Can Children Climb Mt Kilimanjaro?
Are you looking to plan your next big adventure? Interested in going to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and want to go with your family but wondering if children can also join? Going to climb Mount Kilimanjaro can provide you with the ultimate adventure family vacation and it is possible to take your children.
We have put together a guide to climbing Kilimanjaro with kids with useful tips and advice. Leading travel operator - Oasis Overland's director Chris Wrede also recently climbed Mt Kilimanjaro with his two sons and gives us the ins and outs of his trip.
- Children must be aged 10 and older to climb Kilimanjaro and there are no exceptions
- Children under the age of 10 are now allowed to climb over 12,000 ft (3,700 meters) - this is set by the Tanzanian Park Authority
- If you and your children are active and in good health it is possible to climb Kilimanjaro, lots of families have done this
- You will need to make sure they are interested in doing this experience and are used to going walking / hiking
- We recommend spending a few days in Tanzania to get used to the alltitude
- Get plent of rest before arriving and book with a recommended tour company
- Choose the right route, for example children might be better on the Lemosho or Northern Circuit routes
Q&A with Chris
Q: What route did you do?
A: We chose Machame because it is a more gradual ascent than Marangu and I preferred the idea of camping on the mountain to sharing bunk beds with other smelly climbers in a hut! I had also heard the terrain is more interesting and you get fantastic views of the summit most days as well as Mount Meru because we climbed the western flank.
Q: How many days did it take you to climb?
A: We chose to do the 7 day climb as opposed to the 6 day because this gave us an extra acclimatisation day on day 5. We saw other groups leave real early on day 4 for a long days walk because they had to summit on day 5. Most of them still made it to Uhuru Peak but the fact we could take an additional day at between 3800 and 4700 metres and summit on day 6 certainly made it easier.
Q: How does it work with the guides/porters?
A: We had 4 in our group and needed 12 porters, 1 cook, one waiter (yes, I was surprised too!) but it was great getting tea and coffee bought to our tents in the morning and he also bought the 3 course meals to our mini dining tent. Plus we had a guide, Evans, and assistant guide Dan.
Q: What training program did you follow to reach the fitness level required for the climb?
A: We did very little although that was not our intention. The 4 of us spent a weekend in the Lake District in Cumbria and did 2 days hiking and then an afternoon on the Dorset coast for an 11 mile walk.
Oasis Overland offer a range of Kilimanjaro climbs for both adults and families
- Machame Route for Adults (8-days)
- Marangu Route for Adults (7-days)
- Marangu Route for Adults (6-days)
- Machame Route Family Adventure (10-days)
- Kilimanjaro Climb & Sarengeti for Families (13-days)
Family climbs are also available for children aged between 12-16 years of age.
If this adventure appeals to you check out our Kilimanjaro tours.