There is plenty of water at each campsite. It is boiled before distribution to the climbers. While you will not need to bring additional bottled water, you may wish to bring flavoring and water purifying tablets.
We provide tents, chairs, tables, water, food, utensils, staff and leadership. You should bring your own sleeping bag rated to 10 degrees F., water containers (hydration packs or Nalgene bottles), water purifying tablets, personal clothing, your medication, headlamp, sanitary items, light duffle bag and day pack. You can also bring your hiking poles or hire/rent them for $10 for the trip. A packing list is provided to all climbers, along with our pre-departure packet.
As our clients, expect to be provided with fresh, delicious and adequate meals served on time. Our cooks work with a variety of fresh, canned, frozen, dried and mixed ingredients to provide multi-course meals. We emphasize on drinking plenty of fluids while hiking. We will provide you with a great variety of choices of beverages including tea, coffee, milo, cocoa, drinking chocolate, milk, lemonade and water. Our meals include meat, soup, salad,vegetables and dessert. We also cater for special diets like vegetarian and others. We encourage our clients to bring snacks and energy bars to eat while hiking before the next meal is served.
The usual ratio is three local staff for each climber, although small groups may have four staff per climber. These usually consist of an English-speaking guide or guides, a professional cook and gear-carrying porters. We encourage you to interact with your staff, though some will have limited English. Our team consist of trustworthy, strongand hard-working local people who have grown up in the shadow of the mountain. Many of them have climbed to the peak 50 or more times.
You will simply carry a day pack of about 5-6 pounds, though some people carry more or less. Your gear, not to exceed 33 pounds, will be placed inside a waterproof duffle and carried by a porter. If you have things you do not need on the climbyou may leave them at your hotel in Arusha. For convenience, it is important to pack in a bag what you may not need on the mountain and leave this bag behind.
Most groups will start for the summit on ascent day at 11.00pm to 12:30am, depending on the fitness levels of the group, the weather condition and the route. The pre-dawn hours, although cold, offer the calmest and clearest conditions for the hike. The best views from the summit are at dawn. In most cases, clouds and high winds develop not long after sunrise making the summit less attractive and the descent more difficult. Guides who have been to the summit scores of times report that it is very rare to find it cloudy at the summit at dawn in any season. The ascent day is a very long day of hiking. Some people may require 15 hours to reach the summit and descend to the campsite for that day hence the need to start early to allow for this time.
It is more reasonable to measure each day in hours walked rather than miles. Most days, other than the summit day, will begin with breakfast around 6:30am and departure at 7am. You will walk 4-5 hours with a break for lunch followed by another hour or two of hiking in the afternoon. These days are not long or difficult and you will be advised to walk slowly or pole pole (Swahili word for “slow”). Our professional guides will be at hand to guide you on your hike. Each hike per day takes our clients from designated Camps and starts from one camp to the next depending on your itinerary and the number of days for your hike. Each hike per day is organized in a way that leaves you with adequate time to rest on reaching your camp for the day before the next day.
We recommend a minimum of 15 days including travel time although some people may take more time for the trip. We are able, with consultations with our clients, to customize itineraries or routes to offer more days on the mountain. Some people may wish to climb Mount Meru before hiking Kilimanjaro. This is good for acclimatization if you can make time for it. If you have more than 10 days, you can choose any of the main routes on the mountain and still have time for a wildlife safari before or after your trip.
No one is forced to go on. There is always enough staff to split the party according to need and regroup later at the camp. Most people have no trouble reaching the highest campsite. If some party members decide not to climb the final distance they can wait for the climbers to come back down the same way or take a lateral path to the descent route.
Your tents are mountain-style, double-walled, mosquito-netted and durably-floored with waterproof material. While technically rated as four-person tents, they very comfortably accommodate two people. Tents are erected and packed up by the porters. There is enough space for tall people to stretch out and room for your gear within the tent. On the Marangu Route the huts are simple type of huts built against the walls of A-frame cubicles. Mandara and Kibo Huts contains 60 bunk beds each while Horombo has 120 bunk beds. Guests are supplied with mattresses and pillows but are required to bring their own sleeping bags. The huts have basic washrooms and have communal dining halls. Personal items are stored on the floor. Wash and toilet facilities are shared and are outside of the bungalows.
