Mount Kilimanjaro is one among the most popular adventure travel destinations throughout the world. Around 35,000 people attempt to summit this mountain yearly, which means you’ll most likely encounter a large number of people. A crowded path means less time to enjoy the view and a dull experience. However, we have you covered with these amazing Travel Hacks to avoid the crowd during your Kilimanjaro Climb!
1. Book a private trip
The best option to avoid the crowd is to not be inside a crowd. Normal groups for the Kilimanjaro climb will have 10-15 climbers not including the guides, porters, and cooks.
So, booking a private trip will help give you more control over the number of people in your group, choosing the camping sites, planning the schedule of the climb, setting the pace of the trek and so on. However, you will need to consult with the guide for the feasibility of your climbing schedule.
Himalayan Glacier offers tailored-made trips for the Kilimanjaro climb. We will also help you set an optimal route and create a schedule that will keep you ahead of the traffic ensuring you the best travel experience possible.
Some additional things to consider:
- Set out early
Normally, the climbing groups have to stick to pre-made schedules. So, if you set out early preferably before 8 AM, you will beat most of the crowd even if you are a slow climber.
- Avoid climbing on the full moon night
Usually, the final part of the ascent is made in the middle of the night. Tour operators try to tally this with the full moon night to ensure there is enough light for the climbers to reach the summit smoothly. So it is best for you to avoid climbing on the full moon night if you want to avoid the traffic.
- Use alternative camps
Some campsites such as Kosovo and Crater Camp require a special permits and an additional fee. This means only a few climbers will be using the site. This will be an optimal choice for you to stay apart from the crowd.
You can use Moir Huts instead of camping at Shira 2, Kosovo Camp instead of Barafu Hut, Millenium Camp instead of Mweka Camp. These alternative camps have fewer campers.
Crater Camp is located at a higher altitude than other camping sites. So, we advise you to use this camp only during the descend or if you are trekking for a longer time instead of the typical 8-day tours. Your body needs to acclimatize to prevent altitude sickness.
- Schedule the trip during the weekdays
You can start your trip during the weekdays preferably on Tuesday or Wednesday. This will also keep you away from the traffic because most group trips are scheduled during the weekends.
“I would highly recommend anyone considering this climb to go with Himalayan Glacier”
2. Opt for a less popular route
Although there are multiple routes to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the crowd is concentrated on the Marangu route (referred to as the Coca-Cola route) and the Machame route (referred to as the whiskey route). Choosing other trails will help you stay away from the swarm of climbers until the last part of the climb where the routes eventually converge. You can choose from Lemosho, Rongai, Umbwe, and the Northern circuit.
The Kilimanjaro hike via Umbwe Route is the steepest and shortest path that has a well-deserved reputation of being the most challenging route on Mount Kilimanjaro. This route is for those who are seasoned high-altitude trekkers who are looking for a very challenging climb. The rapid climb on the first day with little time for acclimatization is compensated by the breathtaking panoramic views.
The Rongai Route is the only trail that approaches Mt. Kilimanjaro starting at the northern side, just at the Kenyan border. Due to its remote location, the Kilimanjaro Rongai Route has low traffic.
Climbing Kilimanjaro via Lemosho Route offers fascinating scenic vistas and considered the most beautiful trail on Kilimanjaro. The Kilimanjaro Lemosho route is filled with pristine wildlife and panoramic views on various sides of the mountain. Lemosho is one of the newer routes with excellent acclimatization opportunities.
The Kilimanjaro Northern Circuit route is one of the best routes and also the newest official route to ascend Mt. Kilimanjaro. This special route is also the least used and the longest route perfect for those seeking remote and long Mt Kilimanjaro hiking. Trekking through this trail guarantees excellent acclimatization changeover and exceptional views from the northern slope of the mountain.
3. Schedule your trips during the rainy season
As mentioned in the beginning, the period between December to March and June to October are the best times for the Kilimanjaro climb because the weather is warm and dry. The long rainy season is from March till May. The short rainy season is in November.
If you do not mind trekking and camping during the rainfall, the short rainy season can be the best alternative to avoid the crowd during Kilimanjaro Climb and keep the mountain almost entirely to yourself. During the short rainy season, the mornings are usually clear and it rains during the afternoon and evening. If you book the classic Marangu route, you will be able to sleep in huts and avoid sleeping on the wet ground.
If you are a solo traveler, you might be wondering that you will have to book a private tour even during the rainy seasons. Yes, during the rainy season there are few interested to go to Kilimanjaro and this might cause your trip to cancel due to the minimum number condition set by the tour operators. However, if you book a tour with Himalayan Glacier, you need not worry about this.
Himalayan Glacier has been providing adventure tours for the past 30 years and has maintained a 98% success rate. We will conduct the tour on the scheduled date no matter the number of bookings.
Booking a private trip is the optimal solution to avoid the crowds during your Kilimanjaro Climb. If you are an avid adventure seeker, you can choose more challenging routes which will have lesser traffic to that of the popular paths. Also, some slight changes in the campsite during the ascent to Kilimanjaro will keep you away from the traffic heading to the top.
What are some travel hacks you have found? Share with us in the comments, we’d love to know.