Being in the equatorial region and the highest peak in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro offers terrain which is diverse. This 5895-meter-tall mountain is often referred to as Tanzania’s jewel. From forest slopes to rocky terrain and steep ascents, this is a beast that only a skilled hiker can tackle. Since it is in the equatorial region, it experiences favourable weather all year round. However, the perfect time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro is between January and the beginning of March. This is because during this time of year the mountain receives the least precipitation, making it an easier climb. Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is no easy feat. Let us take a look at what it takes in terms of preparation to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
Training to climb Mount Kilimanjaro
Mountain climbing is a sport which requires a strength of both the body and the mind. It is incredibly difficult to embark on a climb that is five to nine days long. The endurance and strength of will required are immense for this climb. You can’t simply get out of bed and go on this climb, you need to be adequately prepared. In order to train for this climb, cardio and strength training is essential. It is well known that practice makes perfect. Therefore, more than anything else, in order to prepare for this climb, you must go on frequent hikes.
Hiking is an activity which cannot be replicated. It is a sport which requires incredible stamina and overall love for nature. Without the passion to be one with nature and push yourself to the farthest limits, you will not be able to complete this climb. This climb takes anywhere between five to nine days to complete depending on a number of factors.
Build up your metabolism
Cardio training is necessary in order to cope with the dearth of oxygen on higher altitudes. Strengthening your cardiovascular system is necessary in order to train your body to use less oxygen more efficiently. It also helps in training your body to cope with the high level of physical activity required for this hike. You will not be exhausted easily if you have been keeping up with your cardio training. There is no set type of cardio training that you need to follow. If you enjoy swimming you can integrate that in your daily routine. If you are someone who likes to go for a run that is fine too. Any activity that qualifies as cardio can help you build up your resistance. Growing your cardio capacity is a gradual process. Start with lower reps and increase the count gradually in order to push yourself to new limits every day.
Build up your core
Strength training is key to having an enjoyable climb. Your body needs to be able to handle the long and strenuous work out that climbing Kilimanjaro is. Push-ups, sit-ups and light weight training will help strengthen your core. This will also make it easier for you to bear the load of your backpack while hiking. Trekking in itself is quite a strenuous activity. Climbing up a mountain along with a bag pack can be quite draining without the proper training. In fact, even with all the training, this is a mammoth task.
There is no better training for hiking, than hiking itself. Going on treks in order to train for this climb is the best approach. You can start with shorter treks and work your way up. Tackling Mount Kilimanjaro can be quite fearsome unless you are used to the feeling of hiking. Your body has to deal with a combination of factors while hiking. This is something which you cannot recreate in any other form of training. Especially, the unpredictability of environmental factors is something that you cannot control. Going on hikes will help you cope better with the unpredictable nature of hiking when you finally climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
Cost of climbing Kilimanjaro
Mount Kilimanjaro is located close to the border of Kenya, in Tanzania. You will have to fly to one of the nearest airports, the cost of which will be approximately $1500. You can fly to the Kilimanjaro airport, Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, or Nairobi airport in Kenya. The climb itself has packages between $1400 and $7000. It is not advisable to take the $1400 package due to a lack of safety provisions. However, you need not pay as much as $7000. A $2500-3000 package would be reliable. Apart from this, you would also require trekking equipment worth approximately $800. This climb may seem expensive however keeping in mind safety and rescue provisions, this is the appropriate budget.
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is for most people a once in a lifetime opportunity. This climb requires a lot of pre-planning and consideration. From the cost of climbing to the preparation required for it, this is a tremendous task. However, anyone who has climbed Kilimanjaro in the past can testify to the fact that it is worth it. The view from the top is something you will keep with you for a lifetime.