Mount Kilimanjaro takes pride in being the highest point in Africa. Mount Kilimanjaro is a free-standing mountain rising to an altitude of 5,895m (19,341ft) making it a top priority hiking point in Africa, especially in Tanzania safaris tours. Kilimanjaro mountain is the highest free-standing mountain in the world Mount Kilimanjaro is within the East African region in the country of Tanzania (East Africa’s largest country, 947, 303km2) and lies along with coordinates 03004’33’’ S and 37021’12’’E south of the equator. Being a national treasure, the mountain is in a protected area within Kilimanjaro National park. The mountain has three (3) distinct volcanic cones hiked by tourists on mountaineering safaris in Tanzania which are Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira. Kibo is the highest peak at 5,895m with Uhuru peak as the highest summit on Kibo’s crater rim, Mawenzi is 5,149m (16,893ft) and shira is 4,005m (13,140ft) with a broad plateau at 3,800m (12,500ft). Mawenzi and Shira peaks are extinct whereas Kibo is dormant and could probably erupt again, it’s the largest cone more than 15m (24km) wide. Mawenzi and kibo are separated at 4,400m (14,400ft) by a saddle plateau.
Whether for a first-timer or an experienced traveler, mountain hiking or climbing can be a strenuous activity and when it comes to Mount Kilimanjaro you need to know these useful mountain hiking tips. Taking pride in being the highest point in Africa 5,895m (19,341ft), Mount Kilimanjaro is within the East African region in the country of Tanzania (East Africa’s largest country, 947, 303km2). Mount Kilimanjaro lies along with coordinates 03004’33’’ S and 37021’12’’E south of the equator. In Tanzania, the mountain rises in the Kilimanjaro region north east of the country near Moshi town. With a lot of preciousness and being a national treasure, the mountain is in a protected area within Kilimanjaro National Park that covering about 1,688 km² and a popular Tanzania safari destination. Mountain hiking isn’t in most cases a single days’ activity especially taking about 5 to 9 days depending on your hiking ability. Hiking isn’t just for a trip but has much more benefits for those who choose to undertake it since the body relaxes and reduces stress. Hiking isn’t an easy safari activity and therefore requires planning just like any other trip.
What to know for Mountain Hikers or climbers
Mountain climbers or hikers should be reasonably fit and without heart or lung problems. This is because hiking is a rigorous activity and requires use of energy to get to the peak. And also remember the higher you go the cooler it becomes therefore health can be at risk with the temperatures and no good housing since you camp on the mountain during the hike.
At 3,000m above sea level, hikers may not feel hungry but they should always try to eat because you require energy to get to the peak and return. Carbohydrates and fruits are recommended whereas rich or fatty foods are discouraged since they are harder to digest. Throughout the hike, always keep hydrated.
Take at least three litters of water daily since dehydration is one of the major reasons for failure to complete the climb. You will definitely lose some water during the hike when you get sweaty.
While starting the hike, you have a lot of strength however, don’t hike for so many meters because you may lose it all. Hike to an advisable height then relax and wait for the next day to continue with the hike.
What to Pack for a Mountain Hiking trip
Consider water proof hiking Shoes: Your hiking with your legs therefore they should be priority. The nature of shoes also determines the distance that you will comfortably cover and the health of your feet after the hike. Let the only pain that you will experience be the unavoidable muscle pain and not pain caused by inappropriate shoes.
Carry Food Substance: Hiking requires energy but many hikers tend to carry snacks rather than take food. Fortunately, on a hike to Mount Kilimanjaro you can go along with porters who can provide food by cooking at the camping points. If you don’t eat well during a hike you may return home to fall sick and regret your choice of safari.
Carry Enough Drinking Water: Water covers a larger percentage in the human body fluids which makes it a substance that cannot be ignored. Lack of water may result in dehydration which is accompanied by side effects such as drying of lips and stomach disorders. Carry enough water to keep you hydrated all through your hiking.
Don’t Forget Warm Waterproof Clothing: Warm clothing may sound ridiculous for people hiking for the first time. You need something to warm you through the night while you are resting and waterproof in case it rains or during the obvious morning dew. If you want to avoid arthritis, chest problems, common cold and any diseases resulting from exposure to coldness, warm waterproof clothing should never be neglected.
