Where do you sleep on Kilimanjaro?
Where do you sleep when you climb Kilimanjaro? What bedding should you bring? Why is it difficult to sleep at height? And is there anything you can do to make sleeping on Kilimanjaro easier? We answer these questions and more in this post. That way, you can set off on your Kilimanjaro climb with peace of mind, knowing you’re fully equipped for the adventure ahead – and that all-important sleep!
Sleeping on Kilimanjaro is an important and often overlooked part of any climb. Sufficient sleep is an essential part of an enjoyable mountain experience. The most important thing is to prepare with the right equipment and the right attitude. For example, you want the right gear to be warm and comfortable. You also want to understand the struggles many people have with sleeping at high altitudes so you don’t stress if you experience them yourself.
Where do you sleep on Kilimanjaro?
When traveling on Kilimanjaro, you can sleep in two places: a mountain hut or a tent. Most trekkers sleep in tented camps as only the Marangu route offers huts. Those who hike on one of the other seven Kilimanjaro routes must camp.
Fortunately, your job is made easier as porters carry all your camping gear and set up camp for you. While you may be the hardy type who would love to carry your own camping gear and camp yourself, Kilimanjaro doesn’t work that way. No one can climb Kilimanjaro alone. Instead, you must climb the mountain with the help of a registered tour operator and mountain staff.
Anyone hiking one of the other seven Kilimanjaro routes must camp. Personally, we think camping is the more fun option. Like many other tour operators, At Mountain Climbers Tz provides our climbers with high quality dome tents that comfortably fit two people. If you join us as a solo trekker, we can find someone to share a tent with if you wish. This is a great way to meet and bond with a fellow climber. It’s also a bit more affordable. However, if you want your own tent, that is also completely possible.
The huts provided by the Kilimanjaro National Park are wooden, A-frame structures. They include beds with mattresses, but you must bring your own sleeping bag and pillow. The huts are built along the Marangu route as it is the original Kilimanjaro route. It’s a well-established route with a fairly gradual ascent. It is sometimes called the Coco-Cola route as you can buy some amenities such as a Coke at some of the overnight stops. Consequently, it is quite a popular route and can be quite crowded at times.
Why is it difficult to sleep at altitude?
Falling asleep at altitude is notoriously difficult. Some people have trouble falling asleep when they are at altitude, while others find that they wake up during the night and can’t get back to sleep. Others find that they sleep fitter. Insomnia and interrupted sleep are just the name of the game in high altitude trekking.
The reason it is difficult to sleep at high altitudes is that the reduced oxygen levels affect breathing. This isn’t anything to worry about, it just means you’ll get poorer quality sleep and struggle with fatigue the next day. Again, this is normal and part of the process. Another reason why you need determination to reach the top of Kilimanjaro!
So when you reach the higher altitude of Kilimanjaro, you can expect to struggle to sleep. Or at least harder than usual. In a way, you just want to accept this, especially if you’re one of those people who stress about lying awake, making sleep even more difficult! Understanding that most people find it difficult to sleep on Mount Kilimanjaro can take some of the stress out of it.