Summiting Mount Kilimanjaro on a Bike Is As Hard As It Looks

As a common practice, the African Safaris are the adventurous trips made for various purposes like: finding the African notorious animals in their natural habitats, or cruising on rivers and lakes, or hiking the mountains or trekking the deserts. But some want to be different by opting for “Biking or Cycling on Kilimanjaro”.

Those never die who do something extraordinary: uncommon and unusual. Only those persons who are more adventurous than others can dare to do something different than what the common mass is doing. Doing something uncommon is a special quality found in very few people in the world. The absurd thought may accrue at any moment for any work and implementing over that may bring you happiness or fame. For example: as a common practice, the African Safaris are the adventurous trips made for various purposes like: finding the African notorious animals in their natural habitats, or cruising on rivers and lakes, or hiking the mountains or trekking the deserts. But some want to be different by opting for “Biking Or Cycling On Kilimanjaro”. This special event brings a special flavour and fun for those who participate in it.

A relatively new concept on Africa’s highest mountain, Mountain Biking Expeditions were once strictly limited to just a few charity tours each year, but today, anyone can do Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing, all you need is a good pair of cycling shorts, the support of qualified mountain crew, and the mental and physical determination to hike and cycle to 5,895m above sea-level, on what is sure to be the journey of a lifetime! In fact this funny but adventurous concept started from 1985 after Dick and Nick Crane became the first recorded people to reach the summit of Kili with bikes. The book written by them “Bicycles Up Kilimanjaro” inspired thousands to adapt it in their list of itinerary on African Safari. Its popularity grew day by day and now around 20-25% of the young climbers is opting for this.

Since the millennium, as the mountain became ever busier, so cycling has largely been forbidden. But now the Kilimanjaro authority is willing to promote the Kilimanjaro Cycling expedition looking at the growing demand of the visitors. Most surprisingly the authorities have decided not only to allow cyclists back on the slopes, but have even opened up a whole new route and they have planned out a unique itinerary just for them. Everyone carrying a cycle to the summit must be charged an extra of US$50 per person per day in addition to the park fee. But the factor important is that, is it like someone hiking on Kilimanjaro on foot?

Yes: it is something like exploring Kilimanjaro on foot. You have to cycle through solitary rainforests, fertile fields of crop and through wild, dry acacia rich savannah,( the home of the Masai).You have to fight with the altitude, gear malfunctions, weather, and emotional ups and downs unlike the hikers. The experience would be same but the adventure and the pleasure would be more. If you have decided to cycle to 5,895m above sea-level, to make your expedition extraordinary and a life time achievement, then the following tips may help you to complete your expedition in a comfortable manner.

What Route To Choose To Cycle On Kilimanjaro?

The recommended routes for Cycling On Kilimanjaro are the Marangu Route and the Lemosho Route. While you can cycle it in 5 days, it is recommended that you go for a 6 or 7-day itinerary, which will give you extra time for acclimatization, and a higher chance of reaching the summit.

Take Your Own Mountain Bike?

While it is possible to rent mountain bikes in Arusha for as little as $20 per day, it is recommended that you should take your own bike with you. It is because you are comfortable with your bike in your practice session and secondly you can make it repaired if something goes wrong on the mountain. Your adaptability with your cycle would bring you more comfort.

How Much Of The Route Can One Cycle?

Many a factors govern to this like your stamina, the weather and atmosphere, your health and so on. So that is up to you. Besides you have to choose, if you want to cycle up and down Kilimanjaro or only hike up when a porter would carry your cycle down? A guide would always be there with you and you would have to decide each day exactly how much cycling you would like to do. Make sure that the higher you get, the more challenging it gets. The top portions would be tougher than the base part. So you need to pace yourself in the beginning by which you can finish your expedition within the scheduled time.

Is Cycling Costlier Than Hiking On Foot?

Yes. There is a daily fee for taking bicycles in the Kilimanjaro National Park. This will add approximately $400 on to the price of a regular 7-day expedition.

What Happens If You Fail To Ride Half Way?

Don’t bother for this. Your guide knows that cycling uphill is not an easy task and at some point you may fail to do so. In this case you will have a porter specifically for your cycle and if you don’t feel like cycling: feel too ill to continue or simply prefer to walk, they will carry it for you.

What Is The Best Time Of The Year To Cycle On Kilimanjaro?

It is possible to cycle Kilimanjaro at any time of the year, but it is best to avoid the rainy season (February to May) as the conditions may be unsuitable for mountain biking. Because the routes would be slippery at some points muddy. That would prevent your pace which may be resulted in consuming more time than the scheduled one. September and October are great months to hike and bike Kilimanjaro – although it is the busiest time of the year.