kilimanjaro FAQs

Your porters will carry all of your food for the duration of the trip. Your meals will be prepared by you own cook and will consist of cooked breakfast, with tea and coffee. Either a packed lunch or cooked lunch at camp depending on the length of the days walking. Dinner is usually soup, followed by meat, or vegetables in sauce, with potatoes, pasta or rice. You will also have fresh fruit daily and more than enough food to keep you well fueled for the weeks walking.

We have tried to include as much information as possible on this site, but we would be happy to answer any other questions that you may have, please get in touch we are here to help. Our details are available on the

Essential items such as money, credit cards and passports can be left in the hotel before departing for Kilimanjaro. There are safety deposit boxes available for hire at $0 per day. We would highly recommend locking your valuables away before climbing to avoid them getting lost or stolen on the mountain. You may wish to take some Dollars or Tanzanian Shilling with you to purchase refreshments or souvenirs.

To avoid any serious issues of your luggage getting lost in transit to Kilimanjaro; wear and carry as much of your essential items in your rucksack and use this as hand luggage. We would suggest that you wear a complete set of clothing including; socks and liners, trousers, long sleeve shirt, fleece and hiking boots. In your rucksack, pack as much additional equipment as possible such as; waterproofs, down jacket, sleeping bag liner, medications, camera, water bottle/bladder, spare underwear, spare laces, gloves, hat and all documents.

Yes you will need to obtain a visa to enter Tanzania from the USA/ EUROPE. Please see our visa page for details. You should also ensure that your passport has at least 6 months before expiry when you arrive in Tanzania.
Who will take us up the mountain?We are Local Tanzania operator based in the base of the mountain. Our guides are among the best qualified and experienced on Kilimanjaro and unlike other operators, they are all Tanzanian. All the guides we use speak excellent English, and in addition to their knowledge and experience of Kilimanjaro they have received training in; first aid, mountain rescue, local flora and fauna, and history of the mountain and are registered with Kilimanjaro National Park (KINAPA). More information is available on our guides and porter page.

Unfortunately there is no way of ensuring that you will not suffer from AMS as it affects everyone differently. The safest way to ascend to high altitude is by going slowly; the more days you have at altitude and the slower the rate of assent; the greater that chance you have of acclimatizing and ultimately reaching the summit. If you have had no experience of altitude climbing, or trekking; then you may wish to consider the Kilimanjaro treks lasting 7 days or more; such as the Lemosho route, or Rongai routes. In addition to this you should drink plenty of fluids and you may wish to consider taking medication such as Diamox and Ibuprofen to help treat the symptoms. Please visit the altitude sickness for more information.

To increase your chances of reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro you should pick a route with as many days ascending as possible. The Lemosho and Rongai have the best acclimatization schedules allowing 8 and 7 days respectively.

Everyone has their preferred method of carrying water in their rucksacks. There is no right, or wrong method; the most important thing is that you have the capacity to carry around 2 litres of water in your rucksack for a day’s walking. The bladder system encourages you to drink more frequently as it is easily accessible; however on summit night the tube and mouth piece are likely to freeze even with an insulated hose making it impossible to drink from. Bottles are often carried inside your rucksack and are not as easy to reach on the go, however bottles are less likely to freeze on summit night and can be placed in an inside jacket pocket to keep warm. We would suggest a combination of the 2; a 1-2 litre bladder for day-to-day drinking and additional storage for summit night and a 1 liter bottle for summit night and for evening use in camp. You may also wish to take a small flask so you have a hot drink for summit night.

Apart from the first day when you will bring bottled water from the hotel for your first days walking, the porters will collect your drinking water daily from streams located near the camps. Although the water is generally clean enough to drink, your porters will boil enough water for your next day walking. You may wish to bring additional water treatment tablets, if you have a particularly sensitive stomach.

There are 6 routes used to climb Kilimanjaro, each has its own characteristics and offers a different perspective and challenge. The most popular route is the Marangu route; or Coca Cola route as it is also known, which attracts the majority of all visitors to Kilimanjaro. The Machame; or Whisky route as it is known is also a very popular route and as a result can also be very busy; these routes are typically completed in 5-6 days. The Lemosho and Shira routes approach Kibo from the West and offer a quieter approach as these are less populated routes. The Rongai route approaches from the North and is also a quieter route. These three routes can be completed in 6-8 days which will assist with acclimatization and increase the chances of reaching the summit. Finally there is the Umbwe route the shortest and most direct route to the summit; it is also the least popular and toughest of all the routes..

