Everest Base Camp vs Mount Kilimanjaro – Which one to Choose?

In an ideal world, you wouldn’t have to choose between Everest Base Camp trek vs mount Kilimanjaro climb, but under different circumstances, you might have to make a pick. Which one would you choose? Choosing one of them isn’t as easy as it seems, as both have their specialties and are unique in their own way.

Everest Base Camp trek takes you to the foothills of the world’s highest mountain whereas, Tanzania’s tallest mountain takes you to the top of Africa. If you are a peak-bragging destination enthusiast, Kilimanjaro seems suitable for you but standing on the Mount Everest isn’t any less.

Both the trekking routes take you to a tremendous height with no cut and dry answer to which one of these two is easier. One stands with a hint of cultural indulgence surrounded by everlasting Himalayan vistas. Meanwhile, the other one with multiple routes through changing ecological zones.

Besides comparison, Everest Base Camp trek and Kilimanjaro climb is special and is worth the attempt for every adventurous travelers. If you are still working on which one to pick for your next adventure, here are a few comparisons between the two that might aid you in your decision making.

Climbing Kilimanjaro vs Everest Base Camp Trek

1. Difficulty – Which is harder?

At 5,380 world’s highest peak’s base camp is situated while Kilimanjaro stands tall at 5,895 meters. Even though their height is not substantially different, but they both demand sufficient time for acclimatization. Trek to world’s highest mountain is mostly completed in 11-12 days. However, Tanzanian’s highest single free-standing mountain could be completed in as minimal as 5 day, but it is definitely not the easier ones.

With a comparatively more number of days, Everest trekking path has a higher success rate, as against the Kilimanjaro climb.

The trekking path of these two mountains is uniquely challenging. The trekking and hiking in Himalayas of Nepal behold several massive peaks along with the tallest one on earth, whose base camp can be attained by even the most inexperienced trekkers. Meanwhile, the tallest mountain in Africa needs no technical knowledge of mountaineering. And both of these can be accomplished with a strong determination.

In real terms, one can summit and be out of Kili even before you reach Everest Base Camp, but neither of the journeys is a piece of cake if you are not headstrong about making it up to your destination.

2. What are the Routes?

The trail of Everest Base Camp trek takes you through the pathway with constant backdrops of the mountains through the entire trail. These Himalayan trial complemented with a cultural experience in the backyards of the world-famous Sherpas. These trials emerald with Gokyo Ri with the high passes of the Khumbu region. Additionally, journey to EBC consist with plenty of cultural indulgence and varying views along the way.

Now, when we talk about  Kilimanjaro, the mountain offers multiple routes, six precisely, through which you can claim the summit. Among these, the Machame route is preferred by most climbers, while the Marangu route is the only route with hut accommodation. Both these routes begin from the southern side along with the Umbwe route. On the  Lemosho Route and the Northern circuit, the trek begins from the western side while the Rongai route approaches from the north.

Another route, the Shira route is similar to that of the Lemosho route differing only on the first day as the first stop on this route is made at Simba camp. Despite these many routes, Kilimanjaro climb offers a walk through different ecological zones ranging from bushland to tropical forests and finally summiting in the arctic region with permanent ice and snow. 

3. Which is Cheaper?

The cost of climbing Kilimanjaro typically increases with an increasing number of days required for the climb and it is expected to be cheaper than the Everest Base Camp trek. However, Kilimanjaro climb is slightly more expensive than the EBC trek. Tallest peak of Africa can be completed in less than a week while EBC trek requires almost 2 weeks to be completed. Journey to EBC includes tea house accommodation on a way, while Kilimanjaro climb requires camping throughout to the summit. 

In Everest Base Camp trek, each stop is made at tea houses owned by the locals who offer you their services during your stay. On the other hand, in Mt. Kilimanjaro hike, your porters will carry the camping equipment along with food for each stop except in the Marangu route. The Marangu route offers hut accommodation, which is why camping is not required.

4. What’s the stay like?

The stay in Everest Base Camp Trek and Kilimanjaro is qualitatively different.  Everest Base Camp trek, you will be accommodated in a tea houses. These locally owned tea houses offer you a single bed in a room under a twin sharing basis. The beds have firm mattresses while some tea houses even offer blankets and typical Nepalese Dal Bhat to Pizzas and Noodles will be your food menu. 

During  Kilimanjaro climb, you will be camping in the campsite or use hut accommodation if you traverse the Marangu route. The hut accommodation has thin mattresses laid on the floor and you will be sharing the hut with a few other groups. The huts have a common dining hall and basic washrooms with either flushing toilets or long-drop toilets with water buckets.

As for camping routes, you will be sleeping in tents and sleeping bags.

A separate dining tent may be arranged depending on your tour operator. As for toilets, you may either arrange a different toilet tent or do it out in open depending on your budget for the trip.

If we compare between these two world’s awe Base Camps stay, Everest Base Camp trek has by far better accommodation. However, if you love dwelling in nature and wouldn’t mind being a little rusty, Mount Kilimanjaro hike would also be a good choice

5. Best Scenery        

The views on Everest Base camp comprise the tallest mountains in the Khumbu region which is decorated with a diverse terrains. While on Kilimanjaro you enjoy the views of tropical forest and the clouds as you pass the cloud line reaching higher altitude. Trekking in Nepal allows you to cross deep rivers passing through suspension bridges beautifully adorned with colorful sacred prayer flags called Khadas.

You will walk beside the Himalayan yaks with bells around their neck carrying goods for the local people of the Himalayas. At the same time, you will marvel at the majestic Himalayas standing tall with all their might. The constant uphill and downhill hike throughout the trail will test your enthusiasm and determination to land on the foothills of the world’s highest mountain Everest. .  

While making your way up to the summit of Kilimanjaro, you will pass through various ecological zones. On this trek, you will reach from equator to arctic region within just a matter of days. The trek begins from the bushlands of the equator and farmlands of bananas and coffees. With passing days you will reach the tropical forest of and tall trees and waterfalls along the way.

As you gain altitude, you will pass through the heather zone, moorland zone, highland desert zone and finally reach the arctic region at the summit of the Kilimanjaro. These differing ecological zones allow you to experience different climatic regions and stand on the roof of Africa. 

Which one to choose? Everest Base Camp vs mount Kilimanjaro

Among these two, EBC offers mesmerizing mountain scenery. Even though Kilimanjaro does not provide similar mountain scenery, it still offers an interesting experience traversing through different ecological zones. If you can make your trip to both of the earth’s wonders, do it. If you must choose, make a pick that excites you the most after reading the comparisons between climbing Kilimanjaro vs EBC. Let us know what you decide!

2 Responses
  1. Kent Blue

    I did Kilimanjaro with “Tusker Trail” and EBC with Himalayan Glacier, both were FANTASTIC experiences. HOWEVER, if I had to make a choice, you cannot buy a better experience than HIMALAYAN GLACIER! Which is why I’m doing Mera Peak with HG in November 2022. They left no stone unturned in creating an unbelievable trekking experience. GO HIMALAYAN GLACIER!!!

    1. Himalayan Glacier
      Himalayan Glacier

      Thank you so much for your lovely words and your trust in Himalayan Glacier, Kent! It means a lot for our family and your words motivate each one of us; really appreciate it. We have always tried to provide the best we can during your valuable trip and time with us and will do it forever and ever. Nothing makes us happy than the smile we see on your face after the successful trip you get back from. We cannot wait to organize Mera Peak Climbing for you in 2022! Have a great time and thank you again so much for such a wonderful comment, Kent!

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