Mount Kilimanjaro is in Tanzania within East Africa. It is located in the tropics and does not experience the four seasons of summer, winter, autumn and spring. Instead there are wet or rainy season and dry season. There are two rainy seasons in Tanzania, March to May and Mid-October to November to early December although the weather is unpredictable at times. You can climb Kilimanjaro any month of the year but we recommend the following guide in making your decision to climb Kilimanjaro: at lower elevations, April, May and November are quite wet while March and June are transition months. August and September are the coldest and driest months. January to February and July, August and September are the best months and are all popular months for climbing Kilimanjaro.
We encourage our clients to arrive for their hike when they are healthy and fit. A check-up with your doctor before travelling is advisable. This will enlighten you on what medication you may need to bring on your climb. A cold or other respiratory sickness is likely to worsen on the climb. There is no malaria risk on the mountain and biting insects are not evident. You should bring your own medication if you are using any.
We always have a first aid kit close at hand. Serious injuries are rare. Porters will assist injured climbers to the base of the mountain and onward to a clinic or hospital. Kilimanjaro International Airport is not far from Kilimanjaro in case evacuation to the US or Europe required. We however recommend that our clients take on travel insurance for their peace of mind in the event an evacuation is required.
Bottled oxygen is not routinely available on this climb and not included in the price of the trip. The most immediate treatment for serious altitude sickness is rapid descent, which is always possible on Kilimanjaro. Virtually no climbers on the mountain carry oxygen. If upon reaching the final campsite before the ascent our guide judges you to have serious symptoms of altitude sickness, they will not be permitted you to proceed with the climb. Oxygen may be available on an emergency basis or at an added cost, but not as an aid for climbers who have not acclimatized adequately on their own.
Check with your doctor and the Center for Disease Control for current recommendations. If you are arriving from a yellow fever epidemic area you may be required to provide proof of vaccination before entering Tanzania. We advise that you check the requirements of entry into Tanzania from your country of origin before you arrive. This will enable you to be prepared on arrival and during your stay. If you intend to take a game drive, you may require to bring an insect repellant lotion.
Yes, you can obtain it in advance or on arrival at Kilimanjaro Airport, Tanzania. However, clients from the East African Community Member States do not require visas to enter into Tanzania.
The cost of climbing Kilimanjaro depends on the route you choose. It may cost anything from $1,500 and $2,700 excluding airfare and your personal costs. Your trip with us will include all airport transfers, accommodation at the hotel on arrival and after the climb, all regular meals, all park fees, transfers to and from the trail head for you and the team giving you the support and group equipment (excluding sleeping bags and pads). You are also required to carry extra cash with you to tips your porters and guides. The tip ranges from $50-100 depending on group size. We normally communicate to you before you travel the size of the tip. The cost of renting/trekking poles is $10 for the trip, if you do not bring your own. You are also required to bring extra cash buy souvenirs.
The major sources of cost variations are the money spent on food, off-mountain accommodation, porter and guide wages, tents and the cost of getting to the mountain. Genius Expedition Safaris will endeavor to provide the good food, professional and experienced guides and porters, good quality tents and equipment, top quality before-and-after-climb accommodation, a full professional pre-climb orientation, insurance for all staff and inclusion of all park permits, transfers and local hosting costs. To economize on their Kilimanjaro climb and perhaps earn some extra money, some operators may not provide good food, quality equipment,qualified professional and experienced guides and porters. These operators may not take good care of their staff and therefore cannot maintain experienced staff. Our approach is to give you the best hike possible which guarantees value for money. Our policy is to attract the best qualified professional and experienced guides, cooks and porters. We take time to train them on our core values to ensure they understand what is required of them with a view to maintaining integrity, professionalism and teamwork throughout the trails. Our equipments are also top of the range giving you the comfort you need to enjoy your hike and increase your chances of reaching the summit.