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Climbing Kilimanjaro

When to climb Mt Kilimanjaro

Generally it is accepted that you are able to climb Kili year round, with the better months being the dryer, warmer months experienced between September and October and December through to March. Be aware that the peak season for climbing is considered to be from July through to August, which tends to be a lot cooler.

Climate

Kili’s climate is notable for it’s extremes and for its rapidly changing conditions. The temperature varies with altitude. Temperatures experienced at the foot of Kili range from 23-30 degrees celsius while temperatures nearing the summit are in the bone chilling range of -15 to -20 degrees celsius. The weather is notoriously erratic and you must be prepared for wind, rain and snow.

Which route should I choose?

The routes that are not considered technical are Marangu, Machame, Rongai and Lemosho. The days taken to summit vary on the route chosen. The most popular choices with climbers is either the Marangu or Machame route.

Accommodation

Accommodation on Kili is limited to the Marangu route, which has 3 large, well built bunkhouses spaced about 6-8 hours walk apart. On all other routes trekkers must camp. For all tented routes, the tents are dome style and accommodate 2 people each.

Luggage

You are allowed to have one pack that is carried by the porters and the weight limit is 15kgs(35pounds). Anything that exceeds this weight will mean an extra porter will be required and a cost of $20 per day.

Altitude sickness

We strongly recommend that you speak to your family doctor before attempting to climb Kili. You will have to be given the go ahead by your doctor before attempting to climb. Your doctor will also provide advice on altitude sickness. Generally, it is accepted that to avoid altitude sickness you must walk slow and steady and drink plenty of water, thus allowing your body to acclimatise while ascending to higher altitudes. Trying to summit quickly does not allow your body to acclimatise and altitude sickness will result. Although guides are trained in acute mountain sickness and basic mountain first aid it must be noted that they are not tertiary qualified health professionals.

First aid kit

First aid kits and any medical needs are the sole responsibility of the climber. We recommend that you consult a qualified medical practitioner for advice on this matter.

Oxygen and Hyperbaric pressure bag  

Oximeters are taken on all treks and no extra charge. Oxygen is available for $30 each group and a hyperbaric pressure bag is available for $120 per group per trek.

Climbing equipment

Please use the SafariHQ Kilimanjaro Equipment Checklist as a guideline.

Can children climb?

The minimum age set by the National Park Authorities for summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro is 12 years old. Younger children are able to trek on the low levels of the mountain only.

Guide qualifications

All guides are trained and certified by Kilimanjaro National Park.

Food and water

A cook is on every climb and will prepare meals that will help sustain your energy. Water will be purified for you at each camp. It is very important to stay well hydrated while trekking. If you have any dietary restrictions you must advise SafariHQ well ahead of your departure date so that we can accommodate your requirements.

Guides, porters and cooks

Expect 1 guide per 2 hikers, 1 assistant guide per 3 hikers, and 1 cook per 8 hikers.

What do the Porters carry?

5 day trek: 2 porters per trekker

6-7 day trek: 3 porters per trekker

8 day trek: 4 porters per trekker

nb: these are minimum number of porters required and additional porters will be needed if there is excess weight/luggage.

Tips

Please remember to tip all staff on your trek. The general accepted amounts are as follows: $15/day for guides, $10/day for assistant guides and cooks, $7/porter/day for porters. This is a group tip not a per person per day gratuity.

What happens if I get sick while trekking?

All climbers pay a rescue fee to the Kilimanjaro National Park (included in the price).  If a client cannot walk because they are injured or sick, the guides, assistant guides, and porters will assist this climber down. There is no extra charge for coming down the mountain. Please note that you will not get a refund back for the mountain days you missed, and you will be responsible for medical assistance and extra hotel nights if required.  We highly recommend travel insurance to cover any unforseen circumstances.