Pre-Kilimanjaro trip preparation

Expedition Documentation

Please note you will be emailed out a set of Trip Joining Instructions after we confirm your booking. This includes detailed information to assist in the planning of your trip, from travel and medical advice to equipment lists. The following is to serve as a helpful guideline but please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions. Our team is here to help!

How hard is it really and how fit do I need to be to climb Kilimanjaro?

Contrary to what most people believe, Kilimanjaro is not just a “hike”. Kilimanjaro is a tough challenge and requires a good level of fitness, physical and emotional strength, and stamina and it is important that you are prepared. You need to be comfortable carrying a backpack, have a reasonable level of cardiovascular fitness and enjoy sleeping in a tent! Summit day can be very long and cold, but very rewarding, especially when the sun comes up!

Your training to climb Kilimanjaro should incorporate aerobic, anaerobic, strength and flexibility exercises. Most importantly, you should spend time walking in the hills, in the boots you are going to be wearing on the Kilimanjaro challenge. People of all ages and sizes can reach the summit of Kilimanjaro but the more you train, the fitter you’ll be and the more you’ll enjoy the experience. The training plan here is focused on the National Three Peaks Challenge but it’s also good prep for a non-technical high-altitude trek.

What are the skills/prior experiences required for this climb?

This is one of our beginner trips and so the only thing required is to have a thirst for adventure!

Do I need a visa / vaccinations?

Visa - The answer is yes, all UK, Irish and US nationals require a visa for travel to Tanzania and this should be obtained prior to your challenge departure. If you are of different national heritage to those mentioned above, please check the Tanzania High Commission's website for visa requirements.

Vaccinations - Make sure you are up to date for all boosters and courses as advised for life in the UK. You should also take a course of antimalarial medication and be aware that depending on the type you may need to start taking these up to a month in advance of departure. For advice on any additional vaccinations or treatments, please speak with your GP or doctor. 

What insurance do we need?

We require you to have insurance for any personal or medical incidences that may occur during the expedition. This should include cover for illness, medical emergency or evacuation as well as trip cancellation, baggage loss, damage or theft, or any other such mishap that may occur. We recommend you obtain insurance as soon as possible.

What is trip cancellation insurance?

Trip cancellation insurance may allow you to cancel your trip without losing any pre-paid expenses. We highly recommend trip cancellation insurance - if circumstances cause us to cancel a trip (minimum numbers are not reached or travel to a country becomes too dangerous) then we will refund your fees paid, but trip cancellation insurance covers your airfare and any other costs that you may have incurred.

Do I need evacuation insurance?

Yes, it is very important. Many of our expeditions are in remote places with no roads and developing medical services. In the unlikely event that you get sick, you want to get to good medical care ASAP. Our insurance must cover you for trekking up to 6,000m

What sort of hotels do we stay at in the city?

Prior to and after the trek/safari, we will arrange your Moshi accommodation and our chosen properties maintain a high level of customer service and quality aligning with our high standards. Typically, we stay at the Weru Weru River Lodge, located in the two-bridge area 10 minutes’ drive from Moshi Town. Weru Weru boasts lush tropical gardens with nesting weaver birds, is surrounded by a coffee estate to the north, and offers beautiful views of Kilimanjaro.

Travel

What time should I arrive and where do I meet my guides?

Please plan to fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) and arrive latest on the afternoon of Day 1 of our itinerary, where you will also clear Tanzanian customs. We will arrange an airport transfer to take you to your hotel. Prior to your trip, we’ll send you a final details email including hotel details, information on your guide, details on when and where you will meet your guide, as well as any other pertinent last-minute information.

What if I arrive early or depart late?

We ask that you try to arrive on time, so early is great! Your bags then have a chance to catch up with you, if for some reason they are delayed. If you do arrive early, we’ll be happy to help you with your hotel arrangements and additional transfers. The same goes for departing later, and don’t panic if this happens. If your bags don’t arrive, we can send late bags up with additional porters if necessary. If your flight is late, we will find a solution that allows you to join the trek.

How much cash should I plan to bring?

Participants are usually really excited to purchase local artisan crafts and most of the places that sell such items don’t take credit cards. There are cash machines in town but in the villages, cash is king! Most get by with US$400-$800 for gifts and additional local expenses.

Life on the Mountain

How big is the Kilimanjaro group? / What support will there be?

All of our Kilimanjaro adventures will have a maximum size of 12 participants. If we have more than 12 clients, we’ll split into two groups. We welcome individuals, couples and groups of friends on our treks, and many who join us literally have a mountain to climb in terms of the scale of the challenge they are taking on. We advocate camaraderie and team bonding, and really believe that this enhances your experience.

Your challenge will be led by an experienced international expedition leader with extensive high-altitude and group management experience. Each of our leaders holds an advanced Outdoor First Aid qualification. Our leaders are selected for their experience, knowledge, enthusiasm, sensitivity and sense of humour, and will ensure that your Kilimanjaro trip runs smoothly.

