Mount Kilimanjaro is a fair difficult mountain to climb – recent research suggests that over 50% of those who attempt it suffer from mountain sickness and just over 65% of them are unable to reach the summit

The reasons behind this high number of unsuccessful attempts vary, from issues caused by the altitude to the mindset of the climber.

Kilimanjaro is an extreme altitude mountain trek. Measuring 19,341 feet, or 5,895 meters, you will need to prepare well and train before attempting to climb Kili.

Kilimanjaro Acclimatization

Climbing Kilimanjaro most  days are not very hard because the trails are not steep it’s mostly dealing with the altitude, however the summit night is extremely difficulty as this is the coldest, windiest section of your adventure.

An ascent of 4,084ft with  49% less oxygen and a descent of nearly 6,870ft. It can take up to 12-14 hours of walking.

A common question we get asked all the time, and we see a lot in the various forums, is how hard is it to climb Kilimanjaro? The answer to this question is a bit complicated, as it depends on many factors, and is very individual.

After all, what one person finds “hard”, another may find “easy”. And because something is hard, doesn’t that make it all the more satisfying to do?

Many people have said “Kilimanjaro is the hardest thing I’ve ever done especially the summit night and then gone on to do it again. We’ve yet to meet someone who thinks it’s “easy”, but it always depends on what you’re comparing with.

Compared with Everest, Kilimanjaro is “easy”.

Compared with a leisurely walk along the beach, it’s “hard”.

Let’s dig in to some of the specific factors that affect whether Kilimanjaro is hard – or not – and what you can do about it.

Climbing Kilimanjaro Technical Difficulty

One of the first questions that inexperienced, aspiring mountaineers want to know, is whether there is any technical difficulty  involved when climbing Kilimanjaro.

Mount Kilimanjaro isn’t a hard trek in terms of technicality, its a “walk-up”, a trekking peak that can be done without an ice axe, ropes, or harnesses. You don’t need any technical mountaineering skills at all.

Dealing with Altitude Difficulty on Kilimanjaro

This is really one of the hardest part of climbing Kilimanjaro. Your ability to acclimatize and get used to the low oxygen in the air – while still having to trek long distances – is what sets Kilimanjaro apart from your average long day’s hiking. Kilimanjaro Altitude  training  is one of the preparations you can do to maximize your chances of being able to handle the altitude, but it can be a bit unpredictable.

Taking a long route – 6+ days – will give your body more time to acclimatize, and give time for adequate rest and recovery, as you won’t be in a hurry to make up the miles.