Complete Guide to Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro – How Hard is It?

Written By: The Planet D

I have to clarify a giant misconception about climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. It is not easy! Before we climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, we were often told, “Anyone can do it.” or “Oh, it’s an easy climb” Not true!

We were climbing in a group of seven strong individuals who had just finished cycling 4500 km down the continent of Africa through the hot deserts Sudan and relentless mountains in Ethiopia – but we all agreed, Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro was one of the most physically challenging experiences of our lives.

How Hard is it to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro?

Yes, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro was difficult, but it was also one of the most exhilarating moments we’ve ever had. I am happy to say that our entire group all made it to the summit. 

To give you an idea of what we were up against, there was another group of 22 people at our camp and only 9 of them reached the summit. That’s less than fifty percent. 65% is about the average success rate of climbing Kilimanjaro putting all the routes together.

Some routes have a higher success rate but cost more and take longer and others have a lower success rate. You can read our breakdown of Kilimanjaro routes here.

But if you take proper precautions and are reasonably fit, you have a good chance of making it to the summit.

We are going to tell you exactly what to expect when climbing Mount Kilimanjaro from landing at the airport to reaching the summit.

How Altitude Affects the body

Mount Klimanjaro Hike | dave in fog

Mount Kilimanjaro is high. It is 5895 meters high and the trek starts in a misty jungle rainforest. So you will feel the altitude. It doesn’t matter what shape you are in when climbing to altitude. Your body never knows how it will react until it gets there.

I’ve heard of marathon runners not being able to climb mountains and I’ve heard of heavy cigarette smokers having no problem at all.


When you reach altitude, you will probably experience at least one of these symptoms

  • Headache
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • loss of appetite
  • lethargy
  • difficulty sleeping
  • I almost always have tingly hands.

We saw many people throwing up on our way down from the summit. Be very careful and watch out for signs of acute altitude sickness. If symptoms are mild, you will be okay if you take it slow, but if they progress, you should turn around. When symptoms get severe, it is important not to go up any higher.

The best advice I can give you is that if you want to make it to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, climb to altitude somewhere first before you fly to Tanzania.

That way you will know how your body reacts to altitude and you will be prepared for the feeling. The effects of altitude can be quite unsettling but if you know what to look for it won’t freak you out as much once you feel it.

It doesn’t matter what shape you are in when climbing to altitude. Your body never knows how it will react until it gets there.

Arrival at Mount Kilimanjaro Airport

mount kilimanjaro view from airplane
View of Mount Kilimanjaro from the airplane

We flew to Kilimanjaro Airport in Tanzania from Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. Most flights will arrive at Kilimanjaro Airport located between Moshi and Arusha.

As we soared over Mount Kilimanjaro, I felt a pang of both excitement and fear. It was Dave’s birthday and to celebrate, we were climbing Africa’s highest mountain. Kilimanjaro is one of the great mountain treks in the world.

We had been cycling Africa for the past 2 months and were in the best shape of our lives. We were ready to tackle this mammoth peak but were a bit worried about facing sub-zero temperatures.

Best Shape of Our Lives – Ready for Kilimanjaro

climb mount kilimanjaro | dave and deb with mountain in background
Feeling the most fit in all our lives

Cycling doesn’t lend itself to carrying heavy hiking boots and warm weather gear, so once we arrived at Kilimanjaro airport, it was time to search for not only an operator to take us up the mountain, but also some reliable mountain climbing gear.


We rented our gear from our tour operator which they included in our trekking price. They supplied:

We hailed a taxi and made our way to Moshi on the advice of our driver. After a 45 minute drive taking in the lush landscape along the way, we arrived at Kessy Brothers Tours.

Our driver recommended this local tour operator called Kessey Brothers and we ended up loving their service and price. After working out a deal, we signed up for the Machame trek up Kilimanjaro the following day.

Machame Route – The Whiskey Route of Kilimanjaro

climb mount kilimanjaro video

We chose to climb the Machame Route. Also known as the Whiskey Route. This seven-day climb up Mount Kilimanjaro is more challenging than the more popular five-day Marangu Route. (AKA the Coca Cola Route) .

You can choose either six or seven days on the Machame Route. If you have the time, we recommend taking the longer option.

The Machame Route is not only more beautiful and challenging, but it offers a better chance of summiting since we had an extra day to acclimatize to the altitude. This is very important to help anyone make it to the summit.

