Frequently asked Questions
The mountain is in Tanzania, East Africa, about 350km from the equator. The nearest towns are Moshi and Arusha.
Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest freestanding mountain in the world and the highest mountain in Africa. Its highest point is Uhuru Peak on the Kibo crater at 5895m above sea level.
None, but previous hiking or climbing experience will help. You need to be fit and healthy and have a good pair of worn-in hiking boots. The fitter you are the more you are likely to enjoy it.
You don’t need mountain climbing gear. You can rent most of the clothing and equipment you need in Tanzania, but bringing your own clothes, well worn-in boots and a good sleeping bag is best. You will need a small day pack with enough space for wind and rain clothes, some first aid, 3 litres of water and snacks.
Warm clothes (fleece, wind and waterproof layers), good polarised sunglasses, sunscreen and a head lamp should be included in your packing list. You might prefer to use walking sticks and gaiters, but these can be rented from your trekking operator. Even thermal underwear and down jackets can be rented from us. If think you do not have the correct clothing and gear, please contact Kilimanjaro-Experience for advice.
There are no bathrooms on Kili. Warm water will be supplied in a bowl and you will be able to wash your face and hands. For the rest you will use wipes. Toilets are simple, hole-in-the-ground types. Portable showers and toilets can be rented at some cost.
There are at least six routes to the top, Uhuru peak. You will hike between 53 and 73km depending on which route you choose.
The shortest and toughest is the 5-day Umbwe route. Allowing extra days will help you to acclimatize better and improve your chances of reaching the summit. The easiest and most popular route is Marangu (can be done in five), but Kilimanjaro-Experience use six days for this route.
Getting to Tanzania and hiking up Kili is not cheap. But the once in a lifetime experience is worth every penny. Costs (usually quoted in USD) will depend on the tour operator and what you need. Luxuries such as portable toilets and glassware will cost more. Land costs should include transport to and from Kili, full board, porters, guides, cooks, national park fees and permits. Do not choose the cheapest operator, choose an operator who discloses all costs and who offers value for money.
You will eat normal food: potatoes, rice, pasta, vegetables, eggs, sandwiches, cheese and fruit. When you book a trek, let your tour operator know about food allergies or medical conditions that require special diets. Non-vegetarians will be served sausages, chicken and meat. Tea, coffee and hot chocolate will be available as well.
From the mountain. Porters collect water from the streams and it is boiled before use. This water will be used to fill your water canisters. You don’t need to use purification tablets, but it is recommended. Some operators offer bottled water – at extra cost as porters have to carry this up the mountain.
No. There are no hotels on the mountain and no cable cars to the top. You will most probably sleep in tents, or in basic huts if you take the Marangu route. Tents and sleeping mats are carried and set up by the porters. You do need to bring a very warm sleeping bag or rent it from Kilimanjaro-Experience.
You might experience symptoms of altitude sickness – headaches, nausea, loss of appetite and dizziness. Apart from obvious injuries that can occur when walking in uneven terrain and in very cold conditions, you will not be in danger of mugging, attack by animals or malarial mosquitoes.
Yes, it is expected and much appreciated. The amount depends on the amount of days, but can range from $150 and $300 per hiker. Tips are pooled and shared amongst the crew. Bring US dollar bills.
No person younger than 10 years is allowed according to Kilimanjaro National Park authorities’ rules. If 10 or older, they may only proceed as high as Horombo Huts (3700m) or Shira Camp (3900m) if they are accompanied by one of their parents. Kilimanjaro-Experience prefers its climbers to be 14 years and older when they attempt the summit. Climbers older than 70 years are required to show a medical certificate.
The oldest person on the mountain was Richard Byerley (84) of Washington State. He trained by climbing mountains, running and cycling. His tip? ‘Just go.’ Kilimanjaro Experience’s oldest guest was 79 years and 9 months and was from the Czech Republic.
A good level of fitness and a positive, determined attitude will ensure success. Also, you will need good support and the right gear.
You have a 50% chance – to make it or not. Of the 40 000 visitors Kili attracts each year, between 50 and 75% turn back before reaching the summit according a report by the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation. The main reason for this is cold, dehydration and altitude sickness. You will increase your chances by choosing the right route, allow an extra day for acclimatising to the height, good protection against cold and good guides to help you acclimatise and pace yourself.