when planning to climb kilimanjaro
When planning your Kilimanjaro trek, sometimes it can be a challenge to decide the route to take, the details of arrival/departure, where to stay before/after the trek and how much time you should dedicate for the tour.
We do our best to simplify the work of our customers by having the best customer support in the industry (replying to all your questions in just a few hours or even minutes) and providing clear price structures and our recommendations for itineraries based on your preferences.
However, over the years and after thousands of tours organized, we have gathered a list of the questions that our customers ask us the most, and answer them in this page. With all these questions here, it will be easier for you to make a decision and even clarify your questions with us with fewer steps. Of course, it is normal to still have doubts as there are always new questions or specific situations we cannot address here. As such, please feel free to contact us through ccontact page ontact page and we’ll help you design the itinerary of a lifetime and assist you in any question you might have.
WHICH ROUTE SHOULD I CHOOSE?
This is a difficult question and a personal one. We usually recommend the Rongai or Lemosho routes which are the ones that offer less crowds and more beautiful scenery. It is very manageable even for those with little experience, provided an honest effort is put forth in training. Another extremely rewarding option, with some of the best scenery (though sometimes a bit crowded) is the Machame route. As for the Marangu route, it is the quickest route and the one where you sleep in huts instead of campsites. It is very commonly called ‘coca-cola route’ because it is the easiest one but acclimatization needs to be done carefully and, if possible you should climb it in 6 days (instead of 5) and sleep one night or two in Arusha/Moshi before the trek. Finally, Umbwe route is a spectacular and fantastic route as well, but only recommended for more experienced climbers.
WHERE DO THE TREKS START AND FINISH?
They start and finish in Arusha or Moshi, depending on your preferences. contact page
IS ACCOMMODATION INCLUDED BEFORE/AFTER TREK? WHAT ABOUT TRANSFERS TO/FROM AIRPORT?
Yes, transfers to/from airport are included and we do offer accommodation in Arusha before/after the trek in a guesthouse called Raha Leo. Shall you prefer a higher level of accommodation, when you contact us we will recommend some options.
WHAT SHOULD I BRING FOR THE KILIMANJARO TREK?
We have a specific web page for these recommendations which you can access by clicking here
WHAT TIME DO THE TREK FINISH? CAN I TAKE A FLIGHT ON THE SAME DAY?
Our treks usually finish around 3pm in Arusha / Moshi. If the flight is in the evening, it is perfectly ok.
WHAT IS YOUR SUCCESS RATE?
We do not keep close statistics of these records and it is extremely rare to have a group not reaching the summit. The rate would vary between 97% and 99% depending on the routes, with the highest success level being Lemosho and Rongai routes, and the lowest being Marangu and Umbwe.
WHAT IS A TYPICAL MEAL DURING THE TREK?
Food can be customized to your requests. A typical breakfast would have eggs (boiled or fried), porridge, fruit, bread, jam, honey, peanut butter, tea, coffee and chocolate powder. As for lunch, it is usually prepared at breakfast and carried with the trekker. The lunch would normally have a boiled egg, sandwiches, fruits and tea.
We also provide an afternoon tea with biscuits, peanuts and popcorn after the trek. And, finally, dinner: Typically a dinner would include a soup starter, light pasta dish and fruit or fruit pudding. Other example of meals would be fish or beef stew, or chicken with vegetable sauce, cabbage and rice or pasta.
WHAT SAFETY EQUIPMENT AND MECHANISMS DO YOU HAVE?
Safety is the most important consideration in a trek like this and we do everything to make sure that safety is the priority and the trekkers are always looked after by the guides to find any sign of danger. We always take Oxygen Cylinders throughout your hike, as well as an Hyperbaric Chamber (gamow bag) that we always use as our last decision in terms of emergency cases.
The emergency training that guides take is WFR (Wildness First Responder) and all our main Guides are highly trained to deal with altitude related complications or symptoms. The price of the Kilimanjaro does include the insurance for emergency evacuation in case of any serious complication.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE TREK?
* Kilimanjaro park fees
* Climbing permits and fees, gate, camp/hut fees.
* Guide, assistant guides, cook and porters salaries.
* Certified, experienced, English-speaking guides for all routes
* Porters to carry luggage from one camp to the next camp.