Day 1 – Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

climbing kilimanjaro

The day begins with a drive through a lush jungle setting where we entered Mount Kilimanjaro National Park at the Machame Gate.

After signing in at the park headquarters, we set off for a five-hour trek up the mountains.

Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the most unique climbs in the world as it starts in the jungle going through several different eco-systems before reaching the glacier.

The Kilimanjaro Climb Starts in the Jungle

climbing mount kilimanjaro on the trail in the jungle

Drenched in sweat, we followed our guide, Coleman through the jungle path. A soft spoken gentleman who kept reminding us to slow down by saying”pole, pole” (Swahili for slowly, slowly).

Time went fast as we marvelled at the fact that we were actually climbing Mount Kilimanjaro! We reached our first camp, The Machame Hut at 3,000 meters (9842 feet) and already felt the effects of being at altitude.

Machame Hut Camp

machema hut mount kilimanjaro

Luckily, we had the evening to rest and do nothing, as our climb up Kilimanjaro was fully catered. Tents were already pitched and soup and beverages were waiting for us to rehydrate and replenish our electrolytes.

The hot and humid temperatures of the day, gave way to a chilly evening. As we dined on a hearty pasta dinner in our dining tent, we were already thankful for the extra layers.

Nighttime on Kilimanjaro

tent on mount kilimanjaro climb

It was early to bed as we still had six days ahead of us, but not before catching our first glimpse of Mount Kilimanjaro.

The sun lit up its snowy peak as it set over the African savanna and we said to ourselves, are we really about to climb up there in just a few short days?

The camp was quiet as we watched the night sky light up with an incredible display of stars. We weren’t sure if we were nervous or confident but a wave of calmness came upon us and we drifted off to sleep as the Southern Cross seemed to bid us goodnight.

Day 2 on Mt. Kilimanjaro

kilimanjaro trek | fog on the mountain

The landscape changed again on Kilimanjaro as we passed through the moorlands. This landscape was completely unexpected as the temperature rose and fell as clouds rolled through creating mist and fog one minute with hot sun and clear skies the next.

The elevation gain today is only 900 meters, but we covered a lot of ground going up and down crossing valleys and rivers. The landscape changed in front of our eyes as the green forest gave way to more shrubs and low grass. The scenery was gorgeous feeling more like an the arctic tundra than the heart of Africa.

We were tired but hadn’t felt too many effects of altitude. We had settled into a solid pace and were feeling strong. The cliffs grew steeper until we made our way to camp 2, Shira campsite. Tonight we camped above the clouds. We were all in now!

Day 3 – Acclimatization Hike

kilimanjaro hike | Deb at Sharks Tooth
Trekking to Shark Tooth

Today on the Kilimanjaro trek was a fun day to explore. An acclimatization day consists of going to a higher altitude, but coming back down to a lower elevation sleep. From 3900 meters, we climbed to 4600 meters to help get our bodies used to the height.

The trees had almost disappeared from view and all that lay before us was a huge valley with Mother Kilimanjaro looming overhead. Rock formations and lava tubes scattered the valley as we stopped for a photo of the famous Shark Tooth Formation.

No other trek on earth has so many ecosystems to hike through as Kilimanjaro.

The day was beautiful. Blue skies and sunshine offered unobstructed views and we basked in the beauty before our eyes, marvelling at how lucky we were to be able to witness The Roof of Africa.

mt kilimanjaro hike cacti on trail
Trekking through a cactus forest

The most awe-inspiring site was hiking through a forest of giant cacti strewn amongst the massive boulders on our way back down to our next camp, Barranco Camp.

Dave and I took our time each day capturing photos and videos arriving to camp last each day. But we knew we were doing fine as our guides kept yelling “pole, pole.”

Climbing Kilimanjaro is not a race and we were grateful to take our time while on the trail soaking in these once in a lifetime views. Even arriving to camp late gave us plenty of time to rest and relax. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Day 4 – Barranco Wall

barranco wall kilimanjaro
scrambling up the barranco wall

The next two days were exciting as we scrambled up sheer rock faces of the Barranco Wall. This was the most exciting part of our Mount Kilimanjaro climb. Keeping three points of contact at all times, we scaled 257 meters (843 feet) above the Barranco Valley.

As we clung to the side of the cliffs, we were in awe of the porters who managed to gracefully maneuver the cliff with hands in their pockets and heavy loads on their heads.

