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Mount kilimanjaro climb success rate

There are several routes by which to reach Kibo, or Uhuru Peak, the highest summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, namely, Marangu, Rongai, Lemosho, Shira, Umbwe and Machame.

The recommended route is Machame

  • Highly recommended for scenic valueHigh success rate.
  • High success rate
  • Great for acclimatization with lots of walk high, sleep high opportunities
  • Challenging trek with stunning scenery through 5 diverse climatic zones
  • Good opportunity to split pre-summit day climb to leave climbers rested before summiting
  • Very popular trail
  • Fully catered camping only

Annually, approximately 15,000 people attempt to reach the summit of the mountain, of whom 40 percent do so

What to take and what to know ?
For a successful summit, you need to improve your chances with every bit of useful knowledge you can get. It’s never possible to prepare for every eventuality , but the following equipment list and guidelines have been developed over 10 years of experience. Please feel free to add any items which you personally require and which are not on the list.

Tips For Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro
CLOTHING – Correct underwear, thermal hiking socks, gloves (preferably mittens), warm hat, rain coat, sunglasses, sun protection cream (20 +), hiking boots, hiking/running shoes ( It is not necessary to walk with boots or climbers shoes until the last sections where scree and rocks are encountered.) and very importantly, a walking stick. One of the most important items of clothing will be a an outer jacket. You want it to perform the function of keeping you warm and protected at temperatures of as low as minus 25 degrees celsius, keep the wind out, yet still “breath”. Never take tight fitting clothing or underwear. This will hamper circulation, causing either cold or extreme discomfort on the mountain. A balaclava is a must, as it will protect your face against cold, wind, sun and snow. Definitely have this in your bag. Other clothing like shorts, sweaters and t-shirts are a must, especially for the lower slopes when the temperatures are still high.

The only way to ensure that you are dressed correctly is to follow the principal of wearing the correct layers, starting from against the body. The biggest mistake made by people is to wear everything they’ve got and to start off with cotton against the skin. Cotton absorbs moisture perfectly, but has absolutely no wicking properties.” Wick” means that the fabric has the abilitty to draw moisture away from the body and then to allow it to evaporate on the outside. Cotton fabric against the skin will trap the moisture, ensuring a very cold and miserable time. On Kilimanjaro, this could mean hypothermia which is potentially lethal. So, don’t take chances with incorrect clothing. The first layer should be a “wicking” type of thermal underwear, offering good insulation. The middle layer should provide the insulation and warmth and a product like polar fleece or Polartec® 200/300 will provide this. The outer layer should be windproof, waterproof and breathable. Products like Ventex®, Goretex®, Weathertite® or Jeantex® offer these properties. Short of altitude and physical exertion, cold is one of the most serious obstacles when attempting to summit Kilimanjaro.

ADDITIONAL – Aspirin, torch and batteries, toilet paper, 2 x water bottles (carrying 3 litres). Sodas and drinks may be bought on the mountain on the Marangu route. Bring smaller currency notes (100’s and 200’s ( shillings ) as change is not always available on the mountain. The prices increase the higher you reach.(This facility only on the MARANGU ROUTE !)

CAMERA – Taking pictures with a fully automatic camera at the summit of Kilimanjaro is possible, and most people do this. The secret is to always have a new battery in your camera when going into cold areas at high altitude. A mechanical camera works just as well, provided you have the knowledge to operate it successfully. Cameras exposed to cold do not cease fuctioning, but remember. If you keep your camera inside your jacket and the lens is warm, chances are that it will form condensation when suddenly exposed to extreme cold. This condensation will freeze under conditions at the summit. Therefore, keep your camera dry at all times. Moisture will freeze at the summit which WILL cause your camera to stop functioning.

FILM – ASA 200 film is good for taking shots with relatively little light. You might reach the summit just before sunrise and may not wish to wait owing to the altitude and the cold. After sunrise, film with ASA 200 or 100 are fine. There are numerous classic photo opportunities, some of which are only available in low light conditions. If you can, and if you are a serious photographer, we recommend that you take a small, portable tri-pod with you. Also remember that it is sometimes so cold that you cannot hold the camera steady.

FINAL NOTES – Make the ascent in a pace that suits you, do not rush. Frequent rests are required. Make sure that you drink at least 3 – 4 litres of liquid a day – preferably water. Running water on the mountain is safe to drink from day 2 onwards, but care should still be taken. If you are not used to fresh water in nature, prevent any inconvenience by using water purification tablets. For your first day it is recommended that you take along fresh water which may be purchased at the hotel in Moshi before your climb. This way you will also have containers in which to take water further up the mountain. Remember, that if you are going to buy your water in Moshi, always get the bottles with the screw tops. REMEMBER ! A functioning body water balance is one of the keys to a successful climb!

PACKING – Remember that you will be on the mountain for at least 5 or 6 days. You need to take enough clothing, especially socks to last for this period. Due to frequent rainfall as well as numerous streams on the routes, it is advisable to individually pack items in your bag. These individually packed items should be wrapped in plastic bags to prevent them from getting wet in case of rain or accidentally dropping a bag in a stream.

MENTAL PREPERATION – It is possible to climb Kilimanjaro. This should be topmost in your mind when preparing for the summit. You should always remain in a positive state of mind, but not overly arrogant. There is nothing as dangerous to the members of a party if one person is unduly sure of himself. The mental stamina will make the really difficult parts like Kibo to Uhuru and Barafu to Uhuru easier to complete. Always focus on your goal and do not get involved in inconsequential matters that will rob you of your concentration. Being physically prepared assists a great deal in being mentally confident for the physical part of Kilimanjaro.