Frequently Asked Questions:
Although you can trek Kilimanjaro anytime of year, June through October and December through March are the better times. Other months fall in the rainy season, which makes for a less pleasant trip.
Yes. Ice and snow can be found year-round on the mountain’s upper reaches. There are massive glaciers, ice fields, and towering walls of ice that blaze in the equatorial sun. While the glaciers have recently receded, probably due to global warming, they remain, for now, an overpowering and unforgettable sight.
Usually you will experience every season: summer, winter, spring, and fall, on Kilimanjaro. The trek begins in a warm tropical forest, and then ascends to a cool plateau alive with wildflowers. Higher still, the vegetation gets sparse and the air takes on an autumnal chill. Near the top you find snow, ice, and arctic cold. At the summit it can get as cold as 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Obviously, you need to bring a wide range of clothing.
Our minimum age is sixteen as part of a family group, including one parent.
Good sturdy hiking boots. Winter and summer clothing. A frameless pack, sleeping bag, water bottle and personal items. (We provide a complete packing list well before you depart.) You do not need any technical climbing equipment.
Kilimanjaro is a strenuous adventure, but you don’t have to be an elite athlete. Anyone in good health, with a reasonable degree of physical conditioning and a determined attitude can make it to the top. No climbing skills are required. Even the most challenging portions are still a hike (a steep hike, but a hike nonetheless.) No ropes or technical gear are involved. It is recommended that you be able to jog for five miles or for 10,000 meters without difficulty. It is a good idea to have followed a regular routine of aerobic exercise at least four to six months before the trek. Determination is the critical factor.
The national park operates a rescue service, and the ranger stations at the huts and campsites around the mountain are linked to each other and to the park headquarters by radio. In the vast majority of emergency cases, the problem is altitude related and the solution is immediate descent to a lower altitude. Our mountain crew are all experienced at dealing with such cases and can bring climbers down to safe altitudes very quickly and without park assistance if it is not immediately available.
Tanzania is located in East Africa between longitude, 29 degrees and 41 degrees east and latitude 1 degree and 12 degrees south. Tanzania borders Kenya to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to the south, and is the largest country in East Africa (943,000 sq km), comprising both the mainland and the Zanzibar Archipelago.
A large central plateau makes up most of the mainland (at between 900m and 1800m) and the mountain ranges of the Eastern Arc and the Southern and Northern Highlands cut across the country to form part of the Great Rift Valley.
Tanzania is a land of geographical extremes having the highest peak Mount Kilimanjaro, the lowest point Lake Tanganyika, and the largest Lake Victoria, on the continent.
As Tanzania lies just south of the equator, there is little seasonal variation in temperature, but it is slightly cooler in June/July and warmer in January and February. There is much more variation between the coastal and low lying regions and the high plains and mountainous regions.
There are two rainy seasons – the long rains during late March and late May and the short rains in November. The rest months are categorized as dry season. In practice the rainfall pattern is neither regular nor predictable.
The Great Northern Parks lie at an altitude of 5,000 to 19.340 feet, Kilimanjaro being the highest to have a pleasant climate with warm days and cooler evenings year round.
Between June and October, temperatures range from around 10°C in the northern highlands to about 23°C on the coast. On the plains and the lower-altitude game reserves, the temperatures from June to October are warm and mild. On the coast, these months are some of the most pleasant to visit, with balmy, sunny weather much of the day and cooling ocean breezes at night. From December to March, the days are hot and sunny with often no even a cloud in the sky. Temperatures range from the mid-twenties to the low thirties throughout the country while visitors flock to the parks and beaches to escape the dreariness of late winter in colder climes.
3 hrs + GMT
The local unit of currency in Tanzania is Tanzanian Shilling (TSh) which is convertible freely for US Dollar, Euro and other currencies within Tanzania. There are several places in Tanzania you can exchange your money/traveler’s cheques but it is advisable that you exchange your money only in hotels, banks, bureau de change and your tour operator to avoid inconveniences and being coned.
It is illegal to export more than a small amount of Tanzanian Shilling. Many items or services are priced and paid for in US Dollar, so do not convert more funds into the local currency than you may need for incidental expenses.
Today, there are a number of ATM machines around and banks are widely expanding the service. However, it may be not very reliable to expect a certain ATM as sometimes they are not working especially when you are in remoter area. In cities there is a good number of ATM machines and here is where you should draw your money before starting your safari. Be careful as in some small towns you may find there are no ATM machines so get well prepared with enough cash as needed before you move. Note that when drawing money from ATM machines you will get the money in Tanzanian Shilling and not otherwise.