Although you can train for climbing Kilimanjaro to ensure you are in good physical condition, whether you manage to reach the summit could be decided by how well you react to being at altitude. There are drugs available that may help you with altitude sickness such as Diamox, or you could visit the Altitude Centre for an AMS susceptibility test. However the best way to increase your chances of reaching the summit is by spending as many days on the mountain as possible to allow your body time to acclimatize. You could also consider climbing Mount Meru before attempting Mt Kilimanjaro, but again this will not necessarily guarantee your chances of reaching Uhuru peak.

The toilets on Kilimanjaro consist of small wooden huts in the campsites with a hole in the ground for you to go to the toilet in. They are very basic, but then you are on a mountain in the middle of Africa! However, there is another option…..included in your Bush Explorer trek price is your own personal toilet tent, that will be solely for the use of your group. The porters will carry this up Kilimanjaro and it will be emptied and cleaned on a daily basis. Please ensure you bring enough toilet paper and hand sanitizer for the trek.

The trail conditions on Mount Kilimanjaro are challenging, but relatively easy compared to the other mountains in the seven summits. The rain-forest zone can be wet and slippery underfoot especially if there has been heavy rain. The higher slopes are a mixture of heath covered land, alpine desert and finally the ice covered summit. The terrain changes through the climate zones but are generally comfortable to negotiate with a pair of 3 season walking boots. Some people prefer to use walking poles but do not feel that you have to have them; it is a matter of personal preference. They are however very useful on summit night, particularly on the descent from the summit when you will be tired and will have to negotiate the loose scree on the way back to camp.

On average you will walk between 3 and 6 miles per day, apart from the summit night when you will walk up to 15 miles. You will usually start your days trekking around 8am and walk for between 4 and 8 hours per day (longer on summit night).
Please see routes overview page for more details.

You do not require any technical equipment on Mount Kilimanjaro; however you will experience changing weather conditions and be exposed to temperatures ranging from +30 degrees to -25 degrees, so you should be prepared for this. You should take thin layers that can be added, or taken away depending on the weather conditions. But remember there is a limit to the weight that the porters can carry and your kit bag must be a maximum of 15Kg. You will also have a rucksack that will contain your basic kit for a day’s walking.

Anyone of reasonable fitness should be capable of summiting Kilimanjaro; it is more likely that altitude sickness, rather than a lack of physical fitness will prevent you from summiting. That said the more preparation and training that you can do prior to climbing Kilimanjaro the more enjoyable you will find it.

We have a maximum of 12 people per group. We believe that a small, intimate group is one of the most important factors to ensure our guests will have an amazing experience on Kilimanjaro. We can arrange trips for larger groups if required.
Will I need to purchase travel insurance?
You must arrange adequate travel insurance for your Kilimanjaro trek. You should ensure that your policy covers you for high altitude climbing as most standard policies will not include this. More information is available on our Kilimanjaro insurance page.

Payment

No, we do not charge any extra fees or fuel surcharges. The listed price is the price you pay. Including tax.

We understand that you may not have a printer handy when you’re traveling so it is not necessary to have a printed copy. However, we require that you show ID matching your reservation and also the Order # that is immediately emailed to you after you make your reservation.

Please contact us to get the latest information on your desired trip.

Preparation

Wear whatever is comfortable. It is recommended to have a sturdy pair of broken-in trail shoes, boots, or sneakers. It is preferable to dress in layers and wear clothing that will wick away perspiration and keep you dry and comfortable

Not much, remember our trips are all inclusive. We do suggest you bring appropriate clothing to fit the season and a day pack to carry extra snacks and water.

Reservation

You must call 72 hours ahead of your scheduled tour for a full refund. Within 72 hours you will assess a $35 termination fee. There are no refunds for cancellations within 24 hours of your tour, or if you decide not to show up.

Yes. Reservations are required for guaranteed spots on all tours. Reservations help us determine the number of guides we need to ensure that our groups remain manageable and enjoyable, and they allow us to notify you of changes to the tour due to weather or anything that could disturb the tours.

Weather

We do hike in the rain, snow, wind and any other weather conditions that nature decides to throw at us. After all, we’re going on adventures! If the weather is unsafe for any reason, the trip will be changed or postponed. You will be notified the week of your trip if there are changes due to weather.