Mount Kilimanjaro Frequently Asked Questions
Mount Kilimanjaro Frequently Asked Questions FAQ, Here are some common questions about climbing Kilimanjaro
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO CLIMB KILIMANJARO?
Mount Kilimanjaro can be climbed anytime throughout the year. Most travellers prefer climbing during the dry seasons: December to March, June to October. Many consider the best months to climb Kilimanjaro to be January, February and September.
DOES CLIMBING KILIMANJARO INVOLVE TECHNICALITIES?
The trek up Kilimanjaro is not a technical climb. You do not require any mountaineering equipment to reach the summit. In fact, anyone in good physical condition can reach the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. You should be able to run for at least half an hour without feeling shortness of breath. You should also be able to walk for at least 2 hours in hilly terrains without feeling overly exhausted. No one with a sore throat, cold of breathing problems should go beyond 3000m. Anyone with heart or lung problems should consult his/her physician before attempting to climb Mt Kilimanjaro.
ARE PARK FEES INCLUDED IN YOUR PRICE?
Yes, all Tanzania National Park (TANAPA) fees are included in our Kilimanjaro price. Currently, the conservation fees at Kilimanjaro National Park are: US$70 per person per day and US$50 per person per night for camping. Crew entry fees and Tanzanian Forest Services Agency (TFS) fees (applicable for Rongai, Shira and Lemosho routes) are also included in our Kilimanjaro price.
CAN CHILDREN CLIMB KILIMANJARO?
The minimum age limit set by Kilimanjaro National Park for children trekking to Uhuru Peak on Mount Kilimanjaro is 10 years old.
WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE ON MT KILIMANJARO?
You can expect equatorial to arctic conditions on Mt Kilimanjaro. Depending on the route chosen, you will begin your trek in dry plains or tropical forests with average temperatures between 25⁰C and 30⁰C. You will then ascend through various terrains and weather zones to arrive at the permanently snow-capped summit. Expect rainfalls and sub-zero temperatures on your trek.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO REACH THE SUMMIT OF KILIMANJARO?
Depending on the route chosen, most trekkers take 4-6 days to reach the summit. The longer you spend on the mountain, the more time your body gets to acclimatise, the higher the chance you will succeed in reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro.
WHAT KIND OF MOUNTAIN CLIMBING GEARS DO I NEED FOR KILIMANJARO?
Soft kit bag (for porters to carry), small daypack (for you to carry), rain cover for backpack/bags, dry sacs for packing inside, sun hat/cap, woolly hat/toque, scarf, balaclava, sunglasses, waterproof jacket and trousers, four-season duvet jacket, warm upper body layers, thermal under layers, trekking trousers, shorts (optional), underwear/sports bra, waterproof gloves, thin gloves, gaiters, thick socks, thin socks, waterproof hiking boots, spare laces, jogging shoes or flip flops for around camp, walking poles, sleeping bag, water bottles or hydration bladder, water purification tablets (optional), water flavoring or rehydration salts, favorite snacks, knee support (optional), eye protection goggles (for wind/dust/glare on summit), head torch, spare bulb, camera, memory cards, spare batteries, towel, toiletries, lip balm, sunscreen, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, wet wipes, personal first aid kit, medication (Diamox optional), insect repellent, pen/paper/playing cards
CAN WE LEAVE EXCESS LUGGAGE BEHIND WHILST TREKKING KILIMANJARO?
Yes, any excess luggage you do not need to carry with you on Mount Kilimanjaro can be left at our office. You should keep valuable items with you at all times.
WHAT IS THE WEIGHT LIMIT FOR LUGGAGE ON KILIMANJARO CLIMBS?
Each porter can carry up to 20kg of luggage.
WHAT KIND OF FOOD CAN WE EXPECT TO HAVE DURING OUR KILIMANJARO TRIP?
Our typical food on the mountain includes:
-Honey and jam.
-Pancakes with honey or jam, and fruits
-Cooked meat or vegetarian meal (these include chicken/beef with rice,
sliced fresh carrots and green beans, mashed potatoes, and salads),
-Fruits, and fruit juice, and variety of hot drinks.
If you have any suggestions about meals, please do not hesitate to advise and we will work on it as you prefer.
CAN YOU ACCOMMODATE PEOPLE WITH SPECIAL DIET REQUIREMENTS?
