Frequently Asked Questions

Climbing Kilimanjaro FAQs

Which Route Should I use to Climb Kilimanjaro?

There are seven established routes to climb Mount Kilimanjaro - Marangu, Machame, Lemosho, Shira, Rongai, Northern Circuit and Umbwe. The Marangu, Machame, and Umbwe routes all approach from the south of the mountain (Mweka is used only for descent). The Lemosho, Shira and Northern Circuit routes approach from the west. The Rongai route approaches from the north.

When is the best time to climb Kilimanjaro?

Kilimanjaro can be climbed throughout the year. January to March are very good months with mild temperatures and almost no clouds in the morning and late afternoon. During the day however there might be few short rain showers or little snow on the summit. The main rainy season starts end of March and lasts until end of May. For Kilimanjaro climbers, this means that clouds may block visibility and there might be heavy rains on the lower altitudes and snow on the summit. June, July and August can be cold, but visibility is usually very good. Temperatures rise in September and October, however during this time of the year; there is often a belt of mist on the middle altitudes, leaving the summits peak through the clouds. November and December usually have perfect visibility in the nights and morning, but short rains during the day and thunderstorms at the late afternoon are common.

For Kilimanjaro climbers, a factor to take into account is the full moon

- it is a unique experience to climb the roof of Africa lit under the shining moon light only without having to using head lights.

How fit do I have to be?

Determination and focus is the best fitness for all Mount Kilimanjaro climbers. Many texts state that Kilimanjaro is "easily accessible". However, you should not underestimate this mountain. There are no technical mountaineering skills required, but general fitness is necessary. However, the biggest problems for climbers are the effects of high altitude, which seem to be unrelated to fitness, age or gender.

It is a good idea to start some physical training prior to the trek, which might include aerobic cross training and hiking to familiarize your body with the rigors or the trek. The fitter you are, the easier the climb will be for you.

How much is a good tip?

The typical tip is:


Porters $ 7 per day per porter
Cooks $10 to $12 per cook
Assistant Guides $12 to $15 per guide
Kilimanjaro Guides $20 per day and upper guide

*Tip amounts listed for Kilimanjaro are per group, not per individual traveler. For instance, if four people are on Kilimanjaro, they should each contribute $5/day if they want to tip the lead guide $20.

How many hours will I trek per day?

All our itineraries have indicated each day hours of trekking and altitude and other useful information.

What if I am slower than the other trekkers?
Mount Kilimanjaro climbing requires slow pace “pole pole” which means "slowly, slowly" so you body can acclimatize with the condition on the Mountain. Making to the top of Kilimanjaro do not require fast runners and our experienced guides knows how to figure out with slow trekkers.

What if I cannot make it to the top?
Some climbers may fall short of reaching the summit, but not at the expense of their overall experience. Even for those who never reached the top, the experience of the wonders of Kilimanjaro is rewarding. If one or more members of a group decide they cannot continue, or if a guide deems it unsafe for an individual (or a group) to continue, they are escorted to the most convenient campsite or hut.

How much equipment will I carry?
You are expected to carry your own day pack, which should be able to sustain you until you reach camp at the end of the day. You do not need to carry your personal backpack/duffel pack - it will be carried by a porter. The weight per porter is limited to 15 kg (35lb). If you bring overweight luggage, every 15 kg will be charged extra at 100 US$ for an extra porter for the whole climb. Your backpack/duffel bag will be brought from campsite to campsite - before you arrive it will already be there.

What you need during the day in your day pack will depend on your priorities, but will generally include drinking water, basic medical kit, camera, waterproof layers, a pair of gloves and hat, a warm layer, and snacks.

What is the accommodation like on the Mountain?
On the Marangu Route there are simple, basic huts. The first two huts sleep four people each, and the last hut is dorm-style with bunk beds.

On all other routes, you will sleep in 3-person dome-style mountain tents, two people each. The tents are modern and have an outer flysheet and large vestibules keep equipment from the elements. They are set up, broken down and carried - along with everything else - by our porters. A toilet tent is set up at every campsite and hot water is provided for each person every morning if possible (no showers).

There will be dining tents with chairs and tables where all meals will be served. Before the meals, we will provide soap and hot water for washing your hands.

What is the food like at the trek?
We take great pride in serving delicious, tasty meals. It's something we are very passionate about. What about having a birthday cake during the climb? An anniversary dinner perhaps? Don't hesitate to let us know and we'll find a way to create something special for you. From herbal teas and thick hot chocolate to chunky soups and nutritious main meals. We'll do our best to re-awaken those taste buds. If you love your food – choose a deluxe style trip and let us really indulge you to the max!

Who will be my guide?
Our guides have collectively mounted Kilimanjaro well over two hundred times. They are extremely knowledgeable about climbing the mountain. Further, we regularly train them in zoological and geological topics, first aid, customer relationship, English language, and environmental conservation.

