3 Reasons to Hike Mount Kilimanjaro 

 May 23, 2020

By  Wilson

Mount Kilmanjaro stands 5895m (19,341ft) tall, and it is the highest free-standing mountain in the world. This hike changed the game for me and I’ll tell you why in this post.

I hiked the Machame Route for 6nights/7days. I thought that amount of time was just-right. Let’s dive right into the details.

Machame Route

Machame Route

Btw, I didn’t have enough clothes with me, so I wore a purple button-down shirt underneath my jacket. Needless to say, I unanimously won the best dressed award. Brb, telling all my friends I have style.

How I Got There

As usual whenever I travel, I either take a United flight or search for the cheapest flight on kayak.com. I wrote an article about how I stick to flying on United as much as possible to cash out big with my miles.

For this trip, I flew to Kilimanjaro airport from Entebbe in Uganda on Kenya Airways (with a connection in Nairobi).

Here are my top 3 reasons of why hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro was so thrilling:

1. The Hiking Tour Guides do a Great Job

I’m sure everybody’s familiar with the stigma of Mt. Kilimanjaro – “oh people die”, or “oh it’s dangerous”.

But in reality, the guides do a wonderful job of making sure you’re okay, you’re well-fed, you’re hydrated. So I really appreciated that.

We had a short briefing the evening before we started our trek. They made sure we had all of the apparel and equipment necessary for the hike. I forgot to bring a headlamp, so I bought it at the store.

For example, I only had a 0.5L water bottle and a few snacks, so they brought us to the store and I got a 1.5L water bottle. I also bought what felt like 10 pounds of chocolate and energy bars. Turns out, all of those were very necessary.

2. Hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro Really Was Not that Hard…

…Until Summit Day.

Previously, I had hiked Patagonia- Chile: W-Trek.

And I thought those routes were harder than the Machete Route for Kilimanjaro. Again… until summit day. Lol.

I had the image of Mt. Kilimanjaro being tough to hike, and that was true. And oh btw, have I mentioned summit day was hard?

Again, I can’t stress this enough, but the guides did a great job of pacing and leading us at the rate suitable for us.

I hiked with two Germans – one of which had a tougher time on Summit day (which I will detail later in this post). Each person had a personal guide, so because German Guy Number 2 was struggling during the trek, the guides re-allocated (amongst themselves) to have two guides help German Guy Number 2 – they did a “one person per shoulder” type deal and essentially carried him to the top.

German Guy Number 1 and I, on the other hand, did not struggle quite as much, so between the two of us, we had one guide, Milton.

And the Machete route itself did a wonderful job of naturally monitoring our adjustment to the altitude.

On the 4th day, we hiked up to 4600m (15,092ft) then stayed back down at 3900m (12,795ft) at Baranco Camp.

Baranco Camp

4th Day - Baranco Camp

5th Night - Hit 4600m

5th Night - Hit 4600m

So we were already somewhat accustomed to the altitude of 4600m (15,092ft).

Then on the 5th night, we hit 4600m (15,092ft) again and this time we stayed there.



I remember at this point, at 4600m (15,092ft), I was completely out of breath just by walking to the bathroom.

At 2am on the 6th day, we woke up and started our ascend to the peak. We reached one of the first “checkpoints” called Stella Point at 5756m (18,885ft).

Stella Point

Stella Point - 6th day (02:00am)

I remember being completely delirious, tired, sore, out of breathe, and taking this picture with my flash, and it was still so dark.

We just missed the sunrise for Uruhu Point – which is where we took that famous picture with the sign at 5,895m (19,341ft).

But we ended up making it 🙂

Uruhu Point

Uruhu Point

3. I Will Never Forget the Feeling Hiking Back Down from Uhuru Peak

I literally conquered the world. The feeling of accomplishment was something I have never felt in my life. (*whispers* probably because I was so delirious and exhausted but let’s pretend that’s not true so just let me have my glory plz thanks.)

I will shamelessly admit that I started crying out of joy at the top because it was such a satisfying feeling.

I didn’t have to fake any smiles here at 5500m (18,045ft).

Uhuru Peak 5500m (18,045ft)

Uhuru Peak 5500m (18,045ft)

At the end of the hike, the porters, cooks, and guides all sang a traditional Swahili song, Jambo Bwana, as a thank you for your business and for riding along the journey.

Where I Stayed

Well, it was part of the package deal to stay at the hotel for the tour when we weren’t camping. But I did write a separate article on How I Choose Where I Stay when I Travel.

If I Had More Time, I Would Have…

Ok. Candy Bar Fun Fact plus kind-of-important-fact. Did you know that Mt. Kilimanjaro is located in Tanzania?

So I would have bunked a Serengheti safari tour with the hike. That would have been an extra week.

My hiking buddy from Germany did that. I would have also explored more of the Arusha town.

As for the rest of the country, I’ve heard great things about Dar es Salaam. And then I would have hopped over to the mystical island of Zanzibar.

Closing Remarks

If I can hike Mt. Kilimanjaro, I can do anything in this world.

Alright get tf out Wilson that’s not true. But. My point is that my sense of accomplishment was through the roof and still has been since that day. I have really appreciated that experience and would recommend hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro in a heartbeat.



Mt. Kilimanjaro

Mt. Kilimanjaro

Final Grade: A+


ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Hi, my name is Wilson, founder of WFH Nomad. I was born and raised in the US, and I boast engineering and business degrees from top programs in the US. I work a normal, WFH job for a great company in America. I am extremely passionate about traveling and my job in the Tech industry, and the best part of the WFH Nomad concept is that I can do both at the same time.

I have traveled to over 47 different countries in my lifetime and I look forward to continue this lifestyle for the foreseeable future. Thanks for visiting the website!

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