Tanzania is one of the safest countries to travel in. Tanzanians are kind and generous people and are eager to help visitors get the most out of their stay. Tanzania is a true example of tolerance and cooperation in our modern world, with an evidenced multicultural diversity that has co-existed for centuries and has a lot to offer the world by its example.
However, as in all countries in the world, a little common sense goes a long way and rational precautions should still be taken, such as locking valuables in the hotel safe, which frees your mind to soak up the natural beauty and incredible insights.
The power supply is at the UK/European standard voltage of 220/240, and most of power sockets are the U.K. square pin type. If you want to use U.S. appliances you will need a voltage converter as well as a plug converter. Power supply is also subject to cuts and voltage fluctuation. On safari most lodges’ power supplies are from generators and these are often turned off during parts of the day and night to reduce noise and fuel consumption. On Safari, you will be able to charge your batteries/cameras/cellphones in our vehicles equiped with Inverters for that purpose. In beach hotels you will be able to charge your batteries easily but it may be difficult on mountain trek.
There are mosquitoes in Tanzania so travelers should be well prepared. You will need to bring repellent for mosquitoes and other insects. In coastal area and in the area around Rift valley you will encounter possibly a lot of mosquitoes. Make you take Malaria prevention before and during your travel to Tanzania. It is also recommended that you vaccinations against hepatitis A, polio and typhoid. Refer to your local health authorities to finalize your immunization recommendations and requirements.
British Airways fly direct to Dar es Salaam from Heathrow, three times weekly. KLM fly from Zurich to Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro and Swiss Air from Zurich to Dar es Salaam. Air India flies to Dar es Salaam via Mumbai, Emirates flies via Dubai and Ethiopian Airlines via Addis Ababa. Check with your local travel agent for other airlines that operate to Tanzania via Europe and the Middle East. Regional carriers into Tanzania include Air Tanzania, Kenya Airways, Precision Air and South African Airways. Domestic carriers include Air Tanzania and Coastal Aviation. Precision Air, Regional Air Services and ZanAir link the major cities, tourist attractions and game parks in Tanzania. Air Tanzania, Precision Air, Coastal Aviation and ZanAir fly between the mainland and Zanzibar. International flights serve Dar es Salaam International Airport (DAR) recently named “Julius Nyerere International Airport” which is eight miles from Dar es Salaam city centre and Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), just 31 miles from the main town center of Arusha. Zanzibar Kisuani Airport (ZNZ) is just five miles from Kisauni.
We can help you book or hire regional/local flights and charters in Tanzania. We advise you to book for your International flights.
An airport tax of US$50 is levied (this is not fixed), which may be included in the price of air ticket. Note that this may change and should be confirmed while booking your flight.
The official language of Tanzania is Kiswahili, which is spoken by the majority of the population who also speak tribal languages (about 120). English is also spoken and understood by many especially in towns.
Usually migration depend on weather condition although should be between the months of December to early March. Calving which takes place in southern Serengeti is in February mostly but not predictable as depends on weather. If rains come late then even calving is postponed naturally.
You can surely travel with children in Tanzania. Tanzanians love children and are especially helpful to mothers. However, canned baby foods, powdered milk and disposable nappies may not be available outside major towns. However, it is not appropriate to go on safari with babies as the roads are bumpy.
Don’t indiscriminately hand out pens, money and sweets like a wealthy Western Santa Claus along the way except at particular premises like schools etc as otherwise it may just encourage begging. As anywhere, gifts should be given as a true expression of friendship, thanks. There are Orphan centers and schools in need where you may provide gifts and children will very much appreciate. Please contact us if you want to know where these institutions are and what could be appropriate gifts.
The tourist areas and hotels sell a wide range of souvenirs, jewellery and trinkets. Don’t be afraid to haggle at roadside curio stalls.
Sure you can. In Tanzania we drive on the left. An international Licence is required. Plan long safaris carefully, ensuring your vehicle is road worthy with two spare tires, an operational jack and tool kit. Carry extra fuel, and water.
Self-drive vehicles are available mainly for local running or tarmac use. 4×4 vehicles for safaris usually have to be hired with a driver but where necessary self-drive is also accepted.
Tipping is a way of showing satisfaction with your Kilimanjaro trek or safari expedition team. It is a sign of appreciation for good service and helps ensure continued good service for those who follow you. Tipping is a traditional cultural practice after all Kilimanjaro climbs and wildlife safaris. As with any tipping situation, if the service was of particularly high quality, we encourage you to give a generous tip; if the service did not meet your expectations, adjust the tip accordingly.
