, making the journey an entertaining discovery throughout your hike.

The rainforest zone has thick, tall trees that are home to numerous wildlife species, including black and white colobus monkeys. The Kilimanjaro hiking trails through the rainforest are muddy and slippery, and we advocate for the use of gaiters and trekking poles.

The moorland is the next zone after going through the thick rainforests, and it will take you through the shrubs and the giant senecios, which can only be found in East Africa. You start to notice the vegetation becoming sparse when you get to the moorlands.

The next zone is the Alpine desert, where all life forms, including animals and plants, disappear and you are faced with a harsh landscape.

The Arctic zone is the last one found at the summit. You get to witness the sunrise from a strategic point at the peak and also stand at the highest point on the African continent.

Taking a photo at Uhuru Peak

The Uhuru Peak point is marked by a wooden sign, and taking a photo to mark the successful climb is necessary. It is a memorable snap that captures your resilience in climbing through the different zonal changes and making it to the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and in Africa.

The Seven Summit Challenge

Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the seven summits (the seven summits are the tallest mountains on each of the continents). There is a thrill one gets from scaling the seven summits, and the good news is that you can still climb Mount Kilimanjaro even when you do not have any experience.

The legendary glaciers

Mount Kilimanjaro has two famous glaciers near the summit, and they have been around for over 11,000 years, although they are currently reducing in size, and it is believed that they will keep on shrinking with time. The two glaciers known as the Ratzel and Rebmann glaciers offer warmth from the cold for hikers trekking to the summit, and by putting a climb to Kilimanjaro on your to-do list, you will be among the people to see the glaciers before they completely melt.

Exploring Africa

Mt Kilimanjaro is located in Tanzania, and you can combine a Kilimanjaro climb with other safari destinations both within Tanzania and in the rest of Africa. Some of the destinations you get to check out include Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, and Kilimanjaro National Park, among others.

Kili climb is not an easy climb but if we are as you get to face a lot of challenges like headaches, shortness of breath, nausea, and tiredness at the end of the day when you are at the highest point of the mountain (Uhuru peak), all these will be worth it and some can be avoided like the nausea and shortness of breath, all you need to do is take easy and slow paced steps (note there is no rush in getting to the peak).

We find the uniqueness of Mount Kilimanjaro an experience that everyone should get, and to answer the question of whether Kilimanjaro is worth the climb, yes, we certainly believe that it is worth the climb.

Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa, with Uhuru being the highest point on the African continent, and this has made it one of the top bucket list destinations for many tourists. A Kilimanjaro climb is not an easy fit, regardless of the hiking route you are using, but with the right preparation and team, you can still make it to the summit. seven routes can be used to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, with each of these having its advantages and disadvantages.

So, Which is the best route to climb Kilimanjaro? Choosing the best Kilimanjaro route to use depends on several factors, like what you would like to experience while hiking, your level of preparedness, prior climbing experience, the acclimatization process, the cost of the hike, and your accommodation. Below is a list and breakdown of each of the hiking routes.

Factors that determine which route is best for you on Mount KIlimanjaro. 

Which is the most scenic route on Mount Kilimanjaro?

Answer: Lemosho Route is the most scenic. The route starts from the west, is the most scenic route among all the routes since it offers spectacular views of the mountain from different directions. 

If you want the highest chance of summiting Uhuru peak, the best route to climb Kilimanjaro is the Lemosho route and Machame route for 7 or 8 days. These give excellent acclimatization and an easier summit night.

Most challenging route?
Answer: Staying at the crater camp is the best option if you are looking at the most challenging route because almost 1% of the hikers make it to the summit, and you need special permission to use this route.

Which is the quietest route? The Rongai route is the quietest route on Mount Kilimanjaro, and it is the only route that approaches the mountain from the north.

The most popular route on Kilimanjaro?

Answer: It is Machame is the most popular Kilimanjaro route.

Which is shortest route to climb Mount Kilimanjaro?
Answer: It is Umbwe is the shortest, hardest, and steepest route on Kilimanjaro.

Which route on Kilimanjaro has the best Accommodation? 
Answer: It is Marangu, which is the only route that offers hut accommodation.

Which route on Kilimanjaro has the Acclimatization?

Answer:  Machame, Lemosho, and the Northern Circuit offer the best acclimatization to hikers.

Marangu Route: 70 km

Which is the best route to climb KilimanjaroThis is commonly known as the Coca-Cola route (because Coca-Cola soda used to be sold in all the dormitory huts along the route) or the tourist route due to its popularity among tourists because many believe that it is the easiest route on Mount Kilimanjaro. The Marangu route is the oldest and the only route on the mountain that has dormitory-style huts, unlike others where only camping can be carried out.