What luggage should I pack?
It is important to keep a small luggage when on trek, as this will ease the burden of the drivers, vehicles and porters. Baggage should be of the round squashy type rather than hard suitcases that are difficult to fit into jeeps. Try to use something that is both lockable and water proof as luggage can often end up sitting on the roof of the vehicle. It is a good idea to bring another smaller bag so that unwanted clothes can be kept in it at the hotel when you go on trek. This also helps to keep city clothes clean and free from dust. You should also bring a small day pack which can be carried while hiking or riding or can be readily accessible when you are traveling in the vehicles on long drives.

On camping trips all equipment will be provided except for a 4-season sleeping bag. You do not need to provide any other camping gear; only personal belongings. It should be noted that the luggage limit per person on domestic flights is 15-20 kg per person (checked-in and hand luggage).

On your inbound flight, don't check in items that you absolutely need (such as medicines), as it is not uncommon that checked-in luggage gets misdirected and arrives in Tanzania a couple of days after you. It is better to have such items in your hand luggage.

Wildlife Safaris - FAQs

 

Do I need a VISA to Travel in Tanzania?
Most visitors require visas, with the exception of natives of certain countries of the Commonwealth. It is advisable to obtain a visa in advance of travel, as certain airlines insist on them prior to departure and avoidance of disturbances.

Are safaris in Tanzania safe?
Tanzania is one of Africa’s most stable countries. You’ll be welcomed by its friendly people and always taken care of by attentive staff. After full days of wildlife viewing, rest up at handpicked camps and lodges, which offer authentic African charm and modern-day conveniences.

Should I take out travel insurance before travelling to Tanzania?
It is essential that adequate travel insurance be taken out prior to departure. This should cover any medical situation such as hospitalisation, as well as cancellation, curtailment of arrangements and baggage.

What should I pack?
Casual, comfortable clothing is suitable throughout the year. Due to the high altitude on the rim of Ngorongoro Crater it can be cold at night (even in summer) therefore it is very important to pack warm clothing for the nights. The most practical items to pack are: Khaki, brown, white and beige colours Light cotton tops and cotton trousers/shorts in summer Long sleeved blouses/shirts for game drives Safari trousers for evenings and cooler days A fleece or sweater and a warm jacket for game drives (and at the Ngorongoro Crater) Swimwear is a must for the beach A hat, sunglasses and sunscreen Comfortable walking.

Are there special health requirements when visit Tanzania?
Visitors must be vaccinated against yellow fever no less than 10 days prior to travel to Tanzania and need to produce a Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate at the point of entry. If you do not have one, you will be given an injection at the airport. If you cannot have a yellow fever injection for medical reasons, you will need to produce a doctor's letter stating these reasons. Tanzania is also located in a malaria area and malaria prophylactics are highly recommended. Please consult your medical practitioner when planning your trip.

When is the best time to view the Great Migration?
The Great Migration traditionally follows the rain as animals migrate towards better pastures. Therefore it is difficult to determine precisely when it will happen. Working on the assumption of a "normal" year, the migration generally begins in early April, May and June, when the calves are strong enough and the journey north begins. From June/July the wildebeest gather in the Western Corridor of the Serengeti National Park and in August/September they cross the Grumeti River and head towards the Masai Mara in Kenya. From October to December the animals begin to move back into the Serengeti.

Is Tanzania a good birding destination?
Tanzania is an excellent all-year-round birding destination. It boasts over 1000 bird species, with Lake Manyara alone being home to more than 400. Thousands of flamingos on the lake make for a spectacular sight and photographic opportunity. At the height of the northern winter, some 160 species of migrants make their way south, adding to the local birdlife.

Is it okay to drink the water?
We provide free bottled water at all camps and during all wildlife-viewing drives. You can also purchase bottled water at all lodges.

Where is the best place to go for wildlife viewing in Africa?
The whole of Tanzania depending on your preference, popular areas such as Ngorongoro Crater, a World Heritage Site, has one of the greatest concentrations of wildlife in the world. The vast plains of Serengeti National Park also host a myriad of wildlife, especially during the wildebeest migration.

What kinds of animals will I see on safari in Tanzania?
All kinds! You will see the animals you’ve always dreamed of encountering on safari—zebra, elephant, hippo, giraffe, lion, warthog, wildebeest, and so much more.

When is the best time of year to go on safari in Tanzania?
Tanzania has the best year-round wildlife viewing, and we adjust our itineraries and accommodations based on wildlife migration patterns. In Tanzania, any time is a wonderful time to be on safari. Of course, there are seasonal variations, but you’ll always see a lot of animals.

Will I have a chance to interact with local people of Tanzania?
Many of our trips provide opportunities to visit local villages and interact with the people. However, if your itinerary does not include these visits, you’ll still gain valuable local insight from your expert guide, a native of Tanzania.

Can I make my own itinerary?
Absolutely yes you can easily contact us to start the process. We’ll listen to your needs and give expert recommendations based on your interests, timeline, and budget. Leave the details to us!

Can I take my children on safari?
Of course! We think taking your whole family on safari is a wonderful way to learn and grow together. That’s why we offer family safaris designed for families traveling with kids six years of age and older.