Preparation | East Africa Travel Company
Preparation for your travel if you arrive at Kilimanjaro Airport, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel in Moshi. Preparation we recommend at least one rest day before starting your trek. If you are transferring from Nairobi, this can act as your rest day. If you have time, enjoy a guided walk through the local rice fields and rainforest, do a little shopping in the town of Moshi and relax at the swimming pool.
Your guide will provide a briefing the evening before your trek, and you must separate one bag for the trek from your other luggage. Rental equipment is available. Extra luggage can be stored in a locked storage room at your Moshi hotel at no charge.
Depending on the route you take, the drive to the trailhead can take up to one hour and can be very bumpy.
Once you reach the park gate, climbers are requested to make their final preparations for the climb and sign the national park registration book. Porters will be seen arranging their packs containing the food, water, and other equipment. Make sure that you have all your day pack items with you as the porters travel very quickly. Your guide will be pleased to assist with any additional information.
The average hiking day begins between 8-10 am and is about 5 to 6 hours, walking very, very slowly. The distances you will hike each day are very moderate so as to acclimate a little at a time. Your guides will repeat over and over, "pole pole" (poly, poly), which means "go slowly" in Swahili.
The terrain lower down is absolutely gorgeous and fascinating. Higher up, the views are vast. There is little to do at the camps themselves, so take advantage of the slow pace to absorb the scenery and take every photo opportunity.
The hike to the summit starts around midnight depending on your route and the speed of your group. You will go as high as you feel fit. Some people stop at the crater rim, and others continue to the very highest point on the mountain. Your guides will then take you down as quickly as possible to minimize any altitude problems. You will continue past your last campsite to the next one overnight.
Preparation - Money
The local currency is the Tanzanian shilling. U.S. dollars, Euros, and credit cards may be accepted by larger stores and hotels, but the exchange rate is better with shillings. ATMs are only available in larger towns like Moshi and Arusha.
Preparation - Guide(s)
A local guide is required to hike Kilimanjaro. We have guides that speak English, Spanish, French, and German. Porters will also go on the trip to carry your luggage, food, and other equipment. You will only have to carry a day pack with your daily essentials.
Tips for guides and porters on Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru:
You will want to hand out tips at the Office or Hotel on the last day of the trek. You can use U.S. dollars, Euros, TZ shillings, or a combination of these. It helps if you have small bills to tip everyone individually.
The typical tip is $15 - 20 /per day for guides, $10 - $15/per day for assistant guides and cooks, and $8 - $10/porter/day for porters This is from the whole group, not per hiker
Expect 1 guide per 8 hikers, 1 assistant guide per 3 hikers, and 1 cook per 8 hikers. Porters as follows:
3-5 porters per hiker on the 5-day Marangu Route (minimum of 4 porters)
4-5 porters per hiker on a 6 or 7-day trek (minimum of 5 porters)
5-8 porters per hiker on the 8-day Lemosho Route (minimum of 8 porters)
Sometimes extra porters are required based on the weight of the luggage.
Celebration: You are also welcome to invite your guides back to the Hotel for drinks and/or dinner (on you) as a thank-you in addition to their tip.
Expectations Tips should not be dependent on whether you summit or not, but rather whether they were professional and had your best interests in mind.
Mount Kilimanjaro is located three degrees south of the equator in Northeastern Tanzania. It is the tallest mountain in Africa and is the highest free-standing mountain in the world. Of the famous highest seven peaks in the world, this is the easiest to get to and the easiest to climb. It requires no technical climbing experience, and any moderately fit person can summit the mountain.
Preparation - Travel Companions
Groups are limited to 5-7 people. We will combine groups up to this limit if they are starting the same route on the same day. However, we can also arrange for private groups at no extra cost. We will try to add single travelers to a group if at all possible, but we cannot guarantee it. We can accommodate large groups of any size.
Preparation - Recommended Gear List
Kilimanjaro Climber’s Packing List Notes
The pack that the porters carry is limited to 15 kg (35 pounds)Store electronics in sealed water-proof bags (double sealed if possible)
Overweight or extra luggage will require an extra porter at $15/day
Wrap clothing in plastic bags
In the day pack, take along water, sunglasses, a camera, binoculars, rain pants, and a jacket at a minimum.
Add any other items you might need during the day, since you may not see your porters until the end of the day.
