Hiking the Kilimanjaro during the night is such a great experienced as it saves you from the uncertainty of the heath and coldness on the trails.
The temperatures at night are usually very stable and predictable compared to those during the day.
Reaching the peak of the Kilimanjaro takes over 5 days depending on the trail you use. Usually the hikes are done during the day and the descending starts during the night in most cases.
Reaching the summit at night has its advantages. You can hike part of the hike during the day but then reach the summit at night
Hiking during the night has the following disadvantages or hardships;
- The wind can be fierce, as there’s no protection at the summit
- Starting the hike in the dark of night can be mentally daunting
- You hike for between 13 to 16 hours (depending on your route)
- It’s the steepest part of the entire trek
- You’re hiking on top of little (and probably poor-quality) sleep
- The scree can be hard to walk on
- It’s so gosh-darn bleeping cold!!
- The altitude can make you feel sick (for instance, dizzy or nauseous)
- The air is thin so breathing is usually difficult
Why climb Kilimanjaro at night?
It’s weird as it may sound, that one has to get up in the middle of the night and hike to the top of the mountain. Here are some of the reasons that will motivate you to leave bed and hike in the middle of the night.
It’s hard to sleep at altitude
It’s usually hard to sleep at night as the altitude increases due to the fact that there is a reduction in oxygen that makes it hard to breathe and makes the nights restless. Therefore other than wasting a lot of time on sleepless nights, you would rather walk out at night and rest during the day when the oxygen levels stabilize.
There’s much ground to cover
The other advantage of hiking at night is that there is a lot of ground to cover at night. The night having less temperature, you can use less energy to hike than when there is a lot of heat. Using the nights will mean you use less time to reach the summit compared to the day hikes.
All water at this elevation must be carried up
The more the number of days that hikers take in the areas with high altitude, the more they have more things to carry like water. The water is usually drawn for the streams in the lower altitude areas like the montane forest zone. So when you get to the desert zone and any zone above that, the water you carried from the lower zones is what you have to use until you descent again. Therefore its best that you don’t waste a lot of time on the summit and if you can take advantage of the night hikes, then its t hest option to save time and energy.
The sunrise from Stella Point is glorious
For the people that have taken time to examine the map of the Kilimanjaro map, you will notice this point. This is the best point you can view the sunrise whiel on the Kilimanjaro. And if you reach there before sunrise then you will have the best experience.
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