Your leader will be carrying a fully stocked medical kit in case of any emergency. They will carry out daily health checks on Kilimanjaro to ensure you’re acclimatising properly.

Your leader will be in constant contact with all of our local guides via two-way radio - and between our local Kilimanjaro office staff. Your leader will also carry a satellite phone (and spare battery) for emergencies. If for any reason you need to leave the group early, local staff will assist you with your descent of Kilimanjaro and will arrange transfers, accommodation and medical care if necessary.

Will I be sharing a tent or room with other climbers? Is there a single room option on this trip?

When in Moshi and on safari, the hotels/lodges are priced on a twin-share basis. On the mountain, two team members will share a three-person tent. There is the option of a hotel single room and mountain tent supplement, please contact our office for details.

How long is a typical day on the mountain?

Your morning starts with a pan of warm water and a hot drink delivered to your tent door. We then rise and meet for breakfast around 7am, with the aim to start trekking by about 8am. We usually trek for between 5 and 7 hours, taking time for photographs and breaks along the way, including a sumptuous picnic lunch, before arriving into our next campsite in the afternoon by 3 or 4pm.

How heavy will my pack be?

Typically, 6-10kg. Each day, you’ll be carrying water, snacks, other essential items and any layers that you will need for the day. Porters will carry the bulk of your equipment and clothing, which will be awaiting your arrival at your camp.

What is the weather like on Kilimanjaro?

There are two main trekking seasons on Kilimanjaro - and all of our expeditions take place during these 'dry' periods. Mountain weather is very changeable and hard to predict, but we provide a general overview of what to expect in terms of temperatures and trekking conditions. You should prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Kilimanjaro is large enough to have its own weather system, so the weather can be somewhat unpredictable. The rainy months are April to mid-June and November.

What will the Kilimanjaro food / accommodation be like?

We ensure there is plenty of food which is varied and wholesome. Breakfast is usually a hot drink with bread/ toast and spreads, porridge, eggs and sausage. Our Kilimanjaro cook team then hurries ahead of us to set up the mess tent and provide us with a hot lunch (most days). This usually consists of a starter soup, followed by either a rice or pasta dish with meat and veggies. 

On arrival into camp hot drinks and snacks are usually served before we tuck into the main event, which again is usually a hot soup starter, followed by a more substantial main than lunch, perhaps a warm winter stew, or meat and fish with lots of veggies, pasta or rice followed by a pudding or cake if it is a special occasion. 

We also recommend that participants pack some of their favourite snacks to enjoy throughout the day.

Accommodation - When we are not trekking, life on a Kilimanjaro climb is spent mainly under canvas. We even go to the toilet in our specially designed toilet tent! For the majority of our expeditions we supply a 3-man branded expedition tent between 2 people, which means that everyone gets plenty of room for both sleeping and for their luggage.

What type of communication is available on the climb?

The local guides carry radios and mobile phones, so are in daily contact with our agent's Moshi office. If you bring a mobile phone from home, please double-check the cost of global roaming with your network supplier. Local SIM cards are available for purchase can and offer better reception, so please advise if you would like assistance with arranging one. Do please note however that once on the mountain there is extremely limited cell phone reception and no internet access available.

How much should I tip the local staff?

Tipping is mandatory as your guides, porters and camp staff work very hard on the mountain. Suggested tipping amounts are $100-$150, as this is dependent on your group size and the number of local staff employed. You can also donate any unwanted items of kit or clothing, as long as they are in serviceable condition. 

Flights & extending your stay

Do you provide flights?

International flights are not included in your package. You need to arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) on the afternoon of Day 1 of your itinerary. If you’re flying from the UK, this typically means departing the UK the previous day. Many of UK-based clients this fly on Qatar Airways and the flights from the UK are via Doha, Qatar. Other airlines also serve JRO from the UK, including Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Turkish Airlines and Kenya Airways.

When is a good time to climb Kilimanjaro?

The two main trekking seasons - and the optimum times to climb Kilimanjaro are from the end of December to March and June to October. Temperatures should range between 25-30°C at the foot of the mountain and the temperature will decrease by approximately 1°C every 150m we climb. Mountain weather is always unpredictable, so you should ensure that you are fully prepared and equipped for all eventualities.

Can I extend my trip?

If you would like to extend your trip it is absolutely possible. We offer fantastic safari extension packages. To find out more, please check the website or email [email protected] and a member of the team will be in touch!

Funding & fundraising

How can I fund this expedition?

You can choose to:

  • fully fund the expedition yourself
  • fundraise for a charity of your choice or fundraise for our social mission (we’re a social enterprise!), from which approximately 50% of the sponsorship will cover your trip cost, or
  • opt to do a mixture of both! For all three funding options, an online registration deposit of £250 is required to secure your place

We have worked with many UK charities and welcome partnerships with new ones all the time! As long as the charity you propose to raise funds for is a registered UK or Irish charity and agree to you doing so, we are more than happy for you to fundraise for any charity close to your heart.

Take me to Kilimanjaro!