IS THIS THE RIGHT TRIP FOR ME?
Is this a good trip if I'm travelling solo?
- Absolutely! Many solo adventurers, couples, and groups join us. It's a fab way to meet awesome folks.
- More than half of our guests book on solo, so you’ll be in good company.
What's the typical age range?
- We see a mix, from 20s to 50s.
- Don’t focus too much on this though…
Is there a minimum age for this trip?
How long do I need to climb Kilimanjaro?
- We suggest a minimum of 8-10 days if coming from Europe or the United States, although some individuals may prefer a longer duration.
- We can personalize itineraries and routes to accommodate additional days within the park. Some climbers may also opt to scale Mount Meru, which is located nearby.
- If you have more than 10 days, you have the flexibility to select any of the primary routes on the mountain and still have ample time for a wildlife safari before or after your expedition.
When is the best time of year to climb Kilimanjaro?
- Kilimanjaro can be climbed any time of the year. However, it's important to consider the weather conditions at different elevations.
- Lower elevations experience more rainfall during April, May, and November, while March and June mark transition months. However, the trails are less crowded so the mountain will be a lot quieter.
- August and September are the coldest and driest periods. January, February, July, August, and September are all popular months for climbing.
Which route should I choose for the climb?
- Approximately 80% of climbers opt for the Marangu route (5 or 6 days), often referred to as the "Tourist" or "Coca Cola" route due to its relative ease compared to other options.
- The remaining climbers typically choose the Machame route (6 or 7 days).
- The less frequented routes include Umbwe, Rongai, Shira, and Lemosho.
- It's important to note that several routes converge at a mid-way point, and there are only three routes to reach the summit.
What level of fitness is required?
- While many sources claim that Kilimanjaro is easily accessible, it's essential not to underestimate the mountain.
- While no technical mountaineering skills are necessary, general fitness is required.
- However, the primary challenge for climbers lies in coping with the effects of high altitude, which appear to be unrelated to fitness, age, or gender.
- Engaging in physical training before the trek, such as aerobic cross training and hiking, is recommended to familiarise your body with the demands of the expedition. The fitter you are, the easier the climb will be. Determination and willpower also play a role.
How much distance will we hike each day?
- It's better to measure each day in terms of hours spent walking rather than miles covered due to varying altitude and conditions.
- On most days, except for the summit day, your day will commence with breakfast around 6:30 AM, and departure will take place at 7 AM.
- You will hike for approximately 4-5 hours, with a lunch break, followed by another hour or two of hiking in the afternoon. These days are not excessively long or challenging, and your guide will advise you to maintain a slow pace ("pole pole" in Swahili).
Why do we start the final ascent in pre-dawn darkness?
- Typically, most groups start their ascent to the summit between 11 PM and 12:30 AM, depending on the group's perceived fitness level, weather conditions, and chosen route. The pre-dawn hours, despite being cold, offer the calmest and clearest conditions.
- The best views from the summit are observed at dawn. Often, clouds and strong winds develop shortly after sunrise, making the summit less appealing and the descent more difficult.
- Experienced guides report that it is uncommon to encounter cloudy conditions at the summit at dawn during any season.
- The ascent day involves an extensive amount of hiking, with some individuals requiring up to 15 hours to reach the summit and return to the campsite for that day.
What if I am slower than other trekkers?
- There is no need to worry, as this is a common concern. It is highly recommended to proceed at a slow pace, and your guides will consistently remind you of this ("pole pole" - the Swahili term for slowly).
- Walking slowly allows your body to acclimatize better to the high altitude. Sufficient time is allocated each day for the trek, accommodating even those who prefer a very slow pace.
What if I am unable to reach the summit?
- Some hikers may not reach the summit, but this does not diminish the overall experience. Even without reaching the top, the wonders of Kilimanjaro provide a rewarding adventure.
- If any members of a group decide they cannot continue or if a guide deems it unsafe for an individual or group to proceed, they will be accompanied to the nearest campsite or hut.
- The guides possess detailed knowledge of shortcuts to ensure the safety of climbers and are trained to act efficiently and calmly in any situation.
What type of staff will accompany me during the climb?
- The usual ratio is three local staff members per climber, though small groups may have four staff members per climber.
- The team typically includes an English-speaking guide or guides, a professional cook, and porters responsible for carrying the gear.
- We encourage interaction with the staff, even though some may have limited proficiency in English. They are trustworthy locals who have grown up in the vicinity of the mountain, with many of them having ascended the peak 50 times or more so you're in good hands.
What size will the group be?
- Usually up to 12 guests per group (unless private group).
Do I need travel insurance?
- Yes, check that it covers the trip you’re interested in
- We recommend Campbell Irvine
- We also recommend you get some personal insurance to cover you for injury or any personal loss or damage.
Is the guide insured?
- Yes, our guiding partners are insured for all the activities they offer, but you’ll still need to take out your own travel insurance.
What currency do I need to bring?
- The official currency is the Tanzanian Shilling, but US Dollars are widely accepted, even for tipping.
How much weight will I need to carry, and where can I store items not required during the climb?
- You will only need to carry a day pack weighing approximately 2.2kg - 2.7kg (5-6 lbs), although some individuals may choose to carry more or less.
- Your gear, totalling a maximum of 15kgs (33 lbs), will be placed inside a waterproof duffel bag at the trailhead, which will be carried by a porter.
- If you have items that are unnecessary for the climb, you can leave a bag at our office in Moshi.
What is provided, and what do I need to bring?
- You'll be provided with tents, food, utensils, and leadership throughout the climb.
- However, you need to bring your own sleeping bag rated to -12 degrees C (10 degrees F), a water system, personal clothing, a sleeping pad, a lightweight duffel bag, and a day pack. Hiking poles are available for rent at a cost of $10.
- A full packing list is provided to all climbers along with our pre-departure packet.
What is the accommodation like during the trek?
- On the Marangu Route, basic huts are available. The first two huts accommodate four people each, while the final hut features dorm-style bunk beds.
- On all other routes, you will sleep in 3-person dome-style mountain tents, with two individuals sharing each tent. The tents are modern, equipped with outer flysheets and spacious vestibules to protect your equipment from the elements.
- The porters handle the setup, breakdown, and transportation of the tents. A separate toilet tent is set up at each campsite, and if possible, hot water is provided every morning for personal use (no showers).
- Dining tents with chairs and tables are also available for all meals. Before meals, we provide soap and hot water for hand washing.
Will I need a visa to visit Tanzania?
- Travellers from the UK will need a tourist visa to enter Tanzania. This can be requested online here. If travelling from outside the UK you'll need to check visa requirements for your country.
What vaccinations will I need?
- Vaccinations against Hepatitis A, Poliomyelitis and Tetanus are advised. Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate here.
Is there a discount for group bookings?
- Unfortunately not, we offer a competitive and fair price so we can’t offer further discounts.
Is there a discount if I make my own way there or travel from a different starting point?
- Unfortunately not for this trip.