MOUNTAIN CLIMBING

The trek to the Barafu Hut is only moderately difficult with a good trail with the only really steep point being the Barranco Wall. The final push to the summit ridge takes about 6 hours and is very steep and cold. This last steep section is mostly switchbacks and then some easy rock scrambling near the top. Your guide will set a very slow pace. Most reasonably fit individuals can make it so long as they are not having any difficulty acclimatizing..
The official age limit set by the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority for climibing Uhuru Peak is 10 years old, we usually recommend a minimum age of 13 years. If anyone in your group is under 16 years of age please inform us in advance so arrangements can be made..
Guides are a requirement on Kilimanjaro set by the Tanzania National Park Service.
While it’s not technically required it’s a good idea. Kilimanjaro is not the easiest trek and it’s good to have some previous experience and know what you are getting into and what trekking is..

March and April are the rainy months at Kilimanjaro so we recommend that you avoid this time period.

Your mobile service may work at one or two points on the mountain but don’t count on it. We have tested mobile internet cards from both Vodacom (Tanzania) and Safaricom (Kenya) and were not able to access the internet. If you have a phone call that needs to be made during the trek please speak with your guide and he may be able to arrange something.

The Lemosho Route does not have any charging points available so bring spare batteries.
You should bring enough to cover the tips at the end of the trek. Other than that our treks are all-inclusive. We cover accommodation, food, park fees, permits, and many other costs, as a means of making your adventure as stress-free and convenient as possible. Previously, it was possible to buy snacks and other items on the trek but the park service has eliminated all vendors and once you get on the mountain there are no opportunities to spend any money.
Your guide should be able to arrange a phone call or to get a message relayed in the case of emergency. Don’t expect any communication options although it is possible you will have cell signal in some locations.
Some climbers may actually finish the climb ahead of schedule and get back to Arusha early. It’s also the case that sometimes climbers either have problems with altitude or decide to come down earlier for other reasons. If you do get back to Arusha early you are responsible to pay the costs for your extra hotel nights ($50 per/night) and meals. The reason behind this is that our costs are the same regardless of when you end the climb. So even if you are climbing fewer days than scheduled keep in mind that we have already paid the staff, purchased, food and rented gear for all the days you were supposed to be on the climb.

CLIMBING GEAR

We will provide you a complete packing list on receipt of your trek. It is possible that you can rent gear once you reach Arusha but it tends to be expensive and the quality is not great. If you need any specific equipment beforehand we may be able to help you with some supplies free of charge.
A good pair of hiking boots are important for the final climb as they help to keep your feet warm and provide adequate ankle support. Tennis shoes are sufficient on the other days of the trek.
Porters on Kilimanjaro are allowed to carry 20Kg plus their own personal belongings.
Top quality mountaineering clothing and equipment is an investment that will see you through years of adventures. It is wise to choose carefully, and not to skimp on quality. The companies and products you see listed below can serve as starting points of reference for you. Take this list to your local outdoor specialty shop.
Feel free to use this list as a reference as you prepare for your trip.

  • Mountain Climbing Gears
  • Headlamp
  • Walking poles
  • Sleeping bag (four seasons)
  • Waterproof Hiking boots
  • Gaiters
  • 1 set of Top and bottom underwear
  • Warm sweater
  • Warm jacket
  • Warm trousers
  • Trekking trousers
  • Waterproof jacket (with hood)
  • Waterproof pants
  • 4 pairs of hiking socks
  • 3-4 T-shirts
  • 1 pair of warm gloves/ waterproof
  • 1 pair of inner gloves
  • 1 pair of sneakers/ changing shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Balaclava
  • Sun hut
  • Water bottles
  • Personal items eg. Sun screen, ID/Passport, Towels, Camera, Snacks, Changing batteries etc.

