Best Kilimanjaro guides for Beginners

best tour operator in tanzania

By William  2023

Kilimanjaro climbing : A beginners guide

Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa, standing at 5,895 meters (19,341 feet) tall. Located in Tanzania, Kilimanjaro is a stratovolcano that is composed of three distinct volcanic cones: Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira. It is the highest free-standing mountain in the world, meaning it is not part of a mountain range.

Kilimanjaro is a popular climb for both experienced and beginner mountaineers because it is one of the Seven Summits, the highest peaks on each of the seven continents. It is also considered a “non-technical” climb, meaning that ropes and technical climbing skills are not required to reach the summit. However, it should not be underestimated – the climb is still physically demanding and can be challenging due to the high altitude. In addition to its status as a Seven Summit and its relative accessibility, Kilimanjaro is also a popular climb because of its stunning natural beauty.

The mountain is home to a variety of ecosystems, including rainforest, moorland, and alpine desert, and the views from the summit are breathtaking. Climbing Kilimanjaro is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that combines physical challenge with the opportunity to witness some of the world’s most breathtaking natural scenery.

Kilimanjaro  beginners guide
Kilimanjaro Mt

Planning and preparation

Before beginning the climb, it is important to properly plan and prepare. This includes obtaining necessary visas and vaccinations, training for the physical demands of the climb, and packing appropriate gear and clothing. It is also a good idea to read up on the different Kilimanjaro climbing routes and consider factors such as difficulty level, length, and scenery when choosing a route. Proper planning and preparation can increase the chances of a successful and enjoyable climb.

Kilimanjaro rock
Kilimanjaro Rock

Obtain necessary visas and vaccinations

Obtaining visas and vaccinations is an important step in the planning process for a climb of Kilimanjaro. Depending on your country of origin, you may need to apply for a visa in order to enter Tanzania.  Visa application can be applied upon arrival in Tanzania or online via Tanzania Immigration Department

 It is important to research the visa requirements for your specific situation and to allow plenty of time for the visa application process. At Williamson Adventures, we can assist you with the visa application process, so it is a good idea to check with us for further assistance. Read more about our article about visa applications in Tanzania

In addition to a visa, it is also important to make sure you are up-to-date on your vaccinations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that travelers to Tanzania receive vaccinations for Rabies, Hepatitis A and B, and yellow fever if coming from a country with a high risk of disease.

It is a good idea to start the process of obtaining visas and vaccinations well in advance of your trip to ensure that you have everything you need in place before your departure.

Sunrise Kilimanjaro
Sunrise Kilimanjaro

Train for the physical demands of the climb

Training for the physical demands of a climb of Kilimanjaro is an important part of the preparation process. Kilimanjaro is a physically demanding undertaking, and it is important to be in good physical shape in order to have the strength and endurance to complete the climb. There are several ways to train for the physical demands of Kilimanjaro, including:

Stella Point
Stella Point

Hiking: One of the best ways to train for Kilimanjaro is to go on long hikes and gradually increase your distance and elevation gain over time. This will help build your leg strength and endurance, as well as your cardiovascular fitness.

Running: Running is another excellent way to improve your cardiovascular fitness and leg strength. Start by running short distances and gradually increase your distance over time.

Strength training: In addition to cardiovascular fitness, it is also important to build strength in your legs, core, and upper body. Strength training exercises like squats, lunges, and push-ups can help you build the strength you need for the climb.

Stair climbing: Stair climbing is another good way to train for the demands of Kilimanjaro. You can find a staircase or a set of bleachers and climb up and down repeatedly to build leg strength and endurance.

By incorporating these types of training into your routine, you can improve your physical fitness and be better prepared for the demands of the climb.  read more about our article about training Kilimanjaro

Training for Kilimanjaro

Acclimatization and altitude sickness

Acclimatization is the process of adjusting to the decrease in oxygen at high altitudes. It is an important factor to consider when climbing Kilimanjaro, as the mountain reaches an altitude of 5,895 meters (19,341 feet) at its summit. Without proper acclimatization, climbers are at increased risk of developing altitude sickness.