Most certainly! We can cater for vegetarian, gluten-free, or any other special diets. Kindly advise at the time of booking.
HOW MANY CLIMBERS WILL WE BE TREKKING WITH ON MT KILIMANJARO?
Since we operate private guided climbs, you will not be trekking with any strangers.
IS MY DEPARTURE GUARANTEED IF I SIGN UP WITH YOUR COMPANY FOR KILIMANJARO CLIMB?
Yes, absolutely! Because we do not join groups together, you can choose to start your climb on any day you choose.
WHERE AND HOW OFTEN ARE YOUR GUIDES TRAINED? HOW DO YOU SELECT THEM?
Before obtaining their license, all guides need to attend training provided by Kilimanjaro National Park – on both theory and practical components as well as First Aid. They will need to pass an exam before they can get their license. We would never consider anyone who is not certified. We always interview potential candidates before we would hire them. We would only use someone who is knowledgeable, has good attitude and good English as assistant guide. We reject a lot of candidates asking for job because they do not meet our standards. Before we would promote someone as chief guide, he would need to have a lot of experience on the mountain and has many good feedbacks from clients. Still we would retrain lead guides and let them know of clients’ feedback so they can keep improving.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR HYGIENE PRACTISES ON THE MOUNTAIN?
We always boil and filter drinking water for our clients. Cooks always make sure the food is well cooked and utensils are sterilized with clean hot water before they are used. The mess tent is cleaned on a daily basis. Mess tents are solely reserved for clients’ use and we do not allow porters to sleep in them.
ARE EMERGENCY OXYGEN TANKS INCLUDED IN OUR CLIMB PRICE?
Yes. The price also includes the salary of a porter to carry the oxygen tanks during your summit attempt.
CAN WE RENT A PORTABLE TOILET FOR OUR CLIMB?
Yes, portable toilet is available for rental at US$200/group (up to 4 climbers).
HOW MANY GUIDES WILL WE HAVE?
You will have one lead guide and an assistant guide for 2-3 climbers.
For 4-6 climbers, you will have one lead guide and 2 assistant guides.
For 7-8 climbers, you will have one lead guide and 3 assistant guides.
For 9-10 climbers, you will have one lead guide and 4 assistant guides.
HOW MANY PORTERS WILL ACCOMPANY US?
You will have 4-6 porters per person for your group. This depends on your group size and the weight of your luggage.
The porters will carry all the tents, food, and the luggage that you do not require while hiking so you will only need to carry a day pack during the day.
HOW IS THE QUALITY OF THE CAMPING EQUIPMENT THAT YOU USE?
We use high quality Eureka tents imported from the USA, Canada and Australia. We also provide foam mattresses designed for mountain excursions (not the thin yoga mat type).
WHAT SAFETY EQUIPMENT DO YOU CARRY ON THE TREK?
All of our lead guides are trained and certified in the following areas: altitude sickness and recognizing symptoms in the early stages, emergency use of oxygen, wilderness first responder and performing CPR. Each guide carries a first aid kit which includes: paracetamol, Imodium, ibuprofen, rehydration salts, paraffin gauze, sterile swabs, bandages, plasters, cotton wools, latex gloves & tongs, antiseptic disinfectant, antimicrobial cream, antihistamine, Diamox, etc.
We check in with the clients and crew daily at camp as they are equipped with mobile phones. Each ranger post also has radio communication
WHAT IF ONE MEMBER OF THE GROUP GETS SICK WHILE TRYING TO REACH THE SUMMIT OF MT KILIMANJARO?
Because you will have many guides and assistant guides, an assistant will take the ill person down while the rest of the group goes on. If the person is very very sick then we call for a dispatch for stretcher – the rescue fee is included in your quote. But before reaching that point, our guides are very careful and they will monitor the health of everyone everyday on the mountain to make sure that the sickness does not get to that point.
WHAT IS THE RECOMMENDED WEIGHT FOR OUR DAY PACK?
We would recommend that you carry no more than 10kg. The average is 7kg. You only need to carry the essentials (3 L drinking water, valuables, camera, lunch/snacks, rain layer...). The rest of the items you can leave with porters to carry.
ARE YOU SUPPORTING THE KILIMANJARO PORTERS ASSISTANCE PROJECT?
Yes. In addition to paying a proper wage above minimum rate and supplying proper food and tents on the mountain, we also cover for any medical expenses in case of injury or illness arising from work.