Preparation - Baggage
- Day pack, for you to carry
- Large duffel bag or backpack, for porters to carry
- Plastic bags
- Clothing You want your inner layer to be wicking – no cotton
- Your next layer should be insulating and warm, and your top layer should be waterproof but breathable.
- You will need clothes for hiking during the day, lounging in the evening, and sleeping.
- Layers are important as temperatures vary greatly.
- Kilimanjaro may be near the equator, but it gets cold up there!
- Shorts, for the first and last day only
- Pants, for hiking and for lounging in the evenings
- Short-sleeved or t-shirts
- Long-sleeved shirts, for hiking and for lounging in the evenings
- Long underwear
- Fleece jacket or wool sweater
- Fleece pants
- Down jacket or ski parka (for temperatures well below freezing plus wind)
- Rain jacket, needed in hot rainforest and cold snow
- Rain pants, needed in hot rainforest and cold snow
- Sports bras, for women
Preparation - Cold Weather Accessories
- Mittens and/or gloves (waterproof, one thin pair, one thick pair that can be layered)
- Wool or pile hat
- Balaclava or neck gaitor
- Hand and foot warmers (chemical activated)
Preparation - Footwear
- Be sure to break in your shoes before the hike!
- Trekking shoes for hiking during the day, preferably warm, waterproof, and with ankle support – not too light and not too heavy
- Tennis shoes or sandals for lounging in the evening
- Hiking socks for warmer conditions
- Wool socks for colder conditions
- Sock liners to wick away moisture
Preparation - Sleeping
Sleeping bag (Rated -25 degrees C/-10 degrees F or colder is recommended)
Sleeping pad and repair kit
Foam sleeping pads (Thermarest is highly recommended, however)
Water bottles and Camelback (2-3) Water filters or iodine purification tablets
Get 2 liters of bottled water before the trip.
Your guides will boil water for you along the route, or use stripes for water sanitization.
To prevent water from freezing on summit day, keep your water source inside your jacket.
For Camelbacks, blow air back into the bladder after each sip and drink often.
Gatorade or other drink mix helps with taste and minerals.
- Money ($400 or more in cash and/or traveler's cheques, including some small U.S., Euro, or Tanzanian bills)
- Ski or trekking poles
- Headlamp or flashlight
- Camera, film, tripod
- Video camera, tapes
- Bring extra sets for headlamp/flashlight and camera as cold weather shortens their life
- Notebook, journal, pencil, and pen
- Pocket knife
- Electricity adapter
- Energy bars, hard candy, snacks, and comfort foods
- Playing cards, games, books, Frisbee, football, kite
- Chocolate or pens for village children, momentos for guides, porters, and other climbers
- Umbrellas, particularly useful in the rainy season, can be purchased in the market for around $2
- Plastic bags and zip-lock bags for waterproofing
- Sewing kit
- Salt, pepper, and spices for bland food
- Business cards
- Alarm clock
- Calculator (for currency conversion)
Preparation - Toiletries
- Toilet paper (and a baggie to carry used paper while on the trail)
- Small towel
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Hand wipes (moist towelettes for cleaning)
- Hand sanitizer
- Glasses, contacts, solution (take contacts out each night to prevent blurred vision)
- Comb, mirror
Preparation - Documents
- Yellow fever certificate
- Tanzania Visa
- Medical insurance
- Address book
- Vaccination records
- Airline tickets
- Cash, traveler's cheques, credit cards
- Maps, guidebooks
- Make copies of passport, TZ visa, airline tickets/schedule, and traveler's cheque numbers.
- Leave a copy with someone at home and put a copy in a separate place in your luggage.
Preparation - First Aid
- Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, or Aspirin
- Throat lozenges
- Sunscreen (SPF 15+)
- Lip balm with sunscreen
- Insect repellent
- Disinfectant, Antiseptic cream
- Bandages and tape
- Diarrhea medicine
- Ace bandage
- Melatonin (1-3mg) or other sleep aid
- Malaria pills (talk to your doctor)
- Antibiotics (talk to your doctor)
- Prescription drugs (talk to your doctor)
- Diamox (talk to your doctor)
Preparation - Packing for your flight to Africa
- Walkman and music
- Melatonin or other sleep aid
- Critical climbing gear (in case baggage is delayed)