Climbing Kilimanjaro does not require any technical skills or special equipment, just some physical fitness and mental determination. People from all walks of life, from a 7 year old child to an 85 year old man, have successfully reached the summit. But the challenge should not be taken lightly. You need to understand what lies ahead. Rest assured, you will find the answers to all your questions here! This list has come from answering countless e-mails, and my experience with Kilimanjaro since 2003.
1. KILIMANJARO WEATHER
2. WHICH KILIMANJARO ROUTE?
3. PERSONAL MOUNTAIN GEAR
I recommend the following individual equipment list for Kilimanjaro climbing expeditions:
4. GEAR / EQUIPMENT RENTAL PRICES IN THE KILIMANJARO REGION (MOSHI / ARUSHA / MARANGU)
Kilimanjaro gear hiring price list:
5. HOW TO PACK YOUR KILIMANJARO CLIMB DAY PACK
6. MEDICAL CHECK-UP BEFORE CLIMBING KILIMANJARO
All climbers should have a medical check prior to attempting the mountain. Ask your doctor if high altitude trekking is permissible for your age, fitness level and health condition. Ask if you have any preexisting medical conditions that can cause problems on the climb. Ask if any of your medications can affect altitude acclimatization. Ask whether Diamox can be taken with your existing prescription medicines. If you have any medical issues that can make climbing Kilimanjaro more dangerous for you than the average person, you should inform your operator of this before you book.
7. PRE-KILIMANJARO CLIMB FITNESS TRAINING
Cardio training and strong muscles will help you with the daily hiking on Kilimanjaro mountain of 5 to 7 hours. Anyone who has successfully reached the summit of Kilimanjaro will tell you that mental strength is more important than physical strength fitness. Stay positive at all times, don’t panic or get despondent, follow the instructions of your guides at all times.
8. TRAVEL DOCUMENTS FOR ENTERING TANZANIA
Make sure you have a valid passport and Visa:
Citizens of most countries require a visa, which can be obtained upon arrival. The visa fee for most nationalities will be US $50 for a single entry. For US citizens the fee is usually US $100 for a multiple entry.
9. INTERNATIONAL HEALTH CARD WITH IMMUNIZATION
Make sure you have a Yellow fever vacination certificate.
10. ARRIVAL AIRPORTS AND AIRPORT TRANSFERS
Kilimanjaro climbs originate from Moshi, Moshi is a short 25 mile (42km) drive from Kilimanjaro International Airport (airport code: JRO). The closest international airport to Moshi is Kilimanjaro International Airport, transfers are available at any time, including early morning or late evening, and take about 40 minutes. (A taxi can cost US$50 (one-way) or some opertors include transfers in price).
11. HOTEL BEFORE AND AFTER THE CLIMB
Make sure your hotel booking is secure, whether you have booked yourself (it is advisable to book within Moshi city limits) or the operator has booked for you. Exuberant Kilimanjaro Safaris includes 2 nights accommodation in the price.
12. TRAVEL INSURANCE AND MEDICAL INSURANCE
Trip deposits are non-refundable and balance payments are only partially refundable. Therefore, it is prudent for you to protect your investment against trip cancellation, interruption, delays, airport lugguage loss, and unforeseeable expenses. Your travel insurance must cover high altitude trekking up to 6,000 meters to be eligible for helicopter rescue by Kilimanjaro Search and Rescue (SAR) - a private company which provides medical support and helicopter evacuation.
13. CASH / ATM / CREDIT CARD
US$ cash / Credit Card (recommended), TSHS, EURO, British Pound accepted. The main currency is (Tshs.). US$ is widely accepted in tourist areas however older notes US dollars printed prior to 2006 are not accepted anywhere in Tanzania or many other African countries. Usage of major credit cards is acceptable in some places and can incurr surcharges between 3-5%. ATMs (cash points) are located in almost all banks with 24-hour access and give you local currency with the same exchange rate as the bank. Inquire if there is any additional fee for withdrawing using a Visa debit card.
14. KILIMANJARO: PRICING EXPLAINED
15. KILIMANJARO CLIMB HIDDEN COSTS
- Gear Rental
- Kilimanjaro Crew Tipping: Those who have climbed Mt Kilimanjaro before know that without the hard work and strength of the mountain crew, one would not be able to fully experience the magnificence of the mountain. Some operators pay crew more than the salary suggested by the Kilimanjaro National Park and Tanzania Tour Operator Association. However, many of crew also heavily depend on tips to support their families. Thus, Kilimanjaro has a deeply entrenched tipping culture that involves all mountain operators and their crews. Hence, tipping is seen as a customary practice. Ask Exuberant Kilimanjaro Safaris for a guideline, (remember tipping is shared among the climb group).
- Portable Toilet: There is not much to say about our toilets. They are essential because the public long-drop toilets on Kilimanjaro are horrendous and over-crowded. Our porters empty the holding tanks at the nearest public toilets at every camp. Please note - at Crater Camp there are no public toilets so we use the Clean-Waste toilet kits to bag the waste and carry it down.
- Portable Shower: There is plenty of misunderstanding about our showers on Kilimanjaro. First of all, it is an optional service we provide so you are not forced to shower! We generally set up our showers at the halfway camp on the way to the summit and at Mweka camp after you reached the summit.
All outfitters provide bowls of warm water to their clients so they can wash after a long day of trekking. The same amount of water can be put in a sunshower instead of the bowl! This allows you to rinse your whole body with minimum water but the short splash MAKES A HUGE DIFFERENCE. You will feel refreshed and ready for your next challenge. A short shower is a really good solution to help prevent painful chafe caused by perspiration between the legs and buttocks areas.
- Gamow-bags: Available when sleeping in the Crater. If you overnight in the Crater on Kilimanjaro, simple evacuations are not always possible because you have to ascend higher in order to scale the rim before descending down to a lower elevation. If you are suffering from serious altitude-related symptoms it may be safer to stabilize you by placing you in our pressured altitude chamber for an hour or so. This will fool your body into thinking you are 2000ft or so lower in elevation and the improvement in your condition will buy precious time as we evacuate you over Stella Point and down to safety. A Gamow bag is not needed for treks that do not overnight in the Crater as immediate and fast descending is always possible and preferred.
- Automated External Defibrillator (AED): AEDs are offered as an upgrade option. You must know that these devices are unproven at high altitude in cold/wet weather. They may malfunction, and medical studies have shown AEDs to be very ineffective in most heart-related emergencies when used in hospital emergency rooms. Immediate CPR remains the most important life-saving technique and our guides will do CPR FIRST as it is very important to keep oxygen flowing into the brain while the lungs and heart are pumped. An AED shock will be a last-ditch attempt if CPR fails to revive the patient. Using an AED instead of CPR will waste precious early minutes that may result in serious brain-damage.
16. USEFUL TIPS FOR CLIMBING KILIMANJARO (a compilation suggested by our previous clients)
Tips whilst on Kilimanjaro:
Other useful KILIMANJARO TIPS:
17. ADD-ON TOURS
Add-on tours; Hikes, wildlife safaris, cycling and other packages are designed to offer visitors, with a free day on hand, a choice between multiple options and some tours even combined. Do you have a free day, maybe before a Kilimanjaro trekking adventure, or are you waiting for a flight to your next destination? Ask Exuberant Kilimanjaro Safaris about Wildlife Safaris and Day Tours. See the videos below:
I started out my passion for sharing the Natural wonders of Tanzania with the world which drove me to do intense research, and gave me the impetus to turn hard work and inspiration into to a successful and reputable Kilimanjaro adventure company and are thrilled to be a part of the expanding wing of the tourism industry of Tanzania.