How Do I Count Days On Kilimanjaro? It can often get confusing when trying to compare the trips offered by the numerous Kilimanjaro outfitters. Sometimes it is difficult to make sure that you are comparing apples to apples when you are comparing the routes and duration of each the trip. Since altitude acclimatization is one of the most important factors in making a successful Kilimanjaro summit, you will want to understand how many days you will actually be hiking on the mountain. You do not want to sign up for a 12-day Lemosho trek and upon arrival find out you are only spending 7 days on the mountain.
Days on the Mountain
You may see an advertised 12-day Lemosho climb and try to compare it to a 7-day Lemosho climb. How can two companies offer the same route with a 5-day difference in duration? First, it is important to understand that the Lemosho route can be climbed in 7, 8 or 9 days. Pay close attention to the details of the climb. Figure out how many days you will be on the mountain. The other added days before and after the climb at not as relevant to your summit success.
Some companies will count only the days that you are actually hiking on the mountain. While others count the day that you leave your home and head to the airport and even the day that you return home. Often times, many outfitters will include a leisure day at the beginning of their climb or a safari at the end. View the itinerary carefully.
Many outfitters will tell you how many days you are on the mountain. But surprisingly, there are more that don’t really make it obvious. For those companies, you will want to look at each itinerary in detail. Browse over the itinerary until you see the first day that you begin to hike. Then find the day that usually says that you will be transported back to your lodge. This is your last day on the mountain. Subtract the last day on the mountain from the first day, and you will get your actual number of days on the mountain. Once you know this number, you will have a firm grasp on the Kilimanjaro portion of your trip. Now you can begin to look at the days leading up to the climb and the days after the climb. Often times, there are many unneeded days added to the itinerary to make your trip longer and more expensive.
At Peak Planet, we make sure to point out the number of days that you are on the mountain along with a clear map of each campsite. Therefore, the 10-day Lemosho climb is actually 8 days on the mountain.
Another way to determine the number of days on the mountain is to count the nights at campsites. For example, the map below shows the 10-day Lemosho climb itinerary which has all 7 of the campsites listed. Since you will be camping for 7 nights, you are spending 8 days on the mountain.
The reason we add the arrival and departure days is to prevent clients from showing up the day they are supposed to start climbing.
Additionally, we really recommend that you come in at least one day earlier. For example, if your arrival day is October 5th. Book your flight to arrive on the 4th. Booking this rest day allows for any flight delays and for any delayed or lost bags. This also gives you a day to recover from the long flight.
Furthermore, arriving a day early allows you to participate in the trip briefing. We give trip briefings in the morning and afternoon the day before a climb. At the trip briefing, we distribute the rental gear and go over everything you’ll need to know on the mountain. Please do not book your flight to arrive after 5 PM the night before your climb. If you arrive late, it is unfair to the rest of your climb group as well as the guide who has to give the briefing. He will still have things he has to do to prepare for the next morning’s departure.
If you miss the trip briefing, we will give you one before heading to the trailhead on the first day of the climb. It will not be as thorough since getting to the mountain is the first priority.
- Lemosho Forest Camp
(AKA Big Tree Camp)
- Shira One
- Shira Hut
(AKA Shira II)
- Barranco Camp
- Karanga Camp
- Barafu Hut
- Millenium Camp