BIKING KILIMANJARO – TIPS FOR SUCCESS

 

ADD MORE DAY ON THE MOUNTAIN

There is official route to cycle up the Mount Kilimanjaro which can be done by bike which is Kilema route. You can either choose the 5 days but 6 days on the biking tour on Kilimanjaro is well recommended. One of the biggest issues on Kilimanjaro is people trying to ascend too quickly which will not give them the necessary time to acclimatize to the low levels of oxygen.  We, as a team, would never step foot on Kilimanjaro with less than 5 days on a bike tour even though most of our bikers take it minimum from 5-6days. At 5,895m (19,341feet), Kilimanjaro’s summit is at a very high level of altitude and it shouldn’t be underestimated. The reason why many people choose a shorter trek on Kilimanjaro is because of the lower costs associated with it.  For every extra day you spend on the mountain, the cost goes up quite a bit, however, when you are signing up to an adventure like this, we would want to do everything possible to be successful and fully enjoy our time on the mountain.  If you do not reach your goal because you wanted to save a couple of hundred dollars, it may cost you a lot more to come back to Tanzania to cycle up again.

Oclaa Adventures is always willing to listen to you and give you the best advice so you can choose the most suitable numbers of the days for your memorable achievement.

 

TRAIN TRAIN TRAIN

We know that Kilimanjaro is considered a trekking peak, and you do not need any technical training to complete this climb, but that does not mean that you do not need any training as the climbing is total different when you will do it by bike. Kilimanjaro is a peak that is accessible for most reasonably fit individuals, but you do have to physically prepare your body if you want to fully enjoy your adventure.  We recommend that you spend at least four days a week doing some sort of intense physical exercise for approximately three to four months prior to the starting date of your tour.

 

BE MENTALLY PREPARED

Physical preparation is important, but the mental one is even more. One of the reasons why people give up in the middle of their attempt to reach Uhuru Peak is lack of mental self-support. It is not just the mountain we conquer, it’s ourselves. And there’s always something more beautiful and impressive to see after the long journey we passed. Always tell yourselves “I can do it” you’ll realize you already push more than 50 pedals.

We can do it! No matter how hard it is, keep moving forward and don’t forget to enjoy the stunning landscape along the way, fauna and flora species can only be seen once in your lifetime!

 

RIGHT GEARS FOR THE MOUNTAIN AND BIKE

There are many kinds of gear and clothing that are essential for our trip on Kilimanjaro, and we don’t mention every piece of gear you need for the trip, we only highlight some of the specific gears that prove to be essential. Please kindly refer to our climbing checklist and well note that Oclaa Adventures can provide you with everything you don’t have. Surely you don’t need to leave home with heavy luggage! Your feet are one of the most important parts of the body to take care of when Cycle up.  Never skip on footwear when you are going on a trip like Kilimanjaro. Buy a good, sturdy, waterproof pair of trekking boots, special shoes for biking and make sure that you break them in before you depart for Tanzania. Secondly, treat yourself with a good down jacket with at least 650 fill down with more down, but if you can afford it, we would stick with a 700 or 750 fill down. Remember that every brand and style is different and if you are questioning your down coat, make sure to ask the advice of a professional before the trip as this piece of gear can be essential during the cold nights and mornings on the mountain as when you keep on biking you’ll become hort. Thirdly, having both a platypus (eg. Camelback brand) water carrier and a Nalgene-styled plastic bottle is highly recommended. Drinking water is essential on the mountain and lower down on the mountain. With that said, a Camelback is likely to freeze on summit night and higher up on the mountain, and if you do not have an alternative water bottle like a Nalgene, you will not have any access to water.  Now those three tips are obviously not the only gear you will need on the trip, but these are three essentials that we would make sure to have in your kit bag. Again, please note that we can provide you with all that you don’t have.

 

KEEP YOURSELF HYDRATED

If there is one tip that we can give you while on the mountain, it is to make sure that keeping hydrated is one of your top priorities.  At higher levels of altitude, your body will dehydrate much quicker than it will at sea level, and you will have to make sure you are drinking plenty of water.  We would recommend that you are drinking at least 2.5 – 3 liters of water throughout the day while on the mountain.  This is where the different types of water bottles come in handy. During your trip, we will give you purified and boiled water. Every evening, before they go to bed, they would ask the kitchen staff to fill up your bottles with that safe and hot water and those bottles should go into your sleeping bag to keep your feet and body toasty in your tent while you sleep. And every morning when you wake up, our mountain crew members will bring hot water for your personal hygiene use.

 

CYCLE HIGH SLEEP LOW

On this tour, the program has been designed to allow bikers to bike high and sleep low for the first 3 days of the tour. By biking high and sleeping low, a biker’s body is triggered to acclimatize faster, reducing the possibility of getting altitude sickness. If possible on day 4, try to do a short afternoon stroll on the summit attempt path to a higher altitude and then descend back down to Kibo hut.

 

“POLE POLE” SLOWLY THIS IS NOT THE RACE

When taking on a challenge like Kilimanjaro, you have to remember that it is a cycling race, not a sprint.  Acclimatization to the low levels of oxygen in the mountains requires you to take your time, to slowly get your body used to lack of oxygen. This is absolutely key to your success on the mountain. There is never a time on Kilimanjaro where you need to ride at a fast pace.  During the majority of the trek (excluding summit night), you should only be walking at a pace while our team help you to carry your bike at some point, that you can carry on a conversation with others, without feeling too much exertion physically. Obviously, there are tougher sections throughout the trek where you may need to stop talking and catch your breath, however you always want to try and keep your pace to a snail’s pace, not a rabbit’s!  On the summit night, this will be different.  You will still be walking at a very slow pace, taking a rest step in-between each step, however, it is highly unlikely that you will have the energy or the extra breath to carry on a conversation.  During my summit of Kilimanjaro, you just keep reminding yourself to take deep breaths with each step in through the nose and out through the mouth.  This keeps your pace at a regulated speed and keeps your mind focused on getting in that much-needed oxygen to succeed. So POLE POLE (slow down, slow down) will be your friends!

 

REMEMBER YOU’RE ON HOLIDAY, ENJOY YOURSELF

The most important thing to remember is that you are on vacation, relax and enjoy yourself!  There is always a lot of spare time when on a Cycling trip like Cycle up Kilimanjaro.  You generally ride anywhere from 4-6 hours a day, with the exception of summit day which is much longer, and therefore have plenty of time when you arrive in camp to relax, rest, and fill your memorable time having fun with your fellow trekkers.  It is important to have this time throughout your journey as they help to keep you positive and relaxed, instead of nervous and stressed.  You also have to keep in mind that you are entering a very different environment than you may be used to when going to Tanzania.  Things may not be done in the same manner as you may be used to at home, by no means does this imply that things are done wrong there, however culture and way of living are just different. So our friends, keep an open mind and remember the fact that there will be cultural differences along the way, so please respect those who are there to help us reach our goals!