* 3 meals per day and Bottled water/drinks (1.5 liter per person per day)
* Emergency Insurance in case of altitude sickness
* Rescue fees (required by the national park)
* Transport to/from hotel to Gate
* All camping equipment, foam sleeping pads, pillows and sleeping bags with cotton liners for kilimanjaro temperatures, as well as cooking equipment, tables, chairs and eating utensils.
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED?
* Tips for guides and porters
* Meals outside the regular tour itinerary
* International visa for Tanzania
* International Airfares and Airport taxes
WHAT VACCINES AND MEDICATION SHOULD I TAKE? contact page
We cannot legally provide medical advise as we are not a health institution, but most travellers take vaccine for COVID -19 &Yellow Fever and take prophylaxis pills for Malaria. Some travellers do not take the prophylaxis pills and instead protect themselves by covering their body at night, using mosquito repellant and/or mosquito nets. If you plan to go to Zanzibar, or if you come from an Endemic yellow fever country (or do a stop-over there) we recommend taking the yellow fever vaccine as it may be requested upon arrival at the airport.
WHAT ARE THE METHOD PAYMENTS AVAILABLE?
Once we have designed your itinerary (only Kilimanjaro trek or also including transfers, flights, hotels in town, etc.) we will send you a contract with everything. We require a down payment which can be paid via bank transfer (which also accepts credit cards). The remaining payment can be paid using the same method or, if you prefer, can be made once you arrive in Tanzania, in cash.
DO I NEED TO TAKE THE VISA FOR TANZANIA IN ADVANCE OR CAN I GET IT UPON ARRIVAL AT THE AIRPORT OR LAND BORDER? contact page
We recommend getting the visa upon arrival as it is a very straightforward process and just takes a few minutes. We recommend bringing a pen and the money for the visas in cash to make the process faster. The price is $50 USD for all nationalities except citizens from the USA who have to pay $100 USD per person.
All nationalities can get a visa upon arrival except citizens of the following countries: Abkhazia (Republic inside Georgia), Eriterea Republic, Mauritania Republic, Sri Lanka Republic, Turkmanistan, Afghanistan Republic, Ethiopia, Morocco, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Bangladesh Republic, Kazakhstan Republic, Niger Republic, Somali Land, Wakimbizi (REFUGEES), Chad Repubic, Kyrgyzsten Republic, Palestine State, Stateless People, Djibout Republic, Lebanon Republic, Senegal Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Mali Republic, Sierra Leone Republic and Tajikstan.
ARE YOU ABLE TO ACCOMMODATE FOOD RESTRICTIONS, PREFERENCES OR SPECIFIC DIETS?
Yes, it does not matter if you do a budget camping safari or upgrade to a higher level of accommodation, we are able to accommodate any specific request (vegetarian, vegan, halal, kosher, paleo, gluten-fee, specific allergies, etc.). These are very common requests and not an issue at all.
Bringing the correct gear will maximize your chances of success when climbing the tallest free standing mountain in the World.
To help you in shopping and packing, it is a good idea to print this recommended equipment list. Feel free to contact us through our contact page for a pdf document with the equipment list
Solid Hiking Boots– Boots should have high ankle support with a solid Vibram, or equivalent, sole. Gore Tex, or other waterproofing, is recommended to have for wet days as well as added insulation. Be sure to break your boots in at least 4 WEEKS prior to departure. Additionally, bring a spare set of laces.
Sun Glasses– Your sun glasses should have 100% UV protection and should reduce glare as well as visible light. The frames should be light weight with a wrap-around design for enhanced grip and staying power. Additionally, side shields are recommended to block peripheral light.
Day Pack– The most important things to look for if you need to purchase one are size (30L is good), hydration pack compatibility, hip and chest straps, internal frame, good padding on shoulder straps, and water bottle holders.
Water/Wind proof Jacket– Your water/windproof jacket is your outer water repellent layer. Gore Tex, seam-sealed is recommended as well as a hood for added warmth.
Water/Wind proof Pants– Your water/wind proof pants will be worn on summit day as well as on rainy afternoons. These pants are essential for warmth and should be Gore Tex lined and have lower leg zips.
Water/Wind proof Mittens or Gloves– These are used for extreme temperatures and primarily worn on summit day. Be sure your gloves or mittens have a wrist cords as well as a reinforced palms to maintain grip during wet conditions. A removable liner is essential for drying, washing, and replacing.