Please note that all of our expedition staff are paid immediately after every climb or safari they finish so that no one relies on tips as their only source of income. However, tips provide valuable additional financial assistance to your expedition team and invaluable interpersonal benefits to all.
On the last morning of your trek your chief guide will hold a ‘Tipping Ceremony’. This is when your guides and porters will stand around and receive your group tips.
Recommended minimum tipping scale:
- Chief Guide: US$ 15-20 per day
- Assistant Guide: US$ 10-15 per day per assistant guide
- Cook: US$ 7-10 per day
- Porters: US$ 5-7 per day per porter
On wildlife safari:
- Driver Guide: US$15 per day from the group
- Chef (on a camping safari): US$10 per day from the group
The Rongai, Lemosho, and Machame routes are camping routes that take longer and are considered more scenic than the Marangu. On the Marangu route you will be staying in huts as opposed to camping, and you hike up and down the same path.
The Rongai route takes you up the north side of the mountain and you descend down the Marangu route. The Lemosho and the Machame routes traverse the mountain and descends down the Mweka route.
On the Marangu route, trekkers stay in huts. Each hut has a dining room for eating as well as separate bathroom facilities (can be flush toilets or pit latrines). There is no electricity in the huts.
On the Rongai, Machame and Lemosho routes, trekkers camp all the way up! For these routes G Adventures travellers receive a private mess tent and they are shared pit latrines.
Trekkers on all routes are given a hot water bowl to wash their hands and faces.
On the first day you are responsible to bring your own water but beyond that, water is provided on all routes. Water is taken from the mountain streams, boiled and filtered to make safe to drink.
You will not be responsible to carry your luggage up Kilimanjaro. The porters can carry approximately 30lbs (15kg) of your luggage; the rest can be stored safely at the hotel. You will only be responsible to carry your day pack with the essential and personal items you need to have with you at all times.
Yes you can. If you are in any physical danger or suffer from altitude sickness the porters will be able to assist you down the mountain.
Temperatures vary considerably with altitude and time of day. On the plains surrounding Kilimanjaro the average temperature is about 30°C. At 3000m frosts can be encountered at night while daytime temperatures range from 5 to 15°C. Nighttime temperatures on the summit can be well below freezing especially with the strong winds at times.
Absolutely, so precautions are required. About 55% of the earth’s protective atmosphere is below an altitude of 5000m. Far less ultraviolet light is being filtered out, making the sun’s rays much more powerful, which could result in severe sun burning of the skin. It is strongly recommended to use a 20+ sun protection cream at lower altitudes, and a total block cream above an altitude of 3000m. It is also important to wear dark sun glasses preferably with side panels above 4000m in daytime and essential when walking through snow or ice. Snow blindness can be very painful, and will require your eyes to be bandaged for at least 24 hours.
Not Big, we keep them small. On most of our routes, group size ranges from 5-15, and sometimes smaller.
No, it’s not. It’s 1,200 miles away, on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, to the south.
No. You don’t need any climbing experience. Any person in good health and very good physical condition, with a positive mental attitude can make the climb.
Yes, even though the rains usually occur in March/April and November, it is mostly dry on Kilimanjaro. This means you can climb year-round. The numbers of climbers on Kilimanjaro fluctuates according to the tourist and weather seasons. Kilimanjaro’s weather can be unpredictable, and can change at any time.
You will be paired up with a tent mate, if you don’t have one already. You can also pay a little extra and have a tent and hotel room to yourself.
There are no bathrooms on Kilimanjaro. 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 chemical toilets can be rented at extra cost.
Leave them at the hotel. You will deposit your valuables in the hotel safe as you won’t need any valuables on the climb, other than a few bucks to buy a beer or soda at the gate when you descend. You can also store your extra clothing and gear at the hotel.
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.
You will eat normal food: potatoes, rice, pasta, vegetables, eggs, sandwiches, cheese and fruit. When you book a trek, let us 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.
You definitely won’t have the kitchen pantry at your disposal, but you will still have nutritious and tasty meals prepared for you. If you have any dietary requirements, then make sure your tour operator is aware of them.
- A typical breakfast involves eggs (boiled or fried), porridge, a piece of fruit, some bread (either with jam, honey or peanut butter) and a mug or two of tea, hot chocolate or coffee.
- Lunch is usually prepared during breakfast and carried by climbers in their day packs. Usually consisting of a boiled egg, sandwiches, a piece of fruit, some bread (with jam, honey or peanut butter) and a mug of tea, hot chocolate or coffee.
- At the end of the day’s hiking, there is usually ‘afternoon tea’, served with biscuits, peanuts and salted popcorn. Dinner usually begins with a steaming bowl of soup, followed by the main course (chicken or some other meat, vegetable sauce and rice or pasta).
