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Your flights to Lukla from Kathmandu may be diverted to Ramechhap Airport. Here’s Why!

Your flights to Lukla from Kathmandu may be diverted to Ramechhap Airport. Here’s Why!

Everest Base Camp Vs Kilimanjaro

How to Choose: Everest Base Camp Vs Kilimanjaro

Everest Base Camp and Kilimanjaro. Two of the most popular and sought-after travel destinations in the world. One takes you to the foothills of the world’s highest mountain, while the other takes you to the roof of Africa. Undoubtedly, climbing Kilimanjaro and hiking to Everest Base Camp are two extraordinary journeys that offer unique sets of challenges and unparalleled rewards. No other adventure can match what it has to offer.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of travelers from around the world embark on the awe-inspiring journey to the base camp of Everest and the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Often, adventurers find it hard to pick between the two, but it shouldn’t necessarily be a choice between destinations; rather, it should be a decision based on the type of adventure and experiences one seeks. Let’s juxtapose the ascent of Kilimanjaro with the world-class Everest Base Camp (EBC) trek. You may discover compelling comparisons between the two that could be the decisive factor in helping you choose your next adventure.

Quick Overview of Kilimanjaro and Everest Base Camp Trek

Aspects Everest Base Camp Trek Kilimanjaro
Location Nepal Tanzania, East Africa
Elevation 5,364 meter (17,598 feet) 5,895 meters (19,341 feet)
Region Khumbu region, Sagarmatha National Park Kilimanjaro National Park, Tanzania
Style Trekking with acclimatization High-altitude trek and climb with acclimatization
Ecosystem Encountered Alpine, glaciers, rhododendron forests Rainforest, alpine desert
Difficulty High-altitude trek, moderate difficulty High-altitude climb, non-technical ascent
Duration 12-14 days 6-9 days
Route Options Lukla to Namche and up to Kala Patthar Multiple routes (Machame, Marangu, Lemosho, etc)
Challenges High-altitude trekking, challenging weather, altitude sickness Varied climate, altitude sickness
Permits Sagarmatha National Park Permit, Khumbu Rural Municipality Permit Kilimanjaro National Park Permit
Best Time March to May and September to November January to March and June to October
Summit Day Kala Patthar for panoramic views, not a technical climb Uhuru Peak involves a challenging summit night ascent
Summit Success Rate Varies by route, typically 45% Approximately 90%+
Number of people 35,000 + per year 40,000+ per year
Transportation Flight to Lukla or a long trek from Jiri Flight to Kilimanjaro International Airport
Accommodation Teahouses and lodges along the route Tented camps on the climb, lodges in the lower section
Cuisine Local Nepali and Sherpa cuisine, and international cuisine Diverse international and Tanzanian cuisine

Which one is harder: Kilimanjaro or Everest Base Camp Trek?

First, it’s essential to know the difference between the two: one is 2-week trek to the base camp, and the other is summiting Kilimanjaro. I am sure we are not looking at climbing Mount Everest here. In that sense, the two options are completely different. A common question asked frequently is if the Everest Base Camp trek is harder than Kilimanjaro. The short answer to that is both are challenging in their own rights. But in our stringent analysis, Kilimanjaro is harder. And we won’t argue if someone says the EBC trek is harder.

Kilimanjaro is harder and is backed up by the success rate; the EBC trek boasts a higher success rate, and historically, Kilimanjaro has a lower success rate, 90%, and 45%, respectively. Another logical argument is the night-time ascent. The final push for Kilimanjaro’s summit begins around midnight, adding a layer of difficulty. The ascent roughly takes 6-8 hours, and this cannot be understated. The summit night gains an elevation of around 1200 meters, which is three times the elevation gain experienced on the base camp day.

Which one is longer: Kilimanjaro or Everest Base Camp Trek?

The Everest Base Camp trek is a clear winner here. The EBC trek is longer than the Kilimanjaro summit adventure, spanning about 12 to 16 days. The classic route from Jiri to EBC takes around 20 days to complete. On the other hand, the standard trek to the summit of Kilimanjaro can range from 5 to 8 days, depending on the selected route. The EBC trek covers a distance of approximately 120 kilometers (81 miles), while the trekking distance on Kilimanjaro is up to 62 to 90 kilometers (56 miles), depending on the specific route taken. The popular Lemosho route covers around 70-75 kilometers (43.5-46.5 miles).

Which one is best for novice trekker: Kilimanjaro or Everest Base Camp Trek?