2 large duffel bags– One we will leave at the hotel in Arusha to store non-essential gear when on the mountain (such as clean clothes for changing when off the mountain and for onward travel) and the other for carriage by the porters when on the mountain.
Things to Keep in Mind about the Essentials:
Look for items that will add less volume to your overall pack. We will be using porters to carry our equipment however they are limited in the amount each can carry. Heavy synthetic materials will be very limiting and could cause issues when packing up for the hike.
CLOTHING & LAYERING contact page :
2 pairs synthetic warm weather trekking socks– These socks are for trekking in the warmest part of the day since they are made of a Coolmax fabric. What is Coolmax? – CoolMax wicks moisture, dries quickly and breathes well, keeping your feet dry and preventing blisters.
4 pairs heavier synthetic or wool blend socks– Your wool socks are ideal for around camp when the temperature drops as well as on cold mornings. Merino wool is very comfortable and dries quickly with fewer odors than synthetic blends.
2 pairs long underwear top– This will be your base layer for colder mornings, evenings, and days where the temperature drops considerably. The material is lightweight, tight fitting, moisture wicking, and comfortable.
2 pairs long underwear bottom– This will be your bottom base layer for colder mornings, evenings, and days when the temperature drops considerably. The material is lightweight, tight fitting, moisture wicking, and comfortable.
Warm pants – These pants are ideal for evenings around the camp and cold days on the trail. Typically made of lightweight fleece and Wind Pro material, these pants should offer the added warmth in case of cold nights or high winds on the summit.
Fleece Top – This Polartec 200 weight top will provide added warmth during the evenings as well as on cold morning starts. Please look for fleece material and stay away from cotton sweatshirts. Ideally, this item is worn over the thermal base layer and underneath your water/wind proof jacket.
2 pairs Shorts/Pants for Hiking– These convertible shorts/pants will be what we hike in everyday. They should be of a lightweight, quick drying nylon material. Some come with UPF protection and mosquito protection.
2 pairs long or short sleeve shirts for the trail– Your trekking shirt is what we should wear early in the climb in warmer climates. The shirt is moisture wicking, light weight, and designed for multi-day hikes.
Mid-Layer Top – This shirt is a long sleeve version of the one provided above. The long sleeve trail shirt offers added warmth, more protection from the sun, and an additional layer for evenings and early morning starts.
Warm Hat – This fleece or wool hat is ideal for evenings and will be valuable in the event of cold weather and temperatures on the summit. The hat should be tight fitting with minimal loose ends.
Lightweight Gloves – Fleece gloves are essential. Look for gloves that are Polartec 200 weight with a leather reinforced palm. For more protection wind proofing is available and will add an extra layer of warmth.
Balaclava – The balaclava provides added warmth on summit day and colder evening. The balaclava should be of synthetic or wool material, light weight, and close fitting.
Sun hat – Your sun hat should be worn at the lower camps and should provide ample coverage for the face. A full brimmed hat is good for added shade and increased sun protection. Additionally, a neck scarf should also be considered to protect the back of the neck.
Waterproof breathable Gaiters – Your gaiters should be lightweight and durable. Look for Gore Tex lined with the ability to fit over your boots. Velcro or adjustable sides for easy access is recommended.
Down Jacket – 800 fill down jacket will add much need warmth for cold evenings as well as the added layers for summit day. Down is recommended for its compressibility and is comfortable around camp in the early nights on the climb. Patagonia, Mountain Hardware, Marmot, and North Face are brands the guides wear.
Things to Keep In Mind for Clothing:
Less is more!!! It is important to bring the essential gear discussed above, but it is more important to refrain from bringing items that are not recommended. Items to stay away from are cotton socks, jeans, multiple pairs of shoes, and heavy sweatshirts. Look for items that are moisture wicking and quick drying fabrics as opposed to cotton fabrics.
Head Lamp– Petzl and Black Diamond make several models of small and efficient head lamps. Look for ones that have multiple lighting levels, LED bulbs and uses AAA batteries.
Camp shoes (Teva, Crocs, Sandals)– These are great for around camp after a long day on the trail. These can also be used for creek crossings that may be higher than the boot. Flip flops work well in warmer climates but are not as effective during cold nights.