ACCOMODATION

From Nairobi you can take a shuttle. The charges are as follows per/person – $30 to $35 Transfer to Arusha. Flights are also available from Nairobi to Arusha and generally cost $200 one way.
We offer tented camping on the Lemosho Route. Your camp crew will set up the tents before you arrive. Tents are on twin sharing and private tents may be available for individuals travelling alone. You will need to bring your own sleeping bag.
Your guide can provide you with a bucket of hot water both in the evening and the morning for washing.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

Your park entrance fee includes cost of rescue off the mountain which will be organized by the Tanzanian National Park Service in conjunction with our team. In addition, it is strongly recommended that you have adequate travel insurance. While the park service will provide rescue services your travel insurance will cover any cost related to cancellation charges, unexpected curtailment of your holiday, medical and repatriation expenses including air ambulance, personal accident, delay loss or damage to your personal effects. If you don’t have it already we recommend either Cover More or World Nomads.
The typical time spent walking is about 5 to 6 hours. On the summit day you will spend 12 to 16 hours trekking. However, you will be given a few hours to rest at Barafu so that this long day of trekking is broken into two parts. We make the summit push and decent all in one day to avoid acclimatization problems.

You should be in good enough shape to walk continuously throughout the day. Good overall fitness, flexibility, and healthy will ensure you trek safely and comfortably. Those with acute or chronic health conditions impacting their stamina, range of motion, coordination, or balance may have difficulty completing the trek. If you are in doubt about your own physical readiness, consult a physician well in advance of booking your trip! General hiking experience and comfort with the idea of multi-day hiking will also ensure you are 100% ready to trek!

The best scenario is to acclimatize slowly. Common symptoms of mountain sickness include headaches and cough.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but your skin is in more danger of sun damage on the mountains than while at the beach! The sun’s intensity increases dramatically as we rise in altitude, and fresh snow reflects exponentially more UV rays than does the sand. You will need to protect your skin with clothing and sunblock. A sunblock specifically for mountain conditions is recommended. If you wear prescription eyeglasses its recommend that you get your prescription fitted to sunglasses.
We take all possible precautions to proactively ensure the safety and wellness of our trekkers, but rest assured that our guides are trained and experienced in dealing with emergencies. Each guide is trained in first aid. In the case of altitude sickness, you will immediately be taken to a lower altitude. If necessary, your guide will utilize the park rescues services for immediate evacuation.

Yes, we ensure the travel safety of all our trekking guests, both male and female. We have longstanding, strong relationships with the lodges we frequent, and know them to be safe and reliable. In addition our guides are consistently mindful of all guests’ whereabouts while trekking. We travel in small groups, all the better to easily maintain continual contact.

MEALS & DRINKS

Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, your body needs to have a lot of energy so it can push the muscles to hike and be able to acclimatize with the high altitude. Our chefs are all well experienced in western cuisine, as all our food is fresh, the meals are tasty and well prepared, and served in comfortable dining tents with tables and chairs.