Altitude sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS), is a condition that can occur when you ascend to high altitudes too quickly. It is caused by the reduced air pressure and lower levels of oxygen at high altitudes, which can affect the body’s ability to function properly. Symptoms of altitude sickness can include headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, and nausea. In severe cases, it can be life-threatening.

To prevent altitude sickness and ensure a successful climb, it is important to allow your body time to acclimatize as you ascend Kilimanjaro. This can be achieved through a process called “altitude acclimatization,” which involves ascending gradually, giving your body time to adjust to the lower levels of oxygen. At Williamson, we have a plan in place to help our clients acclimatize properly, which may include scheduling rest days at different altitudes.

In addition to altitude acclimatization, there are other measures you can take to prevent altitude sickness:

Kilimanjaro hike
Kilimanajro Hike

Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water to help your body acclimatize and flush out toxins.

Avoid alcohol and heavy meals: Alcohol and heavy meals can dehydrate your body and make it harder to acclimatize.

Take it slow: Don’t push yourself too hard. It’s better to take your time and acclimatize properly than to rush and risk getting altitude sickness.

Group Trek Kilimanjaro

Pack appropriate gear and clothing

Packing appropriate gear and clothing is an essential part of the preparation process for climbing Kilimanjaro. The right gear and clothing can help ensure that you are comfortable and safe during the climb, while the wrong gear can hinder your performance and even put you at risk.

Smile at Kilimanjaro
Shira Camp

Some of the essential items to pack for a climb of Kilimanjaro include:

Hiking boots: Choose a sturdy and reliable pair of hiking boots that provide good foot support and protection.

Warm layers: Kilimanjaro can be cold, especially at high altitudes, so it is important to pack warm layers such as fleece jackets and thermal tops.

Rain gear: Rain is common on Kilimanjaro, so it is important to pack a reliable rain jacket and pants.

Sun protection: The sun can be strong at high altitudes, so it is important to pack sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect your skin and eyes.

Headlamp: A headlamp is essential for the early morning summit attempt, as well as for camping and navigating in the dark.

Water bottles: It is important to stay hydrated during the climb, so pack at least two water bottles and a water purification system.

Snacks: Pack high-energy snacks such as nuts, jerky,

Read more about the Gear Kilimanjaro List

lemosho route
Climber with proper gears

Choosing a route

There are several different routes up Kilimanjaro, and each one offers a unique experience. Some of the most popular routes include the Machame, Lemosho, Marangu, Rongai, and Umbwe routes. Here is a brief overview of each route:

Machame route: The Machame route is also known as the “Whiskey Route,” and it is considered one of the most scenic routes up Kilimanjaro. It is a longer route than some of the others, with a duration of 6-7 days, and it is considered a more challenging option. The Machame route offers beautiful views of the mountain and a varied landscape, including rainforest, moorland, and alpine desert.

Lemosho route: The Lemosho route is a longer route that offers a more remote and peaceful experience. It is considered a less crowded option than some of the other routes, and it offers beautiful views of the mountain and the surrounding landscape. The duration of the Lemosho route is usually 7-8 days.

Marangu route: The Marangu route is also known as the “Coca-Cola Route,” and it is the shortest and easiest option for climbing Kilimanjaro. It is a good option for beginners or those who are short on time. The Marangu route is the only route that offers huts for accommodation, rather than tents. The duration of the Marangu route is usually 5-6 days.

 

Kilimanjaro Vegetation

Rongai route: The Rongai route is a good option for those looking for a less crowded and more remote experience. It is a longer route, with a duration of 6-7 days, and it offers beautiful views of the mountain and the surrounding landscape. The Rongai route is considered a moderate option in terms of difficulty.

Umbwe route: The Umbwe route is a shorter and more challenging option, with a duration of 5-6 days. It is a more direct route to the summit and offers beautiful views of the mountain and the surrounding landscape. The Umbwe route is not recommended for beginners due to its steep and strenuous nature.