Hydrator – Hydrators are ideal when hiking for several hours because they enable you to drink slowly and frequently. 2-3 liters is a good size and should fit easily into your pack. All Camelbaks come with a bite valve, or on/off switch, as well as a large access port for filling. You must bring a NEOPRENE SLEEVE for the hose to prevent freezing.
Bug Spray– DEET based products work well and we find that the spray on versions last longer and are less messy. 4-6 ounce repellents that are perspiration and splash resistant are great.
Sun Screen – 30 SPF or higher is recommended as well as water proof and sweat proof. 8 ounces will be plenty and we typically carry one with 45+ SPF for our faces and a 30 SPF for other exposed areas. Banana Boat, REI, Kinesis and All Terrain are good options.
2 wide mount water bottle – A 1 liter water bottle is essential for hydrating at lunch, around the camp, and refilling throughout the day. Stay away from glass and heavy metals and look for lexan for durability.
Pillow– A Thermarest pillow that compresses down or folds into itself is ideal. A good benchmark for size and weight are 18 X 14 inches and 9 ounces total.
Dry Bag – A 20 liter + dry bag is great for ensuring your personal items are safe in case of rain. Cameras, wallets, money, and any other valuables can be kept dry at all times.
Pack Cover – The pack cover is an additional item we recommend everyone carry in case we encounter heavy rains. The pack cover should have a drawstring cord and elastic edges to fit firmly over your bag. A 40 liter cover will work well on any day pack.
Trekking Poles – Collapsible poles are great for steep downhill terrain and assistance up hill. If you have knee problems they reduce the impact on your joints by 20-30%. A nice soft foam grip will help prevent blisters and the poles with an aluminum shaft are durable and light weight.
Camp Towel – the camp towel should be of a polyester nylon blend that dries quickly and compacts tightly in your pack. The large (50 X 27 inches) is a good size and can be used to wash up at the end of the day. Stay away from house or beach towels.
- * Camera
- * Paperback book
- * Journal with pen or pencil
- * Person First Aid Kit (band aids, mole skin or second skin, Ibuprofen, Aspirin)
- * Hand sanitizer
- * Sani-wipes
- * Hand & feet warmers (2X) – Gel/ air activated are best
- * Bandanna
- * Cell phone (with solar charger e.g. solar monkey charger) since you tri and quad band phones work on Kilimanjaro
- * Flavored chocolate/energy bars for snacks
- * A supply or rehydrate sachets
- * 2 extra garbage bags for waterproofing and separating dirty laundry
- * Ear plugs
- * Ipod or MP3 player
- * Pocket knife
- * Water-flavoring to mask the iodine taste in the purified water
LAYERING INFORMATION contact page :
IN GENERAL, THERE ARE FOUR TYPES OF LAYERS:
Base Layer: : The task of the base layer is to maintain a dry and comfortable microclimate next to your skin. The base layer will therefore absorb all the moisture from your skin and then spread it out over the surface of the base layer where it will be evaporated via the other clothing layers. Typical base layer fabrics are: CoolMax, Polartec PowerDry, Wool, Patagonia Capilene.
Base Layer: :This layer provides more warmth if the base layer and the shell layer do not provide enough insulation on their own. It traps small pockets of air in the fabric the insulation layer is made of which slows down the loss of heat. Typical insulation fabrics are: Polartec Classics, Berber pile, and Windstopper.
Base Layer: : The shell layer provides protection from wind, rain, sleet, and snow, without allowing the build-up of condensation inside the clothing system. It protects while allowing moisture vapor to pass through. Shell fabrics are Gore-Tex, Hyvent, Aqua-Dry, and Dri-Lite.
Base Layer: : It is enough for most people to have the first three layers. However, in extremely cold conditions, you will need to add a large amount of insulation as a fourth layer. Down and Polarguard can both be used for this layer. This layer is either worn as a shell layer or underneath the shell layer for added warmth on sum
Mikumi National Park might be one of the only places in the world to offer views of wild animals and grassy savannahs for the price of a bus ticket.
- By Akesh Negi
25 Jualy 2019
With a major two-lane highway running through it, Mikumi National Park might be one of the only places in the world to offer views of wild animals and grassy savannahs for the price of a bus ticket. In spite of this – or perhaps because of it – Mikumi is one of the most underrated parks in Tanzania.
