Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Without the Crowds

Not only is Mt. Kilimanjaro Africa’s highest mountain, but it is also a challenging climb that you will find very rewarding. The beauty of the mountain itself and the view from the top are enough to motivate even the most exhausted climber to keep going.

Frequent climbers who have summited Mt. Kilimanjaro cite it as one of the best climbs they’ve ever had. For this reason, the mountain has become a popular tourist destination. With so many people climbing the mountain, how can you enjoy your climb while avoiding the crowd? Here are some ideas to consider.

Pick your route carefully

Like any other mountain, there’s more than one way to get to the top of Kilimanjaro. While some are very common, there are other roads that are infinitely less traveled by. The two most popular routes are the Marangu and Machame routes. So, you should avoid them.

The other routes you could use are the Lemosho, Shira, Rongai and Umbwe trails, and the Northern Circuit. They all converge once you get higher up the mountain, but if you use one of the lesser-known routes, you’ll have the solitude you desire for most of the trek.

Don’t go it alone

Very few people embark on the climb alone, which is just as well as it can be perilous. You should make sure you’re registered to travel in a group with an experienced guide. However, you do have a choice about the size of the group you climb the mountain with. 

Your climb Kilimanjaro cost might well be a little higher if you opt for a smaller group or a private climb. However, with more attention from your guides at Climbing Kilimanjaro, you’ll undoubtedly get more out of the experience than you would if you were stuck in a group of 20. You’ll get a whole lot more for a few dollars extra, which is money well-spent.

Choose a less busy campsite

There are set campsites along each route as you climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. Once you make camp, you’ll share the space with other climbers. While this is inevitable, there are some lesser-used camps that might afford you the privacy you would prefer. 

Bear in mind that using some of these camps might require you to pay an additional fee. You will also need to make sure that your tour guide company sources the necessary special permits for you.

Avoid climbing at a full moon

During a full moon, the paths up the mountain are well-illuminated at night. This is one of the most popular times of the lunar month to climb Kilimanjaro. Tour companies base special packages around people wishing to summit the mountain at a full moon.

There is going to be a rush of climbers making their way to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro for the full moon experience. If you don’t want to be part of the crowd, book your trek during a different phase of the moon.

Climb during off-peak seasons

Most people climb Kilimanjaro between July and October or December and February. These are the area’s dry seasons. During November, the rainy season is in full swing, and few guide companies operate at this time. 

However, you have the option of climbing the mountain in March or June. The weather is slightly unpredictable in these months. If you’re prepared for some unexpected inclement weather, consider going during one of these months.

Because few people opt to visit Kilimanjaro in March or June, there won’t be too many people on the climb. You’ll be able to enjoy the solitude the mountain affords climbers for such a short period of the year. Explore the routes on the northern side of Kilimanjaro, as they get less rain than the others.

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