Once we reached the top of the Barranco Wall, it was another few hours of hiking through the Karangu Valley which was our last water point before the summit.

Camping above the Clouds

campsite mount kilimanjaro climb

Arriving at Karangu Camp our jaws dropped seeing our tents set up above the clouds overlooking a deep valley. Things were getting real now! We relaxed at our camp enjoying a hearty meal, and sunset over the clouds. We didn’t do a lot at night, we kept warm in our sleeping bags in the tent as we conserved our energy for the day ahead. By the time we finished dinner and chatted with our fellow climbers about the day’s experience, we were ready to drift off to sleep high above the clouds.

Day 5 – Mweka trail to Base Camp

hike mount kilimanjaro dave and deb on trail

Day five took on our Kilimanjaro trek us over a barren landscape as the glacier loomed overhead. This was a shorter day, but it was much needed. When climbing the Whiskey Route you have a choice of 6 or 7 days. We didn’t take any chances, and booked a seven day trek to ensure a good chance of reaching the summit.

The longer your body has at altitude, the more prepared it is for staying strong and being able to finish. We had an early dinner and went straight to our tents to try our best to sleep. It’s difficult sleeping on Kilimanjaro. You are excited about the life changing day you just had and anxious about tomorrow all at once.

Day 6 – Mount Kilimanjaro Summit Day Uhuru Peak

It was a fitful sleep (nap really) before the morning of our Mount Kilimanjaro Summit day. filled with nerves and excitement. It seemed as though we just fell asleep when our guides woke us up at 11:15 pm.

After hot tea and cookies, we were on the trail at midnight making our final push to the 5,985-metre summit. The air was freezing and we looked up to see trails of headlamps already up the mountain. Other groups had left hours earlier. But we felt strong and confident that we would still make it in time for sunrise.

We pushed forward for six hours, steadily passing other parties without a word. There wasn’t a lot of talking, it was a time to push through the pain while suffering in solitude. Our minds were clear and the morning was silent.

The Mood Quickly Changed

Furtwangler Glacier

At about 5500 meters, we all started feeling it, the altitude was taking its toll. Where we once felt confident and invincible, we had now hit that dreaded wall and it took every effort to move one foot in front of the other.

As the hours passed, doubt crept into our minds as we gasped for air taking sips from our freezing water bottles that were quickly turning to ice. Our legs felt like lead and our lungs couldn’t suck enough oxygen. We’d collapse to the ground trying to catch our breath during what short breaks we had.

A couple of us had diarrhea. One fellow in our group swore he had an out of body experience, and Dave mentioned later that he was literally falling asleep he walked. We all just wanted to curl up and go to sleep. But we carried on concentrating on putting one foot ahead of the other.

Our guide Coleman would only give us a limited break. He knew that if we stopped for too long, we wouldn’t get back up. It took all our will to push forward.

Reaching the Summit of Mount Kilimanjaro

reaching the summit of mount kilimanjaro

Clearly our guide Coleman had been reading our progress throughout the week knowing exactly when to leave camp and how quickly to walk because he timed our summit at the precise moment the sun broke through the clouds to reveal a glorious sunrise on Mount Kilimanjaro.

Our group was alone at the famous summit of the Kilimanjaro billboard and although we were happy, it was a quiet celebration we thought it would be. In fact, reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro almost felt anti climactic.

It was -24 degrees Celcius without the wind. It felt more like -40 degrees with the windchill.

Perhaps it was exhaustion, perhaps fatigue, and suffering the effects of altitude, but at this point, we hadn’t felt the euphoria we expected. Instead, we quickly snapped our photographs offering a mild almost monotone congratulations to each other. We snapped some photos by the sign as our hands quickly froze and then we started back down as soon as possible.

We still had 2 1/2 hours to go back down to camp, and there was nothing we wanted to do less in our lives!

The summit day of Kilimanjaro took an entire nine hours to complete. Six hours trekking up the mountain to the summit, a half hour at the summit and another 2 1/2 hours to go down.

The Descent from Kilimanjaro Summit

Furtwangler Glacier of mount kilimanjaro
Sun rising and lighting up Furtwangler Glacier

On our way down from the summit, we got a chance to see what we climbed that night. I am glad we did it in the dark, I would have been terrified if I actually saw the sheer drops and steep grades that we faced on the way up to Kilimanjaro.