Northern Circuit Route: The Northern Circuit route is the longest route to Kilimanjaro. It is also the most scenic, as it takes you around the entire mountain. The Northern Circuit route is a good option for people who want to experience the full range of what Kilimanjaro has to offer. The route starts in the west of Kilimanjaro and ascends the mountain through the Shira Plateau. The Northern Circuit route is a good option for people who want a challenging climb with stunning views.

Shira Route: The Shira route is the least popular route to Kilimanjaro. It is also the most challenging, as it has the highest starting elevation. The Shira route is a good option for people who want a more remote and challenging climb. The route starts in the west of Kilimanjaro and ascends the mountain through the Shira Plateau. The Shira route is a good option for people who want a challenging climb with stunning views.

When choosing a route for your climb of Kilimanjaro, it is important to consider factors such as the difficulty level, duration, and scenery. It is also a good idea to choose the longer route that is appropriate for your skill, fitness level and acclimatization

7 days Machame Route
Machame Kilimanajaro

The climb:

During the climb of Kilimanjaro, there are several things that you can do to increase your chances of a successful and enjoyable experience. Some tips for a successful climb include:

Stay hydrated: It is important to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated during the climb. Dehydration can lead to a variety of problems, including altitude sickness and muscle cramps, so make sure to drink enough water.

Pace yourself: Kilimanjaro is a long and physically demanding climb, and it is important to pace yourself and take breaks as needed. Don’t try to push yourself too hard – listen to your body and take it slow while following your guide.

Eat well: We make sure you eat nourishing meals during the climb to fuel your body and keep your energy levels up. But it’s recommended to Pack some high-energy snacks such as energy bars or trail mix to eat on the go.At Williamson Adventures we normally prepare the food that will help you to reach your goals

lemosho kilimanjaro
hiking

Stay mentally positive: Climbing Kilimanjaro is a mentally challenging undertaking, and it is important to stay mentally positive and focused. Practice positive visualization, set achievable goals, and remind yourself of your motivation for the climb.

Stay warm and dry: The weather on Kilimanjaro can be unpredictable, and it is important to stay warm and dry to avoid getting cold or sick. We will make sure you pack appropriate gear and clothing during the hike

By following these tips, you can increase your chances of a successful and enjoyable climb of Kilimanjaro. It is important to remember that climbing Kilimanjaro is a physically and mentally demanding undertaking, but with proper training and preparation, and the support of our guide and porter, you can successfully tackle this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

Uhuru Peak Kilimanjaro
Mount Kilimanajro Summit

Summit day:

Summit day is the final push to the top of Kilimanjaro, and it is typically the most physically and mentally challenging part of the climb. The summit attempt usually begins in the early morning hours, with the goal of reaching the summit in time for sunrise. The ascent to the summit is steep and strenuous, and it can be physically and mentally challenging. It is important to pace yourself, stay hydrated, and focus on your goal of reaching the top. The summit of Kilimanjaro is a small, exposed area with limited space, so you may have to wait your turn to take a photo or enjoy the views. The summit of Kilimanjaro is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and the sense of accomplishment and the breathtaking views from the top are well worth the effort.

Descent and post-climb recovery:

After reaching the summit, it is important to take the descent back down the mountain slowly and carefully. It is common to feel tired and exhausted after the summit attempt, and it is important to rest and hydrate during the descent. It is also a good idea to have a plan in place for post-climb recovery, including getting plenty of rest, staying hydrated, and eating nourishing meals. It is also a good idea to celebrate your accomplishment with your fellow climbers and guides. Climbing Kilimanjaro is a physically and mentally challenging experience, but it is also an incredibly rewarding and unforgettable adventure

Uhuru Peak View

Climbing Kilimanjaro is an exciting and challenging adventure that is within reach for beginners with proper training and preparation. By, obtaining necessary visas and vaccinations, training for the physical demands of the climb, and packing appropriate gear and clothing, beginners can successfully tackle this once-in-a-lifetime adventure. The climb itself is divided into several stages, each with its own challenges and rewards, and it is important to properly acclimatize and take precautions to prevent altitude sickness.

