Three Main Differences Between Kilimanjaro and Everest Base Camp Trek

After Climbing Everest to the top, leading over 35 Kilimanjaro climbs and over 40 treks to Everest Base Camp Ian has learned quite a lot. The main difference is that Kilimanjaro is in Tanzania and Everest Base Camp is in Nepal… All joking aside, there are three main differences between Kilimanjaro and the Everest Base Camp Trek.

Firstly, in our opinion, the summit day on Kilimanjaro is harder than anything you will encounter on the Everest Base Camp Trek. However, the days on Everest Base Camp treks are longer.  Also, the day to day trekking is a bit tougher than on Kilimanjaro. You also go to high altitude a lot quicker on a Kilimanjaro trek than you do on Everest Base Camp.  While there are a few other factors that differentiate the two trips, we are going to look deeper into what we find to be the main differences.

1). Longer Daily Distances on the Everest Base Camp Trek

The Everest Base Camp trek is a longer trip than Kilimanjaro. While our normal Everest Base Camp treks are 12 or 13 days walking, our preferred Kilimanjaro climb is 8 days.  The trails on Kilimanjaro all the way up to high camp are much easier than the Everest Base Camp trails under foot. The Everest trails have more up and down throughout the trek.  Also, they are more challenging on the way down as there is more distance to cover. CLICK HERE for the distances up Kilimanjaro on our 8 day Lemosho Route climbs. CLICK HERE for a day by day break down on the trek to Mount Everest Base Camp. READ MORE about trekking to Everest Base Camp.

On the Everest Base Camp trek, you will be walking for longer distances, with more elevation gained and lost each day, on more challenging terrain than on Kilimanjaro.  You will be spending more nights at high altitude as well on the EBC trek, which can present its own challenges for some people.  Read some REVIEWS from our Ian Taylor Trekking trips. Why not give us a call and chat further.

On the Summit of Kilimanjaro

2). You go to Higher Altitude Quicker on Kilimanjaro

The ‘unknown’ of going to high altitude is one of the biggest fears many people have when going on either a Kilimanjaro climb or a trek to Everest Base Camp. In my opinion, high altitude on the Everest Base Camp trek is more demanding for most people. Trust me, living at high altitude is much harder than going to high altitude. Because you will be living at higher altitude on the Everest Base Camp for more consecutive days, it can be a greater challenge for the body than the shorter time you spend on Kilimanjaro going to even higher altitude.

This will make the Everest Base Camp trek more challenging than the overall Kilimanjaro experience in terms of your experience at high altitude. READ MORE about climbing Kilimanjaro. Most of your time on Kilimanjaro is spent between 3,500m/ 11,483 feet and 4,000m/ 13,123 feet, and you spend minimal time above these elevations. On the Everest Base Camp trek you spend 4 or 5 nights above 4,400m/ 14,435 feet, which can take its toll on your body. In order for you to be successful, you must have excellent acclimatization built into your itinerary for the Everest Trek. All our itineraries have three nights spent in Namche Bazaar at 3,500m/ 11,500 feet.

On the top of Kilimanjaro

3). Summit Night on Kilimanjaro is Harder Than Anything on the Everest Base Camp Trek

In my opinion, Kilimanjaro is harder on the body than the Everest Base Camp Trek. On Kilimanjaro, there are some big descents in a shorter period of time. This can make the trek more physically challenging. The summit night is extremely challenging, no matter how experienced of a trekker you are. Weather permitted, we use the higher, Kosovo camp at 4,900m/ 16,076 feet, for our starting point on the summit night.  This gives our teams a far greater chance of reaching the summit as it cuts out some of the more challenging terrain on the summit night.

Using this higher camp gives you a shorter ascent to the summit.  Also, it gives you more time to rest and a safer and more enjoyable experience going to the summit. This is not always possible however.  If the winds are too high, then staying at Barafu camp 4,650m/ 15,256 feet may be your only option. From Kosovo Camp it is approximately 6 hours to the summit.  Then about 2 and a half hours to get back down to camp for a few hours rest.

This summit night is far more difficult than anything you will experience on the Everest Base Camp trek.

Other Factors to Consider

In saying all the above, there is no one size fits all and not everyone feels the same way.  There are many other factors to consider when you are deciding between the two trips.  Firstly, your age, physical conditioning and fitness will decide between the two.  Also, your ability to deal with camping, ability to adapt to the lack of oxygen, discomfort, food, toilets, adjustment in your body to altitude, body weight, strength, sunburn, hydration, pacing, service and knowledge all will play a factor in your ability to achieve and enjoy both exciting adventures. READ MORE about the Everest Base Camp Trek.

On the Khumbu glacier

Learn From the Experts

CALL ME and let’s talk. Ian has climbed Mount Everest to the top and Ian Taylor Trekking have helped thousands of people to the summit of Kilimanjaro and into Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar. Whatever you do, make sure you have 8 days for your Kilimanjaro climb. Likewise, have 3 days acclimatizing in Namche Bazaar on the way up the Everest trail. This will make all the difference in your safety, enjoyment and success. If you like this information about the main differences between Kilimanjaro and Everest Base Camp Trek, feel free to reach out to us, or follow us on Instagram.

Climbing Kilimanjaro on the Lemosho Route
All you need to know about climbing Kilimanjaro
All you need to know trekking to Everest base camp