We made our way down as fast as we could sliding in the scree. Once we got the hang of running down the scree, things became easier. It was almost like skating as we let the loose rock take us down the mountain as we glided above.

With a quick stop for food at our previous night’s camp, we continued on to an altitude of 3,000 meters where we had our final night’s rest on Mount Kilimanjaro.

A Really Long Day

campsite on mount kilimanjaro

In reality, our summit push combined with our descent was a punishing 30 hours of trekking on Mount Kilimanjaro. The descent was steep and slippery. I must have fallen 15 times. The fatigue was huge and missteps happened a lot.

Descending Mount Kilimanjaro is hard. Hard on the knees, the calves, the thighs, and the mind.

We passed several parties on our way down after reaching the top who were throwing up, giving up, and wanting to go on, but had no chance of making it because they just had too far to go. People kept asking us if it was much further and knowing how I felt when climbing Mount Kinabalu years ago, I had to be honest. In reality I said, yes, you have a long way to go. I hope they made it, but it was getting late.

We finally made it to our tents at camp by 3:30 pm and were ready to collapse. We crawled right into our tents for a solid nap. We hadn’t even had a chance to celebrate yet that we had reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. All we wanted to do was sleep.

After our short nap at low 3000 meters in altitude that we finally felt the elation we expected to have at the summit. We just climbed Mount Kilimanjaro baby! Having a celebratory toast of champagne, we instantly forgot the pain and suffering of the last 24 hours.

Last night we were asking ourselves what are we doing and vowing to never step foot on a mountain again, and today we were already planning our next trek to Everest Base Camp. How quickly the mind forgets.

The final two days of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro were literally one of the hardest things I have done in my life. But we had conquered Mount Kilimanjaro and lived to tell the story. I’ll never do it again, but I am so glad that I did.

Final Day on Mount Kilimanjaro

The following day, all that was left was an easy two-hour walk to the bottom of the mountain, where we collected our Climb Mount Kilimanjaro certificates and exchanged stories with fellow climbers.

Having spent six days on the mountain without a shower and wearing the same clothes that we started in, we felt dirty and smelly, but we didn’t care – we had just climbed Africa’s highest peak.

We had a beer at 9:45 am to toast our guides and fellow climbers and literally bought the T-shirt. We had been there, done that and bought the T-shirt to prove it.

Relax after Climbing Kilimanjaro in Zanzibar

zanzibar beach
Enjoying the beach in Zanzibar

Ending our Mount Kilimanjaro Trek with a flight to paradise was the perfect way to end the trip. We hopped aboard a small plane from Mount Kilimanjaro airport and made our way to the spice island of Zanzibar.

Zanzibar is Tanzania’s island destination and we spent a few days lounging on the beach, soaking in the sun and mending our aching muscles.

It wasn’t long before we forgot the pain and suffering and soon started telling everyone we met “that climbing Kilimanjaro wasn’t so bad, anyone can do it! Ahhh, Climbing Kilimanjaro was magical and now we feel like we could conquer anything. But first, we must chill. Hakuna Matata (No Problem).

What to Pack to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro

tips for climbing mount kilimanjaro

We have done many high altitude treks since Mount Kilimanjaro and can attest that our gear wasn’t optimal since we were cycling Africa. If we were to do it again, this is what we’d pack.

Packing List for Kilimanjaro

  • Broken in Hiking Boots – Do not use them for the first time on the mountain.
  • A good day pack that has water bottle holders
  • two water bottles (one insulated)
  • Or a Bladder to put inside your day pack for insulation.
  • Steripen – to sterilize our water with ultraviolet light. Easy and fast and doesn’ thave the after taste of purification tablets.
  • Purification tablets – keep on hand for a back up to purify water
  • Layers – Breathable base layer, (legs and top) – an insulating layer, wind and waterproof outer shell.
  • Zip off Trekking Pants – weather changes regularly from hot to cold.
  • Breathable Trekking Shirts
  • A Down Winter Coat
  • 2 pairs of sunglasses (should one break which mine did on this trek)
  • headlamp with extra batteries
  • Portable USB charger for cameras and headlamps.
  • Warm winter hat
  • Merino Wool Beanie
  • Peak hat for daytime – One with a headlamp built in is awesome.
  • Buff or balaclava
  • liner gloves
  • Warm mittens
  • Camp shoes – you won’t want to be in your hiking boots 24/7
  • 3-4 pairs of socks so they can dry out between climbs. And to change into dry socks at camp.

