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What to know before a Mount Kilimanjaro Hiking Trip

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 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.

Featured Park: Serengeti

Serengeti National Park is one the most popular Tanzania safari destinations. It's the country's oldest park.