So you are thinking about tackling one of the challenging items on your bucket list this year. You are an adventurous person and like to hike. Should you do Everest Base Camp or Mount Kilimanjaro? Both are epic trips, they require a big fitness commitment and both cost a lot of money. How do you decide?
Everest Base Camp or Mount Kilimanjaro
Trekking to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro and the Everest Base Camp trek rank as two of the most popular treks in the world. Both mountains are the highest peaks on their respective continent. Every year Kilimanjaro has up to 50,000 people attempt its peak and correspondingly 40,000 attempt Everest Base Camp. The allure of the amazing scenery brings both the expert climbers and the novice alike.
With both treks being highly rated by travelers, it can be hard to decide between an Everest Base Camp or Mount Kilimanjaro trek. To help with that decision, many people ask which one is more difficult.
What many trekkers fail to take into account when they compare these two trips is that the Kilimanjaro trek takes you right to the top of the mountain’s summit. The Everest trek takes you through stunning mountains to the Everest Base Camp, which sits at around 17,600 feet, but that isn’t the summit. The summit is still almost 9,800 ft above base camp. Mount Everest’s summit is 29,029 feet. The Kilimanjaro summit, Uhuru Peak, sits at 19,341 feet. Which makes it 1,640 feet higher than Everest Base Camp.
If making your objective is important, you should measure it based on success rates. Unfortunately, these percentages are not very reliable. Official sources are old and not very accurate. Trip operators, trying to sell you on going with their company, boast inflated numbers.
If you really sit down and take the time to do the homework you will find out that Everest Base Camp trek has a success rate of around 90%. Kilimanjaro’s success rate is more difficult to average since there are several routes to the summit.
A rule of thumb is if the route has you on the mountain for 8 or 9 days the success rate is over 90%. For every day you subtract the success rate diminishes by 20%. If you choose to cut costs by going with a budget operator, you also decrease your chances of summiting due to under-trained and under-equipped guides and porters, insufficient meals, and old and worn out equipment. To increase your success rate, you should choose a trekking operator and route carefully.
Everest Base Camp trek has a much more reliable success rate. But this is due to there being only one main well-established route. Tourism along this route has also been established for decades. Kilimanjaro has been popular with tourists for a much shorter time. You also have to take into account the several routes, budget operators and a less established tourist infrastructure.
Many people underestimate the difficulty of climbing Kilimanjaro. This too lowers the overall success rate. In other words, your experience on an Everest Base Camp trek will be fairly predictable, whereas for Kilimanjaro there are a lot of variables which can affect your chance of summiting. It is important that when choosing to climb Kilimanjaro, do your research, pick a good company to trek with and make sure you are appropriately prepared for the challenge, maximizing your chance of success.
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If solitude is what you are after, then the Northern Circuit Route is the best route for you on Kilimanjaro. It is nine days on the mountain. It has a more than 90% summit success rate due to many days you have to acclimatize to the extreme elevation. Less than 1% of all treks are booked on the Northern Circuit.
Packing for Kilimanjaro can seem overwhelming. You are traveling halfway around the world and will be on the mountain for several days. So how do you know if you brought enough gear? Will you be warm enough? Can your feet handle all those days of walking? Did you bring enough batteries to last your entire trip?
Peak Planet offers supplemental oxygen for summit night. A porter will carry it until it is needed and our medically trained guide will put it on you.
The Lemosho route is regarded as one of the prettiest routes on Kilimanjaro. The trek begins from the western side of the mountain. It starts at the Lemosho gate. This is also where the Northern Circuit route begins. The trek starts by climbing through the lush rainforest for a day and a half before reaching the wildflowers of the Moorland region. It then continues across one of the most beautiful areas on Kilimanjaro, the Shira Plateau, before traversing the mountain along the southern circuit.
We recommend using trekking poles on Kilimanjaro unless you are an experienced backpacker that is used to hiking on unstable terrain over several hours.
Climb Kilimanjaro on the popular Rongai route. It is great for both beginning hikers and expert trekkers and has a more gradual ascent to Uhuru Peak.
Peak Planet offers Kilimanjaro Search and Rescue (SAR) helicopter evacuation insurance for every climber on their Mount Kilimanjaro climb. Free of charge.
Travel insurance is mandatory to climb Kilimanjaro with Peak Planet. Travel insurance should cover high-altitude trekking up to 6,000 meters, medical and repatriation costs, and trip cancellation.
Your flight has just landed at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). As you debark the plane, what do you do upon arrival at JRO?
You have just returned from climbing Kilimanjaro. It was the trip of a lifetime. You are excited to share your pictures and are completely blown away with the people of Tanzania. They were so happy and helpful and you feel that you would not have made the summit without the knowledge and encouragements of the guide, assistant guides, and porters.