You may need to invest in a tent, and sleeping bag if not provided by the company. We almost always use the outfitter’s gear as it is made for the conditions and we usually travel light.

What Kilimanjaro Route to Choose

  • Machame Route – 6 or 7 Days This was the route we took and loved it. It is one of the most beautiful routes as well. The 7-day option has a higher success rate. 80% success rate for 7 days, 70% for 6 days. It is challenging with scrambling at the Barranco Wall.
  • Marangu Route – This is a good route if you want to stay in huts. It is the most popular and most crowded as it uses the same trail up and down. It is the most affordable, but it also has the lowest success rate of about 40%.
  • Lemosho Route – 7 or 8 Days. This is Kilimanjaro’s newest route and is said to be the most beautiful. Plus it has far fewer crowds than the other routes. But it is more expensive. It has a 90% success rate!
  • Northern Circuit – 9 or 11- days Another good option for success rate. It is much longer staying at lower altitudes for longer.
  • Rongai Route – 6 or 7 Days. A good option for the rainy season as it starts on the north side of the mountain.

Kessy Brothers has a full breakdown on their website. And I recommend doing the research to see which route fits your budget, your skill level and the amount of time you have in Tanzania.

We know that travellers often have a limited time and want to combine a trek with a safari and a trip to Zanzibar. If only we all had deep pockets and unlimited time right?

How Much Does it Cost to Climb Kilimanjaro?

A Mount Kilimanjaro Climb Cost can vary greatly. If you have the time and can book once you arrive, you will get a great deal. Booking local cuts out the middle man and you don’t have to pay western rates.

Tours can be booked in Arusha or Moshi. Arusha is more of the main hub for travelers who are also going on safari.

On Average, treks up Mount Kilimanjaro begin at $2000 USD. By booking in Moshi, we paid less and felt that our tour was just as good as the others we saw. Perhaps our tents were the matching glam tents, but we had excellent service and meals.

Be sure to tip your guides, we suggest 10-20% of the cost. They work hard and are paid very little.

You can book Kilimanjaro Climbs through organized tour operators like Intrepid Travel and G Adventures who are both reliable and good companies.

For more luxury you can go with Abercrombie & Kent, Geographic Expeditions or Lindblad.

We really enjoyed climbing with Kessy Brothers based in Tanzania.

Read More Great Climbs that We’ve Done

Check out More Tanzania and Africa Travels

guide to climbing mount kilimanjaro

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Need more help planning your trip? Make sure to check out our Resources Page where we highlight all the great companies that we trust when we are traveling.

About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

Leave a Comment

41 thoughts on “Complete Guide to Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro – How Hard is It?”

  1. Great comprehensive article. I definitely was under the guise of it being rather easy too! thanks for confirming its not! Coming from SA I wish I had climbed Kili before leaving the continent, but that means there’s always time to come back and see more.

    Reply
  2. Very detailed and comprehensive article about Mt. Kilimanjaro. Thank you for spending your precious time on this. Really big helps for me and I am sure will helps for millions.

    Reply
  3. nice blog, Kilimanjaro is one of the beautiful mountain treks with awesome people, please may know how to get Kilimanjaro, and please proved flexible cost too…

    Reply
  4. This is my plan for 2025.
    Very detail and complete guide for me.
    I especially like the packing list you wrote up in the blog.
    Thanks

    Reply
  5. Nice article, what is the best time to visit, what about safety? medical aid and all that? one last thing can you tell which agency would be best

    Reply
  6. Hi guys. Nice blog. How much in total did you pay for the guide and the gadgets rent? How did you physically train and prepare for the trek? For the altitude sickness? How did you acclimatise?

    Reply
    • Prices change regularly and if you book in Moshi, you can get a good deal by bargaining at the outfitter. We used Kessey Brothers and they were great. I remember we bartered for free rentals of our gear with the price. For altitude sickness, we took Diamox, drank plenty of water and took our time. You will want to take the longer route to give yourself an extra day or two to acclimate. days where you can climb to altitude and then go back down to camp at a lower altitude really help with sickness.

      Reply
  7. Great Article!

    I am amazed so many people fell out. I saw many big groups of people also. In my case, my 2 friends incurred severe AMS and were puking for the past 3 days. In fact, I walked all the way down from the summit to Mweka Gate, so I had a similar experience.

