Can A Beginner Climb Kilimanjaro?

Share this article:

Can A Beginner Climb Kilimanjaro?

The simple answer to the question – Can a beginner climb Kilimanjaro is Yes.

But with any altitude trek, the better prepared you are the more you are going to enjoy it.

Reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro is achievable by anyone with the correct preparation. The more training, the more research and the more planning you do the easier and more enjoyable you are going to find the climb.

How Old Do You Have To Be To Climb Kilimanjaro?

Children under the age of 10 are not allowed to climb Kilimanjaro. This limit is set by the Kilimanjaro National Park. Special permissions have been requested in the past and the youngest person to climb Kilimanjaro was only 6 years and one month old. 

The oldest person to climb Kilimanjaro was Arizona Great-Grandmother, Anne Lorimor at 89. 

Can a beginner climb kilimanjaro

What Skills Are Required For Kilimanjaro?

Although Kilimanjaro is nearly a 6000m Mountain, it is classed as a trekking Peak. This means no Mountaineering skills are required to get you to the top. There are no requirements for ropes, ice axes or any specialist mountaineering equipment.

Preparing For Kilimanjaro 

The top of Kilimanjaro sits at 5895m, if you are a keen trekker in the UK the chances are you may have climbed Mt Snowden (1085m) or Ben Nevis (1345m) and although these are great training, they are not going to provide you with a true picture of what it is really like trekking at altitude.

If you decide you are going to give Kilimanjaro a go, then you will need to practice multi-day trekking. Depending which Kilimanjaro route you decide to take you will be walking for between 5-10 days. The distances each day on a Kilimanjaro trek are not long on the way up. Each day you will cover around 6km-13km again depending on which route you decide.

One thing we always advise is to include Multi-day walks as part of your training for the trek. Practice walking with your Day Pack and then doing another long walk the following day and then repeating this.

TBLC Kilimanjaro x

How Will My Body Cope With Altitude?

One thing we get asked a lot in the office is ‘How will I cope with the Altitude?’ 

Up until the last few years, our answer was always that you can’t train for altitude in the UK. Our advice would have been to go and climb a smaller mountain like Mount Toubkal in Morocco and see how your body copes with a lesser altitude like 4167m. 

But now with the developments in science, you can visit somewhere like the Altitude Centre in London where they can test your body and see how you will  react to altitude. They are able to replicate the effects on your body to a maximum altitude of 6500m. The cost of this testing is around £199 and will certainly put your mind at ease before you travel to Tanzania of how your body will cope.

A Kilimanjaro trek is not a cheap one, and being fully prepared so you can succeed is something we advise. So if you have any concerns over the Altitude, then being tested is a very good option.

If you find that your body suffers during this testing, the Altitude Centre can advise and offer you a plan to train and acclimatise your body ready for your trek.

I recently recorded a Podcast with Nick Hart (Senior Altitude Coach at The Altitude Centre) titled Can I Train for Altitude in the UK. In the Podcast we discuss the process of getting people ready for a High Altitude Trek.

So the simple answer is YES a beginner can climb Kilimanjaro, but our advice is always to prepare properly for any high altitude trek.

We have written a comprehensive guide that covers everything you need to know about Kilimanjaro and you can download a free copy of our Ultimate Kilimanjaro Guide by clicking the link.

More To Explore

Best Things To Do In Croatia And Montenegro Featured Image