Summit day is the final push to the top and is typically the most physically and mentally challenging part of the climb. After reaching the summit, it is important to descend slowly and carefully and to have a plan in place for post-climb recovery. The sense of accomplishment and the stunning natural beauty of Kilimanjaro make it a rewarding and unforgettable experience.

Want to know more about Tanzania adventures?
Contact our team! We have been to all of the top destinations in this land. Our Kilimanjaro-based adventure consultants will gladly share our travel tips and help you plan the trip.

SIMILAR POSTS

Here are some other posts you might like

migration safari Safari blog

8 Tips to Witness the Spectacular Great Migration Calving Season

By William 2023Welcome to the spectacular event of the wildebeest calving season, an awe-inspiring spectacle orchestrated by nature herself. Williamson...
Read More
Zanzibar Blog

Best Things to Do in Zanzibar: the Top Zanzibar Island Activities

By William 2023Welcome to Zanzibar, the tropical paradise where history, culture, and natural beauty converge to create an unforgettable experience....
Read More
Zanzibar Blog

Thanda Island

By William 2023Welcome to Thanda Island, a secluded oasis nestled in the glistening waters of the Indian Ocean. If you...
Read More
Zanzibar Blog

Tides in Zanzibar

By William 2023Welcome to the captivating island of Zanzibar, where breathtaking beaches and turquoise waters meet a fascinating natural wonder...
Read More
Zanzibar Blog

Spice Tour in Zanzibar

By William 2023Welcome to the captivating island of Zanzibar, where history, culture, and tantalizing aromas come together on the famous...
Read More
Zanzibar Blog

What Island to Choose for a Beach Vacation in Tanzania?

By William 2023Tanzania's stunning coastline is adorned with a treasure trove of exotic islands, each offering a unique blend of...
Read More
Zanzibar Blog

The Best Time to Visit Tanzania’s Zanzibar Beaches

By William 2023 When is the best time to visit Zanzibar? When is the best time to visit Zanzibar? The...
Read More
Kilimanjaro blogs

Food on Kilimanjaro Climbing

Food on Kilimanjaro Climbing By William 2023 What do you eat when climbing Kilimanjaro? Nestled in the heart of East...
Read More
Kilimanjaro blogs

Guides for Choosing the Best Kilimanjaro Climbing Duffle Bag

The Ultimate Guide for Choosing the Best Kilimanjaro Climbing Duffle Bag By William 2023 Duffle Bags for Kilimanjaro Climbing Mount...
Read More
Kilimanjaro blogs

10 Best Daypacks for Climbing Kilimanjaro

Best Daypacks Recommended for Climbing Kilimanjaro By William 2023 Best Kilimanjaro Hiking Daypacks of 2023 Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak...
Read More
Safari blog

Vaccinations and Immunizations Before Your Trip to Tanzania

Essential Vaccinations and Immunizations Before Your Trip to Tanzania By William 2023 Vaccinations and Immunizations Tanzania Planning a trip to...
Read More
Kilimanjaro blogs Zanzibar Packages

Combining Kilimanjaro Climbing and Zanzibar Packages

Combining Kilimanjaro Climbing and Zanzibar Packages By William 2023 Combining Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar Packages Africa, the land of mesmerizing landscapes,...
Read More
Safari Package Zanzibar Packages

Combining Safari Tours and Zanzibar Packages

Combining Safari Tours and Zanzibar Packages By William 2023 Combining Safari and Zanzibar Packages East Africa is a region known...
Read More
Kilimanjaro blogs Safari blog

Kilimanjaro Climbing and Safari

Combining Kilimanjaro Climbing and Safari Tours By William 2023 Kilimanjaro and Safari Africa, the mesmerizing continent of vast landscapes, rich...
Read More
Kilimanjaro blogs

Understanding Altitude on Kilimanjaro

Understanding Altitude on Kilimanjaro: Tips for a Successful Climb By William 2023 Understanding Altitude on Kilimanjaro Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is...
Read More
Kilimanjaro blogs

Kilimanjaro Climbing Expeditions

Kilimanjaro Climb Expeditions:Challenges, Rewards, and Adventure By William 2023 Kilimanjaro climb: Challenges, Rewards, and Adventure Embarking on a Kilimanjaro climbing...
Read More
Safari blog