    I wrote a detailed post on my experience too

    Reply
  8. Hi!
    Which tour/company have you used for the climb? I’ve read, that you used the local guides and it was much cheaper, what was included in the price? I’d be very grateful for information, as I’m researching about the climb 🙂
    Many thanks,
    Aga

    Reply
    • We used Kessy Brothers Tours. We booked them ourselves in the town of Moshi, They are a local company and they included guides, tents, sleeping gear and we even borrowed boots and coats because we didn’t have any gear while traveling through Africa.

      Reply
  9. I see you climbed Kilimanjaro some years ago, but I was wondering if you saw at the summit if there was a guestbook? A number of sites claim there’s a guestbook at the summit that most people sign, but I want to verify if it is a fact from someone who has definitely reached the top.

    Reply
    • I have never heard of a guest book and we didn’t see one at the summit. Our guides didn’t tell us of any guide book. I can’t see that being a a thing as they dont’ want a crowd up there and people aren’t exactly waiting to hang out at the summit. It’s not comfortable being that all. All we did was take our photo but no guide book. Perhaps people wrote something at the park gate entrance when they returned to the bottom.

      Reply
  10. WOW, BEAUTIFUL PICS…
    WELL MT.KILIMANJAROIS A AWESOME THREE CONES OF VOLCANO’S… AND IT IS SO HARD TO CLIMB THE MOUNTAIN, YOU AND YOUR TRAVELL DID IT IN AN INSPIRING WAY BY ALL MEANS…

    Reply
  11. Congratulations on this feat! Great photos. I know people who attempted the climb and who summitted. I went to Tanzania on safari, but didn’t tempt fate with Kili. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  12. I reached the summit a month ago. It was a great trek, and, at least I think so, not that hard. Maybe I’m one of the lucky ones, but I had no sickness whatsoever. The only thing I noticed was the thin air. In the end Kililmanjaro is really worth it. Just go. If you just want it enough, you will make it (unless you get too sick, of course). And also, to me, the whole trek is the experience of Kilimanjaro, not just the summit – the people, the scenery, everything.

    Best,
    Eirik, Norway

    Reply
  13. Great that you reached the peak, never going to be a walk in the park! Goes to show altitude can get to anyone even if, like you, were all really fit!

    Congrats

    Reply
  14. Wow! What an incredible mind over body experience! Congratulations, is a remarkable achievement!

    My husband and I are currently traveling through Africa as part of our year-long around-the-world trip. I know that he really wants to do the Kilimanjaro climb but I cannot make up my mind on this one. It sounds like the level of difficulty is pretty well matched up with the price tag. It would be very disappointing (emotionally and financially) to not make it to the summit.

    Reply
    • You can do it Oksana. If you book with Kessey Brothers direct in Moshi, you will save a lot of money and if you give yourself the days needed and not push through in 4 or 5, you have a very good chance of summitting. We feel that it was one of the best things we have done in our lives.

      Reply
    • We climbed at the beginning of March. The weather was excellent. Hot starting off, cool as we went up. We had a little rain one night, but it was minimal. The views were great, and our summit day was cold as it will be at that altitude anyway… We guessed around -25 with windchill. Our water froze! Dress warm and have an awesome trip!

      Reply
  15. Hi Deb,

    We made it to the top! Kessy Brothers was fantastic, they really took care of us from the moment we landed at the Kilimanjaro Airport to our 4am departure a week later. Thank you so very much for your help! Thanks again and good luck with your future adventures.
    Lisa

    Reply
  16. I’m glad you put this out there Dave and Deb! It is one of the hardest things you will do in your life.
    We run a fundraising hike to Kilimanjaro offering the chance to climb the mountain and support childrens projects at the same time. The next hike is in January 2010.

    Feedback from the hike is that it is such an amazing personal achievement to make it up one of the most prestigious climbs of the world!

    Well done you two!

    Reply
    • Thanks Erin. What an amazing thing to run a fundraising hike. Yes, people seem to think that climbing Kilimanjaro is a walk in the park. My sister even said “don’t you mean walk..I hear that it isn’t that hard” when I told her I was going to climb it… It is one of the hardest things that you will ever do in your life, especially on summit day. But it is also one of the most fulfilling events of your life as well. Cheers.

      Reply
  17. We are looking to go September 2010. Which tour group did you go with and would you recommend them? Thanks for the detailed account and the video. It was great to get an idea of what we’re up against. Thanks!

