Climbing Kilimanjaro takes a lot of preparation. People begin planning their trip between six months and one year prior to their climb. A reputable, established Kilimanjaro outfitter is will assist you tremendously in your trip planning. Before selecting a Kilimanjaro operator to work with, there are details you will need to sort out.
Kilimanjaro Party Size:
Some people climb Kilimanjaro solo while others go with large groups of 20 or more. Most people enjoy companionship and try to find others to participate in the Kilimanjaro climb. Having more people means you will be able to raise more money due to having access to a larger pool of potential donors. The possible drawbacks are that coordinating the climb, fundraising, etc. among the entire party can be difficult. Nevertheless, having a support group on the mountain is a powerful motivator.
Climb and Travel Dates:
There are two rainy seasons in Tanzania that should be avoided. The long rainy season goes from March to June and the short rainy season is in November. Climbing during the rainy season means you get rained on and the weather conditions make the mountain more unfriendly than it already is. Therefore, plan on going from July to October or from December to February for the driest weather.
Kilimanjaro Climbing Routes:
There are many routes on Mount Kilimanjaro, but not all are good choices. With a charity climb, it is important for most organizers that they reach the top. The best way to increase the odds of making it is to go on a long route. Though Marangu is a popular choice, it has a low success rate due to its short 5 day itinerary. A better choice is to take a moderately difficult route like the 7 day Rongai route.
Once you have the Kilimanjaro group, date and route set, you should book your climb with a reputable Kilimanjaro outfitter. Then, begin your climb preparation (and fundraising). Your preparation should include training for the climb, acquiring the right gear and equipment, obtaining a valid passport and visa, making travel arrangements, and getting the recommended vaccinations and medications.