It’s recommended to carry some energy bars with you on your climb to snack on. This will provide added energy and help you on your way to Uhuru Peak.
We’ve put together a short list of some medications and suggested items for a medical kit:
- Sun protection – You’re already competing with the slopes of Kili, so you don’t want to make it more difficult by competing with the sun too. Bring sunscreen (SPF 30 and above) and lip-ice (balm), applying it regularly. A good pair of sunglasses or hiking goggles is a must. Snow blindness is very painful and it’s one memory you don’t want to take home with you.
- Pain killers and headache tablets – Make sure they are not too strong, as they could mask other symptoms.
- Basic anti-septic and plasters – Mostly for cuts and blisters. Especially for your feet and hands.
- Anti-nausea tablets – Great to have on you in case you encounter altitude sickness.
- Water purification tablets – Mountain streams may look unspoiled, but they may not be. Make sure you have enough tablets for 5 – 6 litres of water a day, multiplied by how many days your hike will be.
- Eye drops – These are great for protecting your eyes against dust and other particles, as well as against the glare of snow and ice.
- Rehydrate salts – Can be used in cases of dehydration, but they are also good for replenishing the salts your muscles have lost during your hike.
- Malaria prophylaxis – Mainly for pre- and post-hike nights in Moshi. Consult your doctor and let them know you are climbing Kilimanjaro as some medicines have side-effects and may affect your climb.
- Anti-inflammatory tablets – For aching muscles and joints. Particularly when you have to make the descent.
- Diamox (aka Acetazolamide), as it is used for Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), is a diuretic (i.e. it promotes the production of urine) and a prophylactic (i.e. is used as a preventative medicine – not a cure).
Always remember to maintain a slow, steady pace from beginning to end. Going slowly allows the body to acclimatize while hiking. Those who start out too quickly will have troubles higher up the mountain as the body will be overexerted. This still holds true if you are spending an extra day on the mountain.
It will depend on the route you pick and your pace. It can take from 4-8 hours to reach the summit from the high camp.
A weatherproof jacket, such as Gore-tex.
A woollen sock that fits over the head with slits for only the eyes and mouth.
Most groups will start for the summit on ascent day at 11 PM to 12:30AM, depending on the perceived fitness of the group, the weather and the route. The pre-dawn hours, while cold, are also the calmest and clearest. The best views from the summit are at dawn. Often clouds and high winds develop not long after sunrise making the summit much less attractive and the descent more difficult.
Do not worry! You will be constantly hearing the words ‘pole pole’ from your guides which means ‘slowly slowly’. If you proceed with a slow, comfortable pace, it will give time for your body to adjust to the higher altitudes. Please stick to the speed that you are comfortable with, a member of staff will be with you if you are unable to keep up with the rest of your group.
If a client cannot walk because they are injured or sick, at least two support staff will assist this climber down. There is no extra charge for coming down and taken back to the hotel, but you will get no money back for that mountain days you missed, and you will be responsible for medical assistance and extra hotel nights. We highly recommend travel insurance to cover any medical expenses and further evacuation.
Both are possible. We can organize any trip you like in any order and any length.
Most people climb first and afterwards go on safari as the safari is obviously more relaxed and it feels like a nice reward.
But it actually makes a lot of sense to go on safari first, especially if you do not have time to take a rest day after landing. Your digestive system gets time to adjust to the time zone while on safari, so your body will be stronger and more effective when starting the climb afterwards. That’s why it is better to start the climb one or more days later. You will enjoy it more and have a much larger summit success.
When going on safari first you do not only acclimatize to the temperature and culture, you even acclimatize a bit to the altitude as the parks are located in the highlands with the Ngorongoro lodges and campsites above 2200m / 7200ft. This might not seem much, but might make a difference between a hard and a comfortable climb.
We can book your flights to Zanzibar from Kilimanjaro and your Zanzibar hotels. Contact us for further information and arrangement.
All routes start and finish in Moshi or Arusha, depending on your preferences.
We offer accommodation in Moshi before & after the trek at Kindoroko Hotel. Transfers to/from airport are also included.
They usually finish at 2pm in Moshi/Arusha, which makes it possible to take a flight in the evening.
Not reaching the summit is a very unusual situation, because 95% to 99% of the trekkers succeed. Lemosho and Rongai routes are the most successful ones, while Marangu and Umbwe have the lowest success rates.
We require a 10% down payment which can be made via bank transfer or Paypal. The balance to be paid in cash on your arrival in Tanzania in either US Dollars or Euros.