Why You Should Choose Tanzania for Your Next Safari Adventure

Why You Should Choose Tanzania for Your Next Safari By William 2023 Why You Should Choose Tanzania for Your Next...
Read More
Safari blog

Best Tanzania Safari Destinations

Best Tanzania Safari Destinations By William 2023 Best Tanzania Safari Destinations Tanzania, known as the crown jewel of African safaris,...
Read More
Safari blog

Tanzania’s Big Five Safari

Tanzania's Big Five Safari By William on December 31 A Journey through Tanzania's Big Five Safari Embarking on a safari...
Read More
Safari blog

A Complete Guide For a Safari in Tanzania

A Complete Guide for a Safari in Tanzania By William 2023 Complete Guide for a Safari in Tanzania Welcome to...
Read More
{"dots":"true","arrows":"true","autoplay":"true","autoplay_interval":3000,"speed":600,"loop":"true","design":"design-2"}
best tour operator in tanzania

About the Author

William is a Tanzanian Safari and Kilimanjaro expert motivated to write about his Safari and Kilimanjaro Trekking experience because of his passion for adventures. Through his stories and articles, William sought to inspire others to experience the thrill of adventure and to appreciate the beauty of  Africa around them.

TESTIMONIALS

What Our Clients Say About Us

LCF20130907
LCF20130907
2023-08-30
7-Day Migration Safari with Williamson: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience! My friend and I had a 7-day migration safari (River Crossing) with Williamson Adventures exceeded our expectations. The captivating sights of wildebeest herds were absolutely breathtaking, a true testament to the wonders of nature. Our knowledgeable guide Raymond made the experience even more remarkable with his deep understanding of the wildlife and their behaviors. The seamless combination of the safari with a day trip to Materuni Waterfall and Coffee Tour added a perfect touch of cultural immersion. The lush greenery and the thundering waterfall were a sight to behold, and the coffee tour was enlightening. Williamson's team orchestrated a flawless journey, ensuring comfort and safety throughout. This safari was a life-changing experience, and I'm incredibly grateful to William and his team for making it so exceptional.
Vi_X
Vi_X
2023-08-30
Unforgettable experience in Tanzania The Ultimate Tanzanian Safari and Cultural Experience! I can't thank Williamson enough for the incredible 7-day migration safari adventure. Witnessing the Great Migration in person was an awe-inspiring spectacle, and Raymond Our Guide added an educational layer that deepened our appreciation. His passion for wildlife is contagious! The highlight was coupling this safari with a day trip to Materuni Waterfall and Coffee Tour. The waterfall's beauty left us speechless, and the coffee tour was a delightful insight into the local culture. The Accommodation during our safari experience was top notch, thank you William for organizing our trip and his team was amazing! I am going to miss Tanzania ❤️ # one of my best trip ever # amazing travel experiences # lots laughs & fun during the trip # unforgettable moments
Edson B
Edson B
2023-07-23
Incredible Safari in Tanzania We did a 5 day Incredible honeymoon safari with Williamson Adventures , we were researching good company for our safari It is our luck to go with them the communication was smooth, we exchanged so many texts until we reached the conclusion . The guide Allan was knowledgeable who knows alot about animals and plants his driving skill was exceptional on the rough road on the way to Serengeti national park , The accommodations were good during our safari we will recommend Williamson Adventures to our family and friends .
Juliane P
Juliane P
2023-07-21
Kilimanjaro 6 days Machame route My dad and I booked the Kilimanjaro 6 days Machame route and since the first contact with William I received all the information and help that we need and our conversation was easy. Our team at the Kilimanjaro hike was really friendly and helpful and our guides were perfect with us! Cannot recommend more I and have no words to thank enough all the team.
Ellen Karin R
Ellen Karin R
2023-03-19
Er du interessert i fugleliv såvel som dyreliv prøver du Williamssons adventures med Ian som guide Er du interessert i fugleliv i tillegg til dyreliv bør du be om å få Ian som guide. Han var kunnskapsrik om både fugler, dyr, fauna og stoppa opp på alle henstillinger og svarte tålmodig på alle spørsmål. Ian var også ein flink sjåfør. Vi var i alle nasjonalparkene, Tarangire, Serengeti, Manyara og Ngorogoro conservation area. Vi var på en fire dagers safari, og lunsjboksene, frokostene og middagene var fantastiske. Likeså med overnattingsstedene. Vi ble tatt vel i mot og tatt vare på. Denne safari er ett minne for livet, og kan anbefales på det sterkeste. I tillegg til kjempemange fugler og dyr fikk vi også sett alle fem store????
