Mount Kilimanjaro is a mountain in Tanzania, a country on Africa’s east coast. Many people travel to Tanzania with the sole intention of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, a now-dormant volcano that is roughly 16,100 feet tall as measured from its base to its summit.
Even though it’s slightly more than half the height of Mount Everest, the world’s tallest mountain and one of the world’s most deadly mountains, several people still die while climbing the infamous Mount Kilimanjaro, the largest mountain in the entirety of Africa, each and every year. Statistics indicate that roughly 20 to 30 people die while climbing Kilimanjaro each year, though only about 10 are ever reported. Further, about 1,000 people are rescued from the mountain on an annual basis because they feel too sick to complete their climb to the top.
On one hand, Kilimanjaro is such a beautiful, breathtaking sight that some 50,000 backpackers come from all around the world just to attempt to climb the mountain. However, most people who attempt to climb Mount Kilimanjaro want to do so without others in their vicinity. After all, it’s one of the most physically exhausting things that people can do. While the high number of visitors is great for the economic health of the Kilimanjaro National Park, climbers often get frustrated and distracted due to there being so many crowds of people present when they attempt to reach the summit of one of the world’s tallest mountains.
By following the tips below and being struck by a little bit of luck, you should be able to avoid the majority of other climbers when attempting to reach the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.
If you can afford to pay for a private climb, do it!
Because climbing Kilimanjaro is such a daunting task, visitors almost always seek the assistance of guides to help them reach the top. Guides want to make as much money as they can, so they bring along roughly one dozen climbers.
Further, since getting to the top of Kilimanjaro is so difficult, every climber usually brings between two and four people along with them to act out the roles of guides, nurses, food preparers, and many other important positions.
If we assume that the average number of hikers in a group is 12 and that each hiker has only two porters to travel alongside them, that means the group has a whopping 36 people! If they each have four porters to accompany them on their seven- or eight-day climb, there’s going to be 60 people in their climbing party.
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As such, if you want to avoid crowds when you attempt to climb Kilimanjaro, save up enough money to afford a private climb. Further, going on your own with just a handful of guides and assistants will make it possible for you to start hiking each day when you are ready to go instead of waiting around on others. This often causes frustration, making it less likely for people to make it to the summit.
Go a different way than most people
There are seven routes to the top of Kilimanjaro. Unless you’re a highly experienced hiker of the higher athletic prowess, you must follow one of these trails to the peak of Africa’s tallest mountain.
Fortunately for you, since you’re hoping to separate yourself from the crowds, the vast majority of climbers follow one of two paths. These paths are known as the Machame and Marangu routes. That means you can follow these five paths instead of Machame and Marangu:
- Northern Circuit.
Keep in mind that these are the most popular routes because they’re the easiest. As such, successfully completing your climb will require more effort. At least you’ll be away from crowds of dozens of other climbers, right?
Seek out a trip to Tanzania during Kilimanjaro’s rainy season
Most people try to climb Kilimanjaro during dry periods because doing so is safer. However, if you’re up for the challenge, you can beat the crowds by opting to climb during the rainy season.
Make sure to train extra hard before considering trekking to the top of Kilimanjaro in the rain – you’ll need it.