Preparation and planning is key to make a success of your Kilimanjaro trip. It is a once in a lifetime exercise, so doing a little research will make it worth your while.
Which Route to take?
A key question many potential Kilimanjaro climbers ask themselves is, “how fit do I need to be?” The answer to the question might surprise you! Read through our guide on physical preparation for Kilimanjaro to increase your chances of reaching the summit.
Gear and Clothing
What you wear and the equipment you take with you are very important considerations before embarking on your climb. We have put together an essential gear and clothing list as well as an informative video that will guide your through the packing process and ensure you arrive ready for action.
While we generally advise that our clients should be in good health before attempting to climb Kilimanjaro, a number of factors can affect your climb. The main health risk facing climbers is altitude sickness. Take a look at the most common health problems experienced by climbers and what to do about them in our informative health section.
When to Go
Kilimanjaro can be climbed at any time of year but certain months are generally considered more favourable. The mountain is close to the equator which means that seasonal temperatures do not vary greatly. Find out more about how to pick the perfect time to climb the mountain.
Find out what you need to know about obtaining a visa when visiting Tanzania. Most countries require a valid tourist visa to embark on the climb.
Decide when to go
Decide on the date that suit you and when the best climbing weather is on Kili. The driest months are January to February and July to September. In certain months the mountain is extremely busy and during full moon things can get crowded at the top.
Secondly, decide on a route
Marangu is the busiest route and on Rongai there are very few people and is usually the driest route.
How many days?
The shortest route is Umbwe (5 days) but recommended only for hikers that are very fit and well acclimatised to height. Marangu can take 5 days, but 6 days is recommended for better acclimatisation. Kilimanjaro-Experience offers only the 6-day Marangu trip option.
If you can afford it, rather take a day extra to ensure you adjust to the altitude. Your chances of reaching the summit will be much better. However, it depends on the climber. Some people get too tired hiking an extra day that they can’t make it to the top.
Which agency to use?
All hikers who wish to climb Kili have to use a licensed trekking operator and be escorted by a qualified and experienced guide. It has been compulsory since 1991. But how to choose which operator to use? The best choice is surely someone who has been in the industry for a while? This agency would use experienced guides, well-paid porters and good equipment. It is also essential that the trek operator be on standby around the clock in case of emergency. But safety is only in part the issue. You want to get to the top, right? Using qualified, experienced and caring guides and porters is the other half of ensuring a successful trip. Here is why you should book with Kilimanjaro-Experience:
- We care about our guests and we care about the mountain.
- Kilimanjaro-Experience is a reputable company registered with Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO).
- You can book directly with Kilimanjaro-Experience. Our sales managers can also book internal flights, transfers and additional safaris and beach holidays on Zanzibar or the islands off the east coast.
- You will be able to rent gear from us.
- The operations team in Moshi is English and German-speaking and available day and night in case of emergency.
- Kilimanjaro-Experience is registered with the *KPAP and treat their guides and porters well. Most of our staff has been with us for years and our guides have years of experience and has been to the summit numerous times.
*KPAP (Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project) monitors operators to ensure these companies comply with IMEC and KPAP’s guidelines for proper porter treatment. Offices near Kili and in Nepal have porter clothing banks where suitable gear and clothes are on loan to crew.
How to get there
If you choose to travel overland to Kilimanjaro, you can enter Tanzania from most of its neighbouring countries. Most clients choose to fly into Tanzania or Kenya (via Nairobi). Use any of the three international airports in Tanzania – Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar or Kilimanjaro (JRO). Make sure your passport, visa and immunisations are in order – you will need a yellow fever inoculation.