Jessica D
Jessica D
2023-02-06
Perfect Kilimanjaro trek, perfect safari, perfect Guide From the first day of emailing Williamson Adventures for a safari and Kilimanjaro quote we were answered in professional way with full of information about the tour in Tanzania.The Director William was helpful and well organized our Kilimanjaro trek and 5 days safari , we started hiking for 6 days machame , the team was very helpful and the porter were strong and friends they really supported us to carry our luggages and guide was very professional especially during the summit day we really appreciate them . After safari we went to safari where we saw many animals excluding rhino because the guide explained that they're now endangered sometimes it's hard to spot them although it was good experience, the food good and accommodation was superb with high comfortability. Thanks Williamson Adventures for making our trip unforgettable
Norbet h
Norbet h
2023-02-02
Kilimanjaro Climb Experience! My husband and I booked 7 days Machame route Kilimanjaro mountain climb with Williamson adventures, we liked the experience from the day we started hiking up to last day at mweka camp. The tour was very organized and the team was extremely friendly . During the summit Day it's was really challenging for me but the guide and porter was really helpful and fun to be around , the food was delicious and plentiful so we really appreciate our chef , the tent were top quality and brand new so we slept in comfortable tents . I really recommend Mr William to arrange your Kilimanjaro mountain trekking if you wish to make it to the top of Kilimanjaro mountain. Best wishes from USA
Christensen H
Christensen H
2023-01-31
Unforgettable safari in Tanzania My Safari experience in Tanzania with Williamson adventures was really good since from the day we emailed them they were very cooperative , we had 8 days safari in Tanzania with them the guide was very detailed about Flora and fauna of Tanzania national park, I really liked Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater the most because of its scenic views and abundant of Animals, we managed to see all the big 5 during safari, the accommodations was nice and clean, we really thanks this company for making our journey in Tanzania unforgettable
Hannah P
Hannah P
2023-01-29
Best Wildlife Safari I did a 7-day safari in Tanzania and it was an unforgettable experience. The tour guide was knowledgeable about the wildlife, making each game drive a learning adventure. From the endless plain Serengeti to the Ngorongoro Crater, every stop was awe-inspiring. The accommodations and food were good and provided the perfect balance of comfort and immersion in nature. I would highly recommend to Williamson to plan your safari in tanzania . Thanks Williamson Adventurures for the nice hospitality
willegamba94
willegamba94
2023-01-25
7 day Kilimanjaro Climb Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro 7 days Lemosho was an experience of a lifetime. The trek to the summit was challenging, but the breathtaking views and sense of accomplishment made it all worth it. The scenery was absolutely stunning, from the lush rainforest at the base to the barren, lunar-like landscape at the summit. The guides were knowledgeable and supportive, and the porters were incredibly helpful in carrying our gear. The final summit push was grueling, but the sunrise from the top was truly unforgettable. Despite the physical demands, I would highly recommend Williamson Adventures for Kilimanjaro climb to anyone looking for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. The sense of camaraderie among the climbers, the challenge of reaching the summit and the stunning beauty of the mountain made it an experience I will never forget.

WHY CHOOSE US?

We are committed to responsible tourism and strive to minimize the impact of our safaris on the environment and local communities.

We strive to offer competitive pricing without compromising on quality. We ensure our clients receive the best possible prices for our safari experience.

We have a team of highly experienced safari experts who have extensive knowledge of the wildlife and ecosystems of the areas we operate in.