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How To Climb Kilimanjaro: A Beginner’s Guide

Travelers Today       By    Rea Gabriel

Updated: Nov 11, 2016 04:13 AM EST

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The top of Mt Kilimanjaro
The top of Mt Kilimanjaro
(Photo: Flickr)

Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa, rising 5895 meters above sea level. This place is famous with hikers as it's the highest free-standing mountain in the world (and is the highest mountain on the African continent!). The best thing about this place is that you don't have to be an expert in order to climb it! If you're a beginner who wants to conquer this beautiful mountain, here are some of the important things you need to know. 

1.       Make yourself fit.

Although this isn't particularly needed, it is still important to be fit for the hike. Most climbers who attempt to reach the summit are sent back down because of acclimatization and only a fourth of a whole group actually finish the trek. Reaching the top really depends on how your body will adjust to Kilimanjaro's demanding nature. Being fit increases your chance of surviving a week long hike.

2.       Choose your operators wisely.

Even if you want to go alone, which is not recommended for beginners, it is recommended that climbers should book through agency. There are a lot of agencies that offer different services. It is up to you to choose as they offer amenities like providing a comfortable hike by setting up everything for you, giving discounts or cancellations if you did not finish the hike, and many others. They will also tell you guidelines and tell you wnat you need to bring for the hike.

3.       Choose a route.

There are several routes that cater to different types of climbers. If you want to have lesser company than the normal group of a hundred people, you could choose the less treaded passage which are Lemosho and Umbwe route. If you are more comfortable in a crowd, choose the widely used route which are Machame and Rongai.

4.       Always follow your guide.

What the guides will always tell you is to take it slow and steady. Reaching the summit is not a race of who will get to the top faster. Remember that your number one enemy here is not the others but the mountain. Your body should have time to adjust itself and to acclimatize well. The guides will always encourage you to take a slow pace and just enjoy the nature and the scenery while hiking.

5.      Get ready to do the trek for days.

You will reach the summit after six to seven days, and not everyone who joins the climb will finish it. Most of them have problems acclimatizing or getting headaches, nausea, and other health problems. That is why it is advised to take it slow even if it takes you days to reach the peak because no matter who comes first, Kilimanjaro will never disappoint and will always give you a sense of satisfaction and wonder if you finish it.

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