Again, the Everest Base Camp trek takes the win. Ask anyone who has done both of these adventures; they will suggest the EBC trek. For novice trekkers, the EBC trek often emerges as the ideal choice. The main reason for this is the difficulty level and the association with gradual ascent. The EBC trek typically spans about 12 to 14 days, allowing for a more leisurely pace and increased adaptation to the changing elevation. On the flip side, Kilimanjaro is a real risk on its summit night. The elevation gain— typically 1,200 to 1,400 meters (approximately 3,937 to 4,593 feet) is a major concern. For those who have never been exposed to high altitude, rapid ascent may pose serious challenges. Also, the success rate says it all; you, as a novice trekker, have a staggering 90% chance of completing the EBC trek.

What are the route options for Kilimanjaro and Everest Base Camp Trek?

You can summit Kilimanjaro from one of the seven established routes. Among these, the Machame route is the most popular route, renowned for its diverse landscape. The Machame route is considered more challenging but offers breathtaking scenery. The other six routes are the Marangu route, Lemosho route, Rongai route, Shira route, Northern Circuit route, and Umbwe route. The Lemosho route is the less-crowded route, while a gradual ascent characterizes the Marangu route and is the only route with hut accommodation. The Rongai route approaches Kilimanjaro from the north, providing a different perspective on the mountain. The longest and most comprehensive route, the Northern Circuit, circles the northern slopes of Kilimanjaro.

The Everest Base Camp trek starts from the town of Lukla and follows the scenic and iconic trekking route leading to the base camp of the world’s highest peak. This route rewards astounding views of some of the highest mountains in the world, including the mighty Everest. Trekking through picturesque Sherpa villages, such as Namche Bazaar and Tengboche, provides an immersive cultural experience, allowing trekkers to interact with the local communities and witness their unique way of life. The longer route from Jiri, completed in about 20 days, is best for those who seek a less frequented route.

Best Climbing season: Kilimanjaro and Everest Base Camp

Spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) are the two prime seasons to trek to Everest Base Camp. These periods offer clear skies, balmy weather and excellent visibility ofthe majestic mountains. Trekkers can admire breathtaking views of iconic peaks, including Everest, Ama Dablam, Nuptse, and Lhotse. While autumn offers cooler temperatures and cleaner air following the monsoon, making it a popular destination for hiking, spring brings flowering flowers and a somewhat milder climate. Both seasons present ideal conditions, allowing trekkers to experience breathtaking landscapes and remarkable mountain views while navigating the trails to Everest Base Camp.

For the Kilimanjaro climb, dry seasons (January to March and June to October) are deemed the best time of the year. Dry seasons offer more favorable trekking conditions, clearer skies, and warmer temperatures. Climbing during the dry seasons minimizes the risk of encountering rain, snow, or adverse weather conditions and increases the likelihood of successful ascent. That said, the shoulder seasons are to be considered to avoid crowds at the summit.

Which is Cheaper: Kilimanjaro vs Everest Base Camp trek?

In general, trekking to Everest Base Camp is cheaper than climbing Kilimanjaro, although it’s longer than the Kilimanjaro. The duration of the Everest Base Camp trek is twice that of Kilimanjaro, and interestingly, the cost dynamics are the inverse: the cost for Kilimanjaro is almost twice that of the Everest Base Camp trek. On average, the estimated cost for the Kilimanjaro climb can range from $2000 to $4000 (approximately 2955 AUD to 5910 AUD), depending on several factors. The estimated cost for the 14-day EBC trek is around $1000 to $2500 (approximately 1475 AUD to 3690 AUD).

Let’s look at the permit fee; Kilimanjaro climbing permits range from $700 to $1000 (approximately 1035 AUD to 1470 AUD), while EBC trek permits cost around $300 (approximately 445 AUD). Hiring a guide and support staff for Kilimanjaro is usually more expensive than hiring a guide and porter for the EBC trek. Likewise, the teahouses and food along the route of the EBC trek are budget-friendly. And if we look at the flight cost for Lukla, it can be a lot cheaper than the longer international flights for the Kilimanjaro climbing expedition.