    Reply
    • We climbed with Kessey Brothers Tours based out of Moshi. They were fantastic and very reasonable. We landed at Kilimanjaro airport took a taxi to Moshi and booked with Kessy. They put us up for the night and we were climbing the next day. Very safe, very honest and very accommodating.

      Reply
  18. Thanks for the great read. I will keep in mind what you went through when I dare my first climb next week. It is more like a hike up the hill than a mountain climb, but it’s a 8.4 miles (13.5 kilometers) trek to the summit of Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas at 8749 ft (2625 meters).

    You’ll know if I made it next week when I get back. 🙂

    PS: I am delayed in getting you the questions because of the preparations, sorry about that.

    Reply
    • So true. It is on that summit day that everything falls apart. You think you are doing great and then suddenly at about 5300 meters the altitude really kicks in. Your legs feel like lead and every step was so difficult. It is really slow moving to say the least. Congrats on summiting!

      Reply
  19. Great video! I wondered how long it would take to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. I’m sure it helps to be in GREAT shape to do the climb. It’s like a marathon that you train for.

    Reply
  20. I am really missing you guys!! Chase and I got really good report cards,I got 3 A,s. Keep up the good work. May the winds be to your backs!!! mom reads the field writers everyday and keeps our family updated.
    Love, Carley

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  21. You guys look great Im sure once you get home for a while you will get the wander lust again enjoy yourselves and take care
    Love The Wilson family

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  22. Congrats Team Dave and Deb!
    I knew you could both do it and I am sure you had a blast with the other five ladz from TDA. I can just imagine some of your conversations as you all climbed the beast. Anyway, now let’s get back to business…..you have a race to complete and Dave I expect great things from you and Miss Deb ..keep that fire burning..I want to see a winning smile in Cape Town.
    Wish I was with you guys.
    Love ya..miss ya
    Janet

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  23. Dave – your photos are incredible – we hardly recognized both of you – you’ve lost so much weight – what are you missing the most? Wine? Beer? You will surely make up the weight when you get home – Love Mom

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  24. Congratulations! You two are awesome. So glad you made it to the ‘summit’ – what a wonderful accomplishment. You’ve made some wonderful memories – we’re so glad you are back down and enjoying the beach and a few ‘cold ones’. Be safe – Love you both – Mom & Dad

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  25. Way to go!!! What an experience. So glad you are back down and getting some relaxation. Love Mom and Dad

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  26. Uhhh- the rest of us SANe people know climbing Kilimanjaro is a ridiculous thing- it is only crazies like you who actually attempt to do such things. So proud of you two- didn’t doubt you could do it for a second. um…holy crap, you two are dropping weight like crazy- eat something!!!

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  27. WHOO HOO! Now there’s your EFI that you’ve been wanting!

    From all of us, “CONGRATULATIONS!”

    We were at Casa Horton Friday Night celebrating your summit, cause we knew you’de do it.
    I figured you were summitting Saturday morning “your time”, and with 8 hours time difference, and possibly a 6am summit sunrise would be 10pm Friday Night “our time”.

    Ange, Phil, Lisa, Darren, Shawn and I (Jen & Joe were away for the weekend) were all tipping our glasses and celebrating your suceess.

    Actually, Ange and I drank ALOT of red wine in your honour, and Shawn drank ALOT of beer in Dave’s honour. That’s when we decided to try and text you anyways, even knowing you probably wouldn’t get it.

    I had planned a get together for you guys summitting Friday Night, Shawn had other plans…he has planned a surprise birthday party for me. It was really great…small and intimate with our closest friends. The only thing missing was you guys.

    We’re always thinking of you…LOL

    Be Safe!

    Congratulations and Much Love,
    Shawn & Lorri
    Ange & Phil
    Darren & Lisa
    Jenny & Joe
    and all the kids
    XO

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  28. Awesome! I’m not sure I would get past the front gate! You guys are made of steel…no Iron!….no ALIEN METEORITES stronger than anything on this planet! Oh in case you haven’t heard we’ve got the most snow since 1939…close to being the most snow ever recorded!
    Hakuna Matada!

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  29. You guys are an inspiration to us all! Congratulations on the whole trip – the cycle journey and the trip up Kiliminjaro – and the lifetime of memories you’ll bring home. Can’t wait to see you!

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