A hike to Mount Kilimanjaro on a Tanzania tour can be tailored to any of your safaris in Tanzania. Either on a wildlife safari in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara National Park or any other destination, hiking Mount Kilimanjaro can be a great option.
Tips on how to get in shape for a Mount Kilimanjaro hiking trip
Whether first time or seasoned hikers, many therefore ask how to best get ready for a Mount Kilimanjaro hiking trip, and here is how.
- Do basic training
Just to warm up your muscles and get your heart rate up for the hike especially if you haven’t been active for a while, you should start with basic training. These training are inclusive but not limited to running or walking in sand, standing on a tennis ball, do squats and lunges, do push-ups, do step-ups with your backpacks as you add in 5 pounds each week till it’s as heavy as your backpack and you can make 700 steps in 30 minutes. These exercises will help you build the muscles that protect your knees and ankles. Two of the most common injuries on a hiking trip are ankle rolling and ankle sprains and with these exercises, you can avoid them and return from your hiking safari in Tanzania safe.
- Take a day hike
For a first-timer trying out the adventure of a hiking trip, when the weather is good, you can opt for a day’s hike. However, before you push yourself harder, if you haven’t been active a lot you scan start with taking a walk two to three times a week while carrying a light day pack. On the day’s hike, wear the same shoes that you’ll be wearing during the hike (just to make sure you will be comfortable during the hike).
- Train how to downsa lope too
You may wonder why but then. on a hiking trip, you will definitely have to slope back down, but this isn’t just about sloping. Downhill hiking is tough on your legs, toes, and especially knees. During the downhill hike, your body is holding its own weight back, plus whatever you have in your backpack, to avoid falling. This repeated pressure can lead to injury yet rolling over rocks and uneven surfaces can also strain joints. While preparing for your hiking trip to Mount Elgon, hike downslope too, to ensure that you can do it right with your shoes and the backpack too.
- Choose the right hiking shoes
Whether you are an experienced hiker, your footwear can be a determinant to your hiking adventure. Choose a hiking boot that will protect and support your feet and ankles because if it doesn’t you will want to get it off your feet before the hike ends. While buying your shoe choose one that is good for both hiking and makes your packing easy. Do your research early, fit into the shoe and hike for a day with the shoe just to ensure you don’t have your hiking trip messed.
- Plan for altitude sickness
Geographically it’s said the higher you go the cooler it becomes and with the energy invested in the hike, you can probably get sick since oxygen reduces towards the peak. The best way of beating altitude sickness is by giving yourself time to acclimate to the elevation by gradually climbing slowly. You can do this by spreading the number of days on have a long Tanzania tour/ Tanzania trip. The other way is also by drinking plenty of water, eat a lot, keep your pace slow and in case it completely fails then go down to a lower altitude. It hurts to retreat from your hike but then your health is important as well. For simple headache always pack some medication after consulting a physician.
- Plan to trek with friends
Trekking along with a friend is also a good way to go. The company can help you calm down.
- Pack the right clothes
Wear comfortable clothes in layers that you can remove or add as needed. If you are hiking in an area where the weather is changeable, pack rain gear. Also wear a hat, hand gloves and sunscreen. Planning right for your safari can really be rewarding, with no order to keep these tips in mind and any other personal tips thought possible.
Many tourists on Tanzania wildlife safari tours would love to hike Mount Kilimanjaro but are scared of the height but this should not scare away hikers, Mount Elgon National Park in Uganda offers a great family hike to Mount Elgon peak at an altitude of 4,321 m above sea level. Tailoring in for a Uganda safari /Uganda trip/ Uganda tour/ Uganda safari tour/ safari in Uganda/ safari to Uganda can easily be planned and connected by a chartered flight.
Best time for a Mountain Hiking trip to Mount Kilimanjaro
The best time of the year for hiking Mount Kilimanjaro is during the dry months of January/-February or August-September when the mountain is not so much slippery. The park, however, is open to hiking tours in Tanzania all year round.