THE BUSHBUCK BLOG

Kilimanjaro: what are the secrets of a successful and enjoyable climb?

If climbing Kilimanjaro is on your personal bucket list, you will know of its outstanding beauty. You will also be aware of its challenges. So what are the secrets of a successful - and enjoyable - climb?

This article has been read 90 times

If climbing Kilimanjaro is on your personal bucket list, you will know of its outstanding beauty. You will also be aware of its challenges. Climbing to a height of 19,341 feet to ‘the roof of Africa’ is not for the faint-hearted. The fact is that only 65 per cent of climbers actually make it to the summit. There are certain obvious factors which contribute to success, including general fitness levels, but selecting the right guide and support team is also an important element to success.

At Bushbuck we have been arranging climbing expeditions for our clients for many years and know the best guides currently operating on Kilimanjaro. We can advise on scheduled climbs or arrange a private climb, tailored to your group. This has the advantage that the guide can set the pace to suit you. We also recommend a minimum trip of 7 days because this is how long it takes your body to fully acclimatise to the altitude. Shorter, faster trips can end up being rushed with less chance of a happy outcome.

There is no upper age limit for attempting Kilimanjaro but it is important that all members of the party are physically fit and in good health. In fact, in general, older climbers have a higher success rate because they are happy to take the climb slowly. Your guide will advise ‘pole, pole, slowly, slowly’ and some may find the pace frustratingly slow to begin with but bear with it because there is good reason for this approach.

A good and happy support team contributes much to the overall enjoyment of an expedition. For a private party of four our guides would use up to 20 porters, a camp chef, two camp crew and two additional mountaineering guides. Above all, our recommended guides employ a happy professional team. Porters are never overloaded and the payment policy ensures that porters and crew are amongst the highest paid in the industry. This does mean that the prices are higher than on budget trips but it makes for a happy team completely motivated to ensure their clients have the best experience possible.

Safety is paramount. Clients will always have a full briefing at the beginning and throughout the climb so they know exactly what to expect of any given day. Kit will be checked regularly and food supplies will be appetising and generous, especially given the increased requirement for calories. The majority of the team will have been trained by experienced Red Cross professionals for CPR and advanced first aid. Oxygen is provided and health monitored daily. It is, however, also important to just enjoy the journey.

Our guides inform clients about the environment through which they walk. Endemic flora and the relationship between man and beast have all shaped Kilimanjaro’s ecology and the geology is as fascinating as anywhere on earth. There are several routes but the Machame route is the most scenic. If you are going to make a once in a lifetime commitment to climbing the highest freestanding mountain in the world, you might as well enjoy as much of the mountain as possible.

At Bushbuck we have been arranging climbing expeditions for our clients for many years and know the best guides currently operating on Kilimanjaro.

There is no upper age limit for attempting Kilimanjaro but it is important that all members of the party are physically fit and in good health.

Safety is paramount. Clients will always have a full briefing at the beginning and throughout the climb so they know exactly what to expect of any given day.

If you are going to make a once in a lifetime commitment to climbing Kilimanjaro, the highest freestanding mountain in the world, you might as well enjoy as much of the mountain as possible.

This article has been read 90 times

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