Has your child grown up loving the outdoors and hiking regularly with you? Taking them on a vacation of adventure would be great for them. With this in mind, a family vacation on Mount Kilimanjaro can be a wonderful experience. But can children climb Kilimanjaro? There are some limitations.
Kilimanjaro can be climbed by children aged ten and older. Under the Tanzanian Park Authority‘s policy, children under ten are not allowed to climb higher than 12,000 feet (3,700 meters).
Additionally, anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian when climbing Kilimanjaro.
Even though it is not a restriction, we strongly recommend booking a private climb. There are some people who do not like children, and it’s not just about your climb; it’s about your entire group as well. With a private climb, you and your child can go at your own pace.
Have a conversation with your child or children. If they are up for the adventure, prepare them beforehand.
The first thing you should do is speak with your pediatrician about the trip. Improper exposure to altitude can be very dangerous for a developing brain. Mount Kilimanjaro is probably not a good choice if your child has any health concerns.
It may be best to wait a few years depending on your child’s age and developmental stage.
Secondly, prepare your child physically and mentally well in advance. Invest in name-brand equipment that is equal to yours. Make sure your child uses it often so it becomes second nature. To break in their boots, hike frequently.
Have detailed conversations with them about any issues that may arise while on the trek.
Items may include;
- Bad weather
- Difficult days of hiking
- Stomach aches
- Sore feet and blisters
- Symptoms of altitude sickness.
Encourage one another as you train and continue this practice while on the mountain. Be realistic about what your child can expect. Discuss with them that making the summit is the goal of the trip. We recommend taking your child on high-altitude hikes to get a sense of how their body will feel.
We also offer private toilets to rent. This way children do not have to use the dirty, public “long drop” bathrooms. Our porters can also carry your child’s day pack and help them along the trek.
We will let the staff know in advance that there will be children on the climb so they can prepare for it.
Choose a Route
Finally, be extra selective in choosing your route. We strongly recommend that children climb on either the Lemosho or Northern Circuit routes due to the extra time it allows for acclimatization.
Acclimatization is one of the biggest factors in whether or not you summit safely. It is much better to allow your body extra days to acclimatize naturally. But in cases of emergency, we do carry oxygen and you can rent ALTOX as well.
Listen to Your Intuition
So now you know that children can climb Kilimanjaro, but should your child climb? Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro is one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of your life.
Families that have climbed with us have felt it especially meaningful to summit with their children.
Finally, trust your intuition. Mount Kilimanjaro isn’t going anywhere so choose safety over convenience. Perhaps wait until your child is a bit older.
If you have any further questions, feel free to email us at email@example.com