“What makes Mikumi special is that it’s somewhat forgotten,” said Karen Oakes, manager of Stanley’s Kopje, a tented camp that opened in the park in 2001. “It is often overlooked by tour operators…which means it is sort of a hidden gem.”
Mikumi lies along a trade route that has connected the East African coast with huge inland lakes for hundreds of years. The taste for ivory and other exotic goods has lured traders, travellers and explorers along this corridor since the 18th Century, when caravans carried cloth and beads, copper and spices, ivory and slaves across the same plains and hills now visited by tourists.
Connected to Dar es Salaam by a well-paved road, the park can be accessed by private car, bus or safari vehicle. Daily charter flights are also available for those averse to traffic jams and long car journeys. If you do have the time to spare, the nearly five-hour drive is worth it for the views. Heading west from Dar es Salaam, the road traverses the Ruvu River, tracks along the base of the Uluguru Mountains and meanders through sisal plantations and a string of small villages.
Once inside the southern Tanzania park, the highway cannot be seen or heard, but it makes Mikumi one of the most accessible places in Tanzania to see lions, buffalo, hippopotamus, gazelles, elands, warthogs and yellow baboons (not to mention more than 400 species of birds). “It is an excellent place for Tanzanians to discover their own natural history,” said Oakes, an Australian who has worked in the park for six years.
The open savannahs of the Mkata floodplain, at the heart of the park, are reminiscent of the famous Serengeti plains and a popular feeding ground for herd animals such as elephants, giraffe, zebra and wildebeest. But with far fewer vehicles and visitors, Mikumi offers a wilder and more remote experience than the Serengeti and Ngorogoro Crater, Tanzania’s better-known parks in the north of the country.
At more than 3,000sqkm, Mikumi is the fourth largest national park in Tanzania. The area is adjacent to, and part of, the much larger natural ecosystem of Selous, one of Africa’s largest game reserves. Together, Selous and Mikumi create a protected ecosystem larger than Denmark. But even with the protected designation, animals remain vulnerable to the dangers posed by humans.
Small animals often fall prey to the speeding traffic on the highway, while larger animals face other risks. “[Poachers] get the elephants when they roam outside the park,” Otiono Onyango, a guide with three peaks tanzania safari Tours,contact page :, who has spent 17 years living and working near the park. Pointing to a large bull elephant that has no tusks, Kimweri said, “He was lucky. Often the poachers just kill them.”
The luxurious Stanley’s Kopje camp is named after one of the world’s most famous explorers – the Welsh-born, American journalist and adventurer, Henry Morton Stanley. One of a handful of accommodation options within the park, the camp is made up of eight tented chalets on raised wooden platforms, offering unobstructed views of the Mkata floodplain. From the bar and restaurant area, herds of animals can be seen grazing in the distance. At night, Oakes said elephants and other wild animals regularly feed among the tents, eating the grass that grows along the rocky outcrop.
Closer to the park’s main gate is the Mikumi Wildlife Camp, a series of basic cottages with thatched roofs that provide close-up views of the animals visiting nearby watering holes. Rooms are pricey for what they offer, but the quiet and peaceful terrace facing the open plain is the perfect place for a post-safari drink.
Budget-friendly accommodations can be found along the main road in Mikumi town, located about 20km from the main park gate. Several guesthouses and roadside motels – with questionable names like Half Way House (Mikumi Main Road; 255 752 557 686), Genesis Snake Park and Motel (Mikumi Main Road; 255-068 736 3600) and Impala Palace (Mikumi Main Road; 255 7 52 557 686) – provide basic but clean lodgings for a fraction of the cost of staying in the park. A selection of lively restaurants and pubs along the main road offer a chance to catch up on football scores, chat with locals and have a cold beer with some nyama choma, the Swahili word for grilled meat.
If you are not on a package tour, you can arrange at the park entrance to have a ranger join you on your game drive. They will know where to find the animals and can save you from getting lost or driving aimlessly around the numerous tracks within the park. Be sure to bring plenty of water, snacks, a good pair of binoculars and a camera, as Mikumi is famous among photographers for getting excellent light. Most animal activity takes place when the sun is not at its peak, so aim for game drives in the early morning or late afternoon.