At a distance of 70km, the Marangu route can be hiked in five or six days with a steady and gradual climb. The beauty of using the Marangu route is that hikers can get to the summit in a short period and have good accommodations.

The downsides of using the Marangu route include not being more scenic since you have to use the same route for the ascent and descent, being always crowded, especially during the peak season, not offering proper acclimatization, causing altitude sickness symptoms, and having a low success rate.

If you are not a fan of camping throughout the week and do not mind crowds, then the Marangu route is the best option for you.

Rongai route: 74 km

Starting from the north of Mount Kilimanjaro, Rongai is the easiest route on the mountain and the most preferred to use during the wet season since it receives little or no rainfall. It is one of the shorter hikes up Mount Kilimanjaro because it ascends much faster compared to other routes. It still has low traffic, although it is gaining popularity with hikers who would wish to hike in a remote and quiet environment away from the busy and more crowded routes.

Rongai’s scenery is not as varied as the routes in the west, but it makes up for it as it goes through the wilderness, giving hikers a chance to spot a few wild animals. It is a moderately difficult hike taking a minimum of either six or seven days (we highly recommend seven days), and it is recommended for hikers with less hiking experience. The Rongai route does not offer proper acclimatization as it does not usually follow the climb-high and sleep-low pattern, comes with a fully catered camping experience, and has an extremely tough hike on summit day.

Umbwe route: 48 km

The Umbwe Route is the shortest hike on Mount Kilimanjaro and, at the same time, the most difficult hike, which should only be attempted by hikers who have enough experience with altitude hiking and are confident. Umbwe is a steep climb and does not offer proper stages of acclimatization, which makes the summit success rate very low. It is a rarely used hike that can be hiked in five or seven days, comes with low traffic, and we usually discourage hikers from using this route.

Lemosho route: 67 km

The Lemosho route is one of the most recently introduced routes on Mount Kilimanjaro and is almost similar to the Shira route since it was introduced to make a better starting point for hikers who were using the Shira route, which starts at a high altitude. The Lemosho route starts from the west, crossing the Shira ridge to Shira camp, and for the first few days, hikers encounter traffic and only start meeting other hikers when they join the Machame route.

This is considered to be the most beautiful Kilimanjaro route, where hikers get panoramic views of the mountain from different angles. It is a highly recommended route that has a high success rate, a good and proper acclimatization process with the climb high and sleeps low process, great scenery, and low traffic.

Northern circuit: 88 km

The Northern Circuit is a highly recommended route for all hikers, has the highest success rate, and is the longest route on Mount Kilimanjaro with an 88-kilometer distance. This is the most recently introduced route approaching the mountain from the west, and the hike follows the Lemosho route at the start (first two days), but unlike Lemosho, which follows the southern side, the northern circuit branches and follows the rarely used and hiked northern slopes.

The Northern Circuit can be hiked in eight or nine days, offering hikers good acclimatization with the climb-high and sleep-low process. The route has a low number of hikers, and the beautiful scenery makes it one of the best routes to use for a Kilimanjaro hike.

Shira route: 58 km

Also approaching Mount Kilimanjaro from the west, the Shira route was the original route before the introduction of the Lemosho route to improve the starting point of the hike and add variation. Shira is a more varied route as compared to the Lemosho route; however, we recommend the Lemosho route over the Shira route because the former offers better acclimatization and hikers start getting altitude sickness symptoms right from the first day of the hike, which starts at around 3600m above sea level.

Shira Route can be hiked in six or seven days, but we highly recommend the seven days for proper acclimatization. And although there are fewer people on the Shira route as compared to the Machame trail, Shira is still more expensive.

Machame route: 61 km

Also known as the Whiskey Routes, Machame is one of the most popular routes on Mount Kilimanjaro, more difficult than the Marangu route, and one that we highly recommend. It is a hiking route that is best suited for adventurous hikers and those who have prior experience with steeper mountain climbs. The route is good for acclimatization because you get to climb high and sleep low, you get to take on the Barranco Wall, and it is the route that will take you to the highest point on the African continent.

The Machame Route starts from the south, with the hike continuing to the east through the different zones before summit day. It offers beautiful scenery; the minimum number of days it can be hiked is 6 and 7, with the 7 days being highly recommended. Due to the heavy traffic experienced on the Machame route, especially during the dry season, the route becomes too crowded, losing some of its splendor.

Whichever route you decide to use, make sure that you are mentally and physically prepared for the hike. To have a successful climb, you should have the right hiking gear, hike slowly, and acclimatize to avoid altitude sickness.

Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and with the large crowds attempting the climb every year, it is best to note that this is not just a walk in the park and you need to be well prepared for the climb. Things that you need to know about Mount Kilimanjaro before climbing include the following.

Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain (free-standing) in the world. It is 5,895 meters high and as with most mountains that are part of other mighty ranges, Kilimanjaro is an isolated mountain which allows you to see it from an extremely far away distance.

It is a cod place! Know how the internet and people keep on saying that Africa is hot, well when you get to Mount Kilimanjaro, the cold that hits you is different because the moment that you get there and start elevation, the temperature keeps on dropping automatically. During the day, the sun is up and it is a bit warm as compared to the nights and that is why we advise tourists to carry both warm and light clothes for the hike.

Over 2500 people attempt to climb Mount Kilimanjaro per year and only two thirds are successful. One of the main reasons why many people fail to get to the summit is because of the altitude sickness that forces them to descend. Note that altitude sickness is real and extremely dangerous, meaning that it needs to be taken care of with immediate effect. What to know Kilimanjaro climbing

Mount Kilimanjaro is not an extinct volcano but a stratovolcano, which means that the mountain is filled with rock, ash, and lava. A volcano is considered dormant if it has not erupted in over 100,000 years, and the same applies to Kibo. The last eruption on Mount Kilimanjaro was about 360,000 years ago, and climbers who take the two-hour trip around the ash pit from the crater camp get to experience the smell of sulphur when around the ash pit.

Kilimanjaro has three extinct volcanic cones: Shira (about 3962 meters high), Kibo (5895 meters), and Mawenzi (5149 meters).

The first attempt at climbing Mount Kilimanjaro was made in 1889 by Hans Mayer, a German geologist, Kinyala Yohani Lauwo, the local guide, and an Australian named Ludwig Purtscheller. The first attempt, however, was not successful because they encountered lots of snow and ice walls, which forced them to descend. Meyer tried a second time but was still not successful after being captured by the locals who were rebelling against the Germans during the Abushiri Revolt. The third successful attempt was in the year 1889, and this time Meyer attempted with the help of two local tribe leaders, a local guide, a cook, and nine porters who reached the summit from the southern side of the crater via the current Marangu route.

Any person, regardless of their age, can climb Mount Kilimanjaro, as the different old people aged 86 years in 2015 (Angela Vorobeva), 88 years in 2007 (Fred Distelhorst at the Uhuru peak), and 89 years in 2017 (Anne Lorimor) have shown. The National Park Authority has set a minimum age of 10 years for hikers up Kilimanjaro. Coaltan Tanner has so far been the youngest hiker on Kilimanjaro since his parents made a special request and obtained permission.

Mount Kilimanjaro has seven official routes that can be used to reach the summit, and climbers can use any of these routes. Note that some of these routes are not favourable, and you need to check our website about the best routes for hiking Mount Kilimanjaro. The southern routes include Umbwe, Machame, and Marangu; the northern routes include Rongai; and the western routes include the Northern Circuit, which starts from the west and circles around the North; and the Lemosho and Shira routes.

All the main routes on Mount Kilimanjaro end up at the main base camps where the summit attempt begins. There are three main routes to the summit, and these are the Western Breach, which is the most technical from the west, Stella Point from the south, and Gillman’s Point from the south (this is the most used route).

Mount Kilimanjaro has five major zones, and this is due to the fact that it lies along the equator. The journey up the mountain is like taking a walk from the equator to the North Pole. The different zones along Mount Kilimanjaro include the rainforest zone, low alpine zone, high alpine zone, and glacial zone.

Book through a local tour company to get an authentic and great experience while hiking. The Tanzanian government clearly stipulates that you must be able to hire a local guide to be able to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Locally registered companies know the ins and outs of the mountain and the best routes to use, and for an additional cost, you can take an exclusive safari to the different national parks in Tanzania.

Make sure that you do not limit your budget when it comes to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. The fact is that you will not find a trip below $1000, but it can go as high as $3000 or more. The fee usually includes transport, food, and accommodation, excluding personal purchases and international flights. And as you plan for the climb, please do not forget to tip the porters. Bring between $400 and $500 in cash (it is better if it is in Tanzanian shillings), as the wages paid help the porters support their families.

With a good mountain guide, you will be able to achieve acclimatization as long as you take it slowly. Hikers respond differently to altitude, with some facing severe sickness as their bodies find difficulty adjusting to the pressure. You will often hear guides say “pole-pole” which is loosely translated as “slowly-slowly (this is to make sure that you achieve acclimatization at your own pace without falling sick).

Is Mount Kilimanjaro climbing safe? Read more about how safe Mt Kilimanjaro is.

Do not forget your gear; carry all the necessary medications and a first aid kit; and if possible, pay for an optional bathroom that will be located outside your tent.