Hiking to the top of Africa’s highest mountain, Mt. Kilimanjaro, is not a task for the faint of heart. If you are up for the challenge, the following tips and advice should help you on your way safely and more easily:
- Bring baby wipes – with no showers available, you will be thankful for a way to “sort of” clean yourself after each day’s hike.
- Bring a pair of light weight shoes to wear around the camp. You won’t want to put your hiking boots back on after a long day.
- Headbands and hats are a great way to keep the hair out of your face, keep the sun out of your eyes, and cover the greasy mess that becomes your hair by the end of the week.
- A small container of lotion is great because the cold air really dries out your skin.
- A pack of gum might be necessary for the days when you are just too tired and cold to brush your teeth.
- A small roll of toilet paper to carry in your day pack is helpful. There are a few places to stop and pee along the trail, but definitely no TP available.
- Do not bring a change of clothes for every day. Everyone is in the same showerless boat as you, so don’t worry about wearing the same clothes for a week.
- Do, however, bring extra warm socks and panties.
- It’s not necessary to be extremely fit, but it definitely helps to do some training beforehand to prevent your muscles from being sore and tired.
- Bring energy bars or other snacks for the time in between meals.
- Do not whine or complain to your guide or porters. They work twice as hard to make you comfortable and they do not want to hear it.
- A good pair of hiking boots, a down jacket, a rain jacket, walking sticks, and a headlamp are all pretty essential. If you are missing any of these items, your tour company should be able to rent them to you.
- There are tons of interesting people that you will meet along the trail (including cute outdoorsy men). Expect to swap stories and expand your traveler network.
For those of you brave women looking for like-minded souls to adventure with, check out WHOA Travel, who arranges groups of women to go on epic trips, including Kili. If you want to do your own thing, there are plenty of other tour companies out there, Pristine Trails, Zara, and Ahsante Tours being a few. Have a great climb!
Are you preparing for this climb?