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20 Signs You’ve Just Trekked (or are Trekking) Mount Kilimanjaro

You are on your way to the roof of Africa or have already made it to Uhuru Peak. Congratulations! Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro is no small feat and it certainly is a one-of-a-kind experience. Whether you hike with a small group of friends or a larger group of mountain aficionados. Whether it’s the Rongai or Lemosho Route, over 6 or 9 days.  There are some things that all climbers can relate to on their journey to the top. If you’ve made the trip you’ll know the feeling. Let’s see how many times you smile knowingly at the 20 signs below!  

Woman in red jacket standing in snow on Mount Kilimanjaro

  1. You just can’t get enough of the views. Aaah the views!
  2. “Pole pole” has become your motto. For everything.
  3. Sudden weather changes make you feel like a menopausal woman.Sitting woman with blond hair looks along a trek to Mount Kilimanjaro
  4. Your fingernails are black with dust but you’ve stopped caring.
  5. You grab every opportunity to use or test the new Swahili words that you’ve learned: jambo, lala salama, mambo poa, baridi, biskuti, kaka, dada, chai …  
  6. You spend your days talking about – and looking for signs of – altitude sickness.A guide in a blue jacket leads a group of trekkers up Mount Kilimanjaro
  7. Going to the bathroom is an expedition in itself.
  8. You don’t need a torch at night because the stars illuminate the night sky (and you just can’t stop staring).
  9. You don’t mind smells anymore. Smells? What smells?
  10. Your hair has formed dreadlocks, so you just wear a hat rather than trying to comb it.Small group hiking in the direction of the sun on Mount Kilimanjaro
  11. You have become a pro at washing your body with 10 ml of water – and have gained a whole new appreciation for water in the process.
  12. Finally getting hold of network feels like winning the lottery (and thanks for reading us by the way!).
  13. Warm water bottles are the biggest treat your cook can make for you – to tuck into your sleeping bag, of course.
  14. You have become a master at packing and unpacking – in all conditions: dark, cold, rainy or windy weather.Group hike up Mount kilimanjaro through shrub land
  15. You spy on other climbers through the log book because it’s the closest thing to Facebook on the mountain.
  16. You make up rhymes to remember your porters’ names.  
  17. You have forgotten how to cook, make the table and set up a tent because everything is done for you.Man sits next to his tent at sunrise on Mount Kilimanjaro
  18. A thin film of dust covers everything from your face to your fingertips but you still consider yourself clean.
  19. You can’t wake up without tea or coffee in bed – or sleeping bag.
  20. You don’t know what to do with that certificate stating that you’ve trekked Mount Kilimanjaro – but you love carrying it around.

Woman in red beanie at the Uhuru Peak, Mount Kilimanjaro

So you’re not currently on Mount Kilimanjaro and maybe you never have been… but you could be. This is one incredible adventure worth the effort, so book your trip and start preparing yourself for one heck of an adventure!

Did we miss anything? Tell us about your experience climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in the comment section below. Or if you’re planning to go, check out our Mt. Kilimanjaro Trekking Guide  and Packing List