Breakfast
Kilimanjaro breakfast will involve eggs (boiled or fried), porridge, a sausages (possibly with some tomatoes too), a piece of fruit such as a banana or orange, some bread with jam, honey, and peanut butter, and a mug or two of tea, hot chocolate, and coffee.
Lunch
Kilimanjaro lunch is usually prepared at breakfast and carried by the trekker in his or her daypack. This packed lunch often consists of a boiled egg, some sandwiches, a banana or orange, and some tea or coffee kept warm in a flask and carried by your guide.
Afternoon Tea
Kilimanjaro afternoon tea served at the end of the day’s hike and is usually accompanied by biscuits, peanuts and, best of all, salted popcorn.
Dinner
Kilimanjaro dinner, which is the final and biggest meal of the day, usually begins with soup, followed by a main course including chicken or meat, a vegetable sauce, some cabbage, and rice or pasta; if your porters have brought up some potatoes, these will usually be cooked and eaten on the first night as they are very heavy.
Dietary Requirements
Note: Inform us during the booking confirmation, if you have any special dietary requirements – because both meat and nuts form a substantial part of the food on Kilimanjaro. One of the marvels of a trek on Kilimanjaro is the skill with which the chefs are able to conjure up delicious and nutritious food despite little in the way of equipment and ingredients. They are also able obey almost any dietary restrictions, so that vegans, vegetarians, gluten-intolerant and lactose-intolerant clients can enjoy tasty meals!
Drinks
We do not bring bottled of water on the mountain, as we boil all water which is coming from glacial streams. Plus it is also treated, so each morning we will provide you with a bowl of hot water along with some soap for you to wash your hands. Each morning we will fill all of your water bottles with potable water from the rivers and streams along the trail. Some of this will be boiled for you at the start of the day to carry in your water bottles.
On the lower slopes you can collect water yourself from the many streams, and purify it using a water filter or tablets, as we advise that you carry enough bottles or containers that hold at least two liters of water.
At the camps, coffee and tea is served, and hot chocolate too, all usually made with powdered milk.
After a few days on the mountain, you may be craving some other flavors in your drinks, therefore, we recommend you bring some powdered drink mix such as Gatorade/Powerade, Iced Tea, Fruit Punch, etc.
Drink mixes that provide energy/electrolytes might also help you during the long hike days.
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Drinking water is obtained on the mountain and then boiled before it is provided to you. Disposable plastic water bottles are not allowed on the mountain.
Lunch are packed and eaten on the trail during the day. You will take lunch and dinner in the dinning tents that are set up.

MOUNTAIN SICKNESS

Mountain Sickness, also known as Altitude Sickness, or Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), is a negative health effect of high altitude caused by acute exposure to low amount of oxygen at high altitude. It has a pathological effect on humans caused by going to high altitudes too fast, where lower levels in oxygen inhibit normal physiological processes.
People typically start experiencing Acute Mountain Sickness symptoms at about 3,000 m while some people can experience symptoms as low as 2,400 m.
On Kilimanjaro there are three altitude zones – high altitude 2,500 – 3,500 meters, very high altitude 3,500 – 5,500 meters and extreme altitude above 5,500 meters. Most people can ascend to 2,400 meters without experiencing the negative effects of altitude. However, as one enters the high altitude zone changes in air density and available oxygen begin to impact one’s physiology.
You know this through the symptoms you experience. There are three levels of Acute Mountain Sickness symptoms – mild, moderate, and serious.
Mild Symptoms: Fatigue, headaches, nausea and dizziness, shortness of breath, Disturbed sleep, and loss of appetite.
Moderate Symptoms: Very bad headaches that is not relieved with medication, feeling very nauseous which often resulting in vomiting, very fatigued and weak, decreased coordination (known as ataxia), and shortness of breath.
Serious or Severe Symptoms: Inability to walk, shortness of breath whilst resting, loss of mental capacities and hallucination, and fluid buildup on the lungs.
High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE)
This is a condition that is associated with severe Acute Mountain Sickness. It occurs due to swelling of the brain tissue from fluid buildup in the cranium. It is a life threatening condition. On Kilimanjaro, people suffering from HACE should descend immediately and seek medical attention when they get to the lower reaches of the mountain.
HACE Symptoms: Severe headaches which cannot be relieved by medication, hallucination, loss of consciousness, disorientation, loss of coordination (i.e. ataxia), memory loss and coma.
High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE)
This condition associated with Acute Mountain Sickness and occurs because of fluid buildup in the lungs. Fluid in the lungs prevents the effective exchange of oxygen and thus a decrease of oxygen into the bloodstream. HAPE almost always occurs because of ascending too high, too fast. It is a life threatening condition and therefore every precaution should be taken to avoid it when trekking Mount Kilimanjaro.
HAPE Symptoms: Very short of breath even while resting, very tight chest, the feeling of suffocation, particularly while sleeping, coughing that brings up white, frothy fluid, extreme fatigue and weakness, confusion, hallucination, and irrational behavior.