Accommodation Options on Kilimanjaro and on Everest Base Camp

If you seek a cozy and comfortable accommodation experience, the EBC trek stands out as the ideal adventure. Or, if you love sleeping under the stars or within the rustic charm of mountain huts, sign up for Kilimanjaro. Teahouses are the most popular and best form of accommodation along the EBC trek route. Tea House trek, as it is aptly named, involves trekking for a couple of hours ( 5 to 7 hours) in a day and staying overnight at a tea house along the route. A typical tea house provides all the basic amenities needed for a trekker for a comfortable stay. These accommodations usually consist of simple rooms with twin beds, basic bedding, and shared bathroom facilities. Dining areas in the tea houses serve a variety of meals, including both local and international dishes. Electricity is often available for charging devices, but it might come with an additional cost.

Kilimanjaro has completely different accommodation options than the EBC trek. Accommodation options on Kilimanjaro largely depend on the chosen route but revolve around two options: tents and mountain huts at designated campsites. For most routes, tents are the preferred mode of overnight stay. Your tour operator will organize your sleeping ten and mattresses, and on twin-sharing basis. Trekkers are provided with sturdy, waterproof tents that are set up and taken down by the support crew.

Food Options on Kilimanjaro and on Everest Best Camp

EBC trek offers a unique culinary journey with a fusion of Nepali and international flavors. You will be eating Dal Bhat for most of the day. That said, there is a wide array of food options, and the local cuisine primarily centers on rice, noodles, and potatoes, reflecting the staple crops of the region. Dal Bhat is a popular choice among trekkers, consisting of rice and lentil soup, accompanied by various vegetable and potato curries. Noodles and pasta dishes are common, typically served with local vegetables and sauces. Local Sherpa communities often consume hearty vegetarian fare, emphasizing lentils, grains, and vegetables.

The food options on the Kilimanjaro climb totally depend on your tour operator as they have their own set of meal plans. Here’s an overview of meals that you can expect to eat during your Kilimanjaro climbing expedition.

  • Breakfast: Oatmeal, fruits, tea/coffee, porridge, eggs, pancake, sausage, bacon, cereal, yogurt, scrambled eggs, high-calorie snacks.
  • Lunch: Sandwiches, bread, energy bars, rice, lentils, vegetables, fruits, salad, nuts, pasta, trail mix, pizza, and sandwiches.
  • Dinner: Soup, pasta, vegetable, grilled chicken, rice, mixed vegetable, lentil soup, rice, sautéed greens, fish, chicken curry, naan bread, tofu, noodles, desserts.

Packing for Success: Gear Requirements for Kilimanjaro and Everest Base Camp

You should not over-pack or miss something that can invite discomfort and challenges. This is both for the EBC trek and Kilimanjaro expedition. Consider the list below for packing list. Please note that this list is by no means definitive.

For Everest Base Camp Trek Gear Category For Kilimanjaro
  • Moisture-wicking base layer
  •  Insulating layers
  • Dry-t-shirt, long sleeve shirt
  •  Waterproof and windproof jacket
  • Lightweight trekking pants
  • Convertible pant
  • Rain jacket and rain pants
  •  Moisture-wicking base layer
  • Insulating layers for colder   temperature
  • Dry-t-shirt, long sleeve shirt
  • Waterproof and windproof jacket
  • Lightweight trekking pants
  • Convertible pant
  •  Lightweight rain jacket


  •  Trekking boots
  • Moisture-wicking socks
  • Trekking boots
  • Training shoes ( for camp)
  • Moisture-wicking socks
  • Gaiter


  •  Sleeping bag with liner
  • Sleeping pad
Sleeping gear
  • High-quality Sleeping bag with liner (a 4-season or -20 Degree C)
  • Sleeping pad
  • Sunglasses with UV protection
  • Sun hat
  • Lightweight gloves
  •  Trekking poles
  • Headlamp with extra batteries
  •  Quick-drying towel
  • Wide-brimmed hat
  • Sunglass with UV protection
  • Warm gloves and heavyweight gloves
  • Beanie
  • Trekking poles
  • Headlamp with extra batteries
  • Quick-drying towel
  • 50-75 liter of backpack
  •  Dryback for daily essentials
  •  30-50 liters of backpack
  • Dryback with rain cover
  • Daypack
  • First aid kit
  • Personal Medication
  • Sunscreen
  •  Lip balm
  • Water purification tablets or filtration system
Health and        Safety
  • First aid kit
  • Personal Medication
  • Sunscreen
  •  Lip balm
  • Water filter
  • Water purification tablets or filtration system
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Deodorant
  • Wet wipes
  • Face wash or cleanser
  • Tissues
  •  Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Deodorant
  • Wet wipes
  • Face wash or cleanser
  •  Tissues

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